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Christine L. Williams, Chair CLA 3.306, Mailcode A1700, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-232-6300

Bryan R. Roberts

Ph.D., University of Chicago

C.B.Smith Sr. Chair in US-Mexico Relations, Professor
Bryan R. Roberts

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Biography

Bryan Roberts' activities encompass many funded research projects, most currently a Ford Foundation funded research and training project on Self-sustaining Community Development in Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Peru and two projects on Urbanization in Latin America funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. One of these, jointly with the Urban Affairs Institute of the University is on Urban Governance and Intra-urban Population Differentials in six countries of Latin America (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Peru and Uruguay) and the other, jointly with the Center for Migration and Development of Princeton University, is on Latin American Urbanization in the late Twentieth Century.

Bryan Roberts also serves as the Director of the Mexican Center, Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies as well as Director of The Mexican Center.

NIH Biosketch

SOC 379M • Sociological Theory

46530 • Spring 2014
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm CLA 0.102
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Description

This course will focus on an outline of social theory from the enlightenment to the present with particular emphasis on the social theories of Marx, Durkheim and Weber.  Concentrating on the emergence of sociological theory provides a foundation for understanding its many varieties.  Our emphasis will be on the contemporary relevance of the ideas and debates and the aim of the final essay requirement of the course is to allow students to use social theory to address contemporary issues. The Course will be organized on Blackboard, which will contain information on assignments, the class calendar, lecture notes and Course Documents.

 Required Texts

S. Appelrouth and L. Edies,  Classical and Contemporary  Sociological Theory. 2nd Edition.  Steven Lukes, The Curious Enlightenment of Professor Caritat. Verso Books.

Grading Policy

The lectures will focus on issues in the readings that will be the subject of the in-class examinations. Submitting written questions on time each week is part of the grade. Individuals will receive up to 2 grade points for the question that they submit to the group discussion board each week. Questions, which fail to meet the standards outlined in the syllabus, will receive only one point. Failure to participate in the group discussion and questions through comments/suggestions will lead to no grade points being assigned to the individual for the group question. Consequently, the maximum grade points assigned for this part of the assessment are 24 points (12 weeks times 2).  The in class examination will carry 38 grade points and the class essay 38 points. Those responsible for posting questions to the Class Discussion Board will receive 2 bonus points for doing so, providing they meet the standards outlined below. Each student will have three opportunities to post to the class discussion board during the semester, leading to a possible total of 6 bonus points.

SOC 379M • Sociological Theory

45875 • Spring 2013
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm CLA 0.102
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Description

This course will focus on an outline of social theory from the enlightenment to the  twentieth century with particular emphasis on the social theories of Marx, Durkheim and Weber.  Concentrating on the emergence of sociological theory provides a foundation for understanding its many varieties.  Our emphasis will be on the contemporary relevance of the ideas and debates and the aim of the final essay requirement of the course is to allow students to use social theory to address contemporary issues. The Course will be organized on Blackboard, which will contain information on assignments, the class calendar, lecture notes and Course Documents.

Texts

The required text for the course is Appelrouth and Edies,  Classical and Contemporary  Sociological Theory. The course will also use a novel (Steven Lukes, The Curious Enlightenment of Professor Caritat) to explore the visions of society present in the theories discussed and their contemporary manifestations. 

 

SOC 395D • Citizenship & Social Policy

45975 • Spring 2013
Meets T 300pm-600pm CLA 1.302A
(also listed as LAS 381 )
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Description

The course examines social policies in the context of the transition in Latin America from state centered, regulated economies to free markets and deregulation. We will look at the emergence of de-centralized policies based on targeting and private-sector provision rather than universal systems. We will examine the advantages and disadvantages of the new policies and their consequences for the development of citizenship in Latin America. We will pay particular attention to the role of community in the new social policies, focusing on issues of participation and solidarity, as well as those of increasing social and spatial inequality. The policy issues to be studied include crime and violence, anti-poverty programs, labor and social security. Students may concentrate on a country or countries of their choice, but a comparative framework of analysis must be used.

Grading and Requirements

Assessment will be based on a short weekly report on an article/chapter relevant to the topic of the week, and on a final research paper dealing with an aspect of comparative social policies.

 

SOC 379M • Sociological Theory

45665 • Spring 2012
Meets TTH 930am-1100am BUR 134
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Description

This course will focus on an outline of social theory from the enlightenment to the early twentieth century with particular emphasis on the social theories of Marx, Durkheim and Weber. Concentrating on the emergence of sociological theory provides a foundation for understanding its many varieties. Our emphasis will be on the contemporary relevance of the ideas and debates and the aim of the final essay requirement of the course is to allow students to use social theory to address contemporary issues.

