This paper describes how conservative shifts in American political thinking can obstruct discussions about race, ethnicity and culture in so-called “diversity” and multicultural courses in academic psychology. The authors, both teachers of psychology, examine the serious implications that a shifting political landscape presents for courses on race, ethnicity, gender and culture. Classroom techniques that may counter the reality of conservative action in the Academy are discussed, including some methods for continuing to deepen the meaning that psychology students take from the examination of multicultural topics. For the present authors, diversity and multi-cultural courses, particularly in psychology, must continue to include cultural sensitivity, belief in the essential importance of community research which includes the perspectives of “the other”, and constant, painstaking self-examination on the part of the teacher (Ridley, 2005). However, the very ground on which this assumption has rested for the last thirty or so years is moving and shifting under our very feet. It is hoped that the experiences of the authors teaching “the diversity course” can support others who seek to keep teaching similar courses even as the shadow of conservatism lengthens.
Wells, Y. V., & Harkins, D. A. (2009). Teaching the Diversity Course in Conservative Times. Pedagogy and the Human Sciences, 1 (1), 60-72. Retrieved from http://scholarworks.merrimack.edu/phs/vol1/iss1/3