GENED 1092: American Society and Public Policy

GENED 1092: American Society and Public Policy

How do patterns of American economic, political and social inequality shape our policy responses to working families, poverty, COVID 19, and immigration?

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SYLLABUS
Version 11-30
[added new assignment due Tue 12/01 by 4:00pm EST]

DOWNLOADABLE:
GenEd 1092 Syllabus.11-30.docx
GenEd 1092 Syllabus.11-30.pdf


PASTED:
GENED 1092: AMERICAN SOCIETY AND PUBLIC POLICY

General Education category: Histories, Societies, Individuals
Instructors:  Theda Skocpol (Government) and Mary Waters (Sociology)
Fall 2020, Mondays and Wednesdays, 1:30-2:45pm
All course meetings to be held online via Zoom link from course website.
URL: https://canvas.harvard.edu/courses/77518

COURSE DESCRIPTION AND OBJECTIVES

TEACHING STAFF

COURSE STRUCTURE AND REQUIREMENTS

ACCESS TO READINGS [updated 9/21]

COURSE OUTLINE AND READING LIST

UNIT I.  SHIFTING INEQUALITIES IN AMERICAN SOCIETY

Lecture 1 (Wed. 9/02):       1) Introduction to the Course (Skocpol and Waters). 
2) Demographic Changes in the United States (Waters).
09.02.Lecture01Slides.IntroANDDemographicChanges.pptx
09.02.Lecture01Slides.IntroANDDemographicChanges.pdf

Discussion SectionsIntroductions first, then discuss neighborhood data on segregation and social mobility.

Readings:  
From Prof. Waters, 09/01:  “I am making a change in the readings for the class. There are four articles assigned for this week. They all might be useful for your papers in the future, but for now the only article that you should read before section is the one by Craig, Rucker and Richeson. The other material will be covered this week and next in lecture and can be considered optional reading.”


NO CLASS (Mon. 9/07): 
University Holiday:  Labor Day.

Lecture 2 (Wed. 9/09):  Income Inequality and Declining Social Mobility.  Neighborhoods. (Waters)
09.09.Lecture02Slides.IncomeInequalitySocialMobilityNeighborhoods.pptx
09.09.Lecture02Slides.IncomeInequalitySocialMobilityNeighborhoods.pdf

Discussion SectionsFinding data on Social Explorer and understanding local social mobility.

Readings:


Lecture 3 (Mon. 9/14)
:  Gender and Family Changes in the United States (Waters)
09.14.Lecture03Handout.RaceEthnicityCensus.pptx
09.14.Lecture03Handout.RaceEthnicityCensus.pdf
09.14.Lecture03Slides.GenderFamilyChangesinUnitedStates.pptx
09.14.Lecture03Slides.GenderFamilyChangesinUnitedStates.pdf

Lecture 4 (Wed. 9/16):  Debates about the Causes and Consequences of Rising U.S. Economic Inequality (Skocpol)
09.16.Lecture04Slides.DebatesRisingU.S.EconomicInequality.pptx
09.16.Lecture04Slides.DebatesRisingU.S.EconomicInequality.pdf

Discussion SectionsWhy have economic inequalities increased, and does it matter?

Readings:

  • Jake Rosenfeld. What Unions No Longer Do. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2014. Online access via HOLLIS [fixed link 9/15] READ CHAPTERS 1-7. 
    9/15 update -- If you have trouble accessing online, here is a pdf of Chapters 1-7. 
    ROSENFELD.what-unions-no-longer-do.Chapters1-7.pdf
  • Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson. Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer -- and Turned Its Back on the Middle Class. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2010. Online access via HOLLIS record (limited).  READ CHAPTERS 1 AND 2.
    9/21 update -- If you have trouble accessing online, here is a pdf of Chapters 1-2.
    Hacker-Pierson.Winner-Take-All Politics.Ch01-02.pdf

 

DUE SUN. 9/20 by 5:00pm:  Short Writing Assignment No. 1.  Instructions [updated].
[Originally due Fri 9/18.]


