Intercultural competency and ethnosentrism in Georgia, Azerbaijanian and Armenian youth leaving in Georgia
Keywords:intercultural competency, intercultural sensitivity, intercultural communication, ethnocentrism, ethno relativity.
This paper explores intercultural competencies in Georgian, Armenian and Azerbaijanian students. Furthermore, it aims to study bases of effective intercultural communication in the representatives of the selected ethnic groups. Such terms as intercultural competency and its antonym – ethnocentrism are discussed in the study as the characteristics of intercultural sensitivity, which in turn is the bases of effective intercultural communication. The article presents the results of the focus-group discussions. The participants of the focus-groups were Georgian ethnic groups studying in public universities of Akhaltsikhe and Tbilisi State Universities, as well as Armenian and Azerbaijanian ethnic minorities who are involved in the first stage of the programme “four plus one” of the same universities. The following themes have been studied: self-assessment, assessment of others, traits by which ethnic groups describe themselves and other groups, relationship between ethnic groups, knowledge of the traditions and costumes and cultural peculiarities of ethnic groups. The results were analysed in the continuum of the concepts of ethnosentrism and ethnorelativity. The study results reveal that Georgian, Azerbaijanian and Armenian students differ in terms of their intercultural competencies, namely: ethnocentric tendencies are clearly revealed in Armenian students especially towards Azerbaijanians, but not so clearly towards Georgians. Some tendencies of ethnorelativism can also be seen in Armenian students. Azerbaijanian youth demonstrate ethnorelative attitudes towards Georgians, however, they are clearly ethnocentric towards Armenians.
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