Money's Value, Soul's Worth
Revised Last Updated: 12/03/2009
Fall, Winter and Spring quarters
Major areas of study include economics, social history, finance, cultural studies, religious studies, feminist theory, writing for the web, and contemplative studies.
Class Standing: This lower-division program is designed for 50% freshmen and 50% sophomores.
Accepts Winter Enrollment: This program will accept new enrollment, without signature.
[F]lows into markets such as Mexico, the Philippines and Taiwan have recently turned positive. This may be as much to do with valuation as the burnished halo that seems to hover above Obama's head. --State Street Global Markets Weekly Research Notes, 1.5.09 (www.globallink.com)
How is it that so-called modernized cultures organize around the questionable principle that money buys happiness? Although individuals, families, organizations and nations function in many different and competing value systems, under capitalism money appears to have and to create global value. But does it? For whom doesn't it? New Zealand parliamentarian Marilyn Waring (in)famously asked, "Why is the woman in labor the only person in a hospital delivery room not being paid?" How does money work? In contrast to the acquisitive capitalism and individual success that contribute to the economic measure of America's well being as Gross National Product (GNP), Bhutan established a moral and spiritual index for building an economy based on quality of life--Gross National Happiness (GNH). What can money buy, what can't it?
In this all-year, lower-division program, we'll ask questions to explore our consciences and material needs. We will seek to identify the kinds of life paths, career choices and spiritual and economic practices that provide a foundation for prospering in loving consideration and respect of other people, ourselves, and planet Earth.
We'll juxtapose the history and contemporary function of money with diverse cultural and historical understandings of spiritual worth and the human soul in a series of interdisciplinary case studies of specific goods and services. Contemporary case studies might include wilderness experience, the fast food hamburger, gallery art, prosthetic limbs, yoga lessons, student loans, or self-help products. Historical case studies might include homesteading, funerary objects, firearms, papal dispensations, charitable work, or slave trading. We'll frame our case studies within three epistemological categories: nature, religion, and science.
For each case study, we will learn to calculate monetary value, market valuation, and other business, economic, and market variables for the goods or services under study. At the same time, we will examine the social functions, personal meanings, and spiritual worth of those things through analytical and literary readings, arts and reporting assignments, and meditative practices. Students should expect to engage in experiential activities such as "Me, My Parents and Money," which will draw on theories and practices from Family Constellation and yoga traditions. In Fall Quarter, faculty will choose and model case study methods of research, analysis, and synthesis of findings. In Winter, student teams will choose and lead case studies. In Spring, students will choose cases for extended study and add individual experiential elements to the case study method, such as internship, entrepreneurship, travel, or studio and born digital art.
Throughout the year, we will tie our program explorations and learning to our own lives by pursuing in our discussions and readings an overarching case study: the value and worth of a liberal arts education. During Winter, we will support this unifying theme with a lecture series by successful Evergreen alumni who have found right livelihood as entrepreneurs. An accompanying research project will allow us to identify and integrate the skills, knowledge, and insights necessary for learning and earning in relationship to both money's value and soul's worth.
Credits: 16 per quarter
Enrollment: 46 Fall, 46 Winter and 23 Spring
Internship Possibilities: Spring only with faculty approval.
Special Expenses: Field trips: Fall $280, Spring $80 Retreat: Winter $125
Program is preparatory for careers and future studies in business and management, spirituality studies, social sciences and the humanities.
|March 20th, 2009||Bill Bruner (F) and Jules Unsel (WS) have joined faculty team; content/description will be modified.|
|March 25th, 2009||Description TBA -end of April.|
|May 4th, 2009||Updated description.|
|May 12th, 2009||Winter enrollment details added.|
|December 3rd, 2009||Special Expenses/Fees have increased.|