GLOS 3707: Disposable People?: Surplus Value, Surplus Humanity

3 Credits

The world today confronts a volatile scenario shaped by three intertwined political-economic processes: First, growth in surplus value or corporate profits fueled by monopoly capitalism, wage stagnation, and automation-driven improvements in productivity; second, growth in surplus or discarded matter fueled by rising consumerism and planned obsolescence in products and services; and finally, growth in surplus humanity or under-employed, unwanted populations fueled by structural transformations in the world economy with declining opportunities for good quality jobs. The combined result manifests as widening economic inequality between the 'haves' and 'have nots'; a politically volatile situation of racialized polarization in which huge numbers of people in entire regions, countries, or sectors of the globe, have little, declining, or no access to secure waged work; and an ecological crisis where the planet finds itself ill equipped to handle growing quantities of waste matter, including greenhouse gases. Our primary focus in the course will be to understand populations that are \"cast out\" of society, the forces that produce this condition, the mechanisms of rule by which surplus populations are managed, and the way people live and cope with their superfluity. Class sessions are a combination of lectures, debates, student-led discussions, and audio-visual materials. 60-70 pages of weekly reading, bi-weekly commentaries, take-home midterms, short presentation, and final paper.

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B+ Average (3.273)Most Common: A- (21%)

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24 students
WFDCBA
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    Recommend
  • 3.83

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    Effort
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    Understanding
  • 3.83

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    Interesting
  • 4.17

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