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Indiana University Bloomington

LAMP L416 Senior Seminar

LAMP-L416 Senior Seminar:  Liberal Arts and Management (3 credits)

LAMP-L416 is a discussion course that draws together aspects of other LAMP courses to focus on specific problems of business management and corporate policy in light of both practical and ethical considerations.  Topics vary with the instructor and year and include the nature of business leadership and the legal and ethical practices of corporations. 

LAMP-L416 fulfills the College of Arts and Sciences Intensive Writing requirement, and it is approved by the Hutton Honors College to count toward the General Honors Notation.

Work, Life, Law, Professor Jamie Prenkert

Offered Spring 2012

After you finish school, you are likely to spend more than one third of your life at work.  Considering that another significant chunk of your life will (necessarily) be spent sleeping, the amount of time you spend at work will likely far outweigh the amount of time you spend at any other waketime activity.  Because we spend so much of our time and energy at work, regulating the workplace is both a necessity and a practice in social engineering.  Not surprisingly, work rules and laws often mirror important policy issues confronting other sectors of society.  This course will use, as a jumping-off point, a variety of laws and legal regimes that target and regulate work and the workplace in order for students to consider how life, work and law interact and, more specifically, to analyze some important policy issues that affect how we live, by affecting how we work.  Ultimately, this course is designed to allow you to engage in serious thought about your motivation for work; the proper place of work in a balanced and fulfilled life; and, a bit more specifically, society’s role, through law, in encouraging or mandating (and, concomitantly, discouraging or punishing) certain work conditions, opportunities, and behaviors.  In particular, we will focus on the structure of the employment relationship, antidiscrimination laws, workplace privacy issues, employee welfare and safety, loyalty and whistle blowing, and work/life balance.

The Ethics and Economics of Mass Punishment, Professor Richard Lippke

Offered Spring 2012

During the last forty years, the United States has quintupled the size of its prison population. We invest over $100 billion annually in our criminal justice system. For this we get one of the highest per capita rates of imprisonment in the world and continued high rates of criminal offending, especially violent offending. Viewed as a business, the criminal justice system appears an expensive and none-too-successful enterprise. This seminar will begin with an investigation of how we got into this predicament. What factors (cultural, political, and legal) led to the incarceration boom and what factors sustain it? We will consider how attitudes toward crime and offenders have changed. We will also examine how those changes affect our commitment to procedural fairness in the treatment of individuals charged with crimes and the kinds of penal sanctions inflicted upon them. In the course of doing so, we will discuss economic defenses of harsh criminal sanctions and diluted procedures for determining guilt and innocence. We will also examine the impact of imprisonment on the life-prospects of offenders, many of whom come from socially deprived backgrounds. This will lead us into questions about whether and to what extent our criminal justice policies are logical extensions of other forms of social exclusion of individuals from meaningful and productive lives. We will also discuss the feasibility of turning punishment over to private prison providers and concerns about the growth of vested economic interests in expanded punishment. As we consider all of these issues, we will contrast our criminal justice policies with those found in other industrialized societies. Societies with less inequality and more generous welfare provisions also tend to have considerably lower incarceration rates. We will examine whether and to what extent there is a link between efforts to minimize the disparities among individuals’ life-prospects and more humane criminal justice policies. Course participants will write a series of short papers and a longer research paper.

The Great Divide: Race and American Education, Professor Pamela B. Walters

Offered Spring 2012

Today, almost six decades after racially segregated schools were declared unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court, K-12 public schools in the U.S. remain deeply divided by race. By and large, our "good" schools enroll mostly whites – mostly affluent whites, in fact. And the schools that are easily recognizable as "bad" ones serve students who are mostly minority and mostly poor. In this seminar we will place racial inequality in American education in the larger context of racial opportunity and inequality in the contemporary U.S. and will consider a series of questions about how race structures educational opportunity. How did our current system of racially segregated and racially unequal schools come to be? What derailed reform efforts to integrate schools by race and promote educational equality? Does racial inequality in American education limit efforts to promote racial equality in American society more generally? What consequences do racially segregated and unequal schools have for American society as a whole and all of us as Americans?