This class examines the urgent social issue of ethics and cultural difference. It examines the dilemma of moral relativism vs. moral anti-relativism through western thinkers like Steven Lukes and eastern thinkers like Watsuji Tetsurô. The content itself also examines certain differences between Confucian cultures and the model of individuality of western modernity (as in the Asian Values debate). Through cooperative learning methods, students learn how to examine particular moral issues (e.g. cultural clashes regarding the acceptance of homosexuality or militant fundamentalism) with cultural sensitivity and philosophical acuteness.
In this course, the students acquire learning about how agricultural field research is conducted. It is targeting those who are social scientists but also natural scientists can learn how to collect socio-economic data in the fields. Many examples are drawn from Asian countries’ experience and many participants are from Asia. Thus, by taking this class, students could also gain networking with the other students. First, students are introduced to both the general theories that underlie good research and the more specific practices of particular research methods.