Global & Intercultural Studies

Introduction

Globalization, as a concept, refers to the "shrinking" of the world and the increased consciousness of the world as a whole.  Globalization describes the changes in societies and the world economy that are the result of increased trade and cultural exchanges.  The increased connectedness of people on the planet is significant because we need to think as global citizens if the planet and those that live on the planet are to survive. To be a global citizen you have to understand cultural differences and work to eliminate stereotypes and strive for equality on the planet. Individually, we can make a difference, but it will be the collective efforts of everyone that help us solve the global issues facing the planet.
People develop their intercultural knowledge and competencies through explorations of their individual, cultural, community, provincial, and national identities, and those of people from cultural and/or national identities that differ from our own.  Global Intercultural Studies 12A will help you develop an understanding of culture, how it is shaped and how it shapes society, as well as your own view of the world. In reflecting upon and analyzing your personal cultural values first, you will develop a foundation for probing and understanding those of peers from other cultural backgrounds. This then provides a departure point for better understanding the place of Canada in the world and subsequently how others from around the world perceive Canada and Canadians. 

This course allows you to explore within Canada and outside of Canada depending on your interests.  Some students may choose to focus on how different groups within Canada perceive each other and interact. Subsequently, within this context, they will gain insight on the inter-connectedness of global issues and how culture influences those issues.  Others may look outside Canada and explore other cultures of interest.  By developing a self-awareness of your own and other cultures, as well as gaining interpersonal and intercultural communication skills, you will be more readily able to interact and flourish in a globalized world. The skills, knowledge, and attitudes learned will then be applied in order to prepare and/or reflect on intercultural experiences, whether at home or abroad. 

Ultimately, the goal is for students to be empowered and encouraged to apply these skills locally and globally, and to act as diversity leaders and global citizens. Everyone needs to start looking at global solutions, not just local solutions to issues. We are all connected to the earth.  Borders and nations are human constructs and not part of the world's natural order.  Nations must work together if we are to save the planet and its habitats. The problems we face are significant, but cultural awareness and global understanding can happen if people work together.  This course can serve as a starting point in that journey. 


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