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ERIC Number: EJ791423
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-1086-4822
Confronting the Politics of Multicultural Competence
Stewart, Dafina Lazarus
About Campus, v13 n1 p10-17 Mar-Apr 2008
In this article, the author describes how she challenged her class to think critically about multicultural competence and to analyze objectively the liberal perspectives of Allan G. Johnson and conservative ideas of Dinesh D'Souza using Raechele Pope, Amy Reynolds, and John Mueller's characteristics of multiculturally competent student affairs practitioners as the baseline. The result was that conservative students felt they finally had a legitimate place in the conversation and liberal students admitted to gaining a better understanding and appreciation of the views of relatives and friends. The author believes that multicultural competence seeks to expand awareness of self and others through multiple perspectives and builds both foundational and specific knowledge bases while resisting ethnocentricism. It refines one's ability to engage in cross-cultural dialogues and situations with awareness of the challenges that may arise without resorting to attacks or retreating into defensiveness. Finally, the author believes that multicultural competence requires that students resist interpreting people, situations, and beliefs through binary "either-or" lenses that allow only two options. Being a conservative does not equal being privileged and oppressive; neither is liberalism synonymous with enlightenment and multicultural competence. Multicultural competence is not political, but it does engage us in a critical dialogue with our politics, our values, our experiences, and each other. Such engagement is necessary in order to create campuses that honor and support the transformative learning, growth, and development of all its members. (Contains 15 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A