Realizing dignity as a part of intercultural competence

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The aim of this paper is to present the concept of dignity as a refl ective concept that may serve as a strategy for
enhancing intercultural competence. Within the fi eld of intercultural communication, intercultural competence seeks to
impart essential knowledge and skills for engaging in intercultural encounters with cognitive, behavioral and affective
competence. Dignity contributes to intercultural competence by enabling persons to view the social world anew.
In this paper, dignity is conceptualized as the development and self-expression of persons free from social
categorization, while acknowledging human vulnerability towards the social and material world. In intercultural
encounters, a person may indeed sense their vulnerability due to a lack of social orientation, cultural awareness and
language skills. Simultaneously, the vulnerability of the Other may be neglected with implications for effective and
appropriate interaction between a Self and a culturally dissimilar Other. Accordingly, it is proposed that emotional
regulation is essential for realizing dignity as an aspect of intercultural competence.
Research on social dynamics and identity and the emotions is not without its precedence within intercultural
communication. This project contributes to the objectives of intercultural communication and competence by theorizing
how awareness of social dynamics and emotional regulation may support the realization of dignity during intercultural
encounters. Dignity may complement other strategies related to cognitive, behavioral and affective competence for
engaging in effective and appropriate communication.
TidsskriftHermes: Zeitschrift für Klassische Philologie
Udgave nummer53
Sider (fra-til)73-84
StatusUdgivet - 2014


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