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Robert Crosnoe, Chair CLA 3.306, Mailcode A1700, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-232-6300

Fall 2006

SOC 308 • Health and Welfare Policy for 21st Century

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
47365 MWF
10:00 AM-11:00 AM
BUR 116

Course Description

This course provides a general overview of the foundation and development of American social policy. A key objective is to deepen your understanding of the formulation of public policy, in general, and how government impinges on many aspects of our lives- health, education, and economic security. A fundamental goal of the course is sharpen your evaluation and decision-making skills as they apply to the contemporary social welfare debate. Toward that end, we will examine different public policies and perspectives toward human resources, and the impact these have on social conditions and problems such as, the growing number of uninsured people in the United States. We will cover major policy areas that include income maintenance (social security and general assistance), health care (Medicare, Medicaid, and SCHIP), food and nutrition, and antipoverty programs (e.g., The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act of 1996. Additionally, we will be concerned with specific issues like immigration legislation and its effect on access to public aid, rationing health care to the old, the effects of devolution on welfare-to-work, new initiatives in child support enforcement, etc. Each class will focus on factors promoting or impeding health and welfare reform, and the social implications for such changes. Thus, there will be a special emphasis on current events and future prospects to support the poor, the young, the infirmed, and the old. Although the format of the course is fairly structured and lecture-oriented, there will be a great deal of room for following-up on interesting and controversial issues through class participation. The amount of time devoted to discussion will depend on issues that are of greatest interest to you and your classmates.

Grading Policy

Class activities will include lectures and discussions of various topics. All examinations cover material in the textbook assignments, and information presented in class (i.e., lectures, guest speakers, films, and discussion). Missed exams will be scored as zero, unless arrangements are made in advance and will be give only if a verifiable medical excuse is provide. Final grading will be based according to the following criteria: Examination I: Multiple choice (15 percent) Examination II: Multiple choice (20 percent) Final Exam: cumulative (50 percent) Legislative Policy Analysis: (15 percent) A = 90 - 100 B = 80  89 C = 70  79 D = 60  69 F = Below 60


Diana M. DiNitto. (2000). Social Welfare: Politics and Public Policy, fifth edition. Needham Heights, MA: Allyn and Bacon.


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