2011 TC Calendar
Teachers College, Columbia University
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"Singlism", Marriage, "Partnership", or...? A Socratic Conversation

        What are our options in long-term relationships today? How free are we to choose what suits us best - and how free should we be? Are our choices constrained by stereotyping and discrimination?

        "Singlism" is the label recently given to the pattern of prejudice and inequities against those who live solo, in books like, Singlism: What It Is, Why It Matters, and How to Stop It; Even God Is Single (So Stop Giving Me a Head Time); and the just-published Is Marriage for White People? , exploring the reality and the consequences of the African American marriage decline.

        Discrimination against the unmarried, it has been shown, lurks in the workplace, the marketplace, the media, in advertising, religion, and pseudoscience, in our universities and professional societies, in laws and policies, and in our everyday lives.

        And what about Matrimania --the over-the-top hyping of marriage and coupling in American culture -- which put singles at additional disadvantage, risk,and sometimes misery.

        Please join us to share your experiences, thoughts, and reflections.

        • What choices for your long-term relationships have you made, or are you considering?


        • What are the positive and negative consequences of your chosen style?,/li>

        • Do these consequences affect your attitude towards choosing for yourself?


        • How do you feel about the issue of having children?


        • Do people who choose to be single suffer discriminatory treatment?


        Here's a short article highly relevant to this session: "In a Married World, Singles Struggle for Attention", by Tara Parker-Pope, New York Times, Sept. 20, 2011.  
         
        ***
        Inspired by Socrates' famous conversations with his friends in the marketplace of 5th century Athens, we engage in spirited discussions of ideas and issues. Socratic conversations range broadly and probe deeply into the basic challenges of life. They are informed by the latest literature for reference and follow up. While building a sense of community on campus, these meetings enliven the intellectual atmosphere and model dialogue and discussion as modes of inquiry.

        These highly-participatory conversations with fellow students are moderated by Ronald Gross, author of Socrates' Way and Co-chair of the University Seminar on Innovation in Education. They are part of a year long series of Socratic Conversations hosted by the Gottesman Libraries (see TC Today, Winter 2010, p. 65).
         
        Next Session:  Thursday, 11/17 Topic: Why Do We Do the Right Thing?
         
        Individuals with disabilities are invited to request reasonable accommodations including, but not limited to sign language interpretation, Braille or large print materials, and a campus map of accessible features. Address these requests to the Office of Access and Services for Individuals with Disabilities at (212) 678-3689, keller@tc.edu, or Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services at (212) 678-3853 V/TTY, jaech@tc.edu.

        • Jennifer Govan
        • 212-678-3022
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