Understanding Ubuntu for Enhancing Intercultural Communications

Understanding Ubuntu for Enhancing Intercultural Communications

Joseph Mukuni (Virginia Tech, USA) and Josiah Tlou (Virginia Tech, USA)
Release Date: May, 2021|Copyright: © 2021 |Pages: 299
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-7947-3
ISBN13: 9781799879473|ISBN10: 179987947X|EISBN13: 9781799879497|ISBN13 Softcover: 9781799879480
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Description & Coverage
Description:

Given the importance of cross-cultural competence, it is important that scholars from different parts of the world describe the conceptual frameworks underlying their cultures to provide people with knowledge helpful for understanding and navigating cultural barriers and promoting harmony and productivity in places of work. The literature is replete with reference points for understanding Eurocentric worldviews. Little has been written about non-Eurocentric worldviews with respect to the subject of socio-cultural harmony and interpersonal relations such as Ubuntu, Africa’s indigenous philosophy and its relevancy. This philosophy teaches the importance of maintaining good human relations and sensitivity to the wellbeing of other people both as individuals and collectively. In the teachings of this African conceptual framework, the wellbeing of others is more important than that of self. Another important distinguishing feature of Ubuntu is that it places great value on communalism as opposed to individualism. The tenets of Ubuntu include human-centeredness, teamwork, collaboration, cooperation, respect for diversity of opinion, and joint consideration of problems. These tenets can be applied for intercultural competence and communications.

Understanding Ubuntu for Enhancing Intercultural Communications sheds some light on Ubuntu, Africa’s unique philosophy, and explores how the knowledge of Ubuntu can help minimize cross-cultural communication barriers. Within this context, the chapters work to make readers aware of the existence of an African worldview, specifically Ubuntu, and its possible contribution to interpersonal communication. This book also shares the lived experiences of being born and raised in sub-Saharan Africa where Ubuntu is a way of life. This book is essential for businesses seeking to expand internationally and managers overseeing diverse workforces as well as business executives, government officials, public relations officers, academicians, researchers, and students including those studying African studies, world religions, international business, international relations, management, communication, and more.

Coverage:

The many academic areas covered in this publication include, but are not limited to:

  • African Communities
  • Afrocentric Restorative Justice
  • Communication
  • Cross-Cultural Competency
  • Government
  • Intercultural Communications
  • Leadership and Governance
  • Philosophy
  • Religion
  • School Curriculum
  • Ubuntu
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Editor/Author Biographies

Joseph Mukuni is a Career and Technical Education (CTE) program leader at Virginia Tech in the School of Education. He has several years’ experience in teaching, educational administration, and in management of educational development projects. His teaching experience includes higher education courses in English Language-Communication Skills for technical and business studies, CTE methodologies, curriculum development, behavior management in K-12 classrooms, administrative leadership in CTE, student assessment for workforce development, program evaluation, educational policy analysis, and international trends in workforce development. His experience in management and administration include being a head of department, a college chief executive officer, and a national director for technical, vocational education and training. He has expertise in project design, implementation, and evaluation. He has attended professional development programs in several countries, including China, Tanzania, Malawi, Swaziland, and Denmark.

Josiah Tlou is a Professor Emeritus of Social Studies and International Education. Dr. Tlou holds an Ed D degree from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois in Curriculum and Instruction with a minor in Comparative Education, a master’s degree from Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois in History, University of Wisconsin in African Studies (No degree} and a bachelor’s degree in History from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa. Before coming to America, he held a diploma in teaching for junior secondary and was a Principal of a boarding school for six years. He taught at Virginia Tech for over thirty years. He was in teams that established degree programs for teacher educators at the University of Botswana and Domasi College in Malawi sponsored by the USAID. In Malawi, he also developed CIVIC Education incorporated in the Social Studies curriculum for all primary schools. He supported the establishment of the CIVITAS chapters in Malawi and Kenya supported by the Center for Civic Education, Calabasas in California. He was instrumental in getting the International Assembly to adopt Mwanje Primary School in Malawi.

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