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Prospectus

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Sources of Diversity and Inclusion

Course
2012-2013

Tag(s)

Di, HI, WP, GC, ID

Admission Requirements

Similarly tagged 100-level courses. Students that do not meet this prerequisite should contact the instructor regarding the required competencies before course allocation.

Completion of Introduction to Diversity and Integration is recommended.

Description

Citizenship has been an historically contested concept: while on the one hand it has developed as a mechanism of integration and recognition under the liberal democratic paradigm, on the other hand it has worked also a mechanism of exclusion, control and surveillance over increasingly mobile and mixed populations. And yet, it has also been historically the ground where civil society actors state their claims and struggle for increasing forms of representation and recognition by their governments. There is a fundamental balance between the individual and the collectivity –the I/we relationship– where the equilibrium between rights and responsibilities embedded in the notion of citizenship rests. How is this balance challenged in current societies? What are the sources of citizenship as mechanism of difference and inclusion in the twenty-first century? Is “global citizenship” emphasizing a further homogeneous or rather an heterogeneous political community(ies)? These questions will inform the course development. The underlying task throughout the course will be a re-examination of the I-we balance embedded in the notion of citizenship. How is this balance affected by the expanding constitution of citizenries as well as the constant changes in the governance systems at national and trans-national levels? The course will examine the social, political, cultural, economic and environmental dimensions of the concept of citizenship given the tensions between increasing diversity and the demand for integration in current societies. When completing this course students are expected to have attained a critical understanding of the contested aspects involved in the definition, practices and performances of citizenship, as well as the need to develop interdisciplinary perspectives to better gauge the challenges of the contemporary citizen.

Course Objectives

The main objectives of this course are twofold: (i) to provide students with an overview of the key arguments at stake when addressing the question of citizenship from a liberal perspective as set of individual rights and entitlements, and the communitarian and cosmopolitan responses to its shortcomings; and (ii) to develop students’ critical ability to disclose these ideas in ordinary debates regarding the sources of difference, diversity and integration at national and trans-national levels in today’s societies.

Following from these objectives, the learning aims of this course are to develop in students:

  • The ability to examine, question and take positions regarding the role of the individual in reproducing structures of discrimination and exclusion, as well as her/his responsibility to change them;

  • a critical capacity to reflect about the bonds that unite us as well as those elements that invariably reproduce difference and distinctions among us;

  • the ability to talk about, debate and theorize about common aspects of daily life using concepts culled from the course.

Mode of Instruction

  • Continuous and active participation is fundamental for this course. It is your course, which means it requires the work of all to produce an exciting and inspiring learning community.

  • Biweekly seminars form the main body of this course. The structure of Tuesdays seminars is based on mini-lectures (30-45 minutes), student presentations of the readings (30 min) and questions and debates (30 minutes). The structure of Thursdays seminars is based on the presentation of documentaries that will be used to ensure exposure to diverse resources, forms of knowledge and types of evidence. This will guarantee the introduction of knowledge as well as the students ability to apply what they have read, learned and thought to real life situations.

  • Students will prepare for each seminar by completing the assigned readings, which will be available through the Blackboard site. In addition, each student will need to complete one weekly “reading note” based on his/her reflections on the readings and the themes informing each weeks’ sessions.

Assessment

Assessment: In-class participation (rising questions and debating)
Percentage: 15%
Deadline: Ongoing

Assessment: Group presentations of the readings
Percentage: 15%
Deadline: Weeks 2 to 7 on Tuesdays

Assessment: Reading notes (500 – 750 words)
Percentage: 30% (5% each)
Deadline: On Thursdays; Weeks 2 – 7

Assessment: Thursdays’ screening, questions and debates
Percentage: 10%
Deadline: Weeks 2-6

Assessment: Individual – Final essay (3500 words)
Percentage: 30%
Deadline: Week 8 (Friday 21 December)

Literature

A reader for the course will be compiled and will be electronically available in Blackboard site before the beginning of the course. Students are expected to use the readings as tools during their participation in class, the discussion of daily-life problems and questions raised from the documentaries and their reading notes.

Contact Information

For further information please contact Dr. Daniela Vicherat Mattar at: d.a.vicherat.mattar@luc.leidenuniv.nl

Weekly Overview

WEEK 1: The problem diversity poses to national citizenship
WEEK 2: Defining citizenship: Source of diversity or integration?
WEEK 3: Defying citizenship: Questions of gender
WEEK 4: Defying citizenship: Questions of race
WEEK 5: Defying citizenship: Poverty and inequality
WEEK 6: The citizen as a consumer: Scattering the political dimension of citizenship?
WEEK 7: Citizenship as a form of social solidarity: Between the city and the cosmos
WEEK 8: Reading Week

Preparation for first session

C. Gould (1996) “Diversity and Democracy: Representing differences” (pages 171 – 186) in S. Benhabib (Ed) Democracy and Difference. Contesting the boundaries of the Political. Princeton University Press.