I think my favorite part of the class was the open ended assignments. The blog, paper, and project were structured in such a way that really allowed me to synthesize our readings and discussions, and take control of my own learning… cliche…but true! I remember being nervous looking over the syllabus the first day (as someone who loves structure) and seeing that the group project just needed to be related to our class in some way. However, I think this worked out really well and produced some amazing projects that probably wouldn’t have been possible if we had a checklist that needed to be completed. One thing that might have been nice is to have more of a sharing process in concern to the papers, I would love to know more about what everyone is writing, and I think just going around the room and saying topics might have created fascinating discussions. If anyone wants to post your paper on the blog, I will totally read it this summer!
As far as the readings go, I thought that the last week on sex tourism was fascinating. First, it blew my mind as it was never something that I had heard about before. Secondly, even though the topic was so specific it seemed like we were able to talk about everything through the two articles. Oddly enough, it was the perfect culmination, as we were able to talk about socialization, sexuality, masculinity, power politics, race, etc. etc. etc. One other section I really enjoyed was the one we did on the family. Some topics, like hook-up culture, are easy to criticize and look at from a sociological perspective. But I thought it was important we took on some of the social constructs of the family, because it is something that often goes unquestioned.
One extra aside that I really loved was the panel of sociologists from Professor Jafar’s two new books about the globalization of the body. I thought that the speakers were all fascinating, and it might be really cool for future classes to see some of their readings on the syllabus…Maybe a discussion of Hooters somewhere in there? However, that being said there aren’t any readings that I would want to cut to make room for them. I wouldn’t really change anything about this class. I loved that we were able to just go off on tangents and watch youtube clips and talk about the problematic things family members had said. It was a joy!