PS315 Castle Fall 2011 Syllabus-1

PS315 Castle Fall - Rutgers The State University of New Jersey New Brunswick Politics and Culture 790:315:01 ~ Fall 2011 ~ MW 4:30-5:50pm ~ MI-100

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Rutgers – The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick Politics and Culture 790:315:01 ~ Fall 2011 ~ MW 4:30-5:50pm ~ MI-100 CAC Instructor: A. Castle Course Description: Many political scientists today assume that individuals act strategically according to their rational self- interest, and believe that social and political phenomena can be measured with a high degree of accuracy by employing rational choice theory and statistical tools. Yet while quantitative methods can be extremely useful for measuring and understanding political behavior, hazards often accompany a singular or too heavy of a reliance on quantitative data; likewise, a simplistic view of human rationality and decisional dynamics can lead to hasty conclusions. This course opts to primarily consider qualitative perspectives, utilizing critical, comparative, historical, and institutional frameworks of analysis to explore the interrelationships between politics and culture. Students will be asked to consider different theories of political culture across a variety of contexts and constructs, including the mass media, social movements, electoral politics, law and the judiciary, the criminal justice system, and class, race, and gender. The ultimate goal of this course is to provide access to different and competing perspectives on politics and culture, and to promote the development of the skills necessary to read, write, and think critically about political and social phenomena. Readings and Course Materials: Three texts are required for this course: 1) Culture and Politics: A Reader (Crothers and Lockhart), The Nature and Origins of Mass Opinion (Zaller), and 3) The Politics of Rights: Lawyers, Public Policy and Political Change (Scheingold), These texts are available at the university bookstore and online. ( Tip: used copies of these texts can be found for less than half the retail price online, however if you purchase your books online be sure to order at least a week prior to your first assignment. Not having received your order is not a valid excuse for not having read the required materials on time!) All additional readings will be posted on Sakai. Course Requirements and Grading: Students are expected to thoroughly read and critically analyze the assigned readings prior to each class session. Graded assignments will consist of ten in- class quizzes and one intensive research assignment. The quizzes will collectively account for 60% of the final grade (6% each), and the research paper will account for the remaining 40%. Quizzes:
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This note was uploaded on 09/27/2011 for the course POLI SCI 290 taught by Professor Castle during the Spring '11 term at Rutgers.

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PS315 Castle Fall - Rutgers The State University of New Jersey New Brunswick Politics and Culture 790:315:01 ~ Fall 2011 ~ MW 4:30-5:50pm ~ MI-100

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