Sociology | Advanced Topics
S660 | 4125 | Steensland

Topic:  Social Policy

This course provides an overview of sociological approaches to
understanding aspects of the policy making process, including
problem definition, agenda setting, political deliberation,
legislative passage, and spending levels. The substantive materials
draw largely from studies of anti-poverty and health policy—two
central components of the modern welfare state—mainly within the
U.S. but also incorporating cross-national comparisons. After
discussing the historical and philosophical foundations of the
welfare state, we will cover approaches emphasizing class- based
resources, institutional configurations, social movements, policy
experts, policy feedbacks, public opinion, gender, race, and
culture. We will work toward a synthetic approach to understanding
social policy outcomes that integrates these emphases on actors,
institutions, and ideas.