Stratification / Inequality syllabus, 2012 edition

As usual, as I finish putting together a graduate seminar syllabus I am awestruck at how much learning we can do in 15 weeks. There are major subjects left on the cutting-room floor (health, immigration, poverty and welfare, to name a few). But still: Imagine if someone read all this!

I haven’t made a stratification syllabus in a long time. I ended up choosing nine Annual Review of Sociology pieces over many individual empirical studies. These Review pieces are a little like edited volumes on reading lists — they count as one item but they each introduce multiple debates and fields of the literature. I left a lot of classical theory behind in exchange for more contemporary topics, such as incarceration and cultural capital. I hope it works.

I should note that, although I did not assign the reader by David Grusky and Szonja Szelenyi, but I did borrow some of their ideas.

Anyway, for the benefit of future instructors Googling for syllabus ideas, please feel free to add your own suggestions and links in the comments for things I left out.

Classical class lineages: Marx and Weber

September 19: American functionalism and post-Durkheimians

Contemporary income inequality

Durable Inequality

  • Tilly, Charles. 1999. Durable Inequality. University of California Press.

The significance of class and race

Human capital and labor markets

Social and cultural capital

Gender theories


Gender in the Contemporary U.S.

Race, Class, and Gender

  • Glenn, Evelyn Nakano. 2004. Unequal Freedom: How Race and Gender Shaped American Citizenship and Labor. Harvard University Press.

Networks and elites


Global inequality debates

11 thoughts on “Stratification / Inequality syllabus, 2012 edition

  1. Great syllabus! And I say that not just because I made the cut 🙂

    Reminds me that I should teach “Durable Inequality” some time. My work — and a lot of other work — is basically an application of its idea. Massey’s “Categorically Unequal” is almost an annual review-esque demonstration of the idea using lots of literature. Wish I could take the class!


  2. Hey, I’m on there!

    If I may, I would add another social capital piece under that section that addresses the HS/college/employment line. Unfortunately, there’s not a lot of articles in this area…mostly books. Maybe Persell and Cookson’s chapter from “The High Status Track” book or something from Nathan Martin’s stuff on Duke. I’ve been thinking for a while that someone needs to write an ARS style summary piece on this because it’s really good but so much of it is in book format… Hmm…


  3. I’d drop Durable Inequalities. Its ideas aren’t particularly original, and as far as I can tell it hasn’t had much real and independent impact on inequality scholarship. Indeed, I’d go so far as to say that if it hadn’t been written by Tilly — already a famous and (mostly) beloved political and historical sociologist before he wrote DI — DI would never have received all the praise that it did.


    1. I couldn’t disagree more about Tilly. As Massey writes in categorically unequal, “all stratification processes boil down to a combination of two simple but powerful mechanisms: the allocation of people to social categories, and the institutionalization of practices that allocate resources unequally across these categories” (5-6). This articulation comes directly from DI. Tilly may not be doing any original work in strat, nor did he come up with many ideas. But the book is one of the best articulations of the basic mechanisms of stratification (exploitation, opportunity hoarding, emulation, and adaptation).


  4. Maybe I’m being too harsh on DI, but in the context of a limited amount of time and a graduate level course, I think there are better choices. For me, better is defined by the originality of the ideas, the quality of the empirical research, and the centrality of the work to major debates and/or to current practice in the subfield. In the absence of any of these other characteristics, good articulations of old ideas don’t make the cut. Maybe it would for an undergraduate course.

    I’m also not at Columbia, so there are no local ties that might make me prefer DI over other texts. I’m not trying to be disparaging, here: I’d guess that Wisconsin inequality grad students read more Hauser and more Wright than graduate students at the “average” top ten program, Berkeley students read more Hout and Fischer, Princeton students read more Portes and Massey, etc. This is part of what makes individual programs distinctive, and it helps create continuity and a sense of collective identity.


  5. My syllabus:

    (revised November 25, 2012)

    W. Bielby
    Tuesdays, 10:45 AM – 1:30 PM
    265 BSB
    Office: BSB 4156

    =>This syllabus is updated frequently, so check for revised versions often.<=

    This course examines major theories, issues and empirical research in the area of social stratification of inequality and stratification, as well as empirical investigations of the institutions and processes by which social rewards and resources are differentially distributed. Because the focus is on the contemporary U.S., much of the course will be devoted to the examination and analysis of patterns and trends in class, race, and gender inequality in this country. The course will discuss and critique the competing views that sociologists and others have put forth to account for the origins, persistence, consequences and future of social stratification in the U.S. and globally.

    Prerequisite: This course is open to graduate students in sociology. Graduate students in other Ph.D. programs will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

    Course objective: The objective of this course is to give students a thorough grounding in the major theories, concepts, and empirical research in social stratification, an understanding of contemporary debates in the field and an appreciation of how those debates have evolved over time, and a sense of the degree of flux in a core area of sociology that dominated the discipline in the second half of the 20th century but is in a state of transformation (or perhaps crisis) today.


    Books you will need to purchase for this course are:

    Timothy Noah. 2012. The Great Divergence. America's Growing Inequality Crisis and What We Can Do About It. Bloomsbury Press

    Harold Kerbo. 2012. Social Stratification and Inequality, Eighth Edition. McGraw Hill

    I am also using some readings that appear in David Grusky's edited volume, Social Stratification: Class, Race, and Gender in Sociological Perspective, Third Edition (Westview Press, 2008). These chapters from Grusky will be posted at the Blackboard website for the course. Almost all of the chapters in the Grusky reader are abridged versions of work published previously in sociological journals, books, or edited volumes. In the reading list, I've indicated the date of the original publication, but not the original source. As you do the readings in the Grusky volume, you should note the citation to the original source of the reading.

