The Proseminar on Inequality and Social Policy is a required three-semester sequence for second and third year doctoral students in Government and Social Policy, Sociology and Social Policy, and the Multidisciplinary Program on Inequality and Social Policy.
The course considers effects of varied political activities on creating or reducing inequality in U.S., and at effects of inequality on political activity and policy choices. Examines electoral participation, social movements, lawmaking, etc. on policies like education, ERA, welfare.
This course is something of an experiment. It brings together several disciplines – history, sociology, political science, philosophy, and perhaps others. It spans several centuries and several nations. The topics range through individual attitudes, political behavior, demographic stratification, historical development, contemporary institutions, public policy, and normative goals. Most importantly, the course brings into direct contact with one another several robust academic literatures that have largely developed independently of one another—
Why did Barack Obama win the presidency, and what does his election reveal about racial and ethnic politics in the United States? Are cross-racial political coalitions feasible and desirable? Do multiracial individuals exemplify the future of American racial and ethnic politics? Why is immigration such a politically contentious and complicated issue in the United States (which is, after all, a “settler society”)? How will genomic science change the way that Americans understand and practice group identification and
Unlike traditional political philosophy courses that focus on the genius of individual thinkers, or courses on empirical politics that focus on institutions or political behavior, this course is organized around beliefs and values that recur throughout American history and coalesce into ideologies. A political ideology can be understood as a link between thought and action; it provides a worldview, a set of goals, a guide to behavior, and a framework for understanding and creating (or destroying) institutions and practices. It can
Government 2335: Power in American Society, Spring 2007
PURPOSES: The concept of “power” is central to the practice of political science and the character of governance, but it is elusive in its meaning, measurement, causes, and effects. The overall goal of the seminar is to give students clearer ways of thinking about it, preparatory to doing research throughout your careers that will in one way or another revolve around making sense of power.
To this end, we will pursue three more specific purposes.