An interdepartmental program in Social Justice and Social Policy

Last updated: September 10, 2014 at 3:14 p.m.

Objectives

Concepts of justice play a profound role in clarifying human needs for health and well-being. Such basic social problems as inequality, poverty, and discrimination pose a constant challenge to policies that serve the health and income needs of children, families, people with disabilities, and the elderly. The public response to such problems, in America and elsewhere, rests on contested definitions of social obligation and social citizenship. The program in social justice and social policy examines these essential connections between social values and practical policies. It unites elements in liberal arts study to bridge the analytic gap between ends and means. It also brings together an unusually broad spectrum of faculty and curriculum—combining the academic perspectives of arts and sciences departments with professional expertise from the Heller School for Social Policy and Management. Students are encouraged to explore policy areas in concrete detail, focused variously on particular groups (children, the elderly, people with disabilities) or particular services (health care, income support). Students can also select courses that deal thematically with problems of social equity (poverty, discrimination), as well as courses that approach social justice from historical, philosophical, and comparative perspectives. Key elements of the program include a foundation course, a capstone course, and a research-based internship in a social policy setting.

The concern with social justice speaks to the core educational commitments of Brandeis. This program does not seek to promote a particular ideological agenda, but rather to spark creative thinking about complex social problems. It carries the search for norms and principles into the wider arena of practical experience. By providing models for critical reflection, it challenges students to articulate their own value commitments in a spirit of constructive debate.

Learning Goals

The Social Justice and Social Policy (SJSP) Program links the university's commitment to social justice with the academic curriculum. The program provides a common place for students in all disciplines to engage with issues of justice and equity. While many of the program’s courses offer a primary emphasis either on justice or policy concerns, SJSP strives to deepen understanding of the essential connections between social values and practical policy. Students are encouraged to select courses that approach social justice from historical, philosophical, legal, and comparative perspectives, as well as to explore policy areas in concrete detail. The program provides students with the flexibility to focus on a range of issues and arenas, including civil rights, domestic violence, environmental justice, health inequities, ethnic and religious conflict, slavery, and core questions of democracy, citizenship and disobedience. Key elements of the program include a foundational course and a research-based internship in an academic or social policy setting.

Social justice concerns speak to the core educational commitments of Brandeis. This program does not seek to promote a particular ideological agenda, but rather to spark creative thinking about complex social problems. It carries the search for norms and principles into the wider arena of practical experience. By providing models for critical reflection, it challenges students to articulate their own value commitments in a spirit of constructive debate.

Knowledge:
Students completing the minor in SJSP will understand how to:

  • Rigorously engage with core questions of liberty, equality, and justice
  • Recognize and locate major philosophical, legal, and analytic conceptions of liberty, equality, and justice
  • Relate frameworks from multiple disciplines to pressing social, economic, philosophical, legal, and political issues and policies
  • Identify how policy approaches are shaped by and bear upon racial, gender, ethnic, religious, cultural, and political difference
  • Locate and classify the points of intersection between social values and practical policies

Core Skills:
As an interdisciplinary program, the SJSP minor encourages students to explore varied perspectives on the intersection of values and action. As students take courses in the various disciplines, they are exposed to diverse methods of inquiry. SJSP minors from Brandeis will be well prepared to:

  • Creatively compare and assess foundational philosophical, theoretical, and analytic conceptions of justice
  • Interrogate the historical, structural, and cultural contexts that shape the dynamics of discrimination and inequality in a range of institutions
  • Clearly communicate theories, analyses, and policy solutions, both orally and in writing
  • Apply generalized principles to a range of real-world issues and settings
  • Deploy analytic frameworks and tools to develop effective policy approaches to specific social problems
  • Adeptly consider and respond to objections to proposed policy solutions
  • Collaborate with local agencies and communities to develop policy strategies that address pressing issues

How to Become a Minor

The program in social justice and social policy (SJSP) is open to all Brandeis undergraduates. Students may begin the minor at any time, but are encouraged to complete the foundation course within the first two years of study. To enroll in the minor, students must fill out the declaration forms from the Office of the University Registrar and meet first with one of the members of the program committee. A minor adviser will then be assigned by the director to help plan a course of study, including the timing of the internship/independent research and capstone requirements.

