Research Output

‘Intercultural competence’ as an intersubjective process: a reply to ‘essentialism’

  In this paper, we problematise a competence-oriented reflective approach to intercultural education by drawing on four students’ reflective essays about their experiential learning experiences on an ‘Intercultural Competence’ (IC) module. Their reflections sometimes evidence much-vaunted IC attributes such as ‘tolerance’ and ‘empathy’, but often indicate individually-developed, non-teleologically based IC criteria. Furthermore, reflection was often painful and at times led to a ‘falling back on’ essentialist notions of culture. We suggest that rather than reject essentialism as a ‘simplistic’ starting point, it should be recognised as existing symbiotically with non-essentialist notions and could be used critically throughout intercultural learning.

  • Type:

    Article

  • Date:

    13 December 2017

  • Publication Status:

    Published

  • DOI:

    10.1080/14708477.2017.1400510

  • Cross Ref:

    10.1080/14708477.2017.1400510

  • ISSN:

    1470-8477

  • Library of Congress:

    HT Communities. Classes. Races

  • Dewey Decimal Classification:

    303 Social processes

  • Funders:

    Edinburgh Napier Funded

Citation

Zhou, V., & Pilcher, N. (2018). ‘Intercultural competence’ as an intersubjective process: a reply to ‘essentialism’. Language and Intercultural Communication, 18(1), (125-143). doi:10.1080/14708477.2017.1400510. ISSN 1470-8477

Authors

Keywords

intercultural competence; essentialism; non-essentialism; reflection; experiential learning

Monthly Views:

Available Documents