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History

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The Beginning of Culture Bump

The genesis of the culture bump theory and steps occurred to Dr. Carol Mae Archer in 1978 as a response to her grappling with her difficulties living in Algeria the previous year. As she writes,
And upon my return to the USA, when I attempted to sort through my experience, the best advice of “respect differences” and have an open mind” offered me very little guidance. I sadly concluded that there was something terribly wrong with me because I didn’t seem to know how to respect differences and, I seemed to have no control whatsoever on opening or closing my mind. I finally surrendered to my failure with other cultures...

Growing The Theory

While the eight steps and basic theory originated that day in 1978, the knowledge base of the Culture Bump Approach and its role in cross-cultural communication understanding has grown exponentially through research, publishing, teaching, and face-to-face training since that time. A unique combination of circumstances contributed to that growth. The two specific conditions arose from Dr. Archer simultaneously conducting intercultural communications trainings at the corporate level and developing cross-cultural communication courses at the Language and Culture Center at the University of Houston.
After attending the Stanford University Summer Institute for Intercultural Communication, Dr. Archer created the original theory and began to work alongside leaders in cross-cultural training for the corporate world developing global Intercultural Communication Workshops.
 

Educational Endeavors

The Culture Bump Approach was birthed out of an academic and ESL related environment and has a long-standing history of incorporating the theory into educational classes and trainings as well as providing resources for teachers.

Culture Bump’s first cross-cultural class began in 1978 as a part of the curriculum for the University of Houston's Language and Culture Center. For over 17 years, the class taught higher-level ESL international students from around the world important cross-cultural concepts as well as how to use differences they see in their daily lives to understand others around them.

Faculty development is another key area of Culture Bump’s educational endeavors. Culture Bump has partnered with Auburn University between 2010-2016 and...

Educational Endeavors

The Culture Bump Approach was birthed out of an academic and ESL related environment and has a long-standing history of incorporating the theory into educational classes and trainings as well as providing resources for teachers.

Culture Bump’s first cross-cultural class began in 1978 as a part of the curriculum for the University of Houston's Language and Culture Center. For over 17 years, the class taught higher-level ESL international students from around the world important cross-cultural concepts as well as how to use differences they see in their daily lives to understand others around them.

Faculty development is another key area of Culture Bump’s educational endeavors. Culture Bump has partnered with Auburn University between 2010-2016 and...
 

Corporate Training

Dr. Archer began using the Culture Bump Approach to train corporate employees in cross-cultural communication competency since the late 1970s. Since then trainings based on the Culture Bump Approach have been conducted for over 25 large companies from various industries as well as international companies and joint ventures with overseas governments. Some of the companies include:
  • State of Texas Refugee Program (1997-1999)
  • M. D. Anderson (2002-2004)
  • NASA (2007-2009)
  • Lanxess (2007-present)AECOM Construction and Engineering Joint Venture with the Lybian
...
 

Other Events and Programs 

The Culture Bump Approach has been used in unique ways to provide assistance to diverse populations learning to live together side by side. From 1997 to 1999, Dr. Archer worked with the State Department to provide cultural trainings that use the approach as a foundation for helping refugees transitioning into life in the State of Texas. Culture Bump has also been used as a community-building tool for international churches and diverse neighborhoods in the city of Houston since 1979. This culminated in 2006 and 2007 when Culture Bump collaborated with College of the Mainland to develop and implement the program, Building America’s Villages. This program brought together immigrant Americans and American-born Americans to strengthen their common community by jointly exploring the six topics in the Toolkit for Culture and Communication.
 
 

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