Committee

David Cunningham, Chair
(Sociology)

Richard Gaskins 
(American Studies; Legal Studies)

Laura Goldin
(American Studies; Environmental Studies)

Anita Hill
(Heller School)

Thomas Shapiro
(Heller School)

Marion Smiley
(Philosophy)

Melissa Stimell
(Legal Studies)

Andreas Teuber
(Philosophy)

Affiliated Faculty (contributing to the curriculum, advising and administration of the department or program)
David Cunningham (Sociology)
Richard Gaskins (American Studies)
Laura Goldin (American Studies)
Anita Hill (Heller)
Thomas Shapiro (Heller)
Marion Smiley (Philosophy)
Melissa Stimell (Legal Studies)
Andreas Teuber (Philosophy)

Requirements for the Minor

A. A core course: SOC 155b (Social Movements and the Political Process). This course is strongly recommended as an introduction to the program, and normally should be taken within the first two years of study. However, the core course is not a formal prerequisite for other courses in the program.

B. Students must complete any four elective courses from those listed below. Electives are grouped into topical fields, but students may choose courses from any group. No more than two electives from the Heller School or from any single department may be counted toward minor elective requirement.

C. Either (1) an internship approved by the SJSP internship director and the successful completion of the related SJSP 89a seminar, which is usually offered in the fall semester; or (2) successful completion of LGLS 161b (Advocacy for Policy Change), SOC 89a (Internships for Community Action and Social Change), SOC 182a (Applied Research Methods), or WMGS 89a (When Violence Hits Home). Internships undertaken for other majors or minors and not also paired with SJSP 89a will not fulfill this requirement. For option (1) above, the internship experience and the internship seminar combined count as one academic course.

D. No course taken pass/fail may count toward the program requirements.

E. No grade below a C- will be given credit toward the minor.

Courses of Instruction

(1-99) Primarily for Undergraduate Students

SJSP 89a Social Justice, Social Policy Internship
To obtain an internship for the fall term, students must discuss their placements with the SJSP internship instructor by April 15.
Supervised internship in a social justice, social service, social policy, or social research organization. Students will meet as a group and will complete research assignments. Usually offered every year in the fall semester.
Ms. Stimell

SJSP 98b Social Justice and Social Policy Independent Research
Prerequisite: SOC 123b or permission of the program director.
Guided readings and research on an independent topic that builds upon and integrates the particular course work completed in the SJSP program. Research may be directed by a member of the program committee or by another faculty member with the approval of the program director. Usually offered every semester.
Staff

(100-199) For Both Undergraduate and Graduate Students

SJSP 103b Introduction to Social Policy: Frameworks and Analysis
[ ss wi ]
Provides and introduction to social policy, frameworks and analysis, and criteria for evaluation policy options. Topics include quantitative and qualitative techniques for policy analysis and contemporary social problems: poverty, aging, disability, health care, early childhood development, and housing. Provides experience using policy frameworks and analysis techniques to think about social problems, analyze policies intended to address them, and suggest alternatives. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Lorenz

Social Justice and Social Policy: Core Courses

PHIL 111a What Is Justice?
[ hum ]
Prerequisite: One course in philosophy or political theory or permission of the instructor.
What is justice and what does justice require? The course examines theories of justice, both classical and contemporary. Topics include liberty and equality, "who gets what and how much," welfare- and resource-based principles of justice, justice as a virtue, liberalism, multiculturalism, and globalization. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Smiley

POL 136b Social and Political Movements in Israel
[ oc ss ]
Applies the scholarship on collective action and social movements to the case of Israel. It provides students with a comprehensive understanding of the social, religious, and ethnic conflicts that have shaped Israeli society and politics through a focus on the unique movements and campaigns that have driven them. Special one-time offering, spring 2015.
Ms. Norwich

SOC 155b Protest, Politics, and Change: Social Movements
[ ss ]
Utilizes case studies of actual movements to examine a variety of approaches to contentious politics. Covers collective behavior, resource mobilization, rational choice, and newer interactive models. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Cunningham

Social Justice and Social Policy: Research Internship

LGLS 161b Advocacy for Policy Change
[ oc ss ]
This hands-on course invites students to address concrete social problems through public policy reform. It provides background in theories, advocacy skills, networks, and key players that drive the legislative process. Focusing on policy change at the statehouse level, students engage with elected officials and community organizations to advance key legislation affecting social welfare, health, education, and economic justice. Usually offered every year.
Ms. Stimell

SJSP 89a Social Justice, Social Policy Internship
To obtain an internship for the fall term, students must discuss their placements with the SJSP internship instructor by April 15.
Supervised internship in a social justice, social service, social policy, or social research organization. Students will meet as a group and will complete research assignments. Usually offered every year in the fall semester.
Ms. Stimell

