Show The Graduate Center Menu

Fall 2014 Course Offerings

 
 

Fall 2014 Course Offerings

  Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday
11:45 -1:45 Halle: Soc. 81900
Geographic Information System with MapInfo: Basic and Advanced Technique
(Qualify for Methods requirement)
Fernandes: Soc. 85600
Rethinking Neoliberalism

Turner: Soc.  84600
Citizenship & Human Rights  
Kasinitz: Soc. 72500
Race & Ethnicity
 
2:00-4:00 Lennon: Soc. 70000
Proseminar
Eisenstein: Soc.  80000
Cultural Sociology & Sociology of Culture
 
Katz Rothman: Soc. 82800  
Writing for Publication

Torpey: Soc. 70100
Development of Sociological Theory
(Theory I)
Porter: Soc.71500
Sociological Statistic I   
 
Paik: Soc.84505
Law & Society
Attewell/Battle: Soc. 75800
Sociology of Stratification & Inequality
 
See Also: DCP 70100. Introduction to Demography
4:15-6:15 Hirouchi: Soc. 81900
Advanced Methods of demographic Analysis
(Qualify for Methods requirement)
 
Mollenkopf: Soc. 82800
Urban Policy
Clough: Soc.  80000
Bodies, Media, & Sociality
 
Jasper: Soc.  84600
Social Movements
 
Luttrell: Soc. 83105
Critical Childhood, & Youth Studies
Epstein: Soc. 80000
Cultural Sociology and Sociology of Culture

Gornick: Soc. 85902 
Social Welfare Policy
Aronowitz: Soc.  84001
Race & Social Class in US History
6:30-8:30 Post: Soc.  80101
The Origins of Capitalism
  Hammond: Soc.  85909
Social Inequality in Latin America

Milanovic: Soc. 84600  
Income Inequality: From National to Global 

Bozorgmehr: Soc 82000
International Migration [25920]
 























































Prof. Stanley Aronowitz                  saronowitz@gc.cuny.edu
Soc. 84001 -  Race and Class in the History of the Americas {25344}
Thursdays, 4:15 – 6:15pm, 3 credits, Room TBA
 
The relation of race and class has had a turbulent history in the Americas. Economic and political structures in the United States the Caribbean and Latin America were crucially formed by slavery. Slavery became a legacy of capital accumulation, in the emergence of the industrial working class and of course the civil war and reconstruction.  The 19th and 20th century labor movements developed, in part, along race lines; racial formation , especially the US, the Caribbean and Brazil. Among the readings are DubBois Black Reconstruction;  Omi and Winant: Racial Formation; Nicholson: Selections from Labor’ s Story in the United States; Williams: Capitalism and Slavery, Freeman: Working Class New York; Aronowitz: How Class Works; and selections from works by Roediger, Ignatin and other writing on whiteness as an ideological category. Class presentations will address the work of Patterson’s Slavery and Social Death, Genovese Roll, Jordan Roll, Gutman The Black Family; Frazier Black Bourgeoisie and others.

Profs. Paul Attewell/Juan Battle    pattewell@gc.cuny.edu;jbattle@gc.cuny.edu
Soc. 75800 -  Sociology of Stratification & Inequality {25348}
Thursdays, 2-4pm, 3 credits, Room TBA
 
The sociology of inequality and stratification is a huge area. The principal focus of this course will be theoretical, discussing the conceptual basis of our understandings of stratification. It will provide an overview of competing perspectives and frameworks. Many of the core concepts of sociology are intended to describe or explain aspects of social inequality: social class and SES; upward and downward social mobility; discrimination in labor markets and firms; “winner take all” and “big fish in small pond” concepts; ideas of social exclusion & notions of an underclass; theories of prejudice, discrimination, and group conflict; ideas about the intersectionality of race, class and gender; theories of imperialism, underdevelopment and unequal exchange. Debates rage around many of these ideas, and in large part this course will provide an introduction to these concepts and controversies.
 
