Intercultural training is in many ways the cornerstone of intercultural communication. From its inception in the late 1950’s in the US to its application throughout the world today, intercultural training has expanded from a way to help international executives and foreign service workers to a general competency approach in international education, diversity and inclusion, social services, corporate leadership, and international development.
This course will review the history of intercultural training in the above contexts and examine its underlying assumptions (and those of intercultural communication in general) in terms of knowledge paradigms. Particular attention will be given to the constructivist, developmental approach to training represented by the Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity (DMIS).
Lecturer: Prof. Milton J. Bennett, Ph.D.
While the idea of “culture” is an abstraction, the actual experience we have of culture is a very concrete one. Borrowing a concept from Humberto Maturana, I have defined culture as “the praxis of living of a coordinated group of people.” Coordination within groups depends on people having a shared experience of everyday life in a particular context, such as a national, ethnic, or professional one. Human beings live life through their senses, both literally and metaphorically. Thus, our individual and collective embodied experience is a key concept for understanding culture. Culture frames the perceived experience of the senses in a particular way so that we give meaning, attribute value and feel emotion in resonance with groups of affiliation. This raises the issue of the construction of our cultural identity: how aware are we of the process, how conscious are we of the fact that it is inscribed in our body? Integrating multicultural identity means dealing with the dynamics of this process and framing them intentionally. This course will activate this long journey of discovery that leads to incorporating intercultural competence into one’s praxis of living.
The course is intended for participants who have attended the IDRAcademy foundation course “Constructivist Foundations of Intercultural Communication: Applying the New Paradigm” or an equivalent course (to be negotiated with IDRInstitute directors before enrolment).
Expected participants are interculturalists, counselors, educators, coaches and people with a multicultural background who wish to deepen their embodied cultural self-awareness to use it in support situations and for their own enhancement of intercultural competence.
Objectives of the course:
- Learning the evolution of the embodiment concept
- Reflecting on the construction of cultural identity and its embodiment
- Becoming culturally aware of the daily experience of the body
- Contacting resistance to alternative perception
- Understanding other people’s embodiment of culture
- Integrating body’s awareness into communication with different cultures (people and contexts)
- Learning strategies for intentionally shifting perceptual cultural framing
The course is designed like a workshop in which theoretical contents are blended with sharing of experience, physical exercises (integration of deep breathing and easy access physical movements) and individual reflections. This will be the basis for developing cultural self awareness and ability to observe oneself in working and relational contexts
Faculty: Ida Castiglioni, Ph.D.
Dr. Ida Castiglioni is a professor of the sociology of cultural processes in the Department of Sociology and Social Research, University of Milano-Bicocca.
At UMB she is vice director and teaches the graduate specialization of Intercultural Relations in the Programming and Management of Social Services and Public Policies program.
In addition to her work at the university, Dr. Castiglioni is a therapist with a Master Degree in Somatic Psychology and a Certificate in Clinical Counseling. She is an adjunct faculty member of the Institute of Somatic Psychology in Milano (IPSO).