SOC 182a Applied Research Methods
[ qr ss ]
Provides hand-on training in social science research methodology, covering issues related to research design, data collection, and causal analysis within the context of a large-scale collaborative research project. Students will operate as a member of a research team with responsibility over a component of a broader project tied to real-world social justice initiative. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Cunningham

WMGS 89a When Violence Hits Home: Internship in Domestic Violence
Combines fieldwork in domestic and sexual violence prevention programs with a fortnightly seminar exploring cultural and interpersonal facets of violence from a feminist perspective. Topics include theories, causes and prevention of rape, battering, child abuse, and animal abuse. Internships provide practical experience in local organizations such as rape crisis, battered women's violence prevention, and child abuse prevention programs. Usually offered every fall.
Ms. Hunter

SJSP Electives: Foundational Frameworks

AAAS 158a Theories of Development and Underdevelopment
[ nw ss wi ]
Humankind has for some time now possessed the scientific and technological means to combat the scourge of poverty. The purpose of this seminar is to acquaint students with contending theories of development and underdevelopment, emphasizing the open and contested nature of the process involved and of the field of study itself. Among the topics to be studied are modernization theory, the challenge to modernization posed by dependency and world systems theories, and more recent approaches centered on the concepts of basic needs and of sustainable development. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Nyangoni

AMST 60a The Legal Boundaries of Public and Private Life
[ ss ]
May not be taken for credit by students who took AMST 187a in prior years.
Examine civil liberties through landmark U.S. Supreme Court cases. Explores confrontations between public interest and personal rights across four episodes in American cultural history; post-Civil War race relations; progressive-era economic regulation; war-time free-speech debates; and current issues of sexual and reproductive privacy. Close legal analysis supplemented by politics, philosophy, and social history. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Gaskins

BUS 10a Functions of the Capitalist Enterprise
[ ss ]
Prerequisite: BUS 6a. BUS 6a may be taken concurrently with BUS 10a.
Introduces the internal complexity of modern businesses and the various roles they play in society. First examines the internal workings of firms--marketing, operations, finance, and other functions. Subsequently, the relationships between businesses and their context--the economy, social issues, and government are studied. Usually offered every semester in multiple sections.
Mr. Bayone, Mr. Carver, and Mr. Oliver

HS 110a Wealth and Poverty
[ ss ]
Examines why the gap between richer and poorer citizens appears to be widening in the United States and elsewhere, what could be done to reverse this trend, and how the widening disparity affects major issues of public policy. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Shapiro

LGLS 130a Conflict Analysis and Intervention
[ oc ss ]
Examines alternatives to litigation, including negotiation and mediation. Through simulations and court observations, students assess their own attitudes about and skills in conflict resolution. Analyzes underlying theories in criminal justice system, divorce, adoption, and international arena. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Stimell

PHIL 20a Social and Political Philosophy: Democracy and Civil Resistance
[ hum wi ]
Focuses on the relation of the individual to the state and, in particular, on the theory and practice of nonviolent resistance, its aims, methods, achievements, and legitimacy. Examines the nature of obligation and the role of civil disobedience in a democratic society. Explores the conflict between authority and autonomy and the grounds for giving one's allegiance to any state at all. Examples include opposition to the nuclear arms race, and disobedience in China and Northern Ireland and at abortion clinics. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Teuber

PHIL 111a What Is Justice?
[ hum ]
Prerequisite: One course in philosophy or political theory or permission of the instructor.
What is justice and what does justice require? The course examines theories of justice, both classical and contemporary. Topics include liberty and equality, "who gets what and how much," welfare- and resource-based principles of justice, justice as a virtue, liberalism, multiculturalism, and globalization. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Smiley

POL 10a Introduction to Political Theory
[ ss ]
Open to first-year students.
Examination of classical political texts and modern writings for insights on central problems of political discourse, such as power and authority, human nature, freedom, obligation, justice, and the organization of the state. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Yack or Mr. Lenowitz

POL 15a Introduction to International Relations
[ ss ]
Open to first-year students.
General introduction to international politics, emphasizing the essential characteristics of the international system as a basis for understanding the foreign policy of individual countries. Analysis of causes of war, conditions of peace, patterns of influence, the nature of the world's political economy, global environmental issues, human rights, and prospects for international organizations. Open to first-year students. Usually offered every semester.
Mr. Art or Mr. Chase

