DVC Political Science 120 - Introduction to Politics

Course Syllabus and Outline

Fall Supplement: Online Instructions for Classes

Basic Essay Structure

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

Grading Rubric for Research Essays

Setting Up APA Formatting for Research Papers, 7th Edition

Owl Purdue APA Citation Style

Essay Grading Codes for APA Research Essays

How to Submit a Paper and Read Feedback Comments on Turnitin

Click Here to See a Perfect References Page

Annotated Film Bibliography

Procedure for Challenging Your Final Grade

Click Here to Download the Latest Version of Adobe Acrobat Reader

Lecture Outlines:

(August 23) Lecture / Discussion Page - The Study of Politics and Human Nature

Readings
  • 1. Instructions for the August 23, 2021 Class
  • 2. Text Reading
  • 3. [Lecture Presentation] The Study of Politics and Human Nature
  • 4. Journal Article Reading: Scientists Probe Human Nature -- and Discover We Are Good, After All - Ward
  • 5. Video Presentation: Understanding Human Nature with Steven Pinker
  • 6. Discussion Board Question for Video Presentation
  • The Study of Politics and Human Nature [PowerPoint Presentation]
  • What Are We Like? 10 Psychology Findings That Reveal The Worst Of Human Nature - Jarrett
  • Hobbes vs Rousseau: Are We Inherently Evil? - Douglass
  • The Myth of Human Progress - Hedges
  • Human-Made Evolution - Hunziker
  • (August 30) Lecture / Discussion Page - Understanding and Critically Analyzing Political Theory and Buddhism

    Readings
  • 1. Instructions for the August 30, 2021 Class
  • 2. Text Reading
  • 3. [Lecture Presentation] Understanding and Critically Analyzing Political Theory and Buddhism
  • 4. Journal Article Reading: Is "Social Science" an Oxymoron? Will That Ever Change? - Horgan
  • 5. Video Presentation: The Lottery of Birth
  • 6. Discussion Board Question for Video Presentation
  • Analyzing Political Theory and Buddhism [PowerPoint Presentation]
  • Philosophy of Social Science - Fay
  • Thomas Kuhn: The Man Who Changed the Way the World Looked at Science - Naughton
  • What Thomas Kuhn Really Thought about Scientific "Truth" - Horgan
  • How Reliable Are the Social Sciences? - Gutting
  • The Political Compass
  • (September 13) Lecture / Discussion Page - Our Pre-Modern Heritage - Part I: Plato, Aristotle, and Cicero

    Readings
  • 1. Instructions for the September 13, 2021 Class
  • 2. Text Reading
  • 3. [Lecture Presentation] Our Pre-Modern Heritage - Part I: Plato, Aristotle, and Cicero
  • 4. Journal Article Reading: Notion of Elite Guardian Class Dates Back to Founding of US - Chomsky
  • 5. Video Presentation: What is Democracy?
  • 6. Discussion Board Question for Video Presentation
  • Our Pre-Modern Heritage - Part 1 [PowerPoint Presentation]
  • War and Power in Classical Greece: Lessons for Superpowers and the World - Vallianatos
  • The Shaping of American Character - Robbins
  • The Coming Collapse of the American Economic System - Hedges and Wolff
  • The Kavanaugh Battle, Viewed from Rome- Weigel
  • Philosophy: Socrates, Plato and Aristotle - Khan Academy
  • (September 20) Lecture / Discussion Page - Our Pre-Modern Heritage - Part II: God, the Bible, Augustine, and Aquinas

    Readings
  • 1. Instructions for the September 20, 2021 Class
  • 2. Text Reading
  • 3. [Lecture Presentation] Our Pre-Modern Heritage - Part II: God, the Bible, Augustine, and Aquinas
  • 4. Journal Article Reading: More Public Schools Are Embracing the Bible. Is It literature, or Religion? - Sheasley and Jonsson
  • 5. Video Presentation: Waiting for Armageddon
  • 6. Discussion Board Question for Video Presentation
  • Our Pre-Modern Heritage - Part 2 [PowerPoint Presentation]
  • Why Thomas Aquinas Stands The Test Of Time - Chalk
  • Down the Memory Hole: Living in Trump's United States of Amnesia - Gordon
  • Resist the Lure of Theological Politics - Hamid
  • Fake News? Or Fake Faith? - Alberts
  • Empire Files: Chris Hedges & Abby Martin - Trump, Fascism & the Christian Right
  • (September 27) Lecture / Discussion Page - Liberalism and Kant