UNIT II.  CHANGES IN AMERICAN DEMOCRACY

Lecture 5 (Mon. 9/21):       From Membership to Management in American Civic Life (Skocpol)
09.21.Lecture05Handout.USCivicHistory.pptx
09.21.Lecture05Handout.USCivicHistory.pdf
09.21.Lecture05Slides.FromMembershipToManagementInAmerCivicLife.pptx
09.21.Lecture05Slides.FromMembershipToManagementInAmerCivicLife.pdf

Lecture 6 (Wed. 9/23):       Voters, Movements, and Money in U.S. Elections (Skocpol)
Use these:
09.23.Lecture06Slides.VotersMovementsMoneyU.S.Elections.updated.pptx
09.23.Lecture06Slides.VotersMovementsMoneyU.S.Elections.updated.pdf
Don't use these, missing dates on one slide:
09.23.Lecture06Slides.VotersMovementsMoneyU.S.Elections.pptx
09.23.Lecture06Slides.VotersMovementsMoneyU.S.Elections.pdf

Discussion Sections:         How have U.S. civic life and electoral democracy recently changed?

Readings [UPDATED 9/21]:


Lecture 7 (Mon. 9/28)
:       From the Tea Party to the Anti-Trump Resistance and the Black Lives Matter Protests (Skocpol)
09.28.Lecture07Slides.TeaPartyAntiTrumpResistanceBlackLivesMatter.pptx
09.28.Lecture07Slides.TeaPartyAntiTrumpResistanceBlackLivesMatter.pdf

Lecture 8 (Wed. 9/30):       The Future of American Democracy (Guest Lecturer)
E. J. DIONNE. Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution. Visiting Professor in Religion and Political Culture, Harvard Divinity School.

Discussion Sections:         Why is U.S. politics so polarized and can that change?

Readings [UPDATED 9/30]:

 

DUE TUE. 10/06 by 11:59pm:  Part 1 of Short Writing Assignment No. 2.  Instructions. [updated 9/23]

 

UNIT III.  U.S. SOCIAL POLICY: OPPORTUNITY, SECURITY, INEQUALITY

Lecture 9 (Mon. 10/05):     The Development of U.S. Social Policies (Skocpol)
10.05.Lecture09Slides.DevelopmentOfU.S.SocialPolicies.pptx
10.05.Lecture09Slides.DevelopmentOfU.S.SocialPolicies.pdf

Lecture 10 (Wed. 10/07):   Policy Responses to Poverty (Waters)
10.07.Lecture10Slides.PolicyResponsesToPoverty.pptx
10.07.Lecture10Slides.PolicyResponsesToPoverty.pdf

Discussion Sections:         How and why is the U.S. welfare state distinctive? 

Readings:

 

DUE SUN. 10/11 by 11:59pm:  Part 2 of Short Writing Assignment No. 2.  Instructions. [updated 9/23]


NO CLASS (Mon. 10/12)
:  University Holiday:  Indigenous Peoples’ Day (City of Cambridge); Columbus Day (Federal).

Lecture 11 (Wed. 10/14):   Conflicts about Health Reform and Supports for Working Families (Skocpol)
10.14.Lecture11Slides.ConflictsAboutHealthReformAndSupportsForWorkingFamilies.pptx
10.14.Lecture11Slides.ConflictsAboutHealthReformAndSupportsForWorkingFamilies.pdf
Recommended: The following additional slides from Kaiser Family Foundation give a side-by-side matchup of presidential candidates' policy stances on 12 health care issues, ranging from Covid-19 Response to Prescription Drug Responses to Lowering Health Care Costs.
10.14.Lecture11MoreInfoSlides.KFF-Slideshow-Health-Care-and-the-2020-Presidential-Election.pptx
10.14.Lecture11MoreInfoSlides.KFF-Slideshow-Health-Care-and-the-2020-Presidential-Election.pdf

Discussion Sections:         Can U.S. social policies meet the needs of today’s working families? 

