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Challenges of the 21st Century- Period 4 Social Sciences & Humanities Program Spring 2025 Semester - Amsterdam

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Challenges of the 21st Century- Period 4

Challenges of the 21st Century- Period 4 Course Overview


CEA CAPA Partner Institution: Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Primary Subject Area: Sociology
Instruction in: English
Course Code: S_C21C
Transcript Source: Partner Institution
Course Details: Level 200
Recommended Semester Credits: 3
Contact Hours: 84
Prerequisites: Active participation in "Core Themes in Anthropology" and "History and Theory of Anthropology


Each era faces societal challenges that keep politicians, the public and academia busy. Our 21st century is no exception. Contemporary anthropologists nowadays assess urgent issues and formulate questions to understand their significance and consequence, such as new forms of urbanisation and mobility, far-reaching technological and digital developments, ongoing destructions of habitats due to large-scale economic activity, the over-use of natural resources and transnational violent conflicts, which forces people to migrate or turn to local strategies that adapt or contest these processes of accelerated change. These pressing socio-political developments in some parts of the world are complex issues that pose a challenge for local, national and international governmental bodies. Behind the technical administrative challenges there are the much more fundamental questions about who the real victims are and who benefits from crises and emergencies. Knowledge and its application in policies all depend on the perspective we take in assessing these urgent issues. The task for anthropologists - in and outside academia - is to demonstrate that there simply is no universal definition of what a contemporary challenge or problem is and that governance is always a deeply political practice and full of competing interests. Anthropology may be not unique in recognising a multitude of perspectives, but it definitely is the most outspoken discipline in exposing diversity. it climate change and global warming, the refugee crisis, urbanisation and economic transformation, the role of religion in global affairs, social movements against poverty, exclusion or diversity in society; all these urgent societal issues have winners and losers.

Contact hours listed under a course description may vary due to the combination of lecture-based and independent work required for each course therefore, CEA's recommended credits are based on the ECTS credits assigned by VU Amsterdam. 1 ECTS equals 28 contact hours assigned by VU Amsterdam.

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