Cross-Cultural Psychology (Section 2)

Discipline: Psychology
Instructor: Kantrowitz
Credits: 3
Day: A
Start: 1425
End: 1540
Field Work: Day 2 - Tuesday, 21 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: 2 - Tuesday, 21 October

In the morning we will visit Arrels Fundació, an organization that helps homeless people improve their lives.  This foundation also works to raise awareness in the public about the problems of poverty and homelessness. We will learn about the multitude of services that Arrels offers to its participants, including meaningful activities that help foster self-confidence and interpersonal bonds. The class will divide in two as we are led by formerly homeless individuals through some neighborhoods of the city.  We will learn about the reality of homeless people on this walk, giving us the opportunity to look at Barcelona in a different way. In the afternoon we will visit the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Barcelona.  Graduate students will present their research on many relevant topics, including health issues in rural areas with indigenous populations in resource-poor settings.  We will also have the opportunity to interact with these students in an informal setting after the presentations. Academic Objectives: 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 are homeless, including those with personal life challenges and mental health issues, regain meaning and dignity in   their lives. 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.