New Major Looks at Intersection of Business, Economics, and Society

Colorado College’s Economics and Business Department is offering a new interdisciplinary major, one that examines the intersection of business and economics with society and builds on the commonalities and differences between the two disciplines.

The new major, Business, Economics, and Society (BESoc), which launches in Block 5, explores human economic behavior — its nature, sources, and consequences — and analyzes three key relationships.

  • First, it examines the roles business and economics play within society, in particular the place of modern corporations and social enterprises in civil society and in government and economic policy.
  • Second, it evaluates the impact of business on society, focusing on market forces, on market failures, and on services provided to all members of society.
  • Third, it explores the effects of society on business and the economy, exploring how social issues frame business opportunities and strategies, and how corporations respond (or fail to respond) to social concerns.

“The Business, Economics, and Society major is a creative and timely addition to the department’s set of majors,” says Professor Emerita of History Susan Ashley, who serves as interim chair of the Economics and Business Department. “Over the summer, department faculty thought about ways to highlight the distinct and complementary disciplines of business and economics. This is one result; a reconceived economics major is another.” She notes that in keeping with the college’s commitment to the liberal arts, both majors “invite students to examine economic phenomena from an interdisciplinary perspective and with an eye to shaping effective citizens for a global age.”

The new major also addresses issues of economic inequality and social injustice, and in so doing reinforces the college’s antiracism initiative and its ongoing efforts to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion.

The primary points of contact for the new BESoc major are Assistant Professor Christina Rader and Assistant Professor Kat Miller-Stevens.

“I’m so excited by the interdisciplinary nature of this major,” says Rader. “As students do the hard work to build connections between business, economics, and society, they will be developing and drawing upon core skills of the liberal arts — critical thinking, creative problem solving, and responsible citizenship — that are the hallmarks of our department.”

Miller-Stevens agrees. “This major will open the door to many career, graduate school, and life opportunities,” she says. Students will learn a blend of theory and applied skills, she says, adding that the new major’s unique liberal arts approach will appeal to many employers and graduate schools.



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