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Systems of Inequality Syllabus
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intersectional analysis
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How to Cite

Strmic-Pawl, Hephzibah. 2012. “Systems of Inequality Syllabus”. TRAILS: Teaching Resources and Innovations Library for Sociology, November. Washington DC: American Sociological Association.


Thomas Jefferson wrote, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal," and yet over two hundred years later we are facing the gripping realities that society does not abide by this doctrine. We will study systemic and systematic inequality along class, race, and gender (to name a few) lines, exploring the barriers and/or...

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Subject Area(s):
Resource Type(s):
Class Level(s):
College 200
Class Size(s):

Usage Notes

This syllabus is intended for a lecture hall course with an attached discussion section. However, the readings and progression of the course could easily be transferred to a smaller seminar style class. It is intended for a semester long course, with a M/W or T/Th meeting schedule. The class lectures identify and describe the main concepts and give...

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Learning Goals and Assessments

Learning Goal(s):

  1. Apply foundational theories of stratification towards analyzing and grasping how current inequality operates and is maintained.
  2. Describe how systems of inequality, such as race, class, gender and sexuality, intersect and support one another – both on the macro and micro level.
  3. Understand how mobility is restrained for some and made easier for others, including a sophisticated comprehension of structure/agency and oppression/privilege.

Goal Assessment(s):

  1. A midterm and final exam with multiple choice and essay questions to test for definitions, concepts, and connections
  2. NPR papers make theories and readings applicable to current events. Assessment is made on how the well the student made connections between the NPR story and the readings/lecture as well as style of class presentation.
  3. The mobility paper encourages an analytical lens of one’s own privileges and constraints. Successful papers grasp theoretical concepts and are self-reflective and insightful using the readings and lectures to guide the analysis.

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