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Instructor Class Description

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Rebecca A. Burnett
GEOG 342
Seattle Campus

Geography of Inequality

Geographies of social, political, and economic inequality. Focus is usually on North American cities. Examines the theoretical underpinning of inequality. Explores topics such as the spatial distribution of wealth and poverty, the geographies of exclusion, and discrimination in paid employment and housing.

Class description

What roles do poverty and social/economic polarization play in capitalist societies such as the USA? How do the urban form, design and politics of North American cities ‘discriminate’ against people with disabilities or the aged or children and youth? Why are certain groups ‘excluded’ from ‘mainstream’ social life? Why do they have problems gaining access to housing, education and jobs? These questions are among those that this course addresses. This course considers the geographies of social, political and economic inequalities. The focus will usually be on urban areas, although other spatial scales will also be examined. The course begins with discussions of the theoretical underpinning of ‘inequality’. The remainder of the course builds on these ideas by exploring topics such as the spatial distribution of wealth and poverty, and the geographies of exclusion and discrimination in employment and education. Particular emphasis is placed on the US experience, although some examples are drawn from other regions of the world, especially Canada and the UK.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Rebecca A. Burnett
Date: 03/31/2013