Christianne Stephens
Department of
Profile Research AN3330 AN4160 AN4330 AN4340

ANTH4340 6.0 Advocacy & Social Movements

Time: Mon 2:30-5:30 VH 3005

This is a course on modern forms of social advocacy, and the link between public interest advocacy and the "new" social movements. Most of the new social movements, like the environmental movement, contest dominant interests through transformation of cultural or cosmological values. Thus the advocacy process becomes a central part of the social construction of knowledge in modern society.
This course will examine various forms of social advocacy, from the advocacy of anthropologists on behalf of indigenous societies (applied anthropology), to advocacy for human rights, the organization of advocacy in the public sphere, the interrelationship of advocacy with mass media and propaganda, and the move for inclusion of advocacy organizations in global governance (e.g. in the fields of environment and human rights). The course brings together a range of topics that would otherwise be treated in separate university departments – anthropology; mass communication; environmental studies.
A key part of this course will be the undertaking of a small fieldwork project on a selected advocacy group in the Toronto area. Much of the discussion in the first term will be aimed at providing the necessary background, both practical and theoretical, for the undertaking of such a project.
The projects will investigate the way in which the advocacy groups are organized, how they maintain relations with the mass media, and the way in which they undertake social construction of knowledge. The project will require students to keep a diary of contacts made with their advocacy group; project findings can - are encouraged - to be used in the final examination.

Format: Three seminar hours

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