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Social Class - Syllabus

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Sociology 224 Syllabus: Social Class Inequality University of Massachusetts

Race, Class, and Crime Sociology 392a - Syllabus - University of Massachusetts - Amherst.

Theories of Class and Stratification, Syllabus (Carl Cuneo, McMaster, Canada).

SOC 248 Syllabus, Ethnic Inequalities and Intergroup Relations, Charleen Tuchovsky - Maxwell School - Syracuse Univ.  Addresses ethnicity issues by analyzing their interplay with class, gender, and sexuality.

Analyzes the particularities and intersections of multiple forms of identity and oppression as well as the various theoretical frameworks which have been advanced in understanding these phenomena.

Examines contemporary and classical social science research on these issues and the implications of these findings for development of effective public policy. Grading will be based on quizzes, writing exercises, and a final exam.

Athabasca University Syllabus

Sociology (SOCI) 381 The Sociology of Power and Inequality

SOCI 381 examines ways in which different forms of social organization work to empower members of some social groups and disadvantage others, in systematic and regular ways, and examines a wide range of kinds of power — economic, political, sexual, cultural — in a variety of social and historical settings. Power is not something abstract and distant. In one guise or another, it permeates all human relationships and shapes who we are as individuals, and what we can become as social beings.

Although students will discuss the inequities of contemporary Canadian class structure and learn about the Irvings of New Brunswick and who's who in the Canadian political elite, students will also encounter feudal lords, communist bureaucrats, and a Black feminist who asks sharp questions about race and gender. Students will be asked to produce their driver's licence and credit cards and to analyse what they reveal about modern forms of identity and power. SOCI 381 examines the unequal shaping of our social identities.

Unit 1 Social Stratification: An Introduction
Unit 2 Worlds Apart: "Traditional" and "Modernity"—Changing Contexts for Stratification
Unit 3 Those Who Pray, Those Who Fight, Those Who Work: Stratification in Feudal Europe
Unit 4 Classical Sociologies and Modern Inequalities
Unit 5 Class in Canada Today
Unit 6 Authoritative Resources: Bringing the State Back In
Unit 7 Difference and Disadvantage: Sex and Gender
Unit 8 Distinct Societies? A Perspective on Race, Ethnicity, and Nationality

Grabb, Edward C. 1984. Social Inequality: Classical and Contemporary Theorists. Toronto: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.

Sayer, Derek. 1991. Capitalism and Modernity: An Excursus on Marx and Weber. New York: Routledge.

LAS 110: Exploring Social Class Dialogue Course

Course Instructors:
Joycelyn Landrum-Brown, Ph.D. Ralph Trimble, Ph.D.

Course Objectives:
This course introduces students to the different aspects and meanings of social class in the United States. Students have the opportunity for exploring the relevance and impact of social class on their personal identities, community interactions and intergroup relationships. Five primary areas will be covered:
Exploration of personal identities as related to social class.
Exploration of perceptions of others, interpersonal and intergroup relations as related to social class.
Impact of social institutions and culture in shaping our understanding and assumptions regarding social class.
Intersection of social class with other socio-cultural identities.
Impact of social class on community interactions and intergroup dialogue.

Course Topics Date Topic
Readings: "Class", Diversity on Campus, David Schuman & Dick Olufs (1995)
"Class Relations & the Problem of Inequality" (pp. 32-43), Social Problems: A Critical Power-Conflict Perspective (5th Ed.), Joe Feagin & Clairece Feagin (1997)

Key Issues
Readings: "The Land of Opportunity", Lies My Teacher Told Me, James Loewen, (1995)
"America’s Income Segregation", Los Angeles Times, Guy Molyneux, (1993)
"Tired of Playing Monopoly?", Donna Langston , Race, Class & Gender: An Anthology, 2nd Ed., M. Andersen & P. Hill Collins, eds., (1995)

Key Issues
Readings: "Social Class in America" - Bob Millar, (1995)
"Popular Conceptions of Class Standing", Social Standing in America, Richard Coleman & Lee Rainwater, (1978)
"Class as Social Identity", Social Standing in America, Richard Coleman & Lee Rainwater, (1978)

Race, Class & Merit
Readings: "A Conversation on Race & Class", World, Jul/Aug, 1998
"Bloody Footprints: Reflections on Growing up Poor White" , Roxanne Dunbar, White Trash: Race and Class in America, M Wray & A. Newitz, (eds.), (1997)
"Education, Inequality and the Meritocracy", Schooling in Capitalist American: Educational Reform and the Contradictions of Economic Life, Samuel Bowles & Herbert Gintis, (1976).

Poor and Homelessness experiences
Readings: "A World Worth Living In", Roberta Praeger, Race, Class & Gender: An Anthology, 2nd Ed., M. Andersen & P. Hill Collins, eds., (1995)
"The war against the poor : Introduction", The War Against the Poor, Herbert Gans, (1995)
"Overview: A Captive State", Rachel and her Children: Homeless Families In America, Jonathan Kozol , (1988 )

Middle class experiences
Readings: "Are you middle class?", Barbara Ehrenreich, Race, Class & Gender: An Anthology, 2nd Ed., M. Andersen & P. Hill Collins, eds., (1995)
"The silenced majority", Barbara Ehrenreich, Race, Class & Gender: An Anthology, 3rd Ed., M. Andersen & P. Hill Collins, eds., (1998)
The Invisible Americans", Families on the Fault Line, Lillian Rubin, (1995)

Working class experiences
Readings: "Shattered Dreams", Families on the Fault Line, Lillian Rubin, (1995)
"Sunset Trailer Park", Allan Berube & Florence Berube, White Trash: Race and Class in America, M Wray & A. Newitz, (eds.), (1997)

Lifestyles of the Rich and Wealthy
Readings: "Who me, Rich?", Richard Todd, Worth, September, 1997
"How the Pie is Sliced", Edward N. Wolff,, The American Prospect, no. 22 (summer 1995): 58-64.

