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Case Studies of Diversity and Inclusion




Admission Requirements

Similarly-tagged 100/200-level courses or permission from the instructor.


Case-studies; almost everybody loves to think in terms of them: how to understand them, explain and get involved in them. At LUC we study global challenges, and we look at case studies from this perspective. Thus, the perspective and context in which a case is identified matters. Yet, the perspective and context in which the cases are framed is rarely questioned, despite being crucial: Isn’t it the contexts also a way of posing the problem? Does the framing already define the type of answer or response we will give to a challenge?

In this 300 level course, we will explore LUC’s signature global challenges in the light of the apparent tension between diversity and inclusion (D&I). In a progressively unpredictable world, we will explore how the natural tendency to diversify and mutate confronts our constant search for stability and certainties. Thus, in the course we will be examining how diversity matters in our understanding of “peace”, “justice”, “development”, “sustainability” and the “democratization of knowledge”. This will be done by investigating the concepts behind the challenge in the light of specific case-studies. The weekly units address this exploration:

WEEK 1 – Framing the question of diversity and inclusion
WEEK 2 – D&I and the challenge of Peace
WEEK 3 – D&I and the challenge of Justice
WEEK 4 – D&I and the challenge of Sustainability
WEEK 5 – D&I and the challenge of Development
WEEK 6 – D&I and the challenge of Democratizing Knowledge
WEEK 7 – Does it make sense to think about “solutions” for the questions of D&I?
WEEK 8 – Reading Week

Students will learn to identify ways to think about D&I as a way to explore and interpret the challenges that our societies face today. Moreover, students will also learn to identify how this interpretation already contains the possible answers they (and we all) are willing to accept as “solutions” for tackling these challenges. Hence, a central aim of this course is to explore whether we can actually find clear and final solutions for the tensions and problems implied in these challenges, or whether isn’t the case that diversity, and its apparent opposite, inclusion, are ongoing and constantly mutating tests for our life in concert.

Course Objectives

The main objectives of this course are twofold: (i) to develop in students a capacity to be suspicious towards given criteria of normality in contemporary societies; and (ii) to develop students’ capacity to critically address the challenges posed by diverse forms of social and ecological coexistence; a capacity that goes along with the need to constantly put one owns views under scrutiny.

Following from these objectives, the learning outcomes expected from this course are:

  • To develop in students skills to engage critically with academic readings and their applicability to understand real-life situations.

  • To develop in students the ability to discuss and engage in any aspects related to the global challenges studied at LUC recognizing the need for different perspectives not only as legitimate, but ultimately inevitable and necessary.

  • To exhort students to be equally critical with their own preconceived and normative ideas about diversity and inclusion, since our own perspectives are the ones that define what is to be consider different and the terms in which inclusion is possible/desired.

Preparation for first session

During the first session we will be introducing the course and tuning expectations. Besides, students are requested to think about specific case-studies related to each of the global challenges they would wish to study in the weekly units. In our first session we will discuss these expectations and potential case-studies so we can reach a common frame to develop the course together.

In addition please complete the following readings:

  • Yuval Davis, N. (2012) “Introduction: Framing the questions” in The Politics of Belonging. UK: Sage. Pages: 11-45.

  • One of the following films would help you reflect upon the aforementioned reading: Crash (P. Haggis, 2004); Babel (A. Gonzalez, 2006); Divergent (N. Burger, 2014).