Social StratificationCourse Number: SOCI 112, Course Code: 14122 (Spring 2006)
Lectures: Tuesday & Thursday, 2:00-3:15, Peabody 218
Professor: Philip N. Cohen
Personal web page: http://www.unc.edu/~pnc
Course web page: http://www.unc.edu/~pnc/strat/
Phone: (919) 843-4791
Office: Hamilton Hall 270
Office hours: Wednesdays, 1:00-2:00 p.m. and by appointment
Teaching assistant: Jamie Lewis
Office: Hamilton 252.
Office hours: Tuesday 3:30-4:30.
This course is an introduction to the study of social inequality. We will briefly cover some theories of stratification with a focus on Karl Marx, on our way to more in-depth concentration of several specific areas: poverty and welfare, the criminal justice system, the education system, and family dynamics. Along the way, we will explore the relationship between race/ethnicity, gender and class inequalities, trends in economic inequality, and some responses to inequality. The course includes lecture/discussion meetings twice a week, which will provide a forum for interaction and debate on the material and the issues raised in class. Finally, students will write a term paper, in two parts: first on media depictions of a specific issue raised in class, and then offering your own views on that issue, drawing both on course materials and some outside research.
The following books are required reading for the course. In addition to a textbook, this course uses both classic work vital to all sociological study of inequality and recent high-quality scholarship and journalism. They are all available at the student bookstore on campus, and widely available at other locations (please make sure you have the right editions).
- The Communist Manifesto: A Modern Edition, by Karl Marx and Frederick Engels (Eric Hobsbawm, Introduction). Verso Books, 1998.
- The Rich Get Richer and the Poor Get Prison: Ideology, Class, and Criminal Justice (7th edition), by Jeffrey Reiman. Allyn & Bacon, 2004.
- Social Stratification and Inequality: Class Conflict in Historical, Comparative and Global Perspective (6th edition), by Harold R. Kerbo. McGraw Hill, 2006.
- Class Matters, by the New York Times. Times Books, 2005.
- The Shame of the Nation: The Restoration of Apartheid Schooling in America, by Jonathan Kozol. Crown Publishers, 2005.
- Unequal Childhoods: Class, Race, and Family Life, by Annette Lareau. University of California Press, 2003.
Issue paper, Discussion, Exams and Grading
Issue paper -- The paper will be in two parts. In the first part, students will analyze a media portrayal of an issue raised by one or more of the authors we will read. That should be 2-3 pages, briefly describing the issue and then commenting on how a newspaper, magazine, or news website covers it. This part is due April 11. The final paper, about 10 pages (2,500 words) can include the first part, but will go further, integrating course readings and a limited amount of outside research to support an argument about the issue you have chosen. The point is to develop an argument of your own, supported by the course text and some additional research. We will cover the assignment in more detail in lecture and discussion sections. The final paper is due April 25. The two parts of the issue paper account for about 30% of the grade.
Discussion -- Attendance and participation in class sessions are mandatory for all students in the course. We will use attendance, short assignments, or quizzes to monitor student participation in class. Participation in class sessions accounts for about 20% of the grade.
Exams -- There will be a midterm and a final exam. Both will include a combination of multiple choice and essay questions. The midterm accounts for about 20% of the grade, and the final accounts for about 30% of the grade.
Academic honesty -- All students must be familiar with the University's policy on Academic Dishonesty. The professor and teaching assistant in the course are required to uphold and enforce the rules against all forms of academic dishonesty. There is zero tolerance for academic dishonesty in this course.
Schedule and lecture notes
Please note lecture notes are not necessarily complete, and are not a substitute for attending class or
getting notes from someone who did. Topic labels for each day refer to the readings assigned, not necessarily
the material covered in the lectures.
- January 12, 2006 - Introduction
- January 17, 2006 - The Communist Manifesto (including the introduction by Eric Hobsbawm and the Preface by Engels at the end). There is also an online version here.
- January 19, 2006 - Global inequality - Kerbo pp. 442-450 and Ch 17
- January 24, 2006 - Dimensions of inequality - Kerbo Ch 1,2 – Movie: Maid in America
- January 26, 2006 - Theories - Kerbo, Ch 4 - NYT, Ch 1
- January 31, 2006 - Theories - Kerbo, Ch 5 - NYT, Ch 6,9,10
- February 2, 2006 - Classes I - Kerbo, Ch 6,7 - NYT, Ch 2,12
- February 7, 2006 - Classes II - Kerbo, Ch 8 - NYT, Ch 3,4
- February 9, 2006 - Poverty/welfare - Kerbo, Ch 9 - NYT, Ch 7,8
- February 14, 2006 - Gender - Kerbo, Ch 10
- February 16, 2006 - Race/ethnicity - Kerbo, Ch 11
- February 21, 2006 - Prison - Reiman, Introduction, Ch 1
- February 23, 2006 - Prison - Reiman, Ch 2
- February 28, 2006 - Prison - Reiman, Ch 3
- March 2, 2006 - Prison - Reiman, Ch 4, Conclusion
- March 7, 2006 - Midterm review – Movie: A Nation of Law?
- March 9, 2006 - Midterm exam
- March 21, 2006 - Education - Kozol, Introduction, 1-3 – Movie: Unequal education
- March 23, 2006 - Education - Kozol, Ch 4,5,6
- March 28, 2006 - Education - Kozol, Ch 7,8,9
- March 30, 2006 - Education - Kozol, Ch 10,11 – Movie: The Breeding of Impotence
- April 4, 2006 - Education - Kozol, Ch 12, Epilogue
- April 6, 2006 - Parenting - Lareau, Ch 1,2
- April 11, 2006 - Parenting - Lareau, Ch 3,4,5 - Paper part 1 due
- April 13, 2006 - Parenting - Lareau, Ch 6,7
- April 18, 2006 - Parenting - Lareau, Ch 8,9,10,11
- April 20, 2006 - Parenting - Lareau, Ch 12
- April 25, 2006 - TBA - Final paper due
- April 27, 2006 - Final Exam Review
- May 9, 2006, 8:00 AM - Final exam