Understanding Cultures


The WUN Understanding Cultures Global Challenge facilitates interdisciplinary research for understanding some of the principal consequences of globalisation for cultural identities. By culture we mean the collective expression of humans exhibited and enacted through patterns of behaviour and discursive practices performed by groups of individuals, or made manifest through artefacts that are endowed with meaning, transmitted over time and through space, and are subject to criticism and modification as a consequence of experience or changing circumstances.

The research agenda of the WUN Understanding Cultures Global Challenge is shaped by a concern with how profound globalisation trends such as a more integrated transnational economic system, the rise of global communications networks, increasing levels of population mobility, the advent of international consumer brands, and widening social inequalities are challenging national, regional and individual cultural practices. Deeper understanding of these challenges for cultural changes is necessary to inform effective policy-making and implementation.

Focus of the WUN Understanding Cultures Global Challenge in 2015-16 

  • Migration and population
  • Two-way understanding of China
  • Global digital cultures
  • Indigenous peoples and societies 

Steering Group

The Understanding Cultures Global Challenge Steering Group is made up of experts in the field from across the network. The Steering Group is responsible for guiding the development, focus and research portfolio of the global challenge. 

Global Challenge Chair: Professor Dawn Freshwater, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, The University of Western Australia - dawn.freshwater@uwa.edu.au 

For more information, contact: Judy Berman - judith.berman@uwa.edu.au