Firearms / My Experience

New Course I Am Teaching in the Fall: The Sociology of Guns

I am excited to be teaching a new course in the fall semester, related to this research project on American gun culture: The Sociology of Guns. Course description follows the flier.

Sociology of Guns Course Annoucment 3-12-15


Guns often have a spectacular presence in the American imagination, from George Zimmerman to Sandy Hook Elementary to the American sniper Chris Kyle. But guns are also a part of everyday life in communities across the United States. They are used as tools of criminal violence and self-defense, and are one of the mostly commonly owned pieces of sporting equipment in the country.

Clearly, guns are an important part of American society and culture. With more than 300,000,000 guns held by private citizens and a Constitutional amendment associated with gun ownership, the possession, regulation, meaning, and use of firearms reaches into important realms of American society, including: civil rights and liberties, identity and culture, crime and violence, public health and personal safety, and even sport and leisure.

This course explores the multifaceted role guns play in the U.S. from a sociological perspective. From a firm foundation of understanding the history and technology of firearms, as well as the historical and constitutional origins of the 2nd Amendment, the course will focus on a range of topics, including: the prevalence and distribution of guns; attitudes and opinions about gun ownership; lawful possession and use of firearms; illegal and legal gun markets; gun crime and injuries; and the varieties of responses to gun injuries and crime.

4 thoughts on “New Course I Am Teaching in the Fall: The Sociology of Guns

  1. Wow, that looks really interesting. I am many years away from my Sociology major days at the UW-Madison, and still have a soft spot in my heart for the science, even if I moved to biology. Any chance of you posting your syllabus or other materials from the class?


    • I could tell you were a smart one! I have my M.S. and Ph.D. in sociology from UW-Madison. Go Badgers!

      I will try to post the syllabus. There is so much that COULD be taught under this title, it’s hard to narrow it down to a week on each topic. Plenty more work to do before August start of class.


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