KC76: Intercultural Sustainability Translated into Polish

Key Concepts in ICDContinuing translations of Key Concepts in Intercultural Dialogue, today I am posting KC#76: Intercultural Sustainability, which Dominic Busch wrote for publication in English in 2016, and which Piotr Krawętek has now translated into Polish. As always, all Key Concepts are available as free PDFs; just click on the thumbnail to download. Lists of Key Concepts organized chronologically by publication date and number, alphabetically by concept, and by languages into which they have been translated, are available, as is a page of acknowledgments with the names of all authors, translators, and reviewers.

KC76 Intercultural Sustainability_PolishBusch, D. (2018). Intercultural sustainability [Polish]. (P.Krawętek, trans). Key Concepts in Intercultural Dialogue, 76. Available from:
https://centerforinterculturaldialogue.files.wordpress.com/2018/01/kc76-intercultural-sustainability_polish.pdf

If you are interested in translating one of the Key Concepts, please contact me for approval first because dozens are currently in process. As always, if there is a concept you think should be written up as one of the Key Concepts, whether in English or any other language, propose it. If you are new to CID, please provide a brief resume. This opportunity is open to masters students and above, on the assumption that some familiarity with academic conventions generally, and discussion of intercultural dialogue specifically, are useful.

Wendy Leeds-Hurwitz, Director
Center for Intercultural Dialogue


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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

KC76: Intercultural Sustainability Translated into Simplified Chinese

Key Concepts in ICDContinuing translations of Key Concepts in Intercultural Dialogue, today I am posting KC#75: Intercultural Sustainability, which Dominic Busch wrote for publication in English in 2016, and which Yan Sun has now translated into Simplified Chinese. As always, all Key Concepts are available as free PDFs; just click on the thumbnail to download. Lists of Key Concepts organized chronologically by publication date and number, alphabetically by concept, and by languages into which they have been translated, are available, as is a page of acknowledgments with the names of all authors, translators, and reviewers.

KC76 Intercultural Sustainability_Chinese-simBusch, D. (2017). Intercultural sustainability [Simplified Chinese]. (Y. Sun, trans). Key Concepts in Intercultural Dialogue, 76. Available from:
https://centerforinterculturaldialogue.files.wordpress.com/2017/08/kc76-intercultural-sustainability_chinese-sim1.pdf

If you are interested in translating one of the Key Concepts, please contact me for approval first because dozens are currently in process. As always, if there is a concept you think should be written up as one of the Key Concepts, whether in English or any other language, propose it. If you are new to CID, please provide a brief resume. This opportunity is open to masters students and above, on the assumption that some familiarity with academic conventions generally, and discussion of intercultural dialogue specifically, are useful.

Wendy Leeds-Hurwitz, Director
Center for Intercultural Dialogue


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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Key Concept #2: Cosmopolitanism Translated into German

Key Concepts in ICDContinuing with translations of the Key Concepts in Intercultural Dialogue, today I am posting  KC#2: Cosmopolitanism, which Miriam Sobre-Denton wrote in English in 2014, and which Dominic Busch has now translated into German. As always, all Key Concepts are available as free PDFs; just click on the thumbnail to download. Lists of Key Concepts organized chronologically by publication date and number, alphabetically by concept, and by languages into which they have been translated, are available, as is a page of acknowledgments with the names of all authors, translators, and reviewers.

KC2 Cosmopolitanism_GermanSobre-Denton, M. (2016). Kosmopolitismus. (D. Busch, Trans). Key Concepts in Intercultural Dialogue, 2. Available from:
https://centerforinterculturaldialogue.files.wordpress.com/2016/10/kc2-cosmopolitanism_german.pdf

If you are interested in translating one of the Key Concepts, please contact me for approval first because dozens are currently in process. As always, if there is a concept you think should be written up as one of the Key Concepts, whether in English or any other language, propose it. If you are new to CID, please provide a brief resume. This opportunity is open to masters students and above, on the assumption that some familiarity with academic conventions generally, and discussion of intercultural dialogue specifically, are useful.

