The Dimensions of Like Stars on Earth
Like Stars on Earth is not only a touching film about a boy’s struggle with dyslexia but also a perfect example for many dimensions and values within cultures and intercultural communications. Among these dimensions are: Individualism/Collectivism, Masculinity/Femininity, High/Low Power Distance, Short/Long-Term Orientation, and Weak/Strong Uncertainty Avoidance. All these dimensions play important roles within the film in the portrayal of Ishaan’s battle with dyslexia.
The first dimension is Individualism versus Collectivism. This dimension focuses on the choice between the good of the group or the good of the individuals. In Ishaan’s culture, learning is not an individual path but is more focused and directed on how it can benefit the whole group of students. In his school, he is put in a large classroom and assumed to be and learn just like them. The teachers look at the students as a whole and do not look at their individual needs. When Ishaan begins school at the boarding school, he has a very similar experience. He does not live up to the group average, therefore his is deemed stupid. This is an example of collectivism. However, once Nikumbh starts teaching as a temporary art teacher, he quickly recognizes Ishaan’s individual needs. Nikumbh juxtaposes Ishaan’s past teachers. His character, as well as his teaching style, leans towards individualism. His job at both the boarding and “special” schools, revolves around teaching for each student’s individual needs and allowing them to benefit.
In Like Stars on Earth, the dimensions of masculinity and femininity are clearly portrayed through Ishaan’s parents. Masculinity focuses on competitiveness, aggression, and success, whereas femininity focuses on interpersonal relationships and compassion. Ishaan’s father is extremely masculine. He is constantly looking for the gain or benefit in his sons’ ambitions. One example of this is his reaction when Yohan loses his...