Accepted Paper:

Intercultural East Asia: beyond the knowledge   


Joaquin Beltran-Antolin (Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona)

Paper short abstract:

Intercultural processes developed after encounters are usually carried on under power hierarchies. The mainstream hegemonic academic knowledge, both in East Asia and in Euro-American regions, tends to neglect the power dimension in cultural analysis, thus reproducing hierarchies to overcome.

Paper long abstract:

Heterogeneity influences, accommodations, resistances appear when people from different cultural backgrounds meet and get in touch, and more so in instances of people that either live together or are neighbours. Intercultural processes developed after an encounter are usually carried on under power hierarchies of majority/minority, dominant/subordinate, and powerful/powerless. The encounter is never held on equal positions and that has consequences. Throughout history, East Asia has been in touch with the rest of the world: thoughts, capital, products and people have moved back and forth and environments have experienced transformations on account of mutual influences. At the same time, the East Asia region has held interactions amongst its constituent territories, each one showing an inner diversity that departs from the image of homogeneity promoted in modern nation-state formations. Intercultural processes are also present within each supposed "culture," because different population segments have their own historical and constructed cultural backgrounds and agendas. By using an intercultural approach applied to all the scales of cultural encounters -between areas, as well as within areas- the power play is brought to the foreground, as a first step to go beyond the knowledge hierarchy. It is necessary to take into account all the voices and involved actors in order to overcome the mainstream discourses that, despite an appearance of objectivity and neutrality, are strongly ideologically loaded.

Panel G23
Disjoining approaches: tropes, hubs, and production of knowledge on East Asia