Course Specifics: Schedule
 
COURSE SPECIFICS
markets
media
politics '08
citizens/democracy
technology
difference
 
 
consumed!
Foun 099 - 55
Syllabus

(Reverse Syllabus)


The restless consumer flies
Around the world each day
With such an appetite for efficiency and pace...
Neil Young - The Restless Consumer


consumed!

schedule

I

INSTRUCTOR: Professor Jean Shackelford

OFFICE HOURS: W 9:30-12 , Others by appointment (Coleman 165)

ADDRESSES: e-mail: jshackel@bucknell.edu, phone: X- 73441

REQUIRED TEXT and NEWSPAPER:

*Benjamin R. Barber, Consumed: How Markets Corrupt Children, Infantilize Adults, and Swallow Citizens Whole. W.W. Norton, 2007.

*THE NEW YORK TIMES - daily - print version please

*Additional reading assignments are on blackboard-reserve and others will be handed out during the semester.
Optional Texts: (selections to be assigned)

 
Tentative SCHEDULE: | Sept. | Oct. | Nov. | Dec.

August 23- Introduction to Foundation Seminars (syllabus and first readings)

August 26 - CONVOCATION - 8:00 PM, Weis Center for the Performing Arts, Michael Smyer, Provost.

August 28 - Introduction to the Course
Reading: Robert Day, "ABC's of Enlightenment," Washington Post Magazine; Introductory Materials ) - Images of Consumption; Market Introduction/Update. B. Barber at Bucknell - video (click on B.Barber "News as Commodity.")
Assignment: a. Images of consumption: As you read the New York Times, shop, watch TV, etc., over the next few days, clip articles and/or pictures, or make notees about things you observe that illustrate consumtion (buying and selling) in today's society.
b. List 5 common themes you find in Dr. Smyer's lecture and the ABC article.
c. Be prepared to discuss the assigned reading and engage in some goal setting.

September 2 - The Actors
Reading: "Jihad vs. McWorld," The Atlantic Monthly, B. Barber (e-reserves); "The World at War" Website; B. Barber, Consumed, Chapter 1 - Capitalism Triumphant and the Infantilist Ethos."
Assignment: For discussion...

Sept. 4 -Wants Vs. Needs
Reading: "Drop that Spoon!" from The Guardian Weekend, June 14, 2008, pp 21-27); Barry Schwartz. "The Tyranny of Choice," Scientific American, April 2004, pp 71-75; Barry Schwartz, Hazel Rose Markus, and Anna Conner Snibbe. "Is Freedom Just Another Word for Many Things to Buy?, The New York Times Magazine, 2.26.06, pp 14-15; "And the Happiest Place on Earth Is...." 60 Minutes, June 15, 2008. (Youtube and Yhaoo News have some of he video from this segment of 60 minutes.)
Assignment: Happiness project/essay +
Write a short paragraph summarizing what you perceive to be the major points of the assigned readings.
What does each of the readings add to the cartoon?
List things that you think make people happy.

Sept. 9 - History of Markets
Reading: B. Barber, Consumed, Chapter 2 - "From Protestantism to Puerlity";
Assignment: For discussion...

Sept. 11 - Market Bubbles - housing and other bubbles
Reading: The dot-com bubble; Book Review, by Edwin J. Perkins (Origins of the Crash: The Great Bubble and Its Undoing by Roger Lowenstein); The Housing Bubble, (NYT graphic)' Robert J. Shiller, "Infectious Exuberance, The Atlantic; Dean Baker, "Trouble At Home: The Housing Bubble"; "James Grant, WSJ, 7.19-20.08, "Why No Outrage." Roger Lowenstein on Long Term Capital Management +11, NYT, 9.7.08.
Assignment: Bubble Project (Tulips, South Sea, .Com's, and Houses)

Sept. 16 - Who and What is a Kidult?
Reading: B. Barber, Consumed, Chapter 3 - "Infantilizing Consumers: The Coming of Kidults."
Assignment: For discussion...

