On Christmas eve with a friend of mine, we went to join some student-mates in the hostel and it didn’t take very long until the entire room was dragged into a closed conversation, and no matter how hard all of us in the room tried to change the conversation topic we ended up talking about poles and poland and we were going round and round, reiterating ourselves and making no sense.
I happen to see the folks again and inevitably the same thing; we talked about Poland with the same ultra-subjective critical scrutiny.
Sometimes these conversations make you wonder and think where it’s rooted; and I think it’s the sweeping generalization. This one is the stereotyping which is a cognitive need to schematize and interpret with a negative tendency.
To escape from the seemingly no-exit situation of interpretations I do think we need to sacrifice our perspectives- a seeing through of those structures which, by their very nature, tend to resist being seen through. Through this radical sacrifice, “The multiplicity of actual human empirical spaces for man’s [woman’s] interaction and communication may be made possible. However, I do realise this solution only applies to a very limited number of people, specifically in the case of our student community, quite significant number of individuals are ready for this radical sacrifice, but even within this group a substantial number of them needs an external jolt or force to direct/help them break the resistance of the structures confining them seen through.
Openness is not just enough to achieve this; academic students are often open just for the sake of openness. There is an obsession of openness and freedom. But quite often this openness restrains individual from sacrifice; the popular misunderstanding is that freedom of choice and open conscious do help in making radical sacrifice. Open communication with locked perspective scares off foreigners. I’ve noticed when western students are being open with students from Far East it really doesn’t help to build trust and other forms of cultural capital. It’s perhaps because there is no shared perspective.
The driving force and jolt for this sacrifice is crisis quite often. This program of emancipation requires that we not only acknowledge crisis as an element of man’s life, but that we uncover its presuppositions. Crisis, in this view, may lead either to despair or it may engender a radical reorientation or the kind of orientation/activity which will make knowledge transparent to itself.
Obviously, crisis is not the only medium for cultural communication emancipation, or we would have had very rare intercultural communication; as we are building a conservative view here in Europe and typically enough conservative societies do not fancy crisis.
Like I said before, we are open in Europe for the sake of openness. There is an increasing lack of knowledge and imagination. Europe’s socio-economical problems are directly linked with its intercultural and perception problems. In countries like Italy and Germany people are accustomed and habituated to good standard of living, where social costs and wages are high, but the productive outcome is usual; in an economy which is generated more than 70% from export. This makes it hard for Europe to compete with other emerging nations in Asia which produces the same product for local markets in a way lower cost.
Coming back to radical perception; it’s hard for Europeans to make radical changes, which goes against it’s tradition of building on existing intercultural communication knowledge. It’s supposedly the best and Europe has been exporting it for centuries. I want to point out that ‘other’ ways of knowledge becomes the possibility for emancipation and radical constitution. I’ve noticed with imaginative and emancipated students one could talk about anything and do anything and they are relaxed enough to grant you such a climate.
It is principally through dialogue and communication, that crisis can become a catalyst for change, because it involves, “fundamental realignments of value and perceptions among the participants.” This means that cross-cultural communication can become part of a systematic effort to desensitize one’s embodied/invariant ways of knowing- the way out of the no-exist world of interacting with one’s projections.
Authoritative and confirmative cultures where variety is doomed unacceptable, one is expected to maintain habitual conversational behavior and gestures. Usually, hierarchical culture is this kind of invariant way of cognizing or imagining.
Programs for emancipation are not concerned with individual’s socially dominant cultural background; emancipation is not targeting mainstream intercultural communication.
It’s so when we have to communicate in an intercultural space we don’t have to change and communicate on there frequency, where concepts are unilaterally perceived and humor is not shared. The danger is the predominant context for interpretations and interactions with other cultures is your own standards; this is another discussion where and how to promote communality and where and how to maintain differences for building a pluralistic environment through communication.
I have also noticed that international students in a multi-cultural environment over along period of time are less keen to communicate cross-culturally. This creates repetitive humans. I’ve noticed some of them; there are some with whom you could only drink and some other nerds with whom you could be intellectual. Some of them get habituated to one place, the TV room, kitchen or corridor, others get habituated to each other and they stick together as they were glued together from top to bottom.