Texts

The required texts for the course are Applelrouth and Edles’ Classical and Contemproary Sociological Theory (Sage) and Steven Lukes’ The Curious Enlightenment of Professor Caritat (Verso Books). The latter is a novel and will be used to explore the visions of society present in the theories discussed and their contemporary manifestations.

Grading

The course grade will be based on two in-class examinations and a final paper. Credit will also be given for participation in study groups.

SOC 308 • Crime/Violence In Urb Lat Amer

45975 • Spring 2011
Meets TTH 930am-1100am BUR 134
(also listed as LAS 310 )
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Cross-listed with LAS 310

 

Description:

This course explores the reasons for the high levels of crime and violence in Latin America. It looks at the different types of crime and violence present in the region, including political violence, organized and unorganized crime, domestic and youth violence.  It reviews the statistics on crime and violence and uses ethnographic, literary and visual perspectives on crime and violence. It considers factors affecting individuals and families, such as poverty, community fragmentation and lack of job opportunities as well as factors, such as the weakness of judicial and democratic institutions, gang organization, the changing nature of the drug trade and the patterns of urban residential segregation in the major cities of Latin America.  

Crime and Violence are developmental issues for Latin America, not only threatening the welfare of individuals, families and communities, but also inhibiting the region’s social and economic development. The course considers the adequacy of political and judicial institutions to handle crime and violence and policy initiatives to remedy these through reform and local community initiatives. The course will make use of videos that examine the various facets of crime and violence in Latin America. 

The course grade will be based on two in-class exams, group and individual reports. 

 

SOC 389L • Urbanization

46280 • Spring 2011
Meets T 1200pm-300pm BUR 231
(also listed as LAS 381 )
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Cross Listed with LAS 381

 

 

 

 Description:

This course surveys the urbanization process, focusing on less developed countries, but taking into account historical and contemporary processes in the developed world.  Themes will include the analysis of historical patterns of urbanization in developing countries in the mid-twentieth century compared with the end of the twentieth century.  It will take both a structural and an actor view of urbanization.  It will look at the structural components of urbanization, including internal and international migration, economic and ecological perspectives on the spatial hierarchy of cities at national and international levels and socio-spatial segregation, including access to social services, such as health, education and welfare services.  The course will also look at the way people ‘make’ the city through their own actions in creating work and housing, and organizing politically.

 

Readings:

 The Course will be organized through Blackboard with the use of the Class and Group Discussion Boards.  Most of the readings for the course will be available via the Documents section of Blackboard or through Electronic Reserves (accessed by the external links section of Blackboard).  

Grading:

The course grade will be based on weekly reports on the readings and a final research paper.  The final paper should be a research article based on students using the perspectives learnt in the course to analyze comparatively a specific issue in urbanization (such as urban class and ethnic segregation, urban poverty and inequality, crime and violence, migration, the evolution of labor markets etc.).

 

SOC 308 • Crime/Violence In Urb Lat Amer

46220 • Spring 2010
Meets TTH 930-1100 BUR 134
(also listed as LAS 310 )
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This course explores the reasons for the high levels of crime and violence in Latin America. It looks at the different types of crime and violence present in the region, including political violence, organized and unorganized crime and domestic violence.  It reviews the statistics on crime and violence and uses ethnographic, literary and visual perspectives on crime and violence. It considers   factors affecting individuals and families, such as poverty, community fragmentation and lack of job opportunities as well as general factors, such as the weakness of judicial and democratic institutions, the changing nature of the drug trade and the patterns of urban residential segregation in the major cities of Latin America.  

 

Crime and Violence are developmental issues for Latin America, not only threatening the welfare of individuals, families and communities, but also inhibiting the region’s social and economic development. The course considers the adequacy of political and judicial institutions to handle crime and violence and policy initiatives to remedy these through reform and local community initiatives. The course will make use of videos that examine the various facets of crime and violence in Latin America. 

 

Objectives of Course

 

The aim of the course is to develop a sociological understanding of crime and violence in Latin America that takes account of factors such as the distribution of power at the national, community and family level, peer and community social solidarity or its absence and the dislocations produced by urbanization and migration, including international migration.     It also seeks to use the variation in crime and violence between countries in Latin America to introduce students to the diversity of the region that results from differences in geography, ethnic composition and political history.    Finally, it aims to encourage students to think about the policies at community and national/international level that might best counter crime and violence.

 

Organization of the Course

 

The course will consist in lectures with time reserved for questions and discussion. It will also feature video presentations and provide opportunities for group work on specified assignments. The class will be organized into groups of five members that will be set up in the first week of the semester.  These groups can meet in person and/or virtually through Blackboard.  Each group will be responsible to provide one question for each week’s readings. These should be posted to the Class Discussion Board before each Tuesday meeting of the course. The groups will also be responsible for making a group presentation on (1) one of the videos on the course list and (2) a policy issue on the dates listed in the Course Calendar for Group Presentations.   

