Introducción a la Convivencia Intercultural

The seminar presented an introduction to intercultural convivence. Cultural diversity has always existed and interculturality is a phenomena known to humankind for at least 3000 years. Yet, nowaways, with the globalization process and the shortening of distances and grwoth of communication networks, intercultural convivence seem to happen in a much more frequent fashion than ever before. One does not have to travel very far to deal with it anymore. Globalization, among many other consequences, brought intercultural convivence closer to us. This urges us to consider the matter of which way we must deal with the others in order to be respectful to their culture and traditions.

However, in the study of intercultural convivence, one big trap seems to be the imposition of certain norms and rules as to act in a politically correct manner and try to achieve settlement between conflicts that arise from people of different backgrounds. I am not saying that we are not supposed to find ways for conflict transformation (above all transformation and not resolution) and remain the way things were before, but when we are given pre-defined rules of how to act, steps to follow like a one-size-fits-all recipe, grounds are set for failure in transforming conflicts. It is fundamental to take in consideration that any mediator in a conflict scenario is another part in a conflict and there is no such thing as neutrality. The mediator has a history, has a cultural background that will lean him/her towards one side or the other and this will affect the entire situation.

Because of that, reading Jean Paul Lederach Elicitive Conflict Transformation is a highly reccommend task for anyone interested in Cultural Convivence. The elicitive conflict transformation model draws out, highlights, and catalyzes existing or communally held knowledge related to transforming conflict between individuals, groups, and communities, while prescriptive approaches propose pre-created models). It requires more subtle skills than the prescriptive, considers the mediator as an element of the conflict (or dysfunctional system) and never neutral, lastly, the conflict worker has to be aware of his role in that context.

For me in particular, this is so fat the best tool academia has provided for real life situations I have faced when it comes to intercultural convivence.

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