ANTH 323
Democracy and Citizenship in the Age of Multiculturalism
Last Offered Fall 2018
Division II Difference, Power, and Equity
This course is not offered in the current catalog or this is a previous listing for a current course.

Class Details

Democracy (and its particular implementation in the United States) is regularly taken as an unconditional ideal for the rest of the world. In this class, we will analyze democracy as a culturally and historically specific form of social relations and meanings. We will carefully examine a broad range of phenomena that pertain to democracy–for instance, cultural notions of participation in public life in Post-Socialist Germany or categorization of citizens in contemporary India, attachment to homeland among migrant workers in Russia or transnational rhetoric of Chinese bloggers. By so doing, we will study local meanings, circulating discourses, multiple contestations, and changing forms of power in regimes that are heralded as democratic. Our focus on citizenship (broadly defined)–i.e., a recognized right to be different while being accepted as a part of a national community–will bring to light complex issues in the relationship between the state and its subjects. We will discuss how men and women, the abled and the disabled, the migrants and the natives identify with their statuses and define their place in state structures. Anthropological studies of citizenship and diversity of forms of belonging and identification in democratic states will enable us to understand cleavages of power inequality and conceptual predicaments of social fairness in the contemporary world. Ethnographic studies from around the world will be used to provide specific examples of the ability and failure of democratic regimes to govern their varied populations.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: none
Expected: 15
Class#: 1097
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: one long research paper, three book reports, and seminar discussions
Prerequisites: ANTH 101 or SOC 101 or by permission of the instructor
Enrollment Preferences: juniors and seniors
Distributions: Division II Difference, Power, and Equity
DPE Notes: Through an in-depth examination of case-studies of citizen exclusion and inclusion around the world, the course will foster students' critical engagement with a concept of democracy. Special attention will be paid to a differential access to power on a basis of gender, disability, migration status, and ideological constructions of difference.

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