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Sociologist Herbert Gans to discuss human rights and the poor (Released: 3/28/96)

by Mark J. Roy, Office of University Communications.

STORRS, Conn. -- Sociologist Herbert Gans, author of The War Against the Poor: The Underclass and Antipoverty Policy, will deliver public lectures April 17 and 18 at the University of Connecticut's Storrs campus and at the UConn School of Social Work in West Hartford.

The lectures are among several events in which Gans, the Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology at Columbia University, will take part during his visit to UConn. The events are part of UConn's continuing observance of Fifty Years After Nuremberg: Human Rights and the Rule of Law.

Gans will discuss "Do the Poor Have Human Rights?" at 3:30 p.m. April 17 in the Simon and Doris Konover Auditorium of the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center on the UConn campus in Storrs. The lecture, which is free to the public, is sponsored by the UConn Department of Sociology, the Dodd Program, the Department of Political Science, the School of Family Studies, the School of Social Work, and the American Welfare Policy Study Group.

Drawing from his latest book, Gans will discuss "The War Against the Poor" in a 3 p.m. public lecture April 18 at the School of Social Work in West Hartford.

Earlier on April 18, Gans will discuss "Some Irreverent Notes Towards Understanding Contemporary Jewry" as part of the Judaic Studies Luncheon Talk series at noon in Room 162 of the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center in Storrs. This event also is free to the public, but seating is limited.

During his visit, Gans will meet informally with faculty and students in the Department of Sociology.

Born in Cologne, Gans left Germany at age 11 in 1938, reached the United States in 1940, and became a U.S. citizen in 1945. He received a bachelor's degree from the University of Chicago in 1947, a master's degree in sociology and social science from Chicago in 1950, and a Ph.D. in planning and sociology from the University of Pennsylvania in 1957.

Since 1971, he has been at Columbia University, initially as professor of sociology occupying the unnamed Ford Foundation urban chair. Since 1985 he has been the Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology.

He has been a consultant for many civil rights, anti-poverty and planning agencies, as well as for the Ford Foundation and federal government agencies.

Gans is the author of nine books, including The Levittowners (Pantheon Books, 1967), Deciding What's News (Pantheon Books, 1979), and The War Against the Poor: The Underclass and Antipoverty Policy (Basic Books, 1995). He is the author of numerous monographs and journal articles, and from 1971 to 1978 he was film critic for the journal Social Policy.

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