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The Anthropology of Social Movements /ANTH 473
Fall 2018, Thursdays 3:30-6:15 pm
Instructor: Dr. Laura Nussbaum-Barberena
Social movements are often described as political expression from below. In this class, we will examine anthropological perspectives on the theory, practice and ethnography of social movements. We’ll be guided by the question: what does “below” look like, from below? What circumstances bring people to disrupt their daily lives, with the goal of bringing about social change? Through ethnography, we will explore the analytical frameworks anthropologists employ (past and present) to explore movements. We will also compare and contrast ethnography to first-hand accounts of movements. Among the questions we will explore are: How are communities galvanized and how do they consolidate? How do individuals and groups understand, describe and enact their participation? How do non-profit and non-governmental organizations fit into political movements? Coursework will include reading, writing responses, participation in and leading class discussion, and student research projects.