Draft Syllabus                                                                                               draft date 9/21/2014

Sociology 149/249

Urban Studies 112


"The Urban Underclass"



Fall quarter 2014

Mondays and Wednesdays 3:15P-4:30P

McCullough 115


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



Jasmine Hill

Amanda Mireles

Priscilla Gutierrez




            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


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

Sep 22

Class orientation


Sep 24

Making the Second Ghetto, Ch 1-3




Week 2

Sep 29

Making the Second Ghetto, Ch 4,5


Oct 1

Making the Second Ghetto, finish the book




Week 3

Oct 6

Wilson: Declining Significance of Race, Introduction, and Ch 1-3


Oct 8

Wilson: Declining Significance of Race, Ch 4-8




Week 4

Oct 13

American Apartheid, preface + Ch 1-2


Oct 15

American Apartheid, Ch 3-5




Week 5

Oct 20

American Apartheid, finish the book


Oct 22

In Class Midterm Exam




Week 6

Oct 27

The Power Broker, Chapters 10-15.


Oct 29

There Are no Children Here, Preface, and Ch. 1-19.




Week 7

Nov 3

There Are no Children Here, Finish the Book


Social Exporer draft papers due; upload to Coursework


Nov 5

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




Week 8

Nov 10

Streetwise, Intro and Ch 1-2


Nov 12

Streetwise, Finish the book








Week 9

Nov 17

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


Plus Cherlin, “The Consequences of Welfare Reform”


Nov 19

Moynihan’s The Negro Family




Friday, Nov 21, by midnight. Social Explorer final papers due; upload to Coursework


Thanksgiving recess Nov 24-28


Week 10

Dec 1

Readings on incarceration and crime, TBA


Dec 3

Last Class, Review Session


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