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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Azizi BS: The problem at Mudcat? Moderated thread (359* d) RE: BS: The problem at Mudcat? Moderated thread 29 Oct 09


It occurs to me that part of the "problem at Mudcat" is the result of individuals from multiple cultures attempting to communicate with each other about subjects they consider to be very important.

One tie that binds us is our interest & love for folk music-though we may define "folk music" differently. Another tie that binds some Mudcatters is our interest in the study of folk cultures. But even though English is the "mother language" for most of us, we are truly "divided by a common language". Even if we use the same words & phrase, those words & phrases may have different connotations for different Mudcat members & guests because of the different cultures we all belong to within the same nation and within different nations.

It seems to me that it's vitally important to recognize that misunderstandings are bound to occur on an international discussion forum, particularly one in which participants are from diverse populations of religious, non-religious, liberals, progressives, conservatives, and a-political individuals (to name some of the "interest groups" that are represented on Mudcat). It's inevitable that misinterpretations will occur and it's inevitable that people from one or more cultural groups may not "get" what you're saying (and the cultural implications & connotatations of what people from other cultural groups are saying).

If we keep this in mind, maybe we won't get bent out of shape when this happens. Maybe we shouldn't assume that people always understand where we're coming from and instead should be more comfortable "breaking things down" (i.e. explaining what we mean by what we write, in other words).

To use a phrase that has been popularized by United States President Obama, maybe we should be more aware of those "teachable moments" that may occur on Mudcat discussion threads.




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