Archive for January 2019

Social Science Research in Diversity

The Role of Social Science Research in Diversity “Strength lies in differences, not in similarities” (Stephen R. Covey) Introduction The term diversity means different things to different people. At its core the term simply refers to differences. How do I see diversity? How can I see differences but avoid essentialism? How does one leverage polarities? What role…

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Max Weber

Max Weber (1864–1920) is considered by many to be the “Father of Modern Sociology”.1 His emphasis on the historical influence of ideas encouraged sociologists to consider more than just a society’s material culture and institutional structures. One of his primary interests was Verstehen, the emic understanding of the social actor in human exchange. Weber saw value in looking at the meaning…

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Experiential Learning Activity – Dancing

The purpose of this experiential learning activity (ELA) is to demonstrate? Sometimes unpredicted behaviors take place in cross-cultural settings. They may even occur abruptly. The observed behaviors may appear normal or strange. We may or may not be able to predict them. It may feel uncomfortable to participate in the behaviors. Participation will require adjustment.…

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Experiential Learning Activity – Shoes

The purpose of this experiential learning activity (ELA) is to demonstrate: We generally behave according to a code of conduct We tend to assume that others behave according to the same or similar code When they do not, conflict is inevitable Often, we think others are strange or even stupid The importance of understanding our…

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The People of India

In a previous blog post about The Land of India, I described my travels to interesting destinations during a month-long business trip during the summer of 2013. As a nation India is diverse and its people are distinct. Amidst the diversity and distinctiveness, commonalities are seen throughout. The largest cities like Mumbai and Bangalore are rapidly…

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The Land of India

The duration of my trip was the longest since first traveling to India in 2005. I arrived on 16 June and departed on 13 July 2013. In Mumbai the monsoons had begun only weeks prior. Although always changing and growing, there were two things that stood out in this financial capital of India and political…

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Metanarrative

In the popular textbook, Intercultural Communication in Contexts, authors Judith Martin and Tom Nakayama write, “It may be difficult for you to envision, but at one time a unified story of humankind — the grand narrative — dominated how people thought of the past, present, and future. The grand narrative refers to the overarching, all-encompassing story…

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Intercultural Training for CCL Executive Coaches

Dr. Angela Edwards and Dr. Robert Strauss recently facilitated a series of five intercultural trainings for executive coaches with the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL). The topic of one 90-minute session was entitled, “GLOBE Styles of Leadership: Toward a Global Perspective”. Approximately 70 coaches from all over the world participated in the WebEx-based training. Dr. Edwards…

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Cultural Evolution – Ten Characteristics of Civilized Life

Early sociologists in the nineteenth century assumed cultural evolution occurred in primitive societies. See the writings of Englishman, Edward Burnett Tylor (1832–1917), and American, Lewis Henry Morgan (1818–1881). These researchers assumed three basic levels of human beings, noted in the list below. Commonly, indigenous peoples were referred to as “savages”. Northern Europe was assumed to…

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An Expanded Model of Culture

When I enter the classroom at the Institute for Intercultural Studies in Bangalore, India, silence befalls the room and the PhD students stand to their feet. Intending the utmost respect, one of the students takes my computer case and walks it to the professor’s desk. Others await my instructions to take their seats. I also am a…

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