    Readings
  • 1. Instructions for the September 27, 2021 Class
  • 2. Text Reading
  • 3. [Lecture Presentation] Liberalism and Kant
  • 4. Journal Article Reading: Lazy Liberals and "the Trump Effect" - Street
  • 5. Video Presentation: Surviving Progress
  • 6. Discussion Board Question for Video Presentation
  • Liberalism and Kant [PowerPoint Presentation]
  • Immanuel Kant on Our Duty to Obey Government - Smith
  • Great Thinkers: Immanuel Kant
  • 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 4) Lecture / Discussion Page - Conservatism and Islam

    Readings
  • 1. Instructions for the October 4, 2021 Class
  • 2. Text Reading
  • 3. [Lecture Presentation] Conservatism and Islam
  • 4. Journal Article Reading: The West's Moral Panic Behind The Threat Of Radical Islam - Burchill
  • 5. Video Presentation: Islam, Democracy and Capitalism in Turkey - VPRO World Stories
  • 6. Discussion Board Question for Video Presentation
  • Conservatism and Islam [PowerPoint Presentation]
  • The Essence of Conservatism - Kirk
  • What Americans Mean When They Say They're Conservative: Freidersdorf
  • Understanding the Complexity of Islamism - Venturini
  • Rationalism in Politics - Oakeshott
  • Have Conservatives Lost Their Compassion? - Olmstead
  • (October 11) Lecture / Discussion Page - Marxism

    Readings
  • 1. Instructions for the October 11, 2021 Class
  • 2. Text Reading
  • 3. [Lecture Presentation] Marxism
  • 4. Journal Article Reading: Why Socialism? - Einstein
  • 5. Video Presentation: Marx Reloaded
  • 6. Discussion Board Question for Video Presentation
  • Marxism [PowerPoint Presentation]
  • Marxism Basics - Socialist Revolution
  • COVID-19 and Catastrophe Capitalism - Foster and Suwandi
  • Understanding Marxism and Socialism with Richard Wolff
  • Kshama Sawant on Malala Yousefzai - Democracy Now
  • The Not-So-Small Voice of American Socialism - Hirthler
  • (October 18) Lecture / Discussion Page - Darwinian Theories and Western Political Thought

    Readings
  • 1. Instructions for the October 18, 2021 Class
  • 2. Text Reading
  • 3. [Lecture Presentation] Darwinian Theories and Western Political Thought
  • 4. Journal Article Reading: Darwin's Influence on Modern Thought - Mayr
  • 5. Video Presentation: Human Zoos: America's Forgotten History of Scientific Racism
  • 6. Discussion Board Question for Video Presentation
  • Darwin and Western Political Thought [PowerPoint Presentation]
  • Darwin's Living Legacy - Garcia, Jr.
  • The Ghost at the Birthday Party - Loye
  • Meet the Woman Who Decided to Take on Darwin's Sexist Scientific Theories - Saini
  • Defending Darwin - Dougherty
  • Darwin and the Theory of Evolution Documentary
  • (October 25) Lecture / Discussion Page - Political Parties and Sartre

    Readings
  • 1. Instructions for the October 25, 2021 Class
  • 2. Text Reading
  • 3. [Lecture Presentation] Political Parties and Sartre
  • 4. Journal Article Reading: Think Big, Be Free, Have Sex! 10 Reasons to Be an Existentialist - Bakewell
  • 5. Video Presentation: Sartre: The Road to Freedom
  • 6. Discussion Board Question for Video Presentation
  • Political Parties and Sartre [PowerPoint Presentation]
  • The Political Compass (Find Out Where You Are!)
  • Humanism - Helping People - Haught
  • Jean Paul Sartre: Existentialism
  • The Transformation of the Democratic and Republican Parties - Against the Grain
  • In An Age of Hollow Men and Existential Angst, Re-read Sartre - Escobar
  • Overcoming the Divide and Conquer Strategy -- The Economic Elite Vs. The People of the USA - DeGraw
  • (November 1) Lecture / Discussion Page - Interest Groups and Freud

    Readings
  • 1. Instructions for the November 1, 2021 Class
  • 2. Text Reading
  • 3. [Lecture Presentation] Interest Groups and Freud
  • 4. Journal Article Reading: Sigmund Freud
  • 5. Video Presentation: The Century of the Self - Part 1: "Happiness Machines"
  • 6. Discussion Board Question for Video Presentation
  • Interest Groups and Freud [PowerPoint Presentation]
  • Sigmund Freud (1856 - 1939)
  • Interest Groups: Pathways to Participation and Influence - Lumen
  • Interest Groups and Theories of Power in America - McFarland
  • The Freud-Einstein Correspondence of 1932: Theories of War - MacQueen
  • Finding the Lost Voters - Sifry
  • (November 8) Lecture / Discussion Page - Public Opinion, the Mass Media, and B.F. Skinner

