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How to use stereotypes to raise awareness of cultural interpretation and encourage intercultural competence

Sibo Kanobana UGent (2012) INTED Proceedings. p.6177-6185
abstract
As Ghent University is increasingly attracting international undergraduate and graduate students there is a growing need for special attention concerning intercultural issues. Besides the presence of international students the personal and student body has also been diversifying in the last decade. The diversity of cultures, linguistic backgrounds and religious affiliations within the same working force or among the students brings the need to tackle issues arising from intercultural encounters. Ghent University’s established a Diversity and Gender Unit, this unit has been organizing workshops ‘Intercultural Communication’ for its personal and doctoral schools. PhD-students as well as teaching staff and administrative and technical staff can choose to participate to these workshops. These workshops ‘Intercultural Communication’ have attracted participants from all sections and departments of the university and are especially designed to tackle a wide set of problems, misunderstandings and issues related to multicultural settings in a limited time frame (3 hours). To be interculturaly competent doesn’t mean you have to know all cultures, which is rather impossible. There are alternative ways to become an intercultural competent person. Hence, the workshops are going beyond informing people on other cultures. The workshops’ goal is to enhance its participants awareness of their own cultural interpretation mechanisms. Below I will give a short overview of what is been done to achieve this goal in a relatively short stretch of time. First participants are motivated to discuss social themes such as migration, ethnocentrism and racism. Participants are encouraged to talk about their own experiences, expectations and culture, and to reflect upon terminology and cultural differences. The workshops emphasize that knowing your own culture is the only way to understand your own perspectives and thus understanding other cultures. Being self-conscience of your own cultural mechanisms becomes the key to appreciate other ways of thinking and doing things. Secondly cultural self consciousness is achieved through an explicit discussion on stereotypes and their meaning. To reach this goal participants have self reflective discussions on negative and positive stereotypes concerning their own cultural group. Furthermore following questions are raised: How do stereotypes work? What is wrong with stereotypes? Can we avoid stereotype thinking? Are stereotypes useful? How so? Participants are stimulated to think about where stereotypes come from, what they tell us and how they can teach us something if handled with care. Through this experience participants are engaged in critical thinking of several stereotypes they may have of others. They are taught how to apprehend what they don’t know as to learn more about others through sensitive questions concerning their own stereotypes.
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
year
type
conference
publication status
published
subject
keyword
Stereotypes, internationalization, communication, diversity, education, ethnicity, Intercultural Communication
in
INTED Proceedings
editor
L Gómez Chova, A López Martínez and I Candel Torres
issue title
INTED2012 : international technology, education and development conference
pages
6177 - 6185
publisher
International Association of Technology, Education and Development (IATED)
place of publication
Burjassot, Spain
conference name
6th International Technology, Education and Development conference (INTED 2012)
conference location
Valencia, Spain
conference start
2012-03-05
conference end
2012-03-07
Web of Science type
Proceedings Paper
Web of Science id
000326396406019
ISSN
2340-1079
ISBN
9788461555635
project
Workshops Interculturele Communicatie
language
English
UGent publication?
yes
classification
P1
copyright statement
I have transferred the copyright for this publication to the publisher
id
2090527
handle
http://hdl.handle.net/1854/LU-2090527
date created
2012-04-18 15:09:04
date last changed
2015-06-17 10:01:22
@inproceedings{2090527,
  abstract     = {As Ghent University is increasingly attracting international undergraduate and graduate students there is a growing need for special attention concerning intercultural issues. Besides the presence of international students the personal and student body has also been diversifying in the last decade. The diversity of cultures, linguistic backgrounds and religious affiliations within the same working force or among the students brings the need to tackle issues arising from intercultural encounters. Ghent University{\textquoteright}s established a Diversity and Gender Unit, this unit has been organizing workshops {\textquoteleft}Intercultural Communication{\textquoteright} for its personal and doctoral schools. PhD-students as well as teaching staff and administrative and technical staff can choose to participate to these workshops. These workshops {\textquoteleft}Intercultural Communication{\textquoteright} have attracted participants from all sections and departments of the university and are especially designed to tackle a wide set of problems, misunderstandings and issues related to multicultural settings in a limited time frame (3 hours). To be interculturaly competent doesn{\textquoteright}t mean you have to know all cultures, which is rather impossible. There are alternative  ways  to become an intercultural competent person. Hence, the workshops are going beyond informing people on other cultures. The workshops{\textquoteright} goal is to enhance its participants awareness of their own cultural interpretation mechanisms. Below I will give a short overview of what is been done to achieve this goal in a relatively short stretch of time. First participants are motivated to discuss social themes such as migration, ethnocentrism and racism. Participants are encouraged to talk  about their own experiences, expectations and culture, and to reflect upon terminology and cultural differences. The workshops emphasize that knowing your own culture is the only way to understand your own perspectives and thus understanding other cultures. Being self-conscience of your own cultural mechanisms becomes the key to appreciate other ways of thinking and doing things. Secondly cultural self consciousness is achieved through an explicit discussion on stereotypes and their meaning. To reach this goal participants have self reflective discussions on negative and positive stereotypes concerning their own cultural group. Furthermore following questions are raised: How do stereotypes work? What is wrong with stereotypes? Can we avoid stereotype thinking? Are stereotypes useful? How so? Participants are stimulated to think about where stereotypes come from, what they tell us and how they can teach us something if handled with care. Through this experience participants are engaged in critical thinking of several stereotypes they may have of others. They are taught how to  apprehend what they don{\textquoteright}t know as to learn more about others through sensitive questions concerning their own stereotypes.},
  author       = {Kanobana, Sibo},
  booktitle    = {INTED Proceedings},
  editor       = {G{\'o}mez Chova, L and L{\'o}pez Mart{\'i}nez, A and Candel Torres, I},
  isbn         = {9788461555635},
  issn         = {2340-1079},
  keyword      = {Stereotypes,internationalization,communication,diversity,education,ethnicity,Intercultural Communication},
  language     = {eng},
  location     = {Valencia, Spain},
  pages        = {6177--6185},
  publisher    = {International Association of Technology, Education and Development (IATED)},
  title        = {How to use stereotypes to raise awareness of cultural interpretation and encourage intercultural competence},
  year         = {2012},
}

Chicago
Kanobana, Sibo. 2012. “How to Use Stereotypes to Raise Awareness of Cultural Interpretation and Encourage Intercultural Competence.” In INTED Proceedings, ed. L Gómez Chova, A López Martínez, and I Candel Torres, 6177–6185. Burjassot, Spain: International Association of Technology, Education and Development (IATED).
APA
Kanobana, S. (2012). How to use stereotypes to raise awareness of cultural interpretation and encourage intercultural competence. In L. Gómez Chova, A. López Martínez, & I. Candel Torres (Eds.), INTED Proceedings (pp. 6177–6185). Presented at the 6th International Technology, Education and Development conference (INTED 2012), Burjassot, Spain: International Association of Technology, Education and Development (IATED).
Vancouver
1.
Kanobana S. How to use stereotypes to raise awareness of cultural interpretation and encourage intercultural competence. In: Gómez Chova L, López Martínez A, Candel Torres I, editors. INTED Proceedings. Burjassot, Spain: International Association of Technology, Education and Development (IATED); 2012. p. 6177–85.
MLA
Kanobana, Sibo. “How to Use Stereotypes to Raise Awareness of Cultural Interpretation and Encourage Intercultural Competence.” INTED Proceedings. Ed. L Gómez Chova, A López Martínez, & I Candel Torres. Burjassot, Spain: International Association of Technology, Education and Development (IATED), 2012. 6177–6185. Print.