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Social Work: Poverty in America

SWSS 380 Z3 (CRN: 61265)

3 Credit Hours

About SWSS 380 Z3

Designed to cover selected social work issues in depth. Major emphasis on intensive and critical analysis of the literature and practice in a given area. Prerequisite: Instructor Permission.


Dates: May 20 - June 14, 2019; MSW students with Concentration Yr status ONLY

Section Description

Poverty in America: People, Policies and Programs is a concentration year focus course in which students will examine competing perspectives on the nature of poverty and inequality in America, the intersectionality of such dimensions as race, age, gender and disability, and the role of politics and public policy in producing, maintaining and alleviating it. It is designed to provide an in-depth exploration and knowledge around: the social construction of “poverty” and the discourses and practices that surround it- including the media as well as research and the impact of that construction on the lives of the people who inhabit that role; and the ensuing program and policy responses from case to cause and from “people-based” to “place-based” policies. This course complements the concentration curriculum’s work with social, economic and environmental justice and diversity and work with underrepresented populations as well as enhancing the policy practice content of the curriculum. It situates social work and poverty within a historical context, analyzing various poverty concepts and theories and research and then utilizing the lens of the strengths perspective and transformative change, students will identify policies and practices that build on assets and that work against the oppression and marginalization of those living in poverty.

Section Expectation

In addition to completing readings and 2 short application assignments (interviews & neighborhood exploration), students (in pairs) will identify a particular area of interest within the broad topic of poverty, explore it deeply and share their learnings with their classmates by teaching a segment during the last week of class.




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