Seminar on developmental model of intercultural sensitiveness and how it can be put into youth work practice
28 March – 04 April 2015, Szeged, Hungary
The psychological challenges are toughest than the physical one. The human body ends up to adapt to the cold, the heat, to work, the changes, schedules… but yet the mind works in the same pattern. When we travel, when we are aware of other customs, or when we are aware of other people, we are faced with another culture. The culture of a country, of a society or of a person is a challenge. Even the culture of the person is different from the country in wich he lives in. How to deal with this? How to help people to deal with this situation?
The Seminar Intercultural Quality, that took place in Szeged, Hungary thanks to the association YOPA-Youth for Participation Association, has explained to us how it works the scale that Milton Bennett created to measure the intercultural sensitivity. The Bennett scale, also called the Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity (DMIS), was developed by Dr. Milton Bennett. The framework describes the different ways in which people can react to cultural differences.
The first stage is Denial of Difference – or Ambiguity. Individuals experience their own culture as the only “real” one. Other cultures are either not noticed at all or are understood in an undifferentiated, simplistic manner.
The second stage is Defense against Difference– One’s own culture is experienced as the most “evolved” or best way to live, but they tolerate the other one.
Than comes the Minimization of Difference – People recognize superficial cultural differences in food, customs, traditions etc., but they emphasize human similarity in physical structures, psychological needs, and/ad importance to the universal values.
The forth stage is Acceptance of Difference, or “getting to know” the other culture
To understand other cultures and behave in a variety of culturally appropriate ways, like the last stages of the structural model are Adaptation and Integration, as the top of the stages, and to be able to shift smoothly from one to another culture.
In the training course we apply the theory into practice, by photos, collages, theatre play, making reportage in the city of Szeged, by asking the local people , do they recognize and what they think about the different cultures in their city, also we experienced the sense of initiative and entrepreneurship by writing an idea for a project for the Erasmus plus program of mobility, appreciation of other cultures true learning dances, etc.
We have learned to differentiate the different stadiums, to apply the theory to our day to day working with young people in different areas.