Investigating and Fighting Social Inequality: Spotlight on UCI Summer Session 2020

As our country battles the COVID-19 crisis, studies suggest that historically marginalized communities are contracting and succumbing to the virus at higher rates than the general public. With a global pandemic exacerbating the inequalities present in our society, it’s not a stretch to say that certain inequalities can mean the difference between life and death.

However, this is just one consequence of inequality among many. So what are some of the other consequences of inequality? How do these consequences differ based on different social locations? And what can we do to alleviate these inequalities?

These are some of the major questions that Ph.D. candidate Vanessa Delgado looks to explore in her Summer Session II course Social Inequality (SOCIOL 173).

Taught remotely, this four-unit course will examine historical and contemporary inequality in the U.S. and discuss how inequality intersects with other factors, such as race, class, gender, immigration status, and so on. 

Instructor Delgado explains,

“My goal is to create a class that can serve as an empowering and educational distraction for my students. Discussing social inequality during a global pandemic can be tough; however, I hope we can all work together to discuss the existing inequalities in a solution-based manner. My goal is to teach students about social inequality and empower them to create a better world for all.”

While the course is a graduation requirement for sociology majors and minors, it is specifically designed for students with little to no background in sociology. Instructor Delgado says, “Students who are not sociology majors are encouraged to enroll and draw on their majors to discuss how we can create a more just and equitable world.” She emphasizes her belief that the course will be enjoyable for all students, regardless of academic discipline. 

To ensure that all students have access to course materials while also fostering engagement, the course will use both asynchronous and synchronous formats. Additionally, Instructor Delgado says that she intends to move away from lecture-based learning and take on a more interactive learning approach that invites students to draw from their own experiences and perspectives.

Students can look forward to collaborating in small groups on a weekly podcast project titled “The Inequality Chronicles,” where they will have a chance to discuss course materials, implications of inequality, and possible solutions for addressing inequality in the U.S. Grades for this course will be based on the podcast project, as well as class participation and midterm and final exams.

Students interested in taking SOCIOL 173 during Summer Session II can enroll using course code 69190 until July 31 here.