SW325 Human Diversity & Social Justice

for S1T 2010

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Mission Statement: The mission of Park University, an entrepreneurial institution of learning, is to provide access to academic excellence, which will prepare learners to think critically, communicate effectively and engage in lifelong learning while serving a global community.

Vision Statement: Park University will be a renowned international leader in providing innovative educational opportunities for learners within the global society.


SW 325 Human Diversity & Social Justice


S1T 2010 DL


Palma, Esther Z.


Adjunct Faculty



Office Location

Park Main Campus

Office Hours

email/voice mail anytime (may be arranged before or after class as well)

Daytime Phone

(806) 589-0904 Skype Local US Number

Other Phone

011-49-637-480-5437 Germany Number



Web Page


Semester Dates

01/11/10 through 03/07/10

Class Days


Class Time


Credit Hours


Rothenberg, Race, Class, and Gender in the United States, 7th edition. ISBN: 0-7167-5515-7

Between Barack and a Hard Place by Tim Wise ISBN-13: 9780872865006

Textbooks can be purchased through the MBS bookstore

Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore

Additional Resources:
Students will be given a choice of reading one of these books for their book report.

The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman
The Innocent Man by John Grisham
Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson & David Oliver
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

*Students may request to read a book not listed here but the book must be approved by the instructor. 

McAfee Memorial Library - Online information, links, electronic databases and the Online catalog. Contact the library for further assistance via email or at 800-270-4347.
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Resources for Current Students - A great place to look for all kinds of information http://www.park.edu/Current/.
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FAQ's for Online Students - You might find the answer to your questions here.

Course Description:
SW320 Human Diversity and Social Justice: This course provides a foundation of knowledge for more effective social work practice with a diversity of individuals and groups. It explores the background, worldview and special needs of groups which vary in such respects as race and ethnicity, religion, gender, disability, sexual orientation, and age. It is recommended that SO315 Minority Group Relations be taken prior to SW325. 3:0:3

Educational Philosophy:

Social work as a profession emerged in response to many challenges, inequalities and threats to the world's most vulnerable populations.  The demographic of those populations is constantly evolving, as is the nature of challenges that increasingly confront us all.

It is vitally important that citizens, regardless of their professional identity, be prepared to efficiently and critically consider their environment in order to identify, strategize, and communicate an effective response to the matters before them.  This is as true in business, science, education, and government service as it is in social work.

It is the intent of the faculty in the Department of Social Work to facilitate learners in the acquisition of such knowledge as will sere them, their families and their communities, throughout their lives.  Through the semester, world and local events will occur which may influence our academic, personal, or professional pursuits.  In light of such circumstances, the instructor reserves the right to amend the schedule of study. 

The facilitator's educational philosophy is one of interactiveness based on lectures, readings, dialogues, videos, websites, writing, student presentations and  guest speakers.  The facilitator will engage each learner in what is referred to as disputations learning to encourage the lively exploration of ideas, issues and contradictions.  The facilitator will ensure a safe environment for the exploration of topics.

Learning Outcomes:
  Core Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate the value of critical thinking as essential for the function of informed and responsible citizenry.
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of the value of diversity and cultivate an awareness of the similarities and differences among individuals and populations.
  3. Demonstrate a capacity to recognize and respond to social and political injustices.
  4. Demonstrate how understanding and acceptance of people who are different enables us to move toward a society that values rather than tolerates differences.
  5. Demonstrate an understanding that diversity is more than race and recognize that gender, race, and ethnic identity are socially constructed.
  6. Communicate an understanding of the special challenges and skills required for effective practice with diverse and at-risk populations.
  7. Express understanding of the public and private social welfare system related to the service needs of diverse populations.
  8. Describe your own personal values in the context of human diversity and social justice.

Core Assessment:

-Exam (LO 1-3, 6)

- “Letter from Jail” Essay (LO 3,8)

-Article Reviews (4)(LO 1)

-Publishable Article (LO 5,7,8)


-Core Assessment Assignment ;”Faces of Opression” paper

Link to Class Rubric

Class Assessment:
Weekly Discussions
Three postings are expected every week, and the postings must include: (1) main response (responding to a posted question) (2) a peer review (responding to another student’s answer to a question)

Participation is demonstrated through discussion. Grading will be based on clarity and completeness of thought, ideas supported by facts, logical arguments or research. You must mention your readings in all of your posts and cite the work.  Comments should be substantial and relevant to the topic, and contribute to further thought or reflection. The instructor will provide responses individually or to the class as a whole.

