Syllabus 2010 – 2011

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Interactive Syllabus

University of Warsaw
Winter Semester 2010 – 2011

Social Stratification and Mobility

Instructor:  Joshua Kjerulf Dubrow
Date and Time: Thursdays, 16:00 – 18:00
Place:   Wydzial Filozofii I Socjologii – Instytut Socjologii – Okolice Kampusu Centralnego, ul. Karowa 18, sala 205
Course Website:
Office Hours:  By appointment

Course Description:

The course is designed to cover the current state of the field of social stratification regarding academic and policy debates, theories, methods, and key research findings.  Among the subjects we will explore are class, race and ethnicity, gender, intersectionality, power, elites, poverty, social mobility and status attainment, children socialization and family structure, and processes of legitimation.  While much of the focus will be on the United States, we will also explore these subjects within comparative and historical frameworks. 


Grades will be based on the following: 

Assignments (30%): are short papers (1-2 pages) based on readings and lectures.  

Exam (20%): A multiple-choice and short-answer exam based on lectures and readings. 

Term paper (30%): on social stratification issues and research. Specifics of term paper will be discussed in class. 

Class participation (20%):  Students are expected to discuss all of the assigned readings on the due date and to participate in in-class projects.

Policies on Attendance, Late Materials and Exam Make-Ups:

You are allowed a maximum of two unexcused absences.  Your overall grade can be reduced by 5% per unexcused absence after the maximum has been reached.  You are responsible for any and all in-class materials, including hand-outs and lecture notes.

I expect everyone to show up to class on time.  During class, cell phones and other electronic devices with noise-capacity must be turned off.  I will make exceptions to this rule if you explain why you need them turned on during class.  You must inform me of this reason before class begins. 

Please remember to be courteous and polite to one another during heated discussions.  We will be with each other for over three months and we all need a healthy and comfortable classroom environment to learn and discuss issues. 

Assignments are to be handed-in to me personally at the beginning of class.  I accept late materials only if I am notified 24 hours prior to the deadline.  Late writing assignments will be assessed a penalty of 10% off per day.  

It is the responsibility of the student to be sure that I receive emailed assignments and papers.  Excuses and explanations regarding problems in submitting emailed and other electronic materials due to internet or computer issues of any kind are accepted only at my discretion.

Course Outline and Course Readings:

Most course readings are available at the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology/University of Warsaw library,, Krakowskie Przedmiescie 3.  Readings marked with an “R” are REQUIRED, or mandatory readings.  Those with “OP” are optional or non-mandatory readings.  Readings available only on the INTERNET (not in the library) are marked with “I”.  TBA is “to be announced” at a later date.  Students are expected to have read the REQUIRED readings on the date they are assigned; optional readings are suggested, but students are not responsible for having read them.

Week & Date Topic Readings
October 7
Basic Concepts, Trends, and Dimensions of Stratification OP — Kerbo, Harold R.  2003.  Social Stratification and Inequality.  New York:  McGraw Hill: Chapter 1, pp. 11 – 14 (hereafter. “Kerbo”).

OP —  Sanderson, Stephen K.  1999.  “Chapter 1:  Sociology and the Scientific Study of Human Societies” in Macrosociology: An Introduction to Human Societies.  New York: Longman.  [focus on pp. 4 – 11].

OP – Grusky, David B. and Manwai C. Wu.  2008.  “Gloom, Doom and Inequality,” pp. 2 – 29 in Social Stratification: Class, Race and Gender in Sociological Perspective edited by David B. Grusky.  CO: Westview Press.

Basic Concepts in Social Stratification and Mobility hand-out available on the course website.

October 14
Poverty R – Rank, Mark.  2003.  “As American as Apple Pie: Poverty and Welfare” Contexts 2(3): 41 – 49.

R – I — Berlin, Gordon and James Riccio.  2010.  “Paying for Good Behavior:  Does New York City’s Experiment with Conditional Cash Transfers Offer Lessons for the Safety New in the United States?”  Pathways: Summer 2010. 

See also:  Officials slam ‘callous’ Dept. of Homeless Services program that uses 200 families as test subjects

See also U.S. Census 2009 Poverty Report.

