Meaning of Interculturality

What is Interculturality:

The word interculturality refers to the egalitarian exchange and communication relations between cultural groups that differ according to criteria such as ethnicity, religion, language or nationality, among others.

As a matter of principle, the term does not recognize the superiority of one culture over another, regardless of the majority-minority relationship.

Interculturality aims to build a more democratic society by visualizing, describing and equally valuing the modes of appropriation and re-elaboration of meanings between different groups.

It refers to the processes of interrelation and communication of knowledge, codes, patterns and values ​​between different cultural groups, understanding that there is equality between subjects, regardless of the position they occupy in the system.

Unesco refers to this concept on its website as "the construction of equitable relationships between people, communities, countries and cultures."

The relevance of this definition is justified within the framework of current globalized societies, which historically carry the weight of the colonizing perspective, in which the majority or dominant sector has sought to establish itself as a "superior cultural model."

In this context, the words majority or minority do not refer to the number of individuals that make up a group, but to the way in which power is exercised. Thus, the group that exercises cultural hegemony will be a "majority", and the group that does not have control of power will be a "minority".

It is evident that this term has as its purpose the vindication and understanding of cultural difference, in attention to variables of a historical, political, cultural, anthropological, environmental type, among others.

Principles of interculturality

Interculturality supposes the application of a series of principles, which make this a complex concept. Between them we have:

  • Recognition of citizenship.
  • Recognition of the right to exercise the original identity of the peoples.
  • Rejection of the forms of imposition of the hegemonic culture and marginalization of the minority culture.
  • Understanding of cultures as dynamic phenomena.
  • Horizontal communication.

Stages of interculturality

Western culture has become aware relatively recently of the notion of interculturality. For this reason a re-education is necessary. All education has a methodology. Interculturality must also continue, roughly, a series of stages to achieve the objective. These are:

  1. Mutual respect: implies knowing how to recognize each other as equals in the exchange scenario, recognize otherness, exercise and allow free expression and know how to listen to each other.
  2. Horizontal dialogue: involves generating relationships with equal opportunities, relativizing one's point of view.
  3. Mutual understanding: refers to the empathic disposition to understand others.
  4. Synergy: focuses on targeting results where diversity becomes strength.

Interculturality in education

The term interculturality has been gaining space in the definition of public policies for the construction of more equitable social relations. In this sense, there are different initiatives in the field of education, a fundamental vehicle for the formation of values.

Intercultural education refers to two strategies that must be combined:

  1. Bilingual cultural education, where non-dominant sectors with their own languages ​​are allowed to be educated in their own language (the indigenous communities of Latin America are the focus of interest).
  2. Cross-sectional redesign of public policies for education, which involve review of the contents, educational plans, teacher training, school culture, community exchange and much more, from an intercultural approach.

Interculturality, multiculturalism or multiculturalism?

The term interculturality can easily be confused with that of multiculturalism or multiculturalism. Although they are semantically related, they do not mean the same thing.

The terms multiculturalism or multiculturalism refer to the situation in which different cultures coexist and even influence each other, but this can occur independently of mutual recognition or even independently of whether people relate to each other. Different cultural groups can coincide in a space-time, but without communication between them.

Instead, the term interculturality refers to the interaction from an egalitarian approach between the different cultures or sectors of a society, to the relationship. That is, it is a relational term.

You may also like:

  • Multiculturalism
  • Pluriculturality
  • Equality

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