Milton J. Bennett, Ph.D.
(2017) In Kim, Y .(Ed) International encyclopedia of intercultural communication. Wiley
The Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity (DMIS) created byMilton J. Bennett is a grounded theorybased on constructivist perception and communication theory. It assumes that the experience of reality is constructed through perception, and that more complex perceptual categories yield more complex (sophisticated) experience. Specifically, the DMIS assumes that we are constructing boundaries of “self” and “other” in ways that guide our experience of intercultural events. The most ethnocentric construction, Denial, is one wherein only vague categories of “other” are available for perceiving people from different cultural contexts. At the other end of the continuum, the most ethnorelative construction of Integration supposes that complex self/other categories are incorporated into one’s personal identity and into decision-making regarding ethicality in multicultural relations. This entry describes the theory and application of DMIS to diagnosis and intervention, including some discussion of measuring intercultural sensitivity and the main criticisms of the model and its measurement.