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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. 

Grades for students enrolled in the two-credit section will be assigned on the basis of class participation (25%) and three short papers 5-7 pages in length and written in response to the course readings (75%).  Each paper must be written about a different unit of material and will be due two days before that material is due to be discussed.  Class participation will be assessed on the basis of in-class discussion, preparation, and questions submitted by the student to a discussion forum posted on Blackboard. Discussion questions should be submitted 24 hours before class. They will also serve the purpose of helping to guide discussion based on student interest. 

Course Details

  • Unit Value: 2
  • Grading Options: Numerical Only
  • Schedule: W 10:00 am - 11:50 am
  • Room Number: Room 12
  • Exam: 3 short papers
  • Writing Requirement: No
  • Skills/Experiential Unit Requirement: No
  • Participation: Graded