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In Understanding Human Differences,readers are introduced to sound research grounded in various behavioral and social sciences while featuring a stimulating inquiry approach to support reflection on issues of critical importance in multicultural education in today’s diverse society. The conceptual framework of the book focuses on three areas: culture, the individual, and institutions. Readers are encouraged to examine individual concerns; understand the cultural/historical contexts; and explore such areas as racism, classism, sexism, heterosexism, and ableism. Included is a focus on changes already achieved or that need to be implemented in schools and other areas of society to create a more just society.
Section 1: Individual Attitudes and Interpersonal Relations
Chapter 1 Understanding Ourselves and Others: Clarifying Values and Language
Chapter 2 Understanding Prejudice and Its Causes
Chapter 3 Communication, Conflict, and Conflict Resolution
Section 2: Cultural Foundations of Oppression in the United States
Chapter 4 Immigration and Oppression: The Assault on Cultural and Language Diversity
Chapter 5 Race and Oppression: The Experiences of People of Color in America
Chapter 6 Religion and Oppression: The Struggle for Religious Freedom
Chapter 7 Rejecting Oppressive Relationships: The Logic of Cultural Pluralism for a Diverse Society
Section 3: Contemporary Dilemmas for Intergroup Relations
Chapter 8 Racism: Confronting a Legacy of White Domination in America
Chapter 9 Classism: Misperceptions and Myths About Income, Wealth, and Poverty
Chapter 10 Sexism: Where the Personal Becomes Political
Chapter 11 Heterosexism: Transforming Homosexuality from Deviant to Different
Chapter 12 Ableism: Disability Does Not Mean Inability
Section 4: The Challenge of Diversity to American Institutions
Chapter 13 Pluralism in Schools: The Promise of Multicultural Education
Chapter 14 Pluralism in Society: Creating Unity in a Diverse America
Kent L. Koppelman is the author of well-received books on diversity, among them
Values in the Key of Life (2000), a book of essays on diversity and moral issues; Understanding Human Differences (first published in 2005); and The Great Diversity (2012). Dr. Koppelman edited an anthology of readings on diversity published in 2011 by Allyn & Bacon entitled Perspectives on Human Differences. Dr. Koppelman is professor emeritus at University of Wisconsin, La Crosse.