SJSP 103b Introduction to Social Policy: Frameworks and Analysis
[ ss wi ]
Provides and introduction to social policy, frameworks and analysis, and criteria for evaluation policy options. Topics include quantitative and qualitative techniques for policy analysis and contemporary social problems: poverty, aging, disability, health care, early childhood development, and housing. Provides experience using policy frameworks and analysis techniques to think about social problems, analyze policies intended to address them, and suggest alternatives. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Lorenz

SOC 111a Political Sociology
[ ss ]
Social and institutional bases of public life (social capital, interest groups, movements, communities, parties, urban regimes, collaborative governance) and relationships to politics and policy at local and national levels. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Sirianni

SOC 193a Environment, Health, and Society
[ ss ]
This course draws on sociological perspectives to examine two key questions: (1) How does social organization enter into the production of environmental health and illness? and (2) How do scientists, regulators, social movement activists, and people affected by illness seek to understand, regulate, and intervene in relationships between the environment and human health? Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Shostak

SJSP Electives: Dynamics of Discrimination and Inequality

AAAS 82a Urban Politics
[ ss ]
Examines urban politics in the United States from the early twentieth century to the present. Topics include urban political machines; minority political participation; the evolution of American suburbs; and racial, economic, and political inequities that challenge public policymaking. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Mapps

AAAS 114b Race, Ethnicity, and Electoral Politics in the United States
[ ss ]
Explores the role that racial and ethnic politics play in American political campaigns and elections. Readings provide historical, theoretical, and empirical overviews of racial and ethnic politics in four contexts: political parties, presidential elections, congressional campaigns, and state legislative contests. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Mapps

AMST 102aj Environment, Social Justice, and Empowerment
[ oc ss wi ]
Yields six semester-hour credits towards rate of work and graduation.
This community-engaged course involves students first-hand in the legal, policy, science, history and social impacts of current environmental health issues challenging individuals and families and communities today, with a particular focus on low-income, immigrant communities and the profound and unique roles played by women. Students will engage directly in the topics through field trips, visiting speakers and discussions with stakeholders themselves. They also will address the issues by assisting low income residents in Waltham at the Tenant Advocacy Clinic, and collaborating in projects with EPA, DEP and local organizations such as Healthy Waltham, the Waltham Family School, Waltham Family YMCA, Jewish Family and Children's Service, Joseph Smith Community Health Center and others. Offered as part of JBS program.
Ms. Goldin

ANTH 156a Power and Violence: The Anthropology of Political Systems
[ nw ss ]
Political orders are established and maintained by varying combinations of overt violence and the more subtle workings of ideas. The course examines the relationship of coercion and consensus, and forms of resistance, in historical and contemporary settings. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Ferry

LGLS 120a Sex Discrimination and the Law
[ ss ]
Traces the evolution of women's rights in the family, in employment, and in the reproductive process, as well as constitutional doctrines. Examines gender inequalities and assesses if and how the law should address them. Legal cases studied emphasize how law reflects society. Usually offered every third year.
Staff

SOC 1a Order and Change in Society
[ ss ]
An introduction to the sociological perspective, with an emphasis on an analysis of problems of social order and change. Topics include gender, work and family, poverty and inequality, race and ethnicity, democracy, social movements, community, and education. Usually offered every year.
Ms. Cadge, Mr. Cunningham or Mr. Sirianni

SOC 112b Social Class and Social Change
[ ss ]
Presents the role of social class in determining life chances, lifestyles, income, occupation, and power; theories of class, inequality, and globalization; selected social psychological aspects of social class and inequality; and connections of class, race, and gender. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Fellman

SOC 147a Sustainable Cities and Communities
[ oc ss ]
Studies innovations in the U.S and around the world that enhance urban sustainability, healthy communities, environmental justice, climate resilience and adaptation. Grassroots sustainability and climate movements, as well as environmental, health, and urban planning practice are examined. May be combined with internships and action research. May be combined with internships and action research. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Sirianni

WMGS 5a Women, Genders, and Sexualities
[ ss ]
This interdisciplinary course introduces central concepts and topics in the field of women's, gender, and sexuality studies. Explores the position of women in diverse settings and the impact of gender as a social, cultural, and intellectual category in the United States and around the globe. Asks how gendered institutions, behaviors, and representations have been configured in the past and function in the present, and also examines the ways in which gender and sexuality intersect with many other vectors of identity and circumstance in forming human affairs. Usually offered every fall and spring.
Ms. Fox, Ms. Freeze, Ms. Lanser, or Ms. Singh

