Joanna Reed is a continuing lecturer with the sociology department. Her teaching and research interests include the intersection of changes in families with social class and inequality; social policy, neighborhoods, work and childhood. In Fall 2019, Dr. Reed taught Sociology 130AC: “Social Inequalities – American Cultures”, a course that explores the causes and consequences of social inequalities in the United States. This is a large lecture course of nearly 200 students. For the creative discovery assignment, Reed recruited a small group of students from the class to join the "Soc. 130 Creative Team". This group of seven students were then tasked with developing a creative project that would connect to an assignment undertaken by all students in the class--the Neighborhood Project. For the Neighborhood Project, students visit a census tract clustered around the #18 AC Transit bus line. Their data and observations are collected into a class data set, which students then analyze in different ways. Students who were part of the Creative Team earned one unit of independent study credit, and met weekly throughout the semester. They decided to build on the neighborhood project by making a short film about homelessness and collaborated to plan, film, conduct interviews, research, record, edit and produce their film, which was shown to the entire class at the end of the semester.
I just feel that students have a lot of talents and other interests and that our classes are very narrow in terms of how we evaluate students. I really liked the idea of trying to figure out ways to do something creative in a regular class.Joanna
Sociology 130AC: “Social Inequalities – American Cultures” explores the causes and consequences of inequality in the United States through considering theories posed by scholars to understand inequality, as well as through examining particular institutions, such as education and the incarceration system, that sustain, reproduce, and/or mitigate social inequality.