Course Details

Course offered Winter 2007

H A&S 262 C: CARE AND RESPONSIBILITY ACROSS OUR GLOBE

H A&S 262 C: CARE AND RESPONSIBILITY ACROSS OUR GLOBE

SLN 13653 (View UW registration info »)

Victoria Lawson (Geography; Honors Program)
Phone: 206-543-5196
Email: lawson@uw.edu

Credits: 5
Limit: 25 students

Honors Credit Type

*** COURSE FULL ***
This course explores the centrality of care work and care ethics to our lives and to society broadly. We will look at how shifts in contemporary society (in the U.S. and across the globe) suggest an urgent need for care. We will examine the context for care including: i) the extension of market relations into almost everything (health care, education, environmental protection, elder-care etc.; ii) the systematic devaluation of care-work; iii) pervasive discourses of personal responsibility (for poverty, inner city decline, unemployment, etc.); and iv) withdrawal of state supports in many crucial arenas. We will examine how care work is being intensified and simultaneously devalued, we will explore the ways in which care is a public rather than a private matter and we will think about our responsibilities to care to those who are near, and those who are across the globe.

The first part of the course will examine the growing need to take care seriously in academic work, in public policy and in our own lives. We will then think about the possibilities and challenges of really caring across distance and to respectfully engaging with people in distant and different places. Finally, we will explore current efforts to construct alternative ways of caring for our society and our world. Here we will investigate the goals and accomplishments of fair trade movements; efforts to build alternative economies; organizations like Partners for Health, World Social Forum, Students Against Sweatshops and Jubilee 2000 USA, People’s Global Action, Regional Equity Movement and the like. We will also think through the challenges of producing innovative and caring knowledge under ethical and responsible relations to people with whom we work.

Requirements: there will be a midterm takehome essay exam and an in-class final exam. Students will also participate in a group project that may involve research or service-learning, with a presentation to class and a paper written on that project.