Skip to content
Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton February 27, 2015

Intercultural Communication Systems and Discourses of Cultural Identity

Claudio Baraldi

Abstract

The analysis of intercultural communication, which is adopted in mainstream applied linguistics and communication studies, aims to explain the meaning of cultural differences and identities in the present global world. The present analysis of intercultural communication is based on theories of cultural variability, which highlight the basic distinctions between values determining cultural differences and identities. Some studies in applied linguistics observe cultural variability as a discursive construction based on a form of epistemological essentialism, produced in the Western part of the world to give meaning to its hegemony. However, these studies share some epistemological foundations with theories of cultural variability. This paper proposes a theorization of intercultural communication, which explains cultural differences and identities as constructed in communication systems and based on their particular structural presuppositions. In this perspective, the hegemonic structure of intercultural communication is ethnocentrism, including the presuppositions of Us/Them basic distinction, positioning of individuals as members of cultural groups and normative expectations about displays of We-identities. This theorisation also provides an explanation of the discursive construction of new hybrid forms of identity, which are observed as a result of globalisation, and of the interdependence between local and global communication systems. Finally, this theorization leads to explain the meaning of intercultural dialogue, which is presented as an alternative to ethnocentrism. The open question regards the explanation of dialogue as either a new discursive construction of hegemonic Western culture or a new structure, introducing equality in participation, sensitivity for participants’ personal expressions and expectations of participants’ empowerment in local and global communication systems.

References

Asante, Molefi Kete. 1998. The Afrocentric idea. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press.Search in Google Scholar

Baraldi, Claudio (ed.). 2009. Dialogue in intercultural communities. From and educational point of view. Amsterdam & Philadelphia, PA: John Benjamins.10.1075/ds.4Search in Google Scholar

Baraldi, Claudio.2012. Interpreting as dialogic mediation: The relevance of interpreters’ expansions. In ClaudioBaraldi & LauraGavioli (eds.), Coordinating participation in dialogue interpreting, 297326. Amsterdam & Philadelphia, PA: John Benjamins.10.1075/btl.102.13barSearch in Google Scholar

Baraldi, Claudio.2013. Forms of decision-making: Gatekeeping and dialogic coordination in CISV organizational meetings. International Journal of Business Communication50(4). 339361.10.1177/0021943613497055Search in Google Scholar

Bennett, Milton J. (ed.). 1998. Basic concepts of intercultural communication: A reader. Yarmouth: Intercultural Press.Search in Google Scholar

Bhabha, Homi.1994. The location of culture. London & New York: Routledge.Search in Google Scholar

Black, Laura.2008. Deliberation, storytelling, and dialogic moments. Communication Theory18. 93116.Search in Google Scholar

Block, David.2013. The structure and agency dilemma in identity and intercultural communication research. Language and Intercultural Communication13(2). 126147.10.1080/14708477.2013.770863Search in Google Scholar

Blommaert, Jan.2007. Sociolinguistic and discourse analysis: Orders of indexicality and policentricity. Journal of Multicultural Discourses2(2). 115130.10.2167/md089.0Search in Google Scholar

Bohm, David.1996. On dialogue. London & New York: Routledge.Search in Google Scholar

Bush, Baruch Robert A., & Joseph P.Folger. 2005. The promise of mediation: The transformative approach to conflict. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.Search in Google Scholar

Casmir, F.1999. Foundations for the study of intercultural communication based on a third-culture building model. International Journal of Intercultural Relations23. 91116.10.1016/S0147-1767(98)00027-3Search in Google Scholar

Cronin, David.2006. Translation and identity. London: Routledge.10.4324/9780203015698Search in Google Scholar

Dervin, Fred.2011a. A plea for change in research on intercultural discourses: A ‘liquid’ approach to the study of acculturation of Chinese students. Journal of Multicultural Discourses6 (1). 3752.10.1080/17447143.2010.532218Search in Google Scholar

Dervin, Fred.2011b. The repression of us- and we-hoods in European exchange students’ narratives about their experiences in Finland. Journal of Comparative Research in Anthropology and Sociology2(1). 7184.Search in Google Scholar