Wendy Leeds-Hurwitz, Director
Center for Intercultural Dialogue


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Key Concept #1: Intercultural Dialogue Translated into German

Key Concepts in ICDContinuing with translations of the Key Concepts in Intercultural Dialogue, today I am posting  KC1: Intercultural Dialogue, which I published in English in 2014 as the first in the series, and which Dominic Busch has now translated into German. As always, all Key Concepts are available as free PDFs; just click on the thumbnail to download. Lists of Key Concepts organized chronologically by publication date and number, alphabetically by concept, and by languages into which they have been translated, are available, as is a page of acknowledgments with the names of all authors, translators, and reviewers.

KC1 Interkultureller dialog_GermanLeeds-Hurwitz, W. (2016). Interkultureller dialog. (D. Busch, trans). Key Concepts in Intercultural Dialogue, 1. Available from:
https://centerforinterculturaldialogue.files.wordpress.com/2016/09/kc1-icd_german.pdf

If you are interested in translating one of the Key Concepts, please contact me for approval first because dozens are currently in process. As always, if there is a concept you think should be written up as one of the Key Concepts, whether in English or any other language, propose it. If you are new to CID, please provide a brief resume. This opportunity is open to masters students and above, on the assumption that some familiarity with academic conventions generally, and discussion of intercultural dialogue specifically, are useful.

Wendy Leeds-Hurwitz, Director
Center for Intercultural Dialogue


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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Key Concept #76 Intercultural Sustainability Translated into German

Key Concepts in ICDAs explained recently, some of the Key Concepts in Intercultural Dialogue are being translated into other languages than English. Today I am posting the translation of KC76: Intercultural Sustainability, originally written in English in 2016, and now translated into German, by Dominic Busch, of the Universität der Bundeswehr München, Germany. Lists of Key Concepts organized chronologically by publication date and number, alphabetically by concept, and by languages into which they have been translated, are available, as is a page of acknowledgments with the names of all authors, translators, and reviewers.

KC76 intercultural sustainiability-GermanBusch, D. (2016). Interkulturelle Nachhaltigkeit. Key Concepts in Intercultural Dialogue, 76. Available from:
https://centerforinterculturaldialogue.files.wordpress.com/2016/06/kc-76-intercultural-sustainability-german.pdf

If you are interested in translating one of the Key Concepts, please contact me for approval first because dozens are currently in process. And, as always, if there is a concept you think should be written up as one of the Key Concepts, whether in English or any other language, propose it. As of this writing, 78 have been published in English, but words from Chinese, Portuguese, Japanese, Spanish, Belarusian, German and Arabic have also been introduced (with the discussion provided in English). As of this writing, I have received offers to translate one or more concepts into Arabic, Belarusian, Chinese, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Kapampangan, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog, and Turkish (in alphabetical order). There is even a possibility of videos presenting American Sign Language versions. So if anyone else wants to join in the fun, just let me know.

Wendy Leeds-Hurwitz, Director
Center for Intercultural Dialogue


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Universität der Bundeswehr München job ad: Conflict Research (Germany)

Universität der Bundeswehr München Germany announces a position as a research assistant to the Professorship in Intercultural communication and Conflict Research. The position is announced as supporting teaching and research of the professorship as documented on the website of the professorship.

Applicants will be required to show a good command of German in speaking, reading and writing. However, non-native speakers are welcome.

For further details and for how to apply please refer to the full announcement.

**

Universität der Bundeswehr München

An der Professur für interkulturelle Kommunikation und Konfliktforschung an der Fakultät für Humanwissenschaften ist zum nächstmöglichen Zeitpunkt – vorerst befristet auf 2 Jahre – eine Stelle als

Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin / Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter
Entgeltgruppe E13 TVöD

zu besetzen. Die Stelle ist teilzeitfähig.

Aufgaben:
• Mitwirkung bei Forschungsvorhaben der Professur, insbesondere bei gegenwärtigen und daraus für die Zukunft zu entwickelnden Forschungsgegenständen im Sinne der auf der Homepage dokumentierten Arbeitsfelder (vgl. http://www.unibw.de/icc),
• Mitwirkung bei der Gestaltung und Durchführung der Lehre im B.A.-Studiengang Bildungswissenschaft und im M.A.-Studiengang Bildungswissenschaft, insbesondere interkulturelle, Medien- und Erwachsenenbildung,
• Mitwirkung bei der Betreuung von Seminar- und Abschlussarbeiten,
• Mitwirkung beim Erstellen von Publikationen
• Mitwirkung bei Verwaltungsaufgaben des Lehrgebietes.

