Sociology thru Film SYP 4631-U01 – Winter Mini

Sociology thru Film
SYP 4631-U01 – Winter Mini-Term 2012/2013
Prof. Tardanico
Office: SIPA 312, 305.348-2247 (main office)
This course will use films and complementary readings to understand the characteristics, roots, and
consequences of global inequality and poverty, past and present. Students will use films and readings to:
 identify key contemporary problems of global inequality and poverty: economic, social/cultural,
political, and environmental;
 understand perspectives concerning the historical origins of the problems and how the problems have
manifested themselves in particular times and places; and
 conceptualize ways of taking action to address the various problems
Kerbo, World Poverty: Global Inequality and the Modern World-System (McGraw- Hill, 2006)
There will be four take-home essays (each worth 25% of the final grade) of 2-3 double-spaced, typed pages
(12-point font), using university standards of composition writing.
 Introduction
 December 13. Consumerism for Some, Impoverishment for Most
“The Bomb under the World”; “Affluenza”
Textbook: Kerbo, preface and chapter 1
 December 14. Subordinating Indigenous Latin America
“The Mission”
Galeano, Open Veins of Latin America (selection)
Textbook: Kerbo, chapters 2 and 3
 December 17. Latin America: Social Revolution Betrayed
“Mexico: The Frozen Revolution”
Galeano, Open Veins of Latin America (selection) (as assigned
Textbook: Kerbo, chapter 4
 December 18. Latin America: The Brutal City, Part One
“Los Olvidados“
Textbook: Kerbo, chapter 5
 December 19. Latin America: The Brutal City, Part Two
Textbook: Kerbo, chapter 6
 December 20. Latin America: The American Dream Exposed
“El Norte”
Textbook: Kerbo, chapters 7 and 8
 December 21. Sub-Saharan Africa: Unspeakable Devastation
“King Leopold’s Ghost”
Textbook: Kerbo, chapter 9
 December 26. Sub-Saharan Africa: Genocide Unleashed
“Hotel Rwanda”
Textbook: Kerbo, chapter 10
 December 27. Northern Africa: Arab Spring, Round One
“The Battle of Algiers”
 December 28. Australia: Government Policy of Kidnapping Aboriginal Children
“Rabbit-Proof Fence”
 January 2. Europe: The Roots of Contemporary Crisis, Ireland
“The Wind that Shakes the Barley”
 January 3. Course Summary
 Essay #1: Overview of issues in global inequality/poverty:
 What has been the most basic change in the extent of global inequality in per capita
wealth/income since the early 1800s? What are the (more or less) current features of global
inequality and poverty? What are the trends and features of inequality and poverty in the U.S.?
 What are the consequences of contemporary global inequality for world patterns of nutrition,
health/sickness, and life expectancy? What are the consequences for the migration of people?
 How are measures of per capita income/wealth (such as GNP per capita)--current levels as well as
trends--misleading when presented by themselves? (Note: This question applies to the reporting of
any kind of data in terms of averages [or other central tendencies such as medians] while neglecting
to report data concerning variation and range).
 Why should middle class and more affluent people in rich countries care about global inequality
and poverty--including inequality and poverty within their own countries and localities?
 What are key criteria for evaluating the impacts of foreign (such as multinational corporate)
business investment--actually, any business investment, foreign or domestic--in poor countries
(actually, business investment in any country or locality, richer or poorer, in the world)? How do
the impacts of business investment, short and long term, vary? What are the implications of the
above issues for the nuanced evaluation of policy approaches regarding inequality and
poverty--global, national, and local?
 Essay #2: Compare and contrast the cultural and dependency (also known as structural-historical or
world-system) explanations of why there is inequality and poverty in the world (chapters 4 and 3).
 Essay #3: Compare the cases of Asia, Latin America, and Africa concerning differences in their
relationships to the world economy in historical perspective. What does your comparison suggest with
regard to the cultural versus dependency (that is, structural-historical or world-system) explanations of
inequality and poverty in the world? (chapters 3-8)
 Essay #4: Use any film or set of films you wish to illustrate any aspect(s) of global inequality and poverty
you wish to consider.