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The Humanities Conference 2003

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Facilitating Cultural Diversity in a Monolithic Global Economy: The Role of Human Factor Education

Francis Adu-Febiri.

The human factor is implicated in globalization, yet it is invisible in the explication of and the search for solutions to the problems of globalization. It is incontrovertible that globalization is producing homogenous economic integration that is fostering cultural uniformity. Neo-liberals are excited that this homogenization is an indication of progress while postmodernists mourn the loss of diversity involved in globalization. The fact is globalization has not only marginalized non-western cultures but has also heightened global inequalities, according to Neo-Marxists. Unlike the Neo-Marxists, however, postmodernists are optimistic that information technologies would halt, if not reverse, this trend. Contrary to this optimism, empirical evidence suggests that information technologies are rather contributing to cultural uniformity and widening economic gaps in the global world. Information technologies on their own cannot prevent economic globalism from creating cultural uniformity and economic inequity in the global community because what drives the hitherto existing globalization is not technologies but powerful people with deficient human factor. Therefore without human factor education to foster human factor competency among the people operating globalization, economic globalism will result in a total global cultural homogenization exacerbating economic inequality, social injustice, and ecosystem deterioration that put global sustainability at high risk. Such a global culture smacks of annihilation of non-western or indigenous cultures as well as western non-mainstream cultures. Yet it is the principles embodied in these marginalized cultures that hold the key to forestalling the total global economic homogenization that is producing unsustainable globalization. The “new humanities” that seek to integrate the old humanities with the social and physical sciences should therefore make as its top priority the development of curriculum and pedagogy to educate humanity to acquire and apply human factor competency. Without this appropriate human factor education the “next world order” that the new humanities envision will be more of the old/existing world order.


Francis Adu-Febiri  (Canada)
Department Chair
Department of Social Sciences
Camosun College/University of Victoria

Dr Francis Adu-Febiri is a sociology professor and Chair of the Social Sciences Department at Camosun College, Canada. He is also an adjunct professor at University of Victoria, Canada. He has presented and published extensively on tourism, human factor development, diversity, and racialization and ethnicity. His latest works, published by the Centre for Development Teaching and Learning (CDTL Brief 2002), the National University of Singapore, are entitled “Productive Diversity in the Classroom: Practicing the theories of differences in learning styles” and “Thinking Skills in Education: Ideal and Real Academic Cultures”. Dr. Adu-Febiri is the founder and president of Workplace Diversity Consulting Services (WDCS), and serves as the Co-Chair of the Ethnocultural Advisory Committee of the Ministry of Children and Family Development, Victoria, British Columbia. Francis is also the president of the Canadian Chapter of the International Institute for Human Factor Development (IIHFD).

  • Cultural Diversity
  • Human Factor
  • Huamn Factor Deficiency
  • Human Factor Competency
  • Unsustainable Globalization
  • Sustainable Globalization

(30 min Conference Paper, English)