Poverty: What, Why and How
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Many of us have seen the ugly face of poverty. But 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? How can we act as a community to eliminate poverty?
This program will explore poverty in the larger social context of increasing social inequality and use sociological theories to investigate various aspects of poverty and its particularities in the U.S.
In the fall quarter, using poverty as our subject of inquiry, we will study sociological theories and key concepts and critically examine their applicability to social class and poverty-related issues. We will explore the intricate and complex relationship between social structure and individuals. Program activities will include lectures, guest speakers, seminars, workshops and field trips. Students will write seminar essays and self-reflection papers and will carry out a research project oriented toward action. Toward the end of quarter, the students will also finish an assignment preparing for a potential internship in winter quarter.
In the winter quarter, the program consist of two parts. Half of the work (4 credits) will be in class, devoted to deeper investigations of several major poverty related issues such as homelessness, childhood poverty, health care and public health issues, and incarceration. For the other half (4 credits), students have the choice to do either an internship with a local agency or organization working with low income population in the community or conduct a major research project that is focused on a topic related to poverty. Our class activities will include e lectures, workshops, seminars as well as substantial group work with students helping refine each other’s project under the guidance of the faculty.
This offering will prepare you for careers and advanced study in: Social work, education, counselling, public administration, social policy, community study
- Hybrid Online Learning - This offering delivers < 25% of its instruction online, rather than via face-to-face contact between you and your instructors.
$30 each quarter for field trips.
Four credit internship is optional in winter.
Two credit of research project is required in fall quarter and 4-credit research is optional in winter quarter.
Scheduled for: Weekend
Located in: Olympia
In the fall quarter, the class will meet on Saturdays and Sundays of odd numbered weeks. Specific dates are Sept. 29, 30, Oct. 13, 14, 27, 28, Nov. 10, 11, and Dec. 1 and 2.