Psychology of Political Activism: Women Changing the World
Have you ever wanted to change the world? Have you ever wondered what motivates some people to become activists? What experiences in your childhood or when you were a teenager may have shaped your political identity? Join us, along with Gloria Steinem, Loretta Ross, and others, in a seven-week exploration of these questions and more. In this course, you will analyze some of the psychological theories that help explain what leads people to want to change society.
Through rich, interactive case studies you will meet nine prominent women activists who were engaged in efforts and movements in the U.S. from the 1960s through the 1990s including the Civil Rights Movement, the LGBTQ Movement, and the Reproductive Justice Movement. Within our online community you will discuss and debate how psychological theories can explain these activists’ motivations, discover where the theories are and are not applicable, and collaboratively create new understandings and analyses.
Each week, Gloria Steinem (SC ‘56) will provide her thoughts and insight into how these theories might apply to contemporary issues.
Upcoming start dates
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- Virtual Classroom
Who should attend?
- Week 1: Course Overview
- Week 2: Political Generations
- Week 3: Relative Deprivation and Stratum Consciousness
- Week 4: Politicized Racial Identity
- Week 5: Intersectionality
- Week 6: Psychology of Collective Action, Group Consciousness, and Activism
- Week 7: Wrap up
Course delivery details
This course is offered through Smith College, a partner institute of EdX.
3-5 hours per week
- Verified Track -$49
- Audit Track - Free
Certification / Credits
What you'll learn
- Explore some of the important theoretical foundations, empirical findings, research methods, and applications of political psychology
- Apply psychological theories to understand people’s motivations for becoming politically active
- Analyze primary source materials and learn why archival preservation is critical for the visibility of women's stories
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