SPRING 2013 SYLLABUS
Course Number and Title: PSYC 323 Cultural Psychology (3 credits)
Instructor: Dr. Marnie L. Moist Office: Scotus 102-C
Preferred Communication: E–mail firstname.lastname@example.org Office Phone: 472-2887
Office Hours: MWF 10:00–11:30 a.m.; 2:15–3:15 p.m. TR 4:15–5:15 p.m.
Class Meeting Day and Time: MWF 1:10 – 2:00 p.m. Scotus 106
BROAD PURPOSE OF COURSE
This course will focus on the means by which culture and individuals bi–directionally influence each other. The individual is viewed in cultural psychology as being inextricably embedded in culture, hence psychological mechanisms are not located merely within the individual. In other words, the boundary between an individual and his/her social, cultural, and historical environment is not clear-cut. There are three main purposes of this course. The first is to help you recognize, understand, and respect the complexity of sociocultural and international diversity (APA Goal 8 – Sociocultural and International Awareness). The second goal is to help you understand and apply psychological principles to personal, social, and organizational issues (APA Goal 4 – Application of Psychology). The third goal is to expand your ability to effectively communicate in a variety of formats (APA Goal 7 – Communication)
SPECIFIC COURSE OBJECTIVES
APA Goal 8: Sociocultural and International Awareness
APA Goal 4: Application of Psychology
APA Goal 7: Communication Skills
APA 8.1 – Interact effectively and sensitively with people of diverse abilities, backgrounds, and cultural perspectives.
APA 8.6 – Predict how interaction among diverse people can challenge conventional understanding of psychological processes and behavior.
APA 7.4 – Demonstrate effective interpersonal communication skills, with particular emphasis on design of effective questions to get desired information from others.
APA 7.5 – Exhibit the ability to collaborate effectively.
Semester–long Ethnographic Interview Group Project
APA 8.2 – Examine the sociocultural and international contexts that influence individual differences.
APA 8.3 – Explain how individual differences influence beliefs, values, and interactions with others and vice versa.
APA 8.4 – Understand how privilege, power, and oppression may affect prejudice, discrimination, and inequity.
APA 8.5 – Recognize prejudicial attitudes and discriminatory behaviors that might exist in themselves and in others.
APA 4.2 – Identify appropriate applications of psychology in solving problems.
APA 4.3 – Articulate how psychological principles can be used to explain social issues and inform public policy.
APA 4.4 – Apply psychological concepts, theories, and research findings as these relate to everyday life.
APA 4.5 – Recognize that ethically complex situations can develop in the application of psychological principles.
5 Individual Writing Assignments that Link Readings Together and to Personal Experiences
APA 7.1 – Demonstrate effective writing skills in various formats and for various purposes.
Ethnography Project and Writing Assignments
APA 7.2 – Demonstrate effective oral communication skills in various formats and for various purposes.
Participation during Class Discussion Days
Jin, H. (1999). Waiting. New York, NY: Vintage International.
Malladi, A. (2003). The Mango Season. New York, NY: Ballantine Books.
Moist, M.L. (Ed.), (2012). PSYC 323 Cultural Psychology Coursepack. Columbus, OH:
Morrison, T. (1970). The Bluest Eye. New York, NY: Plume/Penguin Books.
Nisbett, R.E. (2003). The Geography of Thought: How Asians and Westerners Think
Differently…and Why. New York, NY: Free Press.
American Psychological Association (2010). Publication Manual of the American Psychological
Association (6th Ed.). Washington D.C.: APA.
Note: A copy of the 6th edition is held on 4-hour in-library reserve in the SFU library at the Reference Desk. Also, please see the APA online resource link in our Blackboard course. There is a 6th edition online tutorial that includes a sample APA paper. All papers are expected to include all relevant APA–style citations (i.e., author(s) year for all assigned readings) and a full reference page at the back.
Classes will include lectures, in-class demonstrations, and in-class discussions of assigned readings.
HOW TO USE BLACKBOARD
Log On Instructions
1. Using Internet Explorer, type http://courses.francis.edu/ on the command line. Alternatively, if your browser is set to automatically go to http://my.francis.edu, you can select the Blackboard link under Campus Resources.
