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I am a creator and destroyer of worlds – and so are you! (#3 in a series)

How We Construct Culture and Reality In my previous posts (#1 in the series, #2 in the series), I stressed how important it is for us to develop a dynamic rather than a static view of culture. Today we will launch our boat on the river of culture and peer into its sometimes clear and often murky waters to come up with a better sense of what’s down there. We noticed last time how we are ever talking to ourselves. Everything we create is a result of this inner self-talk, this discourse, our listening. So the things that we call “culture,”...

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Culture’s Dynamic… What Are You Listening? (#2 in a series)

  If how we talk about culture, as I mentioned in the last post, appears too static, it is not because culture itself is static. Its dynamism penetrates every corner of life. Why this paradox? Why? We need to look at culture not as an idea, but in action. I can’t tell how many of you are having conversations with your partner, children, dog, or friends at the moment you are looking at this blog, but what I am sure of is that, even if you’re not talking to anybody, you are talking a mile a minute. Research suggests that even...

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Intercultural Work—Stuck in its own past? (#1 in a series)

Despite a tide swell in intercultural communication and worldwide immersion in social media, the current field of intercultural communication itself seems static. This blog post articulates five ways in which the field appears to be moving too slowly for the world around it. 1. EssentialismThe word used for the kind of intercultural intervention that leads in the direction of stereotyping is called “essentialism.” One tends to assume that a certain person must inevitably share certain cultural characteristics or behaviors if they come from a particular group, ethnicity or culture. Saying that I am from the USA or that I am...

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Poetica: Air raid to active shooter drills

https://eand.co/the-origins-of-americas-unique-and-spectacular-cruelty-74a91f53ce29     Nineteen forty-three. Cowering beneath my desk, listening for Zeros.   Two thousand eighteen. Under bulletproof blankets children fear classmates.   Seventy-five years. Puer puero lupus – guns keep switching hands!   At life's grand buffet, violence feeding on fear – has anything changed? http://www.todayshomepage.com/explore-pearl-harbor-attack-in-color.html https://louisiana.concealedcarry.com/2017/05/15/child-accidentally-shoots-classmate-at-calcasieu-school/

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Practica: Arranged!

Arranged! – The Arranged Marriage Board Game, created by Nashra Balagamwala     Last Friday the post brought us our eagerly awaited copy of the marriage game Arranged!, giving us the opportunity to try it out over the weekend. The first (cultural?) surprise was that the package from Pakistan containing the game was made of sewed-on cloth, something I had not seen since my childhood. When our team (4 different countries represented) sat down to play Arranged!, roles were distributed: Teresa became the “Rishta Aunty” (i.e., the matchmaker), while Victor, Kati and myself were the eligible girls seeking to avoid Aunty's clutches and to...

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