What does ‘Intercultural Understanding’ actually mean?

With the on-going feedback of the UBC community, we have recently updated the working definition of intercultural understanding to make it clearer for those who are new to the concept:

Intercultural understanding refers to the profound sociocultural difference understood by individuals or by groups that reflect

(1.) social positions and statuses (including, but not limited to ethnicity, race, religion, age, gender identity and expression, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, socio-economic class, immigration as well as academic, employment or professional status);

(2.) the cultural histories, creative practices and faith perspectives of various social groups; and

(3.) the dynamic power relations that shape the interactions between dominant and non-dominant cultures, including the undercurrents of difference found within these interrelations.

As summarized in the following:

An understanding of the social positions, practices and power relations of sociocultural difference understood by individuals or groups within a society.

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