For additional information on online participation and netiquette, please visit:


Due very week.  Materials for quizzes and the final exam will come from discussion, readings, and lecture.

Email / Student Introduction
The very first week of the class you will be required to do make sure you can use PirateMail to send and reply to emails between you and me. You will also be required to "post" a Student Introduction using the Virtual Cafe link on the Course Home menu so all of us can get to know you a bit better. There are no points for this assignment, BUT if it is not completed in a timely manner, 20 points will be taken off your final point total at the end of the semester.

E-Journal Assignments:
Two postings are expected every week. The postings must include: (1) a weekly "e-journal" entry in which you identify instances where you have observed or experienced some manner of prejudice or discrimination. This can include anything that discriminates against an individual or group of people. Describe the behavior and make note of your personal thoughts and/or reactions. The second (2) entry must be a responds to a peer’s "e-journal" entry.

Analytical Book Report:  A few books have been listed under “Additional Readings.”  You are to read (at least) one of those books.  You are then to compose an analytical paper addressing the various types of prejudices and discriminations, which impacted the circumstances described in the book.  Similarly, you will identify and analyze the socio-political constructs impacting actions of the people.  Evaluation will consider your skills in writing, clarity, analysis and integration of beliefs, concepts, and information discussed in class and the assigned readings.  The papers must be written in APA style and be between 2 and three pages in length. 

Jail Letter:  Imagine that you have been incarcerated following an action of “civil disobedience.”  Your actions leading to the incarceration were intended on your part to represent your opposition to some unjust aspect in society.  This assignment consists of you writing a letter to a family member, close friend, co-worker, public official, or the public.  Address the following issues in the letter for proper credit:

  • What was the issue you were protesting?  This should be something you feel strongly about.   
  • What makes this issue to important to you?
  • What did you hope to accomplish with your civil disobedience?  
  • Were there other means to protest you did or could have used to get your point across?
  • Do you have a spiritual or ethical element related to your interest in this issue?  
  • What further action might you plan to take?
  • Would you ever resort to the use of violence to accomplish your goal?

You need to follow the guidelines and respond to each point noted.  This needs to be typed and in the proper format of a formal letter with address, names and salutations. 

Topical Reviews (three)

1.  Review on Racism: Provide four definitions of racism including your own.  Discuss your feelings regarding each definition.  Discuss the concept of White privilege based on your readings and personal experience. Give examples and discuss your feelings about each.  Describe two examples of racism from your personal experience and two examples of institutional racism that you are aware of personally or that you are aware of from readings.  Referring to Beverly Tatum's article on page 127 of "White Privilege", what is the distinction she makes between racist and racism?  Do you agree or disagree?   Discuss this.  Provide and discuss three examples of how language perpetuates racism.  According to Feagi and Vera (Race, Class and Gender), how do anti-racists come to recognize their own racism?  Based on all your various readings, what are your suggestions to overcoming racism?

This paper must be written in APA style and be between 2 and 3 pages long.

2.  Sexism:  Describe the concept of sexism from at least three differing sources, including one of your own.  These perspectives may be contradictory.  Document at least one published source that explains, defends, justifies, or rationalizes each perspective. Discuss gender roles in our society.  Discuss the popular image of men and women and how this contributes or distracts from your own opinion.  What do you believe is the solution to sexism in our society?  Describe from your own life at least two examples of sexism that you have personally experienced or observed.

This paper must be written in APA style and be between 2 and 3 pages long.

3.  Homophobia/Heterosexism:  Define homophobia and heterosexism.  Use your opinion plus another source.  Discuss your opinion as to how people become homophobic.  Describe at least one rationalization of justification for homophobia.  Describe a realistic response that may diminish one's rationalization or justification for homophobia.  Based on your own life experiences, what are some of the stereotypes of gays and lesbians?  Describe some means of refuting or diminishing these stereotypes.  How do these stereotypes or images of GLBT related to how they are treated?  Describe two examples of the obstacles other than violence that confronts GLBT in seeking civil equality and justice. Discuss two examples of the obstacles other than violence that confront GLBT in seeking equality and justice. Discuss what you personally can or will do.

This paper must be written in APA style and be between 2 and 3 pages long.

*NOTE:  this assignment is not intended to compel you to lie about or accept a lifestyle that may be contrary to your personal values.  It is intended to compel you to think about how we treat others in a civil and just manner.

