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intercultural sensitivity behaviors

The single behaviours are summarised in different headlines that illustrate what “displaying intercultural sensitivity” means for youth workers behaviour-wise. The “cluster headlines” do not name behaviours as such; these can be found through clicking on the lists.

(Self-) reflection is important when working with people and dealing with processes within diverse groups. + -

Youth workers demonstrate this when they:

  • reflect on theories, concepts and experiences and apply these with regard to ambiguity and change
  • explicitly wrestle with their own biases, assumptions and behaviours regarding stereotypes
  • reflect on their own values and sense of belonging to increase self-awareness and understanding of the difference
Analysing and interpreting are important aspects when working with group processes. + -

In doing so, youth workers:

  • recognise and interpret words, body language and non-verbal communication in a culturally-appropriate manner
  • explore the complex connections between identity, politics, society and history 
  • identify issues of power and privilege in and with the group
  • are aware of who is included and who is not, and are using words and actions to include others
Youth workers use methods and tools to facilitate intercultural processes. + -

Thus, they:

  • use appropriate tools and methods to support the group in deconstructing and reconstructing reality (including dealing with stereotypes, prejudices, assumptions, etc.)
  • help raise awareness of conflicts that exist in society and how they relate to intercultural dialogue
  • deal with issues of power and privilege in and with the group
Encouraging and supporting participants in reflection and during their learning processes is crucial. + -

Therefore, youth workers:

  • are aware of specific intercultural settings such as communication, power and privilege
  • encourage young people to reflect on their own identity 
  • encourage young people to reflect and exchange ideas regarding issues such as solidarity, social justice, promoting/protecting human rights, discrimination, dignity and equality
  • encourage self-confidence and demonstrate flexibility in cultural and communicative behaviour
  • acknowledge power and privilege, highlighting the potential for it in acts of solidarity
International youth work settings ask youth workers to be willing to speak a foreign language. + -

This requires:

  • for them to overcome their own resistances and inhibitions.

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