13 Living in Complex Societies

Discussion / Reflection Activities



Living in complex societies: learning resources, guest lectures, and interactions and responses on shared values, observations, or experiences based on students’ ancestry, heritage, and travels. Students will learn about cultural “do and don’t” around the world and provide the class with their own culture shock experiences and how they overcame them. Through the study of cultural concepts, this course develops skills in critical thinking, writing, and scholarly documentation. The COIL project guest lecture will focus on the juxtaposition of the socio-developmental processes between nation-states, regions or across different types of society.  There are two main approaches/methods applicable to this course: the first seeks similarities across different countries and cultures; that is, the application of ‘most different system design’ (MDSD) while the other seeks variation; that is, the ‘most different system design’ (MSSD). For example, Structural Marxism has sought to engage comparative methods to discover the general processes that underlie apparently different social orderings in different societies. However, a major undoing of this approach is that the different social contexts are routinely underplayed in the search for supposed universal structures. Max Weber has remained the most notable Sociologist who employed comparative methods to understand variance; that is, differential attributes to depict how dissimilarities between cultures explained the different social orderings that had emerged.

COIL Project partner: Dr. Adebusuyi Adeniran, Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the Obafemi Awolowo University [OAU], Ile Ife, Nigeria: https://soc-anthro.oauife.edu.ng



An OER / COIL project on “Society and Cross-Cultural Interaction: Verbal and Non-Verbal Communication Across Cultures”

Diversity and Multiculturalism in the 21st Century

Non Verbal Communication – Message of Time Space and Silence Across Cultures

Verbal and Non Verbal Communications Across Cultures