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Human Development & Social Relations:
Promoting Justice and Effecting Change

Overview   |   Meet an Earlhamite   |   Our Faculty   |   Plan of Study   |   Courses  

 

Human Development and Social Relations (HDSR) at Earlham helps our students understand individuals in the context of contemporary social systems.

As a students in HDSR, you will learn to study social issues and problems from a wide variety of disciplines, including psychology, sociology and anthropology.

By focusing on interdisciplinary and experiential learning within the classroom and larger community, our students develop a service- and people-oriented perspective, as well as the ability to analyze and respond to problems creatively.

A coherent, integrated core of five common courses allows HDSR majors to form strong bonds with each other and with program faculty as well as building a strong sense of community that promotes mutual learning.

More from the Human Development and Social Relations Department:

Highlights

HDSR Field Studies provide our majors with hands-on experience working with social issues in real life settings like a school for immigrant children, a theater group in London, an inner-city recreation center, a middle school in Japan, and a family counseling center in Northern Ireland.

HDSR students have the opportunity to present their work at Earlham's Annual Research Conference and other public forums.

Our graduates have gone on to work in a wide variety of fields, including education, social work, business, law, counseling, health care and public administration.

Meet An Earlhamite
Benjamin Parks
Workforce Mediator

Benjamin Parks '14 wants to help workers and the companies they work for avoid conflict.

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Meg Duff
Purposeful play

With a knack for making what’s fun, informative, and what’s informative, fun, it’s no surprise, perhaps, that Meg Duff '11 wound up at Playworks, an organization that works on elementary playgrounds to ensure safe, healthy play.

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Chance Milligan
Global Learning

Chancellor Milligan '13 uses his study of Human Development and Social Relations to think critically about global issues.

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Our Faculty

Nelson Bingham
Professor of Psychology

Daniel Rosenberg
Professor of Sociology and Anthropology

Kelly Szott
Visiting Assistant Professor of Sociology

Cheri Gaddis
Administrative Assistant
Plan of Study

The Major

Students majoring in HDSR complete the following core courses:

  • HDSR 239 Persons and Systems
  • HDSR 359 Self, Society and Social Thought
  • HDSR 363 Field Study
  • HDSR 364 Field Study Seminar
  • HDSR 479 Ethics and Social Justice
  • HDSR 488 Senior Capstone Experience

Disciplinary Courses

  • In Psychology:
    PSYC 115 Introduction to Psychological Perspectives
  • In Sociology/Anthropology:
    SOAN 118 Institutions and Inequality OR
    SOAN 115 Culture and Conflict
  • Three upper-level courses (300 or above):
    Students must select one upper-level course in PSYC and one in SOAN.
    The third course may be in PSYC or SOAN.
Courses

* Key

Courses that fulfill
General Education Requirements:

  • (A-AR) = Analytical - Abstract Reasoning
  • (A-QR) = Analytical - Quantitative
  • (D-D) = Diversity - Domestic
  • (D-I) = Diversity - International
  • (D-L) = Diversity - Language
  • (ES) = Earlham Seminar
  • (IE) = Immersive Experience
  • (RCH) = Research
  • (W) = Wellness
  • (WI) = Writing Intensive
  • (AY) = Offered in Alternative Year

HDSR 239 PERSONS AND SYSTEMS (4 credits)
Designed for first-year students but open to those considering a major in HDSR. Examines individuals in relationship to society and how different disciplines analyze this relationship and propose solutions to the problems they identify. Students complete an experiential learning group project that involves interviewing staff and consumers of local agencies and businesses.

*HDSR 349 THEORY, ETHICS AND SOCIAL JUSTICE (4 credits)
This course introduces HDSR students to the theoretical and ethical perspectives and tools that they will need to conduct and analyze their field study experience, as well as to prepare for careers in the human services and beyond. Students will build an intellectual foundation in classical and contemporary social theory and will explore various ethical approaches to determining what is fair and just in our global society. Prerequisite: HDSR 239. (D-D, W)

HDSR 359 SELF, SOCIETY AND SOCIAL THOUGHT (4 credits)
Open to majors and prospective majors only. Explores various theoretical perspectives concerning the nature of individuals, and social and cultural systems. A primary goal is to clarify, evaluate and improve the theoretical frameworks that students use when they attempt to understand social reality. Incorporates instruction on methods needed to complete the field study requirement for the HDSR major.

HDSR 363 FIELD STUDY (0–3 credits)
Provides a first-hand opportunity to integrate theory gained in the classroom with insights into and experience in the workings of an organization. Helps students become more conscious of the relationship of social roles, institutional dynamics and professional development. Students complete 200 hours of work at a site of their choosing, in consultation with the HDSR Program Coordinator. Prerequisites: HDSR 239 and 359.

*HDSR 364 FIELD STUDY SEMINAR (3 credits)
Designed to help students integrate the practical experience of the field study with theoretical models, particularly those studied in the HDSR core courses. Through class discussion and individual presentations, students share thoughts, ideas, research and experiences. Provides a supportive framework for writing the field study paper. Prerequisite: HDSR 363. (IE)

*HDSR 479 ETHICS AND SOCIAL JUSTICE (3 credits)
This advanced interdisciplinary core course introduces the political-philosophical paradigm called “liberalism” that emerged out the European Enlightenment, and which underlies the constitutional democracies of the modern West, including the United States. Next, the rapid ascendancy in recent decades of a particular brand of liberalism – often dubbed “neoliberalism”— and its implications are explored. And finally, the basic assumptions about the roles of individuals, governmental entities, and the “market” (i.e., capitalist economy) that are inherent in both liberalism and neoliberalism are subjected to deep critiques from perspectives such as Marxism, feminism and critical race theory. This course is intended to help students prepare for the HDSR Problem Analysis Presentation, as well as for civic and professional life after college as con­tribut­ing members of democratic and global societies. Prerequisites: HDSR 239 and 359. (D-D, W)   

HDSR 482 SPECIAL TOPICS (3 credits)
Selected topics determined by the instructor for upper-level study.

HDSR 483 TEACHING ASSISTANTS (1-3 credits)

HDSR 484 FORD/KNIGHT RESEARCH PROJECT (1-4 credits)
Collaborative research with faculty funded by the Ford/Knight Program.

HDSR 485 INDEPENDENT STUDY (1-3 credits)
Investigation of a specific topic conceived and planned by the student in consultation with a faculty supervisor.

HDSR 488-1 SENIOR CAPSTONE EXPERIENCE (3 credits)
This class provides a context for completing the HDSR Senior Thesis. In addition, it serves as a “bridge experience” to the post-college world of graduate school and career.

HDSR 488-2 SENIOR CAPSTONE EXPERIENCE (3 credits)
The core focus of this course is to help HDSR students meet their second Capstone Requirement, the Reflective Essay. In general, this course and essay will help students reflect on what they have learned through the program and help them be thoughtful and intentional about what they want to do in the future, personally and professionally. Prerequisites: HDSR 488-1.