Feset: Caleidoscopia: the playful exploration, recognition, variation, broadering and enlarging of personal diversity
Feset Deminar 24-26 april 2008 Amsterdam
Competences for Socio-educational care work was the focus of the 2008 Seminar, highlighted by the key-note speakers and by participants papers during the parallel workshops on:
- research results,
- education methodologies,
- practice approaches
Caleidoscopia is the playful exploration, recognition, variation, broadening and enlarging of personal diversity.
The idea is based on the diversity expressed in the dynamics that, being a member of different groups, a person simulateously assumes different positions (of authority) in each group. This could be compared to looking through a kaleidoscope- each movement evokes a new image or perspective.
Diversity results from a continuing interplay between differences and similarities, since at some level all people are:
§ Alike to other people
§ Like some other people
§ Unlike any other person
To us, diversity is the complex interaction between different dimensions:
biological, mental, social, cultural, and religious simularities and differences between people.
Professionals are faced with diversity in society, as it coninues to affect every aspect of their work. Therefore, in order to deal with the many facets of this phenomenon, one needs to be flexible and capable of sensing and empathizing. Self-knowledge is a prerequisite.
Dealing with diversity involves the art of discovering what is shared beyond interpersonal differences and in this common sharing, distinguishing subtle differences and making them relevant and useful.
1. Intro By Marian Peereboom
2. Enith Pereira will read the story of Roosevelt Thomas about the giraffe and elephant to you.
3. Christine van Duin will make some links with theory and give game
Information for the participants:
· competencies of diversity
· the story Giraffe and Elephant
* action options Roosevelt Thomas
* suggestions for rules of interaction
* information about the game caleidoscopia
There are two theoretical frameworks we want to introduce:
Underlying definition of Roosevelt Thomas: Diversity as any combination of individuals who are different in some ways and similar in others. R.T. invites us to give up to think in terms of the main group and the others. (in general the main group is in power, the others have to adapt or submit). He invites us to reciprocity.
A. Intersectional thinking on diversity or caleidoscopian thinking:
Which means diversity is multidimensional. In each situation the caleidoscoop can take another turn. Starting points are multi rather than monodimensionality, and ….and instead of either …or, equality and reciprocity.
You just heard the story of giraffe and elephant. I want to illustrate the caleidoscopian dimensions using the story.
- professional socialisation elephant and giraffe seem to have a similar professional outfit.
- social class seems more or less the same: belonging to the same neighbourhood.
- Social class: seems similar same neighbourhood, same profession, same school for children
- Phase of life, seem the same age because they were in the same parent teachers committee.
- Sex It seems evident that both are men
- Sexual orientation it seems like an evidence in this case that both have a woman and family with children
- Religion is not mentioned (we don’t know).
- Ethnicity: I propose in this case to connect ethnicity to the kind of animal they are. So there is a difference here
- Talent/handicap in this case the elephant coming in a place which is built for giraffes he meets his seize, weight and shape as a handicap (this could be different in a different situation for example if they meet in the street, turn of kaleidoscope)
- Blank card we could use it for seize, weight and shape
In this case the first cards seem the similarities in the first cards. these last three cards seem important in terms of dealing with differences. Because here we discover in this case the giraffe belonging to the main group, initially he organises some adaptations for the other, but ultimately the outsider, the newcomer has to change in seize, weight and shape (fundamental qualities of the elephant)
(Here you see how in social situation the question of what seems to evident or a “matter of course”= vanzelfsprekendheid is defined by the one who claims the evidence to be there, the one having the power.)
B. Roosevelt Thomas identified eight action options, ways that people and organizations typically respond to diversity. In this case the giraffe invites the elephant. Direction of inclusion. Affirmative action also by removing the panel from the door. Ultimately he asks the elephant to change himself in order to adapt to the situation. There the reciprocal perspective is out of sight.
We give these options for you to study further in case you want to research further.
Everybody gets 9 cards 8 dimensions and one blank card. Choose 3 dimensions which for you on this moment are most important. (You have 10 minutes in pairs to exchange what you found.)
Suggestion for behavioral rules of the game:
· Make clear what are the motives/arguments for your point of view
· Let everybody express their ideas without interupting
· Have respect for the opinion of others even if you have another opinion
· Try not to Judge about the ideas or opinions of others
· Take care not to hurt intentionally others with your opinions
· Listen actively to each other and make questions when you don’t understand
· You can ask questions, everybody has a right not to answer them.
· Give feedback out of care for the other. Discriminate between what is relevant for you and what for the other.
· Respect privacy rules and don’t bring the information up in another context.
Do you see this game as useful in developing and working at diversity competencies.