Spring 2020

POL 239 A Topic: Social Movements and Social Change in the United States
Instructor: Yesnowitz

When and why do social movements occur? What motivates some individuals to participate in organized collective action? What role do strategies, values, decision-making structures, and leaders play? How have recent technological developments transformed recruitment efforts? Which tactics are most effective in pressuring legislators to respond to movement demands? What impacts have oppositional movements had on politics and society in the United States? In considering these (and other) questions, we will explore a range of movements which have both animated previous cycles of protest such as civil rights, women's liberation, and antiwar mobilization along with several cases which characterize our own time including climate change advocacy, Black Lives Matter demonstrations, and the #MeToo campaign. When examining the issue grievances and proposed remedies of both historical and contemporary political struggles, we will also focus close attention on media coverage of social movements, intra-movement disputes and inter-movement coalitions, the rise of counter-movements, and movement relations with political parties and presidential administrations.

Satisfies Social-Scientific Thought requirement.

POL 239 B Topic:  What's Happening to the News, and What it Means for Democracy
Instructor: Sill

The 2020 presidential campaign will flood Americans with news, but how much will be independent information amid political messaging, social media manipulation and partisan spin? This course will examine campaign reporting and other case studies in considering how media disruption and fragmentation are affecting democracy and civic function in the United States, We'll explore current press-public issues, "enemies of the people" versus "watchdogs for the people" and other issues of trust in the context of U.S. history and the Internet's transformation of communication, with an eye to what comes next. The course will also include tools and skills for verifying information and evaluating media sources for credibility.

Satisfies Social-Scientific Thought requirement.


Class Details
Course POL 239
Section 0
CRN 20363
Time M W
Time 0220 - 0335pm
Building 1006 CHAM
Instructor Joshua Yesnowitz
Max 30
Current 0
Remaining 30
Semester Spring 2022