Curious about what interculturalists are saying in books, blogs and podcasts?
“Breaking out of the bubble” is an excellent way to describe the multifaceted challenge that many new expats face. Often, even unconsciously they create a bubble for themselves, “for safety’s sake”. Leaving home and familiar environments for the unknown can be scary, particularly if one has little preparation for it and mistakes can be costly. Now, a very useful handbook has arrived!
The book is an interesting read, because it is replete with stories, resulting from discussions and interviews that the author has had with a variety of expats about their experiences in different countries, making it possible to understand how making friends may be easier or more difficult given the culture and social structure.
Mean Girl Feminism: How White Feminists Gaslight, Gatekeep, and Girlboss. By Kim Hong Nguyen. University of Illinois Press, 2024
We live at a time when the subjective fabricates the objective, and this has become blatantly obvious in two areas. The first is entertainment – film, theater, popular music, and their penetration of social media. The second is populist political rhetoric where identity discourse, often based on survival fears, determines the issues, the actions, and the outcomes of legal and social structuring, likewise, exacerbating social media.
Fortunately, Kim Hong Nguyen’s book is not just another academic thesis about the roots and nature of feminism. It is far more than that. Nguyen has dared to do what most cultural, researchers, and diversity gurus avoid, namely, looking at how pop culture penetrates lives in so many ways and do so because we imagine that we can circumvent it. While not at all avoiding traditional and serious academic research into the issues of feminism, she brings them to life by copiously citing illustrations and expressions of them in the realms of popular culture, and how they illustrate the personhood of women who give substance to the questions and perspectives on feminism that Nguyen offers.
Should we be afraid of lasting silence in intercultural negotiations? Will Sun Tsu’s ancient manual The Art of War help negotiators get great deals with China? Most importantly, does culture play a role in international negotiations at all?
Although the MERICS (The Mercator Institute for China Studies ) podcasts can be a bit too technical for the audience with limited exposure to China and its politics and macroeconomics (and quite addictive otherwise) the MERICS interview with Wuttke makes this complex topic accessible to all providing them with easily digestible soundbites that will serve them well in negotiations for a long time, even if they never set foot in China.
As we continue introducing podcasts from the intercultural communications field, here is the Deep Culture Podcast that “explores the psychological impact of intercultural experiences, informed by the sciences of brain, culture and mind.”
You have not heard from me in a while for good reasons and one of them was that I was busy reading. Generally, I would have coffee or tea with a chosen guest to bring you the long and short of it. This time, I ended up having gallons of tea with a book written by our last chosen guest, David Livermore.
A compelling story about the character Kim Ji-young who faces the difficulties of growing up as a woman and motherhood in Korean society. Ji-young may be fictional, but is presented in the book as a realistic individual representing many women with a similar fate in Korea.