Department of Sociology

Scott Swearingen, PhD


Ph.D., The University of Texas at Austin

Assistant Professor of Instruction

Contact

Courses


H S 378 • Seminar In Health & Society

29580 • Spring 2020
Meets M 3:00PM-6:00PM RLP 1.102
IIWr

Please cconsult with the academic advisor for more information.

SOC 309C • Creating Sustainable Socty

43715 • Spring 2020
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM RLP 0.102
E SB (also listed as GRG 309C)

Description:

The course will offer students an overview of sustainability as something human beings must strive to create in an era of global warming and ever greater social inequalities; both between countries and within countries.   The focus of the course will revolve around the core issues of sustainability: what does sustainability mean?  Why do we need to remake human societies in more sustainable ways?  And what does social equity have to do with sustainability?  One of the problems we have in teaching about sustainability today is our focus on two of the "E's" without much attention to the third. We talk mostly about Environment, secondly about Economy, and then tend to pay short shrift to Equity.  This course will address all three, but put a greater focus on Equity than is usual.  The course will be taught from a social sciences perspective, which approaches human relationships with the natural world (Environment) in the context of their relationships with each other (Environment and Equity).  Global warming (environment) is main reason we are talking about Sustainability today, but global warming is both cause and effect of our economies and inequalities.

 Required Texts

 Carolan, Micheal,  Society and the Environment; Pragmatic Solutions to Ecological Issues. Westview Press, 2013.

 Grading Policy

There will be three essay assignments and one group project.  Each will count 25% of the grade

SOC 323S • Building Sustainable City

43825 • Spring 2020
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM RLP 0.104
EWr (also listed as URB 352)

Description:

Building the Sustainable City is an interdisciplinary course that examines why we have to create  more sustainable living environments, what we are presently doing to rebuild American cities in more sustainable ways, and where we need to go in the future.  The course adopts the strong definition of sustainability to include the connections between economy, equity, and environment.   80% of the population lives in urban areas today, the vast majority of economic activity occurs in them, and most environmental problems are related to urbanization and industrialization.  Understanding how to build a sustainable city, then, is the key to building a sustainable society.  This course will focus on energy use, transportation policy, housing, and food production/distribution in the city.  Social equity issues will be integrated into all four themes, as all four are both cause and effect of social inequalities. 

The course links our academic understanding of sustainability with “real world”, on-the-ground people doing sustainability today by letting you work with some of the organizations in Austin in a Service Learning project. The last two weeks of April we will have no class, and instead you will use that time to work with a community organization of your choice, on a project related to sustainability. Your final paper is a write-up of that project  

Text:

Girardet, Herbert; Cities People Planet. Wiley and Sons, 2008.

Grading System

Your grade is computed based on 3 essays of 3-4 pages, typed, double spaced, each worth 25% of grade. The final 25% will come from your project write-up.

H S 340 • Climate Change And Health

29070 • Fall 2019
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM RLM 5.126
CD

Please check back for updates.

H S 378 • Seminar In Health & Society

29100 • Fall 2019
Meets M 3:00PM-6:00PM BUR 214
IIWr

Please cconsult with the academic advisor for more information.

SOC 307G • Culture And Society In The Us

43415 • Fall 2019
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM RLP 0.128
CD SB

Description:

 

This course will investigate some of the central social structures that create human culture, asking one of the central questions of Sociology: is culture a cause or an effect of human society?  Do we act and think the way we do because of larger social structures, do our ideas and behaviors cause those structures, or are the two interrelated in a cyclical fashion where everything we do is both cause and effect?  In order to investigate this major question of the human condition, we will look at the material and ideal cultures of US society, what one of our textbooks calls the Ecological Dialogue, and how that dialogue creates our actual lived experiences.  One of the key cultural outcomes of our present material and ideological stuctures is our current political environment, and we will try to explain how people think about the world and vote accordingly as we go.

