Stereotype of the Other and the Bosnian Cultural Borderland Research Assumptions
Keywords:stereotypes, prejudices, concept of the Other, qualitative research, Bosnian borderland, intercultural education
AbstractThis paper tackles the issue of attitudes shaped in a culturally diverse environment, that can take form of a stereotype of the Other – a notion fundamental for the process of establishing own social identity. As far as culturally heterogeneous, complex societies are concerned, the image of the Other may acquire connotations different from those in culturally homogenous societies, hence it is worth to ponder over the way members of a cultural borderland construct their image of the Other, its features and specificity. Although the research is of preliminary, pilot character, it can provide with some assumption to a wider-scope project revealing the mechanisms of forming stereotypes and prejudices. Such knowledge, consequently, would be of great importance for pedagogues as well as formal and informal intercultural educators in determining the areas of compromise and conflict with given cultural codes, and cross-cultural practices. The theoretical framework of attitudes, stereotypes, and the concept of “the Other” is accompanied by the description of a cultural borderland as exemplified by Bosnia-Herzegovina, where the preliminary, qualitative research took place. Key impact in this regard is played by a relation between cultural pluralism and the process of shaping attitudes, as within given attitudes the individuals accept diversity and recognize it as an integral part of own, surrounding reality, crucially stimulating the process of opening to the understanding, cooperation and cross-cultural dialogue.
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