Making Sense of the Intercultural : Finding DeCentred Threads book cover
1st Edition

Making Sense of the Intercultural
Finding DeCentred Threads

ISBN 9781138482036
Published November 27, 2019 by Routledge
130 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

In this book we wish to find a new way of talking about, connecting and operationalising the third space, narratives, positioning, and interculturality. Our purpose is to shake established views in what we consider to be an urgent quest for dealing with prejudice.

We therefore seek to draw attention to the following:

  • How Centre structures and large culture boundaries are sources of prejudice
  • How deCentred intercultural threads address prejudice by dissolving these boundaries
  • How, in everyday small culture formation on the go, the cultural and the intercultural are observable and become indistinguishable
  • How agency, personal and grand narratives, discourses, and positioning become visible in unexpected ways
  • How we researchers also bring competing narratives in making sense of the intercultural
  • How third spaces are discordant and uncomfortable places in which all of us must struggle to achieve interculturality

This book is therefore a journey of discovery with each chapter building on the previous ones. While throughout there are particular empirical events (interviews, reconstructed ethnographic accounts and research diary entries) with their own detailed analyses and insights, they connect back to discussion in previous chapters.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Distant lands and the everyday

Kati in Exia

Main events, storyline and concepts

Matt and the woman on the train

The ‘getting on with life’ grand narrative

Getting to the deCentred: The Moor’s account

What it takes to listen to the deCentred

Chapter 2: DeCentred threads resist the expected

The problem with ‘integration’

Working with children as expert agents of culture and identity

The intertwined nature of identity construction

A critical cosmopolitan, deCentred discourse of culture

Searching for hidden spaces

Chapter 3: Centred threads become blocks

Choosing to find threads

Dangerous threads: Kati and Eli

Talking to Wissaal about clothes: threads of ambivalence

Behind the scenes sense-making of threads or not threads

Kati, Eli and Matt visit ‘the foreign’: blocks and threads at work

Building interculturality

Chapter 4: Who are we as researchers?

Excavating our own researcher agendas

In this together

Chapter 5: Getting on with deCentred life

Meeting undergraduate students

Another unexpected deCentred thread

Connecting back to other events


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Dr Adrian Holliday is Professor of Applied Linguistics & Intercultural Education at Canterbury Christ Church University.

Dr Sara Amadasi is a Post-Doctoral researcher at the University of Modena & Reggio Emilia.