Perspectives

The Perspective courses have an interdisciplinary focus and are designed to provide students with a better understanding of the contemporary world. Pers 2001 and Pers 2002 count for 2 credits; one of the courses may be used to fulfill requirements of the Core in Area B, Institutional Options.

Pers 2001 Perspectives on Comparative Culture explores our world through the study of different cultures. Each section of the course offered explores a different aspect of our world and of our culture. Some of the recent offerings include Comparative Musical Cultures, Comparative Religious Cultures, Global Business and Society, World Foods, Families in Contemporary Societies, Culture and Poverty, and Latino Literature and Culture in America.

In the United States and across the globe, law is a major instrument that shapes and/or reflects public policy.  This course will provide an introduction to law and the American legal system and explore the legal systems of other nations.  We will examine critically the role of courts in the development of public policy.  We will address the similarities and differences in policymaking by American and foreign legal institutions.  Specifically, this course offers comparative perspectives on contemporary legal issues and corresponding policies that are implemented to address such issues in the United States and other developing nations.  Students will be exposed to a wide range of domestic and international issues and debates — capital punishment, family planning/abortion, immigration, racial sentencing disparities, etc.  We will investigate how these conflicts have influenced and informed policy decisions in different nations and across various cultures. 

The purpose of this course is to examine how culture contributes to the shaping of a nation’s response to poverty and human need. The course will examine multifaceted perspectives on poverty and human need in comparative social welfare systems in the United States and other developed and developing countries using a range of scholarly and popular resources. Such resources may include the Internet, television, movies, and readings from various sources. 

In this course, students are introduced to basic principles of comics theory and encouraged to practice critical thinking skills in the reading of fourteen graphic novels. In turn, these illustrated narratives familiarize students with a number of controversial historic events and global issues. On the whole, the course is designed as a journey through time and space, educating students on the cultural politics of diverse nationalities vis-à-vis American identity. 

Perspectives in Multicultural Popular Music will enhance your knowledge, appreciation, and celebration of “difference” and “diversity,” as it pertains to culture and music in America’s historical soundscape.  A comparative and integrative approach will be taken to the study of such diverse musical styles as Native Americans, European Americans, African Americans, Asian Americans, and Chicano-Latino Americans.

Are humans hardwired for violence?  Do we always know violence when we see it? Why are values often considered as positive –such as loyalty, solidarity or patriotism—so often involved in the spread of violence?  What alternatives work, and when?  This course sets out to respond to these questions, by examining the nature, function and meaning of violence in different cultural contexts, as well as the strategies that societies and individuals have developed to manage or transcend violence. The topics to be covered include studies of the management of violence in “feuding” societies, responses to poverty and other forms of structural violence, the logic of terrorism, and the philosophy of non-violence.  While the class readings will be global in scope, we will also address the place of violence in the contemporary world, especially with regard to questions of imperialism, neoliberalism, gender stereotypes and racism that arise in particular out of international relations this century.

We are often told that “young people today” are apathetic – fundamentally uninterested in the world around them.  This course will question that commonsense understanding through the interrogation of youth identities in various cultural and national contexts.  In order to do so, we will first analyze the category “youth” to understand the ways in which such categories carry a whole host of assumptions involving the young/adult binary.  In order to analyze these questions specifically, we will focus on five specific (mythic) identifiers commonly attached to youth:  INNOCENT, PASSIVE, OUT-OF-CONTROL, DANGEROUS, and APATHETIC.  Through studying texts by and about youth, this course inquires into the ways youth learn to negotiate social, political, and economic situations, including ways youth resist oppressive structures and work for social change. 

Pers 2002 Scientific Perspectives on Global Problems examines scientific approaches to important issues on the environment, public health, or technology. Some of the recent offerings include Business and Technology, Drug Use and Abuse, Aggression and Violence, Environmental Impact on Health, Comparative Policy Analysis of Health Care Systems, and Crisis, Leadership, and Public Policy.

This course will explore non-technical aspects of health care from the perspectives of diverse cultural backgrounds. The overall goal of the course is to improve the cultural understanding and knowledge (cultural competence) of students relative to health care in predominately western and eastern cultures. Develop a perspective of the complex health care needs of individuals and families of different social, cultural and ethnic backgrounds. Compare and contrast allopathic health care practices with complementary and alternative health care practices.

 We will look at the various types of white collar offending in several fields.  The impact that white-collar crime has on the lives of all citizens will be discussed, as will its prevalence in the United States. We will talk about why such offenses are difficult to prosecute.  Technology, globalization, and social change will also play major roles in class discussions, as will race, gender, and socioeconomic status. 

*Please note that some sections may be reserved for Freshman Learning Communities. No overflows can be granted for these sections.

For more information on Perspectives, call 404-413-2052 or come to the Office of Undergraduate Studies on the 14th floor of 25 Park Place.

Faculty members who wish to propose a new Perspectives course should complete the following form .