Prof. Mehdi Bozorgmehr     mbozorgmehr@gc.cuny.edu
Soc. 82800 – International Migration {25920}
Wednesdays, 6:30-8:30 PM, Room TBA, 3 credits
 
This course offers an interdisciplinary overview of the key current topics and issues in the burgeoning field of international migration. The field is unique in its interdisciplinary nature, stretching from history, anthropology, demography and economics, through political science, geography and sociology. Methodologically, it is also very eclectic, ranging from the use of quantitative data to ethnography and oral history of migrants. While the course will aspire to incorporate the experiences of major immigrant receiving countries around the world, the main comparative focus will be on Europe and North America, where the major theories and key concepts are most fully developed. The emphasis is on exploring both the theoretical debates in the field and the empirical data and case studies on which these debates hinge. Attention will be paid to detailed discussions of “classic” issues of immigration, such as assimilation, incorporation/integration, the labor market, race and ethnic relations, gender and the family, transnationalism, the second generation, the undocumented, and citizenship. Throughout, the course will take into account the way in which global cities, as contexts of reception, affect the immigrant experience, and in turn, are transformed by immigrants.

 
Prof. Patricia Ticineto Clough             pclough@gc.cuny.edu
Soc. 80000 - Bodies Media and Sociality {25327}                                                                                                       Tuesdays, 4:15-6 :15pm, Room TBA, 3 credits
Among media scholars especially those who have been categorized as new media or digital media scholars, there has been a reluctance to accept the category of new media and instead to profoundly rethink media (as well as communication and information) and to move media criticism beyond the categories of good and bad. While such an undertaking involves a critical engagement with media that is both archeological and genealogical, it also raises the question of the social. What is sociality given a rethinking of media? Bodies are a thread in an exploration of sociality as bodies change--actually and conceptually-- in relationship to different media technologies. In this sense, media are not only or primarily an epistemological matter but rather operate to produce ontological effects, opening the study of media to discussions about matter/energy, information/communication, representation/performance. The course will explore bodies and sociality by taking up the genealogy/archeology of media (text, sound, film and TV) while focusing on debates around biosciences/neurosciences; digitality and the screen, the platform, and the program; social media, governance and the derivative economy; the relation of affective capacity to gender, sexuality, race and ethnicity; representation, big data, measure and method; subjectivity, objects, things and consciousness. As media has been defined in liberalism and neo-liberalism in terms of a certain configuration of state, economy and civil society—or what has been called the private and public spheres, rethinking media means rethinking this configuration and the effects of its various reconfigurations on sociality and the body.

Prof. Hester Eisenstein           hester1@prodigy.net
SOC.73200  Sociology of Gender {25367}
Tuesdays, 2-4 pm, Room TBA, 3 credits

 
In this course we look a range of issues in the sociology of gender.  To define this field briefly, the sociology of gender looks at the beliefs, interests and structures that tend to preserve the traditional relations between the sexes, and those which contest them.  Among other areas, the field considers the process of socialization into masculine and feminine roles in childhood, through education, and into the public worlds of work and politics.
In recent years sociological inquiry has moved beyond the original concept of “sex roles” to look at gendered structures in institutions, the significance of gender in politics, economics, and social movements, nationally and internationally, and the complex relationships among gender, race, and class.  What was seen as a “natural” and biologically based dichotomy of male/female has been questioned through the study of gender as performance, and the critical challenge to traditional femininity and masculinity from “queer” and transgendered folk.
My own research has focused on what we can term the political economy of gender, in relation to the changes within capitalism with the rise of neoliberalism over the past few decades. The topics covered in this course are a selection reflecting my interests, and should by no means be considered comprehensive. Therefore I include a list of alternative topics in this syllabus that students can pursue on their own, for their final research papers, and for future study.
The framework of this course is influenced by what I see as the political history of gender studies. The establishment of the category of sex and gender in the official canon of the profession of sociology is the outcome of a renewed wave of feminist activism that swept society, and therefore the academy. In the 1960s and 1970s, massive social movements for Black civil rights, women’s rights, ending the war in Vietnam, lesbian and gay rights, and environmentalism in the United States and internationally shook the economic and social status quo.  Today we are witnessing another wave of social movements across the globe, from the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt to Occupy Wall Street, and from Turkey to Brazil.
The passion and breadth of social movements can become ossified and de-politicized, as the ideas and issues are translated into formal academic inquiry.  I hope therefore in this course to convey the connections to politics and activism behind these topics, so as to keep the links between academic research and social change fresh and vibrant. Students are encouraged to pursue their own interests in the class, and to develop their own frameworks for research and activism.
 
