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Introduction to Politics

I.     Course Prefix/Number: PSC 110

       Course Name: Introduction to Politics

       Credits: 3 (3 lecture; 0 lab)

II.    Prerequisite

None

III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course introduces concepts of political life. Content focus is on power: source, modes (coercion, control, consent, charisma); expressions, conflicts, etc. Examples drawn from history and current political life.

IV.   Learning Objectives

A. Define politics and describe the pursuit and practice of power;
B. Apply the concepts of power and politics to governmental and non governmental institutions (e.g. the family and schools);
C. Identify and explain the relationship between leadership, power, influence, authority, and legitimacy;
D. Analyze and explain the relationship between power and justice in different political systems;
E. Evaluate and interpret historical and contemporary examples of policy-making and implementation.

V.    Academic Integrity

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.
Details of the Code of Academic Conduct can be found in the Student Handbook.

VI.   Sequence of Topics

Given the general nature of this course, the course objectives can be met in a variety of ways.  Thus, the specific course outline will depend in part on the dominant issues of the time.  However, all sections will deal with the following topics:

    A. The nature of politics.
    B. Power, authority and legitimacy.
    C. Political culture and socialization.
    D. Political change.
    E. Who rules: constitutions and popular rights.
    F. Representation and leadership.
    G. Popular participation: voting and interest group participation.
    H. The legislative function.
    I. The executive function.
    J. The judicial function.
    K. Policy making and implementation.

VII.  Methods of Instruction

Classes will include a variety of instructional methods such as: lectures, in class discussions, group activities, document and film analysis, and the use of new technologies.
Course may be taught as face-to-face, media-based, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

Students will be required to:
    A. Read a standard textbook and research materials.
    B. Write outside of class the equivalent of 12 14 double spaced typed pages in the form of a term paper, summaries of journal articles, short research papers, and/or other kinds of writing.
    C. Participate in in-class and out-of-class activities.

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

At least two exams will be given in addition to other required papers and assignments.

Students will also be evaluated on a combination of written assignments and in- and out-of- class assignments.

XI.   Other Course Information



If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.