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Article

К вопросу о готовности будущих специалистов жить и работать в условиях мультикультурализма

Вестник Института социологии. 2020. Т. 11. № 4. С. 126-142.
Емельянова Н. А., Воронина Е. А.

What makes this article relevant is the fact that, given the current context of multiculturalism, the communication process is fundamental for many aspects and functions of the business environment. Ever accelerating processes of integration in the field of economics and business, the population becoming more active in terms of migration, academic mobility – this calls for mastering intercultural communication (ICC) skills, which are gradually gaining more relevance and importance. People are beginning to realize that possessing a certain level of knowledge and skill in the realm of ICC is becoming a necessary component for success in any professional field. The main goal of the presented study is to determine how well-prepared today’s students, who in the future are slated to become experts in their respective fields, are for living and functioning in a context of multiculturalism. A precondition for developing multicultural competencies would be the awareness of cultural and national differences, which needs to be based on intercultural sensitivity. This particular aspect was analyzed by the authors with the help of a questionnaire titled “scale of intercultural sensitivity”, developed by G. Chen and J. Starosta. This questionnaire consists of 24 statements and covers 5 factors which its authors attribute to the concept of intercultural sensitivity: involvement in interaction, respect for cultural differences, degree of confidence when communicating, pleasure from interaction, an analytical approach towards conversing. The study was conducted among bachelor and masters degree students at the Nizhny Novgorod campus of the Higher School of Economics in 2017–2019. The following aspects were subject to analysis: attitudes towards cultural traits and people from other nations, self-evaluation of the perception of one’s own and foreign cultures, predicting behavioral reactions when finding oneself in an international environment. In the process of analysis, the dependence was considered between the level of intercultural sensitivity and the respondents’ gender, grade points, experience of interacting with people from foreign cultures. Openness, willingness to communicate and respect towards one’s partner in communication, and conversely suspicion and even prejudice towards people of foreign cultures were all identified within the sample. The results of this study will allow for finding a more efficient approach towards resolving issues associated with enhancing intercultural competencies as part of the education process.