Cultural Diversity in Social Work

University of Applied Sciences Osnabrück

Purpose and content

Culture is that which shapes us; it shapes our identity and influences our behavior. Culture is our “way of being”. The course deals with cultural diversity in different situations based on a comparative perspective. It is designed as a module for students of  Social Work/Education and related studies. Through a diverse mix of workshops, visits to practical settings and lectures, different topics related to "Cultural Diversity" will be discussed in an international setting. The seminar gives insights into a variety of  current theoretical approaches that make culture visible as (contested) places of everyday life and deals with the effects of (post)colonialism, globalization, internationalization and transnationality on cultural concepts. The module provides also the opportunity to reflect on theoretical foundations of transculturality, diversity, equality, solidarity and intercultural/interreligious communication.

Learning outcome

After completion of the course students should be able to:

  • define different concepts of culture and their impact on identity
  • know the concept of a global ethic, (critical) cultural studies and postcolonialism
  • refer to human rights in order to guide their social practice
  • know the basic beliefs of the world religions and the values they convey
  • facilitate diversity awareness, cross-cultural competencies and  interreligious communication

Further information

Course instructor

Prof. Dr. Ayça Polat

Course instructor

Prof. Dr. Joachim Thönnessen