Frequently Asked Questions about the Culture Bump Approach
Over the past decades, Culture Bump has been active through face to face trainings in global corporations and in ESL classrooms primarily in the United States. It is only recently that Culture Bump has grown its digital presence.
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Research of Culture Bump Approach has been conducted for decades at institutions such as the University of Houston, Auburn University, and UC Davis. It continues to be used in research in disciplines such as translation, linguistics and leadership development.
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No, in fact, Culture Bump Approach assumes that connection can happen even if you don’t agree with someone’s ideas or their actions. Archer (1996) writes that Culture Bump conversations…”do not imply acceptance or even agreement; they simply imply a mutually understood category in which the individuals can hold opposite points of view.” She gives the analogy of a brother and sister who disagree over the merits of vanilla ice cream versus chocolate ice cream; yet, never question their fundamental bond. The Culture Bump Approach leads you to connect not on a belief level, but on a deeper level. It means that people in different political parties, religions, sides of an argument or cultural ideas can still find the humanity that connects them.
The critical difference lies in how knowledge is acquired. Culture Bump is unique in that it focuses on identifying specific behavioral differences and examining those behaviors in order to connect to others by bringing to light shared commonalities. As a result, cultural and individual distinctions are discovered in a more universal context. It is this specific protocol that ensures that relationships emerge from acknowledging our differences, not in spite of them. This micro-cultural approach eliminates group stereotyping while simultaneously acknowledging individuality and cultural variations.
Conversely, the macro-cultural approach of multicultural and diversity training defines and explains distinctive characteristics of various groups with the hope that the knowledge will create relationship. While this may occur from time to time, it also may lead to a overemphasis on group identity and stereotyping.
In other words, with multicultural and diversity training, knowledge comes from outside oneself about oneself and others, such as a book or instructor explaining your culture versus the other’s culture. With Culture Bump, knowledge is acquired organically through self-reflection and conversation, and focuses on understanding one’s own culture first and other cultures secondarily.