603-103-MQ, Alienation and Self-Cultivation
For some individuals, creating a positive identity is often made difficult by the intolerance they encounter in society. These individuals must regularly confront external (and internal) obstacles due to their race, gender, sexual orientation, class, religion, country of birth, and/or outlook. Yet, despite these conflicts, many have fought stigmatization by cultivating themselves, developing strong, beneficial identities, and building significant relationships with those around them. We will read a selection of work about individuals who were alienated by society yet still were able to create constructive, meaningful identities and relationships for themselves. Along with reading a selection of literature, we will also explore historical and cultural backgrounds, theories on identity construction, and multicultural issues in depth in order to help foster a deeper understanding of the works we will study in class.