Intercultural sensitivity is both an extremely important and wildly misunderstood skill in today’s globalized technological society. There is an increasingly large need for professionals entering the workforce who are culturally competent in a way that respects other’s cultural values and practices as it relates to business, education, and politics. In response to this important topic, this general survey course will attempt to cover the philosophies of radical behaviourism and functional contextualism which focus on the use of language both publicly (e.g. talking/writing to others) and privately (e.g. thoughts) in relation to how people behave towards others and themselves. By engaging in readings, class discussions/exercises, and in-person experiences around Perugia, students will explore first-hand how people in various cultures use language to interact in their environments. Topics will include the behavior of politics, cultural nudges in economics, the use of language in education, and the verbal constructions of religion and spirituality.
By the end of the course students will be able to:
- understand the general concepts of radical behaviourism and functional contextualism
- explain group behavior through cultural selection and operant lineages
- develop their own knowledge of their cultural worldviews/values and how they might change over the course of this class
- identify functions of cultural bias, values, prejudice, and racism
Mandatory course reader