EEC 004: Why Intercultural Communication is Important to Know with Milton Bennett
Your host Dr. Katrina Burrus interviews Milton Bennett about his book on “Basic Concepts of Intercultural Communication”
Why is intercultural communication important to know?
Intercultural communication offers the ability to deal across cultures, which is increasingly important, as the world gets smaller. Getting smaller doesn’t mean the world is becoming identical, it means having more and more contact with people who are culturally different. Being able to deal with this cultural difference peacefully, never mind creatively and innovatively, is becoming a survival issue to thrive in a global world as a global leader.
What are the different assumptions underpinning social science?
Katrina Burrus interviews, Milton Bennett on his book, Basic Concepts of Intercultural Communication: Paradigms, Principles, and Practices. He reviews the scientific paradigms of Newtonian, Einsteinian and Quantum Mechanics and how the extension of those paradigms apply to social science, which can be thought of positivism, relativism, and constructivism. Katrina then discusses with Milton how positivism, relativism, and constructivism apply to coaching. So what was Newton’s assumption?
The static, positivist, relativist, and traditional view of culture are no longer giving a dynamic view of intercultural communication.
People that are a part of the culture are constantly creating it and, therefore, changing it. The relativist approach does not allow to fracture in the dynamic changes taking place within a culture as its constituents through language, through acceptable action and through accepted beliefs and values. Constructivism helps think how those contexts can be bridged in creative and innovative ways but not transcended. Transcending would entail moving above those cultures and maybe ignoring the differences and here it is all about creating bridges between the cultures that allow people to derive benefit from the cultural differences. This is key to multicultural societies, multicultural workforces, and global businesses.
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