After successfully completing the course, students are able to::
- explain the most important research questions, theories, and findings with regard to intergroup prejudice and intergroup relations;
- apply various theories about intergroup behavior to explain societal problems with regard to the integration of immigrants and diversity policies;
- critically analyze and compare theoretical concepts from different fields in the social sciences;
- derive concrete, testable hypotheses from different social science theories with regard to intergroup prejudice and develop appropriate research designs to test these hypotheses.
Students' progress in realizing the learning goals will be monitored through a group assignment in which students prepare a “student-run” class that activates their fellow students to engage with the topic of the week. The goal is not to give a presentation of one of the readings in the course but rather find a creative way to engage the entire class with the topic. In addition, short assignments will be completed during the tutorials. The provided questions are designed to train students in explaining the central theories, applying the concepts to current societal problems, critically analyzing and comparing the theories, and deriving hypotheses. Completing the assignments serves as preparation for the final exam. The final exam will test students' knowledge and understanding of different theoretical perspectives, research questions, and findings with regard to prejudice and intergroup relations. Moreover, students' ability to analyze and compare different theories will be examined as well as their ability to derive hypotheses from such theories.
We have witnessed an increase in anti-immigrant prejudice and support for radical right-wing parties in almost all Western societies in the last couple of years. Many pundits link this to the large number of refugees entering Europe, to Islamic terrorism, and to the poor state of the economy. But how do these facts foster prejudice? Why do some react with discrimination and others not? Why are particular groups singled out? These and many more questions will be addressed in “Rejecting Minorities.”|
The course focuses on prejudice, discrimination, and intergroup relations. In particular, we will discuss how the majority group reacts to minority groups in society. We will study how prejudices develop, for instance, how negative attitudes follow from threats to people's identities or their belongings. Moreover, we will examine the consequences of prejudices for intergroup interactions and, in particular, which political decisions are made and which policies are implemented. A special focus will be on approaches to reduce prejudice and foster the cohesion of majority and minority groups in society.
Given the current political climate in most western societies, we will primarily study the reactions of majority groups to immigrants and their integration process. But we will also pay attention to existing prejudice toward other social groups such as religious or sexual minorities.
We will study why people develop prejudices and negative attitudes toward other groups from the perspective of different fields in the social sciences. The main focus will be on sociological and social psychological explanations. We will study which research questions can be answered with these theories and which societal problems may be solved. We will critically examine the hypotheses derived from theories and evaluate the validity of the empirical tests of these hypotheses. In doing so, this course draws mainly from quantitative research.
In this course, students will be trained and tested in the following academic abilities:
In the tutorials, students will (a) make and discuss assignments, (b) present and debate the tasks of the student-run class (group assignments), and (c) discuss events with regard to intergroup relations. This will allow students to gain deeper insights into the existing societal problems, various theories and research findings with regard to prejudice and intergroup relations. Students will also further their abilities to analyze and compare theoretical perspectives, formulating research questions, and developing research designs. In the tutorials, students will also be trained in deriving (competing) hypotheses from different theories and in analyzing ongoing debates about relations in the general public.
- Critically examining theories, applying these theories to societal problems, and comparing theories with each other from an interdisciplinary perspective.
- Formulating research questions with regard to intergroup prejudice, developing hypotheses and an appropriate research design to test these hypotheses.
- Being able to identify the theoretical background of societal issues discussed in the public with regard to intergroup relations, and being able to discuss theories and mechanisms with regard to current events.
Competencies-Entry requirementsPrerequisite knowledge
|At least one year of a social science bachelor study (e.g. ASW, sociology, psychology, ...)||Required materials|
|A list with the required readings will be made available in the course manual. These articles can be downloaded through the university library.|Instructional formats
General remarksIn addition to video recordings of the lectures, each week there will be a live lecture on MS Teams. Students are expected to attend these lectures. This means that students are present and actively engaged during lectures, that all information and material presented or discussed during lecture is potential material for exams, and that important announcements may be made in the lecture.
Class session preparationStudents are expected to have read the literature.
Contribution to group workActive participation, preparation of presentations and debates: Students are expected to work in small groups of 4 or 5 on an assignment that serves as preparation of the work group. These assignments have to be submitted to the work group teacher.
General remarksEach week, there is a work group. Participation in the work group is mandatory.
Class session preparationStudents are expected to have read the literature and have submitted the student-run class if it is their group’s turn.
Contribution to group workActive participation in discussions, give presentation, and relate the discussed topic to current events that are discussed in the media.
AssessmentCriteria are students' understanding of the existing societal problems, theories, hypotheses, and the test of these hypotheses with regard to intergroup prejudice. During the tutorials, students will be trained in comparing theoretical perspectives, formulating research questions, deriving hypotheses from theories, and developing research designs to test these hypotheses.
DeadlinesThe student-run class (group assignment) will be graded and counts 20% toward the final grade.