Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Details for discussion in Mental Health & Diversity Course

Details for discussion in Course:

  1. theoretical issues: - what is systems theory? - What methodologies are relevant? - What is applied science? - What are the practical applications to real life?
  2. mental health issues relating to the individual, and community level in relation to larger entities & movements, in the context of the emergence of new ideologies, ideas, challenges, and value systems.

  1. re. ‘diversity’, the assumption in this course is that our world is made up of very diverse cultures, languages, races, ethnic communities, other life forms, and that our environment has finite resources, and a plentitude of ideas.

To ‘assimilate’, over-run, marginalize, obliterate or cripple other human beings and life forms on the planet are a crime against humanity and other life forms on the planet.

Therefore, it makes sense to develop theory& skills, and to foster a ‘way of life’ and an approach to problem solving (which ‘democracy’ is, in a sense, fundamentally) that foster & respect diversity on our planet.

If ‘diversity’ is a ‘given, then, a fundamental and intrinsic characteristic of life on our planet, we will examine the various responses to diversity, historically in ‘colonial times’ (when more than 75 % of the world’s population lived in one colony or another, and in the post-independence societies that have emerged since about 1945, coinciding more or less with the end of World war 11.

Multiculturalism is one such response that recognizes ‘diversity’.

Discussion will include questions re. why there has been ‘controversy’ and strong feelings re. this, some of the challenges in practice, etc..

Interfaith dialogue and understanding is another response that is in process of being institutionalized in the United Nations system.

  1. A mental health perspective to diversity & sustainable or eco-friendly development will be put in context of the above, with some of the theoretical underpinnings that the theory and approach would take.

  1. why ‘applied science’ is extremely important, as it relates to what is really going on in people’s lives. Some of the ‘relatedness’ to other ‘movements’ and life-style changes that are going in other fields.

The challenges of viewing policy formulation ‘holistically’, because of mind-sets in various professions, and the difficulties of keeping up with more knowledge about less, with the bigger picture losing focus.

  1. Cases studies could be ‘theoretical explorations or reviews, or actual case studies, depending on what ‘data’ is available for them. This will be reviewed prior to choice.

  1. Summing Up - Somerset Maugham style !

No comments: