BYU classes on race and gender offered Winter 2021


There is more demand than supply for classes on race, gender and diversity at Brigham Young University, according to professor of sociology Jacob Rugh.

Rugh compiled a list of diversity classes in 2019 as part of an effort to re-evaluate efforts to address race and equity in the BYU curriculum. He reported that over 300 students were on waitlists and unable to enroll in classes like “Sociology of Race and Ethnicity” and “Introduction to Global Women’s Studies.” Enrollment in classes covering subjects of race and gender has increased by 40% at BYU in the last decade.

Data collected from the BYU Registrar by Dr. Jacob Rugh, showing that enrollment in diversity courses has increased by 40% in the last decade. (Jacob Rugh)

Many of the classes already have substantial waiting lists for Winter Semester 2021.

“It totally changed my world,” BYU student Chloe Lindsey said about her Introduction to Global Women’s Studies class. “That was where I really found my fire for feminism. This is something I’ve always been, and now I’m going to be aggressively feminist.”

Classes at BYU covering topics in diversity for Winter Semester 2021 include, but are not limited to, the following:

SOC 113 – Multicultural America. Diverse cultural heritages in the United States. Cultures studied scientifically will include African American, Hispanic, Asian American, and Native American.

SOC 323 – Sociology of Race and Ethnicity. Social psychological and social structural analysis of racial and ethnic relations; prejudice, discrimination, responses, protests, current issues; immigration and racial formation.

GWS 222 – Introduction to Global Women’s Studies. An introduction to the most important issues affecting women’s lives and to contributions made by women both nationally and internationally. The course will include historical, sociological, psychological, theological, legal, and/or cultural, and other approaches.

SFL 356 – Exploring Gender Development in Families. An exploration of biological and social contributions to gender development across the lifespan, including discussions of gender in mental health, relationships, employment, parenthood, and global opportunities for men and women within a gospel perspective.

FHSS 351 – Civil Rights Seminar. Introduction to the major figures, events, and locations of the Civil Rights Movement in America, with a focus on the 1950s and 1960s. Includes a field trip to civil rights historical sites in Georgia and Alabama.

POLI 323 – Race, Ethnicity, and Gender in American Politics. The historical and current role of race, ethnicity, and gender in American politics. The individual-level ways that race, ethnicity, and gender shape attitudes about other citizens and perceptions of political actors and systems. How race, ethnicity, and gender have influenced and continue to influence the structures of American politics and public policy.

HIST 385 – Latinos in the United States. The place of Latin Americans within the context of U.S. history. The growth and development of the largest Latino communities from pre-colonial times to present day and how Latinos may influence future policies within the U.S.

PSYCH 306 – Psychology of Gender. Biological and social contributions to sex-role development, sexual self-concept, and complementarity of sex roles.

HIST 387 – American Indian History from 1830 to the Present. North American Indian history from 1830 (the Indian Removal Act) to the present day, including the history and culture of various American Indian nations, their trade, diplomacy, and military campaigns with the United States, and historical and sociocultural factors affecting nineteenth- and twentieth-century American Indians in both urban and reservation settings, and current challenges facing American Indian communities.

HIST 383 – African-American History, 1865 to Present. Social, economic, intellectual, political factors; struggle for racial equality; race and gender relationships; how changing ideas of race affect American life and politics.

COMMS 481 – Gender, Race, and Class in Media. Applying critical theory to the interaction between media and underrepresented groups in society. Approaches may include stereotypes and portrayals, access to media, participation, and media ownership.

Rugh said 15 of the classes on his list utilize resources from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, including general conference talks, BYU forum addresses, and official Church statements on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), family separation at the border, immigration and the Utah Compact, and white supremacy.

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