Human Diversity

Discipline: Sociology
Instructor: Mackelprang
Credits: 3

Field Work: Day 2 - Wednesday, 30 March | Ghana Download Syllabus

In this course we will examine historical, contemporary, and evolving meanings of diversity in the US, the countries we are visiting, and globally. We will explore and develop unifying frameworks from with to explore diverse identities and cultures based on characteristics such as race and ethnicity, sex and gender, economic status, spirituality and religion, disability, and gender identity and sexual orientation. We will also study how power imbalances contribute to privilege as well as discrimination and oppression. 

Field Work

Country: Ghana
Day: 2 - Wednesday, 30 March

This field lab will expose students to issues facing Ghanaian citizens and families, including those with disabilities. The Catholic Orthopaedic Training Center and Hospital (OTC) is the primary provider of orthotics and prosthetics in Ghana, with residential services as well as traveling clinics that serve remote communities throughout the country. We will travel to Nsawam to visit OTC to learn about their work with infants born with “club foot” and their parents; and OTC’s work in family preservation for Ghanaians with disabilities. We will meet OTC staff, visit with disabled participants, and tour their workshop and residential facilities. We will also meet with the director and students of their new Orthotics Training College to discuss education and training in Ghana.
In the afternoon, we will travel to Accra's business district, Osu to visit to visit to Engage Now Africa offices and talk Bernice Ankrah to learn about Days for Girls, a program targeted for adolescent girls. We will also learn about the impact of micro loans and students. After this, students will have an opportunity to visit Bernice's shop.

Academic Objectives:
1. Understand challenges and supports relative to families with disabilities in Ghana including issues such as to urban-rural families, income and poverty, health and family policies.
2. Analyze the positive and negative impacts of people and organizations from “developed countries” on Ghanaians, including microcredit loans for business.
3. Learn about peoples, cultures, and beliefs of West Africa and compare and contrast them with beliefs and values common in North America.
4. Compare and contrast educational approaches and resources in Ghana with North America.
5. Learn about cultural and gender issues in Ghana.