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To Spread Love Media Forum (No.63):Stephen M Croucher Shared “The Need to Shift from an Essentialist to a Non-essentialist View of Culture”

On the afternoon of October 31, Professor Stephen M Croucher, Dean of School of Communication, Journalism and Marketing, Massey University, New Zealand, visited our institute and brought a theme lecture to the graduate students in the 408 meeting room of Xinchuan Building - "The Need to Shift from an Essentialist to a Non-essentialist View of Culture".
At the beginning of the lecture, Professor Croucher started from the definition of “culture” and discussed with his classmates “what is culture”, “how to define culture in the process of research”, “how culture affects our view of the world”, and “ Why do we need to change the original definition of culture?”
First of all, Professor Croucher believes that the language, traditions, media, beliefs, values, etc. we mentioned are all part of culture, but the most important thing in culture is “sharing” and seeking consensus. He said that many scholars believe that we should ignore the word "culture" in research. Because the scope of this vocabulary is too large, it is very difficult or even impossible to give a definition of this vocabulary. He pointed out that we understand that culture is more from the perspective of Social Essentialism, which holds that culture has a very obvious category. 
Then he discussed the concept of “stereotype” with his classmates and shared his own real experience. He believes that everyone has a stereotype. This is an existing point of view before touching people or organizations. This view can guide people's behavior and help people to get in touch with people better. However, these stereotypes are not all true. He said that the most direct stereotype of Americans is that they speak very directly, but this stereotype is not completely true. Americans are very direct at work and business, but not all else. Therefore, we must be vigilant about the stereotypes in culture. In some cases, if you place too much emphasis on stereotypes, you will ignore the existence of "culture."
Later, Professor Croucher shared four books he had been asking students to read during the coaching process, including The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life, Beyond Culture, The Interpretation of Cultures, Culture's Consequences.
Finally, Professor Croucher briefly introduced his research path, detailed the "Communication, Journalism and Marketing (CJM)" major at Massey University in New Zealand, and welcomed Chinese students to exchange and study. After the lecture, he also gave detailed answers to the questions about the cultural biases of the students. Professor Croucher vividly combined the theory and the case in the course of the lecture. It is full of fun and interesting, broadens the academic horizons of the students, and stimulates the positive thinking of the students, which will greatly benefit the students' future study and life.