Prof. Cynthia Fuchs Epstein                       cepstein@gc.cuny.edu
Soc. 80000 - Cultural Sociology and Sociology of Culture
{253324}
Wednesdays, 4:15 – 6:15pm, Room TBA, 3 credits
 
The theme of culture, and empirical work on culture, has grown in the last 20 years.
Although in the past Sociology of Culture has dealt with specific spheres such as art, film, fashion, music etc. more recent work focuses also on culture as embedded in social practices and technologies along with  symbolic and classificatory systems, repertoires of action, of contention, and webs of significance. Cultural structures are topics comprising the “cultural turn” in sociology.
 We shall read the work of scholars who have conceptualized these topics, sought research sites and methodologies for exploring them in such arenas as music, art, fashion, communications, celebrity culture, sexuality, gender  and politics. The work of such theorists and researchers as Jeffrey Alexander, Eviatar Zerubavel, Jerome Bruner, Clifford Geertz, Sherry Turkle, Ilana Gershon , Nina Eliasoph and Pierre Bourdieu will contribute to the analysis of substantive topics.Several guests will be invited to speak about their research and show videos and films.
Students are invited to explore areas of interest using sociological frameworks explored in the course such as computer games, You Tube presentations, Political rhetoric and other areas of interest.

Prof. Sujatha Fernandes                 sujathaf@yahoo.com   
Soc. 85600 – Rethinking Neoliberalism {25362}
Tuesdays, 11:45 – 1:45pm, Room TBA, 3credits
 
Neoliberalism is typically understood as a set of economic policies that attempt to privatize and deregulate the economy in order to promote free trade, foreign direct investment, and export oriented industrialization. This course seeks to explore the larger global trajectory of neoliberalism, situating it within evolving social and historical processes of late capitalism, and discussing the possibilities that it may make available for political action. We will also examine the transformations in governance, subjectivity, and power associated with neoliberalism. Drawing on sociological, anthropological, and historical approaches from diverse regional contexts including the United States , Latin America, Africa, and Asia , this course aims to provoke reflections about the multi-dimensional nature of neoliberalism.
 
The course will probe the ways in which citizenship, public space, and social movements have been reconfigured during the current neoliberal moment. What are the discourses and practices by which neoliberal rule is justified? How has neoliberalism altered the terrain in which social actors operate? What might a post-neoliberal world look like?
 
 
Prof. Janet Gornick              jgornick@gc.cuny.edu
Soc. 85902 - Social Welfare Policy {25366}
Wednesdays, 4:15 – 6:15pm, Room TBA, 3 credits
 
This course will examine social welfare policy in the United States, in both historical and cross-national perspective.
The course will begin with an overview of the development of social welfare policy in the U.S. We will focus on three important historical periods: the Progressive Era, the New Deal, and the War on Poverty. We will end the first section with a review of developments in the tumultuous 1990s.
Second, we will assess “the big picture” of the American welfare state, through the lens of its underlying institutional framework.
Third, we will survey selected areas of social policy provision, such as anti-poverty policy; health policy; employment-related social policy; social policy for the elderly; and/or work-family reconciliation policies. In each of these policy areas, we will assess current provisions and evaluate contemporary debates, integrating political, sociological, and economic perspectives.
In the final section of the course, we will assess selected social policy lessons from Europe, where provisions are typically much more extensive than they are in the U.S.  We will close by analyzing the question of "American exceptionalism" in social policy, and will assess a range of institutional, ideological, and demographic explanations.

