Information about Social Analysis 72: Economics: A Critical Approach

Until this year, all Harvard undergraduates who wanted to take an introductory course in economics had to enroll in Social Analysis 10: Principles of Economics, also known as "Ec10". Although students frequently complained that Ec10 was poorly taught and ideologically biased, there was no other course available to undergraduates who wanted to learn the basics of micro- and macroeconomic theory.

SHARE is therefore delighted that Professor Stephen Marglin, the Walter S. Barker Professor in the Economics Department at Harvard, is currently teaching a one-semester introduction to economics entitled "Social Analysis 72: Economics: A Critical Approach." In addition to covering the same material as Ec10, Social Analysis 72 will also look at critiques of mainstream economics and explore the assumptions that underlie  economic theory.

To view a copy of the course syllabus, visit the official course website.

Below is a Q+A about the course put together by SHARE.


Frequently Asked Questions about Social Analysis 72

Q. What departments give concentration credit for this course?

A. The Government Department will give related-field credit for Social Analysis 72, and Social Studies will count it as one-semester of its two-semester economics requirement. Additionally, students in Women's Studies may petition the concentration to count Social Analysis 72 for concentration credit. 

Q. Will this course count for Core Credit?

        A. Yes. It will fulfill the Social Analysis component of the Core requirement.

Q. Will this course count for concentration credit in the Economics Department?

    A. No. The Faculty of the Department of Economics has decided that only Social Analysis 10: Principles of Economics fulfills the introductory requirement (students may also exempt themselves from the introductory requirement with Advanced Placement tests). Economics concentrators may take Social Analysis 72, but should not expect to have it count toward their departmental course requirements.

Q. Can Social Studies Concentrators still take Ec10?

    A. Yes, Ec10 will continue to fulfill Social Studies's two-semester economics requirement.

Q. Will this course cover micro- or macroeconomics?

    A. Social Analysis 72 will provide an introduction to both micro- and macroeconomics.

Q. This class is only one semester and counts for core credit. Does this mean that I can take just one semester of Ec10 for core credit?

    A. No, Ec10 remains indivisible, meaning students must take both semesters to get any credit for it.

Q. After taking this course, can I enroll in the second semester of Ec10 for credit?

    A. No, Ec10 is an indivisible course and must be taken in its entirety for credit.

Q. Can I take this course if I have already taken Social Analysis 10? What will I gain from it?

    A. Students who have already taken Ec10 can still take Social Analysis 72. While Social Analysis 72 will cover the basics of economic theory, much of the course is designed around critiquing mainstream economic theory and presenting viewpoints on economic issues that are seldom, if ever, discussed in Ec10. Therefore, even students who have mastered the basic principles of economics should find Social Analysis 72 to be an engaging and educational experience.

Q. I still have questions about Social Analysis 72. How can I find out more about it?

    A. Contact Professor Stephen Marglin, who is teaching the course.