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School of the Arts

Intercultural communication is topic of IUSB Forum

Dr. Gottfried OosterwalDr. Gottfried Oosterwal

The Ernestine M. Raclin School of the Arts welcomes Dr. Gottfried Oosterwal, director of the Center for Intercultural Relations, to present an IUSB Forum titled “You Just Don’t Understand, Communicating with People from Diverse Cultures.” The forum will take place on Wednesday, October 19 at 7:30 pm in Northside’s Recital Hall.

The United States has become a multicultural society as the result of the unabated stream of immigrants which for decades has come into the country and due to nation’s radically changed attitude and approach towards immigration and diversity. Gone are the notions of assimilation, the melting pot, and Americanization. Instead, multiculturalism or cultural pluralism now shapes our attitudes and approaches. As a result, the American population now consists of some 175 different ethno-cultural groups, each shaped by its own particular cultural code which shapes the way people act and think, relate and communicate.

Every aspect of our culture is affected by this challenge as we meet and interact with people who are shaped by different cultural codes than our own. Communication across cultural boundaries is possible if we understand the code that shapes the way we relate and communicate.

Dr. Gottfried Oosterwal, PhD, LittD, holds advanced degrees in medical anthropology, philosophy, economics, religious studies, and international health. He speaks seven languages, has worked in Asia, Africa, Latin America, Australia and Oceania. He is the author of eleven books.