    Almost all of the other readings are published articles available electronically through the UIC library. The most reliable sources for finding articles available via the library is the ISI Web of Knowledge, indicated by WEBKNOW on some of the references listed below and JSTOR. Those not available electronically from UIC library sources or elsewhere online will be posted at the course Blackboard website. I also encourage you to follow breaking news and other online sources reporting research and issues relating to inequality and stratification. As I come across relevant items in the news, I'll pass them along via Blackboard. **READINGS ARE SUBJECT TO REVISION — IT IS LIKELY THAT I WILL ADD, SUBTRACT, AND REARRANGE AS WE MOVE THROUGH THE SEMESTER, SO PAY ATTENTION TO UPDATES TO THE SYLLABUS!

    Course Requirements and Course Grades

    There are four course requirements.

    First, students must do all assigned reading and attend and participate in class.

    Second, students take responsibility — usually (but not always) in groups — for leading discussions of readings and electronically distributing discussion questions via Blackboard to the rest of the class 24 hours prior to the class session.

    Third, we will have a closed-book ` of short-answer and essay questions.

    Fourth, students must take a closed-book in-class final examination that satisfies the core stratification requirement for the Ph.D. program.

    Your grade in the course will be based 20% on participation, 30% on the quality of the contributions of the group to which you are assigned, 15% on the midterm, and 35% on the final exam. To receive a grade of A in the course the student will need to: (1) attend all class sessions or provide a legitimate excuse; (2) participate in class sessions by discussing or raising questions about course material; (3) participate fully in your group; and (4) do well on the exams.


    Final Examination for Core Courses: In order to train students and assess student competence in the substantive core of REG and WOE, the student will take a rigorous closed-book exam in each of those courses. Exams will be pass/fail. A "failure" requires a second faculty reader appointed by the DGS. In order to pass the core courses, these final examinations must be passed. The core courses will be reviewed and revised as necessary every two years.

    For the purposes of this course, "pass/fail" determination on the final will be determined by your letter grade on the exam, with anything higher than a "C" being a passing grade.


    Each student will be assigned to a group, and each group will make several presentations throughout the semester (a tentative schedule for groups appears along with the reading; group 6 is the group for non-sociologists). Sociology graduate students will be assigned to groups of three or four. The non-sociology graduate students will all be assigned to their own group. Most weeks two groups will be responsible for leading our discussions, with each group responsible for a subset of topics/readings. Groups will be evaluated according to three criteria: (1) effectiveness and thoroughness of covering the course materials assigned to it (e.g. making sure the discussion covers key points in the reading); (2) effectiveness in engaging the entire class in discussion (e.g. getting everyone to participate, getting us to stay on topic); and (3) effectiveness of reaching closure in the discussion, with bottom line "take away" points for the entire class. All groups will take turns doing evaluations along these two dimensions, which will be submitted to me by the end of the day on Thursdays. So, for example, in one week, Groups 1 and 2 might be responsible for leading discussions, with Group 3 doing an evaluation of Group 1 and Group 4 doing an evaluation of Group 2. The evaluations will identify the specific strengths and areas for improvement on the two dimensions described above. I will do my own evaluation on the same two dimensions, and by the end of the day Friday I will submit a summary statement giving each presenting group feedback on their contribution for the week and areas for improvement for future presentations.

    Groups doing presentations will submit to me by the end of the day Sunday prior to the assigned class a short (one or two page) description of their discussion plan along with any slides, figures, outlines or other written or visual aids they plan to use to lead discussion. The description should include the goals of the presentation/discussion. This information well help me help the group guide the discussion towards closure. If I get it by Sunday, I have time to get feedback to the group with suggestions for changes that will help keep the discussion focused on course goals (and on materials that will be covered in the exams!).

    Groups leading discussion can use Blackboard resources such as discussion groups and can make specific reading and participation assignments to the rest of the class for their session.

    Academic Dishonesty: Students are expected to do their own work. Those found cheating or committing plagiarism on any assignment or exam will receive a score of “0” on that assignment or exam and will, without exception, be referred to UIC Judicial Affairs.

    Policies for Students with Special Needs: If you qualify for accommodations because of a disability, please submit to me a letter from the Disability Research Center at the start of the semester. The DRC is available online at and can be reached by phone at 312-413-2183 (voice) or 312-413-0213 (TTY).


    Week 1 – 8/28 – Introduction and Overview

    Week 2 – 9/4 – The Great Divergence – Long-Term and Recent Trends in Inequality in the U.S.

    **Noah, Introduction and Chapter 1, "Paradise Lost"
    Online introduction to The Great Divergence – text and graphics:

    **Kerbo, Chapter 3, "…The History of Inequality," p. 71-82 (starting with "Late Agrarian Societies")

    **Emmanuel Saez. 2012. "Striking it Richer: The Evolution of Top Incomes in the United States (Updated with 2009 and 2010 estimates)"

    Click to access saez-UStopincomes-2010.pdf

    **Leslie McCall and Christine Percheski. 2010. "Income Inequality: New Trends and Recent Direction," Annual Review of Sociology 36: 329-347. (JSTOR)

    (group 1, group 2)

    Week 3 – 9/11 – Social Mobility – Trends in Opportunity

    Read in this order:

    **Noah, Chapter 2, "Going Up"

    **Isabell Sawhill and John E. Morton. 2007. "Economic Mobility: Is the American Dream Alive and Well?" The Economic Mobility Project, Pew Charitable Trust.

    Click to access EMP_American_Dream_Report.pdf

    **Emily Beller and Michael Hout. 2006. "Intergenerational Social Mobility: The United States in Comparative Perspective." The Future of Children 16 (Fall, 2006): 19-36. (JSTOR)

    **Florencia Torche. 2011. "Is a College Degree Still the Great Equalizer? Intergenerational Mobility Across Levels of Schooling in the United States." American Journal of Sociology 117: 763-807. (JSTOR)

    **Kerbo, Chapter 12, "Social Mobility: Class and Achievement," read up to p. 382 ("The Conflict Perspective," starting at p. 382) is not assigned.

