Social Justice



SJ-101. Introduction to Latin American and Latino Studies. 3 Credits.

This course will introduce students to the study of Latin America as a region-it's history, culture, politics and economic development- and Latino Studies, which examines the experiences of people of Latin American descent in the U. S. Course Type(s): Pluralism,Core curriculum course.

SJ-136. Introduction to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered Studies. 3 Credits.

This course will offer students an introduction to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered studies. Along with a focus on the history of this topic as a social movement, the course examines the topic from community, social justice and lifestyle perspectives.

SJ-137. Nonviolence, Community Organizing and Social Movements. 3 Credits.

A study of violence and human nature the theory and practice of nonviolence, how conflicts - local and global - can be solved nonviolently and the lives of past and current peacemakers, including Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Dorothy Day and many others.

SJ-140. Introduction to Women's Studies. 3 Credits.

This interdisciplinary course introduces students to women's studies, including its roots in the feminist and civil rights movements and the construction of gender in culture and society, giving specific attention to forms of gender inequality in the family, workplace, religion, healthcare, and relationships.

SJ-155. Politics of Climate Disruption. 3 Credits.

This course will explore how environmental issues - such as climate change, resource extraction and energy use - are shaped by politics and political systems at the international, domestic and local levels. We will also examine the ways in which environmental issues have shaped politics - with concepts such as sustainable development and environmental justice - since the emergence of the environmental movement.

SJ-177. Introduction to Africana Studies. 3 Credits.

This course offers an introduction to the field of Africana Studies. It includes the theoretical foundations for this discipline as well as an historical exploration of forces leading to emergence of artistic, music, poetry and social movements. Course Type(s): Pluralism,Core curriculum course.

SJ-203. Global Citizenship I: U.N. Earth Chart. 3 Credits.

As in "Global Citizenship I: Issues, Policy and Decision Making" (PO-202), here students will examine what it means to be a "global citizen" in the 21st century--in this case through the framework of the United Nations Earth Charter. PO-202 is not a prerequisite. Prerequisites: PO-100.

SJ-205. Survey of World Literature. 3 Credits.

An introductory survey of the modern and contemporary literatures of the developing world, with particular emphasis on interdisciplinarily situating texts in terms of their various cultural, political, economic, and historical contexts. As an introductory literature course, this class will also serve to introduce students to the methods of close-reading-based textual analysis. Prerequisites: CM-115 CM-117 OR CM-120; Course Type(s): Core curriculum course.

SJ-206. Christian Social Thought. 3 Credits.

This course will introduce students to the basics of Christian theological, moral & social thought. The course will adopt a service learning approach and as such will examine the origins of the Christian ethical ideals of philanthropy, community service, and love as they relate to issues of social justice and the common good. Consequently, students will be required to engage in 15-20 hours of philanthropic community-service activities and/or social advocacy and activism as a means of connecting the history and theory of the aforementioned concepts to real world practice. Course Type(s): Core curriculum course.

SJ-216. Gender, Sexuality and Religion. 3 Credits.

Religion is known to have devoted considerable energy to regulate sexual norms and gender roles. This course seeks to help students to understand the social construction of religion, gender and sexuality. It will analyze and examine how different religions view gender and sexuality and how religion construct, reconstruct, and deconstruct gendernorms and sexuality. Prerequisites: SO-121.

SJ-223. Latin America Today: People, Culture and Issues. 3 Credits.

This course provides an overview of the diverse societies of Latin America from a social science perspective. We will explore everyday life and experiences as they relate to culture and diversity, race, ethnicity and gender, politics and the economy, migration and urbanization, social justice and pop culture.

SJ-230. Black American Politics. 3 Credits.

This course will examine the political behavior of African Americans in the United States. Students will examine the relationship between African Americans and the American political system in order to gain a broader perspective of the American political process. Issues of leadership, representation and empowerment strategies will be addressed. We will consider various forms of participation as we attempt to assess Black political empowerment. We will consider the behavior of Blacks within political institutional settings and at various levels of government. We will also discuss issues such as Black political thought (conservatism, liberalism, and nationalism) and contemporary issues in African American politics.

