Undergraduate Courses 

Sociology 230: Rural Sociology in Transition -  This course utilizes a sociological perspective to critically examine and better understand some of the key issues and concerns facing rural America.Many of society’s social problems related to social mobility, economic development, or sustainable food production, have an important rural dimension. As an introduction to rural sociology,this course will introduce you to key sociological concepts, including social stratification, social structure, inequality, and the sociological imagination, to examine a range of social phenomena,such as population growth and change, immigration, poverty,and food insecurity,and its implications for social inequality in rural America.

Sociology 325: Transition in Agriculture -  In this course, we will assess the social, ethical and sustainability implications of changes within the agrifood system for different groups, including farm families, farm workers, rural communities, consumers, and the environment. Any assessment of change within the agrifood system is complicated by the fact that agriculture not only produces food and fiber but also social, cultural, economic and environmental public goods that are critical to the broader well-being and sustainability of society.

Sociology 350X: Women in Agriculture and the Food System -  In this class students will draw on key sociological concepts such as power, inequality, socialization, and social norms to consider: 1) how the agrifood system is gendered, and how gender interacts with other identities, such as race, class, ethnicity, sexuality and nationality; 2) the changing roles and identities of women within the agrifood system; 3) the institutional, ideological, and structural factors that have historically contributed to gender inequities. Students will have the opportunity to develop their critical thinking skills related to these issues through reading, writing, oral presentations, and class discussion.

Globe 495: Rome: Dean's Global Food and Agriculture Leadership Program - This integrated production and policy program will allow students to gain valuable knowledge, skills and abilities with respect to global agricultural production, resources and food issues. Students will combine coursework conducted at ISU and on-site work with professional teams in Rome to explore real-world projects focused on global food and agriculture issues. Students will work with professionals at the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and other international agriculture and food organizations on real-world projects. Students will present their findings to the organizations at the end of the program. Students will, at the end of the program, enhance their own thinking while working in a high-functioning team environment to evaluate complex issues associated with foreign food aid, food security, food safety, environmental/resource conservation, global economy and the role the US and the UN have in these issues. 

Graduate Courses

Sociology 544: Sociology of Food and Agricultural Systems - This course is intended to introduce graduate students to the major theories, concepts and debates that shape our understandings of the agrifood system. These perspectives will be used to analyze change within the US agrifood system and its effects for different groups within society, including farmers, farm workers, rural communities, consumers, and the environment.

Sociology 549: Sociology of the Environment This course is an introduction to the sub-discipline of environmental sociology. The course is intended to introduce you to some of the most seminal and influential theoretical frameworks and debates that have shaped, and are shaping, our understandings of the relationship between the environment and society. The study of the environment is deeply interdisciplinary and while the course is grounded in the discipline of sociology it also draws on the work of other disciplines such as anthropologists and geographers to help us think about and understand the social causes and social consequences of environmental problems.