Poslední úprava: Assistant Professor Gyorgy Toth, PhD. (17.02.2014)
This course will be examining the features and changing character of U.S. society especially since World War Two - the period when the United States both underwent profound changes at home, faced a supreme ideological and military challenge abroad, and moved beyond the industrial age into the atomic age, and into today’s full-fledged system of global capitalism (currently in crisis). In this period, changes inU.S.society influenced the development of liberal democracies and authoritarian regimes in the Western world and beyond. Our course in sociocultural history will use the anthropological definition ofU.S."culture", and examine the ideals/principles, values and practices that have lent coherence toU.S.society. We will understandU.S.social history as a past of conflict, in which various social groups have struggled to share power and access to resources in an equitable way. Accordingly, our course will pay careful attention to both the ideals, values and practices of white middle and upper class Americans, AND to the social movements and rights struggles of marginalized groups - of non-dominant ethnicities, genders, sexualities, and classes.
Since this is an advanced course in U.S. sociocultural history, one of our major concerns will be how change is brought about in U.S. society - who brings it, what kind of change (progressive or conservative), and through what forms of activism. Another running preoccupation of this course will be an examination of the character, reliability, biases and potential for social criticism of the genre of the documentary - from document/ary texts through documentary photography, film, and TV, including experimental reality television. In other words, we will be critiquing the very construction of U.S. history through documentaries.