Intercultural competence and the promise of understanding

Ferri, Giuliana (2016) Intercultural competence and the promise of understanding. In: Intercultural Competence in Education: Alternative Approaches for Different Times. Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, UK, pp. 97-120. ISBN 9781137587336

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In this chapter I adopt an interdisciplinary approach in the form of a philosophical investigation into the epistemological assumptions of the concept of competence and the ethical implications for intercultural dialogue. I intend to argue that the notion ofculture represents an ‘essentialist trap’ (Cole and Meadows, 2013) that fails to account for the complexity that characterises intercultural exchanges. Thus, in this paper I shift the focus from culture to the ‘inter’ of the intercultural, indicating the process of interaction in communication.
From this perspective, I illustrate the notion of promise (Derrida 1974, 1984) and I introduce the metaphor of the promise of understanding to critique the epistemological underpinnings of the notion of intercultural competence as it is presented in two frameworks that are paradigmatic of current thinking in intercultural research: the pyramid model (Deardorff, 2006, 2009) and the ICOPROMO project (Glaser, Guilherme et al, 2007). Through this critique, I introduce the idea of a deferred promise of understanding as a guiding principle for intercultural communication.

Item Type: Book Section
Identifier: 10.1057/978-1-137-58733-6
Additional Information: This extract is taken from the author's original manuscript and has not been edited. The definitive, published, version of record is available here:
Subjects: Education
Social sciences > Communication and culture
Depositing User: Giuliana Ferri
Date Deposited: 21 Oct 2016 20:33
Last Modified: 28 Aug 2021 07:22


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