Political Science | Social Movements and Film
Y401 | 9845 | Sissenich

This course explores social movements of race and ethnicity, class,
and gender in the US and other countries. Through academic writings
and films, we will investigate why movements emerge when they do,
what forms they take, and what outcomes they produce. What does it
take to generate sustained political contention? What makes
individuals join protests? And why do some situations not generate
any contentious action at all, even if they seem to cry out for mass
protest? Why are some movements local, while others spread across
many countries? Why are some movements peaceful, whereas others
resort to violence? How do relations between the state and society
change in the course of contentious action?

Case studies will include the US civil rights movement, labor,
organized racism, the Chinese democracy movement, transnational
solidarity, Islamic activism, and peasant resistance. The case
material covers democratic and non-democratic forms of government.
The course has two main goals: 1) to familiarize students with
theories of political contention; 2) to teach skills of film

Participation: 20 % of the grade.

In-class quizzes: 20% of the grade.

Two papers on assigned questions: 60 % of the grade.