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SOCY 3303/ WGST 3122 Sociology of the Welfare State and Current Issues: Readings and Schedule


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Spring 2020 course schedule and readings

Week 1 – Jan 31

Introduction to the course
What is the Welfare state?

Week 2 - February 7

Market and society

Week 3 - February 14

Movie debate: Germinal (watch at home)

Origins of welfare states
Emergence of Welfare States. Presentation and discussion.

Week 4 - February 21

The New Deal

The state under capitalism

  • Block, Fred. 1987. “The Ruling Class Does Not Rule.” In Revising State Theory. Essays in Politics and Postindustrialism, 51–68. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.

Week 5 - February 28

Theories of welfare state

Welfare regimes framework
Decommodification  & Stratification

Week 6 - March 6

The Neoliberal assault on welfare

Presentation. Neoliberalism: welfare under attack.

Clinton’s welfare reform

Movie: I, Daniel Blake

Week 7 – March 13

Field Trip: Museum of the City of New York. Exhibition 'Activist of New York.'


Week 8 - March 20

Welfare state and gender. Feminist perspectives.
Housework and Second wave feminism

Intersections of welfare and feminism

Week 9 – March 27

Midterm exam
Movie Roma. Stream in class and complete assignment.

Week 10 – April 3

Welfare State in the US
U.S. Health care system. The current mess.

Week 11 – April 10 - SPRING BREAK

Week 12 – April 17

Welfare in the US: Current Debates
U.S. Health care system. Looking ahead.

Medicare-for-all. Presentation and discussion with Dr. Michael Pappas.

Followed by: Medicare-for-all. In-class debate.

Week 13 – April 24

Schooling and segregation

Higher Education: Student debt and CUNY

The impact of austerity on students:

Daily News, The truth crime in higher education: how we've abandoned public universities like CUNY

Daily News, Thousands of CUNY students experience homelessness and food insecurity 

The impact of austerity on professors:

The Atlantic, The Death of an adjunct

Left Voice, Rank and File revolt at CUNY


Week 14 – May 1

Welfare in peripheral countries
Welfare policies in Latin America

Imperialism and welfare in oppressed nations
Presentation and discussion

Week 15 – May 8

Green New Deal / Federal jobs guarantee
Readings: Articles by Kate Aronoff, Robert Pollin (NLR), Robert Belano, Data for Progress, PoliticoMag.
Final class reflections