SJ-232. China: Environmental Change and Possibilities. 3 Credits.

This course focuses on the social, political, economic and cultural variable that impact the Chinese environmental deterioration and these consequences for the world at large. Alternative models of environmental conservation are included. Prerequisites: SO-121 OR UR-151; Course Type(s): Pluralism,Core curriculum course.

SJ-235. Harlem Renaissance. 3 Credits.

This course examines the period beginning in the 1920's known as the Harlem Renaissance. It was a time when black and white Americans alike discovered the vibrancy and uniqueness of black art, music, and literature. The class will also examine the importance of external forces, both positive and negative. Prerequisites: UR-151 OR SO-121; Course Type(s): Pluralism,Core curriculum course.

SJ-245. Haitians in America. 3 Credits.

Examines the history and experiences in America, paying special attention to how and why Haitians come to the U.S. It also explores patterns of settlement and mobility as well as interaction with other groups. Prerequisites: AS-175, AS-177 OR SO-121.

SJ-250. Introduction to Social Justice. 3 Credits.

An examination of how racism, classism and sexism create barriers to the realization of a more equal and just society, with a particular focus on pressing current social justice issues - such as affordable housing, health care, immigration, the prison system, war and the environment - and the people that are working to build a better world Prerequisites: ONE SEQUENCE: PL-130 PL-140 OR 2 COURSES FROM TH: Course Type(s): Values,Pluralism,Core curriculum course.

SJ-275. Introduction to International Relations. 3 Credits.

Examination of the system of nation states, blocs, and rivalries in the world order. Approaches to the explanation of power and security, the use of force and war and international social, economic, and environmental problems. Course Type(s): Senior Seminar.

SJ-276. Comparative Social Movements. 3 Credits.

From Hong Kong to Chile, Wall Street to Plaza de Mayo, the last few years have demonstrated that the politics of protest and collective mobilization play an ever more relevant part in the contemporary dynamics of political resistance and social change. Through the comparative study of social movements around the globe, this course provides an overview of theoretical approaches and transdisciplinary insights into the study of collective action. Class discussions will go beyond stigmatized connections between social action and social unrest to explore topics such as performance and everyday resistance strategies, power and identity relations and other factors that allow for a critical perspective on the field.

SJ-286. Haiti and the Revolution (1791-1804). 3 Credits.

This course will examine the Haitian Revolution of 1791-1804 and the formation of the first independent nation in the Caribbean. Course Type(s): Pluralism.

SJ-294. Native American Cultures. 3 Credits.

An examination of the diversity of North American tribes from their migration from Asia to the present. Included are comparisons between tribes, government policies and recent revival of many groups.

SJ-295. Credited Internships. 3 Credits.

SJ-297. Fat Feminism and Comparative Politics. 3 Credits.

A look at the American diet industry and medical institutions as they relate to the intersection of fat-phobia as anti blackness. A connection to how modern feminism has shaped the body positivity movement and the evolution of fat politics.

SJ-308. Women and American Politics. 3 Credits.

This course will analyze the participation of women in American political life; examine women's public roles and the effects of feminism in altering women's public roles in both historical and contemporary contexts; delve into women's participation in electoral politics; understand women's behavior and influence as public officials; and analyze the intersection of gender with other categories such as race/ethnicity and political party. We'll study the historic 2020 presidential election, the gender gap, and attitudes towards Vice President nominee Kamala Harris and other presidential/vice presidential candidates. This course is designed to introduce students to the study of gender and U.S. politics including the central questions, concepts, and debates in the field.

SJ-309. Women in Changing Urban World. 3 Credits.

Historical and contemporary examination of urban revolution as social basis for changing roles of women. Generation of conflicts and possibilities. Implications for society. Prerequisites: UR-151 OR SO-121.

SJ-310. Feminist Political Theory. 3 Credits.

Historical overview of feminist political activity in the United States and an analysis of feminist theory: liberal feminism, Marxist feminism, radical feminism, and post-modern feminism. Course Type(s): Pluralism,Core curriculum course.

SJ-311. Philosophy and Bob Dylan. 3 Credits.

