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Los Angeles | London | Washington DC | New Delhi | Singapore SAGE Publications Ltd
1 Oliver’s Yard
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London EC1Y 1SP Shuang Liu, Zala Volcˇicˇ and Cindy Gallois 2015
First edition published 2010. Reprinted 2011, 2012 and 2013
Second edition published 2015 SAGE Publications Inc.
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British Library Cataloguing in Publication data
A catalogue record for this book is available from
the British Library ISBN 978-1-4462-8590-9
ISBN 978-1-4462-8591-6 (pbk) At SAGE we take sustainability seriously. Most of our products are printed in the UK using FSC papers and boards.
When we print overseas we ensure sustainable papers are used as measured by the Egmont grading system.
We undertake an annual audit to monitor our sustainability. Contents Preface Acknowledgements Companion website Introduction: communicating in a culturally diverse society ix
xiv 1 CHALLENGES OF LIVING IN A GLOBAL SOCIETY 3 Introduction Contributors to cultural diversity Necessity and benefits of intercultural communication Summary Join the debate: Will globalization result in the disappearance of local cultures? Case study: Migration and diversity in Australia Further readings 2 UNDERSTANDING COMMUNICATION Introduction The multifaceted nature of communication Models of communication Current issues surrounding theorizing communication Communication and culture Summary Join the debate: universal or culture-specific theories of communication? Case study: Hanging out in the public square Further readings 3 UNDERSTANDING CULTURE Introduction Definitions and components of culture Characteristics of culture Subcultures Summary Join the debate: are we what we eat? Case study: mobile banking in rural Papua new guinea Further readings 4
76 vi Contents 4 THE INFLUENCE OF CULTURE ON PERCEPTION 79 Introduction 80
Stages of the perception process 81
The influence of culture on perception 87
Perception and intercultural communication 91
Join the debate: Is ageism the fear of our future self? 98
Case study: how are Eastern Europeans perceived by the west? 98
Further readings 100
5 CULTURAL AND VALUE ORIENTATIONS 103 Introduction 104
Hofstede’s cultural dimensions 104
Hall’s high- and low-context cultural dimension 110
Kluckhohn and Strodtbeck’s value orientations 111
Schwartz’s cultural value theory 116
Intercultural communication ethics 118
Join the debate: should same-sex marriage be accepted across the world? 121
Case study: museums as a site of culture 122
Further readings 124
6 CATEGORIZATION, SUBGROUPS, AND IDENTITIES 127 Introduction 128
Social categorization and identities 128
Subgroup memberships and identities 135
Identities and intercultural communication 144
Join the debate: is identity what we have or what we perform? 147
Case study: south african identity and apartheid in south africa 147
Further readings 149
7 VERBAL COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE 153 Introduction 154
The components and characteristics of verbal codes 154
Language, culture, and discourse 159
Cultural variations in verbal communication 163
Language and identity 169
Join the debate: ‘do the limits of my language mean the limits of my world?’ 172
Case study: how is politeness expressed across cultures? 172
Further readings 174 Contents 8 NONVERBAL COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE 177 Introduction 178
Characteristics and functions of nonverbal codes 179
Types of nonverbal communication 183
Influence of culture on nonverbal communication 190
Join the debate: how can we lie with our body language? 192
Case study: nonverbal expressions in politics – the case of Vladimir Putin 193
Further readings 195
9 IMMIGRATION AND ACCULTURATION 199 Introduction 200
Migration and cultural diversity 201
Diversity and multiculturalism 204
Culture shock and acculturation orientations 208
Cross-cultural adaptation 212
Join the debate: To what extent should migrants be encouraged to maintain
their heritage culture? 218
Case study: The Cronulla riots 219
Further readings 221
10 DEVELOPING RELATIONS WITH CULTURALLY DIFFERENT OTHERS 225 Introduction 226
Dimensions and characteristics of human relationships 226
Stages of human relationship development 231
Culture and human relationship development 233
Developing intercultural relationships 240
Join the debate: does communication technology bring us closer or set us
further apart? 245
Case study: Love by arrangement in India 245
Further readings 247
11 MANAGING INTERCULTURAL CONFLICTS 251 Introduction 252
Potential sources of intercultural conflict 253
Conflict stages and conflict management approaches and styles 262
Influence of culture on conflict management 265
Join the debate: when can conflict lead to productive and positive outcomes
in workplaces? 271 vii viii Contents Case study: hollywood celebrity activism in war-torn societies Further readings 271
273 12 MASS MEDIA, TECHNOLOGY, AND CULTURAL CHANGE 277 Introduction 278
Globalization, technology, and mass media 278
Mass media and symbolic social reality 287
Mass media and cultural change 294
Join the debate: will the print media still maintain a place in the digital age? 296
Case study: OhmyNews in South Korea 296
Further readings 298
13 BECOMING AN EFFECTIVE INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATOR 301 Introduction 302
Homogenization and fragmentation 303
Globalization and localization 307
Developing intercultural competence 312
Join the debate: will our attitudes become more ‘provincial’ in the global economy? 317
Case study: doctors without Borders 317
Further readings 319
Glossary References Index 322
347 PREFACE We may have different religions, different languages, different-coloured skin,
but we all belong to one human race.
