University 105

Self, Identity and Sustainability

Course Description: This course is designed to strengthen students'
writing practices while exploring the role of the university in preparing
students for effective understanding of social problems confronting
contemporary society. The course begins by exploring the tensions
between a sense of the "self" as consistent and whole vs. the concept of
"identity" as a set of ongoing, socially adaptive processes that may lead
to conflicted or contradictory self-presentation(s). As a central example,
we will focus on processes of forming and maintaining an "eco-identity"
within and outside of college settings. Studies of eco-identity show that
physical appearance (including clothing, body products and tool choices),
preference for "flexible" forms of intellectual analysis, food choices,
recreation choices, consumer behaviors, types of political involvement,
and "place attachments" to built and natural environments are all
influenced through the development of an "eco" self-image. To further
complicate our thinking, we will examine the interpersonal and cultural
dimensions of struggles eco-identified persons experience when they
come into contact with socio-economic inequalities and the ways
environmental harm directly affects marginalized populations.

UNIV 105 is a General Education course in Lifelong Learning and is a
Writing Intensive course within the GE program.