Dimensions of Culture

[ courses ]

132 Sequoyah Hall, Marshall College
(858) 534-2742

All courses, faculty listings, and curricular and degree requirements described herein are subject to change or deletion without notice.

The Dimensions of Culture program (DOC) is a multidisciplinary, issues-oriented, writing-intensive three-quarter social science and humanities sequence required of all first-year students at Thurgood Marshall College. Successful completion of the DOC sequence satisfies the University of California writing requirement.

DOC’s course content closely identifies with the educational philosophy and goals of Thurgood Marshall College, in particular its concerns for social justice, the history and cultural experience of minorities and otherwise underrepresented groups, and the development of intelligent citizenship. Central to the course objective is the question of how scholars move from knowledge to action.

Offered each fall, DOC 1, “Diversity,” introduces students to basic distinctions in academic inquiry about systematic social differences among human individuals and groups. The aim is to convey a range of stratifications that shape our human attachments to self, work, community, and nation; in short, a descriptive sociology of our differences as they intersect along lines of race, ethnicity, class, gender, religion, and ability—themes that DOC 2 and DOC 3 will revisit from different academic perspectives.

DOC 2, “Justice,” offered each winter quarter, introduces students to fundamental concepts in political and social theory and moral philosophy, presenting them in concrete historical and contemporary social contexts. The course provides special focus on political and constitutional implications of American diversity and pluralistic society. Course readings include numerous original sources, especially Supreme Court opinions, as well as pieces drawn from the rich field of American history.

DOC 3, “Imagination,” presented each spring, investigates the ways in which these same publicly significant social differences examined in DOC 1 and DOC 2 have been imagined and reimagined in a wide variety of cultural productions. In particular, they will examine how primary texts such as films, television, short stories, poetry, music, technology, journalism, and advertisements imaginatively represent public tensions in the U.S. as they have emerged and changed over time.

Satisfaction of the UC Entry Level Writing requirement (formerly called the Subject A requirement) is a prerequisite for both DOC 2 and DOC 3. Transfer students should see their college academic adviser regarding which DOC courses are required of them.

For further details on Marshall College requirements, see “Marshall College, General-Education Requirements.”