Cultural Objectives

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Cultural Objectives

Human beings tend to form positive stereotypes of those they resemble, and negative stereotypes of those who are different, creating in-groups and out-groups. Stereotypes are then used to explain behaviors not only of groups, but also of individuals.

 

Stereotypes reduce a complex reality, simplifying the multiple causes of human behavior to a single factor. Furthermore, stereotypes can be difficult to suspend because they are also typically linked to strong positive or negative emotions—depending on the nature of the stereotype. When such stereotypes, both positive and negative, are used to explain behavior, to evaluate performance, or to predict the potential of individuals and groups, conclusions that are reached using such flawed categories will also be flawed.

 

Objective and Realistic Understanding

Educators and professionals from MUBS and at prestigious American Universities will explain, evaluate, and predict human behavior. It is critical for our students to be cognizant of the explanatory frameworks used to judge others, especially out-group members, when working with individuals. Such cognizance is necessary for an objective and realistic understanding of specific communities.

 

Middle Easterners' Negative Attitudes

Middle Easterners’ negative attitudes can be explained by what they view as Western hegemony and destructive foreign policy designed to plunder the Middle East of its natural resources.

 

Westerners’ negative attitudes 

The stereotypes that Westerners hold can be placed into two categories: (a) clash of civilizations stereotypes involving security and safety related threats (political and military) that Middle Easterners are said to pose to non-Middle Easterners; and (b) cultural traits stereotypes that hinge on gender inequality and family life involving the fear that Middle Eastern culture if left unchecked will dominate Western culture.

 

How, then, do people overcome these various kinds of inaccurate and negative stereotypes?

 

For many decades, educational institutions have set up face-to-face student exchanges to help counter stereotypes and broaden perspectives. Several theories have postulated that the benefits of exchange programs is indispensable to build understanding and overcome cultural stereotypes. As a result, MUBS has established a broad network of partnerships that allow our students to benefit from direct contact with students across borders and overseas. The Virtual Exchange Program is a pioneering project that extends this network using educational platform and new technologies to accomplish the same goals.

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