    **Florencia Torche. 2011. "Is a College Degree Still the Great Equalizer? Intergenerational Mobility Across Levels of Schooling in the United States." American Journal of Sociology 117: 763-807. (JSTOR)


    Please read the selections in the order listed on the (revised) syllabus.

    Noah and Sawhill & Morton focus on intergenerational income mobility.

    Beller and Hout focus mainly on intergenerational occupational mobility as well as income and wage mobility. They make some important points about how the concept of occupational mobility and its measurement is different from income (and wage) mobility. By their account, trends in occupational mobility differ from those for income mobility, and they go into why that is so. Kerbo goes deeper into the sociological research on trends over time and across nations in intergenerational occupational mobility. You'll want to see whether his bottom line summary on p. 370-372 is consistent with what the other authors say.

    Most of the readings have something to say about mobility and family structure, and Becker and Hout get to the heart of the matter as it pertains to trends in social mobility.

    An important concept this week is absolute versus relative mobility, a distinction that doesn't mean quite the same thing applied to income and occupational mobility.

    Kerbo introduces the important distinction between structural and circulation mobility, which is different from absolute versus relative mobility. Hout and Becker also discuss this a bit. Kerbo also distinguishes between occupational and (one version of) class mobility and goes into more detail on race and gender differences than do the other authors.

    The last part of the Kerbo chapter assigned for this week is an overview of status attainment research, which seeks to account for the processes and mechanisms through which socioeconomic advantages from one generation to the next, which was the dominant subfield of quantitative stratification research from the late 1960s into the 1980s, but has renewed relevance in debates over schooling and class advantage. In a really important article, Torche takes a look at a very specific piece of this — how does a college degree facilitate mobility versus perpetuate socioeconomic advantage. In reading Torche, it is important to understand what she is and is not claiming about what research shows about college degrees and mobility. At first read, it might look less consistent with the other readings than it actually is. She has some provocative findings on the different ways access to a baccalaureate versus advanced degree breaks versus sustains the persistence of socioeconomic advantage. We'll come back to this topic again when we address the college premium in Week 5 on the changing nature of work.

    In reading for this week, be attentive to those that address how government action and other interventions shape mobility. Also attend to both the distinction between and the relationship (if any) between inequality and mobility.

    (group 3, group 4) (feedback 5 addressed 3 and 1 addressed 4)

    Week 4 – 9/18 – Inequality at the Extremes I – The Top

    **Noah, Chapter 9. "The Rise of the Stinking Rich"

    **G. William Domhoff, Who Rules America website:
    "Wealth, Income, and Power," updated March 2012

    "Ruling Class," Elites, Upper Class

    **G. William Domhoff, Who Rules America website:
    "The Class-Domination Theory of Power," April 2005 (a summary of Who Rules America?)

    **Kerbo, Chapters 6 and 7, "The Upper Class" and "The Corporate Class"

    **G. William Domhoff, Who Rules America website:
    "C. Wright Mills, Floyd Hunter, and 50 Years of Power Structure Research"

    Lane Kenworthy, Consider the Evidence blog
    "Winner-take-all financial incentives, Steve Jobs, and the living standards of ordinary Americans," December 2011.

    The "Upper Class" – A Different Take

    **Charles Murray. 2012. Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010. Chapter 1, "Our Kind of People," and Chapter 2, "The Foundations of the New Upper Class."

    (group 5)

    Week 5 – 9/25 – The Changing Nature of Work

    **Noah, Chapter 5, "Kudoka and the College Premium"
    **Noah, Chapter 8, "The Fall of Detroit"

    **Kerbo, Ch. 5, p. 143-145 "a working definition of class"
    **Kerbo, Chapter 8, "The Middle and Working Classes," p. 203-214 and p. 230-233 only.

    **Arne L. Kalleberg. 2000. Nonstandard Employment Relations: Part-time, Temporary, and Contract Work." Annual Review of Sociology 26: 341-365 (JSTOR)

    **Kenneth Hudson, 2007. "The New Labor Market Segmentation: Labor Market Dualism in the New Economy." Social Science Research 36: 286–312

    "The End of Men" in the New Economy?

    **Hanna Rosin, 2012. "Who Wears the Pants in This Economy?" New York Times, August 30, 2012

    **David Brooks, 2012. "Why Men Fail," New York Times, September 10, 2012

    **Rosalind Barnett and Caryl Rivers, 2012. "Time's Rosin Ignores Data, Conjures Monster Women," We • News, September 13, 2012 q

    **Christine L. Williams, Chandra Muller, Kristine Kilanski, 2012. "Gendered Organizations in the New Economy," Gender & Society 26: 549-573.

    (group 1)

    Week 6 – 10/2 – Spatial Inequality

    **Linda Lobao, Gregory Hooks, and Ann Tickamyer. 2007. "Something Old Something New: The Emergence of Current Work on Spatial Inequality," p. 13-17 in the editors' introduction to The Sociology of Spatial Inequality, edited by Linda Lobao, Gregory Hooks, and Ann Tickamyer. The State University of New York Press. (Blackboard)

    Spatial Inequality and Poverty

    **William Julius Wilson, 1999, "Jobless Poverty: A New Form of Social Dislocation in the Inner-City Ghetto," p. 340-349 in Grusky. (Blackboard)

    **Douglas S. Massey and Nancy A. Denton, 1993, "American Apartheid," p. 349-359 in Grusky. (Blackboard)

    Class/Income and Race Segregation

    **Murray, Chapter 3, "A New Kind of Segregation." (Blackboard)

    **Rachel E. Dwyer. 2010. "Prosperity, and Place: The Shape of Class Segregation in the Age of Extremes," Social Problems 57: 114-137 (JSTOR)

    **Sean F. Reardon and Kendra Bischoff. 2011. "Income Inequality and Income Segregation," American Journal of Sociology 116: 1092-1153 (JSTOR)

    **Lincoln Quillian. 2012. "Segregation and Poverty Concentration: The Role of the Three Segregations."American Sociological Review 77: 354-379 (JSTOR)

