Conflict and intercultural communication
Institutional Communication Service
1 July 2022
Intercultural communication is a form of dialogue between different cultures, effective when both sides are willing to listen. At a broader level, intercultural communication is mainly based on mutual cooperation between different countries, with the purpose of lowering the risk of wars or disputes. Professor Jolanta Drzewiecka researches discursive constructions of cultural, racial, and national differences and identities to advance a critical intercultural communication framework. She focuses on two areas: immigrant identity and public memories. In the first, she examines how immigrant identities are negotiated and represented in personal and media narratives. Here, she develops a theory as to how immigrants are racially incorporated through intercultural translation in ways that sustain structures of inequality. The latter area explores how public memories are shaped by and shape nationalism.
What importance does intercultural communication play during a conflict?
From an intercultural communication perspective, it is very important that during a war, we prevent acts of xenophobia towards individuals based on their national categorisation. Thus we need to be vigilant to not portray individuals as ‘the enemy’ and not presume their views on the conflict and towards the other side.
How do we understand the response to Ukrainian refugees in Europe?
Any war is a great humanitarian crisis. The support and acceptance of Ukrainian refugees has been necessary and laudable. It also showed us that whatever reasons were given for not helping people seeking refuge from outside of Europe in the recent past were not real. The impossible became possible exposing biases in the treatment of refugees in Europe. It is important that we learn from this experience, talk about the inequalities that we perpetuate and do better in the future.
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