Here we reach the final week of the MOOC provided by Futurelearn/Commonpurpose, and looking ahead at this week, it appears that we’ll be focusing on ‘the other’, including ‘exoticism’, reminding me of Edward Said’s notions of ‘Orientalism‘.
We need to recognise ‘cultural intolerance’: we all carry biases that reflect both positively and negatively to other communities – we may not be able to automatically remove it, but we can be aware of it, and seek to counterbalance it. Can we identify behaviours that our grandparents would have considered culturally tolerant/intolerant that we do not? Wondering whether less ‘cultural mixing’ so less need for tolerance?
Our experiences of cultural intolerance
“Don’t be in a hurry to condemn because he doesn’t do what you do or think as you think or as fast. There was a time when you didn’t know what you know today.” – Malcolm X
How often are we prepared to speak out against cultural intolerance when we see it? Do we only speak out when it affects ourselves, or when it affects others? When are we intolerant of others intolerance?
[I think I see this quite often in areas where there ‘needs’ to be attitudinal change to fit with current cultural thinking, and others cannot let go of ingrained attitudes, and those who have moved forward decry those who also haven’t moved forward.]
The receiving end
How do you respond when on the receiving end of cultural intolerance?
- angry i.e. furious
- cynical i.e. it’s just the norm
- tired i.e. I’m too tired to deal with that
- crushed i.e. demeaning
- old i.e. out of touch
- frustrated i.e. not being listened too
- weak i.e. I should have said something
- intimidated i.e. surrendered to a confident view
There’s a difference between ‘cultural intolerance’ and ‘cultural ignorance’, requiring different responses.
Dr Bex Lewis is passionate about helping people engage with the digital world in a positive way, where she has more than 20 years’ experience. She is Senior Lecturer in Digital Marketing at Manchester Metropolitan University and Visiting Research Fellow at St John’s College, Durham University, with a particular interest in digital culture, persuasion and attitudinal change, especially how this affects the third sector, including faith organisations, and, after her breast cancer diagnosis in 2017, has started to research social media and cancer. Trained as a mass communications historian, she has written the original history of the poster Keep Calm and Carry On: The Truth Behind the Poster (Imperial War Museum, 2017), drawing upon her PhD research. She is Director of social media consultancy Digital Fingerprint, and author of Raising Children in a Digital Age: Enjoying the Best, Avoiding the Worst (Lion Hudson, 2014; second edition in process) as well as a number of book chapters, and regularly judges digital awards. She has a strong media presence, with her expertise featured in a wide range of publications and programmes, including national, international and specialist TV, radio and press, and can be found all over social media, typically as @drbexl.