Users’ guide to intimacy across cultures

Welcome to Intimacy across cultures, our online educational platform concerning the intersection of intimacy, relationships, interculturality and youth work.

All of these concepts deserve some introduction, so that we are explicit about the way we’d like to use them here.

Relationship: we’re not only interested in romantic passionate relationship, but also friendship and the relationships that can develop between young people and youth workers in the educational context.

Intimacy: not an all or nothing phenomenon, but rather degrees of overlap between two or more people. Intimacy is created along what can be shared following mutual self-disclosure and lowering of boundaries.

Interculturality: awareness of the presence of a diversity of values, norms, representations and desire to work across these boundaries, reflecting on and negotiating our identities.

Youth work: more than the administrative definition what is interesting for us is to open our resources to young and less young animators, trainers, social workers who are involved with other young people with different cultural frames of references.

We propose four modules: Culture shocks of relationships invites to explore in what way cultural differences in conceptions of friendship, intimacy, relationship can lead to misunderstanding.  Skills for connecting helps us to develop social and emotional skills to engage with others.  Good proximity helps to identify the right closeness or distance between youth and youth workers, exploring the flexibility between personal and professional identities.  Skills for intimacy invites us to explore intimacy with a special focus on gender and sexuality from an intercultural perspective.

“The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsi­ble for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.” Project number: 2018-1-FR02-KA205-014096