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Case-studies in Diversity: Theories in Practice




Admissions requirements

Elective. Open to students who have completed any 200 level course in the HD major (ideally Social Theory in Everyday Life). The course is also open to students completing other majors, as elective course.


Case-studies; almost everybody loves to think in terms of “cases”: how to understand them, explain and get involved in them. At LUC we study global challenges, so our “case studies” are defined from this perspective. So, 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 course, we will explore LUC’s signature global challenges in the light of the apparent tension between theory and practice. In a progressively unpredictable world, we will examine how the natural tendency to diversify and mutate confronts our constant search for stability and certainties. Thus, in this course we investigate peace, justice, development, sustainability and the democratization of knowledge in terms of the theoretical contentions they imply and in the light of concrete case-studies. This exploration is organized in weekly units:

WEEK 1 – Framing the question of diversity
WEEK 2 – The challenge of peace: one or many?
WEEK 3 – The challenge of justice: for whom?
WEEK 4 – The challenge of sustainability: what nature is at stake?
WEEK 5 – The challenge of development: any alternative to modern progress?
WEEK 6 – The challenge of democratizing knowledge: what are the limits of thinking?
WEEK 7 – Beyond “solutions” to these challenges: ask critical questions!
WEEK 8 – Reading Week

Course objectives

The main objective of this course is twofold:

(i) to develop in students the capacity to bridge the ideological distinction between theory and practice; 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.


Once available, timetables will be published here.

Mode of instruction



  • In class participation – 10% – (ongoing)

  • I-notes (800 words + image) – 50% (5 × 10%) – Weeks 2-6

  • Case-studies presentations (in groups) – 20% – Weeks 2-6

  • Individual final essay (3000 words) – 20% – Weeks 8


There will be a Blackboard site available for this course. Students will be enrolled at least one week before the start of classes.

Reading list

Available electronically on BB before the beginning of the course.


This course is open to LUC students and LUC exchange students. Registration is coordinated by the Curriculum Coordinator. Interested non-LUC students should contact


Dr. Daniela Vicherat Mattar (