Diversity 1 - Is that What Diversity Is?

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Diversity 1 - Is that What Diversity Is?

  • Host University

    Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

  • Location

    Amsterdam, The Netherlands

  • Area of Study

    Anthropology, Race Studies, Sociology

  • 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

  • ECTS Credits

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

    This course is part of the Faculty Programme Social Sciences for Society. The course is followed by Diversity 2.

    Learning objectives
    Knowledge and understanding. Students have acquired knowledge and understanding of:
    (1) the distinction between diversity as ‘variety’ and as a social-societal phenomenon that is always related to power and politics;
    (2) processes of inclusion and exclusion (i.e. that is not ‘optional’ or random);
    (3) the various dimensions of diversity (e.g. class, gender, ethnicity, sexual preference, visible and invisible constraints);
    (4) the fact that that a problem can take on a completely different character if approached from a different discipline.

    Application. Students have acquired the competences to:
    (5) explain that diversity is not simply a theoretical or political reality, but has to do with how you see, represent and structure society;
    (6) relate examples of current incidents, political themes, policy developments or international themes to the issue of diversity, and learn to academically approach and comprehend these events;
    (7) identify their own real-world examples as they relate to social developments and issues of emancipation, power and interest.

    Making judgments. Students are able to demonstrate:
    (8) sensitivity to the complexity of the theme of diversity;
    (9) reflexivity on their own position in relation to diversity and the ability to discuss their position and their ideas in a profound and thoughtful manner; Learning skills. Students have acquired the skills to:
    (10) present their own real-world examples in context and analyse them in an articulated manner;
    (11) explore and understand the attitudes to and perspectives on diversity represented by various disciplines, including the aspects emphasized and omitted by various approaches.

    This course aims to promote awareness of diversity and to generate interest and curiosity as to what diversity really is about, and the ability (or inability) to perceive, feel and experience it. Where can it be found? In which practical issues and phenomena can you see a lack of diversity (to date) or a shift towards diversity? By looking at these areas, various forms of diversity will be dealt with and intersectionality will be addressed. By way of addressing various examples – many of them present-day (e.g., political happenings, policy development, and international themes) – the course will show clearly that diversity is not simply a theoretical or political reality, but has to do with how we see, represent and structure society. In other words, diversity is not an objective phenomenon but socially constructed, a perspective from which we look at society and people. Hence what diversity is can differ enormously. In sum, the course aims to foster sensitivity to the complexity of the theme. Students will learn to distinguish between diversity as ‘variety’ and as a social-societal phenomenon that is always related to power and politics, and to processes of inclusion and exclusion.

    Lectures, tutorials and in-class assignments.

    Written and/or oral examination.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Some courses may require additional fees.


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