Cross-Cultural Psychology (Section 1)

Discipline: Psychology
Instructor: Kantrowitz
Credits: 3
Day: A
Start: 1550
End: 1710
Field Work: Day 1 - Monday, 20 October | Spain Download Syllabus

This course is designed to increase students’ awareness of and sensitivity to issues pertaining to diversity and difference in the field of psychology. Students will learn more about their own cultural heritage as well as the multicultural nature of the world. They will learn how attitudes, beliefs, and biases can affect our understanding of and our interactions with other people. Topics will include: cross-cultural research; universality or cultural specificity of psychology principles; definitions of self; family relationships; gender differences; verbal and nonverbal communication; expression of emotion; prejudice and oppression; healing and health; and abnormal psychology. Multicultural approaches to health care delivery and counseling will be discussed. Observations during time in ports will provide opportunities to apply concepts discussed in class.

Field Work

Country: Spain
Day: 1 - Monday, 20 October

We will spend the day at La Fundació FORMACIÓ i TREBALL (Training and Work Foundation), an organization supported by Caritas Diocese of Barcelona. We will learn about their programs for vulnerable groups at risk, such as those experiencing economic and psychological difficulties.  Many of their programs focus on the development of job training and life skills so that participants can reenter the labor market. We will see some of these programs and interact with participants. In addition, we will hear about the March for Social Inclusion, an innovative project that combines social inclusion with hiking in the Pyrennes for forty days. Participants on the March shared their personal life experiences and challenges with the local people they met in order to raise their awareness about life on the margins. We will see films about this experience and meet with some of the participants. Academic Objectives: 1.  To demonstrate that individuals from different social and cultural backgrounds can be better understood and helped if professionals, including medical and mental health workers, are culturally knowledgeable and sensitive. 2.  To demonstrate why it is important that psychology as a discipline incorporate contextual and sociocultural factors. 3.  To understand diversity as it relates to such topics as homelessness, social exclusion, mental illness, trauma, immigration, gender, age, and socioeconomic status 4.  To learn about resources available for helping those who have work difficulties, including those affected by mental health issues and personal life challenges. 5.  To increase students’ awareness of the range of patterns of behavior, thought, and emotion in individuals and cultures and to develop an intellectual tolerance and respect for others’ viewpoints. 6. To apply concepts of the course, including critical thinking skills, to help students better understand themselves, their own cultures, and the cultures they have visited this semester.