DVC Political Science 120 - Introduction to Politics

Course Syllabus and Outline

Basic Essay Structure

How to Analyze the Logic of an Article, Essay, or Chapter

Grading Rubric for Research Essays

Essay Grading Codes for APA Research Essays

Owl Purdue APA Citation Style

Annotated Film Bibliography

Procedure for Challenging Your Final Grade

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Lecture Outlines:

(August 21) Lecture / Discussion Page - The Study of Politics and Human Nature

Readings
  • The Myth of Human Progress - Hedges
  • Human-Made Evolution - Hunziker
  • (August 28) Lecture / Discussion Page - Understanding and Critically Analyzing Political Theory

    Readings
  • Ditching the “Deep State”: The Rise of a New Conspiracy Theory in American Politics - DiMaggio
  • The Political Compass
  • (September 11) Lecture / Discussion Page - Our Pre-Modern Heritage - Part I: Plato, Aristotle, and Cicero

    Readings
  • Philosophy: Socrates, Plato and Aristotle - Khan Academy
  • Notion of Elite Guardian Class Dates Back to Founding of US - Chomsky
  • (September 18) Lecture / Discussion Page - Our Pre-Modern Heritage - Part II: God, the Bible, Augustine, and Aquinas

    Readings
  • Fake News? Or Fake Faith? - Alberts
  • Empire Files: Chris Hedges & Abby Martin - Trump, Fascism & the Christian Right
  • (September 25) Lecture / Discussion Page - Liberalism

    Readings
  • Liberalism's Failures in a Time of Increasing Violence, Racism, Inequality and State Terrorism - Poulin
  • The Liberal Apologies for Obama's Ugly Reign - Street
  • The Inadequacies of Liberalism - Martin and Pimentel
  • (October 2) Lecture / Discussion Page - Conservatism

    Readings
  • The Essence of Conservatism - Kirk
  • Rationalism in Politics - Oakeshott
  • Have Conservatives Lost Their Compassion? - Olmstead
  • (October 9) Lecture / Discussion Page - Marxism

    Readings
  • Why Socialism? - Einstein
  • Understanding Marxism and Socialism with Richard Wolff
  • Kshama Sawant on Malala Yousefzai - Democracy Now
  • The Not-So-Small Voice of American Socialism - Hirthler
  • (October 16) Lecture / Discussion Page - Darwinian Theories and Western Political Thought

    Readings
  • Zeitgeist: Moving Forward (Documentary)
  • The Political Compass
  • (October 23) Lecture / Discussion Page - Public Opinion, the Mass Media, and B.F. Skinner

    Readings
  • Democracy and a Free Press - Croteau and Hoynes
  • It's the Media, Stupid - McChesney / Nichols
  • (October 30) Lecture / Discussion Page - Interest Groups and Freud

    Readings
  • After the Deluge: Electoral Reform in the Wake of the Election of 2000 - Guinier
  • Finding the Lost Voters - Sifry
  • (November 6) Lecture / Discussion Page - Political Parties and Sartre

    Readings
  • The Road to Freedom (Documentary)
  • Reclaiming the Commons - Klein
  • (November 13) Lecture / Discussion Page - Leadership Dynamics, Executive Offices, Bureaucracies, and Confucius

    Readings
  • Trump's Road to the White House - (PBS Documentary)
  • Closing the Democracy Gap - Nader
  • (November 20) Lecture / Discussion Page - Legislative and Judicial Systems and Upanishadic Hinduism

    Readings
  • What Democracy? The Case for Abolishing the United States Senate - Rosenfeld
  • Class Inequality and Democracy - Krugman
  • (November 27) Lecture / Discussion Page - International System Theories, Law, and Organizations

    Readings
  • Wars of Terror - Chomsky
  • The Logic of U.S. Intervention - Parenti
  • (December 4) Lecture / Discussion Page - New Directions in Political Science and Important Cognate Fields

    Readings
  • Neo-Patriarchy and the Anti-Homosexual Agenda - Snyder
  • Is Free Speech the Enemy of Democracy? - Sunstein
  • Research Projects and Examinations:

    Click Here To See A Perfect Research Paper

    Click Here To See A Perfect Research Paper

    Click Here To See A Perfect Research Paper

    Click Here To See A Perfect Journal Response

    Homework Questionaire - The Political Compass Website - Due: September 11, 2017

    1st Journal Responses - Due: October 16, 2017

  • For Lectures One through Seven, please respond to one of the questions from each lecture from the "Study and Discussion Question" section. Responses should be approximately one page in length (double-spaced)
  • Lecture / Discussion Page (Politics and Human Nature), Choose One Question
  • Lecture / Discussion Page (Critically Analyzing Political Theory), Choose One Question
  • Lecture / Discussion Page (Plato, Aristotle, Cicero), Choose One Question
  • Lecture / Discussion Page (God, the Bible, Augustine, Aquinas), Choose One Question
  • Lecture / Discussion Page (Liberalism), Choose One Question
  • Lecture / Discussion Page (Conservatism), Choose One Question
  • Lecture / Discussion Page (Marxism), Choose One Question
  • The Soil of Democracy - POLSC 120 Fall 2017 Research Project - Due: October 16, 2017