Kofi Annan, 7th UN Secretary-General, 2001 Nobel Peace Prize Winner
This new edition of Introducing Intercultural Communication: Global Cultures and Contexts reflects theo
ries and practices in the current field of intercultural communication and related disciplines. The global
perspectives that the first edition adopts made the book stand out among other competitors in the market.
The realization that the first edition was so well received by scholars, colleagues, and, more importantly,
students across the world in the past three years left us with a sense of achievement and appreciation. We
interpreted this success to mean that a book with global perspectives has resonated with an international
audience. We embrace the opportunity to refine and improve on the content and features that have proven
successful in the first edition, while concomitantly advancing contemporary theories and research in the
field. This second edition has added new features in relation to theories, models, concepts, questions, exercises, and case studies, which take students into some new territory, empower them in active learning,
and foster critical thinking. Further, we have broadened the applications to suit a greater range of users
from diverse disciplinary areas, including communication, linguistics, business, management, social psychology, political science, public relations, and journalism.
This new edition continues our commitment to presenting intercultural communication theories and
applications through a global prism and in a lively, interesting, relevant, and easy-to-follow writing style.
At the same time, it maintains the high standard of intellectual depth and rigour in scholarly discussions.
We have updated the content of each chapter to reflect state-of-the-art knowledge and current research in
the field. Moreover, every chapter has been enriched with more examples from a diverse set of cultures,
including Scandinavia, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Finland, and the USA.
This edition has a stronger emphasis on blending theory with practice. More challenging questions are
included throughout the text to give students opportunities to exercise their potential, and possibly to
target postgraduate students. In response to the reviews, we have also re-ordered the chapters to better
streamline the presentation of various topics. At every point in the writing of this new edition, we have
endeavoured to put ourselves in the student’s place, drawing upon the learning experiences of hundreds
of culturally diverse students whom we have been privileged to teach. New to this edition
•• Streamlining of the chapters. Immigration and Acculturation (Chapter 9) is placed before Developing
Intercultural Relations with Culturally Different Others (Chapter 10); Categorization, Subgroups and x PREFACE Identities (Chapter 6) is placed immediately after Cultural and Value Orientations (Chapter 5) and
before Verbal Communication and Culture (Chapter 7). This re-ordering presents a more logical flow
of the topics.
•• Updated content. New sections are added to fill in the gaps identified in the reviews and to reflect
current development in the field. They include emic–etic approaches to studying culture (Chapter 3,
Understanding Culture); Schwartz’s value orientations (Chapter 5); religious identity and subgroups
based on sexual orientation – gay, lesbian, bisexual and transsexual individuals (Chapter 6); discourse
and politeness across cultures (Chapter 7); refugees, Indigenous people and additional acculturation
models (Chapter 9); and management of diversity in organizations (Chapter 11, Managing Intercultural
•• Theory in Practice. This feature accompanies each ‘Theory Corner’ to highlight the application of
theories in different disciplinary areas, including linguistics, business, organizations, advertising,
political science, social psychology, and the mass media. In each ‘Theory in Practice’ box, we also
include challenging questions to take students further in their application of knowledge.
•• More in-depth discussion on theories and concepts. Chapter 2 (Understanding Communication) is
substantially revised to raise the level of the discussion on communication models. As well, more
theoretical depth is added to Chapter 13 (Becoming an Effective Intercultural Communicator), with
concrete examples from multiple cultures.
•• Join the Debate. ‘Key terms’ at the end of each chapter has been replaced by ‘Join the Debate’, which
poses challenging questions and debates in the field. This feature enables students to develop interest
•• Emphasis on critical thinking. Critical-thinking questions are incorporated throughout each chapter to
engage students in deep learning.
•• More examples from European countries. More examples from Germany, France, the Netherlands,
Switzerland, Sweden, and Scandinavia are added in the text and in case studies. Where appropriate,
questions pertaining to case studies are revised to encourage application in a wider context.
•• Communication in cyberspace. The role of social media and the issues of cyber-bullying in intercultural
relations are elaborated in Chapter 10 as well as mass media in the digital age (Chapter 12, Mass
Media, Technology, and Cultural Change). Retained from the previous edition
•• Case studies. All reviewers and our own students embraced and endorsed them. To build on the success
of this feature, we have updated a number of case studies and expanded the domains to humanities,
linguistics, business, organizations, and public relations.
