SOC 4420

Course: Social Change (Soc 4420)

Professor: Wai Kit Choi

Students gained an in-depth understanding of the factors leading to social change and acquired the skills necessary for analyzing the logic underlying large-scale social transformation. Factors of social change examined in the class included technological innovation, economic transformation, and the action of nation-states. However, social change is not merely the unintentional, or unplanned, consequence of the interaction between institutions and people. Society also changes and evolves because there are people who intentionally steer it towards the direction of social justice. An additional goal of this class helped students understand what they can do to change society, and this will be achieved through the partnership that NSS has with the City of Los Angeles GeoHub and Community Partners.

Transforming society involves more than attending meetings, posting on social media, and participating in a demonstration; it also entails identifying problems that affect the general population and using data as well as analytical skills to help solve the problems. Through Community Partners, students in this class connected to a variety of non-profit organizations and learn about the problems afflict different communities. In addition, L.A. Open Data offered city-wide data sets in several areas—the environment, transportation, city services, the economy…etc. that are essential for problem-solving, while GeoHub provided students an added spatial perspective, and allowed them to visualize the data on a map. No less important is the training that the students received on the use of ArcGIS and ESRI, which will allow them to capture concealed patterns among variables, and determine the degree of correlation among them.

Student Projects

Black Worker Population Movement in LA County
Brook Mero, Tamar Arslanian, and Teonna Warner

Comparing Schools in Lower-Income vs. Higher Income in Central Los Angeles
Crystal Rutherford, Jared Mandap, Scott Yamamoto and Eric Camacho-Ramirez

Project K-Town: A Guide to Koreatown and its Workers
James Aldana, Karina Magana, and Jose Castro

LGBTQ Homeless Youth in Orange County
Denise Ramirez, Eloisa Lopez, Linda Tobgui, Natalie Nunez and Janette Juarez

The Evolution of Koreatown
Armando Gonzalez

Empowering Families in the Educational System
Jessica Sanchez, Janet Guiterrez, Joceline Garcia, Ashley Garcia, Sarai Baide

Educational History and Parental Involvement in East LA
Vanessa Bazan, Damaris Huerta, Yesenia Rojo, Luz Padilla, Adriana Zavala

Readjusting to Society
Luis Sotillo, Jasmine Vargas-Rodriguez, Jessica Rodriguez, Alberto Benavides