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SOCY 3303/ WGST 3122 Sociology of the Welfare State and Current Issues: Syllabus & Info



Course requirements & grading:

This course is primarily a discussion seminar. I expect you to read all assigned texts and participate in class discussions–in all sessions. Political views are part and parcel of the debates on welfare, and they will be encouraged in class, but they need to be grounded in empirical knowledge or solid theoretical foundations. This is an OER class, which means that all course materials will be provided (you don’t need to buy any book). You will be asked to write a short response paper (200-500 words) about the readings every week for at least 10 of the 12 classes with required readings. The response paper needs to be submitted on Black Board every week on Thursday before 4 pm.

Do not use your cellphones in class at any time–if for any reason you need to be “on call,” let me know beforehand.

For academic integrity and plagiarism standards, please refer to the Brooklyn College statement on academic integrity (online).

Class participation and assignments (30 %):

I expect you to attend all classes and participate of the discussions–this will be part of your grade.

Response papers (15%):

You will have to submit a short response paper before class about the assigned readings for at least 10 of the 12 classes that include required readings.

Current events (5 %):

One student every class will give a 5-10 minute presentation on a piece of news chosen by them on any of the following topics: Medicare-for-All / Single Payer, the New York health care act, Green New Deal, pensions, tuition-free college/college debt crisis, public education.

Midterm (20 %):

The midterm will be a multiple-choice exam to be completed in class.

Final paper (30 %):

10-15 page final paper on a topic to be approved by me before April 1. The deadline for the final paper is May 22. The paper needs to include at least 6 sources, 3 of which have to be from an academic publication (book or journal article). You will use APA for citations and references.


Since we are only meeting once a week, the attendance criteria is more strict than twice a week classes. More than one missed class without notice will have an impact on your grade: for every additional class missed, I will deduct 5% of your final grade, unless there is appropriate justification (medical, work or family issues). Tardiness will be marginally tolerated. After the first week of class, every two late arrivals will be computed as one absence.

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