Karen Baum


B.A., California State University, Los Angeles;              One of my favorite places is Minerva
M.A., San Diego State University                                  Terrace in north Yellowstone Park,
Advisor, Behavioral Science Club                                  Wyoming.


Click here to see Halloween Dance pictures 1998

Mail Station: 2
(760) 757-2121, ext. 6551

I love the process of things. I am happier listening to my daughter practice the piano, including wrong notes and false starts, than I am attending a piano recital. Some sports fans will pay hundreds of dollars for a World Series ticket. I would rather watch a seven year old, or a seventy-seven year old, swing at a baseball and miss again and again until wondrous connection with the ball.

In my classes, I have the same feelings. I appreciate the process, the struggle to understand a different way of seeing behavior, of making mistakes and questioning meanings. Sometimes students say I talk in circles, but only until they catch on that sociology itself is about the process of life; it's about our interactions with one another, building toward group life and society.

Sociology is the study of patterns of social interaction and how people work and live together building from two person interaction, to small groups, communities, social institutions and society itself.  I chose sociology over other disciplines because it answered questions critical to me about inequality and the role of power in everyday life. Sociology continues to answer important questions for me.

I like to have students practice the different data collection methods and bring their data to class. Together, students work in groups analyzing and discovering what the data may mean. I think the best way to teach sociology is to do sociology. Sometimes, we don't always know what we are doing, but to me, this is O.K.  I encourage students to tolerate ambiguity, make worthy errors, and persist.

Classes I teach: Introduction to Sociology, Social Psychology, Marriage and Family, Introduction to Women's Studies, Social Problems. Students who take Introduction to Sociology from me in spring semesters can also sign up to take the class as an Honors class. I also offer a Service Learning option in all of my courses, and students interested in a one unit computer option in Sociology can take Sociology 900. Sociology majors, Behavioral Science majors, and even Psychology majors may also be interested in taking Directed Studies in Sociology, Sociology 298. Students taking Soc. 298 can plan and complete their own research projects and I provide assistance.


Some sociological links to explore.
Sociological Tour Through Cyberspace: http://www.trinity.edu/~mkearl/

Sociologist Howard Becker's Homepage: http://weber.u.washington.edu/~hbecker/

The Electronic Journal of Sociology: http://www.sociology.org/

Other resources can be found: http://www.miracosta.cc.ca.us/info/acad/Behavioral_Science/Sociology/resources_for_sociologists.html                              

Some of these resource links and university links may not work, but many will. I'm in the process of updating them.  Students in Women's Studies and Sociology 900 can get updates and changes from me via email and in class.



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