Rights and Wrongs: Theories of Social Justice

MAS 610

This course asks, “How so?” in the context of American history. We are going to be looking at American history, our past up to our present, in terms of freedom and civil rights, the franchise, and economic and social welfare, seeing their pursuit as three separate but often overlapping and intertwined stories. (For shorthand purposes, keep in mind the acronym FFW—freedom, franchise, and welfare.) We will trace this pursuit over the course of three centuries, keeping in mind the three (conceptually) separate stages. We will identify the major issues of each stage through the voices of both contemporaries (opponents as well as proponents of change) and modern commentators and scholars. We will watch how and how far we have gone through each of the three stages of progress and try finally to assess just where we are on this journey or arc today. This is a very important (and ongoing) American story. But it is also, more generally, the story of the modern world, or, to put it another way, the story of the (ongoing) human experience in the modern world.

Course Summary: A broad overview of the course content and learning outcomes.

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