Jul 15, 2024  
2021-2022 College Catalog 
2021-2022 College Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

POS 201 - American National Government and Politics [SUN# POS 1110]

3 Credits, 3 Contact Hours
3 lecture periods 0 lab periods

Origins, development, and current operation of the institutions and processes of American government and politics in the federal system. Includes approaches to political analysis, cultural environment of American politics, impact of race/ethnicity, class, gender, and immigration, Constitution, civil liberties and civil rights, and public opinion. Also includes linkage institutions such as political parties, interest groups, the media, and elections, and exploration of various policy areas including social welfare policymaking.

Information: The combination of both POS 201 and POS 231  satisfies the requirement for teacher certification, as doesPOS 210 .
Gen-Ed: Meets AGEC - SBS and C; Meets CTE - SBS and C.

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Course Learning Outcomes
  1. Identify and describe the functions of the three constitutional branches of American government.
  2. Differentiate between unitary, federal, and confederal systems of government.

Performance Objectives:
  1. Describe different approaches to political analysis.
  2. Describe American political culture and some of the major ideological belief systems in American politics.
  3. Differentiate federalism from unitary and confederal government, and explain its evolution.
  4. Describe the Constitution, civil liberties, and civil rights, and how their evolution has impacted different groups of Americans.
  5. Explain demographic change in the U.S. and its political implications.
  6. Identify different linkage institutions and explain how they set the political agenda.
  7. Describe the institutions of government and what they do.
  8. Explain the politics of taxing and spending and the rise of the social welfare state.

  1. Introduction to Political Science and Approaches to Political Analysis
    1.  Pluralism
    2.  Elite and Class Theory
    3.  Hyperpluralism
  2. American Political Culture and Ideologies
    1. The American Creed
    2. Experiences of different demographic groups including Native Americans, African Americans, Latinos, Asian Americans, White ethnics, immigrants, women, sexual minorities, and the poor
    3. Liberals, conservatives, and other ideological groupings
  3. Federalism
    1. Federal, confederal, and unitary systems
    2. Evolution of American federalism
  4. Constitution, Civil Liberties, and Civil Rights
    1. Origin and evolution of the Constitution, including formal and informal constitutional change
    2. Separation of powers and checks and balances
    3. The Bill of Rights and its application to the states
    4. Civil Liberties, including freedom of speech, religion, right to bear arms, criminal justice, and privacy
    5. Civil Rights, including the struggle for equality of different groups and the debate over equality of opportunity versus equality of results
  5. Demography: The Census, Public Opinion and Participation
    1. The changing demography of the United States and its political implications
    2. Socialization process and opinion formation
    3. Polling
    4. Different forms of political participation, and different levels of participation among different demographic groups
  6. Linkage Institutions
    1. The Media
    2. Interest groups
    3. Political parties
    4. Elections
  7. Institutions of Government
    1. Legislative Branch
    2. Executive Branch
    3. Judicial Branch
    4. The Bureaucracy
  8. The Budget and selected policy areas
    1. The Budget: politics of taxing and spending
    2. Social welfare policymaking
    3. Other selected policy areas

Effective Term:
Full Academic Year 2018/2019