Everyday Forms of Resistance
|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."
|Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Discussion
|Grading Mode: Graded
|Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (GOVT)(GOVT-American)
|Past Enrollment Probability: Not Available
|Major Readings: Wesleyan RJ Julia Bookstore
The reading list will evolve once the interests and prior knowledge of the students are assessed; however, below is a list of sample readings. The course will also employ the use of documentaries, speeches and popular films that illustrate popular social movements and other efforts by ordinary citizens to influence and ultimately change the political system.
James C. Scott. DOMINATION AND THE ARTS OF RESISTANCE: HIDDEN TRANSCRIPTS
Saul D. Alinsky. RULES FOR RADICALS: A PRAGMATIC PRIMER FOR REALISTIC RADICALS
Sidney Tarrow. POWER IN MOVEMENT: SOCIAL MOVEMENTS AND CONTENTIOUS POLITICS
James C. Scott. WEAPONS OF THE WEAK: EVERYDAY FORMS OF PEASANT RESISTANCE
Eric R. Wolf. PEASANTS
Steven M. Buechler and F. Kurt Cylke Jr. SOCIAL MOVEMENTS: PERSPECTIVES AND ISSUES
Clarissa Rile Hayward. DE-FACING POWER.
Piven and Cloward. POOR PEOPLE'S MOVEMENTS.
Harrington and Bielby. POPULAR CULTURE: PRODUCTION AND CONSUMPTION
John Gaventa. POWER AND POWERLESSNESS: QUIESCENCE POLITICS IN THE APPALACHIAN VALLEY.
Robin D. G. Kelley. RACE REBELS: CULTURE, POLITICS, AND THE BLACK WORKING CLASS.
Sterling L. Bland Jr. AFRICAN AMERICAN SLAVE NARRATIVES: AN ANTHOLOGY
Paula Kamen. "Jane: Abortion and the Underground: A Dramatic Documentary of Chicago's Revolutionary Abortion Services and its Roots, 1965-1973". (Documentary)
Bob Dylan. THIRTIETH ANNIVERSARY CONCERT CELEBRATION (CD)
VOICES OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT. BLACK AMERICAN FREEDOM SONGS 1960-1966. (CD)
WHEN BILLY BROKE HIS HEAD AND OTHER TALES OF WONDER (Documentary)
REMEMBERING JIM CROW: AFRICAN AMERICANS TELL ABOUT LIFE IN THE SEGREGATED SOUTH. (CD)
|Examinations and Assignments:
Take-home final, two reaction papers, class participation, midterm, journal assignments based on outside activities such as collecting political histories, participant observation, and analysis of resulting data.
|Instructor(s): Price,Melanye Times: ...W... 01:10PM-04:00PM; Location: PAC421;
|Total Enrollment Limit: 25
|SR major: 10
|JR major: 5
|Seats Available: 5
|SR non-major: 5
|JR non-major: 5
|Drop/Add Enrollment Requests
|Total Submitted Requests: 4
|1st Ranked: 2
|2nd Ranked: 0
|3rd Ranked: 0
|4th Ranked: 0