SOCI 395: Special Topics in Sociology

SOCI 395-001: Next System Studies Seminar
(Spring 2024)

10:30 AM to 01:10 PM T

Van Metre Hall (formerly Founders Hall) 313

Section Information for Spring 2024

SOCI 395 - 001: Next System Studies Seminar

Our lives can feel very precarious. Many of us are anxious about the future. And our ability to respond effectively to the social, economic, political, climate, ecological, and human crises of these times is undermined by a widespread sense of crisis fatigue. Several years ago, a new government was inaugurated in Washington that promised to “Build Back Better.”

But must we only build back better from what the previous president called the “American carnage” of recent years, or must we also find ways to transcend the mounting crises of the past forty and four hundred years?  

With this seminar you become one of the first students anywhere to participate in a course of next system studies. Together we move beyond identifying and critiquing problems. Next System Studies seek to explain the relationships between systemic dysfunction, systemic movements, next system design, and system change. A rising global tide of community-based movements and initiatives 

offer the possibility that from this period of systemic decay may emerge a next system that is more democratic, sustainable, and just. Students engage directly with the experiences and ideas created through these initiatives. We also draw from fertile fields of study in solidarity economics, climate transition, abolition, digital technology, popular constitutionalism, participatory democracy, community wealth, reconstruction, revolutions and social transformation, and social movements. 

This course provides an excellent preparation for careers in public policy and public service, social entrepreneurship, cooperative development, community and human services, education and research, labor organizing and worker rights, and social movement organizations and advocacy. We engage directly with ongoing next system efforts both around the world and in our region, meet with practitioners and policy experts, present and discuss readings and films in a seminar format, and perform group work relevant to communities directly served and affected by George Mason University. Our sessions bring together graduate students and accelerated undergraduate students from various programs. Cross listed with SOCI 395-001, GOVT 319-005.

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Course Information from the University Catalog

Credits: 3

Introduces the research interests of the faculty, offering new courses that reflect current issues not yet incorporated into the curriculum. Offers, in addition, advanced study into topics covered in the standing curriculum. Topics change by semester. May be repeated within the term for a maximum 18 credits.
Specialized Designation: Topic Varies
Recommended Prerequisite: SOCI 101
Schedule Type: Lec/Sem #1, Lec/Sem #2, Lec/Sem #3, Lec/Sem #4, Lec/Sem #5, Lec/Sem #6, Lec/Sem #7, Lec/Sem #8, Lec/Sem #9, Lecture, Sem/Lec #10, Sem/Lec #11, Sem/Lec #12, Sem/Lec #13, Sem/Lec #14, Sem/Lec #15, Sem/Lec #16, Sem/Lec #17, Sem/Lec #18
This course is graded on the Undergraduate Regular scale.

The University Catalog is the authoritative source for information on courses. The Schedule of Classes is the authoritative source for information on classes scheduled for this semester. See the Schedule for the most up-to-date information and see Patriot web to register for classes.