LSTD 3333: Human Arrangements – Troubled Institutions and Problems of Inequality
Have you ever asked yourself what the purpose of government is? Or why something like the economy should matter? If you have, you’re not alone! Through a series of guided exercises, Human Arrangements tackles some of the toughest questions that challenge modern society today, and examines several subsystems that structure the way we live, work and interact.
Human Arrangements is cool because it cuts straight to the heart of the systems that facilitate society’s very survival. It examines issues that could affect major institutions – from centralized institutions, like family, to those that affect the national population, like health care, education, the economy and the interaction of government. The course also addresses problems that arise from inequality among groups in society, including poverty, elderly and young, minority and majority, and gender.
Characteristic of many liberal studies courses, Human Arrangements uses a broad-based approach to examine a complex issue. Students are systematically guided through each component of the social system and are asked to analyze each part. To that end, each unit of the course is designed to approach the topic from a different perspective.
The first unit focuses on the sweeping changes our family system has gone through. It examines how and why our education systems are mired in one crisis after another and society’s profound influence on our health. Then the class tackles the seemingly vast and confusing systems of our economy before focusing on the misery of the poor and the violent face of ethnic relations. The final unit, an analysis of how physical realities can manifest in institutions, focuses on the social phenomenon of aging and the debate of the proper roles of women and men in our society.
Throughout the course, students are introduced to the inner workings of the societies in which they live and work. They leave the class with a thorough understanding of the institutions that surround them, and will be able to use this knowledge to succeed in their personal and professional lives.
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