Social Chronicles: Fall 2018

In Fall 2018, Sociology 399: Social Chronicles merged service learning and criminal justice education to teach principles of fairness (justice), ethics (processes) and equity (social equality). Two student teams at Georgia College and Shepherd University reported important past and present experiences and events surrounding the birth, growth, and the current state of two organizations. The students attended synchronous online classes and completed 10+ hours of service to explore justice advocacy, justice-oriented oral history research, and digital fluencies as displayed via web design:


During synchronous discussions, participants (Mary Donovan Price, M. Taylor KerseyMary Gunderson-King, and Nikki Lower) used various symbols to describe the engagement sites and class environment. Some included the lotus (rebirth, renewal); darkness and light (finding acceptance and/or purpose); family; and acceptance. The group also explored the symbolic function of cultural sounds and music within the two chosen sites.


The musical focus for this class was primarily on lyrical analysis and use of music to create atmosphere and mood within a setting. Both student groups selected sites that promote acceptance and support for individuals who are frequently rejected in society: the Georgia College group engaged persons who are intellectually disabled at the Life Enrichment Center and the Shepherd group engaged homeless and disadvantaged populations at Immanuel’s House Soup Kitchen. The lyrics selected by each student group focused on acceptance and persevering. In the synchronous class setting, participants experienced moments of shared understanding around music. For example, Dr. Howard-Bostic shared a video of her brother rapping about growing up, which led to therapeutic and honest sharing of experiences among the learners. Drs. Howard-Bostic and Holmes-Davis were pleased to experience such openness and acceptance within a digital class experience.

“Shared experiences in real time.”