|Course objectives|Attendance|Schedule|TextReviews|Assignments|Web Resources|Readings|Grading| Film Reviews|Activities

Dr. Barbara K. Sholley

Office Hours: 2:30 - 3:30, TR, and by appointment
Fall 2001
The Psychology of Diversity covers a wide range of concepts. It examines the roles of language, culture, social psychology, personality, and cognitive processes to determine how these work together to create the magnification and maintenance of stereotypic differences between and among groups.

The course will give students an opportunity to explore human diversity from a wide range of theoretical and methodological perspectives that are causative and reflective of culture. Students should emerge from the course with a more profound understanding of groups other than their own. Misconceptions, and even prejudice where it exists, should be replaced by knowledge.


1. To introduce students to the various methodologies within psychology including qualitative and quantitative research. This will be accomplished through the wide variety of readings ranging from oral histories, to interviews, to current experimental reports.

2. To recognize the biological as well as the social perspectives and contributions to diversity issues in psychology.

3. To have students model the evaluation of research and theory reported in the assigned class readings. This is accomplished through class discussions of the readings where the class articulates the arguments and counters with alternative explanations for the findings.

4. To introduce students to examples of recent research on specific topics. They will also encounter a limited amount of older research, included to assure inclusive coverage of variables considered in the course.

5. To have students individually integrate and critically evaluate a sub-set of the literature. This will be accomplished on a daily basis through discussion of the readings and also by a research paper.

6. To introduce and/or reinforce the use of APA style in the writing of papers including proper citations. All students, including non majors, are encouraged to purchase the APA Publication Manual, and upperclass students are encouraged to assist underclass students with the format of their papers.

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Sampson, E. E. ((19990. Dealing with difference: An introduction to the social psychology of prejudice. Orlando:Harcourt College Publishers.
Tannen, D. (1990). You just don't understand. New York: Ballentine.

Edwards, A. & Polite, C. K. (1992). Children of the dream: The psychology of black success. New York: Anchor Books.

Rubin, Lillian (1994). Families on the Fault Line. New York, NY: HarperCollins.
Ford, Michael Thomas (1996). The World Out There. New York, NY: New Press.

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TEXT REVIEWS if you wish to read more about these and other related texts.

ATTENDANCE POLICY: Students are expected to be in class unless they have an appropriate excuse. Being present for presentations and exams is taken for granted. This class is primarily a discussion class which requires active participation!
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 Aug 29

 I ntro - Choose Group

 Aug 31

 Practice electronic Search

 Sept 05

 Read & Discuss ethnic biographies

 Sept 07

 Read & Discuss ethnic biographies

 Sept 12


 Sept 14

 Dealing with difference - Chaps 1-8

 Sept 19

 Film - Cosby on Prejudice

 Sept 21

  Dealing with difference - Chaps 9-16

 Sept 26


 Film - Still Killing us Softly & Stale Roles and Tight Buns


 Sept 28

 Readings on Gender

 Oct 03

 You just don't understand - Chaps 1-5

 Oct 05


 Oct 10

 You just don't understand - Chaps 6-10

 Oct 12


 Oct 17

 Readings on Afro-Americans

 Oct 19

 Film - Ethnic Notions

 Oct 24

Children of the Dream - Chaps 1-6

 Oct 26

 Children of the Dream - Chaps 7-12

 Oct 31


 Nov 02

 Readings on Class, Ethnicity, Religion

 Nov 07

 Families on the Fault line - Chaps 1-6

 Nov 09

  Families on the Fault line - Chaps 7-11

 Nov 14

 Film - No place like Home

 Nov 16

 Readings on Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals

 Nov 28

 Film - Out: Stories of Lesbian and Gay Youth

 Nov 30

 The World Out There pgs 1-100

 Dec 05

  The World Out There p gs101-end

 Dec 07

 Evaluating similarities and differences

EXAM 2-5 DEC 13, Thursday

Click here for Film Reviews

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1. Ethnic History is due on the third class day: Type a three page personal ethnic history. This paper should describe your ethnic identity. For example, what kind of jokes does your family tell or spurn? What kinds of foods do you eat, especially at certain times of the year? What are your family expectations about education? Who lives with your family or who do you visit often? What is the role of language within your family? Do you have an accent? How does the region of the country you are from affect you? These are not limiting, but are rather suggestions about topics to think about when writing your history. These papers will be read aloud during class so that everyone has the opportunity to learn about everyone else.

2. Research Proiect: Each of you individually will write a paper that addresses your group topic. You should be able to learn to think critically about a psychological topic that personally intrigues you. You will be able to be more skeptical about research, understand how biasing occurs, and develop alternate hypotheses. You should also learn to appreciate diversity and understand how the very nature of diversity can limit (or enhance) individuals' potential. You should also become fascinated with the world of research. Early in the semester the class will visit the library electronically and learn how to conduct background research for your paper. The nature of the past research will help you to determine what kind of paper you want to write as well as what areas have already been investigated.
All types of papers require acquiring your own data. The methodologies differ.

