syllabus - Los Angeles City College SYLLABUS Political...

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Los Angeles City College SYLLABUS Political Science 1–Section #1137 Fall 2008 Instructor: Melvin Aaron MW, 9:00 am – 10:25 am Room # JH 202 Office hrs.: 10:30 am – 11:00 am, MW (JH 200E) Email address: aaronm@lacitycollege.edu REQUIRED TEXT: The Struggle for Democracy by Edward S. Greenberg and Benjamin I. Page, latest edition. PURPOSE: Political Science 1 or Government and Politics of the United States is a UC/CSU required course that is worth 3 units of credit. Topically, our approach and thematic investigations will be aimed at facilitating some well- grounded, clear sense of the following: U.S. Constitution; the conditioning American political culture; the political theory of American representative democracy and its practice over time; Executive Branch/Legislative Branch structure, interrelationships, and process; the judicial system; the role of public bureaucracy; interest groups and social movements; political parties; political socialization and opinion acquisition processes; voting behavior and elections; social stratification and its relationship to the distribution of political and economic power (i.e., political economy); federalism; and governmental output (i.e., public policies related to civil rights, civil liberties, foreign policy and national defense, domestic and foreign economic policy, social welfare, and the politics of the federal budget. Additionally, we will seek to place the development and nature of the U.S. political and economic system in its illuminating historical and global context. In brief, we will attempt to do far more than just survey basic American political institutions in an uncritical, ahistorical, forgetful, and hence, lifeless fashion. We shall also, and perhaps far more importantly, seek to develop a coherent conceptual framework for understanding how and why the American political system operates the way it does, in relation to, who gets what, when, how and why , and the different roles that we, government, and other social actors play (or are prevented from playing or just simply personally neglect to play) in the American political process. INSTRUCTIONAL OBJECTIVES: Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to: 1. Analyze both the theoretical and practical workings of the American political system. 2. Examine and analyze major American political institutions; the Presidency, public bureaucracy, Congress, judiciary, elections, political parties and interest groups. 3. Compare and contrast the three basic political models of how American society works: elitism , democracy and pluralism . 4. Evaluate the role of the mass media in the political process. 5.
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syllabus - Los Angeles City College SYLLABUS Political...

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