SVF-3022 Culture, Conflict and Society - 10 ECTS
The course enables students to critically analyse and evaluate the relevance of contextual cultural and societal issues in efforts at understanding violent conflicts and peace-building. It applies perspectives from anthropology, religious studies and psychology to conflicts, peace and conflict transformation. It represents an attempt to conceptualise violent conflicts and related issues as inter-subjective experiences with cultural and psychological dimensions.
The topics addressed include: Anthropological perspectives on culture and conflict; Anthropology of difference and images of the other; Ethnicity, nationalism and conflict; Psychology, health, war and peace; and symbolic meanings and cosmologies.
Students who have successfully completed the course should have the following learning outcomes:
- have an understanding of diverse perspectives from anthropology, religious studies and psychology and how they relate to conflicts, peace and conflict transformation.
- have a conceptual understanding of violent conflicts and related issues as inter-subjective experiences with cultural and psychological dimensions.
- have the ability to explore the cultural and societal issues underlying violent conflicts and peace processes.
- have the ability to determine how different cultural groups conceptualize and respond to violence.
- have the ability to explore the broad issues informing inter-subjective and inter/intra-group experiences in violent conflict situations.
Skills and competences
- capable of relating perspectives from anthropology, psychology, and religious studies to conflicts and peace processes.
- capable of bringing inter-cultural understandings to bear on violent conflicts and peace-building processes.
- capable of taking responsibility for one's own learning by working independently towards the realisation of the course objectives.
Towards the end of the course, the students will be divided into pairs to make oral presentations (max 10 minutes) on a topic related to cultural, religious or psychological issues in their home countries or a chosen country/region vis-à-vis practices in other contexts. These presentations shall draw upon the course readings.
Candidates will write a school examination of 6 hours, consisting of both short questions and one essay question.
Grading is on the scale of A to F, where F is Fail.
A re-sit exam will be arranged for this course.