Sociology 164: Successful Societies: Markers and Pathways





This course analyzes the markers of societal success and the social conditions that sustain it. We will discuss various indicators ranging from the standard economic measures to the human development index, inequality, resilience to shocks, educational, child development and health measures. We will consider the role of cultural and institutional buffers (how cultural repertoires and myths feed strong collective identities, cultural and institutional resources provide support for coping with stigma, models of citizenship and immigration, and multi-level governance and their impact on welfare and poverty). We will addresses factors that present major challenges, like concentrated urban poverty and the well-being of racialized groups, and some of the solutions attempted. Particular attention will be put on the United States, Canada, France and other advanced industrial societies and to the role of space, institutions, and culture in shaping the conditions for successful societies. Public policy implications will also be discussed.

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