Crossing Race and Gender Borders: The Cultivation of Intercultural Competence for Undergraduate Students

Thursday, 19 July 2018: 15:53
Oral Presentation
Juhui CHANG, National Taitung University, Taiwan
Chien-Lung WANG, Department of Education, National Taitung University, Taiwan
Critical Indigenous feminism focuses on the oppression of racial and patriarchal colonization, and the empowerment of women. It is not exactly associated with White feminism but with the Indigenous culture. Many Indigenous tribes were egalitarian, and women elders were chosen leaders and had a voice in decisions important to the tribe’s livelihood. In Taiwan, Indigenous peoples belong to the Austronesian language-speaking groups rather than the mainstream Han-Chinese people in Taiwan. The Puyuma, one of the ethnic groups in the Indigenous peoples, is close to a matriarchal society and has bilateral descent. The “Mugamut” (Women’s weeding festival) represents the tradition of women as tribal leaders and the mutual respect between males and females. This study tried to cultivate the intercultural competence of non-Indigenous undergraduate students majoring in digital media through the creation of electronic picture books about the “Mugamut” (Women’s weeding festival). The research methods include participant observation in the tribe and classes, personal and group interviews, and analysis of the electronic picture books the students created. The research found these undergraduates developed intercultural competences in the following five dimensions, including attitudes, knowledge, skills, external outcomes and internal outcomes. They performed well in the first four dimensions. For example, they broke racial stereotypes, and respected and valued Puyuma culture; they were open-minded and self-aware about cultures; they showed curiosity and the ability of listening, observation, evaluation and communication in the tribal field. However, on the dimension of internal outcomes, they still had difficulties in forming and shifting the frame of gender and cultural references between cultures.