Interculturalism as a paradigm for thinking about diversity


intercultural education




Interculturalism as a paradigm for thinking about diversity


The author will attempt to demonstrate that the concept of culture is no longer appropriate for describing present-day cultural diversity. Indeed, cultures can no longer be understood as independent entities, but need to be contextualized in terms of social, political and communication-based realities. When contemplating cultural pluralism, it is the variety of cultural fragments that are significant rather than the cultures in their entirety. It is the complexity of interethnic/interracial relations and cross-cultural exchange that have made the concept of culture less relevant. The author replaces this concept with that of culturality. This concept does a better job of grasping the flexible and constantly changing nature of cultures. It also recognizes that cultural traces are more important than cultural structures. Individuals select cultural information according to their interests and the vicissitudes of the situation. Culture, like language, is a place of expression and interaction between oneself and the other. Owing to its dynamic quality, the notion of culturality is more suitable for describing these dynamics, whereas the concept of culture is marked too much by a descriptive, objectifying and categorizing approach.



Martine Abdallah-Pretceille

Intercultural Education,

Volume 17, Number 5/December 2006,

ISSN: 1467-5986 (Print) 1469-8439 (Online)

pages 475-483

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06/09/06 - 11:06:38

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06/09/06 - 11:06:38
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