4708641: FU_Theory and Practice of Culture

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Semester:SS 19
Lektionen / Semester:30.0 L / 22.5 h
Selbststudium:67.5 h



Bachelorstudiengang Betriebswirtschaftslehre (01.09.2012)
Masterstudium Architektur (01.09.2014)
Bachelorstudium Architektur (01.09.2014)
Masterstudium Information Systems (01.09.2015)
Masterstudium Finance (01.09.2015)
Masterstudium Entrepreneurship (01.09.2015)


This course investigates various aspects of culture and its relations to the human being. It addresses some of the most important challenges that the globalized world puts before us, namely the way in which we cope with culture and cultural differences. Topics to be dealt with in this course include: the relationships between individual and culture, the meaning and construction of personality, the nature of identity, the nature of cultural differences, prejudices, and diversity.
An adequate answer to the challenges of culture will need at least two steps: first, the theoretical step (implemented through analytical study of key concepts) that consists in understanding the cornerstone concepts such as culture itself, identity, personality, and diversity; second, the practical step (implemented through practical exercises) that helps understand one's own identity and develop attitudes and abilities to cope successfully with cultural differences. Thus, this course relies on philosophy (for the explanation of complex concepts) and intercultural competence (for the elaboration of tools to deal with cultural differences.)


Participants will be able to:

  • Familiarize with the main theories in philosophy and intercultural competence about culture, identity, diversity, and personality;
  • Gain a holistic approach on these topics;
  • Identify the connections between theoretical reflections and practical applications;
  • Formulate well-articulated positions and develop a critical thinking about issues related to culture and the ways we cope with cultural differences;
  • Understand the process of intercultural understanding and competence.
  • Understand the socio-political implications of the discourses about cultural identity.



Lectures, discussions, presentations

Voraussetzungen (inhaltlich)



Supplied during the course
Amartya Sen, Identity and Violence: The Illusion of Destiny (New York: Norton, 2006.)
Samuel Fleischaker, The Ethics of Culture (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University, 1994.)
Amin Maalouf, In The Name of Identity. Violence and the Need to Belong. Trans. Barbary Bray (New York: Penguin, 2000.)
Alison Renteln, The Cultural Defense (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004.)
Darla Deardorff, The SAGE Handbook of Intercultural Competence (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 2009.)
Edward T. Hall, Understanding Cultural Differences (Boston, Mass.: Intercultural Press, 1990.)


Reading assignments, active participation in class, and presentations
Participation in exercises
Participation in the Campus Talk, 20th February 2019, 6-7.3 pm "home and migration" (Heimat und Migration), Prof. Dr. Walter Leimgruber

Compulsory attendance (min. 80%)

  • Course based on continuous assessment, details see under "assessment".
  • Meeting attendance obligations is an essential pre-requisite for successfully completing a course based on continuous assessment.
  • Attendance must be proven for at least 80% of the stipulated contact time. Responsibility for checking and providing written proof of this obligatory attendance lies with the course lecturer who is required to store this information at least until the end of the semester.
  • In the case of absenteeism that exceeds the specified limits of absence, a medical certificate is required. Responsibility lies with the head of the Coordination Office for Cross-Faculty Elective Subjects to approve the reason for the student's failure to attend.
  • Participation in other activities of the university are not recognized as an excused absence


Passed / Failed


Fakultätsübergreifendes Wahlfach:
Es gelten spezielle Anmeldemodalitäten.


  • P-FU_Theory and Practice of Culture (SS 19, in Planung)