GER-Core (Environmental Sustainability)
HS0301: Environmental Sustainability (3 AU)
Our planet is undergoing radical environmental and social changes. Environmental sustainability has now been put into question by, for example, our consumption patterns, loss of biodiversity, depletion of resources, and exploitative power relations. With apparent ecological and social limits to globalization and development, the current levels of consumption are unsustainable, inequitable, and inaccessible to the majority of humans. Understanding the environmental sustainability is a crucial matter at a time when our planet is in peril - both environmentally and socially. This course will show possible pathways for a sustainable earth.
Twenty years after the Rio summit in 1992, world leaders met in Rio once again in 2012 to discuss the environmental challenges facing the humanity. It was a time for them to reflect on how successful and effective the international community has been over the past two decades in managing the major identified environmental problems. Are we still facing the same environmental problems? Have there been improvements in the situation or are we worse off? Environmental and social vulnerabilities will continue to exist twenty years from now and beyond. The question is what kind of steps can and should be taken to manage these vulnerabilities? Have they been taken? Do countries across the globe experience the same type and degree of vulnerabilities? Or is the distribution of these vulnerabilities uneven? How is the distribution of these vulnerabilities decided and by whom? What are the prospects for a sustainable planet? This course will explore and examine environmental sustainability from both local and global contexts. Singapore being located in an environmentally vulnerable zone ardently needs courses like this.
General Education Requirements-Prescribed Electives (GER -PEs)
HS8008 Understanding Culture and Globalization (3 AU)
Today, we are living in an interconnected world. People from diverse backgrounds have to practice forms of cultural negotiation when they interact together. This course analyses how cultures are socially constructed and what happens when different cultures meet. Cultures are not monolithic constructs. People continuously negotiate their content in relation to a wide variety of factors and globalization has accelerated and broadened these forms of negotiations. The principal themes are: cultural capital, dominant cultures, sub-cultures, Asianization, Westernisation, consumption, hybridity, popular culture and transnationalism.
HS8017 Man or Machine: Science and Modern Society (3 AU)
Modern society has been characterised by the proliferation of science and technology in everyday life. The culture of the new millennium will be much more influenced by technoscientific advances particularly in biotechnological and informational fields. This course is designed to provide an introduction to sociological studies of science and technology. A wide range of issues is discussed including the Internet and cyberworld, nanotechnology and new material, bio-engineering, medical science, and military technology. All the cases will be observed using the sociological lenses that allow students to understand structural relations that underpin unprecedented development of science and technology. The role of science and technology in globalisation processes is also examined. From learning these cases using sociological frameworks, students will develop the ability to examine social and cultural implications of science and technology in contemporary society.
* AHSS subsumed into LS to become LA.