Die Möglichkeit zur Promotion, bzw. bei Vorliegen einer einschlägigen und exzellenten Promotion zur Habilitation ist gegeben.

Voraussetzungen:
• Sehr guter Abschluss eines universitären Studienganges mit fachlicher Einschlägigkeit zu der Professur,
• Sehr gute Kenntnisse in dem interdisziplinär angelegten Forschungsfeld der interkulturellen Kommunikation,
• Sehr gute Englischkenntnisse und Interesse an Publikationen in englischer Sprache.

Die Universität der Bundeswehr München strebt eine Erhöhung des Frauenanteils an, Bewerbungen von Frauen werden ausdrücklich begrüßt. Personen mit Handicap werden bei gleicher Eignung besonders berücksichtigt.

Bei Fragen wenden Sie sich bitte an Prof. Dr. Dominic Busch.

Bewerbungen mit den üblichen Unterlagen (Lebenslauf, Zeugnisse, Bescheinigungen) richten Sie bitte bis 25. Mai 2016 im pdf-Format per E-Mail an Prof. Dr. Dominic Busch.

Refugees, Germany, Willkommenskultur and Intercultural Communication

Response to Dominic Busch’s guest post by Peter Praxmarer

Executive Director of EMICC (European Masters in Intercultural Communication)
Università della Svizzera italiana (USI) Lugano, Switzerland


Refugees, Germany, Willkommenskultur and Intercultural Communication

I find myself in almost full agreement with what Dominic Busch writes.

In particular, I find his reflections on language in what he calls “internal social discourse,” pertinent and well taken. Also, the fact that “the cultural argument” has been hijacked by the far right and the national populists, in our times, is not surprising. This would, by the way, merit a little more research: attention to the culture of others has more often than not been a child of animosity, enmity, hostility, rejection if not outright war, as the history of exclusion, but also of conquest, colonialism, imperialism, and domination in general, amply testifies. As we (should) know, the very idea of “intercultural communication” as a more or less independent field of study, research and practical application was born during WWII, as part of the “war effort” of the US (viz. Leeds-Hurwitz). From this, also, stems the particular and sometimes incongruent vocabulary of the field, which is utterly US-social-science-lingo dominated, with some inroads from languages which still claim their droit de cité in the global social science supermarket (or, more benignly stated, the Global Republic of Letters), e.g. French and German. The field of study called intercultural communication became less war-related only later (but not everywhere), when  nation- and culture-crossing processes and constellations other than war started to play a more important role in the modern world-system (to follow Immanuel Wallerstein’s still pertinent terminology, preferring it to the shallow term “globalization”) – but it has kept its very peculiar vocabulary, at least in the mainstream.

Aside from that, while reflecting upon the present discourse on refugees in Germany and the “cultural” problems of the more or less autochthon residents (the “Old Germans”, as Busch cites a fellow professor in his piece) with them, it is worthwhile also to reflect on the position of the very term Kultur in Germany. In Germany, and not only during Nazi times, there has long existed an attitude which was described as Am deutschen Wesen mag/soll die Welt genesen, meaning that German culture is the remedy for all other (cultural) ills, all over the world. The Allied Propaganda posters, both in WWI as in WWII, took up this cultural theme. Thus, e.g., US War Propaganda during WWI showed a Mad German Brute holding a club with written Kultur on it, or an US Sleeping Beauty by the name of Civilization, calling every man, woman and child to war  – these and similar illustrations were meant to convey that deutsche Kultur is not so peaceful as other civilizations. In historical perspective, one has to agree. Looking into what was done in the name of German Kultur and how Kultur was used during WWII and before, would just confirm the very xenophobic and worse essence of it, inhumanely and most horrendously. (Caveat: Allied war propaganda is not presented here as an authoritative source, but only to provide a stark illustration of the use of the cultural argument; and many other than German “cultures” and “civilizations” certainly also have their share in war, conquest and violence-in-the-name-of-culture, epitomized, e.g., by “The White Man’s Burden” or the “mission civilisatrice”.)

