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Nunez, Mahdi, and Popma's Intercultural Sensitivity: What You Need to Know and How to Use It



Intercultural Sensitivity: A Book Review




Intercultural sensitivity is the ability to recognize, respect, and appreciate cultural differences in communication and behavior. It is a key skill for anyone who wants to live, work, or study in a diverse and globalized world. But how can one develop intercultural sensitivity and competence? And what are some of the theories and models that can help us understand and navigate cultural diversity?




intercultural sensitivity nunez pdf free



In this book review, I will introduce you to a book that answers these questions and more. The book is called Intercultural Sensitivity: From Denial to Intercultural Competence, written by Carlos Nunez, Raya Nunez Mahdi, and Laura Popma. It is a concise and practical guide that covers various aspects of intercultural sensitivity, such as cultural models, communication strategies, global citizenship, and intercultural education. The book is based on decades of research and experience in intercultural training and consulting, and it uses real-life examples and exercises to illustrate its points.


The book presents four main concepts and models that can help us develop intercultural sensitivity and competence. They are:


  • The Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity (DMIS) by Milton Bennett



  • The Cultural Dimensions Model by Geert Hofstede and Fons Trompenaars



  • The TOPOI Model for Intercultural Communication by Milton Bennett



  • The Global Citizenship Competencies by UNESCO



In this book review, I will explain each of these concepts and models in more detail, as well as their implications for intercultural communication and education. I will also provide some personal reflections and recommendations based on my own reading of the book.


The Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity (DMIS)




One of the core concepts of the book is the Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity (DMIS) by Milton Bennett. This model describes six stages of intercultural sensitivity that represent different ways of perceiving and responding to cultural differences. The six stages are:


  • Denial: The inability or unwillingness to recognize cultural differences.



  • Defense: The recognition of cultural differences, but with a negative or hostile attitude.



  • Minimization: The recognition of cultural differences, but with a tendency to downplay or ignore them.



  • Acceptance: The recognition and appreciation of cultural differences, without judging or evaluating them.



  • Adaptation: The ability to adjust one's behavior and communication to fit different cultural contexts.



  • Integration: The ability to move fluidly and flexibly among different cultural perspectives and identities.



The DMIS is a developmental model, which means that it assumes that people can move from one stage to another through intercultural learning and experience. The book provides some tips and tools for facilitating this process, such as self-awareness, feedback, reflection, dialogue, and action. The book also explains the benefits and challenges of each stage, as well as the potential pitfalls and misunderstandings that can occur along the way.


The Cultural Dimensions Model by Hofstede and Trompenaars




Another concept that the book introduces is the Cultural Dimensions Model by Geert Hofstede and Fons Trompenaars. This model identifies some of the key dimensions that differentiate cultures in terms of their values, beliefs, and norms. The book focuses on five dimensions by Hofstede and seven dimensions by Trompenaars, which are:


Hofstede's DimensionsTrompenaars' Dimensions


Power Distance: The extent to which people accept unequal distribution of power in society.Universalism vs. Particularism: The extent to which people apply general rules or specific circumstances in decision making.


Individualism vs. Collectivism: The extent to which people prioritize their personal or group interests.Individualism vs. Communitarianism: The extent to which people see themselves as independent or interdependent with others.


Masculinity vs. Femininity: The extent to which people value assertive or nurturing traits.Neutral vs. Affective: The extent to which people express or suppress their emotions in communication.


Uncertainty Avoidance: The extent to which people tolerate ambiguity and uncertainty in life.Specific vs. Diffuse: The extent to which people separate or integrate their personal and professional lives.


Long-term vs. Short-term Orientation: The extent to which people focus on the future or the present in their planning and actions.Achievement vs. Ascription: The extent to which people attribute status and respect based on performance or position.


Internal vs. External Control: The extent to which people believe they can control or are controlled by their environment.


Sequential vs. Synchronic Time: The extent to which people organize their time in a linear or flexible way.


The book explains how these dimensions can affect intercultural communication and behavior, as well as how they can be used to understand and appreciate cultural differences. The book also provides some examples and exercises that illustrate how these dimensions can be applied in various intercultural situations, such as business negotiations, team work, conflict resolution, and social etiquette.


The TOPOI Model for Intercultural Communication




A third concept that the book presents is the TOPOI Model for Intercultural Communication by Milton Bennett. This model is a simple and practical tool that can help us identify and reduce cultural noise in communication. Cultural noise is anything that interferes with the intended meaning of a message due to cultural differences. The TOPOI model consists of five elements that can cause cultural noise, which are:


  • Tone: The way we use our voice, such as volume, pitch, speed, intonation, etc.