An investigation of the philosophical, ethical and cultural themes in Bob Dylan's lyrics. Philosophical ideas such as appearance versus reality, truth and knowledge, and good and evil will be explored through a comprehensive study of Dylan's music. Prerequisites: ONE SEQUENCE: PL-130 PL-140 OR 2 COURSES FROM TH: Course Type(s): Values.

SJ-316. Hip Hop and U.S. Political Life. 3 Credits.

An examination and discussion of Hip Hop's political origins and how the musical genre provides insight into the social and political climate of America.

SJ-319. Politics and Pandemics. 3 Credits.

The COVID-19 pandemic sparked intense discussion about the political and economic factors and responses that have shaped this most recent iteration of a world pandemic. This course considers the political, economic, and climate change realities that have ushered forth the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as previous world vital catastrophes. Also, it looks at what these epidemics reveal about the injustices that permeate societies, and why marginalized communities, such as immigrants, communities of color, the elderly, and the economically impoverished disproportionately bear the brunt of the pandemic's brutal effects. Finally, and in the words of Arundhati Roy, how might we walk through the portal of the pandemic in a liberated way?.

SJ-322. Socialism and Social Movements. 3 Credits.

This course introduces the student to the "ABC's" of socialism, it's thought and practice, and its various iterations. The class considers why more people see socialism as an alternative to capitalism and study the social movements that have striven to bring life to its theory and practice. The class also emphasizes practices of democracy, justice, diversity, and Green Socialism.

SJ-328. Social Work in Urban Systems. 3 Credits.

Focuses on the major social welfare systems in America and the field of social work as the profession charged with implementing social welfare today. Prerequisites: SO-121 OR UR-151.

SJ-330. Politics of Migration and Mobility. 3 Credits.

The course introduces students to key notions, norms, and narratives of human migration and mobility. By exploring the concepts and forms of spatial mobility in both domestic and international spheres, the course will further identify actors that shape and challenge existing policies, norms, and systems and address the differences between global South and global North perspectives. It will highlight, among other issues, the role of gender and racial perspectives in spatial mobility, the relevance of displacement and forced migration in the climate agenda, and the securitization of the current migration debate. A critical take on current global events will be used to illustrate academic texts and policies. Course materials will also include news articles, documentary films, and chronicles.

SJ-333. Black Community and the Law. 3 Credits.

An examination of the role of the American legal process in African American history from 1619 to the present, with concentration on laws and their application during the slavery and post-slavery era, the early and mid 1900's, and in modern rural and urban life. Topics include civil rights, constitutional, property, and criminal law. Course Type(s): Pluralism,Core curriculum course.

SJ-337. Non-Western Perspective to International Relations. 3 Credits.

This course will introduce the study of International Relations (IR) from post-colonial and decolonial perspectives. Course readings and discussions will examine biases and limitations of mainstream western-oriented perspectives on the field. While recognizing the varied scope of post-colonial and decolonial literature, course materials will explore "subaltern" frames of reference that cut across North-South divides, debate racialized and genderized assumptions about nationality and culture, and promote "counter-hegemonic" reflection on prevailing concepts, norms and institutions in IR.

SJ-343. Black Theology. 3 Credits.

The study of the origins and influence of the major religious traditions found in the American Black community. May substitute for TH-120 or be used as a Values course, but not both. Prerequisites: ONE SEQUENCE: PL-130 PL-140 OR 2 COURSES FROM TH: Course Type(s): Values,Core curriculum course.

SJ-345. Sociology of Intimacy. 3 Credits.

This course will explore sexual scripts the social control of marrying negotiating and bargaining marriage roles the dynamics of family interaction conflict and divorce. Prerequisites: SO-121 OR UR-151.

SJ-350. Rent Control in Jersey City. 3 Credits.

As rent prices increase in Jersey City, many activists and tenants are calling for both increased enforcement of existing rent control laws and new controls to be added to the existing laws. Such policies, however, are subject to vigorous debate. This course offers a hands-on examination of the existing policies in Jersey City and the larger policy debate about rent control through the following methods: 1) Student will design and implement a survey on existing policies for both landlords and tenants. 2) Students will collect and analyze data on the Jersey City housing market. 3) Students will compare and contrast rent control ordinances in municipalities across New Jersey. 4) Students will review the policy literature on rent control. Course Type(s): Service Learning.