Therefore, and also in view of the fact that the populist right wing and nationalistic parties have been able to hijack the term “culture” for their purposes, it is so good to see how civil society in Germany has constructed a new culture which is not national or völkisch, nor aggressive or expansionist, but welcoming: Willkommenskultur. In addition, even the counterpart to civil society, the German state, not least through its Chancellor, is, to varying degrees and for various reasons, in favor of taking in refugees, as is, again for still other reasons and purposes, the economy and a great part of the media. A beautiful page in the otherwise not always so beautiful book of contemporary Europe. And also a great example of (co-)constructed (inter-)culture, as well as of the fact that  “culture” never stands alone and cannot be meaningfully explained without taking into account history, society, economy, the polity, as well as, in our day and age, the many influences and experiences of mediated virtual reality in all its forms.

Yet, I also want to mention a point of potential disagreement with what Busch writes, regarding the role of Intercultural Communication Studies and Research. It is certainly true that the term “culture” has been critically evaluated, and the field is rapidly moving away from an essentialist and relatively static position to a more constructivist interactional and dynamic view of culture, in very simple terms privileging “communication” and “inter” over “culture”. However, by and large the main concern of intercultural communication research has been predominantly either relatively elite or middle-class or strictly utilitarian, covering, e.g. management or other professional groups, hospitals, schools, the military, police, development cooperation, etc. Relatively rarely concerned with, e.g., social integration per se (if not in special trainings for social workers, etc.), or with social integration from below (viz. the reference to Conflict Discourse Ethnocentrism in Busch’s text). In other words, the field has been center- and middle-class- or elite-focused, and not periphery- and non-elite, and where non-elite, then mostly only in terms of social management of deviations from norms or dangers from (culturally defined) others. This has also impacted our methodology: we have not always tried to understand, but we have been “overstanding”, as Raimon Panikkar so masterly phrased it already a quarter of a century ago. This is exacerbated when interculturalists (have to) jump on data-driven “fast science” jets instead of cultivating philosophy-fertilized “slow science” gardens, since this leaves no time to reflect either on the cui bono question or on participative methods or more sophisticated research questions than the ones required and funded by the global social science marketplaces – and it most certainly does not give a voice to those directly researched upon and with. Also for these reasons (conceptual, exemplified by “culture”, as well as methodologically), I would argue, we have so little to say when it comes to refugee crises, or to horrorism/terrorism, or to many other social “problems”. One reason why “the cultural argument” has been so successfully hijacked by the right and the nationalists, could therefore probably be that the interculturalists have far too long worked – even if engaging in what Busch calls a “sophisticated” debate – with a de-historisized, de-socialized, de-materialized, de-economized, de-politicized and overly value-oriented and psychologized concept of culture (and communication, for that matter). In other words, if one wants to understand (parts of) social reality in terms of culture and communication (and “inter” dynamics and processes), one has to look at it as what Busch calls, following Michel Foucault a “Dispositiv” (“dispositif” or “apparatus” in Foucault’s terminology). Likewise, it is necessary to overcome the “Unbearable Lightness of Communication Research”, as The International Communication Gazette tellingly titles its forthcoming 2016 Special Issue.

This critical look at the field is of course not meant to belittle the many initiatives of academic interculturalists in Germany, of which “Helfern helfen” of the intercultural campus of the Interkultureller Hochschulverband is but one. Or the numerous other initiatives undertaken by people who have studied intercultural communication and want to put their knowledge to good use; not to forget all those who practice sustainable – and sustained — intercultural communication in their daily dealings with the Stranger, the Migrant, the Refugee, the Other. It is simply a call for more “social” intercultural communication studies – more social in more than one sense.

Some Observations on Internal Social Discourses on the Recent Increase of Refugee Immigration into Germany

Some Observations on Internal Social Discourses on the Recent Increase of Refugee Immigration into Germany

Guest post by Dominic Busch
Professor of Intercultural Communication and Conflict Research
Universität der Bundeswehr München, Germany

[A couple of weeks ago, Wendy Leeds-Hurwitz asked me to write down some remarks on the current situation of Germany receiving a growing number of refugees. It is an honor for me to be allowed to say something on that topic. And at the same time – being a member of the society under discussion – the topic seemed to be so overly complex to me that I felt I was not able to write something off the cuff. After some consideration, I have tried my very best, and still, I fear that I might have forgotten or overseen one or another aspect.]

In international news coverage, Germany recently has been referred to as having been approached by an increasing number of refugees and immigrants from Africa, the near East as well as from South Eastern Europe (see either this excellent quantitative visualization, or this textual introduction with many links to the news).