Proctored Final Exam:  The exam will be a comprehensive, proctored exam.  It will consist of multiple choice questions and essay questions.

The exam will be taken in a proctored testing environment during the 8th week at one of the Park University sites around the country or at an alternative location. For proctored examinations, photo identification is required at the time of the test. Guidelines for selecting an acceptable proctor can be found on the Park University Website.
Other Information on proctored exams:

  • It will be the responsibility of the student to arrange for a proctor, by the 6th week of the term, which is accepted and approved by the course instructor.
  • Approval of proctors is the discretion of the online instructor.
  • A proctor request form will be made available to you during the first week of class so that you can send your requested proctor to your instructor for approval.  
  • Failure to take a final proctored exam (or submit your final project for some online graduate courses) will result in an automatic "F" grade.
Please disregard the above section entitled "Core Assessment."  The core assessment will be listed in the following. 

Core Assessment Paper:

Here are the key things to keep in mind regarding your Core Assessment Assignment:

  • The Core Assessment assignment for this class will be a major essay that integrates, analyzes, applies, and critiques several sociological concepts and research findings from this course.  You may use your textbooks for this assignment
  • You must incorporate the findings from at least five (5) outside sources of original academic research in this essay.   Wikipedia is not an academic source.  If you have questions, please ask me.  
  • You should also consider incorporating relevant and reputable statistical and other social scientific data collected by researchers, governments, and other agencies and organizations. A wealth of such archived data is publicly accessible through the Internet, and their use can help you better understand your issue and develop a stronger analysis and critique. Again, if in doubt, ask your instructor for approval of your data source.
  • If you do not properly cite those external sources that contributed to your work, then you are guilty of plagiarism. This will not be tolerated and may result in immediate and serious academic penalties. You are required to use the APA (American Psychological Association) guidelines for ALL formatting, citations, and references. For information on the APA style, format, style, and references: University of Purdue Online Writing Lab
  • The main text of your essay (the body) will be no shorter than 10 pages but no longer than 15. Begin work on your essay early and leave plenty of time for revision to assure the best possible grade. Also, your paper MUST BE DOUBLE-SPACED! 
  • Include thoughtful, meaningful examples to support your work and demonstrate your understanding.  This also shows me that you can apply the concept you are learning.  
  • MAKE SURE you format your paper so it is easy to read. There are three (3) "sections" to the assignment, so break you work into readable "chunks" based upon the "sections" identified below.   This entails using subheadings.  Those are to be centered.  You may add other subheadings as well. 


Section I - Social Inequality in Your Life

In this section, I would like you to cover your social location and the issues that describe you.  From there, I would like you to expand and discuss areas such as social class, gender, ethnicity, race, and  educational level, etc.  This could be about both the past and present.  What was your upbringing like?  How have these areas affected your life in terms of inequality?  This area may be a great place for you to discuss your life chances.

Section II - Interview

Select a person who differs from you on several of the dimensions that you wrote about in the above section.  Describe their life much like you have your own.  Then compare and contrast your social locations and life chances. 

Final Analysis-Conclusion

In this section, you should write your thoughts on what the future holds for both you and the person you interviewed.  What have you based your opinions on?  What could cause a change in these results? What could even out those life chances?  How likely are they to happen?  If others knew what you now know how could this affect change? 

As a social worker how does learning about inequalities that others face affect you work?  Why is it important to know how inequality has affected you? 

The final course grade will be based on discussions, quizzes, writing assignments, the core assessment, and the final exam as follows:

(8 x 10)   80
(8 x 10)   80
Book Report  
Jail Letter
Racism paper 
Sexism Paper
Core Assessment Paper 
Final Exam

Total Points 


Grading Scale:
90% and higher = A 1000-900
80-89% = B             899-80
70-79% = C             799-70
60-69% = D             699-60
59% and lower = F    599-0

Late Submission of Course Materials:
The instructor will not accept late assignments.  Assignments not submitted on the due date will receive a grade of "zero."  There are few exceptions to this policy.  Extreme circumstances may be discussed with the instructor to make other assignment arrangements.  It is the STUDENT'S RESPONSIBILITY to contact the instructor in advance to discuss the situation and seek approval in a timely fashion.  If the instructor agree to the submission of late work, 10 points will be deducted per day that the assignment is late.  Arrangements for work to be turned in on time if a student will not be present for class must be made by the student.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:

This class is one that the subject matter can be very sensitive at times.  It is important that student's respect the opinions of others.  I do not anticipate any problems with regard to rudeness in our class.  I do want everyone to know that the classroom is a safe place to discuss varying opinions.  It is only through safe expression of thoughts and ideas that learning occurs.  This is a university class and everyone deserves our respect and understanding when they share their opinions and comments.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:
Please print a copy of the Course Schedule as soon as you log into the course as this will give you the schedule for the class. 

