In BEHS 220 (Diversity Awareness), you may have learned about the many ways of “being human.” The United States is a culturally diverse country, and while we continue today to grapple with tensions related to race, ethnicity, sexuality, gender, religion, and age, the very fact that we can have public debates about matters related to diversity is some measure of social progress. Across the globe, there are many instances where groups of people continue to be oppressed along dimensions of diversity.
For this discussion, you will review some terminology related to diversity and cross-cultural relations, and then you will demonstrate your understanding of these terms as they relate to a practice that most in the United States would agree is unpalatable.
Review this week’s Learning Resources.
Here are some terms that are often included in discussions about diversity:
â€¢ Cultural pluralism is the recognition that society consists of many diverse groups that have unique cultural identities and practices that continue to exist within a larger, more dominant society.
â€¢ Multicultural societies consist of many diverse groups, none of which are socially dominant.
â€¢ Cultural relativism is the idea that an individual’s behavior and beliefs can only be understood in terms of that individual’s culture.
For this discussion, respond to the following questions:
â€¢ What is the cultural basis for female genital mutilation (FGM)?
â€¢ What would a “cultural relativist” say regarding the acceptability of FGM?
â€¢ How can we reconcile cultural relativism with the need for human rights?
â€¢ What role does globalization play in changing cultural practices?
When writing your posts, it is very important that you focus not just on summary but also on analysis. These posts are how I determine your mastery of the material and your critical thinking. Remember:
â€¢ Make sure you start your initial post as a New Thread in the LEO Discussion board, or I might not find it when I grade.
â€¢ Your first paragraph needs to be an introduction to your post.
â€¢ Your final paragraph should be a conclusion which pulls your ideas together.
â€¢ Your middle paragraphs should discuss your arguments.
â€¢ All posts need to be written in APA style and cite resources. You are encouraged to draw on resources from your courses across your entire major. There is not a lot of new information learned in this course, as I want to see you bringing together all of what you have learned at this college.
â€¢ Please check your post against the Guide for Good Writing before you submit it, as points will be deducted if you make those common writing errors. (This document is located in the Writing Resources module.)
This week, we continue our look at some important contemporary social problems in order to get us in the habit of thinking from an interdisciplinary social science perspective.
Trayvon Martin. Ferguson. Freddie Gray. “I can’t breathe.” These names and phrases have taken on special significance in recent years as iconic touchpoints highlighting systemic racial injustice in the United States. These touchpoints have given rise to a modern wave of Black activism that is reminiscent of the Civil Rights movement of the mid 1900’s. Leading the way is the “Black Lives Matter” (BLM) movement which emerged in response to the death of Trayvon Martin in 2012 and continues to have a voice in matters of inequality that impact Black Americans.
The “Black Lives Matter” movement has sparked a fervid national conversation on the state of race relations that is multilayered and complex. At its core, the movement raises concerns about the treatment of Black Americans across many social institutions (e.g. law enforcement, criminal justice, employment, education, etc.), but other debates have emerged from the movement. Should the concerns of Black Americans be considered separately or as part of a larger conversation that includes all races? Why is the phrase “All Lives Matter” antithetical to the goals of the BLM movement? How does the BLM movement address black-on-black violence? How do minorities reconcile oppression with patriotism?
As social scientists, you may be called upon to provide an opinion on difficult social topics like race and racism. By now you know that an informed opinion should be measured, based on evidence, and take into account multiple perspectives. For this topic, it’s important to understand the historical underpinnings of Black activism that have led to the “Black Lives Matter” movement of today.
Explore this week’s Learning Resources as well as the following pages from the BlackLivesMatter.com site:
After reviewing these resources (and others that you may find), respond to the following questions:
1) Identify some pivotal moments or issues from before the year 2000 that have shaped the civil rights movement and set the stage for the “Black Lives Matter” movement.
2) In your own words, what is the “Black Lives Matter” Movement and what is its primary mission?
3) How have people from diverse backgrounds reacted to the “Black Lives Matter” Movement? Provide some examples from the news or the Web to support your response. Remember to cite your sources.
4) How might social scientists from different disciplines talk about these issues? For example, what questions would a psychologist ask compared to an anthropologist? What issues would be the focus of a sociologist? How might a gerontologist frame this problem (think about what older people may have witnessed or experienced regarding race relations)? What other social scientists might be interested in this issue?
5) What are some potential controversies inherent in this issue? Think about why this social problem might be difficult to solve. Are there gaps in our knowledge? Lack of resources? Opposing political views? Think broadly and from an interdisciplinary perspective in order to respond to this question.
6) Where does the solution lie? Are there policies that need to be changed or enacted to resolve the issue? Are there programs or services that might help? What agencies or industries are best equipped to help?
When writing your posts, it is very important that you focus not just on summary but also on analysis. These posts are how I determine your mastery of the material and your critical thinking.
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