Jul 21, 2024  
College Catalog 2023-2024 
College Catalog 2023-2024 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

SOCI 150 - Prius or Pickup? Political Divides and Social Class

The Far Right in the United States has appropriated working class identities to produce an identity among the white working class. Donald Trump, for instance, intentionally portrays a large gap in highbrow and lowbrow to take jabs at privileged liberals (such as when he tweeted the “Hamberder” photo). This course observes what can be called the Far Right “theater of politics” in order to understand how liberals have left working class culture behind in ways that allowed the far right to fill the void by finding persuasive techniques in culture (country music, religion, church…) to articulate a political voice that some working class folks, especially whites, may find appealing. Some of the major questions of the course include: (1) How do political and economic elites produce class, gender, and racial divides and segmentations by aligning themselves with the cultural practices often associated with working class folks? (2) Can the left create a political culture that cultivates respect for organic cultural expressions that include religious expressions and pop-cultural themes like country music and sports (yes, even football!) into their fold  Reducing everything to class and asking all others to submit to its political logic is a limited vision. Instead, the course investigates whether it is possible to envision a political project that rather than privileging the concerns of upper-middle class whites produces a culture of resistance that can articulate working class subjects - straight, queer, white, black, binary, non-binary - into a populist left movement? One of the truly powerful features of the Left is that it is much more diverse than the Far Right. Is it possible to extend that diversity even further so that it can show a “little respect” for organic cultural producers to feel comfortable producing and living in multiple class, racial, gender, and sexual habitus?

  Every year. (4 Credits)