Sociology of the Welfare State and Current Issues
(SOCY 3303, WGST 3122)
Professor: Juan Cruz Ferre
Office: James Hall, Room 3203
Office hours: by appointment
Lecture: Fridays 9.30 - 12.15
The purpose of this course is to acquaint the student with the sociological field of the Welfare State. We will review a number of important contributions and debates in the topic with the goal of providing students with the tools to critically analyze social policy and learn theoretical frameworks that explain the emergence and development of different welfare regimes.
American welfare policies are particularly meager in comparison to any other industrialized country. We will review theoretical and historical explanations for the present state of U.S. welfare, zooming in on the neoliberal rollback since the late 1970s. We will allot special time to discuss current issues in welfare policy and bold policy proposals that are gaining traction among the population, such as Medicare for All and the Green New Deal.
The welfare state can be thought of as a set of a set of social policies that transform the relationship among three actors: individuals, their families and the state. In this sense, social policies have a strong impact on family relations and gender oppression. We will review some of the most important discussions around welfare and women’s liberation.