Few people would deny that the social world is changing: that migration has become such an issue in Europe is evidence of that. Many of us realize that change is an opportunity and welcome it, but many of us also fear it, too.
A larger than ever proportion of our communities are older, obviously disabled, practitioners of different religions, speakers of different languages, and inventors of new identities, including redefining gender difference as well as being to our country.
Responding to these changes is a challenge for localities, for government, for organizations, and for schools and universities. Our course covers all of these challenges but only after we consider the greatest challenge—to ourselves. As much as we delight in change, we also fear it, and oppose it. Too much diversity in our personal world can lead to loss, anger, resentment, and disgust. It can make us want to stick together and attack the other who, we think, makes us have these negative feelings.
This course focusses on these psychological and sociocultural processes of ‘othering’ and how they translate into unconscious bias. We consider in- and out-groups, people who can bridge them, and people who cannot. We study extremism, hate-groups, as well as more ordinary avoidance of anyone who is too different for comfort.
The course will be relevant to anyone working with diversity who wants to take their understanding to a new level; to health care workers who want to understand and grapple with the roots of stigma, and to therapists, psychologists, and social scientists looking for a theoretical framework for social or individual change.
(Please note that this module also forms part of NSPC's new PG Certificate, PG Diploma, and MA in Diversity, awarded by Middlesex University, and credits from completing this short course can be transferred, on satisfactory completion of an assignment, to one of these new courses. Further details, including how to apply, at www.nspc.org.uk/diversity).