This thesis explores and examines what can be coined ‘the organized cultural encounter’ by focusing on a specific project organized by Dansk Ungdoms Fællesråd; “Ambassadors for Dialogue”. This project is a co-operation between DUF in Denmark, WE Centre in Jordan and Egyptian Federation of Youth NGO’s in Egypt. “The Ambassadors for Dialogue” is a an initiative which was created with the intent to create a better mutual understanding between youth in the Middle East and Denmark. To undertake this challenge the project recruits volunteers from the two regions who are trained to become ambassadors. After the training the ambassadors are divided into teams of four, consisting of what DUF calls ‘one of each kind’ - this means an Egyptian, a Jordanian, a Dane and a Dane with Arabic and/or Muslim background. After the training the ambassadors tour the respective countries to undertake facilitating workshops. Through interactive games participants are activated to reflect on themes such as culture, religion and dialogue. Furthermore to reflect on the assumptions one makes when meeting other people, which can with DUF’s words result in an ‘aha-moment’. In some of these games the ambassadors use their respective background as a way to initiate thoughts about what kind of different meanings one can ascribe them given their backgrounds. It is the ambiguity of the ambassadors ‘roles’ - as these play out in a workshop - that we find interesting. They are recruited to the project to show how ‘one of each kind’ cannot be ascribed certain meaning - We ask: which roles are used to show that roles cannot be ascribed certain meaning? The scientific approach in this thesis is constructivism. The aim is not to discover a ‘truth’ hidden in the field the cultural encounter, but rather to question how meaning is constructed. The thesis theoretical approach features two different positions. Positioning theory as theorized by Bronwyn Davies, Rom Harré, Luk van Langenhove and Fathali Moghaddam. This theory provides a perspective in regards as to how the involved both position themselves and others in the interactive games. The thesis also implements thoughts and theories of the scholar and professor in Race and Cultural Studies, Sara Ahmed - more specifically her theories on “whiteness” and “diversity” as a perspective on the positioning process where ambassadors and participants interact in a mutual ascription of meaning. The significant findings can be summed up as follows: In the process where the ambassadors display their bodies as source for surprise these bodies are simultaneously and implicitly ascribed meaning. Here we can identify a paradox - in the process where the intent is to show how assumptions applied to certain roles do not prove correct the ambassadors end up giving meaning to the roles they aim to relativize.
|Educations||Cultural encounter studies, (Bachelor/Graduate Programme) Graduate|
|Publication date||1 Aug 2013|
|Supervisors||Lise Galal Paulsen|
- konstruktivisme interaktionisme
- Organiseret kulturmøde