Change the World
In this course, you will be invited to join an ongoing dialogue about what constitutes social justice, how various dimensions of justice are connected to issues of economic justice, and how best to advocate for social change.
In order effectively to participate in this dialogue, you will need to become informed about theories and practices that underlie efforts to manifest social change. We will examine competing theories — by Robert Nozick, John Rawls, Amartya Sen among others — of what social justice entails and how our economic system supports and/or undermines social justice. We will then apply these perspectives to understand ways in which social injustices, such as domination on the basis of economic class, gender, race/ethnicity and sexual orientation, are interrelated and how they might be addressed. Finally, you will be asked to examine social movements that seek to eliminate these injustices in order, ultimately, to articulate your own position on how to change the world.
Social Justice: Gandhi's Way
Mahatma Gandhi fought an array of social injustices during his lifetime using a non-violent approach to conflict resolution.
Course readings will focus on three things: 1) An examination of Gandhi's concept of justice; 2) An introduction to the non-violent method Gandhi employed in pursuit of justice in South Africa and India; and 3) An exploration of some of the many ways that Gandhi's method has been employed by other figures around the world in the past century. Course assignments and activities will ask students to articulate what social injustices exist in their lifetimes; to critically evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of Gandhi's method for addressing these injustices; and to articulate their own positions about justice and the means for attaining it.
This is a Social Justice Residential College course, and includes a required fourth "common hour" shared with other Social Justice College classes, together with a weekend field trip and final projects for the Residential College Symposium.