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Course Description

Film constitutes what Talcott Parsons has termed an “expressive symbol system. That is to say, it is a symbol system in which the expressive orientation is dominant... and directed towards something.” This course will foster the capacity to analyze cinema sociologically by pairing carefully selected films that address central sociological issues such as class, gender, sex, sexuality, race, ethnicity, deviance, urban life, and immigration with topical scholarship in sociology and film. We often watch movies for entertainment, paying little attention to the sociological aspects of movies. Yet, cinema influences and is shaped by ideology, social structure, norms, and social relations. And the film industry reveals the tensions between the drive to profit, make art, send a message, influence the audience, and establish power. The course delves into the way films have reproduced and challenged social conventions by contextualizing current sociological developments in cinema. We will cover topics such as feminism; masculinity in crisis; trans bodies and the horror genre; urban poverty, race, and policing; and immigration and identity in global perspective. This course will enhance students’ understanding of culture, media, and sociology by examining classical, contemporary, independent, and foreign films and related scholarship.

Basic Enrollment Requirements: Unofficial Transcript – High School Diploma or current high school transcript (for high school students only in applicable classes), Bachelor’s Degree, or progress towards a Bachelor’s Degree + 3.0 GPA.

High School students will be prompted to submit an additional application after enrollment including: a high school transcript, letter of recommendation, parental permission, and other required consent forms.

Instructor Approval: Not Required.

Remission Eligible: Yes; first day of term; all university policies apply.

Refund Policy: Course Policy 1

Affiliated With:

School of Arts & Sciences