 

Text:

 

TBA

 

Grading and Requirements:

 

Four Multiple Choice test

 

SOC 309C • Creating Sustainable Socty

43435 • Fall 2019
Meets MWF 12:00PM-1:00PM RLP 0.102
E SB (also listed as GRG 309C)

Description:

The course will offer students an overview of sustainability as something human beings must strive to create in an era of global warming and ever greater social inequalities; both between countries and within countries.   The focus of the course will revolve around the core issues of sustainability: what does sustainability mean?  Why do we need to remake human societies in more sustainable ways?  And what does social equity have to do with sustainability?  One of the problems we have in teaching about sustainability today is our focus on two of the "E's" without much attention to the third. We talk mostly about Environment, secondly about Economy, and then tend to pay short shrift to Equity.  This course will address all three, but put a greater focus on Equity than is usual.  The course will be taught from a social sciences perspective, which approaches human relationships with the natural world (Environment) in the context of their relationships with each other (Environment and Equity).  Global warming (environment) is main reason we are talking about Sustainability today, but global warming is both cause and effect of our economies and inequalities.

 Required Texts

 Carolan, Micheal,  Society and the Environment; Pragmatic Solutions to Ecological Issues. Westview Press, 2013.

 Grading Policy

There will be three essay assignments and one group project.  Each will count 25% of the grade

H S 378 • Seminar In Health & Society

29530 • Spring 2019
Meets M 3:00PM-6:00PM RLP 3.106
IIWr

Please cconsult with the academic advisor for more information.

SOC 309C • Creating Sustainable Socty

44215 • Spring 2019
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM RLP 0.128
E SB (also listed as GRG 309C)

Description:

The course will offer students an overview of sustainability as something human beings must strive to create in an era of global warming and ever greater social inequalities; both between countries and within countries.   The focus of the course will revolve around the core issues of sustainability: what does sustainability mean?  Why do we need to remake human societies in more sustainable ways?  And what does social equity have to do with sustainability?  One of the problems we have in teaching about sustainability today is our focus on two of the "E's" without much attention to the third. We talk mostly about Environment, secondly about Economy, and then tend to pay short shrift to Equity.  This course will address all three, but put a greater focus on Equity than is usual.  The course will be taught from a social sciences perspective, which approaches human relationships with the natural world (Environment) in the context of their relationships with each other (Environment and Equity).  Global warming (environment) is main reason we are talking about Sustainability today, but global warming is both cause and effect of our economies and inequalities.

 Required Texts

 Carolan, Micheal,  Society and the Environment; Pragmatic Solutions to Ecological Issues. Westview Press, 2013.

 Grading Policy

There will be three essay assignments and one group project.  Each will count 25% of the grade

SOC 323S • Building Sustainable City

44325 • Spring 2019
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM JES A216A
EWr (also listed as URB 352)

Description:

Building the Sustainable City is an interdisciplinary course that examines why we have to create  more sustainable living environments, what we are presently doing to rebuild American cities in more sustainable ways, and where we need to go in the future.  The course adopts the strong definition of sustainability to include the connections between economy, equity, and environment.   80% of the population lives in urban areas today, the vast majority of economic activity occurs in them, and most environmental problems are related to urbanization and industrialization.  Understanding how to build a sustainable city, then, is the key to building a sustainable society.  This course will focus on energy use, transportation policy, housing, and food production/distribution in the city.  Social equity issues will be integrated into all four themes, as all four are both cause and effect of social inequalities. 

The course links our academic understanding of sustainability with “real world”, on-the-ground people doing sustainability today by letting you work with some of the organizations in Austin in a Service Learning project. The last two weeks of April we will have no class, and instead you will use that time to work with a community organization of your choice, on a project related to sustainability. Your final paper is a write-up of that project  

Text:

Girardet, Herbert; Cities People Planet. Wiley and Sons, 2008.

Grading System

Your grade is computed based on 3 essays of 3-4 pages, typed, double spaced, each worth 25% of grade. The final 25% will come from your project write-up.

