Title: American Government (790:104:B6)
Instructor: Tessa Ditonto
Instructor’s E-mail: tessa.ditonto@gmail.com
Days, Times, Location: Session I (05/31/2011-07/08/2011); MW 6:00-10:20pm LOR-115 DC
Office Hours: TBD

Synopsis: This course will examine the American system of government, focusing on both the institutions that comprise it and the roles that individual citizens play.  The first part of the course will be devoted to talking about the theoretical underpinnings and basic principles of our unique governmental system, as specified in the Constitution and other founding documents. The second portion of the course will focus on the various institutional components of American government and how they function. This will include examination of the formal institutions that make up the three branches of federal government, but also informal institutions such as the mass media, political parties and interest groups.  Finally, the course will conclude by exploring the ways in which
individual citizens participate and exert influence within our democratic society.  This includes the role of campaigns and elections, public opinion polling, and political activism. Throughout the course, we will pay particular attention to the implications of our political system for different groups of Americans, emphasizing the ways in which race/ethnicity, gender, and class matter in American politics.