The US Culture War(s): Social, Cultural and Political Impacts

TU Chemnitz | Wintersemester 2022 / 2023

The US Culture War(s): Social, Cultural and Political Impacts

The US Culture War(s): Social, Cultural and Political Impacts

Tuesday, 13:45 – 15:15, 1/309 (A10.309)                                           First meeting: 11.10.2021


The political system of the US is increasingly described as dysfunctional. While the political culmination of a process that has been lasting for at least 15 years was undoubtedly the election of Donald Trump into office, the social tension that has built up in the US erupted during the riotous events on 6 January 2021. Culturally, seemingly irreconcilable camps fight over highly emotional, divisive and sensitive topics and thereby disrupt the deliberative core and modus operandi of the US democracy.

In case studies on specific issues we will trace actors and camps in the culture war(s), the political ramifications as well as the social repercussions. Further, we will discuss mass media responsibilities and cultural consequences.

Participants will gain a deepened understanding of divides and cleavages in the American political system and society. On the social and cultural level, we will discuss the struggle and for values and beliefs, culture and identity and its impact on American popular culture. Within the seminar, methods and theories of political and social science as well as cultural studies will be discussed and applied to case studies. Students will learn to critically engage, discuss and analyse different sources and data material.

Successful completion of the lecture Einführung in die USA-Studien (passed exam; except Erasmus)

Requirements for credits:
Active participation in class, 15-minute, (pre-produced) oral presentation (PVL) and a written term paper of 10-12p (PL). SELAEn and Erasmus students can choose between a term paper and three essays to be handed in on specific dates during the lecture period.
A reader as well as an additional reading list will be provided via the OPAL directory of the course (see below).

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