Prof. David Halle      dhalle@gmail.com
Soc. 81900 – Geographic Information System with mapinfo {25334}
Mondays, 11:45 – 1:45pm, Room TBA, 3 credits
 
An introduction to computer mapping (Geographic Information Systems), using the software Mapinfo.  We will learn the techniques of computer mapping using 2010 census data (and more recent) to analyze the latest developments in New York and Los Angeles, both the cities and regions. We will also analyze  2000, 1990, 1980 and 1970 census data for New York and Los Angeles. We will map such topics as  the distribution of income, occupations, racial and ethnic groups, and foreign-born.  We will also map crime at the level of the police precinct, political data including mayoral and congressional elections, and  city and county boundaries. We will discuss such key topics as the decline of the classic “ghetto” and the Latinization of inner city neighborhoods, the movement of ethnic groups to the suburbs, gentrification, the 2007- financial crisis including the housing bubble, the ecology and “green” movement, attempts to reform the school systems,  flooding including Hurricane Sandy, and de Blasio’s impact and policies.  Students are encouraged to bring to class, and develop during the semester, any ongoing research they are doing.

Prof. Jack Hammond                        jhammond@hunter.cuny.edu
Sociology 85909-  Social Inequality in Latin America {25351} 
Wednesday 6:30-8:30, Room TBA, 3 credits


Historically, Latin American has been the world region with the greatest degree of inequality.  Remarkably, in the last decade the continent has made remarkable strides to reduce that inequality.  This course will examine the historical record of inequality and the recent apparent reversal.  We will begin with the colonial heritage and examine the developmental phases Latin American countries have traversed (with variations): primary product export; import substitution industrialization; authoritarianism; neoliberalism and globalization. We will look at the consequences of each of these for social inequality.  Then we will examine the recent changes and their causes, evaluating the relative contributions of economic growth, politically progressive governments, targeted redistribution policies, and policies to improve the distribution of opportunities and human capital.
Course requirements:
    1. Regular attendance and participation in discussion
    2. Each week, post on Blackboard a short essay based on that week's required reading, concluding with an analytical question which will be presented to the class for discussion.
    3. Research paper: Each student's research must be presented orally in the last two weeks of class and then in writing.
Strongly recommended advance reading: Moore, Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy

Prof.  Shiro Horiuchi                       shoriuch@hunter.cuny.edu
Soc. 81900 - Advanced Methods of Demographic Analysis {25337}.
Mondays, 4:15 pm – 6:15 pm, 3 credits, Room TBA
In this course we study advanced methods of demographic analysis. They are widely used in research on mortality, fertility, nuptiality, migration, population composition, and other demographic processes, but many of them can also be applied to a broad range of topics in other areas of social sciences and biomedical sciences. Those methods include event history analysis (nonparametric, semi-parametric and parametric versions; continuous and discrete time versions; fixed and time-dependent covariate versions), life table techniques (single-decrement, multiple-decrement and multi-state), decomposition analysis, age-period-cohort models, methods for analyzing multiple time trends (e.g., Lee-Carter model), Lexis map analysis, smoothing and non-parametric regression techniques, and mathematical models of population dynamics.  Computer exercises are included.
Prerequisites:  Introductory statistics including multiple linear regression; DCP 70200 desirable but not required.
 
Prof. James M. Jasper                       jjasper@gc.cuny.edu
Soc. 84600 – Introduction to Social Movements {25360}
Tuesdays, 4.15-6.15, Room TBA, 3 credits
 
This course reviews the history and current directions of research and theory about social movements. I hope to show some pitfalls of research guided by grand metaphors, theories of history, or normative agendas, compared to research guided by modest micro-level mechanisms. One aim of the course is to enable students to begin their own research on protest and movements.
 
Prof. Philip Kasinitz                        pkasinitz@gc.cuny.edu
Soc. 72500 - Race and Ethnicity{25340}
Wednesdays, 11:45 – 1:45pm, Room TBA, 3 credits
 
Race and ethnicity are constantly changing and evolving, yet they remain among the most persistent forms of structured social inequality. Focusing on the United States, but with reference to other multi-ethnic societies, we will examine the evolution of the concept of “race” and its relationship to racism; the heritage of slavery and segregation and their impacts contemporary life; the origins of modern racism and anti-Semitism, “scientific racism, ” why and how the salience of ethnic identity increases and decreases at particular historical moments, the relationship of race and ethnicity to migration, nationalism, colonialism and class, the growth of the  Latino and Asian American populations and  what  that  means for American notions  of race, etc.  In addition we will take an in depth look at how racial boundaries change, competition and cooperation between ethnic groups in contemporary America and how “racialized” minorities are (or are not) incorporated into different societies. Readings will include works by W.E.B. Dubois; Jean Paul Sartre, George Fredrickson; William Julius Wilson, David Roediger, John Iceland, Richard  Alba, Tariq Madood, Alejandro Portes, Stephen Steinberg and Mary Waters.

