Understanding New Zealand: Culture, Society & Environment

Understanding New Zealand: Culture, Society & Environment — Academics

Program Structure

Program Type Understanding New Zealand: Cultural, Society and Environment - Global Seminar
Program Level 3000 level coursework
Courseload One 3-credit course

Global Seminars

Global Seminars are 3-week study abroad programs led by University of Minnesota faculty and staff that feature:


Americans think they know something about New Zealand because of its similarities in language and recent settlement, but they have much to learn. Partial familiarity and similarity are the starting point for this course, which is centered around two key questions:

  1. How do we understand the societies we are visiting? Specifically, how can sociological research methods and sources help us understand that society?
  2. How can we use comparisons between New Zealand and the United States to help us better understand the culture and institutions of each country?

This course will introduce you to a range of sociological research methods so that you can apply them to the study of New Zealand society. Several key course components include:

  • Writing life histories: Research the lives of New Zealand soldiers from World War I, visit groups in the community, and present your findings to local New Zealanders
  • Surveys and statistics: Use online research methods to investigate a current social or demographic issue
  • Qualitative methods: Observe a social situation, take detailed notes, and reflect on the broader meaning of your findings
  • Historical comparative sociology: Read extracts from the work of sociologist and social scientists, which compare New Zealand to other similar societies

Receive credit for: SOC 3641

Liberal Education Fulfillment: Civic Life & Ethics Theme, Global Perspectives Theme

This course must be taken A-F. S/N grading is prohibited.

Program Itinerary: 2018 Program Itinerary Draft

Course Syllabus: 2018 syllabus

Global Seminars Information Session

Wednesday, Feb 14, 2018
3:00pm – 4:00pm
Blegen 235

Program Video