2. To the left of the username/password screen, select the link that says, “Please login using your SFU username and password”. It will tell you how to search for your username (which is identical to the first part of your SFU e-mail address, i.e., the part that comes before @francis.edu). For those who are using Blackboard for the first time ever, your initial password will be: the first 2 letters of your lastname + the first 2 letters of your first name + the four digits (month & day) of your birthday. It is recommended that you change your password ASAP (see link within this same area for how) since the same username/password will be used to access your e-mail, Blackboard, and my.francis.edu.
EXAMPLE: Student: John B. Conrad Birthdate: 05/23/1991
John might have the following login info: Username: jbc101 Initial Password: cojo0523
You MAY use your laptop during class to take notes. I am not the thought-police; laptop misuse during class time means you have only yourself to blame should your grades suffer. If you observe someone misusing their laptop during class time in way that is disruptive, I will address any concerns brought to my attention.
ACCOMMODATIONS, TUTORING, AND LIBRARY HELP
Accommodations: Any student who feels she/he may need an accommodation based on a disability, in this or any other course, must contact Ms. April Fry in the Office of Disability Services in 106 Saint Francis Hall at 814-472-3176 or email@example.com, before the semester begins or as soon as possible after the semester begins. A student requesting accommodations must provide recent documentation of his or her disability to Disability Services. After the proper documentation is approved, students must then schedule individual meetings with individual faculty in their offices to discuss the specific needs for courses.
Tutoring: The Writing & Tutoring Center is in the SFU library. Students may walk in as needed during weekday afternoons and early evening without advance notice, but you may also make an appointment with someone to fit your specific needs by contacting April Fry at firstname.lastname@example.org .
See librarians for help finding sources for ethnographic interview paper as needed.
Grades will be based on the following:
1) Ethnographic Interview Project with TWO Self-Selected Partners (250 pts. total)
Part I (80 pts.) – Co–written interview questions with e–mailed informant responses attached.
Part II (170 pts.) – Group paper (6–7.5 page max) summarizing most interesting findings
2) Four brief papers based on assigned readings and class notes (4-6 pages of text maximum; each must be APA–style, double–spaced, including all relevant citations, title page, and full reference page) (100 pts. each; 400 total)
3) Final exam “Top 10” paper based on cumulative integration of 10 distinct course readings and/or class notes (3–4 pages of 10 bullet points, each with brief cited, elaborations that compare/contrast the two main characters from The Bluest Eye; must be double–spaced, include APA–style title page, citations, and full references). (200 pts.)
4) Class Discussion + Ethnography Participation (150 pts. total – 100 pts. earned from active involvement on class discussion days; 50 pts. earned from ethnography partner’s assigned grade on sharing equal workload and cooperation)
5) Attendance (100 points – loss of 2 points for each unexcused absence)
TOTAL COURSE POINTS = 1100 points
Note: I do not round up final course grades upon request so please do not ask me to do so. If you are on the border between two grades, the final paper will weigh heaviest in my decision about whether to assign you the higher vs. lower final grade.
92% - 100% = A 78%-79.99% = C +
90% - 91.99% = A – 70%-77.99% = C
88% - 89.99% = B + 60%-69.99% = D
82%-87.99% = B 59.99% and below = F
80%-81.99% = B -
NOTE: Instructions for all assignments outlined below can be found in Blackboard by selecting the “Assignments” button on the left menu. You must self–obtain all instructions.
After learning how to properly conduct ethnographic interviews in class, you
and your two partners will conduct several ethnographic interviews with ONE
person from a culture unfamiliar to ALL of you.
“Culture” is broadly defined in this assignment; although interviewing
someone from a foreign culture would be ideal, it is also acceptable to
interview an American person who belongs to a smaller “subculture” within the
This ethnography assignment will consist of two major parts:
Part I - Your group will be required to correspond with one person multiple times between January and April, so make sure to inform your “cultural informant” of the time commitment required. You will be expected to conduct all interviews using “reply all” e-mail to allow you to obtain verbatim quotes from your informant. All e-mail interviews and responses must be printed out and handed in during mini– due dates and with your final paper. Interview question due dates in the Blackboard assignment refer to the date by which one or more group members should have visited me in my office for discussion, editing, and approval of each question set.
Part II – Your group will then collaboratively write a 6–7.5 page summary maximum of the most interesting results you have discovered across all interviews. A few literature review sources you find on your own will be required here also.
