Exploring Class in the U.S. OpenCourseWare: MIT's Free Undergraduate Social Science Course Exploring Social Classes in the U.S.

Published Feb 04, 2009

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'American Dream: Exploring Class in the U.S.' examines class systems in modern American society, studying individual experiences as well as theoretical frameworks. Offered as a free online OpenCourseWare by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, this course may interest students considering or currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology.

American Dream (Exploring Class in the U.S.): Course Specifics

Degree Level Free Audio Video Downloads
Undergraduate Yes No No Yes

Lectures/Notes Study Materials Tests/Quizzes
No Yes No

American Dream (Exploring Class in the U.S.): Course Description

The U.S. was founded on the ideal of a classless society, with equal opportunity and freedom for all of its citizens. However, the reality is that class remains a major influence in modern America, despite the idealistic portrayals of hopeful historians. 'American Dream: Exploring Class in the U.S.,' a course from MIT's Anthropology department, examines the role that class plays in the lives of the American people. Professor Christine Walley taught this lecture course on the MIT campus and provides OpenCourseWare students with materials from the Spring 2007 section. Suggested readings for the course draw from novels, memoirs and oral histories to introduce important historical periods of class reform. The OpenCourseWare also includes a list of recommended films to supplement the reading topics. Students study multiple theories relating to class systems, including those of Karl Marx, Max Weber and Pierre Bourdieu. Additionally, students explore the interconnection between class and other socially defining factors such as race and gender.

An extensive reading list, a film list and essay questions are available for this OpenCourseWare. For more information, visit the social classes in the U.S. course page.

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