Building Cultural Understanding through Cultural Exchange

Ms Rohini Dandavate
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My doctoral research is aimed towards understanding the role of artists in building "Social Capital" across global communities. As it is difficult to measure and demonstrate the impact and value of exchanges in a short time, this study focuses on observing, analyzing, and understanding the effects of artistic exchange by measuring the social capital built in global communities. Through this research I propose that:

- the changes that occur in people on personal/individual levels in the global communities due to artistic exchanges facilitate public diplomacy at the micro level and international relations at the macro level. The assumption is that when individuals who have influence over larger population change, their experience permeates to a wider population, thereby creating a more positive psychological environment for international relations.

- in the background of 9/11 increasing artistic exchanges will help America develop a positive image in the minds of people in the rest of the world and foster cultural understanding.

I will draw parallels between the profiles of exchange artists, as identified from my master's degree research and 'global citizens' as defined by William Hitt, (1998). I will also use Robert Putnam's concept of social capital to analyze how exchange artists, as global citizens, contribute in building mutual trust, reciprocity and networks within global communities. The conceptual framework of measuring levels and types of Social Capital of Bain's and Hicks,1998 will be used for measuring the social capital built by artists.

By measuring the social capital built by artists through the exchange program, this study aims to articulate the role of artists in building bridges of understanding across cultures and creating networks of global individuals and institutions, which can facilitate international cooperation and peace.

Keywords: Cultural Exchange, Cultural Diplomacy, Cultural Understanding, Social Capital, Global Citizen
Stream: Globalisation
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: Building Cultural Understanding through Cultural Exchange

Ms Rohini Dandavate

Doctoral Student, Arts Policy and Administration Program Department of Art Education, The Ohio State University

Rohini Dandavate is a doctoral student in Arts Policy and Administration program at the Ohio State University. Her research focus is in understanding how exchange artists can build social capital in global communities and facilitate international relations. Her master's research study was on understanding the impact of the Fulbright experience on the life, work and network of artists. For the past six years, as a graduate teaching assistant she has offered a course, Ethnic Arts –A Means to Intercultural Communication, for undergraduate students in the Department of Art Education. As an artist in the Arts in Education Program of the Ohio Arts Council, she has conducted workshops and lecture demonstrations on Odissi dance for students in schools and colleges in Ohio since 1994. She has offered courses in Odissi dance, an Indian classical dance form, as a Visiting Faculty in Denison University, Granville, Ohio in 2001 and continues to offer dance lessons at home. She received her BA in English Literature and Psychology from the Utkal University in Orissa, India. She is an active performer and educator of Odissi dance, having received a graduate degree in Odissi dance from Kala Vikash Kendra, College of Indian Dance and Music, Cuttack, India.

Ref: H05P0210