SOCI 6331 Disasters and Society
Fall 2019


This SOCI 6331 Disasters and Society course is offered second time in the Disaster Studies MA Program at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. There are 18 students, some of them were newly admitted to the graduate study program in this semester, who enrolled in this course. The course was offered the first time in Fall 2017.

Course Description and Prerequisites

This course examines the relationship between disasters and society from a sociological perspective. Key themes include preparedness, warning response, mitigation, social vulnerability, long- and short-term recovery, and international hazard management.

Prerequisites: three hours of sociology

Learning Objectives

After taking Disasters & Society, you should be able to demonstrate your sociological understanding of the following topics:

LO 1.   The concepts of hazards, risks, disasters, vulnerability, and resiliency;

LO 2.   Various types of disasters and their impact on society;

LO 3.   The importance of addressing the needs of the populations affected by a disaster;

LO 4.   The key actors in the disaster-management process, including mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery; and

LO 5.   Problems associated with preparedness, response, and recovery in short- and long-term disasters in local and international settings.

 Service Learning Objectives

 SLO 1. To hear firsthand experiences from partners in a community recently hit by a disaster (LO3).

SLO 2. To hear firsthand experiences from key stakeholders, including issues, problems and challenges local, county, state, and federal organizations face in managing disasters (LO4, LO2).

SLO 3. To learn how individuals who live in the Rio Grande Valley prepared for Hurricane Harvey (LO5, LO4).

SLO 4. To apply theories and concepts in order to solve the problems, issues, and challenges community partners face in effectively managing hurricane disaster and emergencies (LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5).

SLO 5. To prepare a report that presents experiential learning and sustainable solutions, applying theories and concepts learned in the classroom to problems, issues, and challenges in effective disaster/emergency management. (LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5).