RCSSCI 301 - Social Science Theory I: From Social Contract to Oedipus Complex
Fall 2023, Section 001 - Social Theory for Social Change
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is  In Person (see other Sections below)
Subject: RC Social Sciences (RCSSCI)
Department: LSA Residential College
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Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
Advisory Prerequisites:
At least one 200-level social science course.
Other Course Info:
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:
Start/End Date:
Full Term 8/28/23 - 12/6/23 (see other Sections below)
NOTE: Drop/Add deadlines are dependent on the class meeting dates and will differ for full term versus partial term offerings.
For information on drop/add deadlines, see the Office of the Registrar and search Registration Deadlines.


The first half of this course explores three profound, interlocking social problems that we face in the United States today: (1) the deteriorating quality of American democracy; (2) growing economic inequality and insecurity; and (3) the slow pace at which we are reducing greenhouse gas emissions to levels needed to fend off climate change catastrophe. We examine theories about the deeper causes of these problems, how they are related to one another, and why all three problems are more serious in the United States than in most other rich capitalist democracies. The second half of the course draws on theories of social movements (macro) and organizing (micro) to explore the pros and cons of rival strategies for changing the causality that underpins our three interlocking social problems, so that we can get on a better trajectory. Throughout, we explore theories from inside and outside of academia, and assess their utility from the standpoint of helping us to understand how to change our society.

Intended Audience:

The course is a requirement for RC Social Theory and Practice (STP) majors; it is open to all interested students in the RC, LS&A, and beyond


RCSSCI 301 - Social Science Theory I: From Social Contract to Oedipus Complex
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
 In Person
MW 3:00PM - 5:00PM
8/28/23 - 12/6/23

Textbooks/Other Materials

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