A Research Companion
Edited by Mustafa F. Özbiligin
Chapter 22: Inclusion and Diversity as an Intercultural Task
22. Inclusion and diversity as an intercultural task José Pascal da Rocha INTRODUCTION The debates on multiculturalism are developing in different directions, with different assumptions, tendencies and different value systems. Negotiation between diverse cultures and their daily side-by-side coexistence has become an intercultural challenge for any type of organizational, societal and managerial structure. Propelled by the effects of globalization, fluctuation of goods and persons, fast-spreading technology and general migration, scholars as well as practitioners face the new realities. It is no longer a question of ‘if’, but a matter of ‘how’ to adapt theories and practices of disciplines to the hybridity of people, societies and cultures. Nevertheless, many argue on the grounds of cultural relativism, that each culture maintains its own value system, that it cannot be understood from the outside perspective. Therefore, all cultures can equally claim their rights and identity. The right of self-determination is a status of principle. According to the cultural anthropologist Spiro and his theory of ‘moral cultural relativism’ (Spiro, 1993), equality becomes a matter of equal value, which renders any critique of cultural norms impossible. Thus, heterogeneity would follow and characterize the relationships between cultures. The issues at hand still remain: how does intercultural communication add up to diversity and inclusion? Where to place it in this relationship? How to assess it according to cultural relativism if the assumption is that any form of acculturation is deculturation? TOWARDS PLURALISM Many European societies have adopted the realities of multiculturalism in their societal and organizational strategies.1...
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