Acknowledging Alternate Realities by Being Responsible for Our Own

Date of Completion


Document Type

Open Access Capstone

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

Peter Taylor


This Synthesis describes the processes I went through, and the answer I came up with, in regards to my confusion about what culture was and how it influences the individual. By studying the experts and learning processes in the Critical and Creative Thinking Program and in the field of Intercultural Communication, I came to understand that the barriers that separate any person, community or culture are not diversity and difference. The barriers are found in our personal perspective. We can expand our perspective to be more intercultural if we take responsibility for the meaning we put into our world. The main contribution of this Synthesis is my model for unveiling our meaning-making process through reflective practices such as freewriting, journaling and analyzing our experiences and reactions. Through these processes we can come to see that our ‘firm’ grasp on reality is really just a ‘creation’ of our personal reality founded upon personal and cultural interpretations and experiences. When we see ourselves as enculturated beings, we have the opportunity to suspend our own perspective and acknowledge the validity of another’s through empathic listening, which I explain and suggest activities for. In the last chapter I detail my plan to practice sharing and hearing alternate perspectives in the community.


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