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Identifying Stages of Ethnocentrism

Do your students..?
think cultural diversity only occurs elsewhere. Have no category of cultural difference Live in isolation or separation from others in either rural or urban setting. Ask stupid questions Do all people in Nairobi live with wild animals? say things like Madrid was great! Its just like home, it has Burger King. giggle when confronted with cultural differences People of other cultures seen as less human and lacking in real feelings avoid contact with members of other cultures in school keep their distance from strangers exhibit extreme nationalism evaluate difference negatively, other cultures are inferior or repulsive us and them hold derogatory stereotypes emphasize mainly the positive characteristics of their own group

They are in... Increase sensitivity by...

Denial (context is physical isolation or social separation) Exposure to superficial differences draw attention to differences in everyday culture and Big C culture. avoid discussion of significant differences. cultural awareness activities: international night/ cultural heritage week stick to music, dance, food, art, costume, selected superficial values and beliefs

Defense (denigration or superiority)

recognize inevitable temporality of this stage build cultural self-esteem in face of difference, be reassuring Emphasize similarities at this stage. Provide reassurance positive aspects of their own culture

think their own world view represents the acme of development (So whats wrong with America anyhow?) think difference is something to be overcome denigrate their own culture and embrace the host culture as superior (typical of long-term sojourners) defense/reversal

Use media images from the other culture.

describe reversal process emphasize commonalties among cultures before focus on differences.

assume that their own point of view is the best and with education, everyone will see it that way. Secular We are all humans Religious We are all children of God assume that if you just act like yourself in the target culture everything will be OK.


generate cultural self-awareness

use simulations/ assimilators/ cross-cultural dialogues to illustrate cultural differences in interpretation Go beyond the safe topics. Explore perception, worldview and cultural values. use members of other cultures as resource persons (as long as they are not in the minimization stage.)

OTHER-CULTURE SENSITIVE STAGE(S) Have developed cultural self-awareness Acceptance/ respect for behavioral and are ready to explore difference

stress recognition of difference and non-evaluative respect for variation in verbal and non-verbal behavior note behavioral difference before going to values apply insight to intercultural communication in an active fashion

recognize that verbal and non-verbal behaviors differ across cultures accept differences in communicative styles recognize relativity of cultural values

Acceptance/ respect for value difference

use application to improve relations with prospective host families, local TL groups Include activities to sensitize to differences in communication patterns, beliefs and values.

Ready for intercultural communication

Adaptation Discuss intercultural competence skills and personal boundary

formation Practice shifting frame of reference Learners become self-directed learning to learn

Say things like The more I understand the culture, the better I get at the language