The stratified layers of power form the backbone of society. Race, gender, and, especially, class, shape the lives of individuals, families, communities, whole nations, and the world. The course studies how these social forces structure society and how leadership groups direct society as a whole through the social structure.
David Grusky and Szonja Szelnyi, The Inequality Reader
Annette Lareau, Unequal Childhoods
Warren Farrell, Why Men Earn More
Thomas Friedman, The Lexus and the Olive Tree
In addition, two articles will be available through WebCT:
Peggy McIntosh, "White Privilege and Male Privilege: A Personal Account of Coming to See Correspondences Through Work in Women's Studies."
Judy Goldberg Dey and Catherine Hill, "Behind the Pay Gap."
NOTE: Email will be the main way I will communicate with you outside of class, so please check it daily. All the documents that we give each other should be sent through WebCT unless otherwise noted.
Readings Quizzes [40% of final grade]
Weekly (more or less) questions on the next day's reading, delivered through WebCT. These will typically be available for 20 minutes beginning at a time of your choosing, due by 9 p.m. the night before class. They are open-book tests, and you are welcome – indeed, encouraged – to discuss the class readings with others before you open the quiz. I will drop the lowest quiz grade. You may take additional (not substitute) quizzes up to the last day of class.
Structure Numbers [30%]
Write a series of one-page (300 – 400 words) papers on numbers that you think are important for understanding the social structure. We will create a webpage of these numbers, linked to your papers about them, as we go along in the course. Submit your paper through WebCT as a Word document, including any graphs and tables.
Pick a measurable aspect of the social structure, find what the current number is, and write a one-page explanation of what that number means and why it is important. Be sure to include the major cautions and considerations that users should bear in mind to properly use this number.
Write a one-page account of how two of our structure numbers relate to one another. If one of the numbers you want to write about is not already on our list, add it, with its own explanation (as in step one). Be sure to include the major cautions and considerations that users should bear in mind to properly use these numbers.
Pick one of the structure numbers and write a one-page account of trends in that number over time. You may write about any of our numbers, whether or not you wrote about it before. If one of the numbers you want to write about is not already on our list, add it, with its own explanation (as in step one). Be sure to include the major cautions and considerations that users should bear in mind to properly follow this trend.
Final Examination [20%] A comprehensive take-home essay, due at the scheduled time.
Participation [10%] We have fascinating things to talk about. For the good of all, do it. Included in this grade will be a brief paper, "How I Got My Job," which will be graded on a done/not done scale. Interview some employed adult, one or both of your parents or someone their age, about how, exactly, they ended up in the job they have. We are interested in both formal training and job applications, and informal network connections. You may give them pseudonyms if you wish. Trace their story in two pages. Submit through WebCT as a Word document.
8/27 Social Structure: Race, Gender, and most of all, Class
8/29 Is Stratification Necessary?
IR, Kingsley Davis & Wilbert Moore, "Some Principles of Stratification" 
IR, David Grusky and Szonja Szelnyi, "The Rise and Fall of Benign Narratives About Inequality" 15]
8/31 IR, Claude Fischer, et al., "Inequality by Design" 
IR, Alan Krueger, "Inequality, Too Much of a Good Thing" 
9/3 Is Class or Status More Important to the Social Structure?
IR, Karl Marx (and Friedrich Engels), "Classes in Capitalism and Pre-capitalism" [the "Communist Manifesto" plus fragments] 
9/5 IR, Max Weber, "Class, Status, Party" 
9/7 IR, Jan Pakulski & Malcolm Waters, "The Death of Class" 
IR, Robert Hauser and John Robert Warren, "Socioeconomic Indexes for Occupations" 
9/10 Is Social Mobility Real?
IR, David Harding, Christopher Jencks, Leonard Lopoo, and Susan Mayer, "Family Background and Income in Adulthood, 1961 – 1999" 
9/12 IR, Katharine Bradbury and Jane Katz, "Are Lifetime Incomes Growing More Unequal?" 
IR, John Goldthorpe. "The Experience of Social Mobility" 
IR, Timothy Egan, "No Degree, and No Way Back to the Middle" 
9/14 IR, Dalton Conley, "The Pecking Order" 
Structure Number 1: A number everyone should know, due by 9 p.m. (WebCT)
9/17 Is a Ruling Class Necessary?
