How can I ensure that students understand intersectionality and how intersecting identities are bound up with power, privilege, and oppression? And can they apply these sociological concepts to analyze the social world and their social positions within it? In my classroom, these questions drive my pedagogical approach – an approach grounded in and informed by my research on the lived experiences of marginalized groups and what their realities tell us about society. I actuate my pedagogical philosophy through teaching content on intersectionality and inequality but also through propelling students to interrogate their own positions in relation to others. This internal investigation is brought about in my classroom by fostering disequilibrium, that is, in moving my students to learn through becoming uncomfortable. To accomplish my goals, I utilize a variety of techniques, including using peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters alongside experiential learning, transdisciplinary multi-media, real-life examples, news articles, documentaries, memoirs, and an auto-ethnographic writing project.
Sociology of Identity
The New York Times called 2015 “The Year We Obsessed Over Identity.” From Laverne Cox and Caitlyn Jenner to Rachel Dolezal and “Key & Peele” – identities and categories around race, class, gender, and sexuality have been called into question. So, who are we? And how do we know who we are? Although the answers to these questions may seem personal and inherent, in this course, we will explore these questions through a sociological lens. We will examine how the self is produced by society and what the relation is between the self and society. Essentially, this course will tackle how our identities are socially produced and how the social production of identities is bound up with power, privilege, and oppression. The beginning of the course will focus on general theories and concepts about identities, the self, and society. We will then consider the roles that race, gender, class, and sexuality play in understanding our identities. We will end the course by looking at more thematic areas around identities.