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These course descriptions are not being updated as of August 1, 2016. Current course descriptions are maintained in LionPATH.

Sociology (SOC)

SOC 452 Spatial Inequality (3) This course provides an introduction to concepts, measurement and study of spatial inequality in the US and across the globe.

SOC 452 Spatial Inequality (3)

This is a lecture and lab-based course that provides an introduction to the concepts, measurement and study of inequality across spatial scales from international and national through to sub-national and local scales, and to study spatial inequality in diverse contexts (urban and rural; historical and contemporary). This will cover diverse substantive topics such as racial segregation, housing and labor markets, exposure to risks (e.g., pollution, crime, NIMBY facilities) and access to resources (e.g., supermarkets, schools, and health care). The lab component introduces undergraduates to geographic information system software and basic spatial analysis.

The lecture component of the course has four main sections. In Section 1 the focus is on fundamental questions such as: Why inequality? How to measure inequality? What are the key dimensions of inequality? This section will be wrapped up by an overview of the causes and consequences of inequality. In Section 2 the focus is on inequality between nations and inequality within nations (i.e., non-US). Section 3 will focus on the United States and specifically examining different levels or “territories” of inequality; neighborhood-level to state-level differences. This section focuses on urban spatial inequality and issues such as spatial segregation, access to services and exposure to risks. Section 3 concludes with discussions of rural inequalities focusing on access to health services. Section 4 focuses on 21st century challenges regarding rapid urbanization in the developing world and revisits themes related to ‘Global’ inequality.

The lab components of the course will parallel lectures and provide opportunities for practical learning. Specifically the labs are designed to expose students in sociology and across the social sciences to the use of geospatial data, geographic information systems and basic spatial analysis tools providing them with skills that help them to accurately summarize and report data on spatial inequalities. Students will learn how to find, critique, and use data appropriately to measure and map inequality. They will be introduced to spatial analytical concepts and learn how to assemble geospatial databases. They will learn skills associated with basic exploratory spatial data analysis and understand concepts such as scale, spatial heterogeneity, and spatial dependence.


General Education: None
Diversity: None
Bachelor of Arts: None
Effective: Summer 2015
Prerequisite: 3 credits in sociology or the social and behavioral sciences

Note : Class size, frequency of offering, and evaluation methods will vary by location and instructor. For these details check the specific course syllabus.

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