 
Prof. Barbara Katz Rothman                   bkatzrothman@gc.cuny.edu
Soc. 85600 - Writing for Publication {25368}
Tuesdays 2 - 4pm.room TBA, 3 credits
 
This course will have two components: one is a scholarly sociological study of publishing itself: an examination of the worlds and institutions of knowledge-production and dissemination.  We will consider book publishing, following and more recent changes in the world of book publishing.  Similarly, we will explore the contemporary issues in journal publication, including issues of copyright and new technologies, current debates and concerns about journal costs and distribution, and ongoing discussions of ethical concerns in academic publishing in an increasingly commercialized world.
 
The second component is more pragmatic, in which students take their own work thru the appropriate and necessary steps for publication in a variety of media.  Topics we will cover include how to do book reviews, how to prepare a paper for presentation and then for publication, how to participate in anthology writing, how to prepare a book proposal, and how to construct a book out of a dissertation.  Each student will (at minimum) and with the support of the instructor and class, write and publish two book reviews; submit papers to three academic meetings; prepare one journal article for submission; prepare and submit one article to a non-academic publication such as an op-ed article; and prepare a (draft) book proposal based on dissertation work.
 
Registration will be in the fall semester; with the clear and absolute understanding that students are committing to meeting every other week for the entire academic year.  Because of the exigencies of publication timetables and the work involved, a single semester is not adequate.
 
Course is limited to 12 students, with permission of the instructor.
 
Prof. Mary Clare Lennon       mlennon@gc.cuny.edu
Soc. 70000 - Proseminar {25320}
Mondays, 2-4pm, Room TBA, 3Credits   
 
This course introduces students to some of the major elements involved in the training of scholars in the field of sociology.  We will explore the norms that govern the profession, the aims of sociological research, the process of grant-seeking and grant-writing, the qualities of a good dissertation, expectations about publication, the process of approval for research on human subjects, and other aspects of professional socialization.  In an effort to familiarize you with the kinds of scholarly work and teaching that are done by faculty at CUNY, we will also have a number of presentations by members of the CUNY Sociology faculty. 
 
Prof. Wendy Luttrell                       wluttrell@gc.cuny.edu
Soc. 83105 - Critical Childhood and Youth Studies{25369}
Tuesday 4:15-6:15pm, Room TBA, 3 credits
 
Critical Childhood Studies (sometimes called the “new sociology of childhood” understands youth as social actors who are “central informants of their own life worlds” (Christensen and James 2008). Not incomplete adults but human subjects who have insights, they contribute to as well as are shaped by social institutions.  This course will examine the basic tenants of critical childhood studies, including the ways in which it contests the traditional socialization model, which emphasizes children as passive recipients of a unidirectional socialization process.  A critical childhood studies approach understands child-adult relationships as existing within power relations-- therefore, Waksler’s (1996) argument that “children do not have the power to correct adults’ misunderstandings of them.” The new sociology of childhood critiques the “old” sociology of childhood that ignored the significant effects of adults always speaking for children, the ease of which “effectively silenced” children. Rejecting neither the idea that children develop nor that children are dependent on adults, the new sociology of childhood suggests, rather, that thinking of the relationship in terms of interdependence rather than deficiency, and acknowledging the lack of authority that children have in their relationships with adults, recognizes the differences in power relations and works toward understanding agency. As Lee (2001) asks, what does it mean to take children seriously? The dangers of romanticizing children’s voice will be considered as well.  How does the new sociology of childhood intersect with critical theory, disability studies, feminist theory and critical race theory? 
 
