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Social Relations and Policy

The Social Relations and Policy (SRP) major explores the domain of public issues that are especially affected by relations among groups. The field is explicitly historical and comparative, looking at social relations in the United States and internationally over time. Courses focus on the sociology, history and politics of intergroup relations, paying close attention to the influence and intersectionality of class, race, ethnicity, sex/gender, religious belief and national identity. The program uses the study of social relations as a way to cultivate reasoning, methodological and analytical skills and the capacities for empathetic observation, normative judgment and effective problem-solving.

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The sophomore sequence provides the conceptual, methodological and substantive bases for upper division work by introducing students to classical and contemporary social theory and comparative social history, and to quantitative and qualitative methodologies.

The junior level builds on these skills to assess, in depth, a set of social problems and policy solutions. A senior seminar provides an opportunity to synthesize course work and undertake original research.

Substantively, courses in SRP take up issues such as social identity, inequality and mobility, wealth and poverty, assimilation and pluralism, prejudice and discrimination, intergroup conflict and cooperation, the problem of civil rights and the politics of equality. Students develop knowledge in immigration, race and ethnic relations, civil rights, family and children, housing and residential segregation, urban and metropolitan policy, schooling and educational policy, social security and social welfare policies. Many will pursue careers in labor relations, human resources administration, law, teaching, educational administration, public lobbying and much more.


Sample Courses

MC378    Law and Social Groups
MC381    American Politics and Equality
MC383    African American Politics
MC389    Religious Politics in U.S. Society: Left, Right, and Other

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