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Making the best of an inappropriate textbook

Using an ‘international edition’ to teach critical thinking and intercultural understanding

Kristina C. Marcellus

the first (and remain the only) sociologist to teach an introductory sociology course at this small but dynamic engineering university. The language of instruction is English, although nearly all students speak English as a foreign language. Most

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Neda Maghbouleh, Clayton Childress, and Carlos Alamo-Pastrana

Marx's critique of capitalism remains foundational to the university social science curriculum yet little is known about how instructors teach Marx. In post-industrial, service-oriented economies, students are also increasingly disconnected from the conditions of industrial capitalism that animate Marx's analysis. Inspired by the discussion of how a piece of wood becomes a table in Marx's Capital Vol. 1., 'Our Table Factory, Inc.' simulates a diverse array of roles in the chain of production into and out of a table factory to understand key concepts: means/mode of production, use/exchange value, primitive accumulation wage/surplus labour, proletariat, bourgeoisie, alienation, false consciousness, commodity fetishism and communist revolution. We describe the exercise and present qualitative and quantitative assessment data from introductory sociology undergraduates across three small teaching-intensive universities in the United States. Findings detail the exercise's efficacy in fostering retention of material and in facilitating critical engagement with issues of inequality.

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Penny Welch and Susan Wright

from a selection of scholars and publishing them in a future issue of LATISS . In the fifth contribution, Kristina C. Marcellus reports on how she approached the problem of teaching introductory sociology in Abu Dhabi using a textbook produced in the