Course code:



IM - Introductory/Intermediate

Class size limit:


Meets the following requirements:

  • HS - Human Studies

Typically offered:

Every other year

People organize to bring social change for many reasons—e.g. to end oppression, bring peace, prevent ecological collapse, promote cultural survival or advance sectarian interests. The character and success of strategies depend on social and historical contexts. People typically alternate between—or combine—varied approaches including: social movements, electoral politics, lobbying, nonviolent (or sometimes violent) struggle, technological innovation, social entrepreneurship and community organizing. This course uses theories of social movements as a starting point to look at strategies for social change and criteria for evaluating them. The course assumes it is important to understand views and strategies we disagree with respectfully and with careful analysis. The class combines readings in history and theories of social change, and diverse case studies from both the left and the right. It looks both at classic cases (e.g. Gandhi, King) and a variety of efforts from recent years and the present (e.g. Indivisible, the Tea Party, #MeToo, Zapatistas,, Black Lives Matter, Cambridge Analytica, and alternative food system entrepreneurship). This is a course for students who want to develop skills for doing critical analysis of society, for developing effective plans to create social change, and for applying strategies to implement those plans. Evaluation will be based on progress in developing those skills as demonstrated in homework and class participation, short papers, and a term project developing a sample strategy document for a viewpoint of the student’s choice.



Always visit the Registrar's Office for the official course catalog and schedules.