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Issues of Diversity and Equality Lesson Plan

About This Lesson:

Key Concepts

1. Race
2. Ethnicity
3. Racial compensation
4. Assimilation
5. Affirmative action
6. Special protection programs
7. Hate crimes
8. Multiculturalism

Goals / Aims

1. Describe two contemporary ethical issues related to matters of social justice.

2. Describe the difference between race and ethnicity.

3. Define compensatory programs.

4. Define the following: separatist, assimilationist, equal rights, affirmative action, special protection programs.

5. Define the theory of race-related reparations.

6. Define a hate crime.

7. Define pluralism and multiculturalism.

Objectives

1. Describe two contemporary ethical issues related to matters of social justice.

2. Describe the difference between race and ethnicity.

3. Define compensatory programs.

4. Define the following: separatist, assimilationist, equal rights, affirmative action, special protection programs.

5. Define the theory of race-related reparations.

6. Define a hate crime.

7. Define pluralism and multiculturalism.

Materials and Aids

Readings
Contemporary Moral Issues: Diversity and Consensus
Chapter 6, Race and Ethnicity, pp. 207-253

Procedures/Methods

A. Introduction-

Assimilation remains a touchy issue in society today. America has been a melting pot of immigrants since its inception, so no particular group can claim a superior right to rule or dominate other ethnicities and races. However, the earliest European settlers have constituted the largest group whose descendants now populate a dominate "white" (or WASP" white Anglo-Saxon Protestant) majority. What about other "white" peoples, such as those from southern Europe, South American countries, the Middle East, and other regions of the world? Should the descendents of the earliest settlers be entitled to a dominant role in society, or should everyone"no matter their race or ethnicity"have an equal voice? Should minorities be expected to assimilate, or should each group be allowed to maintain its own subculture or mini-culture environment, including language, customs, and holidays?

B. Development-

Affirmative action and equal opportunity have been around for decades. Proponents claim this approach to jobs, scholarships, and other desirable social rewards and positions levels the playing field for minorities, who might be otherwise overlooked or experience discrimination.

Racial tensions have flared many times over the past few centuries as the U.S. evolved into the nation it has become today. In efforts to learn from the mistakes of the past, the government has worked diligently to recognize special interest groups of people, and to offer them the same rights and privileges accorded other members of society. For example, with the advent of the women's movement in the middle of the 20th century, "women's rights" programs and funds were established to support women in education and the professions as they sought to catch up with men in learning and occupational roles. In addition, special attention has been given to help women struggling in difficult or dangerous domestic situations or personal relationships, for example, by opening women's shelters where homeless or battered women and their children could go for refuge and protection. Legislation also changed to give women more rights within marriage and over their reproductive functions. Recently, the gay rights movement has sought similar recognition for its members, along with the institution of a special protection program to create specific laws for punishing those who attack someone's person or property due to their sexual orientation. How necessary are special protection programs? Do they work? Why or why not?

C. Practice

Hate crimes, as mentioned above, are characterized by crime committed against members of a particular group typically characterized by race, ethnicity, or gender. The legal ramifications of hate-based crime have evolved to take a more stringent view of this type of crime. How might ethical analysis be applied to the practical and moral aspects of judging hate crimes.

Are there negative consequences for hate-crime legislation or other special protection programs? Can they be administered equitably to protect all groups without becoming dependent on political correctness to favor one group or another? Do they, by their nature, violate the concept of equal protection?

In 21st century society, multiculturalism is increasing throughout the population and in pop culture as we come to terms with a shrinking world and an influx of people groups and immigrants (legal or otherwise) to the U.S. A recurring political concern and social issue is whether to mainstream or export illegal aliens.

D. Independent Practice-

Additional References "- "The Movies, Race, and Ethnicity"
A listing of movies from around the world whose stories include issues of immigration and cultural differences "The Ethics of Diversity"
Slides in various formats of this presentation by the textbook author

E. Accommodations (Differentiated Instruction)-

Use of various technologies that simplify the research process.

F. Checking for understanding

We are all individual members of some racial or ethnic group (or several). Racial and ethnic groups hold various statuses around the world in differing cultures. A people group that is a minority in one country may be the prevailing group in another country, i.e., Hispanics in the U.S. and in Mexico or Spain.

This unit examined various approaches to race relations including the following:
separatism, assimilationism, equal rights, affirmative action, and special protection
programs.

G. Closure

This unit also looked at the ethical and legal ways in which government bears the responsibility for providing equal opportunities and rights for all members of a society. To what degree has the United States government been successful in doing this? What changes may need to be made?

Reminders
Reading for next week: Contemporary Moral Issues: Diversity and Consensus, Chapter 7, "Gender," pp. 259-286.

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