Here, I would like to provide some remarks on this discourse as well as on how the discourse relates to ideas of intercultural dialogue. I cannot but write these remarks from a perspective that must be acknowledged as a highly personal one. Writing as a white German male professor at a university in Germany, and having been born in Germany, I am in a privileged position. I cannot contribute from the perspective of migrant experiences. I am part of that wealthy world where some (not too many) refugees have arrived, and civil society grows in strength and self-confidence by successfully accommodating them, donating, teaching refugee children German language in newly installed “welcoming classes”, etc. Critics of my contribution may well refer to the fact that I have not been personally involved in any challenging situations in the context of refugee movements.

Still, I would like to give it a try from the perspective of intercultural communication, my field of research. Even more, I would like to warmly invite readers of this contribution to add their perspectives and thoughts in this blog’s comment section below!

The Basic Assumptions of European Political Discourse on Refugees

Inside Germany, refugee immigration has been by far the predominant news topic for the last ten months. Migration had not been a topic of much consideration in the German national news discourse as it is now. Recent surveys have repeatedly confirmed that, even today, for a large part of the Germans the refugee phenomenon is an issue that they do not experience except via news media. Nevertheless, almost everybody seems to have an opinion on the topic. The arrival of refugees centrally can be dealt with as an issue of socially constructed news discourse. Keeping that constructionist aspect in mind may better help in understanding the central characteristics of the debate: it is primarily lead by attempts to finding a position and attitude for a whole society facing a situation some of the people feel as being insufficiently prepared for. In other words, German society is faced with a new situation and they cannot clearly see where it will lead.

The Construction of Unpreparedness

To start with, the primary reaction of the EU as well as many of its member states concerning the increasing immigration of refugees is that they were not prepared for this. Overall, political discourse builds upon the assumption that the increasing immigration is an event that could not have been foreseen. From this initial perspective, discourse draws the legitimation for needing to look for new solutions – and (in case of need) to break with former principles. So, for example, some EU member states have decided to act autonomously in terms of the refugee movement, although they had previously agreed upon following common decisions of the EU on these matters. Specifically, some of the EU member states have autonomously decided to close their borders to refugees, while others have decided to limit the number of refugees they are willing to accept.

Germany

In the case of Germany, one central ignition to the debate may be seen in Chancellor Merkel’s now famous statement “wir schaffen das” [we can do this]), first pronounced during a press conference on August 31, 2015 and encouraging society that they (and the state) have the means to welcome and accommodate the growing number of refugees. Furthermore, taking the perspective of international human rights, Merkel avowed that moral behavior will not allow for limiting numbers of refugees arriving as long as they are fleeing prosecution or other significant dangers. Stating that, Merkel took a position that is more open towards immigrants than the one taken by her own political party’s center-conservative attitude.

From that point onwards, simply put, it can be said that German society has been split into two groups – one group supporting Merkel’s openness across any political camps, and another group campaigning for an enforced stop of further immigration as well as for expelling those immigrants that already have entered the country. Beyond this overall dichotomy, the debate has some further nuances, all speaking either for one political camp or the other one. Generally this divide may accurately be described by distinguishing between the “old” Germans and the “new” Germans, terminology introduced earlier by Professor Naika Foroutan, who is based in Germany. Foroutan sees a large part of Germany’s population as representing the new Germans, and being open for aspects of globalization, migration and internationalization. Separate from them, however, Foroutan sees a part of the population that determines national identities on the basis of origin. Foroutan terms these the old Germans.

Over the past one or two years, discourse on refugees into Germany has grown into political upheaval. Newly founded political parties have entered several regional parliaments after a strong gain of votes during recent elections within some of Germany’s regions – propagating right-wing totalitarian and anti-Muslim attitudes.

The Inescapability of Being Part of Conflict Discourse

So these are the basic facts. The question now: what does this have to do with intercultural dialogue? First of all: A look at contemporary German discourse strongly teaches that there are no “facts”. The stronger and the more pervasive a political debate and conflict grows, the more it becomes evident that (as authors like Holliday and Dervin have stated for the field of intercultural communication, recently) any statement on the topic is automatically political. Even although academic research, above all, claims to analyze social phenomena from a distance that allows far-sighted reflection and multiple perspectives, any academic statement turns out to support either one or the other opinion. This is the case for writing, but even more, it is an issue for social discourse, which no longer accepts any neutral position but immediately categorizes any statement into one of the political camps. To date, researchers have not been pulled into escalated conflict. But since some extreme right-wing groups claim that the German national press media frequently lie, media discourse takes up a clear position within the debate. For the time being, most of the national media voices are pro refugees – to some degree perhaps just to counter the extreme right’s accusations. Remembering Spivak’s famous phrase, it regrettably goes without saying that here again, refugees – despite standing at the center of the debate – have no voice at all.

