UCSC Courses with a science and justice focus

Face to Face Undergraduate Courses

CMMU 30 Numbers & Social Justice: No Catalog description – only offered during summer session.

CMMU 160 Public Health: Examination of community activism to address health issues: examples are drawn from a range of concerns, e.g., environmental racism, prison conditions, feminist health matters, the AIDS epidemic, violence, and alcoholism. Special attention is given to the social frameworks of health and to the utilization of social and political strategies for improving community well-being.

CMMU 161 Women’s Health Activism: Examines concrete aspects of women’s health in social and political contexts, including such factors as environmental and occupational health, the role of race and nationality, diverse sexualities and health, American medical care systems, and international comparisons and organizing approaches.

CMMU 162 Community Gardens and Social Change: Examines history, theory, and practice of community gardening, emphasizing contemporary garden projects using the transformative power of direct contact with nature to effect social change. Aims include understanding the nonprofit sector’s response to social problems with novel programs and practices.

CMMU 163 Health Care Inequalities: Examines system and non-system that is American health care with special attention to inequalities in access, financing, and quality of care. Covers concepts such as equality, fairness, and need as well as community organizing and community building for health.

CMMU 164 Health Justice in Conflict: Explores three case studies to address critical themes of healthcare inequalities in the context of conflict: the legal battle of Ecuadorians against Texaco/Chevron; the struggle of “comfort women” during World War II; and chemical saturation in Iraq.

CMMU 186 Agriculture, Food, and Social Justice: Examines the primary ways in which activists are attempting to resist, provide alternatives to, and/or transform aspects of the food system using social and environmental justice frameworks to evaluate such activism. Topics explored include organic farming, food charity, fair trade, relocalization, and farmworker organizing. Enrollment by permission of instructor.

CRES 185 Race, Gender, and Science: Examines how science as epistemology and its accompanying practices participate in, create, and are created by understandings of race, gender, sexuality, and nation. Enrollment restricted to critical race and ethnic studies majors. Other majors by permission.

SOCY 121 Sociology Of Health And Medicine: Analysis of the current health care “crises” and exploration of the social relationships and formal organizations which constitute the medical institution. Study of the political, economic, and cultural factors which affect the recognition, distribution, and response to illness. Enrollment is restricted to junior and senior majors and minors in biochemistry, biological sciences, critical race and ethnic studies, and sociology, and the Latin American studies/sociology combined majors.

SOCY 125 Society And Nature: A healthy society requires a stable and sustainable relationship between society and nature. Covering past, present, and future, the course covers environmental history of the U.S., the variety and extent of environmental problems today, and explores their likely development in our lifetimes. Enrollment is restricted to sophomore, junior, and senior majors, proposed majors, and minors in sociology, global information and enterprise, and Latin American studies/sociology combined.

Face to Face Graduate Courses

SOCY 264 Science, Technology, And Medicine: Explores social and cultural perspectives on science, technology, and medicine. Analyzes theoretical approaches that open up “black boxes” of scientific and biomedical knowledge, including the politics of bodies, objects, and health/illness. Links are made to medical sociology. Enrollment restricted to graduate students.

SOCY 268A Science and Justice: Experiments in Collaboration: Considers the practical and epistemological necessity of collaborative research in the development of new sciences and technologies that are attentive to questions of ethics and justice. Enrollment by permission of instructor. Enrollment restricted to graduate students. (Also offered as Biomolecular Engineering 268A and Feminist Studies 268A and Anthropology 267A. Students cannot receive credit for both courses.) Enrollment limited to 15.

ILTI Courses (online)

EEMB W22 Concepts and Controversies in the Biological Sciences: Introduction to the principles of evolution as a foundation for understanding topics such as adaptation, physiology and ecology. Focuses on areas of biology that encompass important political, economic, social, and philosophical issues. Examines perspectives on currently relevant, and biologically based topics such as evolution / scientific creationism, sociobiology, biotechnology, right to life issues, animal rights, AIDS and other epidemics, and overpopulation. (UCSB, link)

SOCY 173X Water and Sanitation Justice: In the global North and South, inequalities in water and sanitation are issues of justice as much as income. One billion people worldwide lack safe water, 2.5 billion lack basic sanitation. Course explores: North-South comparison, water governance, human rights, poverty, climate justice, irrigation, and more. (UCSC, link)