Current Courses

Fall 2016


Neighborhoods, Ghettos and Enclaves

Profs. Philip Kasinitz & Greggory Smithsimon;
Soc. 85800 – Wednesdays, 11:45 – 1:45, Room TBA, 3 credits
This class will examine the role neighborhoods and other forms of  spatial community play in contemporary urban life. We will look at both the micro level interactions that create communities in the city, as well as larger structural forces such as racial segregation, migration and public policy in assessing what urban communities do, how they are created and change and how they are sometimes destroyed, as well as examining the role that spatial communities have in the lives of their residents and others in the City. Specific topics will include the development of the modern neighborhood, “ghettos”—past and present, immigrant enclaves, the idea of the “urban village,” the role of race, relations in public, public housing and urban public policy, planned communities, gentrification, “bohemian” and Gay and Lesbian communities, the commercial life in the city and the “new urbanism.” Students will be expected to complete two critical essays and one original research paper.


International Migration

Prof. Pyong Gap Min
Soc. 82800 – Wednesdays 6:30 – 8:30pm, room TBA, 3 credits
We have ushered into the global migration period since the early 1990s.  Not only traditionally immigrant-accepting countries, including the U.S. and three former British colonies in the “New World” (Canada, Australia and New Zealand), but also Western European countries and Asian countries have annually received large numbers of formal immigrants or migrant workers/brides over the last two decades. In particular, the U.S. has received the largest number of immigrants annually since the late 1960s The influx of immigrants to the U.S. over the last 50 years has changed the face of the U.S., impacting neighborhoods, the economy, the school systems, cuisines, politics, healthcare, and sports.
This course, focusing on international migration, has three main objectives.  First, it will provide an overview information about immigration patterns in three areas for students: (1) the U.S., (2) Canada, Australia and New Zealand, and (3) Europe.  Immigration patterns include immigration policies, the annual number of immigrants, their national and regional origins, and their racial, religious, and socioeconomic backgrounds.  Second, it will compare two mass migration periods in the U.S. (the classical and contemporary periods) in immigration patterns and immigrants’ adaptations. Third, it will help students to learn about U.S. immigrants’ and their children’s adaptations (settlement patterns, socioeconomic adaptations and racialization) and theories of adaptations, especially regarding second-generation immigrants’ adaptations. To summarize the main objectives, this course aims to provide general information about global migration patterns, but focuses on the U.S. context in examining immigrants’ and their children’s adaptations with special attention to the differences between turn-of-the twenty-century white immigrant and contemporary immigrant groups.


Borders, Boundaries and the Ethics of Immigration
Prof. Carol Gould
PSC 87800 – (Cross list with PHIL 77600) – 4 credits, CRN 32400
Tuesday 2:00pm-4:00pm
This seminar will address the hard theoretical questions that arise from the pervasive distinction between citizens and aliens, especially with regard to the exclusion of immigrants from liberal democratic states and the subsequent treatment of the undocumented within them. We will begin by investigating the notions of external borders and internal boundaries between groups from the standpoint of social ontology. We will then take up the much-debated normative questions concerning the rights of states to exclude and the rights of people to migrate, whether as political, religious, or climate refugees, or due to poverty, unemployment, or other immiserating conditions. Here, core concepts of political theory and the alternative justifications for them require investigation: self-determination (as collective or national), legitimacy, citizenship, rights to freedom of movement, and economic and social human rights. The implications of justice—both domestic and cosmopolitan—will be considered, along with remedial responsibilities of powerful states arising from historical injustice and from the structural inequalities within the contemporary political economy. Throughout, our discussion will bring feminist theory to bear in regard to the differential impacts of migration and immigration restriction on women and children.

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