ISS 215: Spring 2013
5-H Berkey Hall Office Hours Monday 12:30 - 1:30 P.M. Wednesday 12:30 – 1:30 P.M.
1. OBJECTIVES OF THE COURSE
As you know, individuals around the globe differ from one another other in many ways. Some of these Social differences are biological and some are man-made. Also, individuals around the globe do not enjoy an equal access to available economic resources and opportunities in their respective societies. In most societies, economic inequality leads to political inequality and vice versa. This economic and political inequality produces Social Inequality. The main objective of this course is to present a comprehensive analysis of these Social Differences and Social Inequalities around the globe.
To achieve this goal, the course has been divided into the following three sections: A) theoretical discussion on Social Differences and Inequality, B) Social Institutions and Social Inequality, and C) forms and consequences of Social Differences and Inequality at individual, community, national, and international level. Given below is a brief description of each one of these sections.
A) Theoretical Discussion
In this section, we will present a number of theories to understand societies and their social systems around the globe. This comprehensive discussion will include both ‘left wing’ and ‘right wing’ controversies in existing literature on social inequality.
B) Social Institutions and Social Inequality
In this section, we will present and discuss various institutional arrangements developed by human beings to meet their economic, political, and educational needs. We will examine the significance of these institutions in the life of an individual. We will also examine the mechanisms these institutions use to promote, maintain, and transmit social inequalities from one generation to another. C) Forms and Consequences of Social Inequalities
It is expected that above discussion will enable you to better understand and critically examine some of the most important Causes of Social Differentiation and Social inequalities in the world. In this section, we will present an in-depth analysis of some of the Social Inequalities that are produced by economic, political, and educational institutions. This section will also include the consequences of these inequalities for individuals and societies around the globe. The following topics will be discussed in detail:
1. Race, Ethnicity, and Inequality 2. Poverty, Hunger, and Inequality
3. Crime, Judicial System, and Inequality
4. Gender Inequality
In our discussion, you will be introduced to numerous interdisciplinary approaches and competing theories. Many of these theories may contradict your existing knowledge and belief on various issues. You are more than welcome to disagree with any of the theories presented in our class. The main objective is to acquaint you with existing literature on the above topics.
2. CLASS FORMAT
Major portions of this course will be covered by lectures and discussions. A number of empirical observations in the forms of stories will be presented in class to make the material relevant to real people. We will use clickers for a number of in-class activities including attendance and weekly quizzes. Also, whenever possible we will try to bring in guest speakers to discuss contemporary issues related to social inequality.
3. REQUIRED TEXTS AND READINGS
A. Dennis Gilbert 2010 The American Class Structure: Wadsworth Publishing Company, Belmont, California.
B. Marger, Martin 2011 Social