OP – I – Smeeding, Timothy M.  2008.  “Poorer by Comparison:  Poverty, Work and Public Policy in Comparative Perspective.”  Pathways.  Winter 2008. 


October 21
Symbolic Interactionism, Power and Elites R — Mills, C. Wright. (1957). The Power Elite. Pp. 202-211 in Social Stratification: Class, Race, and Gender in Sociological Perspective, edited by David B. Grusky.  CO: Westview Press.

R – I –  The New York City Times Square Reader

OP — Yamokoski, Alexis and Joshua Kjerulf Dubrow.  2008.  “How Do Elites Define Influence?  Personality and Respect as Sources of Social Power.” Sociological Focus 41(4): 319-336.

OP — Schwalbe et al. 2000.  “Generic Processes in the Reproduction of Inequality: An Interactionist Analysis.”  Social Forces, 79 (2): 419-452

Assignment 1 Due

October 28
Theories of Social Stratification, Part I: Social Change and Social Stratification R – Lenski, Gerhard.  1966.  Power and Privilege: A Theory of Social Stratification. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.  Chapters 1 and 3.
November 4
Theories of Social Stratification, Part II: Marx versus/& Weber R — McCullers, CarsonThe Heart is a Lonely Hunter.  Pp. 60 – 62; 166 – 173.

R — Weber, Max. 1946. “Class, Status, and Party” in Max Weber: Essays in Sociology. Edited by Hans Gerth and C. Wright Mills. New York: Oxford University Press

OP– Davis, Kingsley and Wilbert Moore. 1945. “Some Principles of Stratification.” American Sociological Review 10(2): 242-249. 

Assignment 2 Due

November 18
Social Class R – Chan, Tak Wing and John H. Goldthorpe.  2007.  “Class and Status: The Conceptual Distinction and its Empirical Relevance.”  American Sociological Review 72(4).  Pp. 512-515.

R — Slomczynski, Kazimierz M. and Joshua Kjerulf Dubrow.  “When and Where Class Matters for Political Outcomes: Class and Politics in a Cross-National Perspective.”  Forthcoming in Handbook of Politics (Springer).

7November 25 Social Mobility and Status Attainment R — Kerbo (2003) Chapter 12, “Social Mobility: Class Ascription and Achievement.”  Read sections on Social Mobility

OP – Hauser, Robert M. and John Robert Warren.  2003.  “Socioeconomic Indexes for Occupations: A Review, Update, and Critique.” 

December 2
Term Paper and Exam Preparation Independent preparation for the term paper and the exam.  Class will not formally meet.
December 9
MID-TERM EXAM Exam on Theoretical and Empirical Research in Social Class and Social Mobility
December 16
Women & Political Inequality R — Paxton P, Hughes MM, Green JL. 2006. “The international women’s movement and women’s political representation, 1893–2003.” American Sociological Review 71: 898–920.

OP —  Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Women in Politics [website]

OP – International IDEA Women in Politics [website]

January 6
Race and Ethnicity R – I – Feagin, Joe.  1991.  “The Continuing Significance of Race: Antiblack Discrimination in Public Places.” American Sociological Review 56: 101-116.

R —  Obama, Barack.  1995.  Dreams from My Father. Chapter 4.Assignment 3 Due

OP – I — Obama, Barack.  Speech on Race.  Philadelphia, March 2008.

Social Stratification and the Family R – Lareau, Annette.  2003.  “Unequal Childhoods: Class, Race and Family Life.”

OP — Rainwater, Lee and Timothy M. Smeeding.  2003.  Chapter 2 in Poor Kids in a Rich Country: America’s Children in Comparative Perspective.  Russel Sage Foundation: New York.

January 20
Intersectionality and Disadvantage R – I – McCall, Leslie.  2005.  “The Complexity of Intersectionality.”  Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 30(3): 1771 – 1800.

OP – I – Dubrow, Joshua Kjerulf.  2008.  “How Can We Account for Intersectionality in Quantitative Analysis of Survey Data?  Empirical Illustration of Central and Eastern Europe.”  ASK: Society, Research, Methods 17: 85-102.  A version is available online. 

January 27
End Term paper Due

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