In this course, students undertake a collaborative exploration of key themes in political sociology, a major sub-field of sociology with strong linkages to political science and political philosophy. A working knowledge of introductory sociology and social science research methods is absolutely essential and thus required. One of the fundamental problems of concern in this course is to understand the dynamics and relations of power in society. Specific problems and issues related to ‘power’ are examined across the grassroots and global levels of sociological investigation. Intersectional and global comparative perspectives are stressed through an exploration of diverse case studies that span different historical eras and contemporary settings. Principles of ‘research-based learning’ (RBL) are emphasized throughout the course in order to stress the intimate link between sociological theory and methodology. Through principles of RBL students will pursue collaborative investigations of some of the most foundational questions and topics that have come to define political sociology over the past few decades. Salient themes to be explored include: democratization, active citizenship, nationalism, neoliberalism, elitism, populism, authoritarianism, repression, protest and revolution.
• To apply working knowledge of sociological theory to specific problems in political sociology • To apply working knowledge of sociological research methods to specific problems in political sociology • To clearly articulate the comparative value of different research approaches in political sociology • To apply insights from political sociology to contemplate the development of workable solutions to pressing problems in society today