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Everyday Forms of Resistance

GOVT 257
Spring 2008
Section: 01  
Crosslisting: AFAM 289
Course Cluster: Urban Studies

Much of the attention in contemporary American politics is given to mainstream forms of political behavior in the form of voting and electoral politics or to elite institutions such as the legislature and the presidency. The goal of this class is to expose students to politics that often fall just below the lens of American politics in which ordinary citizens forge new ways to address the political system when for various reasons mainstream political participation is not available. These kinds of activities include social movements and everyday forms of resistance. To gain a better understanding of why, how, and when ordinarily quiescent masses come together to impact the political process, we will analyze slave narratives, social movement theory, popular culture mediums such as music and films, as well as what has been called the hidden transcript. James Scott defines the hidden transcript as those activities that happen just beyond public visibility that oppressed groups use to deflect, survive, and reject the demands of the power. We will answer questions such as how are social movements organized and what factors serve as catalysts for the birth of social movements? When the political opportunity structure is not open to social movement behavior, how do oppressed groups find more hidden and subversive ways to create a space for them in the political system? What role has music and art played in organizing political groups? What do members of oppressed groups say about their treatment by the powerful in their private spaces such as journals, diaries, and folk tales? All of these questions allow us study politics as it is, in the words of Micheal Parenti, "viewed from the bottom."

Essential Capabilities: None
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: SBS GOVT
Course Format: DiscussionGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (GOVT)(GOVT-American)
Past Enrollment Probability: Not Available

Last Updated on JUL-24-2024
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