GRG 356 • Sustainability/Equity/Health

37167 • Fall 2018
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM MEZ 1.122
EWr (also listed as H S 340)

Please check back for updates.

Prerequisite: Upper-division standing.

SOC 309C • Creating Sustainable Socty

44710 • Fall 2018
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM RLP 0.102
E SB (also listed as GRG 309C)

Description

The course will offer students an overview of sustainability as something human beings must strive to create in an era of global warming and ever greater social inequalities; both between countries and within countries.   The focus of the course will revolve around the core issues of sustainability:  what does sustainability mean?  Why do we need to remake human societies in more sustainable ways?  And what does social equity have to do with sustainability?  One of the problems we have in teaching about sustainability today is our focus on two of the "E's" without much attention to the third.  We talk mostly about Environment, secondly about Economy, and then tend to pay short shrift to Equity.  This course will address all three, but put a greater focus on Equity than is usual.  The course will be taught from a social sciences perspective, which approaches human relationships with the natural world (Environment) in the context of their relationships with each other (Environment and Equity).  Global warming (environment) is main reason we are talking about Sustainability today, but global warming is both cause and effect of our economies and inequalities.

Required Texts

Carolan, Micheal,  Society and the Environment; Pragmatic Solutions to Ecological Issues. Westview Press, 2013.

Grading Policy

There will be three essay assignments and one group project.  Each will count 25% of the grade

SOC 321K • Building The Sustainable City

44930 • Spring 2018
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM CLA 0.118
EWr (also listed as URB 352)

Course Description:

This course requires a Civic engagement project requiring 12-15 hour of service work with a community organization engaged in sustainability. 

**The course requires some off-campus travel to work with those groups.**

Building the Sustainable City is an interdisciplinary course that examines why we have to create  more sustainable living environments, what we are presently doing to rebuild American cities in more sustainable ways, and where we need to go in the future.  The course adopts the strong definition of sustainability to include the connections between economy, equity, and environment.   80% of the population lives in urban areas today, the vast majority of economic activity occurs in them, and most environmental problems are related to urbanization and industrialization.  Understanding how to build a sustainable city, then, is the key to building a sustainable society.  This course will focus on energy use, transportation policy, housing, and food production/distribution in the city.  Social equity issues will be integrated into all four themes, as all four are both cause and effect of social inequalities. 

The course links our academic understanding of sustainability with “real world”, on-the-ground people doing sustainability today by letting you work with a community organization in Austin,  in a civic engagement project that focuses on some aspect of sustainability.  The middle two weeks of April we will have no class, and instead you will use that time to work with the organization.  The leaders of several organizations will come talk to the class and you will choose which one you want to work with.  **Most of the organizations are off campus, so will require transport off campus.**  At least two are close enough to campus to walk or ride your bike.  One is on campus, but the others would require a car or bus.

Grading:

Your final paper is a write-up final project.

Text:

Girardet, Herbert; Cities People Planet. Wiley and Sons, 2008.

Ethics and Leadership and Writing Flags

This course carries both the Writing and the Ethics and Leadership flag. Ethics and Leadership courses are designed to equip you with skills that are necessary for making ethical decisions in your adult and professional life. You should therefore expect a substantial portion of your grade to come from assignments involving ethical issues and the process of applying ethical reasoning to real-life situations.  The civic engagement project is your primary opportunity to do so, though each essay will also require ethical thinking about the social components of sustainability.

Writing Flag courses are designed to give students experience with writing in an academic discipline. In this class, you can expect to write regularly during the semester, complete substantial writing projects, and receive feedback from your instructor to help you improve your writing. You will also have the opportunity to revise one or more assignments, and you may be asked to read and discuss your peers’ work. 100% of your grade in this class comes from written work, including the project write-up of your civic engagement work.

