169+syl+spr+2010 - San Jos State University American...

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San José State University American Studies Program AMS/HUM 169, The American Dream, Sec 01, Spr 2010 Instructor: Scot Guenter Office Location: Clark 420-C Telephone: (408) 924-1366 Email: [email protected] Office Hours: T/Th 1:30-3:30, and by appt. Class Days/Time: T/Th 12:00-1:15 pm Classroom: Clark 202 Prerequisites: Completion of core GE, satisfaction of Writing Skills Test, and upper division standing. For students who began continuous enrollment in a CCC or CSU in Fall 2005 or later, completion of, or currently enrolled in, a 100W course is required. GE/SJSU Studies Category: S Faculty Web Page and MYSJSU Messaging Copies of the course materials such as the syllabus, major assignment handouts, etc. may be found on my faculty web page accessible through the Quick Links>Faculty Web Page links on the SJSU home page. You are responsible for regularly checking with the messaging system through MySJSU (or other communication system as indicated by the instructor). Course Description American Studies is the interdisciplinary analysis of that complex and shifting set of values, beliefs, and practices we know as “culture,” considering the significant ramifications that occur as historical change affects life in the United States. In this course we will focus on the nebulous but oft-quoted phrase “the American Dream.” Beginning with reflexive examination of what this term means to us individually – thereby provoking an examination of our personal experiences in the process of socialization – we will pursue a review of how profound thinkers, varied subcultures, and distinct classes and social groups have defined the American Dream in the past. How do the dreamers envision equality in their societies? How do perceptions of and struggles for equality impact definitions of success and happiness? You will be encouraged to develop a “connecting mind” as we explore this rich and eclectic heritage of responses, Course Name, Number, Semester, and Year Page 1 of 11
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looking for comparisons and contrasts, similarities and differences, not only in how our topics relate to each other but also in how they touch our lives today, here in the South Bay area. Classes will include both lecture and seminar formats; we might draw on insights from history, literature, sociology, biography, philosophy, anthropology, theology, economics, women’s studies, minority studies, labor studies, psychology, theatre, semiotics, political science, or popular culture. This course should develop your interdisciplinary capabilities, strengthen your knowledge of this nation’s cultural development and change, challenge your usually unquestioned beliefs, sharpen your critical reading and thinking strategies, and heighten your communication skills, both in oral discourse and lucid composition. What is the American Dream?
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169+syl+spr+2010 - San Jos State University American...

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