Despite decades of policy interventions and awareness raising programmes, migration and mobility continue to give rise to tensions and questions of how to live together in a culturally diverse world. Managing Cultural Change takes a new approach to these challenges, re-examining responses to migration and mobility as part of a process of managing wider cultural change. Presenting research from a range of settings, from liberalising India, global workplaces in Asia, and migrant youth culture in Sydney, this book explores the manner in which cultural change disturbs established frames of reference. In considering affective responses to these liminal moments of disruption, it argues that adaptive strategies such as 'demarcating difference' and 're-placing home', that is, reasserting belonging, are deployed in order to reclaim a sense of synchronicity within the self and with a transforming external environment. With attention to the prevalence and durability of the processes and tensions inherent in cultural change, the author also examines the intercultural, or cosmopolitan, competencies developed in interaction with difference, and whether it is possible to 'teach' people these skills in order to re-find 'cultural fit' and manage change in a constantly shifting world. Contributing to research on transnational migration and mobility studies, while developing the use of conceptual tools such as 'cultural fit' and 'liminality', Managing Cultural Change will be of interest to sociologists, geographers and anthropologists working in the fields of globalisation, migration and transnational communities, ethnicity and identity, belonging and cosmopolitanism.
Melissa Butcher is Lecturer of Human Geography at the Open University, UK, author of Transnational Television, Cultural Identity and Change, and co-editor of Dissent and Cultural Resistance in Asia's Cities
'Moving beyond easy abstractions about super-diversity and mobility, Melissa Butcher traverses the streets of suburban Sydney, the high rise offices of Singapore and the middle class homes of Delhi to delve deep into the lived experience of global flows of peoples and cultures. This is a beautifully rendered and critically important analysis of the affective dimensions of living together and managing change.' Anita Harris, Monash University, Australia 'It is certainly true that change hides a painful process of adaptation, requiring time, energy, resources, but at the end of the tunnel each of us finds that green light which gives you the opportunity to cultivate the sense of belonging and demarcate differences - isn’t that what we all experience in this constantly shifting world?! Being a well structured, beautifully written, and enriched with familiar components, Managing Cultural Change is a recommended read for those who are eager to delve deep and understand better the affective dimensions of living together and managing change.' Variety Fair