The Welfare State: Where Did It Come From?, Columbia University
The course probes the formation of social policy in the United States from its very first cultural and religious roots. Starting with the transition from hunter-gatherer groups to agrarian villages, the course will examine the passage of the Poor Laws that shaped social policy through the colonial period until the beginnings of the 20th century, when the challenge of making the industrial city livable gave rise to the development of the welfare state. As part of this transformation, the provider of social welfare shifted from the local community to the state to the federal government. The course ends with an exploration of the debate regarding the role of government in the late 20th century: should it foster entitlements or self-sufficiency? This course addresses issues of power, oppression, and white supremacy.
The course is part of a sequence in social policy that has an HONORS TRACK. This track will prepare the learner for masters-level work in policy, which involves reading the literature, writing concise summaries and probing critiques. Over the sequence the learner will develop a policy analysis that will create a foundation for professional policy analyst assignments....