Dimensions of Culture
OFFICE: 132 Sequoyah Hall, Marshall College
Abraham Shragge, Ph.D.
Assistant Program Director
Pamela S. Wright, Ph.D.
The Dimensions of Culture program (DOC) is an introductory three-quarter
social science sequence that is required of all students entering
Thurgood Marshall College as freshmen. Successful completion of
the DOC sequence satisfies the UC writing requirement. The course
is a study in the social construction of individual identity in
contemporary America and it surveys a range of social differences
and stratifications that
shape the nature of human attachment to self, work, community,
and a sense of nation. Central to the course objective is the question
of how scholars move from knowledge to action.
DOC 1, offered each
fall, revolves around the central theme of diversity; in particular,
the study of social differences and commonalities
among individuals and groups. Students review contemporary theories
of diversity and identity in the United States, reading an array
of texts drawn from sociology, philosophy, ethnic studies, political
science, journalism, mass media, and other sources.
In winter quarter,
DOC 2 presents justice as its core theme, with special focus on
the political and constitutional implications
of publicly significant social differences such as race, class,
gender, and ethnicity—the main issues taken up in DOC 1.
Course readings include numerous original sources, especially Supreme
Court opinions, as well as pieces drawn from the rich field of
DOC 3 examines how Americans have imagined and
re-imagined social difference and change, and how these issues
have been represented
in American culture since World War II. Students analyze a wide
variety of texts, including films, novels, photographs, paintings,
music, drawn from popular culture and avant-garde expressions.
Returning to the concepts of identity and diversity, the third
course investigates how such works have imagined the diverse
and conflicting interests that characterize American culture and
changes over time.
unique among the UCSD college programs, DOC also provides its
students with a full menu of academic and cultural enrichment
opportunities, which have included visits to the
Veterans Museum in Balboa Park to learn the rudiments of oral
history with a group of former prisoners of war; meeting Pulitzer
journalists in an intimate setting; attending talks given by
a MacArthur fellow and a former prime minister of Norway and Director
General of the World Health Organization; participating in a
Film Festival; and attending the premier of a play commissioned
by the Thurgood Marshall Institute.
To enroll in DOC 2 or 3,
students must satisfy the UC Entry Level Writing requirement,
formerly called the Subject
A requirement. Transfer students should also see their college
academic adviser regarding the appropriate course requirements.
For further details on Marshall College requirements, see “Marshall
College, General-Education Requirements.”