Bard College Catalogue 2012-13
Yuval Elmelech (coordinator), Sanjaya DeSilva, Michael Donnelly*, Kris Feder, Kenneth Haig, Dimitri B. Papadimitriou, Joel Perlmann
* on sabbatical, fall 2012
OverviewMany Bard students are imbued with a desire to help make their society more just and humane. Social Policy introduces students to an important way in which they can act on this desire, namely through the analysis of social policy options. This includes asking such questions as what interventions have worked, and why? Course work provides a basic introduction to domestic social problems and examples of real-world policy change—for example, in schooling, police work, prisons, health-care systems, social security, income inequality, job satisfaction and security, and support for the arts. The student is also introduced to techniques that policy analysts use in assessing social programs. A crucial component of study is a research apprenticeship, in which the student is involved in the actual analysis of one or more social programs under the guidance of faculty and other experienced policy analysts.
RequirementsSocial policy is a secondary concentration that can be taken in conjunction with any program in the College. Students must complete two introductory requirements: first, a quantitative methods course (e.g., Economics 229, Statistics, or Sociology 205, Introduction to Research Methods). Psychology 203, Introduction to Statistics for Psychology, meets this requirement when a 1-credit “bridging” module is also completed. The second requirement is a course on problems in American society, met by Sociology 120, Inequality in America, or Economics 226, Urban and Regional Economics. (Students may also wish to take the basic microeconomics course, although it is not required.)
At least three additional courses are required. These may be specified 200- and 300-level courses; at least two should be 300-level courses. The two introductory courses and one of the other courses must be completed before Moderation. An apprenticeship seminar, the capstone course, also is required. Students moderate concurrently into social policy and a primary program. The Moderation board should include a member of the social policy faculty. In addition to regular Moderation papers, the student should submit a plan of study detailing the social policy component of his/her studies. The Senior Project should relate to both the major program and the Social Policy concentration. One member of the social policy faculty must be on the Senior Project board.
CoursesRecent offerings include, in Economics, National Economic Policy, Economics of the Public Sector; in Environmental and Urban Studies, Environmental Studies Research Seminar; in Historical Studies, American Environmental History I and II, The Civil Rights Movement; in Philosophy, Environmental Ethics; in Political Studies, American Politics: Issues and Institutions, Politics and News Media, Environmental Politics in the United States, The Politics of Population Control; and in Sociology, Immigration in Contemporary American Society, Seminar on Social Problems, Sociology of Medicine.