2012-13 Catalog

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Offering Description

Power in American Society


Fall 2012 and Winter 2013 quarters

Lawrence Mosqueda political economy, political science , Lori Blewett communication, social studies
Fields of Study
communications, law and public policy, media studies, political economy and political science
Preparatory for studies or careers in
social sciences, law, education, and community organizing.

This program focuses on the issue of Power in American society. In the analysis we will investigate the nature of economic, political, social, military, ideological and interpersonal power. The interrelationship of these dimensions will be a primary area of study. We will explore these themes through lectures, workshops, films, seminars, journal writing, oral presentations, short papers, and group media projects.

The analysis will be guided by the following questions, as well as others that may emerge from the discussions: What is meant by the term "power"? Are there different kinds of power and how are they interrelated? Who has power in American society? Who is relatively powerless? Why? How is power accumulated? What resources are involved? How is power utilized and with what impact on various sectors of the population? How are personal and collective identities shaped by systems of power and privilege? What characterizes the struggle for power? How does communication (including political language, art, and media) frame our perceptions of power? How do social movement structures and persuasive strategies influence citizen resistance to power? How does domestic power relate to international power? How is international power used? How are people affected by the current power structure?  What responsibilities do citizens have to alter the structure of power?  What alternative structures are possible, probable, necessary or desirable?

In this time of war and economic, social and political crisis, a good deal of the program will focus on international relations in a systematic and intellectual manner. This is a serious class for serious people. Please be prepared to work hard and to challenge your and others' previous thinking.

Online Learning
Enhanced Online Learning
Greener Store
Offered During

Program Revisions

Date Revision
April 25th, 2012 Faculty added, extended into winter
February 14th, 2012 New offering added.