    (group 2, feedback by group 4)

    Week 7 – 10/9 – Social Capital, Networks and Socioeconomic Success

    **Mark S. Granovetter, 1973, "The Strength of Week Ties," p. 576-580 in Grusky.

    **Nan Lin, 1999, "Social Networks and Status Attainment," p. 580-582 in Grusky.

    **Ronald S. Burt, 1997, "Structural Holes," p. 583-587 in Grusky.

    **Roberto M. Fernandez and Isabel Fernandez-Mateo, 2006, "Networks, Race, and Hiring," p. 587-595 in Grusky.

    **Kevin Stainback, 2008, "Social Contacts and Race/Ethnic Job Matching," Social Forces 87: 857-886. (WEBKNOW)

    **Gail M. McGuire, 2002, "Gender, Race, and the Shadow Structure: A Study of Informal Networks and Inequality in a Work Organization," Gender & Society 18: 303-322 (WEBKNOW)

    ** Gail M. McGuire. 2000. "Gender, Race, Ethnicity, and Networks: The Factors Affecting the Status of Employees' Network Members." Work and Occupations, Vol. 27: 501-523. (WEBKNOW)

    (group 6, feedback by Group 5)

    Week 8 10/16 – What Explains the "Great Divergence"? – Considering "Rent-Seeking" and Class Position

    **Joseph E. Stiglitz. 2012. The Price of Inequality: How Today's Divided Society Endangers Our Future, Chapter Two, "Rent Seeking and the Making of an Unequal Society" (including footnotes). Norton.

    **Aage Sorensen, 2005, "Foundations of a Rent-Based Class Analysis," p. 219-234 in Grusky.
    the full version of this chapter, "Foundations of a Neo-Ricardian Class Analysis," can be found here:

    Click to access Chapter%205%20–%20Sorensen%20Jan%202004.pdf

    Aage B.Sørensen, 2000, "Toward a Sounder Basis for Class Analysis." American Journal of Sociology 105, 1523–1558. (not assigned)

    (group 3)

    Week 9 – 10/23 – Midterm

    Week 10 – 10/30 – Organizations and Inequality

    **Kerbo, Chapter 1, "Perspectives and Concepts in the Study of Social Stratification," p. 9-12

    **Kerbo, Chapter 5, "Modern Theories of Social Stratification," p. 130-136, 140-148

    **James N. Baron and William T. Bielby, 1980, "Bringing the Firms Back In: Stratification, Segmentation, and the Organization of Work," American Sociological Review 45: 737-765 (WEBKNOW)

    **Kevin Stainback, Donald Tomaskovic-Devey, and Sheryl Skaggs, "Organizational Approaches to Inequality: Inertia, Relative Power, and Environments," Annual Review of Sociology 36: 225-247. (WEBKNOW)

    (group 1 for B & B and Stainback et al.)

    ** Stephen L. Morgan and Youngjoo Cha. 2007. "Rent and the Evolution of Inequality in Late Industrial United States." American Behavioral Scientist 50:677-701. (WEBKNOW)

    ** Youngjoo Cha and Stephen L. Morgan. 2010. "Structural Earnings Losses and Between-Industry Mobility of Displaced Workers." Social Science Research 39:1137-52. (WEBKNOW)

    (Group 5 for the two Morgan and Cha articles)

    **Podolny, Joel M. and James N. Baron. 1997. “Relationships and Resources: Social Networks and Mobility in the Workplace.” American Sociological Review 62(5):673-693.

    (group 2 for the three empirical articles)

    Week 11 – 11/6 – Production/Reproduction: Gender, Family, and Work

    **William T. Bielby, and James N. Baron (1984). "A Woman's Place is with Other Women: Sex Segregation within Organizations". In B. Reskin (Ed.), Sex segregation in the Workplace: Trends, Explanations, Remedies (pp. 27-55). Washington, DC: National Academy Press (Group 3) (BLACKBOARD)

    **James N Baron, Michael T. Hannan, Greta Hsu, and Özgecan Koçak. 2007. "In the Company of Women Gender Inequality and the Logic of Bureaucracy in Start-Up Firms." Work & Occupations, Vol. 34: 35-66. (WEBKNOW) (Group 2)

    **Kalev, Alexandria. 2009. "Cracking the Glass Cages? Restructuring and Ascriptive Inequality at Work." American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 114: 1591-1643. (WEBKNOW) (Group 2)

    **Paula England, 2010, "The Gender Revolution: Uneven and Stalled." Gender & Society, Vol. 24: 149-166. (WEBKNOW) (Group 4)

    **Barbara F. Reskin, 2011, "What Trends? Whose Choices? A Comment on England,", Gender & Society. (WEBKNOW) (Group 4)

    **Cecilia L. Ridgeway and Shelly J. Correll. 2004. "Unpacking the Gender System: A Theoretical Perspective on Gender Beliefs and Social Relations." Gender & Society, Vol. 18: 510-531. (Group 3) (WEBKNOW) (I'll also circulate my notes on the article)

    Noah, Chapter 3, "Usual Suspects."

    Week 12 – 11/13 – Race, Work, and Inequality

    **William Julius Wilson. 2011. The Declining Significance of Race: Revisited & Revised. Daedalus 140(2):55-69.

    **Marc Parry. "The Neighborhood Effect: 25 years after William Julius Wilson changed urban sociology, scholars still debate his ideas. Is anyone else listening?" Chronicle of Higher Education, November 5, 2012.