Dervin, Fred.2014. Exploring “new” interculturality online. Language and Intercultural Communication14(2). 191206.10.1080/14708477.2014.896923Search in Google Scholar

Dervin, Fred. & MinghuiGao.2012. Constructing a fairy tale around intercultural couplehood on Chinese television. Language and Intercultural Communication12(1). 623.10.1080/14708477.2011.630471Search in Google Scholar

Featherstone, Michael.2006. Genealogies of the global. Theory Culture Society, Special Issue on Problematizing global knowledge23(2–3). 387392.Search in Google Scholar

Ferri, Giuliana.2014. Ethical communication and intercultural responsibility: A philosophical perspective. Language and Intercultural Communication14(1). 723.10.1080/14708477.2013.866121Search in Google Scholar

Fougère, Martin & AgnetaMoulettes. 2007. The construction of the modern West and the backward rest. Studying the discourse of Hofstede’s Culture’s Consequences. Journal of Multicultural Discourses2(1). 119.10.2167/md051.0Search in Google Scholar

Ganesh, Shiv & PrueHolmes.2011. Positioning intercultural dialogue – Theories, pragmatics and an agenda. Journal of International and Intercultural Communication4(2). 8186.Search in Google Scholar

Gudykunst, William.1994. Bridging differences. Effective intergroup communication. Thousand Oaks, CA & London: Sage.Search in Google Scholar

Guirdham, Maureen.2005. Communicating across cultures at work. London: MacMillan.Search in Google Scholar

Gumperz, John.1982. Discourse strategies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.10.1017/CBO9780511611834Search in Google Scholar

Gumperz, John.1992. Contextualization and understanding. In AlessandroDuranti & CharlesGoodwin (eds.), Rethinking context: Language as an interactive phenomenon, 229253. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Search in Google Scholar

Gumperz, John, & JennyCook-Gumperz. 2009. Discourse, cultural diversity and communication: a linguistic anthropological perspective. In HelgaKotthoff & HelenSpencer-Oatey (eds.) Handbook of intercultural communication, 1329. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.10.1515/9783110198584.1.13Search in Google Scholar

Gumperz, John, & CeliaRoberts.1991. Understanding in intercultural encounters. In JanBlommaert & JeffVerschueren (eds.), The pragmatics of intercultural and international communication, 5190. Amsterdam & Philadelphia, PA: John Benjamins.10.1075/pbns.6.3.05gumSearch in Google Scholar

Hall, Edward T.1976. Beyond culture. New York: Doubleday.Search in Google Scholar

Harré, Rom, & LukVan Langenhove (eds.). 1999. Positioning theory. Oxford: Blackwell.Search in Google Scholar

Hosftede, Geert.1980. Culture’s consequences. Beverly Hills, CA & London: Sage.Search in Google Scholar

Holliday, Adrian.2011. Intercultural communication and ideology. Thousand Oaks, CA & London: Sage.Search in Google Scholar

Holliday, Adrian.2013. Understanding intercultural communication. Negotiating a grammar of culture. London & New York: Routledge.Search in Google Scholar

Holmes, Prue.2014. Intercultural dialogue: Challenges to theory, practice and research. Language and Intercultural Communication. 14(1). 16.Search in Google Scholar

Huntington, Samuel.1997. The clash of civilizations and the remaking of world order. London: Simon & Schuster.Search in Google Scholar

Ishii, S.2009. Conceptualising Asian communication ethics: a Buddhist perspective. Journal of Multicultural Discourses4(1). 4960.10.1080/17447140802651645Search in Google Scholar

Khatib, Lina.2003. Communicating Islamic fundamentalism as global citizenship. Journal of Communication Inquiry27(4). 389409.10.1177/0196859903255776Search in Google Scholar

Kiesling, Scott F., & Cristina BrattPaulson (eds.). 2005. Intercultural discourse and communication. The essential readings. Chichester: Blackwell.Search in Google Scholar