In sum, although I have long been convinced of constructionist and critical discourse analytic approaches to social communication anyway, the situation in German discourse just described makes it clear in a very painful way that once you are in a conflict situation, you will be constrained by your position as a party to that conflict, and you will not be able to pull yourself out of that situation by your own bootstraps. Even if you want to, society will not let you. Thus, from a discourse perspective, German society has maneuvered into an intractable internal conflict more quickly than might have been expected.

Conflict Discourse Ethnocentrism

Another aspect that comes to mind from the perspective of intercultural research is the observation that the debate on refugees is, to a breathtaking degree, ethnocentric. German news discourse and social discourse construct the phenomenon of increased refugee immigration into Germany as a singular and particular case that cannot be compared to any similar cases, whether in the past or in any other country in the present. From this perspective, the vast field of existing international research on migration is not considered relevant. Even more, the debate largely ignores the fact that international migration, and flight-based migration in particular, have been a worldwide phenomenon for centuries, and that, in fact, they are seen as a central characteristic of contemporary processes of globalization. Instead, a discourse of self-victimization of citizens of Northern Europe is being promoted. This ethnocentric perspective hinders political and social discourse from considering the phenomenon of increased immigration from a distance and in a wider context. Instead of well-considered orientations, society constrains itself to the search for ad hoc solutions. Even more, a general feeling of helplessness, hopelessness, and despair on the issue of immigration pushes social discourse into a situation of feeling under pressure. This pressure results in a situation of perceived conflict where participants narrow their perspectives rather than widening them to find creative solutions. Social discourse gradually adopts a tone of conflict discourse. As a consequence, even those political camps that actually endorse the reception of refugees tend to construct the increased immigration as a problem, a threat, and even a crisis. The notion of a refugee crisis today is commonly mentioned in German national news media, although even this notion has to be understood to be a construction – with many potential alternatives. Again and again, some authors thus warn that the language and rhetoric of contemporary discourse on immigrants is taking a more and more dehumanizing style – at the expense of the refugees.

Strategic Culturalization vs. Anti-Culturalism and Culture as a Taboo

Although research on intercultural communication and on intercultural dialogue has developed a vast range of highly sophisticated and differentiating notions of culture, these notions have not played any considerable role in contemporary social discourse. Instead, supporters of right-wing parties opposing the reception of refugees strategically have made use of rather crude and essentialist notions of culture. Until this happened, scholars might have believed that their research had overcome such outdated concepts. Instead, assumed cultural differences between refugees and Germans are being used to foment fear of future social and/or cultural conflict inside the country. Cultural particularities are made responsible for a putatively higher crime rate and even terrorism. In other words, talking about culture in the debate on refugees has so thoroughly been monopolized by extreme right-wing voices that the rest of the political camps see only one chance to oppose them: Instead of arguing for more differentiating (e.g. interactionist or constructionist) concepts of culture, residing political parties as well as news media act as if their only option is to completely ignore and deny the existence of culture as a phenomenon. For supporters of non-right-wing political camps, talking about culture has become taboo. Speaking the language of intercultural research, an anti-culturalism here (again) turns out to be the only morally acceptable attitude. To some degree, intercultural research is significantly threatened by this taboo. Social and political discourse here passes up the chance of gaining insights into how cultural identities are co-constructed in both face-to-face and media interaction, and how their construction can be activated in cooperative as well as in discriminating ways. In short, a careful look at the role of culture and its force as a discursive construction might help in finding ways to transcend the conflict discourse, yet these ways seem to be blocked by that very discourse at the moment.

Insights into the genuinely constructionist nature of social and political discourse may turn out to be the only chance for evading and escaping the conflict circle that has been described here. Even though this line of argument may perhaps give the impression of being abstract, and even complex, interculturalists, opinion makers, and the news media should be highly encouraged to contribute to establishing this perspective.

