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ERIC Number: EJ1156396
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Sep
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0018-2133
Out of the Classroom Maze: Cold War Diplomacy and Intercultural Communication in "El laberinto de la soledad"
Anzzolin, Kevin
Hispania, v100 n3 p386-397 Sep 2017
This article examines Octavio Paz's canonical study of Mexican identity, "El laberinto de la soledad", against the backdrop of the current political environment in the United States; it interrogates how we can make Paz's rich, ambitious text meaningful for today's undergraduates. How can we teach "El laberinto de la soledad" in a way that advances, rather than impedes, cultural awareness? Ultimately, I elaborate a scholarly and pedagogically valid interpretation of Paz's text that tasks undergraduates to celebrate cultural diversity even while accounting for the text's historical context. Specifically, I propose that it can be compellingly deciphered for students by employing categories of analysis provided by intercultural communication, a field of study which, tellingly, originated during the time when Paz wrote "El laberinto de la soledad" and which is still widely taught in US colleges and universities as a required introductory course meant to equip undergraduate students with the interpersonal skills necessary to live and work in a multicultural society. By employing intercultural communication's conceptual toolkit, as it was developed by Edward T. Hall and Geert Hofstede, I read Paz's interpretation of Mexico as coherent, compelling, and enlightened.
American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese, Inc. 900 Ladd Road, Walled Lake, MI 48390. Tel: 248-960-2180; Fax: 248-960-9570; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Mexico
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A