Types of papers (and examples): (from Margaret Matlin)

A. Archival Analysis. A quantified inspection of magazines, books, and other media or documents. Select a sufficiently narrow topic so that the information is manageable. This could be an paper that uses the Internet if that is a place that you are skilled. Sample titles:

"Gender stereotyping of leisure activities as portrayed in travel brochures"

"How gender influences Talk Show Interviews"

"Regional newspaper coverage of the Sharon Bottoms case"

B. Questionnaires. Devise your own questionnaire and distribute to an appropriate sample of respondents. The questions need to examine interests, activities, and beliefs. Attach all data. Sample titles:

"Level of job satisfaction at UR across staff positions"

"Perceptions of second generation Europeans concerning the demise of Communism"


"Admission standards to universities: Should they change in order to guarantee diversity?"


C. Naturalistic observation. Record behavior in a natural setting. This can include non-verbal as well as verbal behavior. You could also make a video and provide your own commentary.

"Dancing patterns of Afro-Americans in all black or predominately white settings"

"Common activities of blue collar workers on a Saturday afternoon"

It is important that regardless of what you choose to do that you follow APA ethical guidelines. This means that you need to guarantee anonymity for participants, keep all information confidential, not invade personal privacy without informed consent, and not cause any psychological or physical harm. Informed consent is difficult to obtain in observations, so we can ask other students and faculty whether they believe that the research falls within ethical guidelines. If you choose to complete a questionnaire, then you need to have your proposal reviewed by the Institutional Review Board. This permission is not difficult to obtain, but there are forms to complete and the process takes about a week. You will need to plan ahead.

Style and due dates of papers

The papers will be written in APA format and style. If you have not purchased an APA Publication Manual, this might be the right time for you to do so. The final paper needs to include an Abstract, Introduction [background information, forumlation of question], Methods [selection of materials or subjects, collect information], Results [patterns, data analysis], Discussion, [interpretations, conclusions] and References.



3.Blackboard. Because this is a class that may provide you with information that conflict with what you believe and may challenge some of your values, it is important that you have the opportunity to express yourself, especially to each other. You also may find that class time won't always allow "finishing" a topic. As a result we will have group journals on the blackboard forum. Here are the rules.

a. Everyone must participate.

b. No more than once a week, 10 times throughout the semester [there are 14 weeks in a semester, so plan ahead], you will address the forum. If you already know how to do this, please help others. Your entries should be at least one substantive paragraph, or longer (but try to keep the length manageable for others.) Expect to spend at least 20 minutes. on writing. The objective is to give you lots of practice expressing your ideas in writing without the concern of being graded on that writing. In addition you will have an opportunity to explore and share ideas that may help you choose a research topic.

c. You cannot get this requirement over in a hurry by writing multiple entries in a single week. This is a semester-long project.

d. Before you write your entry, read all those already written by your group members. Do not write to your professor. Your audience is your classmates.

e. Occasionally your professor will write - just like everyone else and will offer topics. You, too, may change a topic if you feel one is getting stale. Only the professor can open a forum. These will be labeled by week, and there may be some questions that are available. Even so you may begin a new thread.

4. Diversity Awareness - to become more personally aware of the complexity of diversity issues.

In this project, you should find a way to experience cultures that are different from your own. Attend lectures, see documentaries, visit churches, attend social events, participate in volunteer activities [See coordinator of LINCS]. (Fortunately, the University of Richmond has made a good effort to provide you with many of these opportunities. Take advantage of them. There are many ethnic festivals in the city of Richmond. Class differences are obvious within the university environment. Try to find a place where you will be the minority person. Write approximately a 2-page paper about your experience. What was the general nature of what you did or read? What did you observe? What did you learn? What kind of biases do or do not exist?

5. Class Discussions: The class will be arbitrarily separated into four sections: gender; race; class,and ethnicity/religion; and gay, lesbian, bisexual . Each of you will select one of these groups for the core articles! Feel free to be original in your presentation -- fish bowls, skits, transparencies, etc. Be sure to stress THREE points from each of the core articles that you think are critical to the authors' point. Build your discussion around those 3 points. Remember that you are TEACHING this material. What you don't want to do is lose your audience. If there is something you would like your fellow students to have prepared before your presentation be sure to give them advance notice. (If anyone who is not a member of a particular group wishes to read the core readings, they will be available outside my office.)


The reading group will know "extra" material that would normally be the basis for lectures on the topic. Each member of the group will be responsible for ALL of the material. You should be able to discuss all the articles, interact with each other about similarities and differences and show how "extra" articles either support or disconfirm information you have learned. We present evidence in order to persuade and in order to illuminate. When you present information for the rest of the class, keep your points in mind. You may even want to provide an outline. Note that active listeners learn more than passive listeners. Feel free to use multi -media equipment with which you are familiar. As you prepare this information, realize that you may entertain if you wish but entertainment should enhance the points that you are making rather than be your sole purpose. Remember, too, that you need to work cooperatively. You are not merely having a conversation with your classmates but are TEACHING them information that only your group has mastered.


