Personal Political Philosophy

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This is political science. And while the science part is murky and vague, the personal connection to politics is fundamental. This is why it is impossible to shut down when and where people become active.

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For example, take the Colin Kaepernick and now, larger NFL workplace-protest controversy. This is evidence of personal political philosophies, or the deep-seeded reactions you have to situations. These reactions are often emotional–as politics ideals with everything you care about–yet they are LEARNED behaviors. Are you reacting or listening?

To truly know where you stand is to first identify the political philosophy you mostly likely learned from parents and/or other family. More recently, you may have gravitated towards “friends” who share learned reactions. Then the discomfort of it all: when there is nuance in what it means to be “progressive,” or “conservative.” Most individuals believe they are unique and therefore so are their political inclinations, but with just a few broad terms, how can this be so? This is a classical philosophical question that is answered in pursuing an investigation of yourself through the literature of political science THEORY. No one theory describes you any better than a political party affiliation, although there is much more specificity.

I’ll use myself as an example. My household was “democrat” and yet the city of Pittsburgh is hardly a liberal bastion like Seattle. Even though I wasn’t Catholic, I attended a high school that was and most students were uninterested in politics. At university, many consider themselves “liberal” but then stop asking WHY there is so much nuance with diversity. It is challenging to be this open-minded to your own assumptions. But I pressed forward with a variety of coursework in the social sciences. When I first started teaching in Seattle, I was forced to address the more conservative elements of my “liberal” identity. As I developed this assignment, I again used myself as a model, and I uncovered that I’m radical. That freaked me out; I don’t advocate violence to achieve political outcomes, but there is such a strong association with violence and radical politics. To sort this out, my literature review brought me to “contemporary intellectual radicalism.” From there, the literature became a part of my life-long evolution of how I view myself politically. This process is a snapshot in time, so what you are now can change and probably will.

So, how do you do this?

  1. Even if you think you already know where you stand, please take this quiz (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site..
  2. Then locate your “label” corresponding to your quiz outcome on this image (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.. This is our agreed upon starting point for the course. To ignore this and attempt the rest of the assignment usually wastes time and so just do this!
  3. Go to our research library databases (EBSCOHost and JStor are best) and SHOP for articles that touch on the philosophy in some way. In most cases, the originating political philosophy is recapped so the researcher can show you what is being added, or taken away, modified, etc.
  4. Collect 3 – 5 articles that you find interesting, and are appropriate for your reading level.
  5. Annotate them. (How to Annotate is in MODULE 0)
  6. Once you have accurately, and fully annotated your articles, you may proceed to the last part of the assignment.
  7. Write a 1-2 page summary of your findings from the articles and how they relate to your personal political philosophy.

Some important things to note:

  • This is a QUARTER long assignment. Some of you will have an easier time than others, and so the only way to know where you are is to get started ASAP and begin the revision process with me.
  • You will turn in multiple drafts throughout the quarter so that you can continue to refine (and improve your score).
  • When you get stuck–and many of you will–please do not wait to contact me!

This is about and for you. I cannot tell you who you are, but I can ask that you clarify using the language of our discipline. Therefore, it is without question that you must use academic journals to do this assignment. Occasionally, students find access to particular journals that are not in EBSCO or JStor, and while this is fine–YOU MUST CHECK WITH ME BEFORE USING IT. Otherwise, you could waste a lot of time working on something I will not accept.


Personal Political Philosophy

Personal Political Philosophy

Criteria Ratings Pts

This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeAnnotations (three minimum)

You have at least three fully annotated articles.

75.0 pts

You have at least 2 fully annotated articles.

57.0 pts

You have one fully annotated article.

48.0 pts

Currently, your annotations are incomplete, but promising.

38.0 pts

You are just getting started!

19.0 pts

You have nothing.

0.0 pts

75.0 pts

This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeFormatting and Editing

You have correct “hanging” indent formatting for your annotations. Proofreading is evident.

10.0 pts

Something is off with formatting OR proofing.

8.0 pts

Something is off with formatting AND proofing.

5.0 pts

Formatting and Proofing is unacceptable.

0.0 pts

10.0 pts

This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomePersonal Philosophy Essay

At a minimum, you have 5 paragraphs. An introduction, examination of each annotation, and a concluding paragraph.

15.0 pts

Your essay is underdeveloped and leaves us wanting more–please revise (if time).

8.0 pts

No Marks

0.0 pts

15.0 pts

Total Points: 100.0

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