Browsing by Subject "interculturality"

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  • Kouhia, Anna (2012)
    The meaning and value of crafts as bearers of the cultural heritage are widely acknowledged, and deserved attention has also been paid to the pedagogical applications of craft in practice. Still, research relating to subjectively interpreted meanings of crafts has remained rather scarce. The main interest of the study is to examine subjectively construed meanings of craft associated both to the self-reflective act of making and to the tangible craft object, and categorize the discovered meanings into representative categories. In presenting a multi-perspectival framework for the categories that portray the common kinds of meanings that crafts have, a substance that surpasses cultural boundaries is also captured due to the multicultural research setting. The primary empirical data of the study are composed of interviews of six women from different cultural backgrounds; the supporting data feature a participant observation of a multicultural craft activity group and photographic notes. The wide range of different meanings captured from the data is, during the conducted qualitative content analysis, critically classified into representational categories that typify the personally experienced meanings. The analysis revealed eight interrelated meaning categories regarding the meanings of craft that go beyond cultural boundaries: Meanings proceed from the subjective process of interpreting craft in a socially constructed, personalized setting, but still the meanings given to craft have been given similar characterizations in the several cultural contexts examined. This study adds to an understanding of how personalized meanings contribute to building intercultural reciprocity.
  • Kaukonen Lindholm, Riikka Elina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    The focus of this thesis is on the education of indigenous peoples, especially on how education can facilitate territorial self-determination and political emancipation for them. Indigenous movements world-wide and in Ecuador have focused on creating education respectful of and relevant to indigenous cultural background and knowledge. This thesis explores further the interconnectedness of education and indigenous territorial politics, as they have been together in the forefront of the indigenous movement in Ecuador, and they link the epistemological struggle of recognising Indigenous knowledges to environmental issues prevalent in the country dependent on extractivism. As indigenous peoples often inhabit environmentally vulnerable regions, this thesis examines how for the indigenous groups of Ecuadorian Amazon the relationship between education and territory can aim to be mutually beneficial, encouraging both preservation of the diverse cultures and environment in the biocultural landscapes. The research was conducted as an ethnographical case study on the province of Pastaza, situated in the Ecuadorian Amazon with a special focus on the indigenous group known as Sapara, who are the smallest of 14 indigenous nationalities recognised under the plurinational state of Ecuador. The data of the study consisted of 27 semi-structured interviews and participant observation recorded in the field diary, accompanied by historical analysis of intercultural bilingual education in Ecuador. This thesis illustrates the place-making practices and histories of indigenous peoples, acknowledged under the term Indigenous knowledge, as they form a foundation for territorial politics. Possibility for epistemological diversity in the education system is understood through principle of interculturality, as articulated by the indigenous movement itself as a radical project of recognising lived heritage of cultural and historical differences in dialogue between various segments of society. The topic is examined through the concept of territory, which emphasises a question of governance in plurinational Ecuador, where indigenous nationalities struggle to exercise control over their respective territories. Territory is formed of competing political projects that aim to define and redefine its meaning, which also opens up a definition of territory to scrutinise what type of power actually operates in these political projects and rejects assumptions of simple top-down governance as the only possible territorial form. This theoretical framework facilitates the analysis of education as a part of territorial strategies. The main argument of this thesis is that education constructs a significant part of reinforcing political emancipation and territorial self-determination of indigenous peoples. Based on historical and ethnographical analysis, the thesis illustrates how education functions as a privileged arena of cultural struggle to achieve epistemological diversity that includes Indigenous knowledges alongside with Western science. Simultaneously, education, which is perceived pivotal for living well, acts as a societal force that can transform material foundations of life, since indigenous peoples modify their residential patterns in order to access education. As indigenous territories remain only partly autonomous, since the nation-state retains control over subsoil resources, land continues to be an arena of competing political interests. This accentuates the importance of planning education practices to facilitate living inside the whole territory, since inhabiting space asserts the claims of indigenous groups effectively, allowing them to practice a strategy of dispersal.
