Professor Frank Munger
Introduction to poverty policy issues, with particular attention to welfare reforms undertaken since 1996 and with special emphasis on large urban centers such as New York. The seminar in structured in three parts. The first part is about poverty. Readings describe families living in poverty, the effects of poverty on families and children, and theories of poverty. The middle third considers the evolution of welfare policies, with particular emphasis on changes in the law since 1996. The final third focuses on the continuing experimentation with welfare policies by the states, promising directions for change, and the politics of welfare reform. Students are required to write several short papers during the term and a research paper at the end of the semester. Students are also required to volunteer at least ten hours in an approved placement in a shelter, human services organization, or poverty advocacy project, and are encouraged to use the experience as a start for the paper.