Ideas, Ideals and Ideologies in Intercultural Discourse and Their Impact on the Image of the Other

Johannes BAUMANN, Yi-Fan HU


This paper is concerned with ideas in terms of intellectual constructs being the core units of ideals and ideologies, the (un-)conscious ways they are made up and all of them performing two competing tasks. In the course of acculturation they shape our cultural identity and cause sociocultural affiliation. But when it comes to perceiving other cultures it is exactly this specific texture of our cultural disposition that turns into an insurmountable cognitive handicap. Despite all and knowingly that in mostly any intercultural discourse ideals and ideologies are interwoven with tactical ulterior motifs, it is essential to initiate a process of emotionally and mentally disassociating ourselves from them in order to catch better sight of their specific texture by taking up a quasidistant position. In case we fail in perpetuating that intellectual game we still might acquire practical skills for decision-making and responsibility in an intercultural setting, but we will miss out on both gaining substantial cognisance of the respective other and last but not least raising awareness for our very own self-conception. That is exactly what the potential of intercultural communication is about. Our own intellectual precondition partly becomes perceptible only by checking it against the immediate experience of otherness on the long-run.


cultural identity, image science, cognisance, CDA, moral relativism, objectivity


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