• University of Leeds

Introduction to Intercultural Studies: Defining the Concept of Culture

Understand intercultural communication by learning about the concepts of culture and interculturality.

Introduction to Intercultural Studies: Defining the Concept of Culture
  • Duration2 weeks
  • Weekly study5 hours
  • AccreditationAvailableMore info

Expand your understanding of the concepts of ‘culture’ and ‘interculturality’

On this course, you’ll explore some of the meanings associated with the term ‘culture’ and examine their problematic nature. You’ll understand the effects of the interaction between cultures, explore the notion of interculturality and problematise the way in which social interaction between people from different backgrounds has been considered.

Through videos and articles, you’ll also examine the theories that underpin intercultural interactions and broaden your understanding of culture and intercultural communication.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 6 seconds Welcome to Intercultural Studies– Defining the Concept of Culture.

Skip to 0 minutes and 13 seconds Examining culture can be problematic, because categorising people into different cultures creates in and outgroups. This course focuses on the different dimensions of culture and explains the limitations of these definitions.

Skip to 0 minutes and 31 seconds So if we think about the question what is culture? We might want to change it to how culture is used. Culture can be used as a way, in quite a positive aspect, where people can draw on the ideas of culture for identity formation. However, there’s also a flip side where culture can be used in practises of othering. By exploring the concept of othering further, you will gain greater understanding of how division occurs between groups of people. Difference can be used in quite a positive sense where we have a curiosity about what we see as differences which we want to explore.

Skip to 1 minute and 6 seconds It can also have a very negative sense as well where, for example, it’s used in the realm of politics where a group of people who are seen as different and threatening. And it can sow the seeds of distrust and, possibly, discord as well. Through case studies, you will look at different cultural and intercultural groups to gain a greater understanding of the topic and how it affects our everyday lives. The course will be available to learners worldwide. And this will provide an opportunity for people from different places to work together creatively and constructively.

Skip to 1 minute and 42 seconds That will include analysing and critically interrogating notions of stereotype and, hopefully, using the concept of culture and interculturality in positive ways, which will allow them to work together effectively. Sign up now for Intercultural Studies– Defining the Concept of Culture.

What topics will you cover?

  • The complex meanings of the term culture and exploring the difference between ‘culture’ (ideas, practices and behaviour of groups of people) and ‘Culture’ (the arts, philosophy etc).
  • Interculturality - the interaction of people from different societies in a way that supports understanding and dialogue.
  • The idea of dimensions of cultures, how these have been used to explain interactions between people of different cultures and their limitations.
  • The way in which humans tend to ‘other’, how this leads to the development of ‘in’ and ‘out’ groups and the consequences of their formation.
  • Transcultural flows and practices - the interaction between different groups and the ways in which practices and ideas can flow between them.
  • Small cultures and cultural environments.

Who is this accredited by?

The CPD Certification Service (corporate member)
The CPD Certification Service (corporate member):

This course is seeking accreditation by the CPD Certification Service. Once approved it can be used to provide evidence of your continuing professional development.

When would you like to start?

  • Date to be announced

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What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Develop an understanding of the ideas of culture and interculturality.
  • Describe the different dimensions of cultures and explain the limitations of these definitions.
  • Discuss how othering leads to the development of in and out groups and explore their effect on cultural interactions.
  • Evaluate the range of meanings of the term culture.
  • Investigate a range of intercultural interactions using their understanding of intercultural competence.

Who is the course for?

The course is for anyone with an interest in the concepts of culture and interculturality, you don’t need any previous experience.

This course is also ideal if you are preparing to move to a different country for work or study or you work with groups of people from different cultures to yours. By completing all aspects of the course you will have achieved 14 hours of CPD time.

Who will you learn with?

I am Director of Intercultural Studies in the School of Languages, Cultures and Societies at the University of Leeds.

Who developed the course?

University of Leeds

As one of the UK’s largest research-based universities, the University of Leeds is a member of the prestigious Russell Group and a centre of excellence for teaching.

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