Week I - This week’s readings and discussions will cover the concept of Social Construction (Rothenberg).

  • Racial Formations
  • Jim Crowe
  • Social Construction of Gender
  • Mental illness and law
  • Invention of Heterosexuality
  • Domination and Subordination

Assignments Due:
Discussion Question

Week 2 - This week’s readings and discussions will cover the concept of Understanding Racism, Sexism, Heterosexualism and Class Privilege (Rothenberg).

  • Defining Racism
  • Internalized Racism
  • Oppression
  • Patriarchy
  • Homophobia
  • White Privilege
  • Class in America

Assignments Due:
Discussion Question
Jail Letter

Week 3 – This week’s readings and discussions will cover the concepts of Complicating Questions of Race and Ethnicity (Rothenberg).

  • Census Bureau Predicts Diverse U.S. Future
  • Immigration and the U.S.
  • Recasting Moving Shelves
  • Studies of Belonging
  • The Myth of the Model Minority
  • Racial Relations Becoming More Complex
  • “Is This a White Country or What?”


Assignments Due:
Discussion Question
Racism Paper

Week 4 – This week’s readings and discussions will cover the concepts of  Discrimination in Everyday Life (Rothenberg).

  • The Problem: Discrimination
  • Abercrombie Settles Class – Action Suit
  • Women in the State Police
  • North Carolina State U. Is Ordered to Pay
  • Asian- Americans Want On Air Apology
  • The Segregated Classrooms of a Proudly Diverse School
  • College Choices are Limited for Students from Needy Families
  • Lesbian Sues School District

Assignments Due:
Discussion Question
Sexism Paper

Week 5 - This week’s readings and discussions will cover the concepts of
Economics of Race, Class, and Gender in the U.S. (Rothenberg).

  • U.S. Poverty Rate Was up Last Year
  • Wealth Gap Between Races Widens
  • Still at the Periphery
  • The Economic Reality of Being Latina/o in the U.S.
  • The Economic Reality of Being Asian American
  • Women’s Pay
  • Immigration’s Aftermath

Assignments Due:
Discussion Question
Homophobia/Heterosexism Paper

Week 6 - This week’s readings and discussions will cover the concepts of Some Consequences of Race, Class and Gender Inequality (Rothenberg).

  • The Arab Woman and I
  • Suicide Note
  • Crossing the Border Without Losing Your Past
  • The Event of Becoming
  • What I Learned about Jews
  • Pigskin, Patriarchy, and Pain
  • Out of the Closet but Not Out of Middle School
  • More and More Young Women Chose Surgical “Perfection.”

Assignments Due:
Discussion Question
Book Report

Week 7 - This week’s readings and discussions will cover the concepts of, How it Happened and Maintaining Race, Class and Gender Hierarchies (Rothenberg).

  • Indian Tribes
  • An Act Prohibiting the Teaching of Slaves to Read
  • The Black Codes
  • Roe V. Wade
  • Lesbian and Gay Rights in Historical Perspective
  • Self – Fulfilling Stereotypes
  • White Lies
  • Am I Thin Enough Yet?
  • Still Separate, Still Unequal
  • Blaming the Victim

Assignments Due:
Discussion Question
Core Assessment

Week 8 - This week’s readings and discussions will cover the concepts of Social Change:  Revisioning the Future and Making a Difference (Rothenberg).

  • Age, Race, Class and Sex
  • A New Vision of Masculinity
  • Interrupting the Cycle  of Oppression
  • Rice Shirts Make More Than a Fashion Statement
  • Students Confront Sweatshops
  • Here. Now. Do Something

Assignments Due:
Discussion Question
Final Exam


Academic Honesty:
Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life.   Park University 2008-2009 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87

Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing. Park University 2009-2010 Undergraduate Catalog Page 92

Attendance Policy:
Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.

  1. The instructor may excuse absences for valid reasons, but missed work must be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  2. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  3. In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a semester/term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of "F".
  4. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  5. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance or Veterans Administration educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the semester/term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.
  6. Report of a "F" grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for those students who are receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned in item 5 above will be reported to the appropriate agency.
ONLINE NOTE: An attendance report of "P" (present) will be recorded for students who have logged in to the Online classroom at least once during each week of the term. Recording of attendance is not equivalent to participation. Participation grades will be assigned by each instructor according to the criteria in the Grading Policy section of the syllabus.

