An Intervivew with Professor Suzanne Shaffer from Penn State- York Campus USA.

 

Dr. Archer:

Professor Shaffer, you participated in  the Culture Bump Workshop yesterday,  Thank you for your presence and your contribution.  I am interested in your insights from the workshop.  Could you share them with us?

 

 

Professor Shaffer:

Well, the first word that occurs to me is accessible.  The Culture Bump Approach gives us a language to talk about difficult subjects.

 

Dr. Archer:

Yes!  I think the use of the term “culture bump” may actually interrupt a physiological process that leads to stereotypes.

 

Professor Shaffer:

Really, to me  diversity issues are things that people think they know about already  – in other words – we think “Been There – Done That”.  But this idea of culture bump gives us a way to recall that WE are a part of that process – that it is a 2 way street.  I am not there to “help them”.   In fact, when we’re feeling culture bumps, we’re giving culture bumps to others – maybe without even knowing it!

 

Actually, I was just excited to have a language to talk about differences in a way that is non-threatening. It’s  non-judgmental for ourselves as well as for others.  I don’t have to be perfect, but I can be authentic.   My husband is from Puerto Rico so as you were talking about all these experiences,  I was recalling all of our “culture bumps”.  And even though I have always known about cultural differences, I can now go back and look at them again  through this new  framework.

 

I think it’s the work of a lifetime really.

 

Dr. Archer:

I think you are absolutely right.    Again, thank you for your participation.

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