SJSP Electives: Historical and Comparative Perspectives on Social Justice

AAAS 80a Economy and Society in Africa
[ nw ss wi ]
Perspectives on the interaction of economic and other variables in African societies. Topics include the ethical and economic bases of distributive justice; models of social theory, efficiency, and equality in law; the role of economic variables in the theory of history; and world systems analysis. Usually offered every third year.
Mr. Nyangoni

AMST 104bj Boston and Its Suburbs: Environment and History
[ ss ]
Advanced seminar follows the development of the cultural landscape of Boston, Waltham and the western suburbs from glacial retreat to urban sprawl. Employs ecology and history to better understand and address contemporary environmental issues. Offered as part of JBS program.
Mr. Donahue

AMST 185b The Culture of the Cold War
[ ss ]
Addresses American political culture from the end of World War II until the revival of liberal movements and radical criticism. Focuses on the specter of totalitarianism, the "end of ideology," McCarthyism, the crisis of civil liberties, and the strains on the pluralistic consensus in an era of anti-Communism. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Whitfield

AMST 188b Louis Brandeis: Law, Business and Politics
[ ss ]
Brandeis's legal career serves as model and guide for exploring the ideals and anxieties of American legal culture throughout the twentieth century. Focuses on how legal values evolve in response to new technologies, corporate capitalism, and threats to personal liberty. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Gaskins

AMST/SOC 125a History of U.S. Feminisms in a Global Context
[ ss ]
An investigation of the development and politics of women's rights in the United States. Explores the internal and external coalitions and conflicts at the nexus of race, ethnicity, sexuality, and religion. Examines the transnational shift to organizing for human rights. Usually offered every third year.
Ms. Antler and Ms. Hansen

FYS 43b Visions of the American Environment, Images to Action
[ hum ]
Explores the role of the natural environment in the North American vision through the lens of books and selected readings, films and art. We focus on the 1800's to present as we consider how these works reflect our relationship with the environment over time and shape our treatment of natural resources as we address daunting environmental challenges. As we examine a series of broad environmental themes and issues, including environmental justice concerns and the meaning of "place" and "home" in the American vision, our field trips and hands-on work with local groups help bring our studies to life and meaning. Usually offered every year.
Ms. Goldin (Environmental Studies)

HIST 172a 20th Century Social Movements in the Americas
[ ss ]
Examines social movements in Latin America in the 20th and 21st centuries, covering feminism, labor activism, ethnic mobilization, peasant rebellion, environmental defense, resistance to dictatorship, anti-imperialism, and related topics. Usually offered every second year.
Staff

HIST 181b Red Flags/Black Flags: Marxism vs. Anarchism, 1845-1968
[ ss ]
From Marx's first major book in 1845 to the French upheavals of 1968, the history of left-wing politics and ideas. The struggles between Marxist orthodoxy and anarchist-inspired, left Marxist alternatives. Usually offered every third year.
Mr. Hulliung

IGS 170a The Rise of Brazil
[ ss ]
Examines how Brazil now wields global influence in energy, South-South politics, culture and environmental affairs. This course looks at key elements - from the favela to high finance, carnvial to Candomblé - that make up one of the world's most dynamic societies. Usually offered every second year.
Staff

RECS 149b Russian Modernism in: Culture and Arts
[ hum ]
Open to all students. Conducted in English. Students may choose to do readings either in English translation or in Russian.
An interdisciplinary immersion in the period, emphasizing the connections between historical and artistic trends and employing prominent theories of culture. Focuses on major figures, works, and events in film, literature, the performing and visual arts, and political, philosophical, and religious thought. Usually offered every fourth year.
Mr. Powelstock

SQS 6b Sexuality and Queer Studies
[ hum ss ]
May not be taken for credit by students who took WMGS 6b in prior years.
Examines cross-cultural and historical perspectives on sexual meanings, experiences, representations, and activist movements within a framework forged by contemporary critical theories of gender and sexuality. Usually offered every year.
Staff

WMGS 105b Feminisms: History, Theory, and Practice
[ oc ss ]
Prerequisite: Students are encouraged, though not required, to take WMGS 5a prior to enrolling in this course.
Examines diverse theories of sex and gender within a multicultural framework, considering historical changes in feminist thought, the theoretical underpinnings of various feminist practices, and the implications of diverse and often conflicting theories for both academic inquiry and social change. Usually offered every year.
Ms. Smith

SJSP Electives: Diversity and Difference: Culture and Practice

AAAS 125b Caribbean Women and Globalization: Sexuality, Citizenship, Work
[ ss wi ]
Utilizing perspectives from sociology, anthropology, fiction, and music to examine the relationship between women's sexuality and conceptions of labor, citizenship, and sovereignty. The course considers these alongside conceptions of masculinity, contending feminisms, and the global perspective. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Smith

