Examines a different subject or problem of current interest within the discipline.
The publication of Robert Putnam’s Bowling Alone (2000) has generated renewed interest in the vitality of civic participation and citizenship in the United States. In this course we will explore questions related to citizenship and service through a comparative study of three different political systems: China’s Maoist state (1949-1979), Canada’s welfare state (1972-1992), and the U.S.A.’s market state (1992-2002). We will begin the course by reading the work of several modern philosophers. We will then examine how citizenship emerges and is shaped in different types of political systems. Among the questions we will consider include: who is a citizen? How do gender and ethnicity shape one’s relationship to service and citizenship? What is the proper relationship between Church and State? How do geo-political relationships undermine or build up certain conceptions of citizenship?
This course is designed to be extremely interactive – both inside and outside the classroom. Opportunities for participating in service learning will be provided for students. Although students are not expected to participate in service learning, all students will be expected to participate in a “citizenship cluster” made up of both service learning and non-service learning students. All students will be required to keep an on-line learning journal which will be shared within your cluster. Citizenship cluster themes are: Service and Advocacy, American Youth at Home and Abroad, Religion and the State, Citizenship, Speech and the Arts. Each cluster will develop a 20 minute presentation which they will give to the class at the quarter’s end.
The goals of this course are as follows: (i) for students to identify various conceptions of citizenship including feminist critiques and accounts of these conceptions; (ii) for students to be able to articulate their own location on the spectrum of conceptions of service and citizenship; (iii) for students to be able to analyze their decision-making and deliberative processes as a result of engaging in collaborative group, community and research work; (iv) for students to synthesize their learning and produce an individual project (a paper) and a small group presentation.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
Class assignments and grading
Class participation is a cornerstone of this course. Students are expected to lead at least one class discussion based on an assigned reading, actively engage in class activities and discussion, as well as contribute to her or his citizenship cluster. As a means to for students to actively participate in debates about citizenship, students will have the opportunity to perform various models of citizenship as they discuss readings. For example, we will use a debate format (as an example from the liberal tradition), consensus (as an example from the radical feminist and republican tradition) and critical theatre (as an example from the social justice tradition). The purpose of these activities is not just to try alternative formats to discuss the readings, but to provide ourselves with another text to see how theories about civic engagement play out in “real life.” To this end, after each civic discussion activity students will be asked to do a short piece of writing in class about the activity: how it reflects a particular theoretical tradition, what it has taught the student about the democratic process, and what criticisms the student has of that particular kind of civic engagement. Finally, students will also be expected to participate in special lectures that will be held immediately following class over the course of the quarter.
Students will be asked to write at least once a week in a learning journal. Journal entries will be composed of two different types of writing. First, a series of progressively structured questions will be given to the students to reflect on their research, service experiences, and readings. Students will be expected to include both observations (this is what I saw, this is what I did, this is how I felt) and analysis (this is how my supervisor’s comment or this reading reflects a particular idea about citizenship, etc.).
Service learning and non-service learning students will form small groups of 4-5 in which they will meet every Thursday for the entirety of the quarter. Each week all of the students will be asked to reflect first in journals and then with their group upon questions concerning facets of gender, service learning and citizenship. All of the groups will also be required to give a group presentation at the end of the quarter. The purpose of the clusters (i) for students to have a weekly forum in which they can reflect on their research; (ii) for the students to learn from each others’ service and research experiences; (iii) and for students to participate in a mini-civil society in which they will have to decide how they will come to decisions regarding their presentation.
Service and Advocacy o sites
American Youth at Home and Abroad o sites
Religion and the State o sites
Citizenship, Speech and the Arts o sites
Twice during the quarter students will turn in a response paper. In the response paper students will provide a brief summary and an evaluation of an assigned reading. Response paper’s are due at the beginning of the class in which we will be discussing a particular reading.
Service Learning Students will be required to complete an 8- 10 page reflection on their community work. Non-service learning students will be expected to research and write a 10 page paper on some aspect related to their citizenship cluster.
In the last two weeks of class each citizenship cluster will be required to give a group presentation related to their cluster theme.