Semiotics of Cultural Conflict

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Introduction to the course "Semiotics of Cultural Conflict" by Prof Roger Parent, University of Alberta

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Semiotics of Cultural Conflict

  1. 1. The Semiotics of Cultural Conflict Developing a semiotic-based training model for intercultural training and applied interdisciplinary research Semiotics department, University of Tartu Campus Saint-Jean, University of Alberta
  2. 2. The Semiotics of Cultural Conflict Developing a semiotic-based approach to intercultural training and applied research <ul><li>I. RELEVANCE </li></ul><ul><li>Applied cultural semiotics and intercultural training </li></ul><ul><li>II. METHODOLOGY </li></ul><ul><li>Technology and distance learning </li></ul><ul><li>Interdisciplinary links: a performance-based approach </li></ul><ul><li>Semiotic training design </li></ul><ul><li>III. COURSE DESIGN </li></ul><ul><li>An integrated and multi-leveled approach </li></ul><ul><li>Semiotics and intercultural training models </li></ul><ul><li>IV. TRAINING OUTCOMES (18-20 hours of training) </li></ul><ul><li>Major learning objectives </li></ul><ul><li>Target skills </li></ul>
  3. 3. The Semiotics of Cultural Conflict Developing a semiotic-based approach to intercultural training and applied research <ul><li>I. RELEVANCE </li></ul><ul><li>- Multiculturalism: an outdated concept (Council of Europe, 2008) </li></ul><ul><li>- The need for new, interdisciplinary models to manage cultural diversity and resolve intercultural conflicts </li></ul><ul><li>- The new paradigm of interculturality: creating optimal learning environments for intercultural dialogue and exchange </li></ul><ul><li>- The recognized interdisciplinary need for a common theoretical framework for intercultural education </li></ul><ul><li>- The interdisciplinary potential of cultural semiotics a bridge between the humanities and the social sciences in intercultural education </li></ul><ul><li>- The development of a semiotic-based training model to test that potential: 10 years of piloting internationally </li></ul>
  4. 4. The Semiotics of Cultural Conflict Developing a semiotic-based approach to intercultural training and applied research <ul><li>II. METHODOLOGY: going from the « ivory tower » to « real life situations » </li></ul><ul><li>Technology: learning ressources for semi-autonomous learning </li></ul><ul><li>1. Audio-visual (5 documentaries) </li></ul><ul><li>- Translating cultural knowledge to intercultural knowhow </li></ul><ul><li>2. Paper- based (5 workbooks) </li></ul><ul><li>Transferring intercultural knowhow to culture-specific situations </li></ul><ul><li>Distance learning: University of Tartu / University of Alberta </li></ul><ul><li>An 18-20 hour on-line course </li></ul>
  5. 5. The Semiotics of Cultural Conflict Developing a semiotic-based approach to intercultural training and applied research <ul><li>II. METHODOLOGY (continued): a performance-based approach </li></ul><ul><li>Points of convergence: </li></ul><ul><li>cultural semiotics, performance studies, intercultural training </li></ul>SEMIOTIC-BASED DESIGN: 3 core concepts PERFORMANCE: 3 major definitions EMERGING TRAINING MODELS (“cultural intelligence”) 3 principles Culture as system Building communities Mindfulness /cognitive mapping Culture as communication Presentation of self in everyday life Social communication Culture as creativity Virtuosity Specialized behaviour
  6. 6. The Semiotics of Cultural Conflict Developing a semiotic-based approach to intercultural training and applied research <ul><li>II. METHODOLOGY (continued) </li></ul><ul><li>Course progression: from cultural conflict to intercultural exchange and problem solving </li></ul><ul><li>Five module structure </li></ul>Module 1 Module 2 Module 3 Module 4 Module 5 Culture as identity Culture as system Culture as communi-cation Culture as creativity Culture as exchange
  7. 7. The Semiotics of Cultural Conflict Developing a semiotic-based approach to intercultural training and applied research <ul><li>III. COURSE DESIGN: an integrated and multi-leveled approach to intercultural training </li></ul>TRAINING CONTENT TEACHING GOALS TRAINING METHODS LEARNING STRATEGIES Culture-general Meta-cognitive (learning to learn about culture) & cognitive (theory) Academic Facilitator-centered Culture specific Affective (empathy) & behavioural (problem solving) Experiential (field-work, cognitive mapping, data-gathering Learner-centered
  8. 8. The Semiotics of Cultural Conflict Developing a semiotic-based approach to intercultural training and applied research <ul><li>III. COURSE DESIGN: combining the four major approaches to intercultural training through semiotics. </li></ul><ul><li>1. The intellectual or university model </li></ul><ul><li>- The lecture approach: an interdisciplinary overview of cultural theory </li></ul><ul><li>2. The area training or simulation model </li></ul><ul><li>- The fieldwork approach: using techniques from the social sciences in data-gathering </li></ul><ul><li>3. The self-awareness or human relations model </li></ul><ul><li>- The phenomenological approach: Peirce sign theory. </li></ul><ul><li>4. The cultural awareness model </li></ul><ul><li>- The functionalist / systemic approach: Tartu cultural semiotics </li></ul>
  9. 9. The Semiotics of Cultural Conflict Developing a semiotic-based approach to intercultural training and applied research <ul><li>IV. TRAINING OUTCOMES (18-20 hours) </li></ul><ul><li>Major learning objectives </li></ul><ul><li>Analysis of a cultural microcosme (small organisation) in space and time </li></ul><ul><li>Identification of a systemic need in that microcosme </li></ul><ul><li>Design and communication of a project for intercultural exchange to meet the need identified </li></ul><ul><li>Secondary learning objectives </li></ul><ul><li>Confirmation of cultural identity and cognitive mapping </li></ul><ul><li>Developing intercultural communication through cultural interpreters </li></ul><ul><li>Accesssing personal and collective ressources for intercultural problem-solving </li></ul>
  10. 10. The Semiotics of Cultural Conflict Developing a semiotic-based approach to intercultural training and applied research <ul><li>IV. TARGET TRAINING SKILLS (18-2O hours) </li></ul><ul><li>Identify important needs in a culture </li></ul><ul><li>Successfully communicate my project to meet a cultural need to key people in the culture. </li></ul><ul><li>Bring about needed changes in a culture. </li></ul><ul><li>Design and implement projects capable of answering a specific cultural need. </li></ul><ul><li>Recognize signs of cultural identity. </li></ul><ul><li>Communicate respect for a person’s cultural identity. </li></ul><ul><li>Identify a culture’s actions (strategies and objectives) to survive. </li></ul><ul><li>Establish relationships between the cultural signs observed in a culture and the function or role they fulfill in the cultural system. </li></ul><ul><li>Discuss how my target culture defines what is “desirable” or “undesirable” (value system). </li></ul><ul><li>Collaborate with a cultural interpreter in gaining access to privileged information within the culture. </li></ul><ul><li>Determine some of the rules, often unwritten, that determine how people in the culture communicate. </li></ul><ul><li>Understand how exchange contributes to the evolution of cultural systems. </li></ul><ul><li>I can formulate a personal hypothesis as to my target culture’s main belief systems (its way of defining what is “possible” and “impossible). </li></ul>

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