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American Social Movements (5 Weeks)

Course Code: ASM101
Day: Tue Time: 19:10-21:00 Hours: 10 Sessions: 5 Semester: Summer Instructional Language: English Location: Online

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Course Description

This is an issues-based course focusing on developing a deeper, more critical understanding of social movements in the US. For each theme we will cover the following 1) background issues; 2) movement goals; 3) strategy and tactics/methods used; 4) strengths and weaknesses; 5) obstacles faced; 6) lasting accomplishments; 7) what is yet to be achieved; 8) possible future directions and 9) key leaders and/or organizations. Articles, videos, reports and organization websites will be provided to help students get basic information. Peer-to-peer interaction and having to articulate understanding of the material will allow participants to engage with key themes more deeply. Participants should complete weekly readings, be active in class discussion, take part in group-work and share their own point of view in an open and evidence-based manner.

Learning Objectives

1. Gain a better understanding of the complexity of issues in the US today

2. Understand civic engagement by studying various social movements and social mobilization techniques

3. Develop an understanding of what is being done to address these issues

4. Better understand how American society works

Who should take this course

Anyone interested in US society; understanding current issues better; becoming a more active member of society or learning more about how the past is connected to current issues.


No required textbook


Sarajean Rossitto

Instructor Biography

Sarajean is a Tokyo-based consultant providing project event and training program coordination, facilitation and advisory services for nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, international organizations and corporations to better tackle social needs.
She coordinates and develops projects and training programs aimed at developing skills, knowledge and effective partnerships between organizations and across borders. She works with organization leaders to organize impact-oriented programs based on community needs and participants’ interests. She collaborates with a wide variety of nonprofits, international organizations, foundations, corporations and universities in Japan and overseas, helping them identify needs and project possibilities to develop strategies designed to meet their goals.