Readings:


UNIT IV.  THE UNITED STATES AND THE COVID PANDEMIC CRISIS

Lecture 12 (Mon. 10/19):   Introduction to COVID (Waters)
10.19.Lecture12Slides.Introduction to COVID.pptx
10.19.Lecture12Slides.Introduction to COVID.pdf

Lecture 13 (Wed. 10/21):   The Covid-19 Pandemic in Perspective (Guest Lecturer)
ALLAN BRANDT.  Professor of the History of Science and Amalie Moses Kass Professor of the History of Medicine at Harvard.
10.21.Lecture13Slides.Brandt.Covid-19PandemicInPerspective.pptx
10.21.Lecture13Slides.Brandt.Covid-19PandemicInPerspective.pdf

Discussion Sections:         How is the current pandemic similar or different from previous pandemics?

Readings:

DUE NEW SATURDAY 10/31 (new due date) by 11:59pm:  Short Writing Assignment No. 3.  Instructions[updated 10/30]


Lecture 14 (Mon. 10/26):   Making Sense of U.S. COVID Responses (Skocpol) 
10.26.Lecture14Slides.MakingSenseOfUSCOVIDResponses.pptx
10.26.Lecture14Slides.MakingSenseOfUSCOVIDResponses.pdf

Lecture 15 (Wed. 10/28):   The Pandemic and America’s Economic Future  (Guest Lecturer) [new date, was originally on 11/02]
JASON FURMAN.  Professor of the Practice of Economic Policy, Harvard Kennedy School.
10.28.Lecture15Slides.Furman.PandemicAndAmericasEconomicFuture.pptx
10.28.Lecture15Slides.Furman.PandemicAndAmericasEconomicFuture.pdf

Discussion Sections:         Why has the United States (and particular parts of it) struggled to limit COVID cases and deaths?

Readings: [updated 10/13]

 

*NO LECTURE (16)* on Mon. 11/02 [updated on 9/02]

  • Lecture cancelled to allow students to participate in election activities if they choose.
  • Everyone should observe the election end-stages in their area to prepare for Wed. 11/04 class discussion and section discussions.

Lecture 17 (Wed. 11/04):  November 3 Aftermath – What Next? (Skocpol and Waters)  

Discussion SectionsDiscuss the election process and outcomes so far in students’ home states or perspectives from their countries abroad.

Readings

  • Watch and read coverage of the 2020 election.
  • Everyone should observe the election end-stages in their area to prepare for Wed. 11/04 class discussion and section discussions. 


UNIT V.  IMMIGRATION AND CITIZENSHIP

Lecture 18 (Mon. 11/09):   Regulating Immigration: Development of Policy and Laws (Waters)
11.09.Lecture18Slides.RegulatingImmigration-DevelopmentOfPolicyAndLaws.pptx
11.09.Lecture18Slides.RegulatingImmigration-DevelopmentOfPolicyAndLaws.pdf

Lecture 19 (Wed. 11/11):   How Immigration Law Currently Works (or Does Not Work) (Waters).  Classes held on Veterans Day holiday.
11.11.Lecture19Slides.HowImmigrationLawCurrentlyWorks-OrDoesNotWork.pptx
11.11.Lecture19Slides.HowImmigrationLawCurrentlyWorks-OrDoesNotWork.pdf

Discussion Sections:         Can and should laws effectively limit immigration to the U.S.?

Readings:

  • Joseph Carens. “Aliens and Citizens: The Case for Open Borders.” The Review of Politics 49(2) (Spring 1987): 251-273. 
  • Douglas S. Massey, Jorge Durand, and Karen A. Pren. “Why Border Enforcement Backfired.” American Journal of Sociology 121(5) (March 2016): 1557-1600
  • David FitzGerald and David Cook Martin. “The United States: Paragon of Liberal Democracy and Racism,“ Chapter 3 in Culling the Masses: The Democratic Origins of Racist Immigration Policy in the Americas (pp. 82-140). Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2014.  Online access via HOLLIS record.
  • American Immigration Council. Fact Sheet on “How the United States Immigration System Works.” August 12, 2016. americanimmigrationcouncil.org. 
  • American Immigration Council. Fact Sheet on “Asylum in the United States.” May 14, 2018. americanimmigrationcouncil.org.


