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Understanding Cultural Non-Participation In An ...

The point of departure for the book is the much-studied relationship between cultural participation and high social status. Typically, not participating in culture has been seen as a problem in mainstream cultural sociology, and most of the empirical research deals with middle or upper-class participation. Here, the data used is collected from people with a background that typically predicts low cultural participation, for example, having low education, living in small towns, and being outside of the labor markets.

Understanding Cultural Non-Participation in an ...

The landscape of science communication is a shifting and fractured one, rangingfrom politically oriented activities (such as policy consultations) to thosewith cultural or educational motivations (such as museum visits ortelevision programmes). As a result, in this article, I take a broad view ofscience communication (Davies and Horst, 2016). A broad approach also left space forparticipants to describe science communication in their own terms ratherthan using a strict definition. I use theories of social justice and socialreproduction to explore how access to and involvement in dominant modes ofrepresentation and communication in a society, such as sciencecommunication, are forms of power (Bourdieu, 1984; Young, 1990).This collection of concepts is useful because they allow questions ofinequality to be brought explicitly into focus. While this approach is usedin cultural studies to explore participation in arts and cultural practices,it is rarely used to look at participation in science-related culturalpractices (Bennett etal., 2009; Prieur and Savage, 2013).

Watching television appears, however, to be a ubiquitous culturalpractice in the United Kingdom, even for people excluded from otherforms of culture (Bennett et al., 2009; Taylor, 2016). Whiletelevision and the Internet were identified as sites whereparticipants encountered science communication practices, fewparticipants sought out science through these media. Rather, everydaycultural practices around television watching and going onlinesometimes overlapped with science content. This raises questions aboutcontext, dominant practices and forms of cultural capital forparticipants whose involvement in science communication was limited totelevision and the Internet (Bourdieu, 1984; Skeggs,2004). In other words, can watching television providethe same advantages as taking part in a broader range of sciencecommunication activities?

As our society becomes more culturally diverse, organizations are understanding the need to work with other organizations in order to "turn up the sound," so their voices are heard and their issues will be addressed. This means that individuals and institutions can no longer deny the sometimes uncomfortable realities of cultural diversity. Organizers and activists are realizing that we have to come to grips with our multicultural society, or we won't get anything done. But how do we do that?

A neighborhood organization member in South Los Angeles, says, "Last year, we decided to move toward organizing in the Latino community for the simple reason that we have a lot of new immigrants from Central America in the neighborhoods. We wanted to make an authentic multicultural organization, but we learned an important lesson -- it doesn't just happen."

Many organizers have begun to come to grips with diversity issues, even though they may not have all the answers. These organizers realize they have to develop new strategies and tactics to attract multicultural interest in their collaborative initiatives. They also know there will be problems to solve if their collaborations are to be effective. This section will discuss how to help organizations collaborate effectively with people of different cultures.

A multicultural collaboration is between two or more groups or organizations, each comprised of members from different cultural backgrounds and orientations (e.g., Latino, Native American Indian, white) or with goals or missions oriented to populations with differing cultures (e.g., African-American, Asian-American). The cultural differences among groups may consist of ethnic heritage, values, traditions, languages, history, sense of self, and racial attitudes. Any of these cultural features can become barriers to working together. Unless they become part of the relationship, the collaboration will probably be challenged.

Culture is one of the most powerful forces in our world. It's central to what we see, how we make sense of our world, and how we express ourselves. As people from different cultural groups work together, values sometimes conflict. When we don't understand each other we sometimes react in ways that make a partnership ineffective. Often we're not aware that cultural differences are the root of miscommunication.

In an effective multicultural collaboration, as with any other collaboration, the participants must have a sense of common purpose. But they must consider that different cultural groups may have differing ideas about how leaders are chosen and exercise power, and about how conflict and disagreement should be managed. For example, someone from an American Indian tribe may believe that a leader can be respected only if they are an elder, while this may not be an important factor to someone in another group.

