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POSC 269.00 I Did My Own Research: Information and Political Division in America 6 credits

Open: Size: 25, Registered: 17, Waitlist: 0

Weitz Center 230

MTWTHF
12:30pm1:40pm12:30pm1:40pm1:10pm2:10pm
Synonym: 62828

Brian F Harrison

Many Americans sense that polarization makes governance harder; scholars argue that polarization can undermine democracy itself. How do we manage difficult problems in a polarized political era? Can we ever agree if we are so free to pursue information that only supports what we already believe? We examine group identity in American culture and how boundaries affect attitudes and behavior as well as information around policy disputes around incarceration/policing, free speech, LGBTQ rights, health care, elections, immigration, and more. Finally, we consider how to reduce unproductive polarization for a better America even when we don’t agree on what better entails.

POSC 306.00 Identity Politics and Group Behavior in America* 6 credits

Open: Size: 15, Registered: 6, Waitlist: 0

Leighton 330

MTWTHF
9:50am11:00am9:50am11:00am9:40am10:40am
Synonym: 62566

Brian F Harrison

In recent years we have heard a lot about “identity politics.” This course aims to answer the question, why do people form group-based identities and how do they impact mass political attitudes and behavior? Using examples from American politics, we will examine the psychological underpinnings of identity and group-based affiliations as well as their political consequences. In doing so, we will explore how bias, prejudice, and social hierarchy are formed, maintained, and changed. Such evaluations will be based on discussions of various dominant and minority group identities including partisanship, race/ethnicity, class, gender, sexuality, religion, and place. Students will learn how and where the United States has progressed in promoting group equality and fairness and where it has not or has even moved backwards. Students end the course with a deeper understanding of the core American paradox of the persistence of group hierarchy in a country dedicated to democracy, equality, and liberty and what people can do to resolve that paradox.

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You must take 6 credits of each of these,
except Quantitative Reasoning, which requires 3 courses.
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