Diversity Syllabus


|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 1999
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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Baird, Robert M. and Rosenbaum, Stuart E. (Eds.) (1992). Bigotry, prejudice and hatred: definitions, causes & solutions. Buffalo, NY: Prometheus Books, 234 pps
Tannen, D. (1990). You just don't understand. New York: Ballentine
Guthrie, Robert V. (1998). Even the rat was white: A historical view of psychology, (2nd Ed).Needham Heights, MA: Allyn&Bacon.
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 25  I ntro - Choose Group
 Aug 27  Practice electronic Search
 Sept 01  Read & Discuss ethnic biographies
 Sept 03  Read & Discuss ethnic biographies
 Sept 08  Bonsai
 Sept 10  Bigotry, prejudice and hatred - Chaps 1-9
 Sept 15  Film - Cosby on Prejudice
 Sept 17  NO CLASS
 Sept 22  Bigotry, prejudice and hatred - Chaps 10-18
 Sept 24  Film - Still Killing us Softly & Stale Roles and Tight Buns
 Sept 29  Readings on Gender
 Oct 01  You just don't understand - Chaps 1-5
 Oct 06  You just don't understand - Chaps 6-10
 Oct 08  EXAM
 Oct 13  Readings on Blacks
 Oct 15  Film - Ethnic Notions
 Oct 20  Even the rat was white - Chaps 1-4
 Oct 22  Even the rat was white - Chaps 5-9
 Oct 27  GUEST
 Oct 29  Readings on Class, Ethnicity, Religion
 Nov 03  Families on the Fault line - Chaps 1-6
 Nov 05   Families on the Fault line - Chaps 7-11
 Nov 10  Film - No place like Home
 Nov 12  Readings on Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals
 Nov 17  Film - Out: Stories of Lesbian and Gay Youth
 Nov 19  The World Out There pgs 1-100
 Dec 01   The World Out There p gs101-end
 Dec 03  Evaluating similarities and differences

EXAM 9-12 DEC 09

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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.

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.