No matter the focus, both perspectives have in common an abstract, theoretical approach which distinguishes the discipline of economics. This approach to understanding the world (epistemology) comes from the Age of Enlightenment and the Scientific Revolution, an intellectual movement of mostly men who today continue to dominate the discipline of economics, although less so in the case of ppolitical economy. This is pointed out not to cast doubt on theoretical approaches but to place such an approach in a methodological context that recognizes many different standpoints or vantage points from which to understand and give meaning to our lives and the world around us. Political economy represents one such standpoint.
This segment of the Mosaic Semester will provide a brief introduction to the theory of political economy in which the foundations of capitalism will be examined. Once we have examined these theoretical foundations, we will examine the history of the U.S. capitalism from a political economy perspective tracing its development from the colonial conquest of America to the contemporary global capitalist era today.
"Working through the American Mosaic in Steelton has been an incredible experience in so many ways. First of all academically. I never would have taken a political economy class, let alone enjoyed it. In this project however, it was put into another context which made it easier to understand and appreciate. My dad, the economist will recognize this." Alexis Hinchey, Dickinson student in the American Mosaic