Kim, Young Yun. 2008. Intercultural personhood: Globalization and a way of being. International Journal of Intercultural Communication32. 359368.10.1016/j.ijintrel.2008.04.005Search in Google Scholar

Koole, Tom, & Jan D.Ten Thjie.2001. The reconstruction of intercultural discourse: Methodological considerations. Journal of Pragmatics33. 571587.10.1016/S0378-2166(00)00035-7Search in Google Scholar

Kotthoff, Helga & HelenSpencer-Oatey (eds.). 2009. Handbook of intercultural communication. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.Search in Google Scholar

Kymlicka, Will.1995. Multicultural citizenship. Oxford: Clarendon Press.10.1093/0198290918.001.0001Search in Google Scholar

Lapidus, Ira M.2001. Between universalism and particularism: the historical bases of Muslim communal, national, and global identities. Global Networks1(1). 3755.Search in Google Scholar

Lubinda, John.2010. Promoting multiculturalism and intercultural dialogue trough institutions and initiatives of civil society organizations in Botswana. Journal of Multicultural Discourses5(2). 121130.10.1080/17447140903427382Search in Google Scholar

Luhmann, Niklas.1980. Gesellschaftsstruktur und Semantik I. Frankfurt a.M.: Suhrkamp.Search in Google Scholar

Luhmann, Niklas.1995. Social systems. Stanford: Stanford University Press (v.o. 1984).Search in Google Scholar

Luhmann, Niklas.1997. Die Gesellschaft der Gesellschaft. Frankfurt a.M.: Suhrkamp.Search in Google Scholar

Luhmann, Niklas.2000. Art a social system. Stanford: Stanford University Press (v.o. 1995).Search in Google Scholar

Lyttle, Allyn D., Gina G.Barker & Terri LynnCornwell. 2011. Adept through adaptation: Third culture individuals’ interpersonal sensitivity. International Journal of Intercultural Relations35(5). 686694.10.1016/j.ijintrel.2011.02.015Search in Google Scholar

Maoz, Ifat.2001. Participation, control, and dominance in communication between groups in conflict: Analysis of dialogues between Jews and Palestinians in Israel. Social Justice Research14(2). 189208.Search in Google Scholar

Milhouse, Virginia, Molefi KeteAsante & PeterNwosu (eds.). 2001. Transcultural realities. Interdisciplinary perspectives on cross-cultural relations. Thousand Oaks, CA & London: Sage.Search in Google Scholar

Nair-Venugopal, Shanta. 2009. Interculturalities: reframing identities in intercultural communication. Language and Intercultural Communication9(2). 7690.10.1080/14708470902807685Search in Google Scholar

Pieterse, Nederveen. 2004. Globalization & culture. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.Search in Google Scholar

Pieterse, Nederveen. 2007. Ethnicities and global multiculture. Pants for an Octopus. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.Search in Google Scholar

O’Byrne, Darren & AlexanderHensby. 2011. Theorizing global studies. Houndsmill: Palgrave.Search in Google Scholar

O’Regan, John P. & MalcolmMacDonald. 2007. Cultural relativism and the discourse of intercultural communication: Aporias of praxis in the intercultural sphere. Language and Intercultural Communication7(4). 267278.10.2167/laic287.0Search in Google Scholar

Parry, Benita.2004. The institutionalisation of postcolonial studies. In NeilLazarus (ed.), Postcolonial literary studies, 6680. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.10.1017/CCOL0521826942.004Search in Google Scholar

Pearce, Barnett.1989. Communication and the human condition. Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press.Search in Google Scholar

Phipps, Allison.2014. “They are bombing now”. “Intercultural Dialogue” in times of conflict. Language and Intercultural Communication14(1). 108124.10.1080/14708477.2013.866127Search in Google Scholar

Piller, Ingrid.2007. Linguistics and intercultural communication. Language and Linguistic Compass1(3). 208226.10.1111/j.1749-818X.2007.00012.xSearch in Google Scholar

