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SOC 319 Capitalism, Democracy, and Inequality

This course explores the contrasts and inter-relationships between three approaches to organizing our public life: democratic politics, economic markets, and the multiple associations that make up civil society. Students will investigate the basic characteristics and underlying principles of each approach and apply what they learn to an analysis of contemporary public issues. Students will evaluate the basic strengths and limits of each approach to civic engagement and public problem solving, and reflect on the ethical dimensions of their roles as citizens, consumers and members of civil society.


Special information

Overlap: POL 319 Politics, Markets and Society
4 Undergraduate credits

Effective August 15, 2022 to present

Meets graduation requirements for

Learning outcomes


  • Can critically read, interpret and critique a variety of academic texts at an upper division college level.
  • Can evaluate the strengths and limits of political, social and market- based perspectives at an upper division college level.
  • Understands and can compare key concepts drawn from economics, sociology and political science to an understanding of contemporary economic issues and processes.
  • Can synthesize interdisciplinary knowledge in producing essays that are literate, well-argued and consistent with upper division college level writing standards.

Minnesota Transfer Curriculum

Goal 5: History and the Social and Behavioral Sciences

  • Employ the methods and data that historians and social and behavioral scientists use to investigate the human condition.
  • Examine social institutions and processes across a range of historical periods and cultures.
  • Use and critique alternative explanatory systems or theories.
  • Develop and communicate alternative explanations or solutions for contemporary social issues.

Goal 9: Ethical and Civic Responsibility

  • Examine, articulate, and apply their own ethical views.
  • Understand and apply core concepts (e.g. politics, rights and obligations, justice, liberty) to specific issues.
  • Analyze and reflect on the ethical dimensions of legal, social, and scientific issues.
  • Recognize the diversity of political motivations and interests of others.
  • Identify ways to exercise the rights and responsibilities of citizenship.