Sociology of Poverty


Spring 2014 quarter

Taught by

sociology, journalism, communication

This course will explore poverty in the context of increasing social inequality and use the sociological theories to look at various aspects of poverty and its particularities in the U.S.

Questions we will be exploring include: what is poverty? Why is poverty so prevalent? Who are the poor? What are the underlying causes of poverty? Why is poverty a disease of the whole society (not just the poor)? How is poverty manifested in people’s everyday life? Why are certain racial and ethnic groups more likely to fall into poverty? How do economic processes contribute to poverty? What are the goals and purposes of social welfare programs? What are the limits of policy?

Using poverty as our subject of inquiry, we will study sociological theories and key concepts and critically examine their applicability in class and poverty related issues. We will explore the intricate and complex relationship between social structure and individuals. Course activities will include lectures, seminar, and workshop, individual and group projects. Students will write seminar essays, self-reflection papers, and carry out a social experiment.

This course is complementary to Health Inequity: Telling the Story and Changing It while it can also be taken as a separate course. 

Program Details

Fields of Study

Preparatory for studies or careers in


Location and Schedule

Campus location

Grays Harbor


Offered during: Evening

Advertised schedule: 6-9:30p Wed at Grays Harbor College


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Online Learning

Hybrid Online Learning < 25% Delivered Online

More information about online learning.


Date Revision
February 11th, 2014 New course added Feb. 11, 2014.

Registration Information

Credits: 4 (Spring)

Class standing: Freshmen–Senior

Maximum enrollment: 24


Course Reference Number

(4 credits): 30430

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