U.S. Social History from the Civil War to Present

History 131B

Summer 2017
First 6 Week Session
141 Giannini
Day & Time: 
MTuWTh 2-4, May 22 – June 30
Class Number: 

Social history centers on the experiences of groupings of people, their ideas, values, and behaviors, and the impact of these on their interaction with each other as well as with their place in society. In this course, we will consider major events in US history through the experiences of major populations in the United States that, until the relatively recent emergence of social history as a method of study, had been left out of the historical narrative. Lecture and course readings will trace the experiences of the working class, immigrants, women, youth, and racial, ethnic, and sexual minorities and their interactions with the structures and systems they lived in. Driven by the recurring theme of inclusion, the course will also consider some of the central topics of study in social history, such as racism, identity, gender, sexuality, crime, family life, and education. In- class instruction and exercises will teach students the historical thinking, reading, and writing skills they need to complete course assignments. Students will leave the course understanding how historical and structural forces contributed—and continue to contribute—to the US’s ongoing struggle with equality and inclusion. This course satisfies the American Cultures requirement.