Core Studies 3 Section JK
Office Hours and Contact Information
Readings for the Semester
Since democratic participation is the life-blood of a healthy democratic culture, "People, Power, and Politics" plays a vital role in the transmission of the kinds of knowledges essential for the your full and active participation in the public life of the city, the state, and the nation. Core Studies 3 presents you with a variety of viewpoints to encourage you to come to your own conclusions about contemporary U.S. society, including the diversity of peoples that constitute it, the workings of power within it, and the possibility of participating to full effect in the politics of it. This course is designed as an introduction to the social sciences. It focuses on the concept of power and thus will explore different theories of power. Readings and assignments are structured to give students the opportunity to examine critically the operations of power in American society, including the dynamics of race, gender, class, and sexuality.
Almost all the readings are from the People, Power, and Politics textbook (8th edition), edited by a committee of faculty from the Departments of Political Science and Sociology, This text is available at the Brooklyn College Bookstore.
You will also need to look up documents on the web from time to time. These documents are linked from reading list below. A list of them is available at: http://academic.brooklyn.cuny.edu/core3/documents.htm.
Office hours and contact information:
Office hours: Office: 3401 James Office telephone: (718) 951-4148
Monday, 11:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m;
Wednesday, 4:45 - 6:00 p.m.;
Friday, 11:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
To learn about how to get your own BC email account, go here: http://academic.brooklyn.cuny.edu/core3/currah/email.htm
Home page: http://academic.brooklyn.cuny.edu/polisci/pcurrah/index.htm
Course web page: http://academic.brooklyn.cuny.edu/core3/currah/index.htm
Class attendance is expected and active participation is encouraged. You must complete the assigned reading before each class. In addition to the course readings, you should be reading The New York Times regularly. Your final grade will be determined by the following:
One midterm (15%):
One essay, multiple drafts (30%)
A final exam (50%)
READINGS FOR THE SEMESTER
I. THE CONCEPT OF POWER
Steve London, "Introduction," pp. 1-8.
Immanuel Ness, "The Three Dimensional Introduction to Power and Authority," pp. 50-57.
William Chafe, "Sex and Race: The Analogy of Social Control," pp. 517-531.
Paul Montagna, "Operational and Definitional Introduction to Power and Authority," pp. 44-49.
II. SOCIAL CLASS
Paul Montagna, "Introduction," pp. 67-74.
George R. Vickers, "Karl Marx and the Process of Change," pp. 104-108.
Sidney Aronson, "Max Weber and Social Stratification," pp. 119-125.
Max Weber, "Postscript: The Concepts of Status Groups and Classes," pp. 126-130.
Social Class in America:
Lawrence Mishel, Jared Bernstein and John Schmitt, "Family Income: Slow Growth, Rising Inequality," pp. 75-88.
Lawrence Mishel, Jared Bernstein and John Schmitt, "More for the Wealthy, Financial Decline and Insecurity for the Majority," pp. 88-103.
Sally Avery Bermanzohn, "What is Welfare: A Brief History of U.S. Social Welfare," pp. 131-152.
Stephen Steinberg, "The Underclass: A Case of Color Blindness," (distributed in class).
Questions on Stephen Steinberg's article on the underclass
III. RACE AND ETHNICITY
Race, Racism, and Discrimination:
Joseph Wilson, "Introduction," pp. 171-176.
Supplementary: The African American Odyssey, preview of an exhibition of the Library of Congress: documents and photos.
Lerone Bennett, Jr., "Before the Mayflower," pp. 177-196.
Supplementary: Holt House History of Slavery Timeline
W.E.B. Du Bois, "The Conservation of Races," pp. 197-202.
Picture of Du Bois and the full text of The Souls of Black Folk
Manning Marable, "The Paradox of Integration," pp. 203-208.
Questions on the Wilson, Du Bois, and Marable readings
Joe Feagin and Clairece Feagin, "Theories of Discrimination," pp. 209-214.
Go to the report of the Glass Ceiling Commission
Multiculturalism and Cultural Pluralism:
Stephen Steinberg, "The Ignominious Origins of Ethnic Pluralism in America," pp. 215-242.
Race and Society:
Andrew Hacker, "The Myths of Racial Division," pp. 243-250.
