Interrogating Cultural Excuses for and the Otherness of Australian Circus Performers: Implications for Intercultural Communication and Education

Part of the Frontiers of Globalization Series book series (FOG)


The proposition of “culture as an excuse” is assuming greater prevalence in contemporary cultural and political discourses. On the one hand, this proposition has been heavily criticised as a disguise and a pretext for infringing the inalienable human rights of particular groups, including women (Ertürk & Purkayastha, 2012; Holtmaat & Naber, 2011; Voestermans & Verheggen, 2013; see also Hallevy in this volume), deaf people (O’Rourke, Glickman, & Austen, 2013), ethnic minorities (see Lim in this volume), and foreigners in certain countries (see Rivers in this volume). It has also been posited as helping to perpetuate unhelpful cultural stereotypes, such as those pertaining to so-called Confucian cultures (Huang, 2009; Li, 2013) and as sanctioning lower expectations by teachers of children who belong to specific communities (Brown & Kraehe, 2010), as well as constituting an alibi for repressive actions by authoritarian governments (Eko, 2010) and for deeper power imbalances and structurally embedded inequities. On the other hand, some commentators recognise “culture as an excuse” as a bulwark against the forces of cultural homogenisation and globalisation and as a valuing of some of the specificities of cultural diversity (Zwart, 2012; see also Cuadrado-Fernandez in this volume).


International Entrepreneurship Deaf People Intercultural Communication Intercultural Relation Ferris Wheel 
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