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Brandeis SOC 147A - Organizations and Social Change: Soc 147a

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Organizations and Social Change: Soc 147a Spring 2009Feb 24: Mid-term essays due.Sirianni, Soc 147a: Spring 2009 - 1 Organizations and Social Change: Soc 147a Spring 2009 Tues, Fri 3:10-4:30pm Shiffman 122 Prof. Carmen Sirianni Pearlman 210, x62652 [email protected] Office Hours: Tues 4:30-6pm and by appointment This course introduces students to the study of contemporary organizations as part of democratic social and policy change. Case studies are drawn from community and environmental organizations, schools, nonprofits, unions, local and federal government agencies (planning, police, neighborhoods, environment). Students will be actively engaged in presenting case studies and comparing different approaches to building new forms of leadership and problem solving. The intersection of civic democracy and social justice will be a unifying theme throughout. We will also explore the relevance of various approaches to community organizing and collaborative governance to the Obama presidential campaign and administration. Course Requirements The class will be conducted largely as a seminar, to the extent that class size permits. Students are expected to do all readings before each session and to participate actively in discussions. There will be 2 writing assignments, in addition to periodic class presentations: 1. Midterm essays (10 pages), due Feb 24. (25% of grade). 2. Final essays (20 pages), due May 1 for graduating seniors, May 12 for all others. (55% of grade). Final essays are based on course readings, lectures, and class discussions. Students may substitute research papers, service learning assignment (see below) for part of these final essays, contingent upon explicit agreement with professor. 3. Oral communication, case study presentations: We will place much emphasis on the case study method in class, and students will be expected to present case studies from the readings and/or from their own research. These case study presentations can also be done in teams. Case study presentations and class participation = 20% of grade. See case study presentation guide at end of syllabus (below). Service Learning: students have the option of combining the usual reading, research, and writing with internships and other forms of active civic engagement. Students must work out a specific agreement on community engagement and course writing with Prof. Sirianni in order for this work to count as part of the grade for Soc 147a. Students can also use this course to help survey and decide upon summer internships. Students can also coordinate projects and writing with Soc 92a: Internships for Community Action and Social Change (Prof. Tom Shields), with explicit agreement from both professors.Sirianni, Soc 147a: Spring 2009 - 2Sirianni, Soc 147a: Spring 2009 - 3 Required readings: these include books available in the bookstore, and articles supplementing these. Bookstore: Dennis Shirley, Community Organizing and Urban School Reform (University of Texas Press 1997). Wesley Skogan and Susan Hartnett, Community Policing, Chicago Style (Oxford University Press, 1998). William Shutkin, The Land That Could Be: Environmentalism and Democracy in the Twenty-First Century (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2000). Katherine Cramer Walsh, Talking About Race: Community Dialogues and the Politics of Difference (University of Chicago Press, 2007). John Hoerr, "We Can' Eat Prestige": The Women Who Organized Harvard (Temple University Press 1997). Carmen Sirianni, Investing in Democracy: Engaging Citizens in Collaborative Governance (Brookings Institution Press, 2009). Due in bookstore at end of March. January 13: Introduction Jan 16-30: Urban School Reform and Congregation-based Community Organizing Faith-based or congregation-based community organizing – sometimes simply referred to as relational organizing, because of its emphasis on relationship building and “power with” -- is one of the most robust forms of organizing in the U.S. today, and has spread to other countries as well. Barack Obama, for instance, was trained as an organizer by one of the main faith-based networks, the Gamaliel Foundation. The IAF, PICO, and DART are other national networks, which together have some 200 or so city-based coalitions across the country. We will examine this model, contrast it to several other community organizing models (e.g. ACORN, Center for Community Change, etc). Our main case will be organizing for school reform, but we will draw from a range of other organizing campaigns. Reading: Shirley, Community Organizing for Urban School Reform January 20: Brandeis Monday, no classes Feb 3-13: Community Policing: Transforming Professional Practice and Urban Bureaucracy Communities often seek to transform how urban police forces interact with local residents and youth. In Chicago, for instance, citizens across racial and ethnic lines organized to get the mayor and police chief to reorganize policing, based upon what has since become the nation’s premier big-city model of community policing. This model is based upon local participation of residents in beat meetings, their shared access to state-of-the-art information systems, and the “co-production” of public safety, with roles for police, local residents, civic associations, various stakeholder groups (landlords, local businesses), and other city departments. We will examine this model and how organizing can empower communities, while also helping to transform professional practices and urban bureaucracies.Sirianni, Soc 147a: Spring 2009 - 4 Reading: Skogan and Hartnett, Community Policing, Chicago Style February 17, 20: Winter Break, no classes Feb 24: Mid-term essays due. Feb 24-March 6: Community-based Environmentalism energy use, and climate change In recent years, community-based approaches to environmental protection and restoration have proliferated due to the limits of command-and-control regulation in face of the complexity of problems, such as restoring integrated ecosystems, improving health of low-income communities faced with cumulative and interactive risks, and addressing climate change. We will examine a range of models, from environmental justice and collaborative watershed approaches to emerging initiatives and partnerships at the city and state level to generate sustainable approaches to urban and regional development,. Reading: Shutkin, The Land that Could Be March 10-17: The


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