Want to know why people vote the way they do? Why young people turn out to vote in lower numbers than their parents? Why Americans are increasingly “bowling alone” and why that’s bad news for democracy? In this course we will examine all of these questions and more as we explore the nature of political participation in America. We will examine the roles of socialization, the media, political campaigns, and how the internet may be changing this process in important ways. We will also investigate the importance of civic participation in building social capital and how this helps “make democracy work.” In addition to learning about these issues from an academic perspective, we will also engage in hands-on learning with our own survey project in the community. You will come away from this class with a deeper understanding of what political participation means, from both a societal and personal point of view.
Upper division standing or instructor consent
Normal Grading Rules