IR, C. Wright Mills, "The Power Elite" 
IR, G. William Domhoff, "Who Rules America?" 
IR, Janny Scott, "Life at the Top in America Isn't Just Better, It's Longer" 
9/19 IR, Alvin Gouldner, "Future of Intellectuals & the Rise of the New Class" 
9/21 IR, David Brooks, "Bobos in Paradise" 
IR, "Tak Wing Chan and John Goldthorpe, "The Social Stratification of Theatre, Dance, and Cinema Attendance" 
9/24 Why Is There Poverty?
IR, Barbara Ehrenreich, "Nickel-and-Dimed" 
IR, Timothy Smeeding, Lee Rainwater, and Gary Burtless, "United States Poverty in Cross-National Context" 
9/26 William J. Wilson, "Jobless Poverty" 
Douglas Massey and Nancy Denton, "American Apartheid" 
9/28 Bruce Western, "Incarceration, Unemployment, and Inequality" 
10/1 Social Networks: How Do the Six Degrees of Separation Work?
IR, Mark Granovetter, "The Strength of Weak Ties" 
IR, Nan Lin, "Social Networks and Status Attainment" 
10/3 IR, Ronald Burt, "Structural Holes" 
10/5 Bring your "How I Got My Job" paper to class for discussion. Turn in hard copy.
10/7 "Privilege Game" Sunday night, 8 p.m., location TBA.
10/8 What is Privilege?
Peggy McIntosh, "White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack "
10/10 [No class – traded for 10/7]
10/12 FALL BREAK
10/15 How Are Sex and Gender Structured?
IR, Barbara Reskin, "Labor Markets as Queues" 
IR, Maria Charles and David Grusky, "Egalitarianism and Gender Equality" 
10/17 IR, Trond Peterson and Laurie Morgan, "The Within-Job Gender Gap" 
10/19 IR, Lisa Belkin, "The Opt-Out Revolution" 
10/22 Warren Farrell, Why Men Earn More, chs. 1 – 6 
10/24 Judy Dey & Catherine Hill, "Behind the Pay Gap"  (WebCT)
10/26 Farrell, Why Men Earn More, chs. 7 – 14 
10/29 How are Race and Ethnicity Structured?
IR, William J. Wilson, "Declining Significance of Race" 
IR, Joe Feagin, "The Continuing Significance of Race" 
10/31 IR, Douglas Massey & Nancy Denton, "American Apartheid" 
11/2 IR, Marianne Bertrand and Sendhil Mullainathan, "Are Emily and Greg More Employable Than Lakisha and Jamal?" 
IR, Claude Steele, "Stereotype Threat and African-American Student Achievement" 
11/5 IR, Michael Omi and Howard Winant, "Racial Formation in the United States" 
11/7 IR, Alejandro Portes & Min Zhou, "The New Second Generation" 
11/9 IR, Mary Waters, "Immigration, Intermarriage, and the Challenges of Measuring Racial/Ethnic Identities" 
IR, Herbert Gans, "The Possibility of a New Racial Hierarchy in the 21st Century United States" 
Structure Number 3: Number Trends, due by 9 p.m. (WebCT)
11/12 How is the Social Structure Lived?
Annette Lareau, Unequal Childhoods, chs. 1 – 5 
IR, Tak Wing Chan and John Goldthorpe, "The Social Stratification of Theatre, Dance, and Cinema Attendance" 
11/14 Lareau, Unequal Childhoods, chs. 6 & 7 
IR, John Mullahy, Stephanie Roberts, and Barbara Wolfe, "Health, Income, and Inequality" 
11/16 Lareau, Unequal Childhoods, chs. 8 & 9 
IR, Michael Hout and Benjamin Moodie, "The Realignment of U.S. Presidential Voting, 1948-2004" 
11/19 Lareau, Unequal Childhoods, chs. 10 - 12 
11/26 What is the Global Social Structure Like?
Friedman, The Lexus and the Olive Tree, chs. 1, 4, 6, 7, 8 
11/28 Friedman, The Lexus and the Olive Tree, chs. 12, 15, 16 
11/30 Friedman, The Lexus and the Olive Tree, chs. 18, 20 
IR, Glenn Firebaugh, "The New Geography of Global Income Inequality" 
12/7 FINAL EXAM DUE 10:00