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Sociology 57: Community Involvement and Personal Growth

Time: Tues/Thurs 12:00 pm - 1:15 pm
Location: DMH 161


This course will examine the interaction between individual lifespan development and involvement with various formal and informal communities (such as civic and volunteer organizations, ethnic and religious groups, professional associations, etc.).  We will explore factors that shape individual engagement with communities and the development of civic responsibility in our multicultural society.  We will also consider evidence on how community engagement influences individual physiological, social/cultural, and psychological well-being. We will also explore the concept of “social capital” – the notion that social networks have value for both individuals and societies.  We will analyze the link between social bonds and life satisfaction for individuals, as well as the impact of civic participation on our society as a whole.  Students will participate in and reflect upon a community service experience in an organization serving a multicultural population, and form a life plan for developing social capital through civic engagement.  Students will come to understand the university as both a learning center and a multicultural community embedded within a larger social system.