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ERIC Number: EJ891470
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Aug
Pages: 26
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1085-4568
The Transcultural Journey
Slimbach, Richard
Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, v11 p205-230 Aug 2005
Ready or not, a "transcultural" era is here. The dramatic expansion of airline travel and telecommunications technologies, tourism and student exchanges, immigration policies and trade agreements have served to connect vastly different peoples and places into increasingly complex relationships. Local, regional, and national economies are now largely integrated into a single interdependent economy, working in real time on a global scale. Buyers and sellers increasingly connect, not through physical proximity, but through electronic networks. At the same time, everything and everyone appears to be on the move. Capital and commodities, products and services, businesspersons and migrants, tourists and terrorists--all move across borders with relative freedom. More persons than ever before are pursuing lives that link the local and the global. They are becoming increasingly transcultural--physically or electronically connected with diverse peoples, and involved in decision-making that is influenced by, and in turn influences, the affairs of a global society. Transcultural persons may be sustained through transnational corporations, grassroots organizations, professional societies, and advocacy groups. But they are also identified at the level of simple, cross-cultural friendships made with residents of local communities. Transculturalism is rooted in the quest to define shared interests and common values across cultural and national borders. At its best, it comes to the forefront in transnational efforts to address consequential global issues such as personal prejudice, group violence, environmental protection, and human rights. Effective personal and collective responses to complex quality-of-life issues have always depended upon some level of cultural awareness. Today, however, competence of a transcultural kind must exhibit the attitudes and abilities that facilitate open and ethical interaction with people across cultures. Any worthy destination requires that a traveler have the necessary orientation. In an attempt to plot the course toward transcultural competence, this essay presents 10 organizing propositions as a cognitive "map" to guide the path of learner development. Each proposition is accompanied by its own set of learner competencies which describe concrete changes learners can expect along the way. (Contains 1 figure, 7 notes and 20 resources.)
Frontiers Journal. Dickinson College P.O. Box 1773, Carlisle, PA 17013. Tel: 717-254-8858; Fax: 717-245-1677; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Higher Education; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A