This class will examine the conceptual framework of the new sociology of childhood (and youth), and study its politics and implications for research.  It will imagine generational difference as a border, and look at research that enables us to understand children and youth relative to power relations, authority, culture, education and punishment.  It will also look at adults with whom children are in relationship, including parents, teachers, police, salespeople, and counselors, as well as the institutions, discourses and systems that shape how childhood is experienced.  We will ask methodological questions about how to study children from the standpoint of the new sociology of childhood.

Professor Branko Milanovic    bmilanovic@gc.cuny.edu
Soc. 84600 – Income Inequality: From National to Global {25354}
Wednesdays, 6:30-8:30 PM, Room TBA, 3 credits
 
The objective of this course will be to analyze inequality from an inter-disciplinary perspective. The course will first review varied approaches that aim to explain the movement of within-national inequalities: from Pareto's "iron law" (which was anything but "iron"), Kuznets' inverted U-curve,  and Tinbergen's "race" between education and technology, to Piketty's "political theory of income concentration".  The second part of the course will assess the evolution of income differences across countries in the world, and in particular between developed and developing countries. In the third part, these two types of inequalities (i.e., within-national and cross-national) will be considered jointly as global inequality. We will review the evolution of global inequality from the Industrial Revolution until today, and see how the changing composition and magnitude of global inequality affects politics, economics, and  migration. The class will end with an overview of positions of various political philosophers  (e.g., Rawls, Pogge, Nagel) about  global inequality. The course will be fairly empirical but does not require any prior specific knowledge of the issues nor techniques. It is recommended for students of economics, political science, and sociology.


Prof.  John Mollenkopf                    jmollenkopf@gc.cuny.edu
Soc. 82800 – Urban Policy {25729}
Mondays, 4:15 pm – 6:15 pm, 3 credits, Room TBA

Cities in general and New York in particular have always been characterized by substantial inequalities in terms of class, race, gender, and space or place. Urban inequality has waned at certain points only to wax once more in the current period. This seminar will use New York City as a case study to understand the forces driving the changing patterns of urban inequality, the political responses to these trends, and the policy initiatives being advanced to reduce inequalities and promote upward mobility. Particular emphasis will be given to the proposals under consideration by the new mayoral administration in New York City in 2014 and beyond. Students will review empirical analyses of these trends, consider alternative explanations for them, and examine and interrogate proposed policy responses. Each member of the class will pick one policy are to investigate. In addition to readings, discussion, and research, the seminar will draw on policy activists inside and outside the new administration.
 
Prof. Leslie Paik      
Lpaik@ccny.cuny.edu
Soc. 84505 - Law and Society
Wednesdays 2-4 pm, Room TBA, 3credits
 
This seminar examines the relationship between law and society, considering how the law shapes social life and how social change affects law and legal institutions. The seminar takes a “law in action” approach to studying law that focuses on the social, political, economic, and cultural contexts of law. We first will discuss readings about classic sociological theories of law; peoples’ perceptions and experiences of the law (e.g., legal consciousness, procedural justice) and the limits and power to “rights” discourses to lead to social change. We then will turn to consider how the law has defined and evolved from our experiences and understandings of race, immigration, gender and family in the US. This seminar will provide a broad socio-legal foundation for students working on those substantive topics, as well as for those interested in social control, social movements and social change.

Prof Porter
Soc.71500
- Sociological Statistic I  
Wednesdays 2-4 pm, Room TBA, 3 credits

The broad focus of this course will be on the application of introductory statistics within the realm of sociological research.  Topics covered include measures of central tendency, measures of variability, probability and the normal curve, samples and populations, hypothesis testing, ANOVA, correlation, and an introduction to linear regression analysis.