Sociology 224: Social Class Inequality
University of Massachusetts
Dr. Joya Misra,

Course Goals:
In this class, you will be introduced to a sociological perspective on social class inequality. Sociologists study inequality in society by focusing primarily on class differences, power differences, and status differences, such as race and gender. These elements are linked together inextricably to create and reinforce inequalities.

This course begins by exploring class, race, and gender inequalities in the educational system. Students groups research this topic and then present their findings in class. Next, we discuss some ways that sociologists explain class, race, and gender inequalities. The rest of the semester will be spent considering the different class positions of people in our society - the upper (ruling) class, the middle class, the working class, and finally the poor. Throughout the semester, we will pay particular attention to the impact of race and gender on class locations.

Required Readings:

Shapiro's Great Divides

Domhoff's Who Rules America?

Albeda & Tilly's Glass Ceilings and Bottomless Pits

Shapiro "Introduction" (1-6 in GD), Ryan "The Equality Dilemma" (23-28 in GD)

Inequality & Social Research
Mantsios "Class in America" Henslin "How Sociologists Do Research"

Inequality in the Educational System
Cookson & Persell "The Vital Link" (389-401 in GD), Karabel "Community Colleges and Social Stratification"
Kozol "The Savage Inequalities of Public Education in New York" (401-418) in GD, Sidel "Conflict Within the Ivory Tower"
Sadker & Sadker "Failing at Fairness" (418-428 in GD), Krupnick "Meadows Colleges Prepares for Men"

Explaining Inequality
Harger "Theories of Class and Social Inequality" , Marx & Engels "Manifesto of the Commnity Party" (31-38 in GD), Marx "Classes" (38-39) in GD, Weber "Class, Status, and Power" (39-49 in GD)

Davis & Moore "Some Principles of Stratification" (79-88 in GD), Tumin "Some Principles of Stratification: A Critical Analysis"
Hartmann "Capitalism, Patriarchy, and Job Segregation by Sex" (49-53 in GD), Bonacich "A Theory of Ethnic Antagonism"
McIntosh "White Privilege and Male Privilege" (327-335 in GD)

The Upper Class
Domhoff "Power and Class in the United States" (Chapter 1 - led by Group One), "The Corporate Community and Growth Coalitions" (Chapter 2)
Domhoff "The Corporate Community and the Upper Class" (Chapter 3 - led by Group Three), "The Policy Formation Network" (Chapter 4)
Domhoff "The Role of Public Opinion" (Chapter 5, led by Group Five), "Parties and Elections" (Chapter 6, led by Group Six), "How the Power Elite Dominates Government" (Chapter 7)

The Middle Class
Cassidy "Who Killed the Middle Class" , Johnson "Family Struggle to Make Do After Fall from Middle Class"

Massey/Denton "The Continuing Causes of Segregation" (272-287 in GD), Feagin "The Continuing Significance of Race"

Harrison and Bluestone "The Crisis of the American Dream" (179-191 in GD), Gerson "No Man's Land" (354-369 in GD)

The Working Class
Schwartz and Volgy "Economic Self-Sufficiency in Present-Day America" (159-173 in GD)

Rubin "The Transformation of Family Life" & "'When You Get Laid Off'" , "Race and the Rise of Ethnicity" (173-179 in GD)
Reading Response Five Due

The Poor
Albeda and Tilly "Women, Income, and Poverty: There's a Family Connection" (Chapter 1), "Who's Poor? Patterns of Poverty" and "All in the Family" (Chapter 2 and 3 - led by Group One), and "The Glass Ceiling and the Sticky Floor" and "Bottomless Pits" (Chapter 4 and 5 - led by Group Two), "What's Wrong with Current Antipoverty Policies" (Chapter 6)

Albeda and Tilly "Lean, Mean and Ineffective" (Chapter 7 - led by Group Four), "Creating Real Welfare Reform" and "It's Not Just Welfare" (Chapter 8 & 9 - led by Group Five), "The Power to Win Women's Economic Equality" (Chapter 10)
Wilson "The Truly Disadvantaged" ( 221-237 in GD), Oliver and Shapiro "A Sociology of Wealth and Racial Inequality"

Hout & Lucas "Narrowing the Income Gap Between the Rich and the Poor" , hooks "Feminism: A Transformational Politic" Krauss "Women of Color on the Front Line"

Race, Class, and Crime
Sociology 392a - University of Massachusetts - Amherst.
Course Description
The course begins with a discussion of the race-crime controversy. This is essentially an argument over the extent to which the disproportionate involvement of members of minority groups as offenders in the criminal justice system--especially that of black males--is explained by the conduct of some black men and boys as opposed to discrimination in the various systems of justice in the U.S. This discussion is followed by an examination of the issues raised by a fictional account of the interaction of race, class, and crime in Atlanta. We will then review the class-crime controversy. This is an argument over the importance of social class as an explanation for high crime rates. Since it is largely an argument over the meaning of class and the measurement of crime, it will be followed by a review of the nature of crime and the meanings assigned to class.

Before examining the empirical evidence needed to resolve these issues, we will examine the role of race and class in some theories of crime. Then we will review the sources of data on crime, using some of this data to look for evidence of a race-crime link, a class-crime link, or a race-class-crime link.

In a third part of the course, we will look at police practices that disadvantage marginalized members of American society, especially black citizens and black suspects. We will review allegations of prosecutorial and court practices that are influenced by race. And we will look at politics and legislation as sources of racial disadvantage in the system of justice. Finally, we will look at possibilities for change that might reduce black crime rates and discrimination against black defendants and black offenders.