politics '08
Foun 099 - 55

There's an evenin' haze settlin' over town
Starlight by the edge of the creek
The buyin' power of the proletariat's gone down
Money's gettin' shallow and weak
Well, the place I love best is a sweet memory
It's a new path that we trod
They say low wages are a reality
If we want to compete abroad

Workingman's Blues #2 - Bob Dylan

Journal Assignment - FOUN 099-55
Jean Shackelford
Fall 2008

One of the objectives of this course is to examine how the positive and negative aspects of buying and selling (consumption) is affecting our nation and other nations, our jobs, our election, our education, and many of the other aspects of our daily lives. Topics you may wish to examine in your journal include war, peace, technology (linked to some aspect of buying and selling), the media, race, ethnicity and gender conderns, globalization, the U.S. economy, among a variety of other topics. Please keep an journal for this course--as a notebook or collection of written or typed entries, or on the web, by building a web page to which you make regular additions. Since you may not have been asked to keep a journal of this sort before, please note that what you should and should not write about in your journal are contained in the instructions below.

There are many sources of information for this project. Certainly your daily subscription to the New York Times will have information. For an international (UK) perspective you may want to read the Guardian, The Financial Times, or the Independent. (You might think about consolidating all of your favorite news/sports/cartoon/weather sites in "Crayon," which will deliver these sources to you each day.) Podcasts are another good source for your journal entries.

Each entry doesn't need to be long, but does need to be detailed enough to inform me of the "event," and to remind you of what happened and why it was significant. Please date and give the source of information for each entry.

1. As part of your journal assignment record economic, political, social and cultural events or changes that are occurring in the world in general , in particular. Record your reactions to readings, films, articles, speakers that deal with political, cultural, social and economic aspects of markets/buying/selling/consumption. Your reactions may be generated by the TV News, a newspaper article, a cartoon, a Podcast, a web page--or web search, a discussion or lecture on campus, a conversation on an electronic discussion list, a class lecture or discussion, readings in your text or in some other book. This journal is for you to record your own ongoing experiences and encounters.

If an article inspires your entry, please include it in your journal. If you were inspired by a web page (or pages) accurately record the URL (or link to it) so that you will have a complete record of your entry.

2. At various times in the semester I will give you particular "assignments" for you to include as part of your journal.

3. Please write in your journal a minimum of two times each week. Some weeks you may make daily entries, and other weeks you may make only one entry.

4. Your entries may vary in length. Sometimes you may be inspired to write a very long paragraph or even pages, while another entry may be only a several sentences. Feel free to expand on an entry at a later date.

5. Your entries should be written in complete sentences and to reflect complete thoughts. Lists of words and phrases may be used to generate your thoughts. I won't check spelling, but do try to write legibly.

6. Try to analyze the article or web page or talk or Podcast that stimulated your entry. Go beyond simply recording the event or main point of an article, report, etc. Assess its potential. What else might supports or contradicts the arguments? What examples can you think of that might apply to this situation?

7. I will read your journals at least three times during the semester and I will collect your journal at the last class meeting. You may hand your journal to me at any time during the semester except during the last two weeks of the term. I would strongly advise that you hand your journal in early in the term so you can see if you are "doing it right."

Last updated, August 2008 by Jean Shackelford, Department of Economics, Bucknell University, Lewisburg, PA 17837.