Political Economy of Power in American Society
Fall 2015 quarter
This program focuses on the issue of power in American society. We will investigate the nature of economic, political, social, military, ideological, and interpersonal power. The interrelationships of these dimensions will be a primary area of study. We will explore these themes through lectures, films, seminars, a journal, and short papers.
The analysis will be guided by the following questions, as well as others that may emerge from our discussions: What is meant by the term “power”? Are there different kinds of power and how are they interrelated? Who has power in American society? Who is relatively powerless? Why? How is power accumulated? What resources are involved? How is power utilized and with what impact on various sectors of the population? What characterizes the struggle for power? How does domestic power relate to international power? How is international power used? How are people affected by current power structures? What responsibilities do citizens have to alter the structure of power? What alternative structures are possible, probable, necessary, or desirable?
In a time of war and economic, social, and political crisis, a good deal of the program will focus on international relations in a systematic and intellectual manner. This is a serious class for serious people. There is a good deal of reading and some weeks are more complex that others. Please be prepared to work hard and to challenge your previous thinking.
Fields of Study
Preparatory for studies or careers in
Location and Schedule
Offered during: Day