September 2016 SIETAR EUROPA Journal interviews Joanna
6. September 2016
Eine Reise durch die Welt der Storytelling Methoden im interkulturellen Kontext
2. Juni 2017

Storytelling for intercultural understanding

Sell, J. (2017): Storytelling for Intercultural Understanding and Intercultural Sensitivity Development, in: Chlopczyk, J. Beyond Storytelling, Springer Gabler, pp 223-249.

For centuries, we have exchanged stories to transmit knowledge and experience in social contexts. These stories never belonged to the tellers but were dependent on shared narrative sources and, therefore, understood in certain cultural circles. When these stories were deciphered by “newcomers”, they worked like a door opener, enabling access to new thinking patterns and value systems. Once upon a time – that is, about 70 years ago in the USA, American scholar Joseph Campbell pointed out similarities in narratives worldwide in his book “The hero with a thousand faces.” This approach showed what an important role storytelling has played in all cultures throughout the centuries and how the stories were constructed according to the same scheme without the knowledge that such a “universal scenario” exists. Intercultural communication is a balance act between searching for similarities and realizing differences. When we define culture “as a set of stories that we enter” (Bruner 1990), we immediately realize the importance of storytelling in this process. Beyond Storytelling book at Springer