Intercultural Extraneity
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Preserving your culture while being receptive of other cultures in the digital media evolution

The message that our strength lies in our knowledge is the most important aspect of the American Cultural Studies course that has become a part of my lifelong learning journey. Hence, – ‘[your] most valuable asset… is your knowledge of, and profound respect and admiration for, the best traditions of your [race and of your] adopted country.’ (Pupin, 1923) is my guiding quote. Preserving one’s own culture while being receptive of other cultures, through intercultural communication and the evolution of media is pivotal for nurturing one’s identity and knowledge cultivation.

In order to understand why cultural communication and individualist identity are necessary for preserving one’s culture, we must delve into the meanings they convey. Firstly, intercultural competence is the ability to communicate appropriately in various cultural contexts (N.A, 2016) meaning that a person has to be aware of the different cultural layers on which people operate in order to communicate successfully. Revitalization and the promotion of one’s cultural and ethnic uniqueness through educative communication is vital for preserving one’s culture (Neuliep). Arguably, such communication could threaten one’s individualistic identity, meaning that people, being prone to project their acquired cultural knowledge onto foreigners, overgeneralize them. Overgeneralizing people results in banal nationalism (Piller, 2017) which has to be combated by people accepting and learning differences while acknowledging their own cultural self. (Neuliep). A fine example of successful intercultural communication was the TAPP project between Serbian and American students concerning intercultural communication and receptivity. The result of the fruitful collaboration was the final project set-up in the form of a cross-cultural cultural interview, posted on video broadcasting platform YouTube by the student, that revitalized and promoted the students’ cultural and ethnic authenticity by fostering their individualist identities.

Moreover, cultural preservation and receptivity could be endangered by the hivemind (Cuenco, 2021) concept and the disadvantages of media evolution. The current evolution of media would certainly be labeled as dangerous in a sense that the creation of the algorithmic man (Cuenco, 2021), one who lacks reason and the will to express viewpoints for relevant matters such as cultural receptivity and preservation, is facilitating the emergence of the hivemind – the phenomenon of identity loss due to uncritical conformity, rendering people post-literal. (Cuenco, 2021) Consequently, it would foster banal nationalism by instigating people to lose themselves and the values instilled into them by their respective cultures in the so-called global village, the phenomenon of world’s culture shrinking (Dixon, 2009) by uninformed receptivity of the other cultures. In order to oppose this post-literacy and the identity loss, individuals must nurture their most valuable asset – their knowledge of the best traditions of their and their adopted country (Pupin, 1923) through intercultural competence and, notably, organizing media content according to its educative potential.

To conclude, notwithstanding the fact that cultural communication and knowledgeable use of media evolution are of utmost importance for cultivating fruitful communication among different cultures, what is most important is, in fact, educating oneself on how to preserve one’s own culture while showing profound respect for and receptivity of other cultures.

S.B.

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I hereby confirm that this work is solely the result of my own independent scholarly work and that if any ideas, text passages, or diagrams from books, papers, the Web or other sources have been copied, paraphrased, or in any other way used, all references – including those found in electronic media – have been clearly acknowledged and fully cited.

Resources:
Pupin, M. (1949 [1923]). Chs. I-IV. “From immigrant to inventor. New York, London: Charles Scribner’s Sons. Online book.

Neuliep, J. (2017). Intercultural communication: A contextual approach. Sage Publications Inc., pp. 32-37. Online chapter.

N.A. (2016). ‘8.4 Intercultural communication competence‘, Communication in the real world. Minnesota: University of Minnesota Libraries Publishing. Online chapter.

Piller, I. (2017). The banal nationalism of intercultural communication advice. Online article.

Cuenco, M. (2021, April 21). America’s New Post-Literate Epistemology. Palladium. https://palladiummag.com/2021/04/17/americas-new-post-literate-epistemology/

Dixon, V. K. (2009). Understanding the Implications of a Global Village. Inquiries Journal. http://www.inquiriesjournal.com/articles/1681/understanding-the-implications-of-a-global-village

TAPP: Levine, A. [Abigail Levine]. (2021, April 16). Multimedia Project [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VO5b2vk5M2s&ab_channel=AbigailLevine

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