SBS 535

The course uses interdisciplinary, critical, and global perspectives to study racism and other systems of oppression, poverty, and the disempowerment of peoples subordinated based on race, gender, and class. The sessions include readings regarding the experiences of Black Americans, Burakumin people, Dalit people, Jewish people, Romani people, Palestinians, and other oppressed and racialized peoples.
This is an introductory course examining four main topics to be discussed in separate but interconnected sections: (1) Racism and other systems of oppression; (2) poverty and racialized and gendered poverty; (3) power; and (4) institutional and societal responses to racism and other oppressions.
Racism and other systems of oppression: In this section, we will discuss systems of oppression enforced across various regions of the world. This section pays particular attention to the impact of enduring systems of oppression on access, quality, and outcomes in education and health.
Poverty: The existing measures of poverty provide a necessary but insufficient picture of poverty. International and national institutions operate with robust and assessable frameworks (e.g., multidimensional poverty index or absolute poverty). Yet, these frameworks fail to encompass determinants and dimensions of poverty that are particular to historically oppressed peoples (e.g., multigenerational wealth, neighborhood poverty). Thus, in this section, we will not only discuss the concepts of poverty and multidimensional poverty, but also explore ways to measure intersectional, racialized, and gendered poverty.
Power: The scholarship discusses oppression and racism not only as matters of rights deprivation for the oppressed but also as "inherited advantage in power" for dominant groups. In this section, we will discuss whether and how inherited power is transmitted economically, socially, culturally, and ideologically.
Solutions: In this final section, we will discuss examples of interventions (both successful and ineffective) to address racism and/or racialized and gendered poverty, from people and social movements to state policies and reparations.