In a time of rising cultural contradictions, the working class has become contested territory. The working class has become increasingly racialized with media and political leaders exacerbating these divisions for political gain. This class aims to define the contested white working class on our own terms including putting forth the notion that the white working class only exists as a political football and that the historical term redneck meant a multiracial class alliance. The empirical evidence for such a definition will be drawn from film and music in this six week class over three months.
As critique, political ecology seeks to expose dominant approaches to the environment favored by corporate, state, and international authorities, working to demonstrate the undesirable impacts of policies and market conditions, especially from the point of view of local people, marginal groups, and vulnerable populations. It works to “denaturalize” certain social and environmental conditions, showing them to be the contingent outcomes of power, and inevitable.
Imagine that you have run an inspiring grassroots campaign and been elected to your local city council as a progressive candidate. What kind of world do you walk into on day one of your new job? Why and how do well-meaning elected officials and their policies get co-opted, defeated or sidetracked so often in local governments?