ANTH 144a The Anthropology of Gender
[ nw ss ]
Examines gender constructs, sexuality, and cultural systems from a comparative perspective. Topics include the division of labor, rituals of masculinity and femininity, the vexing question of the universality of women's subordination, cross-cultural perspectives on same-sex sexualities and transsexuality, the impact of globalization on systems, and the history of feminist anthropology. Usually offered every year.
Ms. Hannig, Ms. Lamb or Ms. Schattschneider

COML 165a Reading, Writing, and Teaching across Cultures
[ hum nw wi ]
Examines contemporary literary representations of literacy, schooling, and language from a cross-cultural perspective. Students also analyze their own educational trajectories and experiences with writing and reading. Usually offered every year.
Ms. Hale

ECON 69a The Economics of Race and Gender
[ ss ]
Prerequisite: ECON 2a or 10a.
The role of race and gender in economic decision making. Mainstream and alternative economic explanations for discrimination, and analysis of the economic status of women and minorities. Discussion of specific public policies related to race, class, and gender. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Brainerd

ED 158b Looking with the Learner: Practice and Inquiry
Does not satisfy a school distribution requirement--for education studies core course credit only. Lab fee: $40.
Links theory to practice in learning through the visual arts through three types of experiences: 1) looking at art; 2) museum-based interactions with students from Stanley Elementary School in Waltham; and 3) documenting our experiences as lookers, learners, and teachers. What can we learn about art, artists, ourselves, and young learners through the processes of looking at art? How can we best support students in their own encounters with art and learning? How can museums serve as a model for education in various settings? Usually offered every year.
Ms. Bernson

ENG 151a Queer Studies
[ hum ]
Recommended preparation: An introductory course in gender/sexuality and/or a course in critical theory.
Historical, literary, and theoretical perspectives on the construction and performance of queer subjectivities. How do queer bodies and queer representations challenge heteronormativity? How might we imagine public spaces and queer citizenship? Usually offered every second year.
Mr. King

HISP 160a Culture and Social Change in Latin America
[ fl hum nw wi ]
Prerequisite: HISP 109b, or HISP 110a, or HISP 111b, or permission of the instructor.
Examines the relationship between the arts (including literature, film, and fine arts) and society in Latin America during the twentieth century by focusing on three historical conjunctures when this relationship was particularly rich: the political and artistic vanguards of the 1920s (with particular attention to the Mexican Revolution and its aftermath); the 1960s, marked by the historical turning point of the Cuban Revolution; and the decade of the 1990s, characterized by the transition to democracy, the emergence of human rights and other social movements. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Rosenberg

HIST 171b Latinos in the U.S.
[ ss ]
No longer writing intensive beginning spring 2013.
History of the different Latino groups in the United States from the nineteenth century when westward expansion incorporated Mexican populations through the twentieth century waves of migration from Latin America. Explores the diversity of Latino experiences including identity, work, community, race, gender, and political activism. Usually offered every second year.
Staff

HSSP 192b Sociology of Disability
[ ss ]
In the latter half of the twentieth century, disability has emerged as an important social-political-economic-medical issue, with its own distinct history, characterized as a shift from "good will to civil rights." Traces that history and the way people with disabilities are seen and unseen, and see themselves. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Gulley

NEJS 148b Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Jews and Christians: Sources and Interpretations
[ hum ]
Introduction to the classical Jewish and Christian sources on same-sex love and on gender ambiguity and to a variety of current interpretations of them, to the evidence for same-sex love and gender fluidity among Jews and Christians through the centuries, and to current religious and public policy debates about same-sex love and gender identity and expression. Usually offered every third year.
Ms. Brooten

PHIL 108a Philosophy and Gender
[ hum ]
Prerequisite: PHIL 1a or PHIL 17a.
Explores the place of gender in the works of particular Western philosophers (e.g., Kant, Hume, and Rousseau) and uses the tools of contemporary analytic philosophy to address questions about gender equality, sexual objectification, and the nature of masculinity. Usually offered every third year.
Ms. Smiley

SJSP Electives: Social Justice in Action: Policy Approaches to Social Problems

AMST 55a Race, Ethnicity, and Immigration in American Culture
[ ss ]
Provides an introductory overview of the study of race, ethnicity, and culture in the United States. Focuses on the historical, sociological, and political movements that affected the arrival and settlement of African, Asian, European, American Indian, and Latino populations in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Utilizing theoretical and discursive perspectives, compares and explores the experiences of these groups in the United States in relation to issues of immigration, population relocations, government and civil legislation, ethnic identity, gender and family relations, class, and community. Usually offered every year.
Staff

