Academics

Course Catalog

UGRD > CSTCTR

Community Studies Center

  • CSTCTR 225  Media and Community Building

    Description:
    Media and Community Building will explore the importance of media and electronic communication technologies in creating and maintaining community. The course will examine the expanding ensemble of practices and technological applications (print, audio, radio, video, television, computer communication and the Internet) now being put to use as means of empowerment and communication supporting community building and social change. We will also explore the potential of these technologies to destroy communities through misrepresentation, under representation and stereotyping, and fragmentation. We will also delve into the economic and regulatory policies that underpin both the creation and destruction of communities through the use of media and communication technologies.   More Info

    Offered in:
    • TBA
  • CSTCTR 250  Social Organization of Communities

    Description:
    This course provides an understanding of the structure and process of the social organization of communities. Taking course students will be able to describe community level structures and relationships, and how groups and organizations in communities create the social organization of communities. The course teaches students how to identify, describe, and explain the various types of community social organization, as well as theories of social organization and groups that affect communities; develop skills in identifying and examining various types of community organization, agents of organizational change; and demonstrate the ability to describe, analyze, and make recommendations concerning the organization of communities.   More Info

    Offered in:
    • TBA
  • CSTCTR 300  Comparative Methods of Community Analysis

    Description:
    The study of communities has a rich history in the social sciences, in history, and in such diverse fields as geography, architecture and planning, and even art. Each approaches community from a unique perspective that highlights different aspects of the experience, the life, and the heritage of communities: from the eye of the architect envisioning the urban form and its evolution: to the historians analysis of documents, photographs, and life histories of communities; to the planners use of geographic information systems, the sociologists analysis of the formation and social characteristics of communities, and the anthropologists ethnographies of cultures and groups. All are useful tools for students of community processes as well as students focusing on communities for the purposes of planning, organizing, and service deliver. The purpose of this course is to provide you with the understanding of the array of methods used to study communities and the skills necessary to plan an appropriate community study. This course expands the work conducted in Community Portraits, offering more complex approaches to the study of communities. The course will familiarize you with the methodological tools that different disciplines and fields use to study, represent, and understand communities and presents examples of approaches from the social sciences, humanities, the arts, architecture and urban planning and others. The course will also help you develop basic skills in the design of appropriate community studies, in the selection of the appropriate methods to use, and in the implementation o, at least, one method of data collection.   More Info

    Offered in:
    • TBA
  • CSTCTR 325  Community Portraits

    Description:
    Through this course a student will become familiar with and develop the ability to utilize various types of community information, including Census and similar types of demographic data, agency reports and public records, maps, historical documents, and other types of qualitative and quantitative information. The student will become familiar with and learn to utilize various places and sources where information about local communities can be obtained, including: formal sources, such as libraries, the Census Bureau, other public and community agencies, and the internet; and informal sources, such as newspaper classified ads and key informants. The student will develop practical skills in actually obtaining, summarizing, interpreting and evaluation both qualitative and quantitative information about a local community. The student will be required to produce short written research papers that are based upon community information, inferences drawn from the information and the students own unifying ideas.   More Info

    Offered in:
  • CSTCTR 330  Dynamics of Community Change

    Description:
    This course will provide an understanding of the causes and consequence of community change over extended periods of time. It will also allow students to develop an awareness of how researchers document and describe changes in community structures, relationships, and identities. Students will be able to identify, describe, and explain the various external forces that affect communities as well as the internal dynamics that produce conflict and change in history. They will develop skills in identifying and examining various agents of community change, processes of change, and consequences thereof. Students will demonstrate an ability to describe, analyze, and make recommendations concerning change in a community.   More Info

