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Chapter 22 - “Culture Has No Internal Territory”

Culture as Dialogue

from Part V - From society to the person through culture

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 June 2012

Jaan Valsiner
Affiliation:
Clark University, Massachusetts
Alberto Rosa
Affiliation:
Universidad Autónoma de Madrid
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Summary

This chapter discusses the problems with essentialist approaches to culture and explores an alternative, dialogic, approach to the problem of "cultural mismatch". There are at least two different types of approaches to the notion of "culture" that are used in educational research and practices. The chapter argues that the essentialist type of approaches to culture, although useful at times, can lead to unilateral pedagogies while the dialogic approach to culture promotes collaboration and dialogue among the teacher and the students. The proponents of adult-run unilateralism argue that the students from non-mainstream and often economically and politically disadvantaged communities need to learn how to successfully navigate and operate in mainstream institutions that White middle-class teachers represent. The chapter describes that successful teachers often develop creole communities in their classrooms in response to perceived interactional and communicational breakdowns instead of using an essentialist perspective of pre-existing cultures.
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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2007

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