The ethnography question-writing assignments will be broken down into multiple due dates throughout the entire spring semester. A hard copy of each set of interview questions developed should be brought to my office only for an “office visit”; during this visit one or more group members and I will examine the questions and edit them together to increase their effectiveness in eliciting useful information. Only after each office visit should you e-mail each “final” set of interview questions to your cultural informant. Due to the difficulty that can occur in getting informants to respond quickly enough to any prior interview questions needed for development of subsequent questions, you will have a 1-week grace period from all “office visit due dates” (except the first one for which this problem is not relevant). Any “office visits” that are more than 1 week late will receive an automatic 20% reduction in grade; any visits that are more than 2 weeks late will not be graded and will earn 0 points.
4 Brief Papers (4–6 pages max.) and “Top 10” Final Paper (3–4 pages max.)
To ensure that you are reading and learning from the assigned readings and class notes (since no tests or quizzes will be given), you will be required individually to answer a specific set of questions related to course material in five separate typed, double-spaced papers. Absolutely no more than 1 of the first four papers may be turned in late during the semester; however, if you choose to hand in a late paper you will receive an automatic 20% off that paper grade. The “Top 10” final paper may NOT be turned in late, however class discussion of the main relevant reading (The Bluest Eye) will take place BEFORE it is due – during the last class day. This strict “late paper” policy is necessary to ensure that all reading discussion classes are beneficial; it is unfair to the rest of the class if you have not read the assigned readings/class notes to be discussed until after the relevant class discussion day. It is also unfair for a student’s paper to be of improved quality due to the fact that it was written after participation in the class discussion on the relevant topic.
Participation and Attendance
Points will be taken off for poor in-class discussion participation throughout the semester at my discretion. Also, your ethnographic interview partners will each be asked to assign you a grade out of 25 points at the end of the semester; this 50 pt. grade should be based on your sharing equally in the workload and on your cooperation throughout the semester with your group.
Two points will be taken off your attendance grade for each class day missed. Only the following instances will not result in removal of points: a) documented participation in a St. Francis game as an athlete or in another official St. Francis event (e.g., a play, awards ceremony, etc.), and b) a hospitalization proven with a document signed by a doctor. During the first two weeks of class, all athletes must provide a copy of a game schedule listing the dates of all games, along with a team membership verification sheet from the athletic department. Any athlete who fails to provide this information will be penalized with two points off per game day missed. All other reasons for missing class that are too difficult for me to verify, including not feeling well and family funerals, will result in a removal of points, so please do not ask for exceptions.
Cheating is forbidden by Saint Francis University policy. Any student caught cheating will be assigned an automatic grade of F on the relevant paper. Continued cheating will result in an F for the entire course. For a description of what is considered cheating, see the SFU Academic Honesty Policy at:
NOTE: Select Calendar button in Blackboard for all assignment due dates. Select each date link in the monthly calendar view for full names/page ranges of assigned readings.
Jan. 7th Syllabus (M); What is Cultural Psychology? (W); Discuss “Who am I?” poems (F)
Jan. 14th Ethnography: Effective Interviewing Techniques (MWF)
Jan. 21st Ethnography (M – Compressed Schedule MLK Day; W); Practice Ethnography Techniques (F)
Jan. 28th Mental Evolution over Millions of Years (MWF)
Feb. 4th Everyday Memory/Knowledge (MW); Spatial Knowing (F)
Feb. 11th Spatial Knowing (MW); Discuss Two Old Women, Relevant Readings (F)
Feb. 18th Individualism vs. Collectivism (MWF)
Feb. 25th I vs. C (M); Ingroup/Outgroup Thinking (WF)
Mar. 4th SPRING BREAK – NO CLASSES
Mar. 11th Intercultural Relations and Conflict (MWF)
Mar. 18th Discuss Waiting – Part I, Relevant Readings (M); View Film (W); Acculturation (F)
Mar. 25th Acculturation (M); Discuss Waiting – Part II, Relevant Readings (W); EASTER NO CLASS (F)
Apr. 1st EASTER NO CLASS (M); Child Development (WF)
Apr. 8th Development (M); Discuss Mango Season, Relevant Readings (W); Diversity in Counseling (F)
Apr. 15th Discuss Ethnography Projects (M); Diversity in Counseling (WF)
Apr. 22nd Diversity in Counseling (M); Discuss The Bluest Eye, Relevant Readings (W); NO CLASS (F)
Final Exam Week: The class assigned final exam day/time is Saturday, April 27th 10:10–12:10. All “Top 10” Cumulative Final Papers (3–4 pages maximum) must be submitted to me in my office before or during this time period. NO LATE PAPERS ACCEPTED.