TEACHING PHILOSOPHY

My approach to undergraduate teaching rests on the idea that students learn sociological concepts, theories, and research methods best through active engagement with material that is made applicable to their everyday lives. I structure my courses around a variety of assignments that complement my teaching goals. I vary the format of class time, using small group activities and projects, structured classroom discussions, and guest speakers to complement the material that I present through mini-lectures. I also find incorporating media – including films, podcasts, video clips or blog pieces – serve as a catalyst for lively discussion and thoughtful written assignments. Students report this approach inspires real interest in the subject, and results in engaged learning.

COURSES

RACE, GENDER, CLASS, AND ETHNICITY

Course Description: This course explores how sociologists’ study social inequalities related to race, ethnicity, class, gender and sexuality. We begin by exploring how these identities are experienced in people’s everyday lives. Next, we examine how these identities are constructed and maintained through dominant institutions, from families, schools, and workplaces, to the media, and state. We close out the course by considering creative solutions that work to end inequalities as seen through resistance and social change efforts. Throughout we will explore the significance of these categories within the different contexts of our lives.

GENDER AND WRITING IN SOCIOLOGY

Course Description: This course develops students writing through developing their ability to articulate complex sociological ideas and concepts in clear and persuasive writing. By learning to frame written work for varied audiences, including academics and non-academics, students develop communication skills that prepare them for a range of careers. They develop these skills through the sociological study of gender. The course begins with an examination of prominent sociological gender theory, before moving through five topical areas within the field: (1) bodies, identities, and culture, (2) families and intimate relationships, (3) work and employment, (4) social control and violence, and (5) politics and social change. Across units, we pay particular attention to ways that gender intersects with other locations and identities such as race, ethnicity, class, sexuality and citizenship. We examine how gender is socially constructed, and how meanings have changed over time, within the United States and transnationally. This includes considering important developments within the field related to transgender and masculinity studies.

SOCIOLOGY OF THE FAMILY

Course Description: This course examines how sociologists’ study the family and the varied meanings, needs and functions of families as seen across time and place. We begin by studying the history of the family and meanings that exist around what constitutes the family. Next we consider varied formations that contemporary families take, moving into a discussion of intimate relationships and marriage as one focus point around which some families form. From there we move into various modes and approaches to the reproduction of future generations. We then consider dynamics and experiences of parents and children, ending the course by considering forms of care provided within families for those in early and later life. Throughout the course we pay particular attention to how gender, race, ethnicity, class and sexuality, shape family life. We examine how notions of family are tied to inequalities that are created and recreated through various social institutions such as schools, work, media and the state.

COURSES ASSISTED

Gender and Difference, Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies 

Gender and Asian America, Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies

Sociology of the Family, Sociology Department

Introduction to Sociology, Sociology Department

Social Class Inequality, Sociology Department

Race, Gender, Class & Ethnicity, Sociology Department