Ethnic and Gender Studies Department Competencies Developed

EGST students are able to apply our major to focus on their own specific interests but generally students will have developed many useful competencies that will help them in their lives and in their careers and working with others to solve social problems.

  • To engage in Critical Thinking-Thinking and working smarter to solve social problems is the key to EGST major. Students will continually question, rethink, draft and redraft, their readings and writings to better use sources to think with and to solve pressing social problems in the US and abroad. EGST work is scholarly and investigative work for problem-solving social and historical human needs. The EGST student over four years will begin to form her own culture concept and understand how society and power influences andshapes human reality for individuals as well as for kinship, political, and religious groups. Students will study the history of cultural and social change to learn whatstrategies are most effective and peace creating. Students will begin to master a focus on social justice and human rights evolving from movements that have changed laws and social contracts and constitutions (such as the Civil Rights movements in the US and the South African Constitution after Apartheid).
  • To Communicate Effectively-Students are encouraged in our EGST major to be present and to fully express themselves and their own experiences in a shared and respectful safe space. EGST courses have a variety of in-class discussion, group work, written and internet-related assignments that are shared. Exams and response papers will require essays and extensive writing. Students will also have to present their ideas individually and in groups to each other as a path to learning with each other and sharing experiences of race, class, gender, ethnicity intersections.
  • To Develop Your Ability to Use Quantitative and Qualitative Reasoning-Some basic concepts for reading statistics in social science research (such as census information and demographics) will be presented in every class in EGST majors and minors. Often, news sources cite quantitative data (such as polls), and we will question and analyze the role these have for theory building. We discuss online literacy and source fact-checking to help students get the best possible research and sources for their reading and writing assignments and their own scholarly and creative work.
  • To Encourage Ethical Decision-Making-Every theory and research method (interview, survey etc.) that we study will be understood in light of how it helps us understand the best and worst of human action and culture so that we may improve our laws, culture and justice system. We focus on social justice and how to organize to make that happen in the US and abroad. And we use a comparative cross-cultural and subcultural approach to do this. • To Increase Our Understanding of Diversity-EGST courses deal directly with issues of race, class, gender and religious and ethnic diversity in historical context and in contemporary cultures. We focus on learning globally from other cultures how we can better act for our own diverse identities in the US. We do in-depth work on issues of identity, culture/subculture, and class/labor that are often ignored in mainstream scholarships.