When you hear the word diversity, what do you think about? What does diversity mean to you? Regardless of your background, profession, or academic goals, one thing is certain: Diversity is a topic that you will have to navigate, either for yourself or for the people with whom you will work with or encounter in your daily life. Diversity is about recognizing the similarities and differences between ourselves and other people. These differences could be physical (race, gender, age, ability, etc.) or they could be social (cultural heritage, economic status, political or religious beliefs, etc.). The United States was founded on principles of equality and opportunity for all citizens, but in practice, some groups of citizens have encountered different treatment, which has resulted in less-than-equal opportunities (Hobbs, 2015). A study of diversity begins with a necessary exploration of our differences, honing in on the social systems that reinforce them. As you work through this module’s content, consider the following:
· What elements comprise your own diverse nature? How do you identify yourself?
· How do these elements shape who you are and how you see the world?
You will look through the four lenses of General Education (humanities, history, natural science, and social science) to inform your study of diversity. These lenses help you understand the perspectives contributed by these different academic disciplines. As you go further in this course, you will come to see how each field of study impacts diversity and how diversity impacts these fields. By the end of this course, you will have developed an understanding of diversity and its intersection with and impact on various social, economic, and political institutions, and how our recognition of diversity has a major influence on society.
This class gives you the opportunity to explore an issue or topic related to diversity and contextualize the importance of diversity within your personal and professional goals. As the culminating experience of the General Education program at Southern New Hampshire University, this class will also provide you with an opportunity to develop critical soft skills, such as critical thinking, communication, and cultural awareness, which are highly sought after by an increasing majority of employers. To practice these skills, you will both analyze your issue or topic through the four lenses and submit a presentation that examines your topic within society as a whole. Please be sure to review the guidelines and the technical requirements for this project, which is due in Module Seven. You will start the final project early, in Module Two, by selecting the topic you will use for the final project.
Hobbs, P. (2015). Walt’s utopia: Disneyland and American mythmaking. Jefferson, NC: McFarland.