Intercultural dialogue: Ethnography of dynamic, hegemony, and differentiation

In contemporary societies, especially in the post-colonial context, performing as well as proving inclusiveness in regard to gender, race, ethnicity, and religion has become a potent means of sustaining public support and offering rationale. Subsequently, the term “cultural diversity” has gained great significance, yet without the clarification of the meaning and its latent representations. The following research objectives and literature review shed the light on how dialogue participants perceive and use the term diversity, and what roles does the articulation of difference play in shaping dynamics and intercultural dialogues.

Negotiating identity

With the emergence of transculturalism, the understanding of culture has broadened its spectrum from the static notions of culture to the more dynamic views of culture. Despite the change of perspective in different cultures, however, negative affiliation towards a certain group of population, namely Muslim Americans, still remains to be dominant with the help of popular political narratives and media coverages on the on-going war on terror in America. Muslim Americans are faced with discriminations based on what they are seen to represent and it shapes their social experiences. These particular social experiences coloured with negative cultural affiliation to Muslim community can be recognised as what Kleinman calls suffering from everyday violence. This paper intends to analyse identity negotiation among Muslim Americans in relation with social violence in transcultural environment.

Participation: The reversal of relationship?

Participatory approach in development has now become the utmost essential component of project designs which aim for equity and sustainability. Its ambitious commence forwarded by the goal of meeting pro-poor, grassroots, and sustainable form of development has attracted development actors, namely government, multilateral institutions, and international and national NGOs, to adopt the approach to their agenda in accordance with the global trend. This study will explore participatory approach as a reversal of relationship between development actors. In order to do so, it will present the shift of position of two main actors, namely local population in intervention area indicated as participant and development worker as facilitator, in a critical view on the reversed position.

Book Review: Cultivating Development by David Mosse

“What if development practice is not driven by policy?” The conventional belief is that development projects are designed and implemented by policies. Participation, gender equality, measurable result, they are the examples of overarching policies which shape the activities and outcomes of development projects. Yet, in reality, it is not the policies that drive projects, it is the projects that sustain the policies instead, Mosse writes. Mosse’s book does not show the simple picture of what is right or wrong. Instead of searching for those absolute values, he provides what anthropologists are best at: finding how things are related and how differently people perceive them.