May 262013

Mark DeYmaz has set out a rather helpful continuum for helping us devise how ‘competent’ we are in our dealing with other cultures. It is taken form his  ‘Pursue Cross Cultural Competence’ in Building a Healthy Multi-Ethnic Church, (San Francisco: John Wiley & Sons, 2007); 103-107.

  1. destructiveness: acknowledges only one way of being; purposefully denies or outlaws any other cultural approaches. Difference becomes a barrier.
  2. cultural blindness: fosters the assumption that people are basically all alike. What works for one culture must work for others.
  3. cultural awareness: makes us sensitive to other cultures; involves some internal changes to attitudes and values; increasing openness and flexibility.
  4. cultural sensitivity: increases over time through training, effort and experience. It involves actively seeking advice and consultation / incorporating new knowledge into wider range of experience;
  5. cross cultural competence: general proficiency among those who value diversity, conduct self-assessment, manage the dynamics of difference, acquire and institutionalize cultural knowledge.

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