Pols 120 Syllabus, Spring, 2010

Pols 120 Syllabus, Spring, 2010 - SYLLABUS Professor Ken...

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SYLLABUS Professor Ken Nuger Office: Clark Hall, 453 Pols 120: U. S. Law and Society Phone: 924-5346, HGH 116 Email: kpnuger@email.sjsu.edu 1:30-2:45 T TH Office Hours: 10:30-12, T, TH Spring, 2010 4:45-5:45 TH, and by appt. Course website: http://www.sjsu.edu/people/ken.nuger/ POLITICAL SCIENCE 120: U.S. LAW AND SOCIETY COURSE OBJECTIVES This course examines the relationship between a democratic/capitalist, multicultural society and law. It integrates issues of justice, equality, liberty and political obligation with principles of democracy and capitalism to demonstrate how law and politics affect different socioeconomic groups in U.S. society. The course analyzes the effects of the growing chasm between the rich and poor and how political, economic, demographic and technological trends will affect different groups in the U.S. The course will compare elite and pluralistic theories of political participation and demonstrate how each theory may enhance or reduce social, political, legal and economic equality. The course will emphasize how law is used to foster economic and social bias and how law could be utilized to foster a just, multicultural legal, social and economic structure. Special attention is given to patterns of discrimination endemic in the United States and how law and policy can be shaped to alleviate patterns of discrimination based on but not limited to race, class, ethnicity, gender religion, age and sexual orientation. STUDENT LEARNING OBJECTIVES Students taking this course will better understand how social, historical and legal trends in U.S. society either foster or hinder equality in the United States. Students should understand how the following aspects of American society affect equality: 1. By studying concepts such as equality, freedom, justice, political obligation due process and equal protection, students will be able to understand how these basic ideological concepts can frame legislation that fosters more equal opportunity and less discrimination based on race, gender, class, sexual orientation, age or disability. 2. By studying major historical and legal trends of the 19 th and 20 th century, students will be able to understand how unjust social, economic and legal policies can be aimed at minority, disadvantaged and unpopular groups, condemning them to patterns of inequality and discrimination. For example, students will become familiar with how labor laws, voting laws and criminal justice policies can reduce equal opportunity and access of these targeted groups to the political and economic structures in the United States. Students will understand how government recruitment tends to favor elite groups and how, therefore, majoritarian democracy may unjustifiably be skewed against minority (broadly defined) rights. 3.
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Pols 120 Syllabus, Spring, 2010 - SYLLABUS Professor Ken...

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