NOTE: See the response prompted by this post, by Peter Praxmarer.

Key Concept 76: Intercultural Sustainability by Dominic Busch

Key Concepts in ICDThe next issue of Key Concepts in intercultural Dialogue is now available. Click on the thumbnail to download the PDF. Lists organized chronologically by publication date and numberalphabetically by concept in English, and by languages into which they have been translated, are available, as is a page of acknowledgments with the names of all authors, translators, and reviewers.

KC76 Intercultural Sustainability by Dominic BuschBusch, D. (2016). Intercultural sustainability. Key Concepts in Intercultural Dialogue, 76. Available from:
https://centerforinterculturaldialogue.files.wordpress.com/2016/01/kc76-intercultural-sustainability.pdf

The Center for Intercultural Dialogue publishes a series of short briefs describing Key Concepts in Intercultural Dialogue. Different people, working in different countries and disciplines, use different vocabulary to describe their interests, yet these terms overlap. Our goal is to provide some of the assumptions and history attached to each concept for those unfamiliar with it. As there are other concepts you would like to see included, send an email. If there are concepts you would like to prepare, provide a brief explanation of why you think the concept is central to the study of intercultural dialogue, and why you are the obvious person to write up that concept.


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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Dominic Busch Researcher Profile

Dominic BuschDominic Busch is a Professor of Intercultural Communication and Conflict Research at Universität der Bundeswehr München, Germany. He received his doctorate in 2005 at Europa-Universität Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder), Germany. From 2006 to 2011 he was a Junior Professor in Intercultural Communication at Europa-Universität Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder).

His research approaches to intercultural communication are based in discourse theory and critical discourse analysis. From this perspective, not only social but also academic discourse on intercultural communication contribute to a continuing construction and a perpetuation of notions of this subject. Individuals’ participation in social discourse shaped from power structures and hegemonious makes them accept predominant notions of culture and its effects. In his recent book, Dominic Busch has outlined how intercultural research and social discourse on intercultural communication can be seen through the lens of Foucault’s dispositive theory.

At the example of conflict mediation practice and research on settings that are considered as intercultural, Dominic Busch has exemplified how pre-existing notions of culture and its effects from academia and social discourse significantly determine practitioners’ evaluations of chances and challenges in conflict resolution. Even more, depending on what theory or assumption is taken as a basis, the outcome on evaluating practical options may differ dramatically.

Instead of leaving social practice alone with these deconstructions from the side of academia, Dominic Busch encourages to search for positive implementations of these insights into practice. For the example of conflict mediation in intercultural settings, this may encourage practitioners to become aware of constraints that actually do not exist but in theory and discourse. Similarly, on a more general level, a better consciousness of the constructivist nature of notions of culture and its effects on social interaction may help individuals to widen their scopes of action in practice.

Even more, the insight into the constructivist character of notions of cultures may open the opportunity (and the responsibility) to encourage forms of intercultural dialogue on a local and on a global level to discuss and to define notions of how positive (intercultural) coexistence may be designed. In these respects, Dominic Busch explores the potential of concepts like intercultural sustainability as well as contributions from cosmopolitanism to intercultural dialogue.

For more detailed information as well as a list of German language publications please visit Dominic Busch’s website.

Selected publications in English:

Busch, Dominic (2015): “Culture is leaving conversation analysis, but is it really gone? The analysis of culturalist performances in conversation.” In: Journal of Intercultural Communication (will appear in issue 39 (November 2015)).

Busch, Dominic (2015): “Mediation.” In: Bennett, Janet M. (Ed.): The SAGE Encyclopedia of Intercultural Competence. Thousand Oaks: Sage: 608-611.

Busch, Dominic (2012): “Cultural theory and conflict management in organizations: How does theory shape our notion of the problem and its solutions?” International Journal of Cross-Cultural Management 12 (1):9-24. DOI:10.1177/1470595811413106

Busch, Dominic (2010): “Shopping in hospitality: situational constructions of customer-vendor relationships among shopping tourists at a bazaar on the German-Polish border.” Language and Intercultural Communication 10 (1):72-89. DOI:10.1080/14708470903452614

Busch, Dominic (2009): “What kind of intercultural competence will contribute to students’ future job employability?” Intercultural Education 20 (5):429-438. DOI:10.1080/14675980903371290