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Intercultural Development Continuum - Napa Valley College

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Intercultural DevelopmentContinuum
IDC adapted by Mitchell R. Hammer, Ph.D. from the Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity by MJ Bennett, Ph.D.SPCOM 126 – Intercultural CommunicationPresented by Ann GrossFall 2015
Basic Concepts of IDC theoryStages of Intercultural DevelopmentUse of the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI)
Basic Concepts of IDC Theory
People go throughpredictable stagesin approaches to intercultural interactions.Change infocus on similarities vs. cultural differencesand inattitudestoward cultural differences.
Generalizations vs. Stereotypes
Generalization– Statement of probability based on systematically collected data. Tendency of the group as a whole.Stereotype– Applying generalization to each member of the group, orgeneralizing from only a few group members.
General Development on IDC
May move fromMonoculturaltoMulticulturalmindsetMonoculturalMindset–Own culture seems more real; view other cultures through lens of own cultureLess understanding of other cultures, so rely on broad stereotypesMulticultural Mindset–Understand complex cultural differencesFlexible,non-judgementalperception based on multiple cultural perspectives
Five Stages of Intercultural Development
MonoculturalStages:Denial of DifferencePolarizationMinimization of DifferenceMulticultural Stages:4. Acceptance of Difference5. Adaptation to Difference
Stage One – Denial of Difference
Have not interacted in depth with other culturesMay avoid interaction or not be interestedOverly simplistic views of other cultures; stereotypesSeem accepting (“live and let live”), but may have tendency to dehumanize outsiders.
Stage Two - Polarization
Focus on differences– seen as threateningDualistic thinking– good/bad, us/themTwo Forms:Defenseagainst difference – more critical of other culture; backlash actions, exclusionReversal– more critical of own culture, less critical of other cultures; self-consciously avoid acting like stereotypesCan lead to selective perception– notice those who fit stereotypes
Stage Three - Minimization
Accept superficial differences butassume humans are basically the same(“like me”)Commonalities defined in ethnocentric termsOwn culture’s “reality” seen as universalMay overemphasize physical/psychological or spiritual commonalitiesMay overlook meaningful differencesAssume differences are individual, not culturalCan lead to institutionalized privilege
Stage Four – Acceptance
Recognize all cultures as equally complex, validCultural knowledge used tointerpret behavior from multiple perspectives;lessjudgementalDoes NOT mean person likes or approves of all aspects of each cultureCan lead to “liberal paralysis”– fear of being judgmental or taking actionCan “talk the talk” but not yet “walk the walk”
Stage Five - Adaptation
Have mindset and skillset needed foreffective intercultural communication– mental flexibility, cultural knowledge baseAble tosee things from others’ perspectivesnon-judgmentallyAble toadapt behaviorsto act in culturally appropriate ways
Intercultural Development Inventory
Valid, reliable, self-assessment toolAccurately identifies orientation toward cultural differences identified in IDC theoryPeople move on continuum – IDI is a “snapshot” of person at that timeNo right or wrong place to be–used to identify individualized training approachesto develop intercultural communication skills.





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Intercultural Development Continuum - Napa Valley College