Rethinking Diversity Amid Pedagogical Flexibility: Fostering the Scholarships of Learning and Teaching of the Sociological Imagination

Mohammad H. Tamdgidi published the chapter titled “Rethinking Diversity Amid Pedagogical Flexibility: Fostering the Scholarships of Learning and Teaching of the Sociological Imagination,” in Making Connections: Self-Study & Social Action, a collection edited by Kathleen Pithouse, Claudia Mitchell, and Relebohile Moletsane. The volume was published by Peter Lang in 2009.

In the chapter Tamdgidi argues that fostering the scholarships of classroom learning and teaching of the sociological imagination in favor of self-reflective social knowledge and action requires significant attention to issues of diversity on the one hand and of pedagogical flexibility on the other. Such an approach, in turn, moves us away from the familiar binary constructions that contrast ‘diverse’ and ‘non-diverse’ students, faculty, classrooms, universities, and communities, toward considering instead the reality that they are all “differently diverse.” “Non-diversity” as a cultural concept serves to mask a reality—that, we all participate in a global society whose parts have been inescapably constituted by and in diversity. “Non-diversity” is an illusion, objectively speaking, but subjective belief in it can be real and pedagogically limiting. Tamdgidi notes that his students and himself are often challenged to recognize and transcend such illusions—and to rethink the basic definitions of the self, society, and sociology in trans-cultural and trans-disciplinary ways—through exercises in the sociological imagination in a flexible pedagogical environment. Some of these challenges find expression in and are inspired by the voices of student scholars published in Human Architecture: Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge.

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