•• Theory Corners. Positive feedback has been received on the ‘Theory Corners’. We have updated the
theories and added application (‘Theory in Practice’) to illustrate theories in action.
•• Further readings. Further readings at the end of each chapter consolidate and complement students’
learning. In this new edition, the number of further readings is reduced to five per chapter but they are
annotated. In addition, a list of further readings is provided in the Instructor’s Manual. PREFACE •• Chapter summaries. The summary of each chapter highlights the key points covered. In response to the
reviews, the chapter summaries in this new edition are in the form of bullet points to make them more
concise and easier to follow.
•• Pictures. The illustrative pictures were praised by reviewers and students as original and interesting.
We have retained this feature and updated pictures to further align with the revised text and enhance
their illustrative power.
•• Glossary. The glossary, containing definitions of all key terms used in the text, is retained to give
users a quick index of the key concepts covered and their definitions. A list of key terms by chapter is
provided in the Instructor’s Manual.
•• Instructor materials on the companion website. This new edition has updated all the exercises
and activities, as well as multiple choice questions, to align with the new content in this edition.
The original sections have been retained: lecture notes, key terms, powerpoints, further readings,
exercises and activities, and multiple choice questions. The companion website can be found at
xi ACKNOWLEDGeMENTS We would like to thank all those who have helped us as we progressed through the journey to complete
this second edition. We thank the reviewers for their insightful comments on the first edition and valuable suggestions for improvement. A special note of thanks goes to the many instructors who have adopted the first edition over the past two years, as well as to the scholars who have provided their feedback
through various channels, including the website of SAGE Publications. Their positive comments on the
first edition are especially gratifying, and their suggestions for improvement have helped us rethink and
reshape this second edition. We have all had the privilege of teaching and doing research in intercultural
communication, and these experiences have formed our outlook on this fascinating field.
We are indebted to our colleagues, friends, and students, both at the University of Queensland and at
other institutions around the world where we have studied, worked, or spent periods of research leave; all
of them have contributed to this book in various ways, including providing feedback on our intercultural
communication classes, sharing their ideas with us, and lending us references and photos from their collections. In particular, we are grateful to Professor Carley Dodd from Abilene Christian University, who
granted us permission to include his model of culture; to Alison Rae for granting us permission to use the
photos she took while travelling around the world collecting stories as a reporter; and to UNESCO for
granting us permission to include some photos from their photobank. We express our sincere gratitude to
the Centre of Communication for Social Change in the School of Journalism and Communication at the
University of Queensland for offering financial support to employ a research assistant, Laura Simpson
Reeves, who assisted with the development of the Instructor’s Manuals for the companion website. Special
thanks go to everyone who has given us support, time, and encouragement.
We express sincere appreciation to the Senior Commissioning Editor at SAGE Publications, Mila
Steele. Without her encouragement and support, this second edition would not have come to fruition.
Special thanks also go to the assistant editor, James Piper, others on the editorial staff, and the anonymous reviewers, who reviewed early and final drafts of the manuscript. Their insightful suggestions have
greatly contributed to an improved book. We would like to thank everyone from SAGE whose work has
transformed the manuscript into its present form.
Finally, we are deeply indebted to our families for their support, love, encouragement and patience
throughout the writing of this book. Special thanks, therefore, go to Annie Liu, Mark Andrejevic, and Jeff
Pittam. Companion Website This book is supported by a brand new companion website ( ). The website offers a wide range of free teaching and learning resources, including:
•• SAGE Journal Articles: free access to selected further readings
•• Glossary Flashcards: practice
•• PowerPoint Slides to accompany each chapter
•• Instructor Notes including learning objectives and questions to think about
•• Discussion Questions and exercises for use in class
•• A testbank of Multiple Choice Questions for class testing INTRODUCTION
COMMUNICATING IN A CULTURALLY
Human beings are drawn close to one another by their common nature, but habits and customs keep
Confucius, Chinese thinker and social philosopher, 551–479BC
Since ancient times, clear geographic or political borders have always been marked between countries,
states, cities, and villages. Natural boundaries such as rivers, oceans, and mountain ridges, or artificial
borders such as walls, fences and signs, all function as landmarks to separate country from country, region
from region and people from people. However, the spread of culture has never been confined to these
geographic or political territories. For example, as early as the fifteenth century, Aesop’s Fables were
translated from Greek, the language in which they were originally written, into English, thus making
them accessible to entirely new cultural, national and geographical audiences. Today, the fables, available
in many languages across the world, including Chinese, Japanese, French, Russian, and German, have
permeated our culture as myths and legends, providing entertainment and moral truisms for children and
adults alike. Regardless of where we live, the colour of our skin or what language we speak, it is likely we
have at some time encountered many of the morals or adages of Aesop’s...
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