The Program

The Social Thought and Political Economy Program (STPEC) is an interdisciplinary undergraduate major in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. The only program of its kind in New England, it is designed for students who want a challenging major that will help them understand the world and work towards changing it. The program draws on courses from a variety of departments in the social sciences and humanities, including Afro-American Studies, Anthropology, Communication, Economics, History, Legal Studies, Philosophy, Political Science, Sociology and Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies.

The program encourages students to engage in a critical examination of society and to develop their own capacities for critical reading, writing, and thinking on different axes of societal oppression/resistance, most prominently class, race, gender and sexuality. STPEC students cross disciplinary lines to confront fundamental questions often ignored or neglected by traditional academic thought as they explore theories that address relations among individuals, society, and government. STPEC courses explore issues such as freedom and the state, structural inequality in the economy, work and labor relations, the relationship of Western to non-Western cultures, social and economic power dynamics, and theories of social change.

STPEC students study to understand the world, and to contribute to its transformation. Emphasizing the relationship between theory and practice and the necessity for skill development, STPEC requires that students pursue internships in the community, play a role in university and/or campus community affairs and assume active responsibility for the shape of their own education within the STPEC Program.