Teaching

I teach courses on the Sociology of Health & Illness, Disability, and Aging. I have also taught courses on Qualitative Research Methods, and am currently teaching Introduction to Sociology.

 

Sample Descriptions from Current Teaching

Sociology of Disability

Though the term disability describes a phenomenon that most people personally experience at some point in their lives, there is relatively little sociological research on the topic in comparison to other social categories like race, class, and gender. This course draws on emerging work in sociology, as well as pertinent scholarship from history, anthropology, and disability studies, in order to provide a sociological approach to thinking about disability. It will share perspectives on disability that it show how it is embodied and personal and at the same time shaped by families, communities, and historical periods. Questions the course will explore include: what is the difference between the medical and social model, and what other ways are there of understanding disability? What is the relationship between the individual experience of disability and material and symbolic structures like professional support and media representations? How do things like class, gender, and sexuality intersect with disability and shape the experiences of the disabled? Students will read and view a mixture of material, including journal articles, social science monographs, personal and family memoirs, documentaries, and movies, as well as present to their classmates on one disability that they will become an expert on, as we address the above questions in relation to a variety of conditions including autism, blindness, cancer, cystic fibrosis, deafness, intellectual disability, multiple sclerosis, parkinson’s disease, and paralysis. The overarching goal of the course is to help students to think conceptually about the themes that cut across these and other conditions, while at the same time building sensitivity to and understanding of the physical, emotional and social characteristics of each.