Distraction Free Classroom:  the use of cell phones and laptops is prohibited during class time.  Students must take notes on paper, not their laptops.  If you must text or browse the web during class time you will need to leave the classroom to do so.

SOC 309C • Creating Sustainable Socty

45330 • Fall 2017
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM BEL 328
E SB (also listed as GRG 309C)

Description

The course will offer students an overview of sustainability as something human beings must strive to create in an era of global warming and ever greater social inequalities; both between countries and within countries.   The focus of the course will revolve around the core issues of sustainability:  what does sustainability mean?  Why do we need to remake human societies in more sustainable ways?  And what does social equity have to do with sustainability?  One of the problems we have in teaching about sustainability today is our focus on two of the "E's" without much attention to the third.  We talk mostly about Environment, secondly about Economy, and then tend to pay short shrift to Equity.  This course will address all three, but put a greater focus on Equity than is usual.  The course will be taught from a social sciences perspective, which approaches human relationships with the natural world (Environment) in the context of their relationships with each other (Environment and Equity).  Global warming (environment) is main reason we are talking about Sustainability today, but global warming is both cause and effect of our economies and inequalities.

Required Texts

Carolan, Micheal,  Society and the Environment; Pragmatic Solutions to Ecological Issues. Westview Press, 2013.

Grading Policy

There will be three essay assignments and one group project.  Each will count 25% of the grade

SOC 321K • Building The Sustainable City

45430 • Spring 2017
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM MEZ 1.212
EWr (also listed as URB 352)

Course Description:

This course requires a Civic engagement project requiring 12-15 hour of service work with a community organization engaged in sustainability. 

**The course requires some off-campus travel to work with those groups.**

Building the Sustainable City is an interdisciplinary course that examines why we have to create  more sustainable living environments, what we are presently doing to rebuild American cities in more sustainable ways, and where we need to go in the future.  The course adopts the strong definition of sustainability to include the connections between economy, equity, and environment.   80% of the population lives in urban areas today, the vast majority of economic activity occurs in them, and most environmental problems are related to urbanization and industrialization.  Understanding how to build a sustainable city, then, is the key to building a sustainable society.  This course will focus on energy use, transportation policy, housing, and food production/distribution in the city.  Social equity issues will be integrated into all four themes, as all four are both cause and effect of social inequalities. 

The course links our academic understanding of sustainability with “real world”, on-the-ground people doing sustainability today by letting you work with a community organization in Austin,  in a civic engagement project that focuses on some aspect of sustainability.  The middle two weeks of April we will have no class, and instead you will use that time to work with the organization.  The leaders of several organizations will come talk to the class and you will choose which one you want to work with.  **Most of the organizations are off campus, so will require transport off campus.**  At least two are close enough to campus to walk or ride your bike.  One is on campus, but the others would require a car or bus.

Grading:

Your final paper is a write-up final project.

Text:

Girardet, Herbert; Cities People Planet. Wiley and Sons, 2008.

Ethics and Leadership and Writing Flags

This course carries both the Writing and the Ethics and Leadership flag. Ethics and Leadership courses are designed to equip you with skills that are necessary for making ethical decisions in your adult and professional life. You should therefore expect a substantial portion of your grade to come from assignments involving ethical issues and the process of applying ethical reasoning to real-life situations.  The civic engagement project is your primary opportunity to do so, though each essay will also require ethical thinking about the social components of sustainability.

Writing Flag courses are designed to give students experience with writing in an academic discipline. In this class, you can expect to write regularly during the semester, complete substantial writing projects, and receive feedback from your instructor to help you improve your writing. You will also have the opportunity to revise one or more assignments, and you may be asked to read and discuss your peers’ work. 100% of your grade in this class comes from written work, including the project write-up of your civic engagement work.

Distraction Free Classroom:  the use of cell phones and laptops is prohibited during class time.  Students must take notes on paper, not their laptops.  If you must text or browse the web during class time you will need to leave the classroom to do so.

