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Field Courses

The Sociology Department offers a number of field courses that range from Cuba, to West Africa, to South America, the U.S.-Mexico border region, the South Pacific, and Hawai'i.

These courses allow students to apply theory directly and engage in critical experiential learning.


Lyon, France

Contemporary French Society, Block 7, 2014

An introduction to contemporary French society through the sociological analysis of structures, culture(s), and everyday life, especially as compared to the United States. Topics include: religion/secularism, taxation and welfare, education, gender and sexuality, race and ethnicity, immigration, commerce, politics, the environment, families, work, health, leisure, food, and time. Taught in Lyon, France; conducted in English.



Advanced Topics in Sociology: Beza Taddess ('15) Working at a Hospital in UgandaGlobal Sustainable Development in Theory and Practice (Uganda and Bolivia), Summer 2013

This course combines classroom, workshop, and structured experiential learning through internship work to learn about and critically examine community-based international development efforts within a broader analysis of development paradigms. Through both theory and practice, the course engages fundamental debates over the goals, practices, and power dynamics of international development efforts. Additionally, each student is introduced to larger social, political, economic, cultural, and geographic characteristics of their country that impact local community development efforts. At its core, the course revolves around a 9-week internship with a community-based organization working on a dimension of sustainable development. Internship placements and in-country support are coordinated by the Foundation for Sustainable Development (FSD).

Cuba 2012Socio-Economic Development in Contemporary Cuba, Summer 2012

This course examines the Cuban Revolution and the ways in which the country is adapting the Revoution to contemporary challenges. The course examines the political economy of Cuba and the country's effors (past and future) to foster economic and social development that is in line with its socialist ideals. The course is based on a collaborative relationship between Colorado College and the University of Havana, and incorporates guest professors from the University of Havana. The class engages in field excursions to a clinic and a community doctor; maternity home; Museo de la Revolucion; primary school; University; urban farm; environmental organization; and much more.

Globalization and Immigration on the U.S.-Mexico Border, Block h-8, 2010

The current era of globalization has generated the apparent contradiction between the free flow of capital across borders and restrictive immigration policy. This course examines these trends as they apply to the U.S.-Mexican border region and considers issues such as: the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the multifaceted nature of integration between U.S. and Mexican economies, the increa se in low wage jobs in the U.S. economy requiring higher levels of Latino immigration, economic development in Mexico that has generated emigration to the U.S., and U.S. and Mexican immigration policies including the militarization of the U.S. Mexican border.

Asian Americans on the Big Island

Asian Americans on the Big Island: Hawai'i, Block 6, 2009

This course examines the impact of group relations, labor markets and specific socio-historical contexts on Asian American experiences. We will analyze patterns of stratification and the effects of ethnicity, social class, and gender on educational and occupational opportunities. Historical, sociological and literary accounts will be used to understand the preservation and re-making of Asian American cultures and identities.


Polynesian Society

Polynesian Society, Block 4, 2007

This course examines contemporary Polynesian society and compares it with the United States through an analysis of the fundamental building blocks of social life. Uses fundamental sociological concepts to illuminate some of the basic features of both cultures and the similarities and differences between them. The second half of the course was taught on-site in the South Pacific on Rarotonga Island of the Cook Islands. 


Sierra LeoneDevelopment and Underdevelopment in Africa: Sierra Leone, Block 5, 2007

This course explores the social organization of development and underdevelopment in Africa. Issues covered in the course may included the role of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in failed and weak state contexts; obstacles to political development and institution building; inequality and structures of global economic integration; the politics and impact of international aid; the critical status of women and their place in development; the impact of and organizational response to AIDS; the origins, impact, and resolution of civil conflict. This field course took place in Sierra Leone in January/February of 2007.