SJ-368. Health and Inequalities: Race, Class and Gender. 3 Credits.

This course critically examines the relationship between health status and social inequalities along the lines of race and ethnicity, social class and gender. We begin with an overview of epidemiology and the idea of studying health from a sociological perspective. We then consider the complex relationship between socio-economic status (class) and health statuses, followed by an examination of specific health issues for major racial/ethnic minorities and gender groups. We will try to understand how low socioeconomic status leads to poor health, how conscious, unconscious, and institutionalized racial/gender bias affects medical care and health outcomes, and address ideas for reducing health disparities among all groups. Prerequisites: SO-121; Course Type(s): Pluralism,Core curriculum course.

SJ-370. Urban Anthropology. 3 Credits.

An exploration of the emergence of urban culture in its present form from its neolithic roots. Emphasis on urban life in the New Jersey area, with reference to the peoples and cultures in urban environments world-wide. Prerequisites: SO-121 OR UR-151.

SJ-378. Global Inequality. 3 Credits.

An exploration of the patterns of economic and political inequality that exist between countries and within countries in the contemporary international system.

SJ-380. Spatial Justice, Cities and Resistance in Comparative Perspective. 3 Credits.

Spatial Justice is an invitation to discuss social justice by looking at places and spaces around us. How much does the design of our cities reflect and offer insights into social and economic inequalities? How do city spaces influence embodied aspects of our daily lives? How can structured or spontaneous acts of spatial resistance impact broader social dynamics? Through the comparative study of urban social dynamics around the world, this course will discuss the contradictory ways in which spaces are socially constructed, consider different urban experiences in relation to race, gender, class, and sexual orientation, investigate spacial resistance dynamics, and explore how those can be applied to the promotion of more just and inclusive social & spatial realities.

SJ-412. Ethnicity and Race in Urban History. 3 Credits.

Includes the African and European immigrant experiences in America, the effects of slavery and urbanization, and the formation of class consciousness. Prerequisites: SO-121 OR UR-151 OR PO-100, AND SO-280 AND SO-384; ONE SEQUENCE: PL-130 PL-140 OR 2 COURSES FROM TH: Course Type(s): Values,Capstone,Writing Intensive,Pluralism,Core curriculum course.

SJ-454. Black Films. 3 Credits.

A survey of 20th century film making by and about African-Americans. Prerequisites: CM-115 CM-116 OR CM-120.

SJ-460. U.S. Civil Rights Movement. 3 Credits.

Analysis of the origins, processes, and outcomes of the twentieth century black American Civil Rights struggle. Course Type(s): Pluralism,Core curriculum course.

SJ-465. Vietnam and the U.S.. 3 Credits.

A multidimensional view of the Vietnam era. U.S. involvement in Southeast Asia as a backdrop for an examination of changes in America from the late 1950s to the mid 1970s. Impact of Vietnam on civil rights, youth culture, the women's movement. Prerequisites: SO-121 OR UR-151.

SJ-481. Immigration: Walls Or Welcome?. 3 Credits.

This course focuses on past and present immigration policies in the U.S. as well as immigration activism. Course Type(s): Pluralism.

SJ-486. Seminar: Genocide. 3 Credits.

After a through conceptualization of genocide, the course will examine case studies of modern genocide, ranging from the 20th and 21st centuries.

SJ-489. Globalization and Fieldwork Seminar. 3 Credits.

Short term study/travel course in which students conduct first hand investigations on the effects of globalization in relevant settings. Specific area and topics determined at the beginning of the Academic Year. Locations change every term. Additional travel course fee of $50. Prerequisites: SO-121 UR-151 PO-100 OR LS-101; Course Type(s): International (Travel),Pluralism.

SJ-498. Political Poetry and Music. 3 Credits.

This course considers the relationship between aesthetics and political philosophy. Political themes flowing through poetry and music, analyzed both in terms of their message and medium, use in political activism. Course Type(s): Pluralism,Core curriculum course.