Draft Syllabus                                                                                               draft date 1/4/2016

Sociology 149/249

Urban Studies 112


"The Urban Underclass"



Winter Quarter 2016

Mondays and Wednesdays 3:00P-4:20P

Building 380, room 380C


Plus once a week section, day and time TBA

Section sign-up via Coursework


Michael J. Rosenfeld

Associate Professor

Department of Sociology

McClatchy Hall (Building 120) room 124




Office Hours By appointment



Anna Boch, aeboch@stanford.edu

Jasmine Hill, jasmine5@stanford.edu




            In this class we will read and discuss some of the classic work of urban sociology, and ask a series of questions about segregation, opportunity, race, class, and public policy.


Required Readings (Available at Stanford Bookstore and on reserve at Green)

* Hirsch, Arnold. 1983. Making the Second Ghetto. Cambridge University Press. $21, ISBN: 0226342441

* William Julius Wilson. 1979. The Declining Significance of Race. University of Chicago Press. $18, ISBN-10: 0226901297

* Massey, Douglas S. and Nancy Denton. 1993. American Apartheid: Segregation and the Making of the Underclass. Harvard University Press. $21, ISBN-10: 0674018214

* Robert Caro. 1974. The Power Broker. Vintage. $17, ISBN-10: 0394720245

* Kotlowitz, Alex. 1991. There Are No Children Here. Doubleday. $11, ISBN-10: 0385265565

* Murray, Charles. 1995. Losing Ground. Basic Books. $21, ISBN-10: 0465042333

* Anderson, Elijah. 1990. Streetwise: Race, Class and Change in an Urban Community. University of Chicago Press. $16, ISBN-10: 0226018164

* Oliver, Melvin and Thomas Shapiro. 1995. Black Wealth, White Wealth. Routledge. $29, ISBN-10: 0415951674

* Alexander, Michelle. 2012. The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. ISBN-13: 978-1595586438. $12.80.


Plus several additional readings posted or linked on the class website, including:

* Moynihan, Daniel P. 1965. The Negro Family: The Case for National Action. US Dept. of Labor.


Plus two movies whose viewing will be arranged by TAs in the second half of the quarter:

Hoop Dreams(Director Steve James, 1994) And Do the Right Thing (Director  Spike Lee 1989)



For Undergraduates (soc 149):

* Midterm Exam


* Make one 15 minute presentation to discussion section, and lead (along with the TA) the section discussion for that week.


* Regular section participation


* Short paper using Social Explorer maps


* Final Exam



For Graduate Students (soc 249):

* Midterm Exam


* Make one 15 minute presentation to discussion section, and lead (along with the TA) the section discussion for that week.


* Regular section participation


* One 10 minute presentation to class, presenting a different book from the one you presented to section


* Short paper using Social Explorer maps


* Final Exam



Class Size:

In case of class size limitations, sign-up will require consent of the professor.


Students with Disabilities:

Students with disabilities that may necessitate an academic accommodation must initiate a request with the Disability Resource Center (DRC).  See the website http://www.stanford.edu/group/DRC/, or call (650) 723-1066 voice (650) 723-1067 TTY.




Computer use in class: In order to limit distractions in class, there is no computer use in class, except by special permission from Professor Rosenfeld.


Reading Assignments:


NOTE: Questions are posted on my website for each reading. See www.stanford.edu/~mrosenfe/urb_reading_questions.htm




Reading Assignments Due




Week 1

Jan 4

Class orientation


Jan 6

Making the Second Ghetto, Ch 1-3




Week 2

Jan 11

Making the Second Ghetto, Ch 4,5


Jan 13

Making the Second Ghetto, finish the book




Week 3

Jan 18

No class, MLK holiday


Jan 20

Wilson: Declining Significance of Race, read the whole book




Week 4

Jan 25

American Apartheid, preface + Ch 1-2


Jan 27

American Apartheid, Ch 3-5




Week 5

Feb 1

American Apartheid, finish the book


Feb 3

In Class Midterm Exam




Week 6

Feb 8

The Power Broker, Chapters 10-15.


Feb 10

There Are no Children Here, read the whole book




Week 7

Feb 15

President’s day, no class


Feb 17

Black Wealth/ White Wealth, Intro, Ch 1-5

Social Exporer draft papers due; upload to Coursework




Week 8

Feb 22

Streetwise, Intro and Ch 1-2


Feb 24

Streetwise, Finish the book








Week 9

Feb 29

Losing Ground, Prologue, Chapter 1-4, Ch 16, Ch 17, especially p. 227-236


Plus Cherlin, “The Consequences of Welfare Reform”


March 2

Moynihan’s The Negro Family








Week 10

March 7

Michelle Alexander The New Jim Crow readings TBA


March 9

Last Class, Review Session


Wednesday, March 9 by midnight. Social Explorer final papers due; upload to Coursework


in-class Final Exam at the regularly scheduled date and time