Social Movements Course Syllabus F2016 - final.pdf

Social Movements Course Syllabus F2016 - final.pdf -...

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1 Re-imagining Social Movements: Activism, Resistance, and Cultural Change GENS 5375 MA Level Class Fall 2016 Hadley Z. Renkin Office: Zrínyi 512 [email protected] Office Hours: TBA Class Time: MW 1:30-3:10pm Place: Z412 Course Description: Social movements and social activism are critical to political engagement and social transformation. Traditional social science approaches to social movements and social change have tended to frame forms of collective resistance and protest primarily as either irrational, spontaneous reactions to oppression, or as rational expressions of reasoned dissent. In this course, we will challenge such views, employing an anthropological perspective which takes cultural practice as analytically central in order to see social movements instead as practical struggles over cultural meaning. We will first critically review the dominant theoretical frameworks which have shaped interpretations of social activism and social movements. We will then explore more recent theories of power, politics, and social change, in order to locate social movements within complex cultural structures of power, domination, and transformation. For each segment of the class, we will first examine a specific theoretical framework from which questions of social actions, movements, and change have been addressed. We will then go on to explore, through concrete ethnographic examples, the ways in which these perspectives enable - and foreclose - particular understandings of the nature of social movements, and of their implications. Student Responsibilities This is a discussion-based course, not a lecture course. It will, therefore, require a great deal of responsibility on the part of all of you. For each class, I will first introduce and contextualize the week’s topic. We will then, as a class, map out the central theoretical and analytical moves presented by the day’s readings, their specific arguments, and the relationships between them. The remainder of the class will be an open discussion of these arguments and their implications – in which I will occasionally mediate or intervene. Thus, all of you will be expected to analyze, express your opinions about, and debate the assigned materials in depth. Central European University, Department of Gender Studies
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2 Requirements: Papers: 1) Critical Comments. During the course of the term, each of you will write two (2), 2-3 page Critical Comments, each for a class of your choice. The Comment may focus on a single reading, or compare more than one reading from that day’s assigned materials. These Comments are meant to stimulate your/our thinking and questioning of specific issues, and to enable all of us to address the topic more effectively; they are therefore critical to successful discussion in the class. In this sense (as, indeed, in all others), a great deal of responsibility for the success or failure of this course lies in your hands. The two comments together will be worth 40% of your final grade for the course.
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  • Fall '16
  • Hadley Z. Renkin
  • Sociology, The Land, Social movement, Central European University, Department of Gender Studies

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