Humanitarian workers bring their own views on inter-community confrontation, stereotypes, and other social factors which might play a role in creating social divides, marginalization, and finally, injustice. Students in this course will be challenged to deepen and sharpen their understanding of injustice by exploring and using concepts based in sociology. This course offers a thought-provoking new model using the mythical beast the Hydra. Learners will explore how the process of toxic othering underlies all social injustice and analyze their own social setting through the lens of what we are calling ‘critical Hydra theory.’
Our goal is to make this course intellectually engaging while at the same time practical and, yes, fun. Class exercises are designed to be applied to your work settings and even in your daily life. Students will be asked to share what they are learning with our whole group as we grow together in our understanding of the world in which we live and act. The end goal is to make us all more effective humanitarians able to think and act more critically and creatively about the causes of social injustice.
Learning outcomes of the course:
Our goal is that learners who experience this course will
More specifically, our goal is that all learners will gain new conceptual tools allowing them to ask critical questions about their own lives and the lives of those around them, thus becoming more effective and enlightened humanitarian workers. The course is designed to create awareness about how power differences can lead to unfair marginalization of some people and how awareness of toxic othering can lead to actively addressing and minimizing this oppression. Asking these questions will open up possibilities of more objectively examining the specific cultural contexts in which humanitarians work and, by extension of this local knowledge, understand the larger, global context of their lives.
Key thematic areas of the course: