Courses

PS 3112 (3 credits) – American Public Opinion 

This course is designed to introduce students to the substantive and empirical foundations of American public opinion, especially as it relates to democratic ideals and democratic practices. To maximize our understanding of public opinion, we will approach each topic in the tradition of social science, i.e., using the scientific method, as we endeavor to explore the psychology of opinion holding, conduct empirical analyses using survey data, and reason through the normative implications of public opinion’s role in policy making. This endeavor will lead us to investigate some of the most important and controversial issues of our time, including abortion, civil rights, and immigration.

Required Texts:

Clawson, Rosalee, and Zoe M. Oxley. Public Opinion: Democratic Ideals, Democratic Practice. 2nd ed. Washington, DC: CQ Press, 2013.

Clawson, Rosalee, and Zoe M. Oxley. Conducting Empirical Analysis: Public Opinion in Action. Washington, DC: CQ Press, 2013.

PS 8332 (3 credits) – Urban Politics and Problems 

Great economies are often built around great cities. These spaces attract diverse human capital, entrepreneurs, industry, and a variety of talent. What’s more, cities across the world have served as laboratories for the practice of democracy, facilitating political, social, and economic development in an increasingly urbanized society. Yet, despite its central function, the accomplishments of cities have long been overshadowed by some of their more pronounced social struggles, from crime to poverty. This course presents an overview of the politics of urban areas: electoral politics, government structure, race, finance, education, housing, neighborhoods, and economic and historical forces on politics in urban areas.

Required Text:

England, Robert E., John P. Pelissero, and David R. Morgan. Managing Urban America (7th ed). CQ Press: Washington, DC, 2012.

PS 3153 (3 Credits) – The Politics of Poverty

This course examines the nature and causes of poverty, the impact of public opinion and racial attitudes on poverty and welfare, the role of government officials in shaping anti-poverty and welfare reform policies, and welfare claiming as a form of political participation. The course evaluates the effectiveness of existing policies to combat poverty and whether proposed policies might be effective.

PS 0832 (3 credits) – The Politics of Identity

How does social identity influence public opinion and political behavior? What are the political, legal, and policy consequences of who we are or how we identity? In what ways do gender, sexual orientation, religion, social class, or racial identity structure our privilege or disadvantage in the United States? This course is designed to provide students with an introduction to the concept of identity in the context of political behavior. We will begin by examining the behavioral and psychological foundations of American opinion with regard to social differences, and will spend the remainder of the semester considering the role of various social groups in American politics.

Required Texts: 

Kinder, Donald R., and Cindy D. Kam. Us Against Them: Ethnocentric Foundations of American Opinion. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2009.

Brewer, Marilynn. Intergroup Relations (2nd ed). Philadelphia: Open University Press, 2003.

Sample Activities

Personal Identity Wheel

Sexual Orientation Identification
Gender Role Boxes 
Race IAT
White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Backpack
Modified Monopoly
NYT: How Class Works
Fiscal Puzzle: Balancing Wilmington’s Budget

Public Policy Analyst 

 

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