Lecture 20 (Mon. 11/16)
:   Undocumented Immigrants, Dreamers, Deportation (Waters) 
11.16.Lecture20Slides.UndocumentedImmigrantsDreamersDeportation.pptx
11.16.Lecture20Slides.UndocumentedImmigrantsDreamersDeportation.pdf

Lecture 21 (Wed. 11/18):   Race and Legal Status (Waters)
11.18.Lecture21Slides.RaceAndLegalStatus.pptx
11.18.Lecture21Slides.RaceAndLegalStatus.pdf

Discussion Sections:         How do legal status and race affect the integration of immigrants and their children?

Readings:

 

DUE MON. 11/23 by 11:59pm:  Short Writing Assignment No. 4.  Instructions.

 

MOVE OUT -- Sun. 11/22 by 5:00pm.  Students living on campus must vacate campus by 5:00pm on Sunday, November 22.  


Lecture 22 (Mon. 11/23)
:   Integration of Immigrants and Their Children (Waters) 
11.23.Lecture22Slides.IntegrationOfImmigrantsAndTheirChildren.pdf
11.23.Lecture22Slides.IntegrationOfImmigrantsAndTheirChildren.pptx


NO CLASS (Wed. 11/25)
:  Thanksgiving recess (Wed.-Sun., 11/25-29)

NO SECTIONS:                  Thanksgiving recess (Wed.-Sun., 11/25-29)

Readings:


Lecture 23 (Mon. 11/30)
NEW (as of 11/30) -- Final Lecture on Immigration (Waters).  [Originally: Future of American Public Policy (Skocpol and Waters)]
11.30.Lecture23Slides.MoreOnImmigration.pptx
11.30.Lecture23Slides.MoreOnImmigration.pdf
Added 12/03: Here is a link to the Frameworks Institute that Professor Waters mentioned in class on Monday.  https://www.frameworksinstitute.org/.  This is the institute that helps communicate research findings more effectively to a wider public.

NEW -- DUE TUE. 12/01 by 4:00pm EST:
Submit a topic you'd like discussed during Wed 12/02 final lecture class session.  Instructions.


Lecture 24 (Wed. 12/02)
:   NEW (as of 11/30): Course Wrap-Up (Future of American Public Policy) and Class Discussion.  Moderated by TFs.
[Originally: Course Wrap-Up and Class Discussion (Skocpol and Waters)]

Discussion Sections:         Course review and discuss immigration readings.

Readings:  For section discussion, review immigration readings from previous week. 

 

THE COURSE FINAL ASSIGNMENT IS DUE TO THE COURSE WEBSITE BY 11:59PM ON FRIDAY, DECEMBER 11.

By Saturday, December 5 (or as soon as possible after the last class meeting), the final assignment will be posted on the course website.  Course staff will notify students as soon as it has been posted.  The completed final assignment must be submitted to the course website by11:59pm on Friday, December 11.  The final assignment will count for 20% of the final grade.  
There is NO three-hour final examination for this course.  All coursework will be completed by Friday, December 11.


REMINDER:

Course Collaboration Policy.  Grades for the two collaborative short writing assignments will be assigned to all students in the group.  For the two individual short writing assignments, the quizzes, and the course final assignment, each person is expected to present his or her own work.  Discussion is always encouraged, but when doing individual work on writing assignments or exams, students should not exchange written outlines or texts.  Work presented by an individual student must always properly cite quotations and indicate sources of evidence for each claim.  Although materials beyond the course may be used, students are expected to master the course readings and cite parts of them where relevant.

Course Summary:

Date Details Due