Poverty and Work: Historical and Philosophical Perspectives will offer you the opportunity to learn more about the relationship between poverty, wealth, and work. Poverty is among the oldest and most intractable problems faced by
humankind. Over one billion people worldwide live on less than $1.00 a day and well over half the world lives in serious poverty, including
tens of millions in wealthy countries.
Poverty and Work is a year-long academic program where you will have the opportunity to
consider important ethical questions such as "Who possesses wealth in
the world today and how did they come to acquire it?"
During the Fall 2013 semester, you will take Philosophy 101: Introduction to Philosophy (which fulfills the "Ultimate Questions" GER credit) and explore the meaning of work from a philosophical perspective, considering what is meant by work, what constitutes a "good job," and how wealth is justified.
During the Spring 2014 semester, you will take FYS 1150: The Origins of Global Poverty (which fulfills the first-year seminar graduation requirement) and will turn your attention to a more historically-situated exploration of the origins of the differentiation of wealth distribution between the global south and the global north, or the "West and the rest."
Poverty and Work will allow you the opportunity to explore the debates over the origins and consequences of the current wealth distribution in the United States. You will ask questions about yourself and what role you play in
your local community and the larger world while seeing poverty firsthand
through your participation in service learning experiences in your classes and determining how you can address or alleviate the causes of poverty.
Engaging Poverty Issues Beyond the Classroom
Poverty and Work will provide you with the opportunity to learn about poverty within your local community by exposing you to some of Greenville's poverty reduction/alleviation agencies. Through visits to local agencies such as the Frazee Dream Center, Greenville Literacy Association, or United Ministries, all of which deal directly with impoverished people on a daily basis, you will gain insight into the human context of poverty issues and hear firsthand the stories of those affected. You will work alongside the poor, hear their stories, and develop relationships with people whose life experience differs significantly form your own.