Politics, Poverty, and Immigration

Day & Time: W 9:00a-12:40p

Location: 653

Course ID: G54.1182.02

Instructor: William Serrin

This year we have a unique opportunity to cover a political campaign, with a significant part of the campaign being held in New York City. We intend to take full advantage of this opportunity. In doing this, we must be intelligent, creative, and have a sense of history.

Here are some matters that we should consider as we work our way through the semester: What are the forces that shape and have shaped American politics? Are politics and campaigns changing, or are they much the same? How good or how bad is the press in covering politics? How do questions of race, class and gender figure into the fall 2008 campaign? Are politics over-covered or under-covered or do they get what they deserve? How good is the political press? What’s the role of money in politics? Who has the money and what do politicians do to get it? What has been the effect, or lack of effect, of the McCain-Feingold law, or, in other words, public monies vs. private monies? What groups are important in American politics, other than political parties? For example, corporations, political action groups, labor unions, and the like? Do Americans get an honest government? Do they get a government they deserve? What are the roles of third parties and third-party candidates, and what obstacles do they face? What is the role of religion in politics? What role do poverty and immigration play in this election and American politics?