Middle-Class Culture: Politics, Aesthetics, Morality|
Fall 2009 not offered
In turning our attention to the middle class--not a common subject of study in anthropology--the objectives of this course are (1) to examine middle-class attitudes, values, and sensibilities as the source of what we often refer to as mainstream culture; (2) to do so by relying on anthropology's capacity to estrange us from our everyday realities so that what seems most familiar, normal, and natural reveals itself as extraordinary and constructed; and (3) to advance middle-class culture as an interesting and important subject of study. We will first examine the history and scope of the ever-elusive term "middle class." What exactly do we mean by middle class? How is membership in it defined? After these initial questions, weekly themes will include politics, economics and race, taste and manners, the home and the family, knowledge and secrecy, and taboo subjects such as dirt, sex, and death. The focus of the class will be the United States and Latin America; however, we will include a few readings from other parts of the world, and student are welcome to propose final projects focused on their geographic area of interest.
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Discussion||Grading Mode: Graded|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (LAST)
Works by Weber, Marx, Freud, Foucault, and Bourdieu; ethnographies by Harvey Zorbaugh, Raymond Firth, Marilyn Strathern, Sherry Ortner, Seta Low, and Teresa Caldeira; fiction by Bertolt Brecht, Philip Roth, and Mario Vargas Llosa; and films by Luis Bu˝uel, Lucrecia Martel, and Todd Solondz.
|Examinations and Assignments: |
Short papers, class presentations and final research project.
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