This course—jointly taught by professors of political science, anthropology, and psychology—offers a global perspective on human rights and social justice. The first part of the course will provide a cross-cultural introduction to prejudice and discrimination, social justice, intergroup relations, and human rights. For example, we’ll examine what human rights are, how they work in various parts of the world, and why they’re important. In the next part of the course, we’ll focus on specific cases of discrimination and social domination involving political, religious, and ethnic persecution, caste-based biases, and racial discrimination. During this part of the course, the class sessions and accompanying homework assignments will often relate to the port cities visited during our voyage. For instance, we’ll look at political rights when visiting Burma, caste differences when visiting India, and race relations when visiting South Africa. In addition, each port stay will be preceded with a briefing on human rights in that country. Finally, the course will end with a look at future trends and debates, including movements to grant legal rights to nonhuman primates, the role of transnational actors such as the United Nations, and effective strategies to promote social justice and safeguard human rights.
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