B. Keep a page of notes. On this page record at least five complete thoughts, ideas, reflections, or ideas about that reading that you will be willing to discuss in class. Examples might include



Bem, S.L. (1987). Probing the promise of androgyny. In M.R. Walsh (ed.) The psychology of women: Ongoing debates. New Haven: Yale University Press, pp.206-245. (both pro and con positions)

Caplin, P. J. & Caplin, J. B. (1994). A brief historical perspective on sex-difference research. In Thinking Critically about Research on Sex and Gender., New York: Harper Collins, 11-18.

Money, J. (1994). The concept of gender identity disorder in childoohd and adolescence after 39 years. Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, 20, (3), 163-177.

Reynolds, C. A. & Hewitt, J. K. (1995). Issues in the behavior genetic investigation of gender differences. In Turner, J. R., Cardon, L. R. & Hewitt, J. K. (Eds.) Behavior genetic approaches in behavioral medicine. New York: Plenum Press., 189-199.

Rosser, P. (Ap, 1987). Sex bias in college admission tests: Why women lose out. Cambridge, MA:FairTest.

Schwartz S. (1991). Women and depression: A Durkheimian perspective. Social Science and Medicine, 32, (2), 127-140.


Allen, W. R. (Spring, 1992). The color of success: African-American college student outcomes at predominantly white and historically black public colleges and universities. Harvard Educational Review, 62, (1), 26-44.

Biafora, Jr. F. A., Taylor, D. L., Warheit, C. J., Zimmerman, R. S. & Vega, W. A. (Aug, 1993). Cultural mistrust and racial awareness among ethnically diverse black adolescent boys. Journal of Black Psvchology, 19, 19, (3), 266-281.

Berry, G. L. (Sum,1998). Black family life on television and the socialization of the African American child: Images of marginality. Journal of Comparative Family Studies., 29. (2), 233-242.

Block, N. (1995). How heritability misleads about race. Cognition, 56 , 99-128.

Gorey, K.V. & Cryns, A. G. (1995).Lack of racial differences in behavior: A quantitative replication of Rushton's (1988) review and an independent meta-analysis. Personality and Individual Differences, 19, (3) 345-353.

Marshall, S. (1995). Ethnic socialization of African American children: Implications for parenting, identity development, and academic achievement. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 24, (4),377-39


Dion, K.L. & Dion, K. K. (1993). Gender and ethnocultural comparisons in styles of love. Psychologyof Women Quarterly, , 17, 463-473.

Huston, A. C., McLoyd, V. C., & Garcia Coll, C. (1997). Poverty and behavior: The case for mulitple methods and levels of analysis. Developmental Review, 17, 376-393.

Rossiter, J. R. & Chan, A. M. (1998). Ethnicity in business and consumer behavior. Journal of Business Research, 42, 127-134.
Peng, S. S. & Wright, D. (July/Aug, 1994). Explanation of academic achievement of Asian American students. Journal of Educational Research, 87, (6), 346-352
Rushton,J. P. (1996). Political correctness and the study of racial differences. Journal of Social Distress and the Homeless, 5, (2), 213-229

Whitfield, K. E. & Miles, T. P. (1995) Studying ethnicity and behavioral medicine. In Turner, J. R., Cardon, L. R. & Hewitt, J. K. (Eds.) Behavior genetic approaches in behavioral medicine. New York: Plenum Press., 210-213.


Consiorek, John C. (1993) Mental health issues of gay and lesbian adolescents in L. D. Carnets & D. C. Kimmel (Eds.), Psvchological perspectives on lesbian and gay male experiences. New York: Columbia University Press, 469 - 485.

Chan, Connie 5. (1995) Issues of sexual identity in an ethnic minority: The case of Chinese American lesbians, gay men, and bisexual people, in D'Augelli, A. R. & Patterson, C. J. (Eds.), Lesbian. gay. and bisexual identities over the lifespan. New York: Oxford University Press, 87-101.

Demo, David H. & Allen, Katherine R. (1996). Diversity within lesbian and gay families: Challenges and implications for family theory and research. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships., 13, (3), SAGE:Thousand Oaks, CA, 415-434.

Levay, Simon (1993). The sexual brain. Cambridge, MA:MIT Press, 105-130.

Rosarlo, Margaret, Rotheram-Borus, Mary Jane, & Reid, Helen, (April, 1996). Gay-related stress and its correlates among gay and bisexual male adolescents of predominantly black and hispanic background, Journal of Communitv Psvchology. 24 , 136-159.

Stokes, Joseph P., McKirnan, David J., Dolla, Lynday, & Burzette, Rebessa C., (1996). Female partners of bisexual men. Psvchology of Women Ouarterlv. 20, 267-284.

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