Cultural hegemony? Educators' perspectives on facilitating cross-cultural dialogue

Zareen Zaidi*, Danielle Verstegen, Rashmi Vyas, Omayma Hamed, Tim Dornan, Page Morahan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Web of Science)

Abstract

Background: We live in an age when education is being internationalized. This can confront students with 'cultural hegemony' that can result from the unequal distribution of power and privilege in global society. The name that is given to awareness of social inequality is 'critical consciousness'. Cross-cultural dialogue provides an opportunity for learners to develop critical consciousness to counter cultural hegemony. The purpose of this research was to understand how learners engage with cross-cultural dialogue, so we can help them do so more effectively in the future. Method: The setting for this research was an online discussion in an international health professions educator fellowship program. We introduced scenarios with cultural references to study the reaction of participants to cultural conversation cues. We used an inductive thematic analysis to explore power and hegemony issues. Results: Participants reflected that personally they were more likely to take part in cross-cultural discussions if they recognized the context discussed or had prior exposure to educational settings with cultural diversity. They identified barriers as lack of skills in facilitating cross-cultural discussions and fear of offending others. They suggested deliberately introducing cultural issues throughout the curriculum. Conclusion: Our results indicate that developing critical consciousness and cross-cultural competency will require instructional design to identify longitudinal opportunities to bring up cross-cultural issues, and training facilitators to foster cross-cultural discussions by asking clarifying questions and navigating crucial/sensitive conversations.
Original languageEnglish
Article number33145
JournalMedical Education Online
Volume21
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Keywords

  • cross-cultural communication
  • educational cultural hegemony
  • culturally responsive andragogy
  • critical consciousness
  • discourse analysis

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