(Sept 17 - Constitution Day)

Sept. 18 - Kidults the Constitution and the Media
Reading: The U.S. Constitution; Dwight D. Eisenhower on the Military Industrial Complex; The Media (The Big 10) - Readings: Tomorrow's Woodwards and Bernsteins; Robert McChesney & John Nichols, Who'll Unplug Big Media? Stay Tuned, The Nation, 5.29.09.
Assignment: Kidults and Civic Responsibility - Each of these articles examines issues central to democracy. As Barber continues his discussion of movement from the Protestant Ethos to the Infantilist Ethos he introduces dyads. For of the articles or documents above, list (with and example) how one or more of the dyads Barber introduces has changed for each.

Sept. 23 –Privatizing Markets and Citizens
Readings: Reading: B. Barber, Consumed, Chapter 4 - "Privatizing Citizens: The Making of Civic Schizophrenia."
Assignment: For discussion....

Sept. 25 – The Public and the Private: debt, debtors, debtees and election '08 .
Reading: Dean Baker, "Nine Misconceptions about Social Security," The Atlantic, 7.98 ; Listen to Jim Cramer at Bucknell, "The Enlightened Capitalist."
Assignment: Data analysis.

As we discuss the current implosion in the financial markets, and the notion of the social contract and a sovereign state, we should remember that a number of people were arguing for increased oversight after the Enron debacle in 2001.  Indeed, in a fairly recent Wall Street Journal article, a journalist asked, “Where is the Outrage?”  In a January 28th, 2002 Business Week essay, “Can you Trust Anybody Anymore?” Bruce Nussbaum examines “the scope of the Enron debacle [that]undermines the credibility of modern business culture.”  The last paragraph of the essay concludes:

         " What is to be done?  Restoring investor confidence in the system f equity capitalism is crucial to the economy’s health.  The continued deregulation of the economy and the privatization of services depend on the integrity of the financial reporting system.  If the investing public is going to participate, it must see a fair and transparent system.  The pendulum is swinging toward reform. The accounting changes required are all too obvious, but change must go beyond the scope of financial implosion.  The buying and selling of political access in not in the best interests of the country. It is unseemly to have the head of the justice Dept., as well as the entire Houston branch, recuse themselves because of conflicts in the Enron case.  A sense of outrage is growing.  The lessons from the Enron debacle should be to restore basic integrity to the bottom line, ethics to business professionals, and clout to overseers that even a deregulated economy need."

Business Week, pp 31-2

  1. Is a “social contract” still important?
  2. Why might the “outrage” not be apparent in the US today?

What insight might Benjamin Barber give us in understanding questions 1 and 2


Sept. 30 - Presidents and the 4th Estate
Reading: Doris Kearns Goodwin, "Defeat Your Opponents. Then Hire Them", NYT 8.03.08; Doris Kearns Goodwin, Parade Sunday Magazine, "The Secrets of America's Great Presidents". All the President's Men
Doris Kern Goodwin - 7:30 PM - Weis Center for the Performing Arts
Assignment: For discussion

October 1 - The Political Forum - Election 2008 - Domestic Policy Issues and Events - 7 p.m. Trout Auditorium

October 2 - Selling War, Buying War, and Election 2008
Reading: The Downing Street Memo (abrieviated version); Update of "The Economic Costs of the Iraq War," Joseph Stiglitz with Professor Linda Bilmes, The Milken Institute Review, Fourth Quarter, pp. 76-83.  "The Economic Costs of the War in Iraq," Scott J. Wallsten and Datrina Kosecu. David Leonhart, NYT, "What 1.2 Trillion Dollars Can Buy."
Assignment: Briefly explore the Brookings Cost estimator http://aei-brookings.org/iraqcosts/
List: What should be included in the estimating the cost of war?
For Discussion: DKG lecture, domestic policy, costs of war

October 7 - Election 2008/Foreign and Domestic Policy
Reading: Character Above All - Harry Truman; excerpted from an essay by David McCullough via PBS. Good Night and Good Luck
David McCullough - "A Conversation with David McCullough,"- 8:00 PM - Weis Center for the Performing Arts

October 9 - Citizens and the role and future of investigative journalism
Reading: Simon Kuper, "The last great American reporter (Seymour Hirsh)," Financial Times, 8.1.08'; Wendell Berry’s Citizen’s response to the earlier National Security Strategy; New York Times Is Jon Stewart the Most Trusted Man in America?
Assignment: What's happening to journalism with the current media?

