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University Bulletin

Undergraduate Degree Programs

Political Science (PL SC)

PL SC 132 (GS;IL) The Politics of International Intolerance (3) Introductory course emphasizing psychological, historical, and political aspects of global intolerance towards minorities.

PL SC 132 The Politics of International Intolerance (3)
(GS;IL)

(BA) This course meets the Bachelor of Arts degree requirements.

PL SC 132 is an introductory survey concerning the social phenomenon of "intolerance" i. e., attitudes or behaviors that seek to exclude or eliminate groups perceived to be different. Here "difference" encompasses such features as nationality, belief, race, gender, or sexual orientation. Often these aspects of the human condition are the targets of majority discrimination or collective violence.

The course presumes the following assumptions:
(1) Intolerant attitudes are not just "another point of view" but also an utterly destructive form of behavior inimical to civilized values.
(2) Few, if any, societies have existed without some forms of intolerance.
(3) The causes of intolerance are usually multi-causal (economic, political, and psychological) and are understood through social science.
(4) "Politics" implies both the ideology and organization of intolerant movements and the relation of such movements to public authorities.

Students should expect fairly extensive readings involving primary source material, analyses of intolerant behavior drawn from different disciplines, and comparison of intolerance phenomena from a global perspective. All examinations are in an essay format and may require synthesis of sources to address specific questions. Each student should be prepared to research an example of intolerance through print and electronic sources. A short paper based on the research should emphasize comparison, analysis, and consequences. The finding may be presented to the class for discussion.


General Education: GS
Diversity: IL
Bachelor of Arts: Other Cultures and Social and Behavioral Sciences
Effective: Fall 2007

Note : Class size, frequency of offering, and evaluation methods will vary by location and instructor. For these details check the specific course syllabus.