Intercultural Communication Systems and Discourses of Cultural Identity

  • 1 University of Modena and Reggio
Claudio Baraldi
  • Corresponding author
  • Email
  • Further information
  • Claudio Baraldi is professor of Sociology of cultural and communicative processes at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia (Italy). His research includes works on cultural presuppositions and interaction in educational systems, intercultural communication, interlinguistic and intercultural mediation, conflict management, and the development of techniques of dialogue.
  • Search for other articles:
  • degruyter.comGoogle Scholar

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.

  • Asante, Molefi Kete. 1998. The Afrocentric idea. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press.

  • Baraldi, Claudio (ed.). 2009. Dialogue in intercultural communities. From and educational point of view. Amsterdam & Philadelphia, PA: John Benjamins.

    • Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Baraldi, Claudio. 2012. Interpreting as dialogic mediation: The relevance of interpreters’ expansions. In Claudio Baraldi & Laura Gavioli (eds.), Coordinating participation in dialogue interpreting, 297326. Amsterdam & Philadelphia, PA: John Benjamins.

    • Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Baraldi, Claudio. 2013. Forms of decision-making: Gatekeeping and dialogic coordination in CISV organizational meetings. International Journal of Business Communication 50(4). 339361.

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

    • Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bhabha, Homi. 1994. The location of culture. London & New York: Routledge.

  • Black, Laura. 2008. Deliberation, storytelling, and dialogic moments. Communication Theory 18. 93116.

  • Block, David. 2013. The structure and agency dilemma in identity and intercultural communication research. Language and Intercultural Communication 13(2). 126147.

    • Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Blommaert, Jan. 2007. Sociolinguistic and discourse analysis: Orders of indexicality and policentricity. Journal of Multicultural Discourses 2(2). 115130.

    • Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bohm, David. 1996. On dialogue. London & New York: Routledge.

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

    • Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Casmir, F. 1999. Foundations for the study of intercultural communication based on a third-culture building model. International Journal of Intercultural Relations 23. 91116.

    • Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Cronin, David. 2006. Translation and identity. London: Routledge.

  • 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 Discourses 6 (1). 3752.

    • Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 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 Sociology 2(1). 7184.

    • Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Dervin, Fred. 2014. Exploring “new” interculturality online. Language and Intercultural Communication 14(2). 191206.

    • Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Dervin, Fred. & Minghui Gao. 2012. Constructing a fairy tale around intercultural couplehood on Chinese television. Language and Intercultural Communication 12(1). 623.

    • Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Featherstone, Michael. 2006. Genealogies of the global. Theory Culture Society, Special Issue on Problematizing global knowledge 23(2–3). 3873 92.

    • Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ferri, Giuliana. 2014. Ethical communication and intercultural responsibility: A philosophical perspective. Language and Intercultural Communication 14(1). 723.

    • Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Fougère, Martin & Agneta Moulettes. 2007. The construction of the modern West and the backward rest. Studying the discourse of Hofstede’s Culture’s Consequences. Journal of Multicultural Discourses 2(1). 119.

    • Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ganesh, Shiv & Prue Holmes. 2011. Positioning intercultural dialogue – Theories, pragmatics and an agenda. Journal of International and Intercultural Communication 4(2). 8186.

    • Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Gudykunst, William. 1994. Bridging differences. Effective intergroup communication. Thousand Oaks, CA & London: Sage.

    • Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Guirdham, Maureen. 2005. Communicating across cultures at work. London: MacMillan.

  • Gumperz, John. 1982. Discourse strategies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • Gumperz, John. 1992. Contextualization and understanding. In Alessandro Duranti & Charles Goodwin (eds.), Rethinking context: Language as an interactive phenomenon, 229253. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    • Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Gumperz, John, & Jenny Cook-Gumperz. 2009. Discourse, cultural diversity and communication: a linguistic anthropological perspective. In Helga Kotthoff & Helen Spencer-Oatey (eds.) Handbook of intercultural communication, 1329. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

    • Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Gumperz, John, & Celia Roberts. 1991. Understanding in intercultural encounters. In Jan Blommaert & Jeff Verschueren (eds.), The pragmatics of intercultural and international communication, 5190. Amsterdam & Philadelphia, PA: John Benjamins.

    • Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hall, Edward T. 1976. Beyond culture. New York: Doubleday.

  • Harré, Rom, & Luk Van Langenhove (eds.). 1999. Positioning theory. Oxford: Blackwell.

  • Hosftede, Geert. 1980. Culture’s consequences. Beverly Hills, CA & London: Sage.

  • Holliday, Adrian. 2011. Intercultural communication and ideology. Thousand Oaks, CA & London: Sage.

  • Holliday, Adrian. 2013. Understanding intercultural communication. Negotiating a grammar of culture. London & New York: Routledge.

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

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

    • Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ishii, S. 2009. Conceptualising Asian communication ethics: a Buddhist perspective. Journal of Multicultural Discourses 4(1). 4960.

    • Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Khatib, Lina. 2003. Communicating Islamic fundamentalism as global citizenship. Journal of Communication Inquiry 27(4). 389409.

    • Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kiesling, Scott F., & Cristina Bratt Paulson (eds.). 2005. Intercultural discourse and communication. The essential readings. Chichester: Blackwell.

    • Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kim, Young Yun. 2008. Intercultural personhood: Globalization and a way of being. International Journal of Intercultural Communication 32. 359368.

    • Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Koole, Tom, & Jan D. Ten Thjie. 2001. The reconstruction of intercultural discourse: Methodological considerations. Journal of Pragmatics 33. 571587.

    • Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kotthoff, Helga & Helen Spencer-Oatey (eds.). 2009. Handbook of intercultural communication. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

    • Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kymlicka, Will. 1995. Multicultural citizenship. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

  • Lapidus, Ira M. 2001. Between universalism and particularism: the historical bases of Muslim communal, national, and global identities. Global Networks 1(1). 3755.

    • Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lubinda, John. 2010. Promoting multiculturalism and intercultural dialogue trough institutions and initiatives of civil society organizations in Botswana. Journal of Multicultural Discourses 5(2). 121130.

    • Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Luhmann, Niklas. 1980. Gesellschaftsstruktur und Semantik I. Frankfurt a.M.: Suhrkamp.

  • Luhmann, Niklas. 1995. Social systems. Stanford: Stanford University Press (v.o. 1984).

  • Luhmann, Niklas. 1997. Die Gesellschaft der Gesellschaft. Frankfurt a.M.: Suhrkamp.

  • Luhmann, Niklas. 2000. Art a social system. Stanford: Stanford University Press (v.o. 1995).

  • Lyttle, Allyn D., Gina G. Barker & Terri Lynn Cornwell. 2011. Adept through adaptation: Third culture individuals’ interpersonal sensitivity. International Journal of Intercultural Relations 35(5). 686694.

    • Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Maoz, Ifat. 2001. Participation, control, and dominance in communication between groups in conflict: Analysis of dialogues between Jews and Palestinians in Israel. Social Justice Research 14(2). 189208.

    • Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Milhouse, Virginia, Molefi Kete Asante & Peter Nwosu (eds.). 2001. Transcultural realities. Interdisciplinary perspectives on cross-cultural relations. Thousand Oaks, CA & London: Sage.

    • Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Nair-Venugopal, Shanta. 2009. Interculturalities: reframing identities in intercultural communication. Language and Intercultural Communication 9(2). 7690.

    • Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Pieterse, Nederveen. 2004. Globalization & culture. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

  • Pieterse, Nederveen. 2007. Ethnicities and global multiculture. Pants for an Octopus. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

    • Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • O’Byrne, Darren & Alexander Hensby. 2011. Theorizing global studies. Houndsmill: Palgrave.

  • O’Regan, John P. & Malcolm MacDonald. 2007. Cultural relativism and the discourse of intercultural communication: Aporias of praxis in the intercultural sphere. Language and Intercultural Communication 7(4). 267278.

    • Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Parry, Benita. 2004. The institutionalisation of postcolonial studies. In Neil Lazarus (ed.), Postcolonial literary studies, 6680. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    • Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Pearce, Barnett. 1989. Communication and the human condition. Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press.

    • Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Phipps, Allison. 2014. “They are bombing now”. “Intercultural Dialogue” in times of conflict. Language and Intercultural Communication 14(1). 108124.

    • Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Piller, Ingrid. 2007. Linguistics and intercultural communication. Language and Linguistic Compass 1(3). 208226.

    • Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Piller, Ingrid. 2011. Intercultural communication. A critical introduction. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

    • Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Premawardhena, Neelakshi C. 2007. How diplomatic can language be? The unwritten rules in a language: an analysis of spoken Sinhala. In Marion Grein & Edda Weigand (eds.), Dialogue and culture, 213225. Amsterdam & Philadelphia, PA: John Benjamins.

    • Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Qu, Weiguo. 2013. Dehistoricized cultural identity and cultural othering. Language and Intercultural Communication 13(2). 148164.

    • Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Riitaoja, Anna-Leena & Fred Dervin. 2014. Interreligious dialogue in schools: beyond asymmetry and categorisation? Language and Intercultural Communication 14(1). 7690.

    • Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Robertson, Roland. 1992. Globalization: Social theory and global culture. London: Sage.

  • Roy, Oliver. 2004. Globalized Islam. New York: Columbia University Press.

  • Said, Edward W. 1978. Orientalism. New York: Random House.

  • Smith, Andrew. 2004. Migrancy, hybridity, and postcolonial literary studies. In Neil Lazarus (ed.), Postcolonial literary studies, 241261. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    • Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Spencer-Oatey, Helen & Peter Franklin. 2009. Intercultural interaction. A multidisciplinary approach to intercultural communication. Houndsmill: Palgrave.

    • Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Spitzberg, Brian H. 1997. A model of intercultural communication competence. In Larry Samovar & Richard Porter (eds.), Intercultural communication. A reader, 379391. Belmont: Wadsworth.

    • Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Taylor, Charles. 1994. The politics of recognition. In Amy Gutman (ed.), Multiculturalism: Examining the politics of recognition, 2574. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

    • Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ting-Toomey, Stella. 1999. Communication across cultures. New York: The Guilford Press.

  • Ting-Toomey, Stella & A. Kurogi. 1998. Facework competence and intercultural conflict: An updated face-negotiation theory. International Journal of Intercultural Relations 22(2). 187225.

    • Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Todd-Mancillas, William R. 2000. Communication and identity across cultures. Communication Theory 10(4). 475480.

    • Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Triandis, Harry 1995. Individualism and collectivism. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.

  • Trompenaars, Fons & Charles Hampden-Turner. 1997. Riding the ways of culture: Understanding cultural diversity in business. London: Nicholas Brealey.

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

  • Verschueren, Jeff. 2008. Intercultural communication and the challenges of migration. Language and Intercultural Communication 1(8). 2135.

    • Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Wierbicka, Anna. 2006. The concept of ‘dialogue’ in cross-linguistic and cross-cultural perspective. Discourse Studies 8(5). 675703.

    • Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Wieviorka, Michel. 2001. La difference. Paris: Balland.

  • Winslade, John & Gerald Monk. 2008. Practicing narrative mediation: Loosening the grip of conflict. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

    • Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Xu, Kaibin. 2013. Theorizing difference in intercultural communication: A critical dialogic perspective. Communication Monographs 80(3). 379397.

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

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

Purchase article
Get instant unlimited access to the article.
$42.00
Log in
Already have access? Please log in.


Journal + Issues

Applied Linguistics Review serves as a testing ground for the articulation of original ideas and approaches in the study of real-world issues in which language plays a crucial role by bringing together critical reflections of current debates and new theoretical and empirical research. Topics range from aspects of the linguistic and communicative competence of the individual to language- and communication-related problems in and between societies.

Search