  • Külpmann, Katharina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    In the past decades coaching as a human resource development tool has gained significant attention. In many countries around the world it is a flowering industry with many practitioners constantly entering the field, causing the amount intercultural coaching dyads to rise. The existing research corpus explores the coaching service from different angles, e.g. with regards to techniques or effectiveness. Most literature underscores the importance of the coach-coachee relationship; however, few studies transform this into an investigation topic. Even less attention is paid to this topic in an intercultural setting. This research shall consequently identify the aspects that act in the establishment of a coach-coachee relationship within a German-Mexican context. Furthermore, the influence of culture, especially national culture, will be examined. The thesis has three central aims. Firstly, this investigation shall enlarge the scarce research on the topic. Secondly, the data is examined from a modern cultural paradigm where culture is understood as a not self-evident or structured attribute, but a constructed creation between individuals. Thirdly, implications for practitioners in intercultural coaching shall be brought forwards. In accordance with the ontological understanding of human interaction and in line with the understanding of the concept of culture, the exploration of this thesis’s topic is done with the help of qualitative research methods. Semi-structured interviews with an interpretivist-constructivist thematic content analysis technique lead to meaningful results. As a core result, this research shows a large variety of relationship-building aspects in intercultural coaching which is due to a subjective assessment of the influence of culture on relationship, coaching and intercultural encounters. In this regards, a cultural lens was identified that has a predominantly positivistic, essentialist and static understanding of culture. Moreover, correlations between cultural understanding, the understanding of coaching and the depth of relationship are shown. All research participants further build and assess the coaching relationship with the help of multicollective, dynamic and interpersonal factors, indicating a modern cultural understanding, to co-create the reciprocal relationship and coaching culture. Practitioners may consequently want to courageously, and willingly, reconsider and ‘un-learn’ cultural concepts in order to avoid an overestimation of cultural influence in interactions, to meet the client’s needs and to live up to the diversification of culture.
  • Terävä, Esa (Helsingfors universitet, 2015)
    The aim of this study was to interpret and describe the social networks of ninthgraders on school in Helsinki and analyze the possible effect of gender, language, and school class to the structure of the networks. The research questions were as follows: 1. How the social networks of the ninthgraders were formed? 1.1 How uniform and dense were the groups in the network? 1.2. Were there any central pupils in the network and what were the values of centrality of pupils? 1.3. Were there any groups that communicated with some other language than Finnish? 1.4. What was the effect of gender for the network? 1.5. Did the school class of the pupils have effect on the network? 2. How did the pupils explain their choices of friends or the formation of the group? The hypothesis, based on teachers' descriptions, was that there were groups among the network that operated separately from each other. 41 ninthgraders of one particular school participated in the study. The data was gathered with a questionnaire 14.3.2014 and also by interviewing six pupils in May 2014. The social network analysis programme UCINET-6 was used to explore the ninthgraders' social networks and the interviews were analyzed by using qualitative content analysis. The results indicated that the pupils' social networks were divided in three separate groups and the network was neither united nor dense. Gender had a clear effect on the network. The pupils communicated mainly in Finnish. The school class of the pupils also had a significant effect on with whom the pupils spent time with at school. Pupils explained their choices of friends by same hobby, similarity, knowing each other for a long period of time, same school class, trusting one another, understanding one another and sense of humor. The same explanations were given related to the formation of the group, but also gender and the language of communication had an effect on it.
  • Yuan, Mei; Sude, Bilige; Chen, Ning; Dervin, Fred (2021)
    Using the concept and approach of superdiversity, this paper complements current studies on the internationalization of higher education by focusing on the understudied case of an ethnic-group serving institution in China. 17 international students at this superdiverse institution, where members of the 56 Chinese 'ethnic' Minzu groups live and study together, were interviewed about their experiences in Chinese and English. Considering the originality and complexity of this specific Chinese context, the authors chose Dialogic Discourse Analysis to analyse the data. This complex analytical method allows to identify and problematise the ways superdiversity seems to have influenced (or not) the students' stay in China and their engagement with Minzu. Although superdiversity is reported as a pull factor for most students, their experiences of it and encounters with members of different Minzu groups, appear to be limited. However, the students' knowledge and awareness of this important aspect of Chinese society is compelling when the students discuss what they have learnt interculturally. They also seem to have modified many of their essentialist and culturalist representations of China. The article ends with recommendations for both scholars and Ethnic group-serving institutions in China and elsewhere, for rethinking intercultural experiences in study abroad.