Professor ________________
1-credit graduate seminar (SOCI 950, section 7)
Fall 2008

This one-credit seminar will attempt to produce a jointly written theory
paper in the spirit of the seminar on "Celebrity Status" in Spring 2005,
whose paper was published in Sociological Theory in December 2007. The
subject this time is the concept of "powerblindness," which I
provisionally define as the inability of people in positions of
privilege to notice the operation of privilege as acutely as people who
are subjected to it. This concept is intended to join the debate between
theorists such as Michel Foucault who consider power and knowledge to go
hand in hand, and theorists such as Patricia Hill Collins who consider
subordinates to have a clearer view of the "matrix of domination" in
which they live. The class will review these theoretical positions and
then explore existing evidence for and against the existence of
powerblindness in multiple domains of social life. Each student will be
responsible for one of these domains, to be determined in the first
three class sessions. The course will meet every other week for
approximately two hours, at a time to be determined jointly by
participants. Assignments will include reading notes on each reading, a
presentation to the class on the domain each student is covering, and a
final paper that will comprise one portion of the collective research paper.

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