  • Order: The way we organize our thoughts and messages, such as logic, structure, sequence, etc.



  • Place: The way we use physical space and distance in communication, such as eye contact, gestures, touch, etc.



  • Objectives: The way we define our goals and expectations in communication, such as task-oriented or relationship-oriented, direct or indirect, etc.



Global Citizenship and Intercultural Competence




The final concept that the book introduces is global citizenship and intercultural competence. Global citizenship is the idea that we are all members of a global community that shares common values, challenges, and responsibilities. Intercultural competence is the ability to communicate and interact effectively and appropriately with people from different cultures. The book argues that both global citizenship and intercultural competence are essential for living in a diverse and interconnected world.


The book draws on the framework of global citizenship competencies by UNESCO, which identifies four domains of learning for global citizens. They are:


  • Cognitive: The knowledge and understanding of global issues and intercultural diversity.



  • Socio-emotional: The skills and attitudes of empathy, respect, and cooperation.



  • Behavioral: The actions and behaviors of responsibility, engagement, and advocacy.



  • Meta-cognitive: The ability to reflect on one's own learning and development.



The book explains how these competencies can be developed through intercultural education and experience, such as curriculum design, pedagogical methods, assessment tools, exchange programs, service learning, etc. The book also provides some practical tips and tools for becoming a global citizen, such as self-assessment, feedback, reflection, dialogue, action, etc.


Conclusion




In conclusion, Intercultural Sensitivity: From Denial to Intercultural Competence is a valuable book that offers a comprehensive and accessible introduction to intercultural sensitivity and competence. The book covers various concepts and models that can help us understand and navigate cultural diversity, such as the DMIS, the Cultural Dimensions Model, the TOPOI Model, and the Global Citizenship Competencies. The book also provides real-life examples and exercises that illustrate how these concepts and models can be applied in various intercultural situations.


As a reader and learner of intercultural sensitivity and competence, I found this book very informative and engaging. I learned a lot about different aspects of culture and communication, as well as about myself and others. I also enjoyed the conversational style and the interactive approach of the book, which made me feel like I was having a dialogue with the authors. I think this book is suitable for anyone who wants to learn more about intercultural sensitivity and competence, whether for personal or professional reasons.


I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in intercultural sensitivity and competence. I think this book can help you develop your intercultural awareness, skills, and attitudes, as well as your global citizenship identity. I hope you will find this book as useful and enjoyable as I did.


FAQs




  • Where can I find the book online for free?



You can find the book online for free at https://www.vangorcum.nl/media/2/interculturalsensitivity_inkijk.pdf. This is a preview version of the book that contains the first two chapters. You can also buy the full version of the book at https://www.vangorcum.nl/shop/intercultural-sensitivity/.


  • Who are the authors and what are their backgrounds?



The authors are Carlos Nunez, Raya Nunez Mahdi, and Laura Popma. They are intercultural trainers and consultants who have worked with various organizations and institutions around the world. They are also affiliated with the Intercultural Communication Institute (ICI) in Portland, Oregon, USA. They have extensive experience and expertise in intercultural sensitivity and competence.


  • How can I apply the concepts and models from the book to my own intercultural situations?



You can apply the concepts and models from the book to your own intercultural situations by following some of the tips and tools that the book provides. For example, you can use self-awareness, feedback, reflection, dialogue, and action to assess your own level of intercultural sensitivity and competence. You can also use the DMIS to identify your current stage of intercultural sensitivity and how to move to a higher stage. You can use the Cultural Dimensions Model to understand and appreciate the cultural differences and similarities between you and others. You can use the TOPOI Model to identify and reduce the cultural noise in your communication. And you can use the Global Citizenship Competencies to develop your global citizenship identity and behavior.


  • How can I assess my own level of intercultural sensitivity and competence?



You can assess your own level of intercultural sensitivity and competence by using some of the assessment tools that the book provides. For example, you can use the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) to measure your stage of intercultural sensitivity according to the DMIS. You can use the Intercultural Readiness Check (IRC) to measure your intercultural competencies according to four dimensions: intercultural sensitivity, intercultural communication, building commitment, and managing uncertainty. You can also use self-assessment, feedback, and reflection to evaluate your own intercultural learning and development.


  • How can I improve my intercultural communication skills?



You can improve your intercultural communication skills by using some of the communication strategies that the book provides. For example, you can use active listening, paraphrasing, summarizing, questioning, clarifying, confirming, etc. to enhance your understanding and rapport with others. You can also use verbal and nonverbal cues, such as tone, order, place, objectives, and inclusion, to adapt your communication style to different cultural contexts. And you can use empathy, respect, and cooperation to build trust and rapport with others.


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