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A Sociological Look at Modern Economics, Politics, and Psychology
Lynn Appleton

COURSE DESCRIPTION: “…Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold….,” wrote William Butler Yeats in 1919. Almost 100 years later, we look back at a century that has seen more dramatic and decisive social, economic and political change than any previous era of human history. To understand that change, we need a sociological imagination: the ability to connect our personal lives to the social forces that shape who we are, how we feel, and what we do. These lectures are designed to illuminate how immense but almost invisible social changes have remade our lives. You will have a better understanding of why you sometimes feel that “things fall apart.” These lectures will illuminate some of the endearing and enduring foolishness of the human condition. After all, as that great sociologist Mel Brooks once said, “life literally abounds in comedy, if you just look around you.” 
1. Why it’s hard to be normal and even harder to be deviant: gifted children, depressed adults, broken homes, and working mothers. How standards emerge and change in a postmodern era.
2. Why we buy things: The sociology of real estate, shoes, and “going shopping.”  Drawing the line between “having” and “hoarding” in the market era.
3. Why we get sick: weighing the effects of humiliation and high-fructose corn syrup on American health. How inequality’s many dimensions shape illness.
4. Why “queer” is back in style: rebranding sexualities, moving beyond old dichotomies. The LBGTQA frontier and the new heterosexuality.
5. Why Google will rule the world: information as power. Metrics, measurement, markets, tracking and Big Data.
6. Why Americans abandoned the idea of rehabilitation: prisons, punishments, and the mark of Cain in a society where one out of every 31 adults is in prison, on parole, or on probation.
7. Why the generation gap disappeared: how markets stifle dissent, ensure conformity, and drain the rebellion out of youth culture.
8. Why the epidemic of insomnia is keeping me awake at night: the human body in an inhuman society. Are we entering a “post-human” era? Have we ever even been human?
BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION: Dr. Lynn Appleton (Ph.D., University of Chicago) is Professor of Sociology at Florida Atlantic University (FAU).  Her current research is on the therapeutic disciplines.

Time: 1:45 pm - 3:30 pm
Date: Mondays, January 5, 12, 26; February 2; 9, 16, 23; March 2
Location: Barry and Florence Friedberg Auditorium, Boca Raton Campus
Fees: $68 member / $98 non-member

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