Poverty, Justice and Human Capabilities

Poverty, Justice and Human Capabilities
https://pjhc.rice.edu/
322 Rayzor Hall
713-348-6152

Diana Strassmann
Program Director
dls@rice.edu

The Program in Poverty, Justice and Human Capabilities (PJHC) provides students with a multifaceted understanding of human well-being. A key goal of the minor is to enrich students’ understanding of poverty and inequality so that, regardless of their choice of occupation, PJHC alumni will maintain a longstanding commitment to enhancing the well-being of all people. More generally, the program trains Rice students to be future leaders in solving global problems.

This interdisciplinary minor emphasizes a “capabilities approach,” which considers what people are able to do and to be — for example, live to old age and engage in economic and political activities — rather than strictly what material goods they possess. The program also acknowledges the central importance of a variety of additional influences on well-being beyond income, such as: gender, health status, racial and ethnic disparities, education, human rights, political freedoms, and material necessities, including food and shelter.

Although impediments to human well-being take many forms, barriers to the capabilities of women and girls persist across societies; women and girls are therefore disproportionately represented among the poor and those unable to attain their full capabilities. The academic component of the program, including the content of core and required coursework, acknowledges gender inequality as a powerful influence on disparities in human well-being and recognizes gender as a central analytic category.

The PJHC minor combines high-caliber undergraduate courses with service learning experiences that help disadvantaged communities and people. Students are placed with organizations where they work directly with clients and gain experiential knowledge that broadens their perspectives on human lives and capabilities. Through these academic and experiential learning opportunities, students explore deeper understandings of the structural factors underlying poverty and human well-being, as well as potential policy solutions. The program further aims to promote dialogue among all disciplines about how to address issues of poverty alleviation and human well-being with a sophisticated understanding of the challenges and sound strategies for moving forward. 

Poverty, Justice and Human Capabilities does not currently offer an academic program at the graduate level.

Director

Diana Strassmann

Advisors

Moramay López-Alonso
Diana Strassmann

Steering Committee

Elias Bongmba
Vivian Ho
Moramay López-Alonso
Anthony B. Pinn
Elora Shehabuddin
Diana Strassmann

For Rice University degree-granting programs:
To view the list of official course offerings, please see Rice’s Course Catalog
To view the most recent semester’s course schedule, please see Rice's Course Schedule

PJHC 238 - SPECIAL TOPICS

Short Title: SPECIAL TOPICS

Department: Poverty Justice & Human Capab

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Seminar, Lecture, Laboratory, Internship/Practicum

Credit Hours: 1-4

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to Undergraduate, Undergraduate Professional or Visiting Undergraduate level students.

Course Level: Undergraduate Lower-Level

Description: Topics and credit hours may vary each semester. Contact department for current semester’s topic(s). Repeatable for Credit.

PJHC 300 - PJHC SUMMER SERVICE INTERNSHIP REFLECTION

Short Title: PJHC SERVICE REFLECTION

Department: Poverty Justice & Human Capab

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Seminar

Credit Hour: 1

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to Undergraduate, Undergraduate Professional or Visiting Undergraduate level students.

Course Level: Undergraduate Upper-Level

Description: Returning PJHC McAshan Summer Service Interns reflect on their experiences in an academic context, producing short digital stories. This course is required for all returning interns who received financial support from the Program in Poverty, Justice, and Human Capabilities for service learning, and the course is suggested for PJHC minors who completed other summer service internships. Offered in the first half of the fall term, weekly. Instructor Permission Required. Mutually Exclusive: Credit cannot be earned for PJHC 300 and HUMA 300.

PJHC 371 - POVERTY, JUSTICE, AND HUMAN CAPABILITIES

Short Title: POVERTY, JUSTICE, CAPABILITIES

Department: Poverty Justice & Human Capab

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Seminar

Distribution Group: Distribution Group I

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to Undergraduate, Undergraduate Professional or Visiting Undergraduate level students.

Course Level: Undergraduate Upper-Level

Description: This course provides an overview of the study of poverty, justice, and human capabilities. The course considers theory and economic policy oriented towards improving human well-being in the US, Asia, Africa, and other regions. Readings address not just material deprivations but also gender, racial and ethnic disparities, health status, education, human rights, and political freedoms. To be considered for the course, please complete the brief questionnaire at pjhc.rice.edu/enrollmentquestionnaire. Preference is given to those who have declared the PJHC minor. Formerly HUMA/SOCI 371. Mutually Exclusive: Credit cannot be earned for PJHC 371 and HUMA 371/SOCI 371.

PJHC 394 - HUMAN DEVELOPMENT IN GLOBAL AND LOCAL COMMUNITIES

Short Title: HUMAN DEVELOPMENT

Department: Poverty Justice & Human Capab

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Seminar

Distribution Group: Distribution Group I

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to Undergraduate, Undergraduate Professional or Visiting Undergraduate level students.

Course Level: Undergraduate Upper-Level

Prerequisite(s): PJHC 371 or HUMA 371 or SOCI 371 or HUMA 280 or SOCI 280

Description: This course explores poverty and gender in local and global communities. Readings consider human deprivations and well-being in the context of social norms, gender relations, and governmental structures. Also examined are policies meant to improve human capabilities, including both the overall effects of such policies and their differential consequences for children, women and men. Formerly SOCI/SWGS 394. Instructor Permission Required. Mutually Exclusive: Credit cannot be earned for PJHC 394 and SOCI 394/SWGS 394.

PJHC 470 - ADVANCED SEMINAR IN POVERTY, JUSTICE, AND CAPABILITIES

Short Title: ADVANCED SEMINAR PJHC

Department: Poverty Justice & Human Capab

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Seminar

Distribution Group: Distribution Group I

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to Undergraduate, Undergraduate Professional or Visiting Undergraduate level students.

Course Level: Undergraduate Upper-Level

Prerequisite(s): (PJHC 371 or HUMA 371 or SOCI 371 or HUMA 280 or SOCI 280) and (PJHC 394 (may be taken concurrently) or ASIA 329 or SOCI 372 or SWGS 322 or SOCI 394 or SWGS 394)

Description: Through interdisciplinary readings, this seminar explores how global, national, and domestic structures and institutions influence the day-to-day lives and capabilities of different groups and individuals. We will study historical and contemporary efforts by activists and policymakers to confront social inequities. Formerly SWGS 470. Mutually Exclusive: Credit cannot be earned for PJHC 470 and SWGS 470.

PJHC 477 - SPECIAL TOPICS

Short Title: SPECIAL TOICS

Department: Poverty Justice & Human Capab

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Internship/Practicum, Seminar, Lecture, Laboratory

Credit Hours: 1-4

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to Undergraduate, Undergraduate Professional or Visiting Undergraduate level students.

Course Level: Undergraduate Upper-Level

Description: Topics and credit hours may vary each semester. Contact department for current semester's topic(s). Repeatable for Credit.

Description and Code Legend

Note: Internally, the university uses the following descriptions, codes, and abbreviations for this academic program. The following is a quick reference: 

Course Catalog/Schedule 

  • Course offerings/subject codes: PJHC

Program Description and Code 

  • Poverty, Justice and Human Capabilities: PJHC 

Undergraduate Minor Description and Code 

  • Minor in Poverty, Justice and Human Capabilities: PJHC