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Principles of the Conscientized International Expert: political correctness in international initiatives (Part #3)


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13. Holidays: I will only participate in meetings or projects which respect the national holidays (independence days, etc.) of the countries of the world and the weekly and other holy days of the religions of the world.

It is insulting to a people or a creed to arrange international meeting or project schedules in terms of the practices in one nation or culture whilst ignoring the practice in another which maybe less favourably represented. This can only aggravate international misunderstanding as well as reinforce the insensitivity of those from dominant nations and cultures.

14. Forms of address: I will only participate in meetings or projects which take account of the appropri ate forms of greeting and address to which people from different cultures are accustomed.

It is insensitive and possibly insulting, for example, to use the first (or given) name of a person who does not wish to be automatically coopted into the western fraternity which favours this practice.

15. Group size: I will only participate in meetings or projects which call for interaction in groups in numbers not significantly greater than the "critical group size", namely 7-12 participants.

Groups of larger size inhibit the freedom of expression of the less articulate and less aggressive participants whose views may well be both specially relevant and less distorted by needs for personal aggrandisement Larger groups are generally less effective in this mode of operation and therefore absorb considerable person-hours when those involved could better employ their attention on other activities.

16. Participant expression: I will not participate in meetings or projects in which the speaking is done mainly by a small clique (representing less than 30 % of the participants) whilst the remainder, for whatever reason, seldom speak, if at all.

This is an extremely inefficient use of human resources in which many travel long distances without having the opportunity to express their views and priorities. The more aggressive individuals or those speaking the congress "jargon ,'fluently, dominate such events which thus stand as models of the oppressive communication practices in the wider society.