Training with Milton Bennett in São Paulo / Brazil, Sept. 2013

Intercultural Development Research ACADEMY

Constructivist Foundations of Intercultural Communication:

Applying the New Paradigm

Milton J. Bennett

In São Paulo/ Brazil

Thursday, September 5 – Saturday, September 7, 2013

Course Description:

Intercultural communication is a young field, born well after Einstein’s contribution of time/space relativity to physics and the translation of that idea into anthropology as cultural relativity. It addressed the then-new question, “if you have your own worldview, and I have mine, how can we understand each other?” Early interculturalists gave a powerful answer to that question: we must construct a bridge between them. The course shows how this constructivist idea generated the intercultural theory and applications that are still in use today. Interculturalists need to know these roots of their identity, so they can rightfully claim the intercultural perspective and not confuse themselves with other, less powerful approaches to cross-cultural relations.

The course will also explore instances of “paradigmatic confusion,” where outcomes based on the new constructivist paradigm are pursued with methods based in earlier positivist or purely relativist paradigms. The most common of these confusions occurs when the constructivist goal of intercultural competence is sought in a positivist assembling of personal characteristics or through a relativist rendering of cultural information. By avoiding paradigmatic confusion, interculturalists can maintain the coherence of perspective that is necessarily associated with effective personal and organizational development.

Target Group:

This course is intended for both new and experienced interculturalists who wish to be more effective in their research, teaching, training, coaching, or other applications. It also would be of interest to those outside the field who wish to assess the value of an intercultural perspective in their work. This course serves as the foundation for other courses in this curriculum.


  • Understand the three major paradigms of science and the form they take in social science
  • Receive a brief intellectual history of intercultural communication in terms of the paradigms
  • Define and discuss the intercultural perspective and contrast it with other approaches to cross-cultural relations
  • Explore the professional identity of an interculturalist and the new or overlooked possibilities for practice in this field
  • Analyze case studies of paradigmatic confusion in intercultural applications
  • Recognize coherent constructivist approaches to intercultural education, training, and research
  • Consider the future of intercultural communication within and outside the field

This core-course is a prerequisite for the other courses offered by IDRAcademy.

miltonDr. Milton Bennett

Dr. Milton Bennett is a founder of IDRAcadamy and an adjunct member of the Faculty of Sociology at University of Milano Bicocca. Previously he was an associate professor of communication at Portland State University, where for 15 years he taught communication theory and intercultural communication. He co-founded the Intercultural Communication Institute in Portland, Oregon to support professional development of interculturalists, and he continues to consult in domestic and global diversity for schools and universities, corporations, and social service agencies. He has edited and contributed to a synthesis of classic intercultural theory, Basic Concepts of Intercultural Communication; generated the Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity (DMIS) and co- developed a measurement of it, the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI); and co-edited and contributed to the 3rd edition of the Handbook of Intercultural Training. Following his life- long interest in the philosophy of science, Milton currently generates new theory and research through IDRInstitute, which operates in the US and Europe.


The training will be held in:

Hotel Mercure São Paulo Paulista

Rua São Carlos do Pinhal, 87 – Bela Vista – SP – 01333-001

For further information and registration please contact:

Hanna Helstelä

+55 – 11 – 9 5464 8342

+55 – 11 – 2379 5730

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