For me, there were two incidents that stuck out the most in terms of personally experiencing the elements of globalization throughout my journey. One of them was not obvious to me; in fact Janine commented in one of my blog posts, ” Sometimes you feel like “we” is Team Anime and at other times “we” is based on your geographical reference point, the Arlington group.” While writing blog posts, I didn’t consider that I had created an “us-them” scenario, in which I would refer to Marlene and Michelle as another group per say. This was very important to analyze because while reading Van Asperen’s conceptual framework of the Intercultural Paradox, he comments on the concept of ‘Communicative Moral Universalism.’ This term is based off on: “unique individuals, encounters, dialogue and universal values, and with its reactions it offers an alternative to the intercultural ideology.” Yet, while sharing my experiences during projects, I wasn’t doing the justice of connecting Arlington and Groningen as an intercultural team. Instead, I felt I had to separate our shared works in order to give credit to the thoughts/ideas shared from our friends in the Netherlands. But I have come to learn that the impact of globalization is to break the “us-them” barrier in order to build relationships that interconnect our cultures. If I were to continue to refer Michelle and Marlene as “the Netherland members” or “Groningen teammates” I would be limiting my understanding of globalization and the what seems small, but necessary changes to accept the Intercultural Paradox.
Another event that I noticed was during the Photo Essay Project, and how similar the pictures both Michelle and Marlene took were of Macy, Alyssa, Sofiana and mine. We all chose photos of transportation including bikes, and bus signs, as well as signs of advertisement and food restaurants. I found this very interesting and pretty spectacular that both communities across the ocean, had more similarities than differences, which was based off an initial assumption. My assumptions of the Netherland culture based off what I read or heard, was holding me back from opening my horizons and blocked off the importance of communication because of my personal views and definition of culture. I found myself again reflecting on Van Asperen’s example that “if a man in the Netherlands and a man in India share many similarities in their way of thinking; however, their dominant definition of culture would describe themselves as different, because “culture” has come to terms to declare differences “beforehand.” I found myself victim to this, and in the photo essay project I was able to change my mindset in order to grasp globalization from a new perspective.
If I could give one critical piece of advice for students, it would be to understand that if you want to get something out of this class, you have to be willing to discuss/debate and take a whole new approach on globalization, then the dictionary definition. I say this, because it would be easier to define globalization as one denotation for all. However, that’s quite opposite of globalization because it is to expand one’s horizons and interpretations of culture, thru a new lens that doesn’t conform to one general perception. Even our group, when first assigned to define globalization, we had an initial thought; however, with new experiences and readings we changed our definition time after time. I hope future students take this into consideration and really embrace the course provided through Marymount, because in reality, you can’t get this experience anywhere else.