August 25, 2006
The intercontextual and paradigmatic self
For a long time, I've been feeling frustrated with the baggage that comes with words like "multiculturalism" and "interculturalism." In the US context, these words seem to be in struggle with each other, as "multicultural" usually refers to the power dimensions of race, class, and gender in this country. On the other hand, "intercultural" is sometimes accused of resisting the inclusion of these power dimensions by instead focusing on the ethnic differences between nations. I don't think this tension is that useful as I approach the future.
I think the key concept of the future is the self. With globalization and internationalization, people can have experiences in many different realms. Ethnicity and power difference will still matter, but an individual's ability to creatively manage multiple contexts will make these matters much less significant, I think.
I like the notion of the paradigmatic self. The idea here that we can move in and out of different paradigms, more than just cultural contexts. If a paradigm is a set of assumptions and values that guide our view of the world/reality, well then, it makes sense that we can have different selves that view the world differently, depending on the set of assumptions we're using at that moment. I think, though, that these selves aren't as fleeting as my word "moment" suggests. Although we can have indefinite paradigmatic selves, the paradigm is related to the context in which we're operating (thus, intercontextual self).
Of course, we may even be said to have epistemological selves: selves that have different ways of knowing depending on the paradigm/context. I'm not sure, though, that epistemology has as much explanatory value as either paradigm or intercontext.
10 years from now. . . .
Buddhists and Futurists will be working together to create contexts for the development and implementation of virtual selves. These viritual selves will encompass our "imagined, visionary self/selves" as we work toward actualizing our "liveability quotient." On our path, we'll enlist the assistance of buddhists and futurists to guide us to imagine, develop and experience contexts in which selves can be successfully implemented, maintained, and changed.
Important concepts in this process:
--experiencing both fragmentation and unity of the self
This process will involve developing multicultural, intercultural, and paradigmatic selves. We'll be practicing letting go of rigid role definitions.
August 15, 2006
Well, my summer in Portland is over. It was another good time in a place that I love; it feels good to be home, too. It's fun to watch J mastering his Dora the Explorer playstation game, and it's reassuring to listen to C chatter on about his recent research interests. I wonder what he'll end up doing for his diss?
It's stressful being home, too. I was nicely shielded from all the craziness of my life while I was in the NW. I didn't really have to think about the fact that my laptop has a serious system error, and I can't find my Windows startup disk. I didn't have to think about the fact that my house is pretty cluttered, and we're going to be moving yet again. Oh, and there's that thing called my dissertation and the IRB proposal that goes with it. I'm distracting myself by pretending I need to catch up on my sleep, but I think I've milked that as much as I can.
In the next few weeks, I'm planning some minor revisions of this blog, to re-create it as a representation of my integrated self. Not much will be new, at least not to me, but maybe a little less fragmented. So, stay tuned....