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Social Policy and Inequality

Rising income and wealth inequality erode trust in public institutions, create barriers to economic and social mobility, and undermine democratic governance.  Social policy can address inequality through a range of vital systems, including child and family welfare, immigration, education, housing, employment, and legal institutions.

We guide policymakers and educate students as they develop new approaches to strengthen the social safety net and combat economic inequality.

Faculty Spotlight

Adriana Reyes

Adriana Reyes

Assistant Professor

Adriana Reyes’ research focus is on family demography and health disparities across the life course. Her work aims to understand how family ties provide social capital to help individuals navigate the life course, and how these family ties perpetuate inequalities across race and class. Professor Reyes’ current projects examine race/ethnic differences in intergenerational family relations, the financial and health consequences of living arrangements, caregiving dynamics, and disparities in health trajectories among older adults. She has recently published on changing attitudes towards co-residence in the Journal of Marriage and Family and on the availability of kin to provide caregiving in Demographic Research.

Course Spotlight

Migration: Histories, Controversies, and Perspectives

Course details: This introductory course introduces students to issues and debates related to international migration and will provide an interdisciplinary foundation to understanding the factors that shape migration flows and migrant experiences. We will start by reviewing theories of the state and historical examples of immigrant racialization and exclusion in the United States and beyond. We will critically examine the notions of borders, citizenship/non-citizenship, and the creation of diasporas. Students will also hear a range of perspectives by exposing them to Cornell guest faculty who do research and teach on migration across different disciplines and methodologies and in different world areas. Examples include demographic researchers concerned with immigrant inequality and family formation, geographic perspectives on the changing landscapes of immigrant metropolises, legal scholarship on the rights of immigrant workers, and the study of immigrant culture from a feminist studies lens.

Taught by: Professor Shannon Gleeson

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