A multicultural collaboration requires a plan, lots of patience, and determination to confront old attitudes in new ways by pulling in partners usually not involved. In order for a multicultural collaboration to be effective, the groups involved must overcome differences to promote a unified effort. Because of different skill levels and expertise, the collaboration may seem uneven at first. And, initially, participants may come for different reasons. For example, some may have been invited to take on responsibilities others don't want; others may want a scapegoat in case things don't work. But if the focus is on the common goal, shared decision making, defined roles, and setting time lines, the organizations involved can make it work.

The comments above indicate that the human connection can be reason enough to work at overcoming cultural barriers. The following are other significant indicators of when you should commit to multicultural collaboration:

Building a multicultural collaboration entails changing the way people think, perceive, and communicate. There is a difference between recognizing cultural differences and consciously incorporating inclusive and anti-discriminatory attitudes in all aspects of the organization. Embracing cultural differences is not something separate from your issue-oriented work. It is at the core of the group's perspective on issues, possible solutions, and membership and operating procedures. The organization's structure, leadership, and activities must reflect multiple perspectives, styles, and priorities. Changing how the organization looks and acts is just the first step in the ongoing process of creating a reality that maximizes and celebrates diversity.

Collaboration is a process involving organizations working toward a goal they can't reach alone. The process requires long-term commitment and an understanding that there will be shared risks, responsibilities, and rewards. Successful collaboration must be based on mutual respect, a valuing of difference, trust, a plan, lots of patience, determination to adopt new attitudes and pull in partners not usually involved, and, most of all, a sense of common purpose.

Multicultural collaboration adds the challenge of overcoming the communication barriers of different cultures, ethnic heritage, values, traditions, language, history, sense of self, and racial attitudes. These barriers must be conquered in order for the collaboration to succeed. Participants in an effective multicultural collaboration must have inclusive leadership that understands and strives for diversity, while dealing with problems and conflict along the way. If the focus remains on the common goal and equal power for everyone involved, the collaboration will have a great chance of success.

Chapter 8: Respect for Diversity in the "Introduction to Community Psychology" explains cultural humility as an approach to diversity, the dimensions of diversity, the complexity of identity, and important cultural considerations.

Culture Matters is a cross-cultural training workbook developed by the Peace Corps to help new volunteers acquire the knowledge and skills to work successfully and respectfully in other cultures.

The International & Cross-Cultural Evaluation Topical Interest Group, an organization that is affiliated with the American Evaluation Association, provides evaluators who are interested in cross-cultural issues with opportunities for professional development.

The National Center for Cultural Competence at Georgetown University increases the capacity of health care and mental health programs to design, implement and evaluate culturally and linguistically competent service delivery systems. Publications and web links available.

Recent advances in technologies (mostly personal computers and the Internet) have enabled private persons to create and publish such media, usually through the Internet.[2] Since the technology now enables new forms of expression and engagement in public discourse, participatory culture not only supports individual creation but also informal relationships that pair novices with experts.[3] This new culture, as it relates to the Internet, has been described as Web 2.0.[4] In participatory culture, "young people creatively respond to a plethora of electronic signals and cultural commodities in ways that surprise their makers, finding meanings and identities never meant to be there and defying simple nostrums that bewail the manipulation or passivity of "consumers."[2]

In Vincent Miller's Understanding Digital Culture, he makes the argument that the lines between producer and consumers have become blurry. Producers are those that create content and cultural objects, and consumers are the audience or purchasers of those objects. By referring to Axel Bruns' idea of "prosumer," Miller argues "With the advent of convergent new media and the plethora of choice in sources for information, as well as the increased capacity for individuals to produce content themselves, this shift away from producer hegemony to audience or consumer power would seem to have accelerated, thus eroding the producer-consumer distinction" (p. 87). "Prosumer" is the ending result of a strategy that has been increasingly used which encourages feedback between producers and consumers (prosumers), "which allows for more consumer influence over the production of goods."[23] 041b061a72


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