About This Course

30 hours plus conference; 3 credits

Various class, estate, caste systems. Their influences on behavior and values. Their relation to political power, social prestige, consumption style. Social mobility.

Fall 2013
Note: I've changed the email address for my course sites to professor AT courseserve DOT info to reduce spam in my inbox. You can contact me at this address, or if you are a student in this course, login and use the contact form.

Americans, it is often said, don’t like to think in terms of social class. Class conflict is almost always portrayed as a highly undesirable situation. Our political culture encourages everyone to think of themselves as "middle class." Public discussions of inequality are often dismissed by pundits and politicians as "class war." None the less, Americans do experience social class — through family, work, leisure, and participation in, or exclusion from, public life. We are going to explore the sociological study of class stratification, in order to get some sense of the way our lives and contemporary institutions are structured by class-based inequality, including how race, ethnicity and gender intersect with economic inequality. We will look at both social theory and empirical studies of class phenomena.

This semester, we will cover some foundational material on class stratification and then focus on two advanced topics: the reproduction of the class structure through education; and, gentrification in Brooklyn.