In the United States, the government has focused its efforts on the criminalization of drug use instead of reducing harmful drug use, drug-related disease transmission, or overdose deaths. Through this highly interdisciplinary course, we will be exploring multiple facets and intersections of drug use and the war on drugs by ways of historical, health-oriented, or policy-oriented paradigms. This course will invite students to look at the relationship between drugs and society that has existed for millenia. We will analyze how regulations have impacted the relationship between humans and drugs. And, we will show ways in which this relationship is evolving as society breaks into a more open era of healing.
The purpose of this course is to expose students to new perspectives on the war on drugs and to equip students with the tools necessary to think critically about the subject. We understand that this is a difficult subject matter to unpack and therefore encourage students to foster respectful, mindful conversations, and contribute to a collaborative learning environment. As a member of this Decal, you will be mindful of the diversity in background from which each student may come from and at the same time strive to share comments, thoughts, ideas beyond your comfort zones.
Our goal is to provide you, students, with a safe space to unravel and understand these controversial topics and empower you to be actively engaged in a new kind of civic action – to be a force in changing the circumstances that trouble them.
Each week, there will be a 2-hour class meeting/discussion. Readings and one weekly reflection assignment are to be finished by the start of each week's class. To pass, students must complete a presentation assignment on the students' chosen topic to present to class at the end of the semester.
Grade breakdowns are as follow:
Attendance: 55% of the grade
Weekly reflections: 35% of the grade
Presentation: 10% of the grade
First class is on February 3rd (3rd week of classes according to UC Berkeley schedule)
340 Haviland on Thursdays at 5:00pm-7:00pm and potentially Zoom (only for some classes)
SOCWEL 98: Class Number - 23586 - 20 Seats
SOCWEL 198: Class Number - 23597 - 20 Seats
Most classes will be in-person, with a limited number of online classes. Attendance is mandatory and students are expected to come to class in-person when classes are held in-person.
Students can access the course syllabus here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1QMuldaNp-bONDHBIPuk3VYaaMM3gcqwzgBO2k7kgg_8/edit?usp=sharing
PLEASE NOTE that readings on this syllabus link are NOT finalized. Students will also be able to choose approximately 1-2 readings from each week's reading list. So don't be alarmed by the numbers of readings on the syllabus.
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