Park University 2009-2010 Undergraduate Catalog Page 95

Disability Guidelines:
Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: http://www.park.edu/disability .


CompetencyExceeds Expectation (3)Meets Expectation (2)Does Not Meet Expectation (1)No Evidence (0)

•Identifies the 5 “Faces of Oppression” relative to each of the assigned 4 areas of risk.

•Contribution in class discussion reflects interpretation & awareness of oppression  related to the reading,  to self, and to similar but unrelated world events.

•Responds to comments by others in a matter that leads to exploration of new or unique perspectives..


•Identifies the 5 “Faces of Oppression” relative to each of the assigned 4 areas of risk. CO1,3,6,7

•Contribution in class discussion reflects interpretation & awareness of oppression  related to the reading and to self.

•Responds to comments by others.


•Identifies one of the “Faces of Oppression” relative to each of the assigned 4 areas of risk.

•Contributes in class only by direct prompting or by responding to comments by others.


•Fails to link the “Faces of Oppression” to the areas of risk.

•Does not contribute verbally to discussion.

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 Multicultural                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
•Identifies three or more distinct risks/challenges/actions in each of the 4 areas of risk.

•Relates the reading to personal and contemporary values & behaviors.

•Identifies two distinct risks/challenges/actions in each of the 4 areas of risk. CO1,3,6

•Relates the reading to personal and contemporary values & behaviors. CO2,4,6,8

•Identifies a risk/challenge/action in each of the 4 areas of risk.

•Relates the reading to a single personal or contemporary values or behaviors

•Fails to identify risks / challenges / actions in any one of the 4 areas of risk.

•Relates a single personal or contemporary value without linking to the reading.

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 Multicultural                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
•Relative to women and children: Identifies & applies knowledge from  multiple historical or culturally isolated event to multiple  contemporary domestic and/or world issues. •Relative to women and children: Identifies & applies knowledge from a historical or culturally isolated event to a contemporary domestic or world issues. CO2,4,5,6 •Links a historical or culturally isolated event to a contemporary domestic or world issues. •Identifies a contemporary or historical war or conflict. 
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 Multicultural                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
No factual errors No more than 2 factual errors relative to the assigned reading. 3 to 4 factual errors 5 or more factual errors 
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 Multicultural                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
Appropriately identifies and links the “faces of oppression” to circumstances described in the reading. Extrapilates on the circumstances to understand or anticipate other forces of oppression not specifically described. Appropriately identifies and links the “faces of oppression” to circumstances described in the reading. Identifies “faces of oppression” without establishing a link to events described in the reading. Inappropriately identifies or misinterprets the “faces of oppression.” Does not link the “faces” to events described in the reading. 
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 Multicultural                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
Identifies two or more potential barriers or negative outcomes.

Identifies an alternative intervention to counter any barriers or negative outcomes.

Clearly describes personal insight, values and judgements relative to the events described. Describes a personal judgement or opinion relative to the events described. Relates a personal judgement without linking it to the reading.

Whole Artifact                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
No errors in writing conventions 1 to 5 errors in spelling or grammar 6 to 10 errors in spelling or grammar 10+ grammatical or spelling errors. 
Contains no errors in the following paper format items:



-Page numbers

-Works cited

-Internal documentation

Contains only 1 error in the following paper format items:



-Page numbers

-Works cited

-Internal documentation

Contains 2 to 3 errors in the following paper format items:



-Page numbers

-Works cited

-Internal documentation

Contains 4 or more errors in the following paper format items:



-Page numbers

-Works cited

-Internal documentation

•Exhibits an awareness and concern for matters of social & economic justice.

• Exhibits an awareness as to how matters of human diversity influence the application of the forces of justice with individuals and groups. (Micro)

• Exhibits an awareness as to how matters of human diversity influences the development and application of social and economic justice in the establishment of law. (macro)

•Exhibits an awareness and concern for matters of social & economic justice.

• Exhibits an awareness as to how matters of human diversity influence the application of the forces of justice with individuals and groups. (Micro)

• oes not demonstrate a consistent awareness or concern for significant issues or threats. •Does not demonstrate any awareness or concern for significant issues or threats. 


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Last Updated:12/22/2009 3:22:10 PM