October 1st, 2011
Lead: Betsy Hansel
Summary: “Nothing is so practical as a good theory.”
A discussion and presentation covering several theories about crossing cultures and intercultural learning in general. These come from a few different theories:
• Business: Hofstede – awareness that there are differences, comparing cultures in broad strokes
• Languages: Byram – understanding and assessing various types of knowledge (savoirs) and understanding related to culture
• Communication: Bennett – DMIS - individual development in intercultural competence. Discussion of ethnocentrism, “ethno-relativism” defense and minimization and how these may be spotted in online class discussions. How instructors can guide students with questions.
• International Relations: Pittinksy – From an international relations point of view, Pittinsky writes about “allophilia” or the positive attitudes people have about other cultures in general, and he looks for ways to encourage these attitudes as an improvement over “tolerance” which he sees as more neutral. Allophilia contributes to building relationships.
• Musical Interlude to review DMIS