Piller, Ingrid.2011. Intercultural communication. A critical introduction. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.Search in Google Scholar

Premawardhena, Neelakshi C.2007. How diplomatic can language be? The unwritten rules in a language: an analysis of spoken Sinhala. In MarionGrein & EddaWeigand (eds.), Dialogue and culture, 213225. Amsterdam & Philadelphia, PA: John Benjamins.10.1075/ds.1.15preSearch in Google Scholar

Qu, Weiguo.2013. Dehistoricized cultural identity and cultural othering. Language and Intercultural Communication13(2). 148164.10.1080/14708477.2013.770864Search in Google Scholar

Riitaoja, Anna-Leena & FredDervin. 2014. Interreligious dialogue in schools: beyond asymmetry and categorisation?Language and Intercultural Communication14(1). 7690.10.1080/14708477.2013.866125Search in Google Scholar

Robertson, Roland.1992. Globalization: Social theory and global culture. London: Sage.Search in Google Scholar

Roy, Oliver.2004. Globalized Islam. New York: Columbia University Press.Search in Google Scholar

Said, Edward W.1978. Orientalism. New York: Random House.Search in Google Scholar

Smith, Andrew.2004. Migrancy, hybridity, and postcolonial literary studies. In NeilLazarus (ed.), Postcolonial literary studies, 241261. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.10.1017/CCOL0521826942.013Search in Google Scholar

Spencer-Oatey, Helen & PeterFranklin. 2009. Intercultural interaction. A multidisciplinary approach to intercultural communication. Houndsmill: Palgrave.10.1057/9780230244511Search in Google Scholar

Spitzberg, Brian H.1997. A model of intercultural communication competence. In LarrySamovar & RichardPorter (eds.), Intercultural communication. A reader, 379391. Belmont: Wadsworth.Search in Google Scholar

Taylor, Charles.1994. The politics of recognition. In AmyGutman (ed.), Multiculturalism: Examining the politics of recognition, 2574. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Search in Google Scholar

Ting-Toomey, Stella. 1999. Communication across cultures. New York: The Guilford Press.Search in Google Scholar

Ting-Toomey, Stella & A.Kurogi. 1998. Facework competence and intercultural conflict: An updated face-negotiation theory. International Journal of Intercultural Relations22(2). 187225.10.1016/S0147-1767(98)00004-2Search in Google Scholar

Todd-Mancillas, William R.2000. Communication and identity across cultures. Communication Theory10(4). 475480.Search in Google Scholar

Triandis, Harry1995. Individualism and collectivism. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.Search in Google Scholar

Trompenaars, Fons & CharlesHampden-Turner. 1997. Riding the ways of culture: Understanding cultural diversity in business. London: Nicholas Brealey.Search in Google Scholar

Van Dijk, Teun.1984. Prejudice in discourse. Amsterdam & Philadelphia, PA: John Benjamins.Search in Google Scholar

Verschueren, Jeff.2008. Intercultural communication and the challenges of migration. Language and Intercultural Communication1(8). 2135.10.2167/laic298.0Search in Google Scholar

Wierbicka, Anna.2006. The concept of ‘dialogue’ in cross-linguistic and cross-cultural perspective. Discourse Studies8(5). 675703.10.1177/1461445606067334Search in Google Scholar

Wieviorka, Michel.2001. La difference. Paris: Balland.Search in Google Scholar

Winslade, John & GeraldMonk.2008. Practicing narrative mediation: Loosening the grip of conflict. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.Search in Google Scholar

Xu, Kaibin.2013. Theorizing difference in intercultural communication: A critical dialogic perspective. Communication Monographs80(3). 379397.10.1080/03637751.2013.788250Search in Google Scholar

Zhu,Hua (ed.). 2011. The language and intercultural communication reader. London & New York: Routledge.Search in Google Scholar

Zhu,Hua.2014. Exploring intercultural communication. Language in action. London & New York: Routledge.Search in Google Scholar

Published Online: 2015-2-27
Published in Print: 2015-3-1

©2015 by De Gruyter Mouton