PSCI 410 Senior Seminar in American Politics: The Politics of Belonging

Last offered Spring 2014

In his acceptance speech on November 7, 2012, President Obama stated that he believes "we can keep the promise of our founders, the idea that if you're willing to work hard, it doesn't matter who you are or where you come from or what you look like or where you love. It doesn't matter whether you're black or white or Hispanic or Asian or Native American or young or old or rich or poor, able, disabled, gay or straight, you can make it here in America if you're willing to try." Although many people have described America as inclusive, political debates about belonging have often been contentious, hard-fought, and discouraging for those sharing President Obama's views. This seminar will focus on the politics of belonging in America. What does it mean to be an American? If the U.S. is a nation of immigrants, why is immigration reform so difficult to achieve? Are legal citizenship and formal political rights sufficient for belonging? Or does full inclusion rest on the ability to exercise civil and social rights as well? Does income inequality threaten the political equality necessary for a strong democracy? As we examine the debates over inclusion, we will consider different views about the relationship among political, civil, and social rights as well as different interpretations of American identity, politics, and democracy.
Class Format: seminar
Requirements/Evaluation: class participation, short weekly writing assignments, two short papers, a research paper, and oral presentation
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Additional Info2:
Prerequisites: at least one course in American politics
Enrollment Preference: senior Political Science majors
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Divisional Attributes: Division II
Other Attributes: PSCI American Politics Courses,PSCI Research Courses
Enrollment Limit: 14
Expected Enrollment: 14
Class Number: 3434
CLASSES ATTR INSTRUCTORS TIMES CLASS NUMBER
PSCI 410 SEM Sr Sem: Politics of Belonging Division 2: Social Studies Cathy M. Johnson
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