WPL2944H: Sociology of Learning and Social Movements

Credit Value: 

The goal of this course is to develop a working dialogue across two separate bodies of research -- learning theory & social movement theory that to date have encountered one another only rarely and when so, virtually always inadequately. The focus is on building capacity in students to carry out research on various aspects of social movement learning. In doing so, our goals are to understand knowledge production, distribution, storage, transmission as well as the learning dynamics endemic to social movement building, action, outcomes and change. The course will emphasize learning as a unified composite of individual and collective human change in relation to socio-cultural and material perspectives primarily, the participatory structures of social movements as well as traditional changes in consciousness, skill and knowledge amongst participants. We will draw on both advanced theories of education/learning understood in the context of the long- established sociological sub-tradition known as 'social movement studies' and 'social movement theory'. The course will take a critical approach to social movement studies introducing the inter-disciplinary history of social movement studies over the 20th century followed by reviews of canonical theories of political process and the polity model approach, resource mobilization, frame analysis, neo-frame analysis, contentious politics, dynamics of contention and contentious performances. A significant proportion of the course will involve detailed secondary analysis of a specific social movement of the student's choosing, and will demand regular research reports that are meant to serve as a resource for our collective learning as well as to support the production of individual final papers directly. The course is highly recommended to advanced masters as well as doctoral students. No prerequisites are required.

Graduate Department: 
Leadership, Higher and Adult Education