Class in the United States

Spring Quarter, 2002 -- 8 Quarter Hours Credit
Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Lab 1, 1050

Sarah Ryan, Labor Studies, L2108, 867-6720,

Allen Mauney, Mathematics, L3210, 867-5458,

What are we talking about when we talk about "class"? Are there identifiable social classes in the US? How fixed or how fluid is our society in terms of who has wealth or power? Does the US really have a giant "middle class"? What is a "working class," and who might be considered to be part of it? What relationships exist among class, race and gender? How do you look at numbers that describe wealth and population groups and decide what kind of story the statistics tell? This will be an introductory program in statistics that will look critically at theories of social class.

Students will gain a working knowledge of basic statistical methods and learn to apply them to demographic and economic statistics, in order to critique an argument, test a thesis, or advocate a position. The entire class will work on a project collecting live data from a student-designed survey. They will administer the survey, tabulate the results and interpret the results. Students will use computers and Excel to work with statistical problems. Class time will include hands-on computer work, as well as book seminars, films, lectures and workshops. Credit will be awarded in labor studies, or sociology, and statistics.


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