Communication and Culture | Cultures of Democracy
C446 | 28172 | Gershon, I


CMCL-C 446: Cultures of Democracy
Class Number: 28172

MW, 11:15 AM-12:30 PM, C2 203

Instructor: Ilana Gershon
E-Mail: igershon@indiana.edu
Office: C2 215
Phone: 856-3728

This country is now seen as split between two distinct political
worldviews.  To be a Democratic or to be a Republican is to take a
stand on three ethnographic and philosophical questions central to
democracy.   What does democratic representation entail?  How does a
nation become democratic?  And lastly, what are a citizen’s
obligations to their nation – what constitutes a model citizen?

In this course, we are going to address all three questions from an
ethnographic perspective, exploring the cultural assumptions that
underlie different countries’ answers to these questions.  We will
explore how and when culture matters, asking whether democracy in
Chile can ever be same as democracy in Uganda or in the United
States. In addition, we will examine how people discuss politics in
the United States to look at what is American about politics here,
paying particular attention to the assumptions lying behind public
accounts of democracy in media, polling, congressional hearings, and
so on.