AMST 191b Greening the Ivory Tower: Improving Environmental Sustainability of Brandeis and Community
[ oc ss ]
Yields six semester-hour credits towards rate of work and graduation.
Get active, involved, and out of the classroom with this class! In this hands-on, field-based course we focus on the human impact on the world's natural resources, and explore strategies for creating healthy, resilient , environmentally sustainable communities in the face of increasingly daunting environmental challenges. Students also create projects that can change the face of Brandeis and the local community. Usually offered every year.
Ms. Goldin

ANTH 142a AIDS: Science, Society, and Policy
[ ss ]
An examination of the AIDS pandemic from cross-cultural and anthropological perspectives. Topics include biosocial approaches to disease, epidemiology of transmission, national and international institutions, prevention and treatment, and ethical issues; case studies from the Americas, Asia, and Africa. Usually offered every third year.
Ms. Kammerer

BIOL 17b Conservation Biology
[ sn ]
No longer writing intensive beginning spring 2013.
Considers the current worldwide loss of biological diversity, causes of this loss, and methods for protecting and conserving biodiversity. Explores biological and social aspects of the problems and their solutions. Usually offered every year.
Ms. Hitchcock

ECON 57a Environmental Economics
[ ss ]
Prerequisite: ECON 2a or 10a.
Investigates the theoretical and policy problems posed by the use of renewable and nonrenewable resources. Theoretical topics include the optimal pricing of resources, the optimal use of standards and taxes to correct pollution problems under uncertainty, and the measurement of costs and benefits. Usually offered every year.
Ms. Bui

ED 155b Education and Social Policy
[ ss wi ]
Examines the various functions that schools perform in a community, with special attention to the intended and unintended consequences of contemporary policies such as special education, desegregation, charter schools, and the standards/accountability movement. Usually offered every year.
Ms. Levenson

ENVS 15a Reason to Hope: Managing the Global Commons for Peace
[ sn ]
Explores global security arrangements that would tend toward peace within the objective constraints that delimit our options; the laws of physics, energy and food availability, human population, global wealth, geography, weather, and the presence of nuclear weapons. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Tsipis

ENVS 18b International Environmental Conflict and Collaboration
[ ss ]
Studies the development of international environmental law and policy through a historical lens. Examines how early diplomatic initiatives have--and importantly, have not--shaped the contemporary structure of international environmental relations. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Chester

HS 104b American Health Care
[ ss ]
Examines and critically analyzes the United States health care system, emphasizing the major trends and issues that have led to the current sense of "crisis." In addition to providing a historical perspective, this course will establish a context for analyzing the current, varied approaches to health care reform. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Altman

HS 120a Race and the Law
[ ss ]
Explores how race has been defined and used to uphold or undermine the principles espoused in the Constitution and other sources of the law in the United States. Issues discussed range from treatment of Native Americans at the nation's birth to the modern concept of affirmative action. One of our premises is that ideally the law represents the synthesis of the narratives of various elements of a society. Usually offered every year.
Ms. Hill

HS 124a Dilemmas of Long-Term Care
[ ss ]
Fifty million Americans have a disability. What kinds of help do they want? What are the responsibilities of families, friends, and communities to help? Current U.S. approaches to service delivery, financing, and organization are reviewed and alternatives considered. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Leutz

HS 143a Social Justice and Philanthropy
[ ss ]
May not be taken for credit by students who took SOC 143a in prior years.
Examines the role of philanthropy in American society including individual, institutional, and societal-level factors that affect philanthropic efforts to create social change and the relationship between social justice and philanthropy. Students explore philanthropy from both theoretical and practical perspectives using an academic framework grounded in sociological theory and a semester-long experiential learning exercise in real-dollar grantmaking. Usually offered every year.
Staff

LGLS 114a American Health Care: Law and Policy
[ ss ]
Not recommended for freshmen.
Focuses on individual rights, highlights how our laws and policies affect American health care. Traces the evolution of the doctor-patient relationship; explores access issues, including whether health care is or should be a fundamental right; assesses the quality of care and the impact of malpractice; and examines the cost of having (or not having) adequate health insurance. Concludes with options and prospects for meaningful reform. Usually offered every year.
Ms. Curi

