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University Bulletin

Undergraduate Degree Programs

Political Science (PL SC)

PL SC 060 (GS;IL) (ANTH 060, J ST 060, SOC 060) Society and Cultures in Modern Israel (3) An introduction to the society and cultures of the State of Israel from 1948 to the present.

PL SC (ANTH/J ST/SOC) 060 Society and Cultures in Modern Israel (3)
(GS;IL)

This course will review the social, cultural, and political systems in the State of Israel as they have developed and changed since its inception in 1948. The role of immigration, ethnicity, and religion on Israeli society and cultures will be explored along with the non-Israeli cultures that have helped to shape conditions there. The course will look into the diverse social and political institutions of contemporary Israel, examine the borders and geographic features of the region, and discuss who lives there, where they reside, and for which portions of this period. It will examine the wars and tensions between Israel and neighboring Arab states; the status of the Arab/Palestinian minority in Israel; and the growth of Palestinian nationalism. Social conditions in the State of Israel are the result of a unique history. Israelis have absorbed large numbers of immigrants from many parts of the world while engaged in ongoing political and military conflicts. Jewish settlers in Israel/Palestine revitalized a language (Hebrew) and developed unusual collectivistic institutions (e.g., the kibbutz). Israeli nationalism is founded both on secular and religious ideologies. It includes notions of a return from Diaspora and the desire for personal and collective redemption. The study of social processes such as these will provide an opportunity to consider the foundations and functions of nation-states and social systems generally. Materials will include selections from primary texts, official documents, novels, films, and ethnographic materials along with scholarly reviews and essays. Students will be exposed to materials produced from a variety of disciplinary and political perspectives. Through writing assignments, projects, and essay examinations, students will integrate, compare, and analyze these materials. The course complements offerings in Jewish Studies, Sociology, Anthropology, Political Science, and Middle East Studies and will satisfy the IL requirement. It enables those in Jewish Studies to examine the roughly 30% of Jews who reside in Israel, builds upon a current course on Zionism, and provides context for the study of modern Hebrew. It offers an additional international alternative for students in Sociology and Political Studies and a topical area in cultural Anthropology. Students in Middle East Studies will find it worthwhile to study a nation with a significant impact on the region. The course will be offered approximately once a year, and enrollment will be limited to 50 students in order to promote active, engaged learning. Evaluations will be based on papers, a project, short quizzes, and essay examinations.


General Education: GS
Diversity: IL
Bachelor of Arts: Social and Behavioral Science
Effective: Summer 2006

Note : Class size, frequency of offering, and evaluation methods will vary by location and instructor. For these details check the specific course syllabus.