SOC 304 • Creating Sustnble Societies

45277 • Fall 2016
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM CPE 2.214
E (also listed as GRG 302P)

Description

The course will offer students an overview of sustainability as something human beings must strive to create in an era of global warming and ever greater social inequalities; both between countries and within countries.   The focus of the course will revolve around the core issues of sustainability:  what does sustainability mean?  Why do we need to remake human societies in more sustainable ways?  And what does social equity have to do with sustainability?  One of the problems we have in teaching about sustainability today is our focus on two of the "E's" without much attention to the third.  We talk mostly about Environment, secondly about Economy, and then tend to pay short shrift to Equity.  This course will address all three, but put a greater focus on Equity than is usual.  The course will be taught from a social sciences perspective, which approaches human relationships with the natural world (Environment) in the context of their relationships with each other (Environment and Equity).  Global warming (environment) is main reason we are talking about Sustainability today, but global warming is both cause and effect of our economies and inequalities.

Required Texts

Carolan, Micheal,  Society and the Environment; Pragmatic Solutions to Ecological Issues. Westview Press, 2013.

Grading Policy

There will be three essay assignments and one group project.  Each will count 25% of the grade

SOC 321K • Building The Sustainable City

44520 • Spring 2016
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM ETC 2.102
EWr (also listed as URB 352)

Description

Building the Sustainable City is an interdisciplinary course that examines why we have to create  more sustainable living environments, what we are presently doing to rebuild American cities in more sustainable ways, and where we need to go in the future.  The course adopts the strong definition of sustainability to include the connections between economy, equity, and environment.   80% of the population lives in urban areas today, the vast majority of economic activity occurs in them, and most environmental problems are related to urbanization and industrialization.  Understanding how to build a sustainable city, then, is the key to building a sustainable society.  This course will focus on energy use, transportation policy, housing, and food production/distribution in the city.  Social equity issues will be integrated into all four themes, as all four are both cause and effect of social inequalities. 

The course links our academic understanding of sustainability with “real world”, on-the-ground people doing sustainability today.  It will feature several people working in city government, the non-profit sector, and academic positions as guest speakers.  These speakers will discuss their organizations as examples of how to build a sustainable city, and show students how they are building a more sustainable future here in Austin.  

Required Texts

Girardet, Herbert; "Cities, People, Planet."  Wiley and Sons, 2008.

Grading Policy

There will be 3 essays of 4-5 pages, typed, double spaced, and one group design project where student team design and "build" a sustainable city (this is a poster project which can be displayed on the wall, but those with technical expertise are welcome to mount it on a web platform).  Each essay will be 25% of the course grade, and the design project will be the final 25% of grade.

 

SOC 321K • Building The Sustainable City

44990 • Spring 2015
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM CLA 0.118
EWr

Description

Building the Sustainable City is an interdisciplinary course that examines why we have to create  more sustainable living environments, what we are presently doing to rebuild American cities in more sustainable ways, and where we need to go in the future.  The course adopts the strong definition of sustainability to include the connections between economy, equity, and environment.   80% of the population lives in urban areas today, the vast majority of economic activity occurs in them, and most environmental problems are related to urbanization and industrialization.  Understanding how to build a sustainable city, then, is the key to building a sustainable society.  This course will focus on energy use, transportation policy, housing, and food production/distribution in the city.  Social equity issues will be integrated into all four themes, as all four are both cause and effect of social inequalities. 

The course links our academic understanding of sustainability with “real world”, on-the-ground people doing sustainability today.  It will feature several people working in city government, the non-profit sector, and academic positions as guest speakers.  These speakers will discuss their organizations as examples of how to build a sustainable city, and show students how they are building a more sustainable future here in Austin.  

Required Texts

Girardet, Herbert; "Cities, People, Planet."  Wiley and Sons, 2008.

