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Master Syllabus

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Administrative Unit: History and Political Science Department
Course Prefix and Number: MAMS 541
Course Title: Diversity in the American Military
Number of:
Credit Hours 3
Lecture Hours 3
Lab Hours 0
Catalog Description:

An examination of the effects of the various individual characteristics, especially gender, race, ethnicity, religion, region, sexual orientation, and status, on the American military. The course considers the interplay between cultural values, norms, beliefs, and attitudes as well as other factors such as technological change, demographic patterns, occupational structures, labor shortages, and military effectiveness. Policy questions are considered, including arguments and evidence regarding inclusion and exclusion in the armed forces of the U.S.

Text(s): Most current editions of the following:

Instructors should select multiple books from each group. Additional scholarly articles and monographs may be used as supplemental readings.

Group 1: Texts one through four

Group 2: Texts five through seven

Group 3: Texts eight through thirteen

Beyond Zero Tolerance: Discrimination in Military Culture
By Fainsod Katzenstein, Mary (Rowman & Littlefield)
Managing Diversity in the Military
By Dansby, Mickey R. Editor (Transaction)
Managing Diversity in the Military
By McDonald, Daniel P. & Kizzy M. Parks Editors (Routledge)
Attitudes Aren't Free: Thinking Deeply about Diversity in the U.S. Armed Forces
By Parco, James & David A. Levy Editors (Enso)
Women in the United States Armed Forces: A Guide to the Issues
By Iskra, Darlene (Praeger)
Breaking the Color Barrier: The U.S. Naval Academy's First Black Midshipmen and the Struggle for Racial Equality
By Schneller, Robert (New York University Press)
Our Time: Breaking the Silence of Don't Ask, Don't Tell
By Seefried, Josh (Penguin)
Racial Beachhead: Diversity and Democracy in a Military Town
By McKibben, Carol (Stanford University Press)
Cold War Civil Rights: Race and the Image of American Democracy
By Didziak, Mary L. (Princeton University Press)
American Patriots: The Story of Blacks in the Military from the Revolution to Desert Storm
By Buckley, Gail Lumet (Random House)
Serving their Country: American Indian Politics and Patrotism in the Twentieth Century
By Rosier, Paul C. (Harvard University Press)
War and Gender: How Gender Shapes the War System and Vice Versa
By Goldstein, Joshua (Oxford University Press)
A Few Good Women: America's Military Women from World War I to the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan
By Neidel-Greenlee, Rosemary and Evelyn Monahan (Knopf)
Course Objectives
  • To synthesize social and historical concepts, principles, and theories used in the study of diversity in the American military.
  • To analyze and discuss contemporary issues, situations, and problems relevant to diversity in the American military.
  • To compare and contrast diversity in the armed forces with diversity in civilian society.
  • To explore the different dimensions of diversity in the American military (e.g. race/ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation).
  • To analyze the effects of leaders on acceptance of diversity within the American military.
Measurable Learning Outcomes:
  • Describe the major trends that have occurred in the gender, racial, and ethnic demographics of American military personnel since the end of the draft era.
  • Explain the differences between military policy and practice regarding patterns of discrimination and equity.
  • Analyze the determinants and consequences of unit cohesion among the rank and file.
  • Discuss how tokenism processes affect military group culture and troop morale.
  • Describe the factors responsible for the integration of lesbian, gays, and bisexuals (LGB) into the American military.
  • Analyze how sexual harassment, gender harassment, and sexual assault are generally associated with military culture.
  • Analyze how the military accomodates a range of religious practices.
  • Consider the demographic trends regarding region of origin and the socioeconomic status in both recruitment and retention of personnel.
  • Examine the American military's current policy in regard to citizenship, disability, and aging in uniform.
  • Assess how diversity of military personnel shapes organizational outcomes.
  • Conduct research in primary source documents and produce an analytical research paper of 20-25 pages on a topic related to the theme of the course.
Topical Outline:
  • Introduction to the Study of Diversity in the American Military.
  • History and Overview of Race and Ethnicity in the American Military.
  • History and Overview of Gender in the American Military.
  • Sexual Orientation, Sexual Harassment, Gender Harassment, and Sexual Assault.
  • Integration Issues at the Service Academies and Other Military Training Environments.
  • Religion, Regionalism, Socioeconomic Status, Disabilities, and Aging.
  • Leadership Implications and Organizational Outcomes.

Recommended maximum class size for this course: 20

Library Resources:

Online databases are available at the Columbia College Stafford Library.  You may access them using your CougarTrack login and password when prompted.

Prepared by: Brad Lookingbill Date: January 3, 2013
NOTE: The intention of this master course syllabus is to provide an outline of the contents of this course, as specified by the faculty of Columbia College, regardless of who teaches the course, when it is taught, or where it is taught. Faculty members teaching this course for Columbia College are expected to facilitate learning pursuant to the course objectives and cover the subjects listed in the topical outline. However, instructors are also encouraged to cover additional topics of interest so long as those topics are relevant to the course's subject. The master syllabus is, therefore, prescriptive in nature but also allows for a diversity of individual approaches to course material.

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