SOC 190.7 Introduction to Political Economy: Society, Space, and Transformation in the San Francisco Bay Area (Spring 2019, UC Berkeley Department of Sociology)
How does the organization of economic production and exchange affect other areas of social life? And how is the economy itself a socially embedded institution? As residents of the Bay Area, we are experiencing the ongoing, global transformation of capitalism from a particularly privileged vantage point. From urban restructuring to precarious work to neoliberal self- governance, reverberations of the emerging knowledge economy are visible throughout our everyday lives. This course has two main goals: (1) to give students an introduction to a sociological perspective on political economy; and (2) to challenge students to critically interrogate their own lived experience in the Bay Area as a reflexive entry-point into larger political economic questions. To these ends, after using Marx, Polanyi, and Weber to lay a groundwork in classical political economy, this course will be organized around two themes— the production of space and the production of economic agents — as focused lenses into the literature and for student reflection.
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