Fake News and Extremism: Propaganda and Fanatics in History and in the Present

Fake News and Extremism: Propaganda and Fanatics in History and in the Present

SOCI E-114

Fake News and Extremism:

Propaganda and Fanatics in History and in the Present

Harvard Extension School
Spring 2022



Meeting Time: Wednesdays, 14:00 - 16:00

Meeting: On Zoom.

Professors: Danilo Mandic  &  Vladimir Petrovic

Mandic Office Hours: Tuesdays 12:00 - 13:00 EST on class zoom link.

Petrovic Office Hours: Wednesdays, 16.00 - 17.00 EST on class zoom link.

Syllabus: See below [and right here]

SOCI-E114 Fake News and Extremism Syllabus.docx

Sections:  Rotating

Head Teaching Fellow: Jake Burley

Email: Jacob.Burley001@umb.edu

Office Hours: Mondays, 6:30 - 7:30pm or by appointment


Course Description: Why do millions of people come to believe obvious lies? What motivates extremist violence? How can we convince a fanatic not to be fanatical? This course offers a social scientific overview of extremism and propaganda in human history and society. Using historical case studies and social scientific analyses, students will become aware of major patters of how fanatical groups and movements emerge, how extremists come to power, to which ends extremists strive, what the role of propaganda in belief-formation and action is, and how violent means are justified. From medieval crusades and inquisition to contemporary terrorism and persecution, the course examines the extreme fringes of politics. It takes us from the horrors of crusades and early modern religious wars to ideological and racial violence, the Holocaust and post-Cold War mass atrocities. Political violence in the name of race, religion, empire, class, or ethnicity is examined in historical and comparative perspective. Techniques of legitimization are given particular attention, including social closure, racism, nationalism, dehumanization, stereotyping, scapegoating and the dissemination of fake news. As they reflect on the roots and causes of extremist politics, students are also asked to reexamine the assets and liabilities of contemporary media and democracy in our world.

One dead in 'coup attempt' in US capital Washington!Is Your Washroom Breeding Bolsheviks?” - Sociological ImagesTFU Studios: The Commissar VanishesHow Hitler Seized Power and Shocked His Opposition

Lecture Powerpoints will be uploaded under "Files" with the readings.



Course Summary:

Date Details Due