POL S 101 A: Introduction to Politics

Summer Term: 
Meeting Time: 
T 2:20pm - 4:50pm
* *
Allison Rose Jansen

Syllabus Description:


My name is Allison Jansen.  I have taught Political Science 101 quite a lot over the last three decades and I still find this class to be interesting and fun!  I hope you will too.  If you are confused or struggling at any point, be sure to come to my Zoom office hours or reach out by mail. 

Our first live class is Tuesday, June 22, from 2:20 pm - 4:50 pm (day 2). Five classes this quarter (every Tuesday) are scheduled as live classes on Zoom and this is our first.  Use the Zoom link right here in Canvas (left side of this page) to join the live classes. Your can earn extra credit for attending.  See the Syllabus. 

The class schedule is in the Syllabus.  Please read the Syllabus and all assignment directions.  You can find all of them in Files.

Every time you log in to Canvas, please check Announcements and the weekly Modules.  In addition to reading the Syllabus, this is the best way to keep informed.  

A-Term is only four and a half weeks long.  This compact schedule means that you will have a lot more work each day.  It is really critical to stay caught up.  Again, let me know if you need any help.  

I hope you can make it on Tuesday and I look forward to meeting you!



This course introduces you to belief systems that compete for people’s loyalties and energies, such as liberalism, conservatism, libertarianism, socialism, fascism, feminism, etc.  The course should give you an opportunity to explore and define your own political ideology. 

We will also compare and contrast ideology with partisanship.  Using both lenses, we will examine and analyze current political issues and battles in the United States and elsewhere. 

Our early focus will be the two principle ideologies of the United States: liberalism and conservatism.   Other ideologies, and aspects of ideologies, such as capitalism, socialism, communism, fascism, libertarianism, feminism, black liberation, multiculturalism, liberation theology, Native American liberation, and religious fundamentalism, will also be examined and critically analyzed. 

We will start with the concept of ideology, itself.  After that, you will have an opportunity to become better acquainted with each of the ideologies and the kinds of political systems that are associated with them, as well as relevant terminology.   We will also begin to assess how well each ideology has dealt with the social, economic, and political problems of the world, in the past and present.  We will look at how new ideologies have emerged.  Further, we will try to understand why and under what conditions people choose any ideology over others. 

We will draw on a variety of sources:  textbook readings, a political pamphlet, political tracts, transcripts, news articles, editorials, as well as lectures and materials prepared by the instructor and, perhaps, guest speakers.  There will be ample opportunity for class discussion and problem solving.  In short, this course should help you to think independently and critically, facilitating your participation in the political world around you, now and in the future. It also serves as a foundational class in Political Science.

A couple of short quizzes, two exams, and a 5-7 page essay are planned.  Extra credit will be available for attending optional live Zoom sessions every Tuesday from 2:20 to 4:50 pm.  Those sessions and other lectures will be available for viewing on our class Canvas site. 

Catalog Description: 
Political problems that affect our lives and shape the world around us.
Department Requirements: 
Introductory Courses
GE Requirements: 
Individuals and Societies (I&S)
Last updated: 
July 26, 2021 - 11:00pm