Fall 2006 Course Description

Advanced Topics in Public Policy

Section Title: Building and Sustaining Communities
Instructor(s): Lodis Rhodes
Course: P A 388K - Advanced Topics in Public Policy
(previously Seminar in Topics in Public Policy)
Unique Number: 65285
Day & Time: Wednesdays, 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Room: SRH 3.101
Waitlist Information:For LBJ Students: UT Waitlist Information

This course fulfills requirements for the following specialization(s):

Description: Community is a commonly used but seldom defined term. Poverty is an equally elusive term. We hear the terms in everyday conversation and see them frequently in the social science literature. While we may feel confident when we use the terms, we are usually not very precise. Others easily miss what we mean. Overconfidence, lack of precision, and misunderstandings cloud discussions. They also lead to flawed research and policies on community development.

Community and poverty are, however, useful theoretical concepts. This course helps you think more clearly about them. It does so in three ways. It emphasizes geo-spatial analysis as a way to ?see? complex social problems. It also helps you identify and examine the defining characteristics of community and the processes required to develop and sustain it. A basic assertion is that poverty and inequality are largely induced conditions with systematic ill effects on specific groups of people around the globe.

Students interested in the course should be well grounded in the social sciences. It helps to have a specific interest in one of the applied, policy-related fields of planning, public health, information technologies, education, law, or community organizing. The course may be useful to students interested in the policy and service oriented NGOs (non-governmental organizations).

Last Updated: August 18, 2006

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