Contemporary Social Issues: Analyzing Critically, Arguing Persuasively

Fall and Winter, 2004-05


Fall Quarter, part II

Weeks 5-10: Poverty in America

Why does poverty persists in our "affluent society"? Is it structural, a consequence of large features of our social organization? Is it the result, rather, of "self-defeating behaviors" of those who remain poor or slide into poverty? Or do these factors interact, and if so how? We will examine several different theories about the causes of poverty and the possible ways of amelioerating it. Students should be prepared to argue for and against each position, regardless of their own views on the matter.

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