Publications in English
2007 The Intercultural Paradox. Diavers.
An adapted article of the Dutch article 'De interculturele paradox'
Download the article in pdf format
2005 Intercultural Communication & Ideology. Utrecht: Pharos NL
In 2003 Evelien van Asperen published her thesis in Dutch Interculturele communicatie & ideologie, including a summary in English. The book was translated in English and published in 2005.
What is the cause of the frequently ineffective communication strategies in intercultural situations? This question has been dealt with in different studies already, for example, from the perspective of cultural factors, social categorisation and cultural identity. This study deals with the question of communication strategies from the meta-level of connotations and assumptions of the basic concepts culture, communication and power.
These concepts come together in intercultural communication, which forms a recurring theme in the book. By studying many cases, it becomes clear that assumptions about intercultural communication are under the influence of universalistic and cultural relativistic interpretation.
Cultural philosophers have described critical opinions to these ideologies since the seventies, but in spite of this, the assumptions around intercultural communication remain uncritical.
Van Asperen comes to the conclusion that the intercultural ideology evidently leads to absurdities and contradictions. This creates friction, particularly in the normative field. Cultural freedom of values, the right to one's own culture, cultural loyalty, ethnocentrism, tolerance and intolerance apparently originate from the same source, the ideological culture concept.
In the end the writer works out the divisive effect of the intercultural ideology and she formulates an alternative, in which human rights play a central role.
Translation by Frank van Thienen, dutch-translations.ca
read the full summary
2007 The intercultural paradox Download the article in pdf format