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Intercultural Topics: Spaces, Arranged Marriages

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I- Contrast and compare two physical environments related to sociofugal (areas that keep people apart), and sociopetal (areas that draw people together) spaces. You might visit and observe a bus station or stop, train or airport lobby, hospital waiting area, a church foyer, a clinic, a library or a coffee shop, etc. - how does the furniture keep people apart and or draw them together? Describe your observations (1-2 pages).

II- Have a look at the two short videos this week dealing with Arranged Marriages. Many cultures still follow this practice. Is it wrong? Is it different? Could there be benefits to the community and culture? Is it more complex than just two strangers meeting on their wedding day? Was Bible culture similar? More collectivist? As an intercultural communicator and disciple(r) in a different culture, would you even need to address this sort of issue?


III- Attend a worship service of a different culture. This might be an evangelical church that worships in a different language or a Greek Orthodox church. This might also be a mosque or Temple. Observe and respond to - three things that caught your attention that were strange or different and three things that you would like to know more about. Respond to - how is space used, how to people interact and participate, cultural differences, sights, sounds, smells? Were you comfortable or uncomfortable? Could you live and work in this culture given time?

Have a look at the next chapter of the Mouk People from Eetaw. It's a great example of what we hope to see happen as we share Christ cross culturally and develop believers and plant churches.

Comment on 1) General impressions, 2) How you might apply this to your life where you are.

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Solution Summary

The solution provides information, assistance and advise in tackling the task (see above) on the topic of space (sociofugal and sociopetal) and arranged marriages - items in intercultural studies. Resources are listed for further exploration of the topic. A word version is attached.

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Dear Student,
Hi and thank you for using Brainmass. The solution below should get you started. In this particular task, you are asking for help in putting together a narrative that explores intercultural topics. I suggest this simple outline:
1.Sociofugal and Sociopetal Spaces - 400 words, with images
2.Arranged Marriages - 400 words, with images
1. Buddhism Serbice - 400 words, with images
2. Mouk Christians - 400 words
3. Resources

These should allow you an exploration of these ideas. You can use the listed resources to further explore the topic. All the best with your studies.

AE 105878/Xenia Jones
A. Sociofugal and Sociopetal Spaces

Sociofugal and sociopetal spaces are common designs in society by and large for their function. For example, a library section with individual desks that have separate studying nooks with individual tables (see below) are essential to provide that individual studying space for students and readers who need that solitary space to focus and concentrate on what they are doing - reading, digesting information, contemplating and reflecting on ideas, theories, or writing and working on their tasks, papers, homework. It is the need to contemplate, to 'be alone and focus' on materials for studies and learning that require the sociofugal element to the individual desk. While sociofugal spaces sound 'exclusive' to the user only, we need such spaces for their functionality. Just as there is a human need to have our own 'space' in our bedrooms so we can be 'alone', listen to music, do things to relax and be ourselves', there is thus a need for the sociofugal - to answer that need of a personal space for a particular function. Below is an image of the library studying desks by S. Holler Architects (Sugihto, 2016): (see attached)

After studying for awhile, as a student, I often find myself needing refreshments as well as that chance to be part of a social environment. Next to the entrance hall of the library is a little café that serves hot and cold drinks, snacks, soups and sandwiches. They are good enough for the hungry student and inexpensive enough to the student's budget. The space is comfortable and seating allows for people to converse as well as for students, who bring their laptops with them to carry on with writing their papers or doing their work while fuelling up with their favored snacks, light meals and beverages. Like the sociofugal desk, I can sit here, even occupy a table meant for two by myself. There are however no dividers between tables, rules of 'no noise' and to 'keep as quiet as one can' to not disturb others do not apply. The café is a sociopetal space and it is where people come together. It is designed to allow for people to meet, to converse and to interact. It is where I meet my friends after our study sessions in the library or after classes. Sometimes it is the chosen lunch place because the food choices are good, the seats are comfortable, the coffee is good as well as the selection of desserts and above all, it is affordable for students with limited budgets. Furniture allows for my friends and I to sit around a table or a sofa and a coffee table, as if the place was an extension of the living room in our dormitory. It is a social place and that is its function - it allows us to share meals and hang out, sharing our lives and our thoughts and build bonds that is important to us emotionally, psychologically. When one of my friends broke up with her partner, it is where we met, where I listened to her pour her heart out and cry over mugs of hot chocolate, after which, she said she felt better. It is a place where we talk about pre-exam plans and post-exam results. It is a needed space for our condition as social beings. Here is an example of such a café from an image by Tucker McKillop (Hunt, 2017): (see attached)

On Arranged Marriages

Arranged marriage as a cultural tradition has been around throughout history but ...

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  • MPhil/PhD (IP), Open University, Milton Keynes, UK
  • MA, Open University, Milton Keynes, UK
  • Certificate, Geva Ulpan (via Universita Tel Aviv)
  • BA, University of the Philippines
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