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Interesting Lectures and Seminars

Theme Study: Urban/Regional Research

Seminar in Theory for Coexisting Societies—Moving Towards Multiculturalism—
(Multiculturalism and Social Construction Theory)

Ms. Mizuka Fujii
2nd Year Student at the School of Culture, Media, and Society

In this course, students respond to problems presented by the instructor and debate evolves. This is not a one-sided course, but rather a course where students take the lead and an interaction between individuals is emphasized.

The theme of the course, "multiculturalism" has recently become a frequently used word. Multiculturalism refers to the exchange and coexistence of various cultures within today's global society. However, the state expressed by the word multiculturalism is not easily achieved. This is because the word does not refer to a minority being absorbed into a majority or to the establishment of global standards, but rather to living through the sharing of cultures possessed by each ethnicity and citizen. The search for this kind of lifestyle is the subject of research in this course. In essence, this will lead to the creation of a society in which different individuals can live together.

When beginning this new field of research, thorough discussions were held to assign definitions to the terms "culture" and "multiculturalism". Students freely exchanged their opinions and a debate involved which included the instruction. Next, students divided into small groups and examined the concept of multiculturalism from a variety of expressions.

This course is very unique among the courses which I have experienced thus far. The course allows ample opportunity for both instruction by the professor and independent thought. However, this course demands your active participation and entrance into debate. It would be possible to spend an hour in this course thinking nothing and giving no voice to your opinion. However, there is a limitless amount of knowledge and perspectives to be gained if you are willing to make the effort. During the course, the instructor provides students with a wealth of knowledge, opportunity, and stimulus to the course. However, after that point, there are absolutely no constraints placed on how students proceed or what the gain from the course. The instructor watches our groping for clues and our trial-and-error process of learning with a smile that is amiable and even somewhat amused.

It has been a year and a half since I entered Waseda University. Among the large number of courses that require passive learning, I find the vigor of this seminar to be very appealing. This course succeeds in developing not only knowledge, but also assertiveness and initiative.

(Offered by WASEDA WEEKLY)