Cultural Diversity & Social Forces

This component of general education focuses on cultural diversity within the United States as well as the social, political, and economic influences that shape individuals, groups, and institutions. Cultural diversity means cultural differences (including racial, ethnic, religious, and/or gender) and issues of prejudice and discrimination. Social forces (SF) courses address the mutual interactions between various constituents of society and should help students develop skills for understanding and coping with the changes and dynamic forces at work in contemporary society. Cultural diversity (CD) courses incorporate elements that allow students to develop an awareness and appreciation for one or more cultural groups in the United States, address the issues of prejudice and discrimination which may arise in a pluralistic society, focus on one or more dimensions (historical, social, political, economic, literary, ideological, aesthetic or intellectual) inherent in every cultural system, and be grounded in theory and objective analysis. Outcomes include:

  • present a well-established body of theory and empirical evidence
  • gain broader perspective helping them to understand the interdisciplinary implications of the subject being studied
  • understand contemporary society and an individual’s place in it that is grounded in theory and evidence
  • develop skills for understanding and coping with the changes and dynamic forces at work in contemporary society
  • gain a shared vocabulary, methodology, and body of factual information that will give them entrée as citizens, voters, consumers, and participants in community affairs into the current debates about social forces
  • focus on one or more dimensions (historical, social, political, economic, literary, ideological, aesthetic or intellectual) inherent in every cultural system
  • gain knowledge of theory and capacity to conduct objective analysis
  • develop familiarity with one or more social, political, and/or economic theory
  • understand the relevant body of evidence/data that underlies social, political, and/or economic theory
  • participate in exercises and discussion that help them analyze evidence and apply theory to society and the individual
  • make connections between the course discipline and other related sciences
  • make connections between the theories presented in the class and the current social issues of the day
  • develop an awareness and appreciation for one or more cultural groups in the United State (CD)
  • address the issues of prejudice and discrimination which may arise in a pluralistic society (CD)
  • dispel ignorance of, and indifference to, cultural diversity in our society (CD)