This paper introduces and describes two conceptual models for generating cross-cultural engagement. It then applies the models to the Transformations: Culture and the Environment in Human Development Conference held at The Australian National University in February 2005. The first model, the ‘Framework for Cross-cultural Engagement’, conceptualises Australia as a multicultural environment encompassing a multiplicity of cultures, each with its own language and cultural practices. Cross-cultural engagement is seen as the processes of understanding and communicating with these practices: its verbal and non-verbal behaviours, value orientations, approaches to conflict, its naming, greeting, work, sporting, wellness/sickness, religious and spiritual practices as well as its ways of knowing and communicating. The second model, the ‘Model for Cross-Cultural Practices’ presents three practical, dynamic strategies that can assist us to achieve this communication: reflective practice, socio-cultural practice and critical practice. The two models are useful in that they conceptualise the processes involved in cross-cultural engagement. The first identifies and makes explicit the specific practices we need to become familiar with if we are to communicate effectively with the culture. The second model provides three practical and dynamic strategies that can assist us to achieve this engagement. Together, the two models provide a means of more effectively understanding and communicating with different cultural groups.
|Keywords:||Cross-cultural Communication, Critical theory|
Lecturer, Faculty of Arts, University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia
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