New University of Richmond Class: LGBTQ Consumer
Read More: University of Richmond
The University of Richmond continues to add LGBT courses to their general offering. Spring 2013, the University’s School of Professional & Continuing Studies will offer a new course titled: “The LGBTQ Consumer: Buying a Seat at the Table.” The placement of the class in the School of Professional & Continuing Studies will allow non-degree students and community members to enroll in the class without having to fulfill the University’s general requirements. The University of Richmond, already, offers specific queer themed classes like Queers And Religion, Feminist & Queer Theories, Queer Literature. It’s Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies program incorporates queer research and theories into its general curriculum.
Class members can expect to gain useful and practical insights into LGBT consumer practices. As according to the course description:
In an effort to ultimately identify the factors influencing the advancement of civil rights and overall acceptance, students will explore the power queer consumers exert within both economic and political situations. Consideration will be given to the impact that identifying as LGBTQ has on socio-economic status. Economic, political, and cultural assumptions will be explored. Students will identify key LGBTQ individuals who have advanced the economic and political standing of the queer community.
I was able to talk to the class’s professor John Zinn, Director of Enrollment Management and Student Services & Adjunct Assistant Professor at the School of Professional & Continuing Studies, about the course and how it will be useful to students and business folk:
What useful information will a business person learn?
Some businesses may be at cross purposes between the goal of maximizing profits and that of promoting social values and mores. Students will explore case studies, such as the recent Chick-Fil-A issue. We will consider whether such policies promote or hurt profitability and a company’s image.
Would marketing people find this useful?
Part of the course will focus on the increased marketing efforts geared toward the LGBTQ community. Many studies support the conclusion that this is good for the bottom line.
What insights will you bring to the class?
As an economist and a gay consumer, I look forward to facilitating candid discussions. We will explore research in academic journals as well as more mainstream articles. Students will leave the course well-equipped and ready to continue the conversation within their individual communities.
Have you done any research on the subject?
While this topic has been an interest of mine for several years, I haven’t conducted any original research in this area. One of my former high school students encouraged me to develop this course 5 years ago. A research component may well be incorporated into the course.
Admissions into the program begins November 13. If you are interested, then sign up through the School of Professional and Continuing Studies admissions page. Those interested will need to click on “non-degree-seeking admissions“.
Jon Henry comes from the small town of Washington, Virginia. Xe finished xes degree at the University of Richmond and was named GayRVA.com's Out.Spoken. Richmonder of the Year for 2011. When not in class, xe is either in the studio or rabble rousing with other queer activists. Follow xem on Twitter.
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