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Living within the Bio-Logical
Fall 2018
Section: 01  
Crosslisting: SISP 121F

How do biology and society relate to each other? This first-year seminar provides an introductory overview of how the biosciences have been entangled in social contexts, from the Enlightenment to the current technoscience era. We will focus on four contemporary case studies where society impacts biology and biology impacts society. We will look at how rates of obesity relate to inequality and insecurity. We will consider how, in Russia, the Chernobyl nuclear disaster has provided a platform for individuals to claim a "biological citizenship" from the state. We will examine the ways that in Brazil and the U.S., synthetic hormones are used for self-enhancement, raising issues with gender and class. Finally, we will discuss emergent research on how the gut influences the rest of the body, including our brains, and the way that research suggests that our environments are even more influential on our bodies than we previously thought. In all these case studies, we will focus on the interrelation of the biological with the social, political, and economic, and we will critically reflect on the influence of politics and economics on human biological agency. By using a case-study approach to social science theory, this course introduces students to how empirical data drives theory and how theory influences the production of new knowledge.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: HA WRCT
Course Format: SeminarGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: None
Past Enrollment Probability: Not Available

Last Updated on MAY-17-2024
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