 

Required Reading:

 

Ayres,  Robert L.  1998.  Crime and violence as development issues in Latin America and the Caribbean. The World Bank.  Electronic Book.

Moser, Caroline O. N. and Cathy McIlwaine.  2004. Encounters with violence in Latin America: urban poor perceptions from Columbia and Guatemala.  New York : Routledge, 2004. Electronic Book.

Rotker,  Susana.  2002.  Citizens of fear: urban violence in Latin America. Electronic Book.

 

A set of complementary readings are posed in the Course Document section of Blackboard.  These and the relevant sections of the above texts will be cited in the appropriate week of the course schedule.

 

 

 

Students are required to attend all lectures and complete all reading assignments on time.  You are expected to read approximately 30-55 pages per week.   Some of the readings for the class are complex and may need clarification. I will cover the readings in my lectures, and by reading the assignments beforehand you will be able to raise any difficulties or disagreements in class.

 

Evaluation: 

 

Exams (50%):  Grades in the class will be based on two examinations worth 25 percent each of the final grade.  Examinations will be mainly multiple-choice, but with some short answer questions.  Make-up examinations will be given only to those absent for university-approved reasons.

 

Report on Video concerning political violence (10%):  Another 10 percent of the grade will be based on a short (c.300 word) individual report on the video chosen by the group to which the student belongs.  Individual reports should be posted to the group space before the date of the group presentations. These videos will be assigned to each group shortly after the course begins. Each group will discuss the video either in person or virtually and generate a ten minute group presentation to be given in class. Each person contributing to the group presentation through writing sections or providing background information will receive 5% extra credit for that presentation.

 

Final Report  (25%):  A further 30 percent of the grade will be based on a c. 2000 word report due on the last class day (May 7th).  This report should present and evaluate a policy designed to reduce crime and violence.  It can be based on an actual case or be designed by the student.  Though the report must be individual, it must be based on the group’s assigned policy area and policy country, such as drug trafficking in Mexico or Colombia, gang violence in Central America, domestic violence etc. There will be an extra 5% for participation in the group presentation.

 

Group Credits:  There will be three credits of 5% (a total of 15%) of the final grade earned for group work.

 

One will be for the group submitting a question for each week of the reading. The group is responsible for organizing the group question each week, which should be posted to the Class Discussion Board by Monday noon.   Missing a week will result in a penalty of 1%. 

 

The other two group credits will be for participation in the two group presentations – on the video and on policy. The way of organizing this is detailed under the Assignment Section of Blackboard.

 

Final grades will be based upon a standard grading scale:  A=90-100%, B=80-89%, C=70-79%, D=60-69%, F=59% and below.  For students taking the course on a pass/fail basis, a grade of D (60% or better) is passing for undergraduate credit.

SOC 395D • Economic Devel & Socl Change

46600 • Spring 2010
Meets T 300pm-600pm BUR 214
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This seminar aims to provide a general introduction to the field of economic development and social change.  It will cover both macro sociological and micro sociological issues: economic development, the organization of the international economy, economic organizations, entrepreneurship, the social and cultural constraints on economic behavior, and the intersections of the economy with politics and social issues. It will take up issues such as gender and development and sustainable and participatory development.  The material for the course will draw upon both the developed and the developing world. Students can concentrate their reading and papers on a particular geographical area, such as Latin America, the United States, or Asia, if they wish.  The format of the seminar will be an introductory talk by the instructor, followed by student presentations and discussions of articles that they have read. The grade of the course will depend on the weekly reports and on two take home examinations, one at mid-semester and the other at the end of semester.

Evaluation.

Grade will be divided between the two take-home exams (70%) and satisfactory completion of the weekly seminar reports (30%). Reading the materials assigned or each seminar and contributing a short summary of the three pieces (two from the reading list and one selected by student) to the Discussion Board.

 

Basic References.

 

Esping-Andersen, Gosta, 1990. The Three Worlds of Welfare Capitalism

Germani, Gino  1981. The Sociology of Modernization. New Brunswick, N.J: Transaction Books. 

Lipietz, Alain, 1992. Towards a New Economic Order

Marcuse, Peter and Ronald van Kempen (eds.) 2000. Globalizing cities: a new spatial order?  Oxford  and Malden, Mass: Blackwell.

McMichael, Philip. 2004. Development and Social Change. Thousand Oaks: Pine Forge Press.

Polanyi, Karl. The Great Transformation. 1944.

Roberts, B,  R. Cushing, and C.Wood (eds.) . 1995.  The Sociology of Development, Vols 1&2,  Edward Elgar

Roberts, Bryan.  1995.   The Making of Citizens.  Edward Arnold

Sen, Amartya. 1985. Commodities and Capabilities. Elsevier Science.

Trotsky, Leon, 1932. The History of the Russian Revolution, particularly the Chapter on Socialism in One Country.

 

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