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SOC 179N: The Science of Diverse Communities (CSRE 30N, EDUC 30N, PSYCH 30N)

This course is an exploration. Most generally, its aim is to identify distinguishing features of good diverse communities and articulate them well enough to offer principles or guidelines for how to design and manage such communities - all with a particular focus on educational communities like schools, universities, academic disciplines, etc., but with the hope that such principles might generalize to other kinds of organizations and the broader society. The readings range from those on the origins of human communities and social identities to those on intergroup trust building. They also aim to embed our discussions in the major diversity issues of the day, or example, what's in the news about campus life. nnThus the course has a practical purpose: to develop testable ideas for improving the comfort level, fairness and goodness-for-all of identity diverse communities--especially in educational settings. nnThe course also has a basic science purpose: to explore the psychological signi more »
This course is an exploration. Most generally, its aim is to identify distinguishing features of good diverse communities and articulate them well enough to offer principles or guidelines for how to design and manage such communities - all with a particular focus on educational communities like schools, universities, academic disciplines, etc., but with the hope that such principles might generalize to other kinds of organizations and the broader society. The readings range from those on the origins of human communities and social identities to those on intergroup trust building. They also aim to embed our discussions in the major diversity issues of the day, or example, what's in the news about campus life. nnThus the course has a practical purpose: to develop testable ideas for improving the comfort level, fairness and goodness-for-all of identity diverse communities--especially in educational settings. nnThe course also has a basic science purpose: to explore the psychological significance of community. Is there a psychological need for community? Is there something about a need for community that can't be reduced to other needs, for example, for a gender, racial or sexual-orientation identity? How strong is the need for community against other needs? What kinds of human groupings can satisfy it? In meeting this need, can membership in one community substitute for membership in others? What do people need from communities in order to thrive in them? Do strong diverse communities dampen intergroup biases? Can strong community loyalty mitigate identity tensions within communities? nnSuch questions, the hope is, will help us develop a more systematic understanding of the challenges and opportunities inherent in diverse human communities.
Terms: Aut | Units: 3 | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)
Instructors: Steele, C. (PI)
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