    **Kathryn M. Neckerman and Joleen Kirschenman, 1991. "Hiring Strategies, Racial Bias, and Inner-City Workers." Social Problems 38:433-447. (Blackboard)

    **Sharon M. Collins, 2005, "Occupational Mobility Among African-Americans: Assimilation or Resegregation." In Robert L. Nelson and Laura Beth Nielsen, eds. Handbook on Employment Discrimination Research: Rights and Realities (Kluwer Academic Press 2005). (Blackboard)

    **William T. Bielby. 2012. "Minority Vulnerability in Privileged Occupations: Why Do African American Financial Advisers Earn Less than Whites in a Large Financial Services Firm?" Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 639 (No. 1): 13-32 (JSTOR)

    Week 13 – 11/20 – Ethnicity and Inequality – The Debate Over Recent Reworkings of Assimilationist Theories

    Noah, Chapter 4, "Teeming Shores"

    **Richard Alba, , and Victor Nee. 1997. "Rethinking Assimilation Theory for a New Era of Immigration," International Migration Review, 31: 826–874.

    **Alejandro Portes and Min Zhou, 1993, "The New Second Generation: Segmented Assimilation and Its Variants", p. 658-669 in Grusky (entire article is in Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 530, p. 74-96)

    **Waldinger, Roger, and Cynthia Feliciano 2004. "Will the New Second Generation Experience ‘Downward Assimilation’? Segmented Assimilation Re-assessed," Ethnic and Racial Studies 27: 376–402.

    **Moon-Kie Jung,. 2009. “The Racial Unconscious of Assimilation Theory.” Du Bois Review 6: 375-395. (UIC Library Easy Search)

    (group 6)

    Week 14 – 11/27 – Globalization and Inequality

    Noah, Chapter 6, "Offshore."

    **Glenn Firebaugh. 2003. "The New Geography of Global Income Inequality," p. 1044-1055 in Grusky.

    **Rob Clark. 2011. "World Income Inequality in the Global Era: New Estimates. 1990-2008," Social Problems 58(4):565-592. (JSTOR) READ pp. 565-568, 587-589

    **Richard Lachman. 2012. "Review Essay: Smart Books about Stupid (and Greedy) People." Contemporary Sociology 41: 447-453.

    WEEK 15 – 12/4 – Review

    **David B. Grusky and Manwai C. Ku. 2008. "Gloom, Doom and Inequality," p. 2-28, Grusky.

    **Kerbo, Chapter 5, "Modern Theories of Social Stratification," p. 126-148.

    **Craig Calhoun, 2011. "From the Current Crisis to Possible Futures." Series introduction, read pages 13-42.

    Click to access PF-Series-Intro.pdf

    FINAL EXAM – MONDAY 12/10, 3:30 PM


  6. Stainback–Social Inequality Fall 2013
    Week 1: Contemporary (General) Perspectives on Inequality Part I: Culture, Power, and Interaction
    1. Charles, Maria. 2008. “Culture and Inequality: Identity, Ideology, and Difference in ‘Postascriptive Society’.” Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences. 619:41-58.
    2. Schwalbe, Michael, Sandra Godwin; Daphne Holden; Douglas Schrock; Shealy Thompson, and Michele Wolkomir. 2000. “Generic Processes in the Reproduction of Inequality: An Interactionist Analysis.” Social Forces 79:419-52
    3. Della Fave, L. Richard. 1980. “The Meek Shall Not Inherit the Earth: Self-Evaluation and the Legitimacy of Stratification.”American Sociological Review 45: 955-971.
    4. Pyke, Karen D. 2010. “What is Internalized Racial Oppression and Why Don’t We Study it? Acknowledging Racism’s Hidden Injuries.” Sociological Perspectives
    5. Roscigno, Vincent J. 2011. “Power, Revisited.” Social Forces 90:49-74.

    **Further Readings
    Bartky, Sandra L. 1990. Femininity and Domination: Studies in the Phenomenology of Oppression. Routledge
    Swidler, Ann. 1986. “Culture in Action: Symbols and Strategies.” American Sociological Review
    Lewis, Oscar. 1965. The Culture of Poverty. New York.
    Week 2: Contemporary (General) Perspectives on Inequality II: Structure and Categorical Distinctions
    1. Tilly, Charles. 1998. Durable Inequality. University of California Press.
    2. Collins, Patricia Hill. 1990. “Matrix of Domination.” Excerpt from Black Feminist Thought. (Blackboard)

    **Further Reading
    Tilly, Charles. 2003. “Changing Forms of Inequality.” Sociological Theory 21:31-36.
    Collins, Patricia Hill. 1990. Black Feminist Thought. Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment.
    Crenshaw, Kimberle. 1991. “Mapping the Margins: Intersectionality, Identity Politics, and Violence against Women of Color.” Stanford Law Review 43: 1241-1299.
    Davis, Kathy. 2008. “Intersectionality as buzzword: A sociology of science perspective on what makes a feminist theory successful.” Feminist theory 9.1 (2008): 67-85.
    Neckerman, Kathryn M. and Florencia Torche. 2007. “Inequality: Causes and consequences.” Annual Review of Sociology 33:335-357.
    Week 3: Gender Theory: The Structural, Interactional, and Performative Nature of Gender
    1. Risman, Barbara J. 2004. “Gender as a Social Structure: Theory Wrestling with Activism.” Gender & Society 18 (4): 429-450.
    2. Cecilia L. Ridgeway and Shelly J. Correll. 2004. “Unpacking the Gender System: A Theoretical Perspective on Gender Beliefs and Social Relations.” Gender & Society 18: 510-531.
    3. Martin, Patricia Yancey. 2003. ““Said and done” versus “saying and doing.” Gendering practices, practicing gender at work.” Gender & Society 17(3): 342-366.
    4. Deutsch, Francine M. 2007. “Undoing Gender.” Gender & Society. 106-127
    Read One of the Following:
    A: Sumerau, Edward J. 2012. “That’s What a Man Is Supposed to Do” Compensatory Manhood Acts in an LGBT Christian Church.” Gender & Society
    B: Pascoe, C.J. 2005. “‘Dude, You’re a Fag’: Adolescent Masculinity and the Fag Discourse.” Sexualities 8: 329-346.
    C: Schilt, Kristen. 2009. “Just one of The Guys: How Transmen Make Gender Visible.” Gender & Society 20:465-490.

