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Online Course

Poverty & Population: How Demographics Shape Policy

Columbia University via Coursera

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  • Provider Coursera
  • Cost Free Online Course (Audit)
  • Session In progress
  • Language English
  • Certificate Paid Certificate Available
  • Effort 4 hours a week
  • Duration 4 weeks long
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Overview

This course has four modules, or foci. The first is to understand the categories of social welfare—populations, income, earnings, and assets— and some related concepts that play a very large role in shaping policy decisions: unemployment, inflation, and the minimum wage. The second deals with the central institution of social welfare—the labor market, which largely determines how many resources a person has. The labor market also establishes hierarchy, both through meritocracy and through categories of privilege. The third is poverty: the differing ways we define who is poor, and how effective U.S. anti-poverty efforts have been. The final module looks directly at federal decision making, the political organization of ideas, the structure of U.S. government, and the legislative process that shapes much of our social policy. 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.

Syllabus

Populations, income, poverty and policy
-This module will remind the reader of basic social welfare concepts: population variables, earning, income, assets as well as inflation, unemployment and the minimum wage.

Causes of Poverty and Discrimination
-This module will probe the most important social welfare programs in moderns societies, the workplace and will evaluate who is advantaged and who is disadvantaged and why

Gender, Race and oppression
-In this module, the learner will differentiate the different measures of poverty, understand the significance of measuring poverty and question the place of various demographic groups in their relative poverty

Formulating social policy in the U.S.
-In this module, the learner will review the US Government structure and process and explain how policies are formulated using the legislative structure.

Taught by

John Robertson

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