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ERIC Number: EJ938382
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 61
ISSN: ISSN-1542-7587
The Politics of Cultural Difference in Second Language Education
Kubota, Ryuko
Critical Inquiry in Language Studies, v1 n1 p21-39 2004
Cultural difference is an important topic of discussion in second language education. Yet cultural difference is often conceptualized as fixed, objective, and apolitical based on an essentialist and normative understanding of culture. This article challenges such conceptualizations by examining and politicizing multiple and conflicting meanings of cultural difference. Multiple meanings of cultural difference are illustrated in examples from contrastive rhetoric research, the national standards for foreign language learning in the U.S., and culturally relevant teaching for minority students. The multiple and often contradicting meanings of cultural difference signify that they are produced in discourses that embody politics and struggles for power. The concept of a discursive construction of culture and cultural difference is exemplified in how characterizations of Japanese written communication styles are related to identity politics and colonialist discourses. It is suggested that cultural difference needs to be viewed as relational and as a construct shaped by discourses and power. (Contains 1 note.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States