Syllabus 2011 – 2012


University of Warsaw

Winter Semester 2011-2012

Social Stratification and Mobility

Instructor:                   Dr. Joshua Kjerulf Dubrow

Date and Time:           Tuesdays, 18:00 – 20:00

Place:                          Wydzial Filozofii I Socjologii – Instytut Socjologii, 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.  We will explore these subjects within comparative and historical frameworks.  


Grades will be based on the following:

Assignments (40%): are four short papers (10% each, 2 pages each) based on readings and lectures.

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

Class participation (30%):  Students are expected to discuss all of the assigned readings on the due date and to participate in in-class projects.

Policies on Attendance and Late Materials

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, computer or affiliated electronic device issues of any kind are only accepted at my discretion.  

Course Outline and Course Readings 

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.





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 Perspectiveedited by David B. Grusky.  CO: Westview Press.Basic Concepts in Social Stratification and Mobility hand-out available on the course website. 


Is Social Stratification Inevitable?

Part 1:

Theories of Weber and Marx

R — McCullers, Carson.  The 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 PressOP– Davis, Kingsley and Wilbert Moore. 1945. “Some Principles of Stratification.” American Sociological Review 10(2): 242-249.


Is Social Stratification Inevitable?

Part 2:

Stratification in Preindustrial Societies

TBAOP – Lenski, Gerhard.  1966.  Power and Privilege: A Theory of Social Stratification. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.  Chapters 1 and 3.


Is Social Stratification Inevitable?

Part 3:

The Digital Divide

R — Barlow, John Perry.  A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace.See also “Imagining the Internet”

R — Pew Internet Survey: The Digital Revolution and Higher Education

OP — Pew Internet Survey: College Students and Technology 

OP — Pew Internet Survey: Wikipedia, Past and Present

R — Evgeny Morozov: How the Net aids dictatorships



Is Social Stratification Inevitable?

Part 4:

Women’s Political Inequality in Postwar Eastern Europe

R — Paxton, Pamela, Sheri Kunovich, and Melanie Hughes. 2007. “Gender in Politics.” Annual Review of Sociology33: 263–284.

R – Dubrow, Joshua Kjerulf. 2011.  “The Importance of Party Ideology:  Explaining Parliamentarian Support for Political Party Gender Quotas in Eastern Europe.”  Party Politics17(5): 561-580.

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

OP – International IDEA Women in Politics [website] 


Does Social Class Matter?

R – Chan, Tak Wing and John H. Goldthorpe.  2007.  “Class and Status: The Conceptual Distinction and its Empirical Relevance.”  American Sociological Review72(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.”  in Handbook of Politics(Springer).


What Connects Social Origins to Social Destinations?

Part 1: Social Mobility and Status Attainment

R — Kerbo (2003) Chapter 12, “Social Mobility: Class Ascription and Achievement.”OP – Hauser, Robert M. and John Robert Warren.  2003.  “Socioeconomic Indexes for Occupations: A Review, Update, and Critique.” 


What Connects Social Origins to Social Destinations?

Part 2: Childhood Socialization

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.


Why Poverty?  And Can It Be Eliminated?

R– Selected chapters from Bornstein, David.  2007.  How to Change the World: Social Entrepreneurs and the Power of New Ideas.  Oxford University Press.

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.

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


Power, Politics and Inequality

R — APSA Task Force on Inequality and American Democracy.  2004.  American Democracy in an Age of Rising

R — Dubrow, Joshua Kjerulf.  2010.  “Cross-National Measures of Political Inequality of Voice.”  ASK: Research and Methods19: 93-110.


Symbolic Interactionism and Inequality

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

R — Yamokoski, Alexis and Joshua Kjerulf Dubrow.  2008.  “How Do Elites Define Influence?  Personality and Respect as Sources of Social Power.” Sociological Focus41(4): 319-336.


Did the Election of Obama Herald a Post-Racial America?

R – I – Feagin, Joe.  1991.  “The Continuing Significance of Race: Antiblack Discrimination in Public Places.” American Sociological Review56: 101-116.

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

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


Intersectionality and Disadvantage

R – I – McCall, Leslie.  2005.  “The Complexity of Intersectionality.”  Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society30(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, Methods17: 85-102.  A version is available online.

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