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Course Offerings

Course Evaluation Results

Course Details

Spring 2017-2018
* SOC 207 (SA)   Graded A-F, P/D/F, Audit

Poverty in America

Matthew Desmond
Kathryn J. Edin

This course investigates poverty in America in historical and contemporary perspective. We will explore central aspects of poverty, including low-wage work and joblessness, housing and neighborhoods, crime and punishment, and survival and protest. Along the way, we will examine the cause and consequences of poverty; study the lived experience of severe deprivation and material hardship; evaluate large-scale anti-poverty programs with an eye toward what worked and what didn't; and engage with normative debates about the right to housing, living wages, just punishment, and other matters pertaining to American life below the poverty line.

Sample reading list:
Kathryn Edin and H. Luke Shaefer, $2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America
Kathryn Edin and Timothy Nelson, Doing the Best I Can: Fatherhood in the Inner City
Matthew Desmond, Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City
Seth Holmes, Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies: Migrant Farmworkers in the Unite
Laurence Ralph, Renegade Dreams: Living Through Injury in Gangland Chicago
Bruce Western, Punishment and Inequality in America

Reading/Writing assignments:
This course has a strong Activity-Based Learning (ABL) component. It is based around four (4) fieldwork assignments related to core aspects of poverty this course analyzes. Each assignment is designed to provide students with an intimate and memorable experience related to economic inequality in America. Grades are also based on weekly participation and discussion in sections and a midterm and a final paper.

Mid Term Exam - 30%
Paper in lieu of Final - 40%
Class/Precept Participation - 30%

Other Requirements:
Community-Based Learning Component Required

Schedule/Classroom assignment:

Class numberSectionTimeDaysRoomEnrollmentStatus
43519 L01 10:00:00 am - 10:50:00 am M W   McCosh Hall   46   Enrolled:92 Limit:145
44232 P01 11:00:00 am - 11:50:00 am M   McCosh Hall   30   Enrolled:8 Limit:14
44233 P02 01:30:00 pm - 02:20:00 pm M   Friend Center   202   Enrolled:10 Limit:14
44234 P03 10:00:00 am - 10:50:00 am T   Wallace Hall   006   Enrolled:13 Limit:14
44235 P04 03:30:00 pm - 04:20:00 pm T   Wallace Hall   190   Enrolled:14 Limit:14 Closed
44236 P05 11:00:00 am - 11:50:00 am W   Wallace Hall   190   Enrolled:13 Limit:15
44237 P06 01:30:00 pm - 02:20:00 pm W   Wallace Hall   006   Enrolled:6 Limit:15
44238 P07 02:30:00 pm - 03:20:00 pm W   Wallace Hall   004   Enrolled:9 Limit:14
44239 P08 02:30:00 pm - 03:20:00 pm Th   McCosh Hall   24   Enrolled:11 Limit:14
44240 P09 10:00:00 am - 10:50:00 am F   Friend Center   203   Enrolled:8 Limit:15
43520 P99 TBA        Enrolled:0 Limit:0 Canceled