    Offered in:
  • CSTCTR 335  Media and Culture

    Description:
    In this course, culture is defined as the signs, symbols, values, beliefs, and behaviors that comprise a way of life for a given community. In all cultures there can be competing ways of interpreting cultural indicators and a diversity of meanings attached to them. Cultural hegemony is said to be established when a high degree of consensus is achieved; conflict arises when consensus breaks down. Accordingly, the meanings that are attached to various cultural indicators-the ways in which these signs and symbols are represented-whether developed from within a community or imposed from without, can have a powerful influence on the ways in which the community is perceived and on the quality of life within that community. In an age when the words, sounds, and images that are used to define communities come to us primarily via the media, representation becomes the connecting like between media and meaning and a central practice in the construction of culture. Understanding how community cultures are constructed and the role of media representations in that process is the central concern of this course. The course is divided into six two-week modules. The course is designed to teach students: *to analyze how the media are used to construct individual and group identity *To analyze the relationship between technology and cultural production *To analyze how the media shape our understanding of community *To investigate how the categories of race, class, gender, region and sexuality are represented in the mass media *To analyze bias, stereotypes, data, and information sources in the mass media *To analyze the difference between lived reality and media representation   More Info

    Offered in:
    • TBA
  • CSTCTR 370  Community Studies Special Topics Level III

    Description:
    The special topics course is an intensive study of a current or emerging community issue, concept or research topic. It provides an in-depth exploration of a topic introduced in an earlier course. As a Level III course, the course supplements and enhances other 300 level courses. Topics change from year-to-year.   More Info

    Offered in:
    • TBA
  • CSTCTR 400  Communities in Global Context

    Description:
    Contemporary communities, especially but not exclusively those in urban areas, are linked in a number of ways to communities in other countries and other continents. Many communities and segments of communities are transnational in culture, language, and even politics. Moreover, all communities share the circumstance of being heavily and constantly affected by the global economy, in which major changes often result from decisions that are made in distant places and implemented by multinational organizations. Contemporary communities, therefore, operate politically in interaction not only with regional and national structures, but also with international ones. Most significant issues of social justice have global dimensions. Therefore, in order to understand and participate effectively in modern communities, it is important to comprehend their global aspects. These aspects can only be understood from an interdisciplinary perspective. In this course, students will demonstrate an understanding of the multiple ways in which communities are embedded in networks and relationships that extend across national boundaries, and can describe the effects on community dynamics. Examine relevant concepts and knowledge from history, the social sciences, and cultural studies to explain the multiple, connected global relationships that affect communities.   More Info

    Offered in:
  • CSTCTR 430  Economic Issues and Strategies in Contemporary Communities

    Description:
    Students will examine the issues arising for communities and community groups in response to the functioning of national, local and international markets in labor, credit, land, housing and capital as well public investment practices in education, training, housing labor relations, health care, transportation, research and development. Students taking this course will: 1. Gain and demonstrate an understanding of the various issues impacting communities and responses to these by community groups, government and the private market. 2. Make use of this understanding in assessing the best choices for community development.   More Info

    Offered in:
  • CSTCTR 435  Issues in Community Studies

    Description:
    The class is designed as a broad survey course encompassing the important issues facing us as a society. We will explore the causes and consequences of specific community problems and analyze different schools of thought as to their severity while focusing on solutions. We will look at public policy and the differences between command-and-control-direct government regulations and market-based economic incentives for mitigation such problems, and determine which are most appropriate for particular challenges.   More Info

    Offered in:
    • TBA
  • CSTCTR 470  Special Topics Level IV

    Description:
    This is an advanced special topics course, which enhances the area of interest/work of students. It also serves as platform for faculty to expand their contribution(s) to the program. As a Level IV course the course should supplment and enhance other 400 Level courses and/or explore new areas of research. Topics may change from year-toyear.   More Info

    Offered in:
    • TBA
  • CSTCTR 490  Community Studies Capstone

    Description:
    The Capstone is the culminating course in the Community Studies curriculum. The CS faculty has identified CSTCTR 430 (Economic Issues & Strategies in Contemporary Communities) to demonstrate the capstone. A Critical Analysis capstone, the course is a research project to provide an opportunity to pursue an in-depth analysis of an issue/topic. Agreed between faculty and student the research will explore critical concepts in the Social Sciences. It requires students to sharpen their ability to assess different frameworks and approaches to an issue, formulate relevant research questions, develop a coherent position, and be able to explain their knowledge to others. Any student working in public and community service can benefit from these skills, which expand and deepen one's knowledge on a topic.   More Info

    Offered in: