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Course Descriptions

Course Descriptions

Diversity: Legal and Social Perspectives (Spring 2017)

Course Description

This course will examine legal and social perspectives on the concept of diversity.  The term “diversity” has come to represent simultaneously the social fact of demographic heterogeneity, a demand for group representation, and the promise of organizational fairness and inclusion.  The concept has also greatly complicated constitutional and statutory principles of equality and equal opportunity.  The course will provide students with a deep understanding of the law’s treatment of diversity in two contexts:  constitutional and statutory challenges to affirmative action in university admissions and statutory challenges to workplace diversity initiatives.  Differences in the law’s treatment of diversity will be explored in detail.  The course will also expose students to sociological, psychological, and managerial literatures on the development and effectiveness of diversity initiatives in order to better understand diversity’s challenges for the design and enforcement of civil rights laws. 

Students who wish to take the course for three credits may do so upon approval by the instructor of a proposal for a 20-30 page research paper.  Grades for students enrolled in the three-credit section will be assigned on the basis of class participation based on the criteria discussed above (25%) and the grade assigned to the research paper (75%).  Students who wish to make an in-class presentation of their original research may do so and have this presentation counted (50%) toward their class participation grade.  

Course Details

  • Unit Value: 3
  • Grading Options: Numerical Only
  • Schedule: W 10:00 am - 11:50 am
  • Room Number: Room 12
  • Exam: Paper
  • Writing Requirement: Yes with submission of the Upper Division Writing Requirement Form.
  • Skills/Experiential Unit Requirement: no