Anthropology and Social Change offers MA and PhD degree programs at CIIS in San Francisco, CA. Our learning community explores alternatives and possibilities using the participatory activist ethnographic research method. ciis.edu/anth
This new course is offered starting in Fall 2016:
Systems analysis has become part of the established scientific and popular culture of our times. The purpose of this class is to apply systemic tools to practical problems of social and ecological change. Engineering and various areas of technology have utilized systems concepts for decades. Many authors have popularized the notion of interrelatedness and complexity, including ideas about chaos, fractals, and catastrophe theory. However, despite many efforts to create an integrated framework, systems thinking is not often put to use in the area of social change. In this course, we will look at the historical and practical origins of several key concepts in systems theory. We will examine the ideas of innovation, organizational change, social change, feedback loops, and chaos theory. We will look into the application of these ideas in the areas of ecology, psychology, and politics. We will investigate the interdisciplinary character of systems thinking to include art and entropy, literature and philosophy, freedom and symmetry. Our goal will be integrative and holistic, and yet practical.