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Challenging Precarity: Rebuilding Citizenship and Solidarity

Semester and Year SP 2018
Course Number IDSEM-UG1963
Section 001
Instructor Sara Duvisac
Days TR
Time 9:30 AM - 10:45 AM
Units 4
Level U
Requirement   SOC



In New York City and around the globe, emergent solidarity movements are challenging the increasing precariousness of urban life, encompassing employment rights, housing rights, and climate justice, as more traditional forms of class representation such as unions are on the decline. In the context of the declining importance of work to collective citizenship rights, what are the new forms of solidarity that are rebuilding or reimagining urban citizenship rights? What can movements in New York City and the global South learn from each other? How do movement histories that have traveled with immigrant communities to New York City influence organizing efforts here? The course seeks to not only understand how new forms of solidarity are meeting the challenges or urban precarity, but also the contours of a new global solidarity movement that challenges precarity, austerity, and globalization. To answer these questions we will combine a study of theoretical texts, empirical case studies from both the global North and South, and active community engagement. Key authors may include Partha Chatterjee, T.H. Marshall, and Beverly Silver. During the course students will be asked to research and engage with a New York City movement that addresses an aspect of urban insecurity that is explored in the course. Possible groups include the Crown Heights Tenants Union, Make the Road, or the Taxi Workers Alliance. As a part of the final project students will be asked to compare and contrast movements in New York City to similar movements in the global South.


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Course Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)