    Recent Books for the Research Paper:

    Click Here To See Titles

    Books / Articles / Reports / Documents / Websites (Active Citizen Participation - Theory)
  • Consent Without Consent: Reflections on the Theory and Practice of Democracy - Chomsky
  • Debating Democracy - Miroff
  • Citizen Participation in Decision Making: Is It Worth the Effort? - Irwin
  • Public Deliberation in an Age of Direct Citizen Participation - Roberts
  • Couch Potato Democracy? - Valelly
  • Liberal Individualism and the Crisis of Citizenship - Bellah & Madsen
  • Democracy's Romantic Myths - Mueller
  • Books / Articles / Reports / Documents / Websites (Active Citizen Participation - Practice)
  • Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community - Putnam
  • Cultural Currency - Halpern
  • Why Americans Still Don't Vote - Piven & Cloward
  • Playing Dumb? Dan Rather's Curiously Clueless Take on Why American's Don't - Street
  • The Citizen As Respondent: Sample Surveys and American Democracy - Verba
  • America's Civic Condition: A Glance at the Evidence - Galston
  • Guest Post: Should Everyone Vote? - Tyler Durden
  • The Active Citizen - Loeb
  • Books / Articles / Reports / Documents / Websites (Large Middle Class - Traditional Perspectives)
  • Democracy and Capitalism – Friedman
  • The Road to Serfdom – Hayek
  • The Morality of Capitalism: What Your Professors Won't Tell You – Palmer
  • Debating Democracy – Miroff
  • Myths of Rich and Poor – Cox
  • Saving the Dream – Heritage Foundation
  • The Minimum Wage Harms the Most Vulnerable – Richman
  • Terms of Contention – Garfinkle
  • The Inequality That Matters – Cowen
  • Left Out – Fukuyama
  • American Dreams, American Resentments – Mead
  • Capitalism and Inequality: What the Right and Left Get Wrong – Muller
  • Defending the One Percent - Mankiew
  • Job Losses and Trade: A Reality Check – CATO Institute
  • Books / Articles / Reports / Documents / Websites (Large Middle Class - Critical Perspectives)
  • Demise of the US Middle Class Now Official – Smith
  • America Beyond Capitalism – Alperovitz
  • Democracy at Risk – Gates
  • The Wealth Inequality Reader – Fireside
  • Growth and the Middle Class – Madland
  • The American Dream Has Become A Burden For Most – Younge
  • The Spiral of Inequality – Krugman
  • Are We Still A Middle Class Nation? – Lind
  • The Broken Contract: Inequality and American Decline – Packer
  • The Myth of the Middle Class: Have Most Americans Always Been Poor? – Nasser
  • Obama Destroys the Middle Class – Whitney
  • Understanding America's Class System – Bageant
  • No Functioning U.S. Democracy – Street
  • Dollarocracy: How Big Money Undermines Our Democracy – Nichols and McChesney
  • We've Got A Billionaire Bailout Society – Leopold
  • America's Lost Egalitarian Tradition – Wilentz
  • Facing Up to the American Dream – Hochschild
  • Striking It Richer – Saez
  • The Power of the Rich – Tabb
  • The Great Inequality – Yates
  • Does Inequality Matter? – Jencks
  • Aspects of Class in the United States – Foster
  • Some Economics of Class – Perelman
  • Six Points on Class – Zweig
  • Let's Get This Class War Started – Hedges
  • Pursuing the American Dream: Economic Mobility Across Generations - Pew Charitable Trust
  • Books / Articles / Reports / Documents / Websites (Widespread Education - Traditional Perspectives)
  • No Child Left Behind - U.S. Department of Education
  • The Evaluation of Charter School Impacts: The Final Report - U.S. Department of Education
  • The Agony of American Education - Snell
  • They're Not Stupid, They're Lazy - Starr
  • Books / Articles / Reports / Documents / Websites (Widespread Education - Critical Perspectives)
  • Civic Illiteracy and Education - Marciano
  • The Curse of Totalitarianism and the Challenge of an Insurrectional Pedagogy - Giroux
  • Youth in Authoritarian Times: Challenging Neoliberalism's Politics of Disposability - Giroux
  • Myth America: Democracy vs. Capitalism - Boyer
  • Against School: Why Public Education Cripples Our Kids and Why - Gatto
  • Change Can't Come Without Protest - Kozol
  • The Problem With "Failing" Schools - Wilson
  • Tip of the Iceburg: Charter School Vulnerabilities to Waste, Fraud, and Abuse - Center for Popular Democracy
  • Multiple Choice: Charter School Performance in 16 States - CREDO
  • Pearson, ETS, Houghton Mifflin, and McGraw-Hill Lobby Big and Profit Bigger from School Tests - PR Watch
  • Charter Schools in Eight States: Effects on Achievement, Attainment, Integration, and Competition - The RAND Corporation
  • Obama and Duncan's Education Policy: Like Bush's Only Worse - Weil
  • The Fight to Save Public Education - Cooke
  • Waiting for Superman: Heroes and Myths - Olorunda
  • Left Behind? American Youth and the Global Fight for Democracy - Giroux
  • The Pedagogy of Oppression - McLaren & Farahmandpur
  • No Child Unrecruited - Goodman
  • White House-Backed Charter Schools Lag Behind Public Schools - Democracy Now!
  • 2nd Journal Responses - Due: December 11, 2017