    **Recommended Readings
    Butler, Judith. 1988. “Performative acts and gender constitution: An essay in phenomenology and feminist theory.” Theatre journal, 40(4), 519-531.
    West, Candance and Don Zimmerman. 1987. “Doing Gender.” Gender & Society 1:125-151.
    Udry, J. Richard. 2000. “Biological Limits of Gender Construction.” American Sociological Review
    65: 443-457.

    **Further Reading
    Butler, Judith. 1990. Gender Trouble. Routledge.
    MacKinnon, Catharine A. “Feminism, Marxism, Method, and the State: An Agenda for Theory.” Signs 7(3): 515-544.
    Ridgeway, Cecilia. 2011. Framed by Gender. Oxford University Press
    Acker, Joan. 1990. “A Theory of Gendered Organizations.” Gender & Society
    Martin, Patricia Yancey. 2004. “Gender as Social Institution.” Social Forces 82(4): 1249-1273.
    Moon, Dawne. “Culture and the Sociology of Sexuality: It’s Only Natural?”Annals of the Academy of Political and Social Sciences.
    Schilt, Kristen. 2010. Just one of The Guys: Transgender Men and the Persistence of Gender Inequality. University of Chicago Press.
    England, Paula. 2010. “The Gender Revolution: Uneven and Stalled.” Gender & Society 24:149-166.
    Week 4: Race and Race Theory
    1. Bonilla-Silva, Eduardo. 1997. “Rethinking Racism: Toward a Structural Interpretation.” American Sociological Review
    2. Saperstein, Aliya, Andrew M. Penner, and Ryan Light. 2013. “Racial Formation in Perspective: Connecting Individuals, Institutions, and Power Relations.” Annual Review of Sociology
    3. Feagin, Joe and Ellias. 2013. “Rethinking racial formation theory: a systemic racism critique.” Ethnic & Racial Studies
    4. Penner, Andrew M. and Saperstein, A. 2013. “Engendering Racial Perceptions An Intersectional Analysis of How Social Status Shapes Race.” Gender & Society, 27(3), 319-344.
    5. Patel, S. 2005. “Performative Aspects of Race: Arab, Muslim, and South Asian Racial Formation after September 11.” UCLA Asian Pac. Am. LJ, 10, 61
    6. Wade, Lisa. “Managing Stigma: Doing Race, Class, And Gender.” Link:

    **Recommended reading
    Shiao, Jiannbin Lee, Thomas Bode, Amber Beyer, and Daniel Selvig. 2012. “The Genomic Challenge to the Social Construction of Race.” Sociological Theory 30:67-88.
    Interesting Web Articles
    Census Benchmark for White Americans: More Deaths Than Births
    Who is white

    **Further Reading
    Winant, Howard. 2000. “Race and Race Theory.” Annual Review of Sociology
    Bonilla-Silva, Eduardo. 2010. Racism without Racists: Color-Blind Racism and the Persistence of Racial
    Inequality in the United States, 3rd Edition. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield.
    Omi, Michael & Howard Winant. 1994. Racial Formation in the United States: From the 1960s to the
    1990s. 2nd Edition. New York: Routledge.
    Morning, Ann. 2009. “Toward a Sociology of Racial Conceptualization for the 21st Century.” Social Forces
    Phelan, Jo C., Bruce G. Link, and Naumi M. Feldman. 2013. “The Genomic Revolution and Beliefs about Essential Racial Differences: A Backdoor to Eugenics?” American Sociological Review
    Lucas, Samuel R. 2008. Theorizing Discrimination in an Era of Contested Prejudice. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press.
    Wilson, William Julius. 1978. The Declining Significance of Race. Chicago: University of Chicago Press
    Week 5: Forms of Capital and Inequality I: Ability, Intelligence, and Human Capital
    1. Davis, Kingsley and Wilbert E. Moore. 1945. “Some Principles of Stratification.” American Sociological Review 10:242-249.
    2. Horan, Patrick. 1978. “Is Status Attainment Research Atheoretical?” American Sociological Review 43: 534-541.
    3. Bourdieu, Pierre. 1986. “Forms of Capital.” In Handbook of Theory of Research for the Sociology of Education, J. E. Richardsun (cd.), Translated by Richard Nice. Greenwood Press
    4. Read ONE of the following Three articles:
    A. Winship, C., Korenman, S., Devlin, B., Fienberg, S. E., Resnick, D. P., and Roeder, K. 1997. “Does Staying in School Make You Smarter?” Intelligence, Genes and Success: Scientists Respond to the Bell Curve.
    B. Tittle, Charles R., and Thomas Rotolo. 2000. “IQ and stratification: An empirical evaluation of Herrnstein and Murray’s social change argument.” Social Forces, 79(1), 1-28.
    C. Fischer, C. S., Hout, M., Jankowski, M. S., Lucas, S. R., Swidler, A., & Voss, K. 1996. Inequality by design. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Excerpt on Blackboard.
    6. Tomaskovic‐Devey, D., Melvin Thomas, and Kecia Johnson. 2005. “Race and the Accumulation of Human Capital across the Career: A Theoretical Model and Fixed‐Effects Application.” American Journal of Sociology, 111(1), 58-89.