    Readings
  • 1. Instructions for the November 8, 2021 Class
  • 2. Text Reading
  • 3. [Lecture Presentation] Public Opinion and the Mass Media
  • 4. Journal Article Reading: Corporate Media: the Enemy of the People - Street
  • 5. Video Presentation: Shadows of Liberty
  • 6. Discussion Board Question for Video Presentation
  • Public Opinion and the Mass Media [PowerPoint Presentation]
  • Herman and Chomsky's 5 Filters on the Media - Al Jazeera
  • Shadows of Liberty - Documentary
  • News Content and Illusion: Four Information Biases That Matter - Bennett
  • Power of Majority Opinion in America Over Thought - De Tocqueville
  • Post-Fact Politics: Reviewing the History of Fake News and Propaganda - DiMaggio
  • It's the Media, Stupid - McChesney / Nichols
  • (November 15) Lecture / Discussion Page - Leadership Dynamics, Executive Offices, Bureaucracies, and Confucius

    Readings
  • 1. Instructions for the November 15, 2021 Class
  • 2. Text Reading
  • 3. [Lecture Presentation] Leadership Dynamics, Executive Offices, Bureaucracies, and Confucius
  • 4. Journal Article Reading: Indigenous Leadership Points the Way Out of the COVID Crisis - Litvin
  • 5. Video Presentation: The New Silk Road, Part 1: From China to Pakistan (DW Documentary)
  • 6. Discussion Board Question for Video Presentation
  • Leadership and Confucius [PowerPoint Presentation]
  • Get Over It: Asia Rules - Escobar
  • An Emergent Leadership Model Based on Confucian Virtues and East Asian Leadership Practices - Yang
  • Gen Z National Student Leadership Begins Fightback for College Relief - Moses
  • China's Quest for Moral Authority - Schell
  • Cold War II - Lind
  • (November 22) Lecture / Discussion Page - Legislative and Judicial Systems and Upanishadic Hinduism

    Readings
  • 1. Instructions for the November 22, 2021 Class
  • 2. Text Reading
  • 3. [Lecture Presentation] Legislative and Judicial Systems and Upanishadic Hinduism
  • 4. Journal Article Reading: Why the Trump-Modi Friendship Is So Dangerous - Sen
  • 5. Video Presentation: Dr. Shashi Tharoor on Hinduism's Origins and its Philosophical Concepts
  • 6. Discussion Board Question for Video Presentation
  • Legislative and Judicial Systems and Hinduism [PowerPoint Presentation]
  • What Democracy? The Case for Abolishing the United States Senate - Rosenfeld
  • Congress: The Pocketing of Power - Parenti
  • Life Tenure Is Too Long for Supreme Court Justices - Taylor Jr.
  • The Triumph of Hindu Majoritarianism - Chandra
  • Class Inequality and Democracy - Krugman
  • (November 29) Lecture / Discussion Page - New Directions in Political Science and Important Cognate Fields

    Readings
  • 1. Instructions for the November 29, 2021 Class
  • 2. Text Reading
  • 3. [Lecture Presentation] New Directions in Political Science and Important Cognate Fields
  • 4. Journal Article Reading: On the Cowardice & Irrelevance of Social Science Scholars - Dimaggio
  • 5. Video Presentation: Four Horsemen
  • 6. Discussion Board Question for Video Presentation
  • New Directions in Political Science [PowerPoint Presentation]
  • Ecological Politics for the Working Class - Huber
  • The Myth of a 'Value-Free' Social Science Or The Value of Political Commitments to Social Science - Petras
  • The Politics of Social Science - Vidal
  • A Message to the African Political Scientist - Quigley
  • Resistance and the Left with Paul Street - On Contact with Chris Hedges
  • Research Projects and Examinations:

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    Click Here To See A Perfect Journal Response

    Canvas Journal Responses - Due: Subject to Change. Check Canvas Assignments Page for Final Due Date