  • For Lectures Eight through Fifteen, please respond to one of the questions from each lecture from the "Study and Discussion Questions" section. Responses should be approximately one page in length (double-spaced)
  • Lecture / Discussion Page (Darwinian Theories), Choose One Question
  • Lecture / Discussion Page (Public Opinion, Mass Media, Skinner), Choose One Question
  • Lecture / Discussion Page (Interest Groups and Freud), Choose One Question
  • Lecture / Discussion Page (Political Parties and Sartre), Choose One Question
  • Lecture / Discussion Page (Leadership and Confucius), Choose One Question
  • Lecture / Discussion Page (Legislative Systems and Hinduism), Choose One Question
  • Lecture / Discussion Page (International System Theories), Choose One Question
  • Lecture / Discussion Page (New Directions in Poli Sci), Choose One Question
  • Readings, Documentaries, and Websites of Interest for Political Science 120 Students!

    UNCOUNTED: The True Story of the California Primary - Wake Up California!

    Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens - Gilens and Page

    The Crisis of Democracy - The Trilateral Commission (1973)

    The Powell Memo (also known as the Powell Manifesto) - Reclaim Democracy!

    A Century of War - RT Documentary

    Corruption is Legal in America - Represent.Us

    The Lie We Live [Smart Kid - A Nice Wake-Up Call] - Spencer Cathcart

    Understanding Marxism and Socialism with Richard Wolff

    War Is A Racket - Major General Smedley Butler

    Four Horsemen - Documentary (Great Stuff! Check This Out!)

    Empire Files: Peter Joseph & Abby Martin on Abolishing Capitalism

    Tipping Point: The End of Oil - Documentary

    Wondering About the Origins of ISIS? (You'd Better Buckle Your Seatbelts for This One)

    Capitalism Never Solves Its Crises; It Moves Them Around Geographically - RSAnimate

    Two American Families - Frontline Documentary

    We the People, and the Republic We Must Reclaim - Lawrence Lessig on TED

    Global Wealth Inequality: What You Never Knew You Never Knew - therules.org

    Wealth Inequality in America - therules.org

    Park Ave: Wealth, Poverty, and the American Dream - Documentary

    Shadows of Liberty - Documentary (Mass Media)

    Plutocracy in America - Brenner

    The Progressive Movement is a PR Front for Rich Democrats - Stauber

    Rick Wolff: A Cure for Capitalism (Worker Self-Directed Enterprises!)

    Consent Without Consent: Reflections on the Theory and Practice of Democracy - Chomsky

    Obamacare: A Deception - Roberts

    The Purchase of Our Republic - Falkson

    Searching for Steele: James Steele, America's Mystery Man in Iraq - BBC / Guardian Documentary

    The Crisis of Civilization - Documentary

    Let Your Life Be A Friction That Stops The Machine - Class War Films

    Political Fraud - Class War Films

    Financial Crime - Class War Films

    Military Cancer - Class War Films

    Imperial Decay - Class War Films

    Overdose: The Next Financial Crisis - Documentary

    What Democracy? The Case for Abolishing the United States Senate - Rosenfeld

    Making Every Vote Count: The Case for Proportional Representation - Amy

    Ignoble Liars: Leo Strauss, George Bush, and the Philosophy of Mass Deception - Shorris

    Barack Hoover Obama: The Best and the Brightest Blow It Again - Baker

    The Great American Bubble Machine - Taibbi

    Why Isn't Wall Street in Jail? - Taibbi

    Empire Under Obama: Counterinsurgency, Death Squads, and the Population as the Target - Marshall

    Smash the Control Machine - Otep Rocks!

    Rise Rebel Resist - Otep Rocks!

    The World is Coming to an End - Prince Ea

    The Final Word from My Two Favorite Comedians of All Time on "The Big Question"