Spanish Culture and Society Today: Pluralities and Diversities (Service Learning Course) (in English)

ISA Study Center with Universidad Internacional Menéndez Pelayo-Sevilla

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Spanish Culture and Society Today: Pluralities and Diversities (Service Learning Course) (in English)

  • Host University

    ISA Study Center with Universidad Internacional Menéndez Pelayo-Sevilla

  • Location

    Seville, Spain

  • Area of Study

    Service-Learning, Spanish Culture

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Contact Hours

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Prerequisite: open to all language levels; taught in English

    Contact hours: 45

    Course Description: This course employs a cultural anthropological approach to the study of modern day Spain with a particular focus on Andalusia, the diversity of its peoples, and the challenges that they face. It shall analyze the evolution of Spanish culture and values in the 21st century through the examination of some of the complexities/concerns that qualify current Andalusia reality (and that of Spain overall) including social integration, education, gender relations, migration, unemployment and housing.

    This course is partly based on collaborative learning with tasks that shall generate positive interdependence among participants as well as tasks that require an active role within Andalusian society. As cultural studies is a cross-cutting field-based science that emphasizes direct participation in a culture, students will be able to participate in service-learning projects. This component of the course strives to facilitate students´ access to a more profound understanding of current day Andalusia, while increasing their ability to critically examine challenges in the world around them, and make a real difference through personal agency. This will reflected in a specific certification.

    Learning Outcomes:

    · Students will expand their understanding of contemporary Spanish history and culture, be able to know the current challenges faced by Spanish society today.

    · Students will gain additional insight into current day Spain/Andalusia through a closer observation of Sevillian culture.

    · Students will increase their intercultural competence through the study of course content and the interaction with Spanish society.

    · Students will enhance their critical thinking and writing skills by analyzing service learning experiences in relation to class content


    1. Introduction to the basic knowledge of Cultures, Societies and Identities:

    1.1. Humankind, bodies, cultures and traditions. Societies. Identities. Stereotypes.

    1.2. Intelligences and needs. Languages and Communication. Dimensions of diversity.

    2. Cultural Divides, Cultural Challenges: Finding Common Ground

    2.1. The Success or Lack of Social Integration

    2.2. Adapting to Multiculturalism in the Classroom

    2.3. Adult Educational Programs

    2.4. The Question of Identity

    2.5. Globalization and the Spanish - Andalusian Lifestyle

    3. The Gypsy Culture, More than Flamenco:

    3.1. The Land, its People: Societal Struggles, Social Discrimination

    3.2. Politics and Economy

    3.3. Values and Customs. Gender relationships.

    3.4. From Triana to Tres Mil Viviendas, An overlooked presence

    3.5. –Family, Tradition, Religion

    4. The Sagrada(s) Familia(s) of the 21st Century

    4.1. Sociological and historical changes of the Spanish population

    4.2. New definition of Family and gender roles

    4.3. Divorce and the Single Parent

    4.4. La Junta de Andalucía

    5. The Tradition and Unemployment: Is the Spanish Youth Culture changing?

    5.1. The Spanish Educational System, Up to Par with EU Standards?

    5.2. Out of school, Out of Work: Societal implications

    5.3. Creating Opportunities

    6. From Emigration to Immigration: the "New Andalusians"

    6.1. Immigrants and expats. How do Spaniards deal with immigration?

    6.2. Street vendors, the Sub-Saharan Presence

    6.3. Caregivers to the Elderly, Latin American Arrivals

    7. The Spanish Response: Xenophobia, the Celebration of Diversity, or a Little Bit of Both?

    7.1. The Hijab in the Classroom Controversy

    7.2. Multicultural Celebrations

    8. A Unifying Struggle: La crisis económica

    8.1. Making Ends Meet

    8.2. The Housing Dilemma: No Place to Call Home, Empty Apartments

    8.3. Creating Jobs in Andalusia

    8.4. Rethinking Wants Versus Needs

    8.5. Spanish Welfare System

    Bibliography: In addition to current journal and newspaper articles, students will view relevant (documentary) films and online videos, and be provided with selections from cultural and socio-historical texts. These include but are not limited to the following:

    Graham, Helen and Labanyi, Jo, ed. Spanish Cultural Studies: An Introduction, The Struggle for Modernity. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995.

    Hooper, John. The New Spaniards. London: Penguin Books, 2006.

    Jordan, Barry and Morgan-Tamosunas, Rikki, eds. Contemporary Spanish Cultural Studies. Great Britain: Arnold, 2000.

    Nash, Elizabeth. Seville, Córdoba and Granada: a Cultural and Literary History. Oxford:

    Single Books Limited, 2005.

    Tremlett, Giles. Ghosts of Spain: Travels through Spain and its Silent Past. New York: Walker & Company, 2006.


    Polígono Sur (El Arte de las Tres Mil). Dominique Able. 2003.

    La Casa de Bernarda Alba (Federico García Lorca). Mario Camus. 1987.

    Los Santos Inocentes Mario Camus. 1984.


    The students will receive a set of articles from different sources. They will be provided by means of the Schoology platform pilot program or email.

    Academic honesty:

    Students are expected to act in accordance with their University/College standards of conduct concerning plagiarism and academic dishonesty.

    Course evaluation breakdown:

    Projects: The tasks will come in the form of a term paper and oral presentation. All students will be required to do a class presentation (10-15 minutes). Also a term paper (6-10 pages) on a subject agreed with the professor will have to be delivered one week before the end of the course.

    Subjective evaluation: This evaluation criteria it is categorized as subjective and left to instructor´s personal criteria such as overall performance improvement, no unjustified absences, use of mobile devices whilst (while) in class, disruptive behaviour, tardiness, littering will be seen very unprofessional by the instructor and will affect the grade in this section.

    Class Attendance: Class attendance is obligatory, it is checked every class day and it is reflected in the course attendance sheet that is sent to the University. An 85% of attendance is required for the successful completion of the course. Not missing any class will be considered positively. Punctuality is required: If a student arrives more than 10 minutes late it will constitute half absence, also applied to any break given during class. If a student exceeds this limit, the grade in the transcript for this subject could appear as “not attended course”.

    Service Journal: Students will maintain an electronic service journal documenting his/her experiences with the organization with which s/he is working. This journal will serve as a tool for reflection and class discussion, as well as provide students with solid information for the final paper. It will be submitted regularly for evaluation. A final hard copy will be turned in the day of the roundtable.

    Service Learning Volunteer Sheet: Each student is required to complete a minimum of 15 hours of service learning (this does not include travel time to the given site). Each student will be provided with a Service Learning Volunteer Sheet and is asked to have his/her supervisor sign it upon completion of each service round.

    Service Learning Project and Final Paper: Students will be placed with an organization according to his/her academic schedule and Spanish language capabilities. Each student is expected to be open minded, act professionally and carry through with the commitment (changing placement will not be allowed). Students will give regular verbal updates in class regarding the service learning experience, maintain a journal, and write a final reflection paper about their experience, connecting the service experience to course material.

    Possible placements are:

    The National Organization of the Spanish Blind (ONCE)Fundación Tres Culturas (Three Cultures Foundation)

    Hermanas de la Caridad Soup Kitchen

    Regional Blood Transfusion Center/Blood Donation

    Asociación de Estudios Sociales por la Igualdad de la Mujer (A.E.S.I.M.)

    **Please note that placements are subject to change and are determined on-site in Sevilla. Placements are determined based on language level and scheduling. Please contact the ISA Sevilla Site Specialist for more information regarding these organizations.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last minute class cancellations