LGLS 114aj American Health Care: Law and Policy
[ ss ]
Emphasizes the interplay of law, public policy, and social justice, focusing on health care reform. After considering the background leading up to passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the policy innovations it promotes, particularly with regard to cost, quality, and access, students will consider the current challenges to implementing this ambitious law. By examining the complex structure of the American health care system, in contrast to systems in other advanced countries, we will explore to what extent the ACA promotes the just distribution of quality health care. Offered as part of the JBS program.
Ms. Noble

LGLS 124b International Law and Development
[ nw ss ]
Surveys public and private forms of international law with special application to developing countries, and to political and social development in the global economy. Examines basic legal concepts of property, contract, and rule of law in the context of national and cultural transformations. Usually offered every second year.
Staff

LGLS 131b Patient Autonomy: Law, Medicine, and Ethics
[ ss ]
Focuses on patient rights, examines how health care decisions are made, and by whom. Explores a range of current issues in the field of biomedical ethics, including the legal and ethical aspects of the physician-patient relationship, the doctrine of informed consent, medical futility, assisted reproduction, physician-assisted suicide, personhood, the right-to-die, clinical research, and emerging technologies. Analyzes hard and often tragic choices involving life, quality of life, and death. Assesses the ability of the legal system to set standards and resolve conflict. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Curi

LGLS 131bj Patient Autonomy: Law, Medicine, and Ethics
[ ss ]
Focuses on patient rights, examining how difficult health care decisions are made, and by whom. Together, by examining the law and a range of ethical theories, we will explore current issues in biomedical ethics, including informed consent, reproductive rights, physician-assisted suicide and the right-to-die, personhood, end-of-life care, and genetics and other emerging technologies; consider the conflicting roles and responsibilities for medical professionals, caregivers, and family members; analyze hard and often tragic choices involving life, quality of life, and death; and assess the ability of the legal system to set meaningful standards and resolve conflict. Offered as part of the JBS program.
Ms. Curi

POL 108aj The Police and Social Movements in American Politics
[ ss ]
Analyses American mass political movements, their interaction with police, and their influences on American politics. Topics include the relationship between social movements and various political institutions. Explore various theories with case studies of specific political movements. Offered as part of JBS program.
Mr. Kryder

POL 154a Seminar: Citizenship
[ ss wi ]
Liberal theory presumes the progress of history to be, in the words of John Stuart Mill, a gradual "doing away with privilege." Examines the frontiers of social and political justice through readings drawn from literature, political science, and history. Usually offered every third year.
Ms. Klausen

POL 154aj Seminar: Citizenship
[ ss ]
Liberal theory presumes the progress of history to be, in the words of John Stuart Mill, a gradual "doing away with privilege." Examines the frontiers of social and political justice through readings drawn from literature, political science, and history. Offered as part of JBS program.
Mr. Kryder

SOC 104a Sociology of Education
[ ss ]
Examines the role of education in society, including pedagogy, school systems, teacher organizations, parental involvement, community contexts, as well as issues of class, race, and gender. Usually offered every year.
Staff

SOC 104aj Sociology of Education
[ ss ]
Examines the role of education in society, including pedagogy, school systems, teacher organizations, parental involvement, community contexts, as well as issues of class, race, and gender. Offered as part of the JBS program.
Staff

SOC 175b Environmental Movements: Organizations, Networks, and Partnerships
[ oc ss ]
Studies environmental movement organizations and field strategies, national advocacy organizations, as well as community-based and civic approaches to environmental problem solving. Case studies draw from sustainable and climate resilient cities, watersheds, coastal adaptation, forests, ecosystem restoration, environmental justice, renewable energy, and the greening of industry. May be combined with internships and action research. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Sirianni

SOC 176a Nature, Nurture, and Public Policy
[ ss ]
Examines the impact of heredity or genetic theories of human problems on developing public policy, including the viability and validity of theories and evidence. Historical and contemporary cases such as gender, IQ, mental illness, and alcoholism are studied. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Conrad

SOC 177b Aging in Society
[ ss ]
Explores the social context of aging by using sociological theory, empirical research, and literature. Examines such topics as aging in residential settings, the aging experience of minority groups, health and illness, the economics of aging, gender, work, and retirement. Also examines the definition of aging in other societies in order to understand the contemporary Western response to aging. Contains a field research component. Usually offered every third year.
Staff

SOC 191a Health, Community, and Society
[ ss ]
This course offers a 2-credit optional practicum.
An exploration into interrelationships among society, health, and disease, emphasizing the social causes and experience of illness. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Conrad