AP/ANTH 3380 3.00
THE EVERYDAY POLITICS OF RAGE: ANTHROPOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVES ON POPULISM
NOT OFFERED DURING 2022-2023 ACADEMIC YEAR
The focus of this course is populism, a concept that has generated a great deal of discussion and debate in media, academic circles and in everyday conversation and conflates widely different political and social projects under one category. It has been used to describe authoritarian populist leaders including Recep Erdogan in Turkey, Jair Bolsinaro in Brazil, Doug Ford (“Ford Nation”) in Ontario, Maxime Bernier of the Peoples Party of Canada, and radical right-wing political parties such as Jobbik in Hungary, Pegida in Germany and the Front National in France, current Republican trends in the U.S., white nationalism and anti-immigration movements. But the term“populist” is also applied to anti-racist, environmental and social justice movements like Black Lives Matter and Idle No More, and to climate activists like Greta Thunberg.
The rise of the ‘extreme right’ or ‘nationalist right’ ‘alt-right’, ‘alt-left’, neo-Nazi and the ‘f-word’=> fascism, therefore requires very careful analysis. There are many explanations for the rise in populism – globalization, the growing gaps in wealth, the impacts of climate change, war and conflict, dislocation and uncertainty. How do we sort out this definitional mess?
Our first goal is to understand the tactics and the social conditions that give rise to the emergence and spread of populist movements. A second goal is to unpack the complex relationships between the rise of populism and the socio-political processes that are at their core. Critical thinking is the key focus of this course and a major component is media literacy. How do you discriminate between legitimate media and “fake news” as modes of communication. We use an anthropological lens to investigate the appeal of these movements to people who mobilize, vote for, protest or agitate for their social, political and economic goals no matter where they fall on the political spectrum.