FINAL PROJECT ASSIGNMENT

Fall Break - October 11-14

October 16 – No class - View All the President's Men (please watch the DVD on your own time). It is available at the reserve desk in the Library.
Attend The Political Forum - Election 2008 - International Policy Issues and Events - 7 p.m. Trout Auditorium

October 21 - Branded Reading: B. Barber, Consumed, Chapter 5 - "Branding Identities: The Loss of Meaning" Assignment: For discussion... write 5 questions covering material on Branding and email them to me during the afternoon of Monday (October 20)

Begin watching campaign commercial and take notes about who is selling what? Who are the candidates “selling” to? Who is sponsoring the commercials. Don’t watch TV particularly for this project – but if you are watching and a commercial comes on,....take notes. (Commercials may vary depending on the your home area. If you wish, view the commercials the Party’s have put together on their respective websites. Again, Take notes.

October 23 - Guest: Laura Denbow
Reading:
Assignment:

October 28 - Diverse Society
Reading: B. Barber, Consumed, Chapter 6 - "Totalizing Society: The End of Diversity.
Assignment: For discussion...

October 30 - Media Markets
Reading: Amartya Sen (excerpt from Slate), Identity and Violence; Understanding Images - Arabs; Vali Nasr, "When the Shiites Rise," Foreign Affairs, July/August 2006); Islamic Alienation by David Rieff, NYT Magazine, 8.14.05; OPTIONAL - Understanding Islam - Wiki entry
Assignment: Video Reviews

Nov. 4 - (Election Day - VOTE!) Does Capitalism Need a Cure?
Readings: Reading: B. Barber, Consumed, Chapter 7 - "Resisting Consumerism: Can Capitalism Cure Itself?"
Assignment: For discussion...

Nov. 6 - What the world might look like.....and catching up.
Reading: Fareed Zakaria, "There is a Silver Lining," Newsweek, October 20, 2008; Daniel Gross, "The Anatomy of Fear," Newsweek, October 20, 2008; JSM.
Assignment: Be prepared to discuss these articles in the context of Barber's hypothesis.

Nov. 11 - Reading: B. Barber, Consumed, Chapter 8 - "Overcoming Civic Schizophrenia: Restoring Citizenship in a World of Interdependence."
Assignment: For discussion...

Nov. 13 - Citizens, Technology and Privacy
Reading: On the Patriot Act.
*Review the Center for Democracy and Technology's
review of the reauthorized Patriot Act
*Recent comments,
*CCAP's PA vs. Constitution.
PRIVACY - EU vs. US Privacy Legislation-
* Wired - US Twitchy on EU Data Privacy-
* Wired - EU Drives Privacy Global
Assignment: Privacy Assignment/Project (Facebook and Privacy). Write a review and reflection on the article as it affects you and people you know.

Nov. 18 - Educating Citizens - Branded and Marketed
Reading: B. Barber, "The educated student: global citizen or global consumer?", Liberal Education, 2002; Adam Gopnick, "Right Again: The passions of John Stuart Mill," The New Yorker, October 6, 2008.
Assignment: Education project/writing What is Civic Schizophrenia? From information in these readings, in a one page essay explain how Barber and Mill would explain and deal with Civic Schizophrenia.

Nov. 20 - Exporting Capitalism/Exporting Democracy
Reading: Robert Fisk, The Age of Terror - a landmark report, The Independent, October 6, 2006; "The State of Iraq- Update" Table; "Blowback," Chalmers Johnson The Nation, 10.15.01.
Assignment:

Nov 25 - Markets and Environmentalism
Reading: Sir Nicholas Stern, Stern Review, The Economic Effects of Climate Change, HMS Treasury.
Assignment: Markets, technology and the environment

Thanksgiving Break - November 26 - 30

Dec. 2 - Update on Markets
Reading:
Assignment: More data

Dec 4 - Energy Markets
Reading:
Assignment:

Dec. 9 - Domestic and Foreign Policy
Reading:
Assignment:

Dec. -- TBA - FINAL PROJECT PRESENTATIONS

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