 
Prof. Charles Post               
cpost@bmcc.cuny.edu
Soc. 80101 - The Origins of Capitalism: Comparative-Historical Sociology{25635}
Mondays, 6:30 – 8:30pmp.m. Room TBA, 3credits
 
This course will serve as an introduction to one of the central themes of comparative-historical sociology, the origins of capitalism. We will begin with the classical sociological and historical discussions of the origins of capitalism (Smith, Marx, Weber, Polanyi), before moving to examining the ongoing debates on the ‘first transition’ in seventeenth century England. The course will proceed with a discussion of the ‘later transitions’ in the United States, Germany, Italy, France and Japan, before concluding with an overview of discussions of the problems of capitalist development (and non-development) in the global South. Among the themes addressed will be the respective role of markets, social conflict and states in the origins of capitalism. Readings will be substantial, varied in perspectives and range widely over time and place.
 
Prof. John Torpey                 jtorpey@gc.cuny.edu
Soc. 70100 – Development of Sociological theory {25322}
Tuesdays, 2-4pm, Room TBA. 3 credits
 
This course introduces students to some of the foundational works in the sociological tradition.  The emphasis here is not on textual exegesis (though we will inevitably do some of that), nor on intellectual history (though that is equally unavoidable), but on the ways in which these writers speak directly to our contemporary predicament.  Our principal task in this course is to explore the intellectual orientations of these seminal thinkers.  We will concentrate on issues such as the following: What (if anything) is society?  What is the relationship between the individual and society?  What makes for a stable society, and what destabilizes society?  In what ways has social life varied according to time and place?  How have societies changed over time?  What (if anything) distinguishes “modern” society – in order to explain which the discipline of sociology came into being – from its predecessors?

Prof. Bryan Turner              bturner@gc.cuny.edu
Soc. 84600 – Citizenship and Human Rights {25357}
Tuesdays, 11:45 – 1:45 pm, Room TBA, 3 credits
 
The course is divided in two sections, starting with social citizenship and its critics, and then moving on to human rights and its critics. We finish with some consideration as to whether these two different systems of rights could be combined. Citizenship as a principle of inclusion is criticised because it cannot cope adequately with globalization (including migration, refugees, asylum seekers and so forth). Some sociologists believe we can modify citizenship to develop new forms:  flexible citizenship or semi-citizenship or post-national citizenship. Human rights are seen to be more relevant to a global world, but critics note that they are enforced by states, and require the resources made available by states. The course examines the apparent decline of welfare states, citizenship and growing inequality in income and wealth within neo-liberal economics and neo-conservative politics. We also consider differences between the American tradition of civil liberties and European welfare states. Other topics include aboriginal or first nation rights, migration, documentation and citizenship, ageing and health rights. We look at different forms of citizenship in Latin America, Asia and the Middle East. The course concludes by considering the contemporary limitations of both citizenship and human rights traditions with respect to authoritarianism, genocide, and new wars.
Assessment
Two book reviews each 800 words by mid-semester
Long essay end of semester 8000 words
Seminars
Section 1: social citizenship
Overview of differences between citizenship and human rights
T.H.Marshall’s theory of citizenship
Criticisms of Marshall – Michael Mann
New theories of citizenship – flexible, semi, post-national
Citizenship in the USA –work, race, and  inequality
Citizenship in the USA –borders, identity and migration debates
The end of social rights, the economic crisis and the financialization of capitalism?
Section 2: human rights
The origins of human rights: a sociology of human rights?
Comparative Rights Regimes: Middle East and North Africa
Comparative Rights Regimes: Asia
Comparative Rights Regimes: :Latin America
Human vulnerability: gender, technology, the life extension project, the post-body
Environmentalism, green citizenship, indigenous rights, animal rights
Conclusion: citizenship versus human rights?
Weekly Reading
I shall circulate papers and articles for the majority of seminars to overcome the shortage of works in libraries.
General Reference Works
David Brunsma et al (2013) Handbook of Sociology and Human Rights
Thomas Cushman (ed) (2012) Routledge Handbook of Human Rights
Engin Isin and Bryan S. Turner (eds) (2002) Handbook of Citizenship Studies
Engin Isin, Peter Nyers and Bryan Turner (eds) (2008) Citizenship between Past and Present
Geoffrey Robertson (1999) Crimes against Humanity
Dinah Shelton (ed) (2013) The Oxford Handbook of International Human Rights Law
Bryan S. Turner (ed) (1993) Citizenship and Social Theory