Today, people in different situations and contexts face intercultural challenges. These are a result of increasing mobility. Sometimes such challenges are brought about by crisis situations and an international labour market. However, people also come in contact with each other through forms of new technology such as the Internet, and through literature and film. In these multicultural encounters, misunderstandings and sometimes clashes are experienced. This volume presents studies in culture, communication, and language, all of which strive, through a variety of theoretical perspectives, to develop understanding of such challenges and perhaps offer practical solutions. Encountering otherness may evoke fears, negative attitudes, and a corresponding will to dismiss the otherness in front of us - either consciously or unconsciously. This denial of otherness may also be subtle. Thinking about otherness, as described in this volume, also raises questions about how otherness is represented and mediated and about the possible role of third parties in facilitating communication in such situations.
Sometimes a third party can play a crucial role in facilitating the communication process and serve as a channel of communication. Trust in humanity as a bridge to community requires a subtle balance between representations of self and other. Various problems arise in intercultural mediation, which may be caused by cultural and political differences, and these are sometimes used to validate stereotypical beliefs and images. The editors argue that in both academic and art circles, European perspectives have widely been understood as universal.
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