    **Recommended Reading
    Murray, Charles and Richard Herrnstein. 1994. “Race, Genes, and I.Q.: An Apologia” The New Republic Oct. 31, 1994.
    DiPrete, Thomas A. and Gregory M. Eirich. 2006. “Cumulative Advantage as a Mechanism for Inequality: A Review of Theoretical and Empirical Developments.” Annual Review of Sociology 32: 271-297

    Further Reading
    Farkas, G. 2003. “Cognitive skills and noncognitive traits and behaviors in stratification processes.” Annual Review of Sociology, 541-562.
    Farkas, G., & Vicknair, K. (1996). Appropriate tests of racial wage discrimination require controls for cognitive skill: Comment on Cancio, Evans, and Maume. American Sociological Review, 61(4), 557-560.
    Maume, D. J., Cancio, A. S., & Evans, T. D. (1996). Cognitive skills and racial wage inequality: Reply to Farkas and Vicknair. American Sociological Review, 61(4), 561-564.
    Cancio, A. S., Evans, T. D., & Maume Jr, D. J. (1996). Reconsidering the declining significance of race: Racial differences in early career wages. American Sociological Review, 541-556.
    Haller, Archibald O. and Alejandro Portes. 1973. “Status Attainment Processes.” Sociology of Education 46: 51-91.
    Week 6: Forms of Capital and Inequality II: Cultural and Social Capital
    1. Lareau, Annette. 2002. “Invisible Inequality: Social Class and Childrearing in Black Families and White Families.” American Sociological Review 747-776.
    **Video: Annette Lareau discusses her book Unequal Childhoods2. Gaddis, Michael. 2012. “The Influence of Habitus in the Relationship Between Cultural Capital and Academic Achievement.” Social Science Research 1-13.
    3. Carter, Prudence L. 2003. “‘Black’ Cultural Capital, Status Positioning, and Schooling Conflicts for Low-Income African American Youth.” Social Problems 50: 136-155.
    4. Coleman, J. S. (1988). “Social capital in the creation of human capital.” American journal of sociology, S95-S120.
    5. Lin, Nan. 2000. “Inequality in Social Capital.” Contemporary Sociology 29:785-79.
    6. McDonald, Steve. 2011. “What’s in the “old boys” network? Accessing social capital in gendered and racialized networks.” Social Networks, 33(4), 317-330.

    ***Further Readings
    Dumais, Susan A. 2006. “Early childhood cultural capital, parental habitus, and teachers’ perceptions.” Poetics 34: 83-107.
    Roscigno, Vincent J. and James W. Ainsworth-Darnell. 1999. “Race, Cultural Capital, and Educational Resources: Persistent Inequalities and Achievement Returns.” Sociology of Education 72, No. 3: 158-178.
    Lareau, Annette. 2011. Unequal Childhoods: Class, Race, and Family Life. 2nd Edition with an Update a Decade Later. University of California Press.
    Lamont, Michèle, and Annette Lareau. 1988. “Cultural Capital: Allusions, Gaps, and Glissandos in Recent Theoretical Developments.” Sociological Theory 6: 153-168.
    Willis, Paul. 1977. Learning to Labor: How Working Class Kids Get Working Class Jobs. Columbia University Press.
    MacLeod, Jay. 1987. Ain’t No Makin’ It: Leveled Aspirations in a Low-income Neighborhood . West View Press. Third edition 1995.
    Lacy, Karyn. 2007. Blue-Chip Black: Race, Class, and Status in the New Black Middle Class. University of California Press.
    McDonald, S., & Elder, G. H. (2006). When does social capital matter? Non-searching for jobs across the life course. Social Forces, 85(1), 521-549.
    McDonald, S., Lin, N., & Ao, D. (2009). Networks of opportunity: Gender, race, and job leads. Social Problems, 56(3), 385-402.
    Week 7: White Privilege, Unearned Advantages, and the Legitimation of Racial Inequality
    1. Pettigrew, T. F. 1979. “The ultimate attribution error: Extending Allport’s cognitive analysis of prejudice.” Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 5(4), 461-476.
    2. DiTomaso, Nancy. 2013. The American Non-Dilemma: Racial Inequality without Racism. Russell Sage Foundation
    ***Further Reading
    Myrdal, Gunnar. 1944. An American Dilemma: The Negro Problem and Modern Democracy.
    Week 8: Fall Break
    October 9th, 2013
    Week 9: Race/Ethnicity, Gender, and Work
    1. Crenshaw, Kimberle. 1989. “Demarginalizing the intersection of race and sex: A Black feminist critique of antidiscrimination doctrine, feminist theory and antiracist politics.” U. Chi. Legal F. 139:57-80.
    2. Glenn, Evelyn N. 1992. “From servitude to service work: Historical continuities in the racial division of paid reproductive labor.” Signs 18: 1-43.
    3. Harvey, Adia. 2005. “Becoming Entrepreneurs Intersections of Race, Class, and Gender at the Black Beauty Salon.” Gender & Society
    4. Kang, Miliann. 2003. “The Managed Hand: The Commercialization of Bodies and Emotions in Korean Immigrant–Owned Nail Salons”. Gender & Society
    5. Romero, Mary. 1990. “Not just one of the Family…” Gender Issues

    **Further Reading
    Harvey Wingfield, Adia. 2008. Doing Business with Beauty: Black Women, Hair Salons, and the Racial Enclave Economy. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield
    Otis, Eileen. 2008. “Beyond the Industrial Paradigm: Market-Embedded Labor and the Gender Organization of Global Service Work in China.” ASR
    Hanser, Amy. 2012. “Class and the Service Encounter: New Approaches to Inequality in the Service Workplace.” Sociology Compass
    Week 10: Racial Housing Segregation and Inequality
    1. Wilson, William Julius. 1991. “Another Look at The Truly Disadvantaged.” Political Science Quarterly 106(4): 639-656.
    2. Sharkey, Patrick. 2013. Stuck in Place: Urban Neighborhoods and the End of Progress toward Racial Equality. The University of Chicago Press.

