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ERIC Number: EJ867321
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 10
ISSN: ISSN-1045-1595
Mentoring as a Bridge to Understanding Cultural Difference
Blake-Beard, Stacy
Adult Learning, v20 n1-2 p14-18 Win-Spr 2009
Bridges are thresholds to other realities, archetypal, primal symbols of shifting consciousness. They are passageways, conduits, and connectors that connote transitioning, crossing borders, and changing perspectives (Anzaldua, 2002). At its best, mentoring serves as an important bridge in many of the ways described by Anzaldua. When asked to think about mentoring relationships, people have experienced these critical developmental partnerships as passageways carrying them through the changing terrain of their career journeys or acting as connectors allowing them to transition from one phase or job to the next. Mentoring relationships literally and figuratively provide a way for people to cross borders, to gain access to alternative perspectives, and experiences. In light of a number of shifting demographics, including increasing workforce diversity, globalization, and technological advances, the use of mentoring as a bridge will become more critical as a tool to navigate the changing landscape. Drawing from Anzaldua's description of bridges as primal symbols, it can be seen that mentoring also draws on archetype. There is an image of mentoring that is timeless--a wise, older person taking someone younger under his wing. What is left unsaid is that in this archetype of mentoring, the mentor and protege are similar to one another; they are from the same clan. Yet, more and more, people are required to work and connect with people from whom they are very different. This article discusses a scenario which describes some of the gaps and highlights the opportunities and the challenges of understanding mentoring in a global context that exist in an increasingly diverse workforce. It explores mentoring, not just across racial or gender differences, but across differences of culture and/or nationality.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A