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Book reactions:

Intercultural communication: A step further

Release: 2007, Bohn Stafleu van Loghum, Houten

Some reactions:

  • Harry Starren, Managing Director of De Baak, Management Centre
    VNO-NCW in his column in the Press, Tuesday, September 4, 2007

    ...David Pinto recently wrote a book on intercultural communication, which he will implement a practical step forward.

    An intriguing book. He avoids the temptation to label cultures and thereby stigmatizing. He brings structure to chaos, while leaving intact the complexity. This leads to an approach in which each value is unchanged and that ubiquitous term used "respect" (Ali B) a real meaning. He is not calling for compromise that no one happy, but stated in clear cases the way to new synthesis, in which all parties win.

    That is both difficult and easy.
    But you will only see it when you when you when you realize it (Johan Cruyff).

  • Hubert Smeets, Chief Editor - Essay
    De Groene Amsterdammer of August 17, 2007

    Hubert Smeets editor wrote an essay in De Groene Amsterdammer. Here he referred to my new book and my 'structure theory' in it. Which he has displayed masterly succinctly as follows, regarding to pleas of Geert Wilders and imam Ahmad Salam:

    Why do Wilders Imam Salam each other? Where one works for the Sharia, the other opts for the German court. Not the written word in Roman law is their guide, but the tradition of traditions. They both still find themselves in an authoritative and unambiguous phase of social development. They are both afraid of the multilateral and more pluralistic society. They are both pre-modern in an otherwise modern society.

    Not the pre-modern historical sense, but as defined by David Pinto, professor of intercultural communication at the University of Amsterdam and professor at Bar-Ilan University, Ashkelon, in his latest book.

    This book "Intercultural communication: A step beyond," appears at the end of September (offer to Jan Marijnissen: Sept. 26., 14.00 hour in the Baak Driebergen.-The Immigrants Weblog readers are most welcome).

    Pinto tries to pry from the classical scheme that integration is impossible as long as people cling to their language, religion, racism or whatever other oddities too. According to Pinto - who two decades ago the term "death hug 'is coined to describe the then dominant but ineffective welfare - this old Dutch method now become' clubbing '.

    The advocates of integration are really hard protagonists of assimilation.
    They call themselves modern, to stand out from all the backward immigrants. But they ignore the fact that this distinction between premodern and modern cohabitation
    are not exclusively ethnic, religious or socio-economic.

    According to Pinto, a man is not necessarily modern in the city when he was born and bred, nor premodern automatically if he believes in God. Premodern values are those values with emphasis on an intricate system of commandments and prohibitions, said Pinto. This contains only holes.

    In the most extreme forms of a premodern society exists for each individual problem a collective solution. The individual man is not considered independent answers. It will go on in the group, as the group determines the behavior of him as a man. Modern values by contrast has a dense system of standards. Much is open. The general framework of expedient and improper behavior are fixed. But in relative freedom in choosing the people their options in life.

    Concrete, indeed live in a city more modern humans, more premodern and rural. Wealth generally provides more modernity than poverty, because rich people buy protection and the poor together to exchange.

    But the community around a mosque or liberal Reformed church in a village can display more modern than a centralized controlled cathedral in Rome. As the youth scene of a street gang or a student union in Amsterdam again premoderner than the Labor Party in Voorburg.

    According to Pinto, the gap between indigenous and ethnic minorities is not simply to share their culture and ours. Premoderniteit and modernity are on a sliding scale across all nationalities or culturaliteiten around. More useful, therefore according to Pinto to know that other people other values and standards, and then wanting to know why those other values and standards, and then bold the boundaries to capture that anyone, regardless of culture or origin, may violate the penalty of a penalty.

    The integration will fizzle out if we just require that each imam gives every woman a hand, as Wilders calls, where the imams in the Netherlands of his to roam freely. The reverse requirement of Salem in his presence that no alcohol should be given, is just as counterproductive.

    Both Wilders as Salam wallows in symbolism. In "signals" as the PVV leader calls it. Why? Because both have had enough of the traditional Netherlands. Because both cherish contempt for the existing parliamentary democracy. This points to convergence between East and West, a political culture where suspicion prevails over confidence, where the modern cultural pessimism beats old-fashioned positivism.

    That now is not an attractive future

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