Presentation Details

The Second International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities

Mindset and Identity in the Globalizing Future

Karen V. Beaman, Gregory R. Guy.

The sweeping trends in human affairs collectively known as globalization entail accelerating rates of international and intercultural contact. As international travel, global economic expansion, and multicultural communicative integration via technological advances like the Internet all increase, more and more individuals are brought into extensive contact with 'foreign' places, cultures, languages, and people. Hence the future of the human condition will involve increasing and intensifying experiences of the Other(s). Awareness of ‘Otherness’ raises questions of cultural relativity and global mindset, which traditional views of culture as a set of latent, inflexible values cannot adequately explain.

Rather, culture consists of shared cognitive representations in the minds of individuals, which guide how people make sense of new experiences, interpret abstract ideas and everyday reality, form groups and communities of practices, and formulate identity. This emerging view of cultural cognitivism (Hayton, et al. 2000) offers a dynamic model in which beliefs, values, assumptions, etc. interact with and are formed by experience.

The cognitive constructs that govern how people interpret contact with other cultures constitute their global mindset. The concept of cultural cognitivism supports our earlier finding that “mindsets are malleable” and thus can and do change over time (Guy & Beaman, 2003). Within this theoretical framework and based on the results of an empirical study of 120 individuals working in international settings, we propose a multi-dimensional model for understanding the evolution of global mindset and identity.


Karen V. Beaman  (United States)
Division Vice President
Global Services

Karen V. Beaman has 25 years of experience with information systems and human resource management and is currently responsible for ADP’s professional services across the Americas, Europe, and Asia Pacific. She has degrees from Old Dominion and Georgetown Universities and was promoted to Ph.D. candidacy in Sociolinguistics. She is co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of the IHRIM Journal and editor of Boundaryless HR: Human Capital Management in the Global Economy. Beaman received the IHRIM's 2002 Summit Award, recognizing her outstanding achievement in the HR technology field.

Gregory R. Guy  (United States)
Professor of Linguistics
Department of Linguistics
New York University

Gregory R. Guy (BA Boston, MA, PhD Pennsylvania) specializes in the study of language variation. He is Professor of Linguistics at NYU, and has taught at Sydney, Temple, Cornell, Stanford, and York, and Linguistic Institutes of the LSA (1993, 1997, 2003) and the Associação Brasileira de Lingüística (1999). His research has investigated language change, language contact, quantitative methods, and sociolinguistic diversity, in Brazil, Australia, the USA, the Dominican Republic, and Argentina.

  • Global Mindset
  • Cultural Cognitivism
  • Identity
  • Globalization
  • Cultural Relativity
  • Communities of Practice
Person as Subject
  • Guy, Gregory Beaman, Karen Sullivan, Daniel

(30 min. Conference Paper, English)