YOST1366: Stories of Resistance & Change: Youth, Race, Power & Privilege in the U.S.

3 CreditsEthical and Civic ResponsibilityLiteratureRace, Power, and Justice in the United StatesSustainability

This course imagines literature as an opportunity to complement other understandings of youth, and to help those who work with children and adolescents to better understand their lived experiences. We will read classic and contemporary literary texts that respond to the needs, wants, and existential questions that surround young people’s lives, and makes them visible to learners in the class who want to better understand children and adolescents in diverse settings across the United States. Youth Studies at the University of Minnesota, prepares students to work towards understanding and helping to improve the everyday lives of diverse youth. By being in this class, reading our course texts carefully, and by engaging in learning activities with classmates, students have the chance to take away new understandings from powerful stories about youth. In fact, the texts in this course contain important descriptions of how oppression looks and feels to young people as they navigate institutions and see the impacts of structural inequality on themselves, communities, families, and friends. The young people in these texts show tremendous agency, and show meaningful examples of resistance on large and small scales. We will work together with course texts about how young people challenge and are challenged by their surroundings, and take away new meanings about how young people have promoted social justice and change. Learning activities in this class will include reading, writing, quizzes and exams and a course project. In class learning activities include discussion, presentations, activities, and a high level of participation is expected. Why literature? Literature can be thought of as one way of knowing about the daily lives of youth. Because literature offers a rich detailed framework of meaning showing the diverse contexts of lives of children, teenagers and young adults, youth workers can use the tools of literature to make youth work meanings from literature in which young people are primary to the text. Literature can make up a new lens through which learners can understand the daily and everyday lives of youth, and can complement the important social science lenses you may already bring to the class. Students are encouraged to develop a new set of questions about youth as they use the formal tools of literature to read literary texts that represent a range of styles, formats, themes, and choices. Diversity and Social Justice Literature that centers on young people from multicultural settings offers an opportunity to think about what it is that students already know about youth from diverse backgrounds, and to question whether their understanding is correct or if there are gaps in knowledge. In other words, a course goal will be to identify epistemological gaps between what we think we know about youth, race, gender, and power and privilege, and how that is confirmed and/or made more complicated by a larger body of knowledge about social constructions of power and privilege. This course calls on our literary texts to challenge and deconstruct dominant narratives about youth and their communities. Learners in this course enter into an ongoing conversation about what social justice for youth means in the context of unequal distribution of power and constructions of privilege and oppression.

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A- Average (3.645)Most Common: A (59%)

This total also includes data from semesters with unknown instructors.

2199 students
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