Social Work | Selected Topics in Social Work: Poverty in the United States
S300 | 11783 | Ritter

A major purpose of this course is to examine the nature of poverty,
both rural and urban, in the United States: its history, extent,
causes, and effects on individual development. We will also examine
various policies and programs that have been designed to alleviate
poverty, and the effects and consequences of these efforts.  Students
will become critical consumers of information (from the media,
research, etc.) related to poverty, and take the knowledge learned in
the course and apply it to related issues in their own communities,
either as helping professionals or citizens. The course will emphasize
class discussion and small group activities (poverty simulations,
developing political strategies, etc). Readings for the class will
consist of excerpts from books that are first-person accounts of
poverty, journal articles, policy briefs, and other contemporary
materials. We will also view pieces of news shows, documentaries, and
films in order to understand how both mass and popular media treat the
issue of poverty, and how this treatment shapes (and is shaped by)
civic and government response to the issue.