Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Intercultural Encounters

LEVEL 03 - Years 2, 3, 4 in Modular Undergraduate Course



DESCRIPTION This unit provides an overview of contemporary research into intercultural relations. It starts with the sociological concern with social solidarity in the context of class relations, and revisits the reformulation of collective representations in terms of social representation, in the wake of influences of immigration and globalisation. The unit proceeds to locate these concerns within the social psychological literature, and reviews aspects of this literature that help in the understanding of this contemporary challenge, such as social identities, beliefs and values, social capital, and acculturation policies. The unit examines a number of contributions that help in understanding the challenges of positive intercultural relations, the reasons for solidarity breakdowns, and policies that promise a resolve.

Study unit Aims:

This study-unit aims to provide students with a learning opportunity to further their understanding of how social relations with special reference to intergroup relations. This understanding is particularly topical in Malta, where the encounter with different others is on the rise due to various forms of migration. The unit aims to provide students with an understanding of the ways in which individuals and communities strive to relate with different others whilst protecting their original sense of who they are.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & understanding:
By the end of this study unit, the student will be able to:

Acquire an understanding of how individuals relate with culturally different others in ways that preserve their own psychological well-being. Students will acquire an understanding of how individuals’ behaviours are shaped by their cultural contexts, and how positive relations with others require the negotiation of intercultural divides.

2. Skills:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

Describe and critically appraise in essay form a range of central issues that arise in intercultural encounters and argue for policy solutions that provide ways for maximising positive intercultural outcomes. Students will be expected to be able to articulate how in certain conditions individuals create community ties that can include or exclude different others.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:
(availability at the Library or otherwise is indicated)

Sammut, G., & Gillespie, A. (2011). Cultural Encounters and Social Solidarity. Papers on Social Representations, 20(1) [special issue]. Open-access: online.

Secondary Texts:

Moghaddam, F.M. (2008). Multiculturalism and Intergroup Relations: Psychological implications for democracy in global context. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association (available in library)
Berry, J.W., Poortinga, Y.H., Breugelmans, S.M., & Chasiotis, A. (2011). Cross-Cultural Psychology: Research and Applications (3rd ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

ADDITIONAL NOTES Pre-Requisite Study-units: PSY1606 Social Psychology.

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture and Seminar

Assessment Component/s Resit Availability Weighting
Examination (2 Hours) Yes 100%

LECTURER/S Gordon Sammut

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.