    Further Reading
    Landry, Bart and Kris Marsh. 2011. “The Evolution of the New Black Middle Class.” Annual Review of Sociology 37:373-394.
    Wilson, William J. 2011. “The declining significance of race: Revisited & revised.” Daedalus, 140(2), 55-69.
    Sampson, R. J. 2012. Moving and the neighborhood glass ceiling. Science, 337(6101), 1464-1465.
    Feagin, Joe. 1991. “The Continuing Significance of Race: Antiblack Discrimination in Public Places.” American Sociological Review 56: 101-116.
    Week 11: Inequality and Incarceration
    1. Thurm, Scott. 2013. “Employment Checks Fuel Race Complaints.” Wall Street Journal
    2. Alexander, Michelle. 2010. “The New Jim Crow: How the war on drugs gave birth to a permanent American undercast.” The Nation. March 9, 2010. Link:
    ** Video of Michelle Alexander talking about her book: The New Jim Crow
    She will be the speaker at the annual Cummings-Perrucci Lecture on Class, Race and Gender Inequality at Purdue on Nov. 14th, 7:30pm
    3. Wakefield, Sara and Christopher Uggen. 2010. “Incarceration and Stratification.” Annual Review of Sociology
    4. Petitt, Becky and Bruce Western. 2004. “Mass Imprisonment and the Life Course: Race and Class Inequality in U.S. Incarceration” American Sociological Review
    5. Foster, H., and Hagan, J. 2009. “The mass incarceration of parents in America: Issues of race/ethnicity, collateral damage to children, and prisoner reentry.” The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 623(1), 179-194.
    6. Uggen, Christopher and Jeff Manza. 2002. “Democratic Contraction? Political Consequences of Felon Disenfranchisement in the United States.” American Sociological Review

    **Further Reading
    Forman Jr, J. 2012. Racial critiques of mass incarceration: Beyond the New Jim Crow. NYUL Rev., 87, 21.
    Steffensmeier, D., and Demuth, S. 2000. “Ethnicity and sentencing outcomes in US federal courts: Who is punished more harshly?” American Sociological Review, 705-729.
    Steffensmeier, D., Ulmer, J., & Kramer, J. (1998). The interaction of race, gender, and age in criminal sentencing: The punishment cost of being young, black, and male. Criminology, 36(4), 763-798.
    Western, Bruce, and Becky Pettit. 2010. “Incarceration and Social Inequality.” Daedalus 139:8-19.
    Western, Bruce. 2002. “The impact of incarceration on wage mobility and inequality.” American Sociological Review 526-546.
    Pager, Devah. 2003. “The Mark of a Criminal Record.” American Journal of Sociology 108(5): 937-975.
    Alexander, Michelle. 2010. The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. The New Press
    Week 12: Income Inequality
    1. Volscho and Kelly. 2012. “The Rise of the Super-Rich Power Resources, Taxes, Financial Markets, and the Dynamics of the Top 1 Percent, 1949 to 2008.” American Sociological Review
    2. Saez, E. 2013. “Striking it Richer: The Evolution of Top Incomes in the United States (Updated with 2011 estimates).” University of California-Berkley working Paper, 1-8.
    3. Lin, Ken-Hou and Donald Tomaskovic-Devey. “Financialization and Income Inequality, 1970-2008.” American Journal of Sociology 118(5): 1284-1329
    4. Western, Bruce, and Jake Rosenfeld. 2011. “Unions, Norms, and the Rise in American Earnings Inequality.” American Sociological Review 76: 513-37.
    5. Kus. “Financialisation and Income Inequality in OECD Nations: 1995-2007.” The Economic and Social Review
    6. Clark, Rob. 2011. “World Income Inequality in the Global Era: New Estimates, 1990-2008.” Social Problems 58(4): 565-592.
    Wilkinson, Richard G. and Kate E. Pickett. 2009. “Income Inequality and Social Dysfunction.” Annual Review of Sociology 35:493-511.

    **Further Reading
    Alderson, Arthur S. and François Nielsen. 2002. “Globalization and the Great U-Turn: Income Inequality Trends in 16 OECD Countries.” American Journal of Sociology 107: 1244-1299.
    Alderson, Arthur and François Nielsen. 1999. “Income inequality, development, and dependence.” American Sociological Review 64:606-31.
    Week 13: Wealth and Economic (In)Security
    1. Keister, L. A. 2013. “The One Percent.” Annual Review of Sociology, 40(1).
    2. Killewald, A. 2013. “Return to Being Black, Living in the Red: A Race Gap in Wealth That Goes Beyond Social Origins.” Demography, 1-19.
    3. Keister, L. A. 2012. “Religion and Wealth Across Generations.” Research in the Sociology of Work, 23, 131-150.
    4. Maroto, M. 2012. “The Scarring Effects of Bankruptcy: Cumulative Disadvantage Across Credit and Labor Markets.” Social Forces, 91(1), 99-130.
    5. Western, Bruce, Deirdre Bloome, Benjamin Sosnaud, and Laura Tach. 2012. “Economic Insecurity and Social Stratification.” Annual Review of Sociology 38: 341-359.

    **Further Reading
    Orr, A. J. 2003. “Black-white differences in achievement: The importance of wealth.” Sociology of Education, 281-304.
    Conley, Dalton. 1999. Being black, living in the red: Race, wealth, and social policy in America. University of California Press.
    Oliver, Melvin L., and Thomas M. Shapiro. 2006. Black Wealth, White Wealth: A New Perspective on Racial Inequality;[with 2 New Chapters]. CRC Press.
    Week 14: Race, Class, Gender, and Family
    1. Edin, Kathryn and Maria Kefalas. 2005. Promises I Can Keep: Why Poor Women Put Motherhood before Marriage. University of California Press
    **Kathryn Edin discusses Promises I Can Keep:
    2. Choo, H. Y., & Ferree, M. M. 2010. “Practicing Intersectionality in Sociological Research: A Critical Analysis of Inclusions, Interactions, and Institutions in the Study of Inequalities.” Sociological Theory 28: 129-149.
    Week 15: Poverty
    1. Iceland, John. 2013. Poverty in American: A Handbook. University of California Press. 3rd edition (Must be third edition, which has updated data)
    2. Small, Mario Luis, David Harding, and Michèle Lamont. 2010. “Reconsidering Culture and Poverty.” ANNALS, AAPSS 629.


    1. ^Note: This syllabus is for a seminar titled Social Inequality. I intentionally left out other readings that would be assigned in related courses, such as Stratification and Organizations and Inequality.


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