Grading Policy

There will be 3 essays of 4-5 pages, typed, double spaced, and one group design project where student team design and "build" a sustainable city (this is a poster project which can be displayed on the wall, but those with technical expertise are welcome to mount it on a web platform).  Each essay will be 25% of the course grade, and the design project will be the final 25% of grade.

 

SOC 321K • Building The Sustainable City

46151 • Fall 2013
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM CLA 0.112
E (also listed as URB 352)

Description

Building the Sustainable City is an interdisciplinary course that examines why we have to create  more sustainable living environments, what we are presently doing to rebuild American cities in more sustainable ways, and where we need to go in the future.  The course adopts the strong definition of sustainability to include the connections between economy, equity, and environment.   80% of the population lives in urban areas today, the vast majority of economic activity occurs in them, and most environmental problems are related to urbanization and industrialization.  Understanding how to build a sustainable city, then, is the key to building a sustainable society.  This course will focus on energy use, transportation policy, housing, and food production/distribution in the city.  Social equity issues will be integrated into all four themes, as all four are both cause and effect of social inequalities. 

The course links our academic understanding of sustainability with “real world”, on-the-ground people doing sustainability today.  It will feature several people working in city government, the non-profit sector, and academic positions as guest speakers.  These speakers will discuss their organizations as examples of how to build a sustainable city, and show students how they are building a more sustainable future here in Austin.  

Required Texts

Girardet, Herbert; "Cities, People, Planet."  Wiley and Sons, 2008.

Grading Policy

There will be 3 essays of 4-5 pages, typed, double spaced, and one group design project where student team design and "build" a sustainable city (this is a poster project which can be displayed on the wall, but those with technical expertise are welcome to mount it on a web platform).  Each essay will be 25% of the course grade, and the design project will be the final 25% of grade.

 

SOC 321K • Environmental Sociology

45735 • Spring 2013
Meets MWF 10:00AM-11:00AM CAL 22
EWr

Description

This course investigates the ways humans and the natural environment interact.   Human social patterns and ideologies shape how we do things that affect the environment, and the environment shapes our human lives.  The relationship between people and their environment includes the natural (unbuilt, or unchanged by humans) environment, and the built environments - our urban and city space.  The city of Austin is used as a case study of these relationships, as we look to see how humans and environment shape each other here in town. The process of global warming and its effects on human society are discussed throughout the course as an outcomse of these relationships; human society is changing the environment we live in, and that change will have profound effects on human society  

Required Texts

Bell, M., An Invitation to Environmental Sociology.  Sage, 4 ed. Swearingen, W.  Environmental City: People, Place, Politics, and the Meaning of Modern Austin.  UTPress, Austin.  

Grading Policy

Your grade is based on weekly responses to the course material.  These responses are "mini-essays" of 2 or so pages. A detailed description and rubric for the responses will be provided in class.  

SOC 321K • Environmental Sociology

45511 • Spring 2012
Meets MW 3:00PM-4:30PM BUR 134

Description

The course provides an overview of the ways humans and the natural environment interrelate.   The course investigates the ways human social patterns and ideologies  shape the environment, and how the environment shapes our human lives.  The relationship includes the natural and built environments (city space).  The city of Austin is used as a case study of these relationships.  The process of global warming and its effects on human society is discussed throughout the course as effect of these relationships.

Required Texts 

Bell, M., An Invitation to Environmental Sociology.  Sage, 4 ed.

Swearingen, W.  Environmental City: People, Place, Politics, and the Meaning of Modern Austin.  UTPress, Austin.

Grading Policy

Your grade is based on four unit tests and one paper on global warming.  The paper will be 3-4 pages in length and use material from all four  units to explain the connection between humans, global warming, and sustainable futures.  A detailed description and rubric for the paper will be provided in class. 

Four tests 20% each

Global warming paper  20%

 

 

Profile Pages



  • Department of Sociology

    The University of Texas at Austin
    305 E 23rd St, A1700
    RLP 3.306
    Austin, TX 78712-1086
    512-232-6300