Structural Functionalism Approach to Political Science

3672 Words Jun 19th, 2013 15 Pages
PS 101: INTRODUCTION TO POLITICAL SCIENCE Fall 2003 Professor Marc Ross Overview. What is politics and how do political scientists study it? If this question were asked about one of the natural sciences, students would be given a short definition, examples of key problems it addresses, and an overview of the methods employed in the field. Political science, however, cannot offer a clear single answer. Rather, political scientists study politics in a wide range of settings and in a variety of ways. Among political scientists there is great disagreement about what the field's core questions are and how best to study them. As a result the majority of political science departments in the United States do not offer an introduction to the field …show more content…
Another focus is on the tensions between diversity and democracy in the contemporary world. The final section of the course examines international relationships focusing primarily, but the entirely, on the question of inter-state relations for some of the authors we will consider emphasize ways in which the nation-state is but one of many international actors. Of particular importance are the different kinds of conflicts found in the international system and the paucity of institutions and practices to manage them constructively. Assignments. Students are expected to complete the assigned readings before each class and come ready to raise questions and to participate in class discussions. There is a good deal of reading assigned and you should only take this course if you are prepared to complete it on time. Class participation is important and attendance matters and will be part of your grade. In addition to the assigned readings, it is expected that students will read a daily newspaper such as the Philadelphia Inquirer or The New York Times and one of the goals of the course is to connect current political events to the analytic questions covered in the course. Logs. Each student will write seven logs consisting of a paragraph to a page of reactions to material in the readings or in recent classes. The logs provide a way for students to formulate their thoughts about specific theories, to raise questions, to ask for clarification, and to make