Carnegie Mellon University

Perceptions of Culture and Identity

Course Number: 82-286E

Section E of 82-286

Fulfills "Intercultural & Global Inquiry" Gen Ed requirement.

In the days when threats were constant, human beings needed to assess possible danger quickly. Today, before even speaking, our brain assesses and categorizes others. Needless to say, these quick judgements are inaccurate and based on what is visible or perceivable: clothing, health, age, skin color, gender, facial features, accented speech …, and even on where we encounter each other: in a bar, a library, or a laundromat. Problematically, we don’t realize the influence of our own cultures and identities on our assessments. Using TedX talks, guest visits, open class discussions, and academic articles on societal norms, culture, and identity, students will develop and implement an interview protocol to understand how to avoid bias and show respect in our interactions. Through the interview data, students will uncover themes leading to feelings of a lack of inclusivity and create ‘inclusive campus action plans’ to help us develop deeper understanding and acceptance in the CMU community.


Units: 9
Prerequisite(s): None