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Einrichtungen >> Fakultät Sozial- und Wirtschaftswissenschaften >> Bereich Soziologie >> Professur für Demografie >>

  BA Spezielle Aspekte der Bevölkerungswissenschaft: Social Demography with Movies

Zafer Büyükkececi, M.A.

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Zeit und Ort: Mo 10:00 - 12:00, F21/02.41

Goal of the course:
Theorists have two different perspectives regarding the impact of movies on society. The first one is that movies reflect existing social norms, trends, values, identities, and problems in the society. In these scenario; movies would be the mirrors of the society. On the other hand, other scholars argue that these popular movies shape the social trends, identities and problems in the society. If the second one is the case, then movies also play a role in the socialization process. In this course; we will use (mainly) movies, documentaries and videos to examine social demographic phenomena and to discuss sociological theories which may explain the phenomena. Furthermore, the students will learn and apply these theoretical concepts to the other films and real life as well. The topics discussed will range from marriage, divorce, health, suicide, morbidity, death, and social inequalities in these demographic processes. Other goals of the course include improving (i) critical thinking, (ii) writing and research skills, (iii) becoming aware of how social issues are portrayed in the movies.

Expectations and awarding of ECTS points:
The class will meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 14:00 to 16:00. On Tuesdays, the students will watch a variety of movies and documentaries, and this session will be followed by a discussion of these movies on Thursdays. The course will hopefully be fun and interactive, and in-class participation of the students is one important aspect for achieving that. There will not be only one correct answer or question, and the students will try explaining the phenomena and relating it into theories with a dynamic discussion. For this reason, in-class participation will be a crucial part of the course. Each discussion session will be led by a group consisting of 2 or 3 students. They will encourage other students to participate into the discussion, and try explaining the concepts and phenomena together with other students. After the movie-of-the-week discussion, the group will present another movie or social event that they have selected. They will first explain the movie or event they have chosen in-detail, since the others have not seen it. Afterwards, the group will explain the (dis)similarities with the movie watched together in the class by mainly using the theories and concepts discussed in the class. Other students are more than welcome to participate into these discussions. After (and during) these dynamic discussions, the instructor will highlight the important concepts and theories from the social science that can be applied to the movie-of-the-week. Furthermore, one should also consider that there is not only one relevant concept or theory that can be applied to a movie and the students are expected to be critical and think about other concepts as well.

You will have 6 assignments and a final paper assessing your ability to apply theories and concepts to the movies. There will be 6 movies watched together in class and this will be followed by 6 assignments. Each student will write a paper (300 500 words) where they will try making connections to the course material. You must submit at least 4 out of 6 assignments to pass the course and if you do not submit an assignment, it will be considered as 0 points. Your final paper will be a 1000-2000 words research paper using a movie that was not discussed in the classroom (including the movies presented by the groups). The students will examine the movie they have chosen by applying at least two theories (at least one of those theories should be from the theories discussed in the course). Plagiarism and cheating will not be tolerated.

Course Outline:
Session One: Introduction Session Two and Three: Lecture: Social Interaction and Suicide; Assigned Movie: A man Called Ove Session Four and Five: Lecture: Culture; Assigned Movie: Serial Bad Weddings Session Six and Seven: Lecture: Globalization, Inequality and Development; Assigned Movie: Food Inc. Session Eight and Nine: Lecture: Race and Ethnicity; Assigned Movie: Crash Session Ten and Eleven: Lecture: Marriage and Patterns of Social Inequality; Assigned Movie: Sweet Home Alabama Session Twelve and Thirteen: Lecture: Crime and Deviance; Assigned Movie: Bowling for Columbine Session Fourteen: Q and A

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