SOCY 699L: Selected Topics in Sociology; Diversity in the Military

Students in this course will analyze the effects of various individual characteristics, especially gender, race/ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, and family status on military involvement and experience, and how these influence post-military life for those who serve. Students learn how the roles in the armed forces (as well as in other social and occupational contexts) of people with diverse characteristics (past, present, and future) are a function of the interplay between cultural forces (values, norms, beliefs, attitudes) and other factors, such as technological change, demographic patterns, occupational structures, labor shortages, and the goal of military effectiveness. Policy questions are addressed, including arguments and evidence supporting different positions on the issues of inclusion and exclusion of certain groups. We will use relevant theory and empirical research from the fields of sociology, psychology, history, political science, and demography. Implications for leadership in diverse organizations are analyzed. The goals that we seek to accomplish in this course are to: 1. Describe and synthesize sociological (and other social scientific) concepts, principles, and theories useful to understanding diversity in the military. 2. Apply the scientific method to the study of military diversity from a sociological perspective. 3. Explain the effects of diversity in the armed forces of the United States and in other nations. 4. Analyze and discuss contemporary issues, situations, and problems relevant to diversity in the military using a sociological perspective. 5. Compare and contrast diversity in the armed forces with diversity in civilian society and civilian organizations. 6. Compare and contrast different dimensions of diversity in the armed forces (e.g., race/ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation). 7. Analyze the social construction of diversity in the armed forces and in civilian society. 8. Analyze the history of diversity in the military with attention to similarities and differences in the experiences of different groups (including socio-economic status, race, gender, sexual orientation, and family status). 9. Evaluate the methodology and findings of social science research on diversity in the military. 10. Analyze the effects of leaders' behavior on acceptance of diversity in the military. 11. Demonstrate the ability to communicate all of the above effectively, both orally and in writing.
Credits: 3
Grading Method: Regular
Course Offering
    Fall 2015 Instructor: Meredith Kleykamp View Syllabus