Learning journey abroad: a critical analysis of the impact of short-term mission by Korean Christians on intercultural sensitivity

Eum, Joo-Yun (2020) Learning journey abroad: a critical analysis of the impact of short-term mission by Korean Christians on intercultural sensitivity. PhD thesis, Middlesex University / Oxford Centre for Mission Studies. [Thesis]

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This thesis is a missiological investigation that analyses the impact of Short-Term Mission (STM) on intercultural sensitivity using the research methodology of the grounded theory. The research suggests that STM has a significant impact on the intercultural sensitivity of research participants whether negative or positive. The degree of critical self-reflection of one's perceptions and attitudes toward different cultures is a key factor for both outcomes.

This thesis argues that in the culturally diversified Korean society, people feel or experience some intercultural tensions, and events or occurrences that cause such phenomena as intercultural unawareness, lack of intercultural education, in-group favouritism, linguistic incompetence, and Christian paternalism. These phenomena occur or accelerate in the context of the lack of intercultural interaction on the individual level in the indifference to the improvement of intercultural competence, the prejudice of the subconscious in the public dimension and the distorted media coverage of the mass media. A series of strategies that manage, handle, carry out, and respond to these phenomena include an intercultural engagement through STM, encountering cultural differences, cognitive flexibility in cultural diversity, and intercultural learning activities. The factors that shape, facilitate, or constrain these strategies include pre-field orientation, comprehensive interplay between STM participants and support groups, and a number of STM experiences. As a result of this strategy, cross-cultural interaction experiences through STM have a significant effect on changes in perceptions and attitudes of in-group favouritism, out-group derogation, multicultural identity, and cultural pluralism.

This research suggests that 1) STM may impact on the increase in intercultural insensitivity, 2) it needs to strengthen the ability of critical self-reflection for one’s own perceptions and attitudes toward different cultures, 3) it helps to have fresh perspectives on multicultural identity reflecting the concept of ethno-radiance, 4) it raises the need for integrative mission education with the intention of strengthening intercultural sensitivity.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Research Areas: A. > School of Law
B. > Theses
C. Collaborative Partners > Oxford Centre for Mission Studies
Item ID: 32973
Depositing User: Brigitte Joerg
Date Deposited: 16 Apr 2021 14:41
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2021 16:49
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/32973

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