  • For the following lectures, please respond to the highlighted question from each lecture from the "Study and Discussion Question" section. Responses should be at least one page in length (double-spaced). Most importantly, these journal responses should not just SUMMARIZE the question, but ANALYZE and EVALUATE them!
  • Lecture / Discussion Page (Politics and Human Nature), Question 7 - Due: Posted on Canvas
  • Lecture / Discussion Page (Critically Analyzing Political Theory), Question 2 - Due: Posted on Canvas
  • Lecture / Discussion Page (Plato, Aristotle, Cicero), Question 2 - Due: Posted on Canvas
  • Lecture / Discussion Page (God, the Bible, Augustine, Aquinas), Question 4 - Due: Posted on Canvas
  • Lecture / Discussion Page (Liberalism), Question 3 - Due: Posted on Canvas
  • Lecture / Discussion Page (Conservatism), Question 4 - Due: Posted on Canvas
  • Lecture / Discussion Page (Marxism), Question 1 - Due: Posted on Canvas
  • Lecture / Discussion Page (Darwinian Theories), Question 7 - Due: Posted on Canvas
  • Lecture / Discussion Page (Political Parties and Sartre), Question 2 - Due: Posted on Canvas
  • Lecture / Discussion Page (Interest Groups and Freud), Question 6 - Due: Posted on Canvas
  • Lecture / Discussion Page (Public Opinion and the Mass Media), Question 5 - Due: Posted on Canvas
  • Lecture / Discussion Page (Executive Agencies, Leadership, Bureaucracies and Confucius), Question 4 - Due: Posted on Canvas
  • Lecture / Discussion Page (Legislative and Judicial Systems and Hinduism), Question 5 - Due: Posted on Canvas
  • Lecture / Discussion Page (New Directions in Political Science and Cognate Fields), Question 7 - Due: Posted on Canvas
  • The Soil of Democracy - POLSC 120 Fall 2021 Research Project - Due: November 15, 2021

    Notes for the Soil of Democracy:

    Click Here To See Powerpoint Presentation

    Books / Articles / Reports / Documents / Websites (Active Citizen Participation - Theory)
  • Consent Without Consent: Reflections on the Theory and Practice of Democracy - Chomsky
  • [Book] 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
  • [Book] Liberal Individualism and the Crisis of Citizenship - Bellah & Madsen
  • [Book] Democracy's Romantic Myths - Mueller
  • Books / Articles / Reports / Documents / Websites (Active Citizen Participation - Practice)
  • [Book] 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
  • [Book] America's Civic Condition: A Glance at the Evidence - Galston
  • [Book] The Active Citizen - Loeb
  • Books / Articles / Reports / Documents / Websites (Large Middle Class - Traditional Perspectives)
  • [Book] Democracy and Capitalism - Friedman
  • [Book] The Road to Serfdom - Hayek
  • [Book] The Morality of Capitalism: What Your Professors Won't Tell You - Palmer
  • [Book] Debating Democracy - Miroff
  • [Book] 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
  • [Book] America Beyond Capitalism - Alperovitz
  • [Book] Democracy at Risk - Gates
  • [Book] The Wealth Inequality Reader - Fireside
  • Growth and the Middle Class - Madland
  • The American Dream Has Become A Burden For Most - Younge
  • [Book] 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
  • America's Lost Egalitarian Tradition - Wilentz
  • [Book] 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
  • [Book] Aspects of Class in the United States - Foster
  • [Book] Some Economics of Class - Perelman
  • [Book] 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)
  • [Book] Civic Illiteracy and Education - Marciano
  • Do Americans Want to Be Lied To? Both Major Parties Seem to Think So - McCarthy
  • Teaching Students How to Dissent Is Part of Democracy - Stitzlein
  • The Curse of Totalitarianism and the Challenge of an Insurrectional Pedagogy - Giroux
  • Youth in Authoritarian Times: Challenging Neoliberalism's Politics of Disposability - Giroux
  • [Book] 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!
  • Readings, Documentaries, and Websites of Interest for Political Science 120 Students!

    A Message From the Future II: "Years of Repair"

    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

    Measuring Rates of Return for Lobbying Expenditures: An Empirical Analysis Under the American Jobs Creation Act - Alexander, Scholz, and Mazza

    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

    The Collapse of the American Empire? - The Agenda with Steve Paikin

    Corruption is Legal in America - Represent.Us

    Unbreaking America: A NEW Short Film about Solving the Corruption Crisis - 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

    Destroying the Myths of Market Fundamentalism - The Real News Network

    Tipping Point: The End of Oil - Documentary

    The Propaganda Multiplier:How Global News Agencies and Western Media Report on Geopolitics - Swiss Propaganda Research

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

    Two American Families - Frontline Documentary

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

    Wealth Inequality in America - therules.org

    Billionaire Bonanza: The Forbes 400 and the Rest of Us - Institute for Policy Studies

    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

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

    Obamacare: A Deception - Roberts

    The Purchase of Our Republic - Falkson

    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"