This seminar focuses on explaining and understanding social movements and the collective political behaviors that they promote (e.g. demonstrations, protests, violence, and eco-terrorism). Our theoretical focus will be interdisciplinary, drawing on research in political behavior, social psychology, sociology, political theory, and the law. We will discuss when and why collective action occurs, who participates, what forms it takes, and how governments respond. Substantively, we will study a variety of movements including: Black Lives Matter, #MeToo movement, the Environmental movement, the White Nationalist movement, COVID protests, and the January 6th Capitol protest. We will use a variety of approaches and resources: class discussions, films, online forum discussions, and texts. Grades will be based on class participation, forum participation, a writing project, and several group papers.
This class will be taught remotely with both asychronous and sychronous components.