Open Reader Position for ISF 100I fall 2021

Open Reader Position for ISF 100I  FA2021

Following Weber, Veblen, and Bourdieu, social scientists often emphasize consumers’ motivations to establish or display their status. In many ways, consumption defines our lives – our identities as consumers are even more important, some would argue, than our identities as workers or producers. But what are the implications of a society in which “you are what you consume?” We require a reader for this course, preferably a graduate student from sociology, anthropology, public policy, political science, or related fields. The reader will be expected to attend Monday lectures, sit in at Wednesday class discussions, grade weekly readings reflections (ten per student throughout the semester), one empirical research-based paper (500-1000 words), and a final paper (1500 words). The class’s maximum capacity is 60, and has been fully enrolled in previous years.

If this might be of interest, please send an email to fangxu@berkeley.edu with your CV. In the CV, please be sure to describe your teaching experiences, especially here at Berkeley.

Course: ISF 100I
Course Title: Consumer Society and Culture
Day & Time: MWF 1-2pm
Location: Wheeler 102

Instructor: Fang Xu

Units: 4

CC Number: 31166

Description: Following Weber, Veblen, and Bourdieu, social scientists often emphasize consumers’ motivations to establish or display their status. In many ways, consumption defines our lives – our identities as consumers are even more important, some would argue, than our identities as workers or producers. But what are the implications of a society in which “you are what you consume?” In this class, we will address: Under what conditions does a “consumer society” develop?  What does global commodity chain tell us about colonialization, global inequality, and environmental justice? How can we shape the life cycle of basic commodities—from raw materials to iPhones, from creation to destruction–in a socially sustainable way? This course will be interdisciplinary in its attempt to understand consumer society and culture in terms of political economy, geography, history, anthropology and sociology. Major topics will include “Consumption, Meaning and Identity,” “Global Commodity Chain,” “Gastronomy and Food Industry,” “Consumption in Contemporary China,” “Critiques of Consumer Society,” and “Fair Trade, Sustainability and Environmental Justice.” The goal of this course is to provide students with a broad overview of debates and theories about consumption, and to provide them with an opportunity to explore a consumption-related topic themselves.