Social Work | Selected Topics in Social Work: Poverty in the U.S.
S300 | 11123 | Quinn


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.