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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Jake H Rosenfeld
SOC 360
Seattle Campus

Introduction to Social Stratification

Social class and social inequality in American society. Status, power, authority, and unequal opportunity are examined in depth, using material from other societies to provide a comparative and historical perspective. Sociological origins of recurrent conflicts involving race, sex, poverty, and political ideology.

Class description

In every human society a system of categorization develops that divides people according to a combination of achieved and ascribed characteristics. Access to valued resources is divided unequally according to where an individual falls within the categorization scheme, resulting in social stratification.

This course provides you with the tools to analyze and understand processes of stratification fundamental to human organization. We’ll pay particular attention to the institutions undergirding inequality in modern America, focusing on recent trends in the economy.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading

Assignment #1: Lens Reading Essay (4-5 pages)

Assess Class Matters and/or Nickel and Dimed through the lens of the theories of stratification we’ve covered.

(Details on other expectations for the paper follow at the end of this document and in class).

Assignment #2: Research Paper (6-7 pages)

Using relevant outside scholarly sources, provide a comparative argument about race, class, or gender stratification in the U.S. and at least one other developed nation. How are the systems similar? How do they differ? What directions do you see them taking in the future?

(Details on the project – including guidelines on allowable scholarly sources – will be provided in class).

Assignment #3: In-class examination

A 110 minute long multiple choice and essay exam will cover material provided in the assigned readings as well as concepts and definitions discussed in class. If demand is high enough, I will offer a review session prior to the exam.


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 Jake H Rosenfeld
Date: 10/28/2012