and Cross-Cultural Sociology
Publishers of the online Journal of Global and Civilizational Sociology
The mandate of the Institute is to increase cross-cultural/civilizational communication and
understanding through trans-disciplinary studies in sociology, anthropology,
political science, economics, history, philosophy, religion, and social psychology.
We are facing a critical period in human history. As Western nations increasingly resemble one another in their social values and practices, the East and South of the world remain divided from the West due to differences that are not only economical and geopolitical but also the outcome of long-standing religious and secular traditions. So we make a costly error when we automatically equate "modernization" with "Westernization." When we do so, the hope for a global common denominator of justice and sustainable development becomes clouded by conflicts provoked by mono-cultural reductionism and mutual non-recognition.
Just as the West has been deconstructing and revising some of its own traditions in an effort to build a multi-cultural society tolerant of a multiplicity of life-styles, the East and South are reaffirming their own traditional values in an attempt to prevent cultural assimilation and manage some of the social problems associated with Western economic and cultural regimes.
An effective cross-civilizational sociology attempts to define what is globally necessary as a common denominator of progressive civilized society and what is best left regionally distinct. Such a holistic sociology will, in addition to attempting to define the relationship between tradition and change, focus on the unavoidable tensions implicit between a passionately-applied philosophy of individual rights and the requirements of collective identity and citizenship.
It would seem that technology and economic development have not decreased feelings of 'otherness' as some globalists had hoped it would. Economic equity alone cannot erradicate cross-cultural dissonance; nor can it provide a culture with a satisfactory sense of collective identity. Human society has a double bottom-line: economy and cultural norms and values. So, a broader and more insight-driven social science is required, one capable of reconciling economic, political, philosophical and moral analysis. Such a cross-civilizational social science will recognize that cross-cultural conflict does not occur because we know and understand how the other side lives but because we find it too unsettling to try and understand what may at first sight appear to be conflicting norms and customs. Yet, anything less than a mutually introspective (and benevolently critical) dialogue will leave us alienated by corrosive civilizational fault lines. Benet Davetian, Towards a Workable Theory of Globalization.
Instead of promoting the supposedly universal features of one civilization, the requisites for cultural coexistence demand a search for what is common to most civilizations. Samuel Huntington, Clash of Civilizations.
Founder and Director:
Dr. Benet Davetian
D.Phil. (Ph.D.), University of Sussex (U.K.), Sociology (Cultural Studies and Social Theory).
Postdoctoral fellow of the Canada Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.
British Commonwealth Association of Universities Doctoral Fellow.
Doctoral fellow of the Canada Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council .
He resides in Canada and the United Kingdom and has travelled, conducted research and lectured in North America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. His work includes studies of civilizing processes and the semiotics of American, European, and Middle Eastern norms and values.
Listed in "Who's Who in Canada" (2003) for his accomplishments in literature, sociology, and communications.
THE SEVENTH CIRCLE - creative non-fiction; a historical and social psychological account of ethnic rivalry, civil war and genocide (Ronsdale Press). Awarded the Canadian Richler Parizeau Prize for Best Book of the Year. Finalist for the Hugh McLelland QSPELL Prize. REVIEWS. Available at www.amazon.com.
THE MONTREAL EXPERIENCE (Payette & Simms).
'Moral Tensions Between Western and Islamic Cultures: The Need for Additional Sociological Studies' in Sociological Research Online, Vol. 6, No. 3.
in Canadian Ethnic Studies
Journal. Special Textbook Issue. Vol. 26, No.
ESRC Research Seminar Series on Racist Violence.
The International Social Theory Consortium, 2nd Annual Conference: "Sociology of Courtesy. Cross-Cultural Perspectives."
International E-Symposium on Conflict Prevention.
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