Us and Them: Challenges and Possibilities in Intergroup Relations

Semester: 

Spring

Offered: 

2014

The area of intergroup relations focuses on the psychological processes involved in how individuals in groups perceive, judge, remember, reason about, feel about, and behave toward people in other groups. In this course, we will consider topics such as social identity, power and social hierarchy, social prejudice, perspective taking, and reconciliation processes between groups. For example, we will ask: What is the role of “basic” cognitive processes in intergroup conflict? How many social identifications can a person have? How can we measure concealed negative attitudes that people hold about other group members? When it comes to relationships between powerful and less powerful groups, which group needs more empathy from the other group? Can intergroup relations be improved through pleasant interpersonal relationships? The course will combine theoretical discussion as well as in-class intergroup dynamic.