Cultural glasses

From Community Narrations

Aims of the activity

- Perceptions of discrimination based on different characteristics.
- Raising awareness on the impact of discrimination.
- Questioning the stereotypes and perceptions of certain characteristics.
- Raising awareness about the ubiquity of culturalization and ascription.
- Reflection on self and external ascription, and how culturalisation of problems affects how we see these problems.
- Discover our own biases.

Resources, Materials needed

- 4 different worksheets.
- Pens.
- Case study about conflict.

Duration in minutes

40 - 60 minutes.

Step-by-step - what has to be done

1. A conflict case is presented to the target group consisting of two conflicting parties A and B. Following this presentation, the group is further divided into four smaller ones. Two of these groups deal intensely with the conflicting party A, the other two with the conflicting party B.
2. In these small groups, they are asked to formulate hypotheses about the motivations, interests, goals, fears and assumptions of the conflicting parties. To write their hypotheses, both A et B groups are given two blank worksheets with only the names of the conflicting parties. On one worksheet, the name of the conflicting party is assumed to be white (e.g., Austrian, Italian, Polish, etc.), while on the other worksheet, a name associated with a non-white migrant community is written.
3. After about 20 minutes of deliberation, the smaller groups present their results to the others.
4. Afterwards a discussion in the plenary follows where you can focus on these questions:
- What difference did it make to present the perspective of conflict party under the name "Tarek Rafik" or under the name "John Miller" or the conflict party B as "Ellen Brown" or as "Rewa Abotayeh"?
- What are the effects of distinguishing a single characteristic (namely the name) on the hypothesis formation?
- How do the participants evaluate the differences that have arisen?
- To what extent does the (different) hypothesis formation possibly have eventually influence strategy development in dealing with the conflict?
- What influence does it have on the way people address, see themselves, speak during the conflict management and its content?

Learning Outcomes - which skills are adressed?

- Self-reflectivity.
- Active listening.
- Effective communication.

Further Links/Readings

This exercise was developed by Deborah Krieg from Bildungsstätte Anne Frank: Die kulturelle Brille In: (K)Eine Glaubensfrage. Religiöse Vielfalt im pädagogischen Miteinander. Frankfurt a.M.: Bildungsstätte Anne Frank, S. 98f..

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