Kies de Nederlandse taal
Course module: 840804-B-6
Discovering Diversity
Course info
Course module840804-B-6
Credits (ECTS)6
CategoryBA (Bachelor)
Course typeCourse
Language of instructionEnglish
Offered byTilburg University; Tilburg School of Humanities and Digital Sciences; TSH: Liberal Arts and Sciences; Liberal Arts and Sciences;
Is part of
B Liberal Arts and Sciences
Contact personprof. dr. M.M.S.K. Sie
Coordinator course
prof. dr. M.M.S.K. Sie
Other course modules lecturer
Academic year2018
Starting block
SM 2
Course mode
RemarksThis information is not up to date. Check the Course Catalog 2019 or select the course via “Register”.
Registration openfrom 14/01/2019 up to and including 31/07/2019
Upon successful completion of the course, you will be able to:

1)    Describe in one’s own vocabulary three domains in which diversity is deemed important by many, explain why this is the case and examine and respond to arguments in favor of, or against, contemporary diversity policies.

2)    Describe important topics that relate to the issue of diversity in three, related, domains: the social world and autonomy, interaction and implicit bias and our relation to the bodily dimension of our existence.

3)    Compare the similarities and differences between the above mentioned topics, recognize and analyze their role in different policy and political discussions and understand how they affect our lives.

4)    Apply the various arguments studied to debates on diversity in other domains.

5)    Participate in discussions about diversity, autonomy, implicit bias and the bodily dimension of our existence.

6)    Articulate one’s own position with respect to the topic of diversity in an academically responsible way, that is, with reference to possible other positions and the ability to discuss the (dis)advantage of one’s own and the other positions.

With respect to the general qualification of the bachelor L.A.S. this course contributes to, your ability to:

1)    to identify societal issues and developments in an European context

2)    combine and integrate elements of different academic disciplines, especially from philosophy and psychology, in order to explore complex theoretical and practical problems and to offer creative and innovative solutions

3)    communicate expertise build upon scientific research in accessible and adequate manner, both orally and in writing, to an audience of specialists and non-specialists

4)    present and defend scientifically based viewpoints on relevant topics in an academic, respectful, clear and convincing manner and change one’s point of view when new insights are acquired

5)    act upon acquired knowledge and insights by demonstrating social commitment, responsibility and ethical awareness.

Skills taught and/or practiced:

1)    analytic, critical reading skills (of academic texts)

2)    careful reconstructive and creative skills (preparing a presentation), with use of new media

3)    cooperative skills (group-assignment)

4)    skills to discuss personal, important and politically sensitive matters in an academic and morally responsible way

Conclusion of the course:

-Central Examination with essay questions (40%)
-Assignments, part of them during class (60%)

Preparation of and participation to in-class discussion/assignments in small groups, including 1 group assignment that results in a presentation uploaded on internet and summary of one of the articles discussed during the course (60%). More detailed information will be announced through blackboard before the start of the course.

Besides lectures (the content of which is part of the examination), individual preparation and active participation in small-group discussions is also required for several of the meetings. Students are expected to keep track of the assignments and hand them in on time; the group assignments (see previous point) will be divided in the first meeting, hence make sure you are present at that meeting or ask a co-student mark your name down to participate.

There will be 3 guest-lectures.

For non-LAS students the number of places in this course is limited. For registration, please contact Gerwin van der Laan ( at least three weeks prior to the start of the course.
Nowadays ‘diversity’ has become the buzzword in the political and policy domain. Many people have come to believe that it is a bad thing that certain areas and domains, for whatever reasons, are uniformly made up of members of specific homogenous ‘social groups.’ In as far as this uniformity discloses discriminatory practices (broadly understood, that is, not necessarily as the result of intentional discrimination), which many believe to be the case, it is morally problematic and an important source of concern.
In this course we take a step back from the many difficult and heated political and policy discussions surrounding diversity, to investigate and discuss the phenomenon in an academically responsible way. Leaving aside the political issue, why is it important to reflect on and implement diversity? What gains or disadvantages might awareness of diversity bring us, and what insights? These questions will be addressed in relation to questions about our personal and moral identity, autonomy and moral responsibility.

The course is loosely divided into three parts:

(1)  Diversity and the social world (lifeworld). Autonomy is important in Western countries, but how does individual autonomy relate to our relations with those around us? How does society make our individual autonomy possible and/or how does it limit this? Does thinking about diversity help us answer these questions, does it change our views on them and/or does thinking about these questions help us understand issues of diversity?

(2)  Diversity in interaction (inter-subjectivity). Research findings in psychology and cognitive science increasingly show that interactions between people are influenced in ways that escape our awareness and that are immediately related to stereotypes and prejudices we harbor, for example with respect to the social groups to which people belong. This influence can enable us to function adequately, but also undermine our moral judgments. What do these insights teach us about ourselves in general and about diversity more specifically? Does it enable us to grasp why it is so difficult to make our practices more diverse?

(3)  Diversity and our bodies (embodiment) Our relationships with our social surroundings and the people we interact with, are influenced by bodily processes (e.g., emotions) that escape our awareness and responses to stereotypes and prejudices are partly informed by how we look. Perhaps it is also the case that the way we perceive the world is (partly) determined by the perspective we have on the world and this perspective might be (partly) determined by the specific bodies we have. What does reflecting on diversity disclose about this relationship to the bodily dimension of our existence and vice versa?

Compulsory Reading
  1. will be announced through blackboard in before the start of the course

Recommended Reading
  1. will be announced through blackboard in before the start of the course

Timetable information
840804-B-6|Discovering Diversity
Written test opportunities
Schriftelijk (40%) / Written (40%)EXAM_01SM 2209-07-2019
Written test opportunities (HIST)
Schriftelijk (40%) / Written (40%)EXAM_01SM 2118-06-2019
Required materials
Recommended materials
Written (40%)

Assignments (60%)

Final Grade

Kies de Nederlandse taal