The Supreme Court of the United States, Dred Scott v. Sandford, pp. 251-255.
Important Legal Enactments on Race
Go to Hermes to find the full texts of these important cases:
Dred Scott v. Sandford
Plessy v. Ferguson
Brown v. Board of Education
Douglass, Frederick: Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave 1845 (245 KB)
Read the important part of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
Read what a pro-segregation Southern Governor has to say about the Civil Rights Movement: "Fraud, Sham, and Hoax": a speech by George C. Wallace
Online only: What are civil rights?
In-class video: The Road to Brown
Questions on "The Road to Brown"
The Hispanic Experience:
Readings to be announced.
The Asian Experience:
Readings to be announced.
United States Supreme Court, Korematsu v. United States, (read online):
In-class video (if time): : Unfinished Business
IV. GENDER AND SEXUAL ORIENTATION
Laura Kitch, "Introduction," pp. 287-292.
Supplementary: " One Hundred Years of Suffrage," timeline from the Library of Congress with images (cartoons, pictures, paintings).
Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions, 1848
Theories of Feminism
Alison Jaggar and Paula Rothenberg, "Theories of Women's Oppression," pp. 293-303.
Women and the Economy:
Roslyn Feldberg, "Comparable Worth: Toward Theory and Practice in the United States," pp. 304-320.
Diana Pierce, "Welfare is Not for Women: Why the War on Poverty Cannot Conquer the Feminization of Poverty," pp. 321-334.
Women and Society:
Angela Y. Davis, "Racism, Birth Control, and Reproductive Rights," pp. 335-350.
Gerald Meyer, "Gay/Lesbian Liberation Movement," pp. 614-624..
In-class video: A Question of Equality
The text of the U.S. Supreme Court decision, Bowers v. Hardwick, 1986 (read online).
The text of the U.S. Supreme Court's most recent gay rights decision, Romer v. Evans, 1996 (read online).
V. THE STRUCTURE AND POWER OF AMERICAN GOVERNMENT
Michael Kahan, "Introduction," pp. 351-358.
Read the Declaration of Independence online at:http://academic.brooklyn.cuny.edu/core3/documents.htm
Read the Articles of Confederation online at: http://academic.brooklyn.cuny.edu/core3/documents.htm
Read the U.S. Constitution Online at http://academic.brooklyn.cuny.edu/core3/documents.htm
Dan Claster, "An Overview of the Major Provisions of the U.S. Constitution," pp. 396-401.
The Federalist Papers
Sydney Aronson, "Introduction to the Federalist Papers," pp.388-395.
James Madison, "The Union as a Safeguard Against Domestic Faction," (Federalist #10), pp. 402-407.
James Madison, "Checks and Balances," (Federalist #51), pp. 408-411.
Go to Hermes to find the full text of Marbury v. Madison
Howard Zinn, "Shay's Rebellion," pp. 371-374.
James Levine, "Racism and the Constitution: 200 Years of Inequality," pp. 375-383.
Theoretical Discussion of Social Power and the State:
VI. ECONOMIC POWER AND POLITICAL INFLUENCE
Paul Montagna, "Introduction," pp. 425-432.
Robert B. Reich, "Of Markets and Myths," pp. 433-440.
Harold Kerbo, "The Corporate Class," pp. 441.-466.
The Global Economy
Paul Montagna, "The Multinational Corporation," pp. 467-502.
VII. THE ROLE OF GOVERNMENT IN AMERICAN LIFE
Francis Fox Piven, "Welfare and the Transformation of Electoral Politics," Dissent, Fall 1996, volume 43, number 4.
Other sources of information:
Welfare Information Network
HandsNet Welfare Reform Watch
Electronic Policy Network IdeaCentral
Center for Law and Social Policy
National Association of Counties"
American Public Welfare Association
National Governors Association
US Department of Health and Human Services
"Assessing the New Federalism" information at the Urban Institute's site
VIII. WHO RULES AMERICA? ISSUES OF MODERN DEMOCRACY
Michael Kahan, "Introduction," pp. 503-516.
Pluralist, Elitist, and Class Perspectives:
Participation, Social Movements and Democratic Rights:
Mark Ungar, "Human Rights," pp. 581-589.
Reading to be announced