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SOC 184D: Policing in Society: From Precincts to Playgrounds

We are in a moment of great national attention and debate over the role of police in society, with some calling for greater funding and resources to support community policing efforts and others calling for the abolition of the institution in its entirety. In its current form, policing has infused a surprisingly wide variety of other social institutions, ranging from healthcare to education to technology. This course examines the social underpinnings of historical and modern-day policing. We will critically analyze the trends in policing practices in the US through time, and ask how - and to what effect - police have become enmeshed in the social fabric of American life. This class will expose you to some of the methods social scientists use to investigate society's most pressing issues and help you think critically about policing in America through reading, discussing, and critiquing both popular journalism and rigorous academic research. I hope this course challenges you to consider more »
We are in a moment of great national attention and debate over the role of police in society, with some calling for greater funding and resources to support community policing efforts and others calling for the abolition of the institution in its entirety. In its current form, policing has infused a surprisingly wide variety of other social institutions, ranging from healthcare to education to technology. This course examines the social underpinnings of historical and modern-day policing. We will critically analyze the trends in policing practices in the US through time, and ask how - and to what effect - police have become enmeshed in the social fabric of American life. This class will expose you to some of the methods social scientists use to investigate society's most pressing issues and help you think critically about policing in America through reading, discussing, and critiquing both popular journalism and rigorous academic research. I hope this course challenges you to consider the implications of course content beyond the confines of the classroom, leaves you with novel ways of thinking about society, and helps you become a more aware, informed, and active citizen for your future. An additional goal is to help you build proficiency in your analytical skills. With the final project, you will have the opportunity to become a creator of knowledge by collecting and analyzing your own data.
Terms: Sum | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: WAY-SI
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