Seminar on Corporate Domination
I planned to teach this course in Spring 1997.
The course was cancelled.
This is what I had in mind.
This multidisciplinary seminar will examine the origin, nature, and consequences
of corporate domination of politics, economics, law, and culture. Topics
- the legal fiction that the corporation is a "person"
- issues such as corporate crime, environmental damage, community abandonment,
and worker displacement
- obedience and conformity in hierarchical organizations
- psychological consequences of living in a corporate society
- the prospects for legally mandated "corporate responsibility"
- the significance of alleged changes in corporate culture and the development
of multinational corporations
- resistance to corporate domination
The course should interest students majoring in legal studies, sociology,
psychology, political studies, economics, and other fields of study.
Students will be required to do a lot of work, including projects
outside class. I am considering asking the class to devise a Web site
that will examine the corporate interconnections in "Corporate Springfield,"
but the final project will be determined in class.
This new course grows out of my own interest in the nature and consequences
of corporate society as reflected in a recent article
and column of mine.
Tentative readings and resources for a course
originally scheduled for Spring 1997.
Barnet, Richard J. & Cavanagh, John (1994). Global Dreams: Imperial
Corporations and the New World Order. New York: Simon & Schuster.
Coleman, James S. (1982). The Asymmetric Society. Syracuse, NY:
Syracuse University Press.
Grossman, Richard L. & Adams, Frank T. (1993). Taking Care of
Business: Citizenship and the Charter of Incorporation. Cambridge,
MA: Charter, Ink.
(Group Project Possibilities)
Aron, Nan & Moulton, Barbara (1993). Justice for Sale: Shortchanging
the Public Interest for Private Gain. Washington, DC: Alliance for
Hawken, Paul (1994). The Ecology of Commerce: A Declaration of Sustainability.
Hudson, Michael (Ed.) (1996). Merchants of Misery: How Corporate America
Profits From Poverty. Monroe, ME: Common Courage Press.
Soley, Lawrence C. (1995). Leasing the Ivory Tower: The Corporate
Takeover of Academia. Boston: South End Press.
Additonal Reading for Related Projects
Bagdikian, Ben H. (1990). The Media Monopoly (2nd ed.). Boston:
Bender, Leslie (1993). Feminist (Re)Torts: Thoughts on the Liability
Crisis, Mass Torts, Power, and Responsibilities. Duke Law Journal,
Bonsignore, John J. (1994). Law and Multinationals: An Introduction
to Law and Political Economy. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Brenner, Philip, Borosage, Robert, & Weidner, Bethany (1974). Exploring
Contradictions: Political Economy in the Corporate State. New York:
Chomsky, Noam & Barsamian, David (1994). Keeping the Rabble in
Line. Monroe, ME: Common Courage Press.
Dembo, David, Morehouse, Ward, & Wykle, Lucinda (1990). Abuse
of Power: Social Performance of Multinational Corporations: The Case of
Union Carbide. New York: New Horizons Press.
Fox, Dennis R. (1995). The Law
Says Corporations are Persons, but Psychology Knows Better. Behavioral
Sciences and the Law, 14, 339-359.
Gabaldon, Theresa. A. (1992). The Lemonade Stand: Feminist and Other
Reflections on the Limited Liability of Corporate Shareholders. Vanderbilt
Law Review, 45, 1387-1456.
Greenberg, Edward S. (1985). Capitalism and the American Political
Ideal. Armonk, NY: M. E. Sharpe.
Greenberg, Edward S. (1989). The American Political System: A Radical
Approach. (5th ed.). Glenview, IL: Scott Foresman.
Grieder, William (1992). Who Will Tell the People: The Betrayal of
American Democracy. New York: Simon & Schuster.
Hans ,Valerie P. (1990). Attitudes Toward Corporate Responsibility: A
Psycholegal Perspective. Nebraska Law Review, 69, 158-189.
Hills, Stuart L. (Ed.) (1987). Corporate Violence: Injury and Death
for Profit. Totowa, NJ: Rowman & Littlefield.
Houch, John W. & Williams, Oliver F. (Eds.) (1996). Is the Good
Corporation Dead? Social Responsibility in a Global Economy. Lanham,
MD. Rowman & Littlefield.
Houseman, Gerald L. (1993). Questioning the Law in Corporate America:
Agenda for Reform. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.
Kelman, Herbert C., & Hamilton, V. Lee (1989). Crimes of Obedience:
Toward a Social Psychology of Authority and Obedience. New Haven,
CT: Yale University Press.
Korten, David C. (1995).When
Corporations Rule the World. West Hartford, CT & San
Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers & Kumarian Press.
Millon, David (1993). New Directions in Corporate Law: Communitarians,
Contractarians, and the Crisis in Corporate Law. Washington & Lee
Law Review, 50, 1373-1390.
Mitchell, Lawrence E. (1995). Cooperation and Constraint in the Modern
Corporation: An Inquiry into the Causes of Corporate Immorality. Texas
Law Review, 73, 477-538.
Nader, Ralph & Smith, Wesley J. (1996). No Contest: Corporate
Lawyers and the Perversion of Justice in America. New York: Random
Palmer, Bryan D. (1994) Goodyear Invades the Backcountry: The Corporate
Takeover of a Rural Town. New York: Monthly Review Press.
Pring, George W. & Canan, Penelope (1996). SLAPPS: Getting Sued
for Speaking Out. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.
Samuels, Warren J. & Miller, Arthur S. (Eds.) (1987). Corporations
and Society: Power and Responsibility. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.
Schwartz, Michael (Ed.) (1987). The Structure of Power in America:
The Corporate Elite as a Ruling Class. New York: Holmes & Meier.
Seabrook, Jeremy (1990). The Myth of the Market: Promises and Illusions.
Devon, UK: Green Books.
Simon, David R. (1996). Elite Deviance (5th ed). Boston: Allyn
Simon, William H. (1990). Contract versus Politics in Corporation Doctrine.
In David Kairys (Ed.), The Politics of Law: A Progressive Critique
(rev. ed.) (pp. 387-409). New York: Pantheon.
Sklar, Holly (1995). Chaos or Community? Seeking Solutions, Not Scapegoats
for Bad Economics. Boston: South End Press.
Swidorski, Carl (1994). Corporations and the Law: Historical Lessons
for Contemporary Practice. New Political Science, 167-190.
Wachtel, Paul L. (1983). The Poverty of Affluence: A Psychological
Portrait of the American Way of Life. New York: Free Press.
Wells, Celia (1993). Corporations and Criminal Responsibility.
Oxford, UK: Clarendon Press.