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Intercultural Communication for Everyday Life

ISBN: 978-1-4443-3236-0
370 pages
February 2014, ©2014, Wiley-Blackwell
Intercultural Communication for Everyday Life (1444332368) cover image


Written for students studying intercultural communication for the first time, this textbook gives a thorough introduction to inter- and cross-cultural concepts with a focus on practical application and social action.

  • Provides a thorough introduction to inter- and cross-cultural concepts for beginning students with a focus on practical application and social action
  • Defines “communication” broadly using authors from a variety of sub disciplines and incorporating scientific, humanistic, and critical theory
  • Constructs a complex version of culture using examples from around the world that represent a variety of differences, including age, sex, race, religion, and sexual orientation
  • Promotes civic engagement with cues toward individual intercultural effectiveness and giving back to the community in socially relevant ways
  • Weaves pedagogy throughout the text with student-centered examples, text boxes, applications, critical thinking questions, a glossary of key terms, and online resources for students and instructors
  • Online resources for students and instructors available upon publication at www.wiley.com/go/baldwin
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Table of Contents

Preface xi

Acknowledgements xv

About the website xvi

Walk through xvii

Part one Foundations 1

1 A rationale for studying intercultural communication Why should we know about other cultures? 3

2 Action, ethics, and research

How can I make a difference? 24

3 Origins

Where does our “culture” come from? 47

Part two Elements 69

4 Subjective culture

What is the base upon which cultural communication is built? 71

5 Identity: Struggle, resistance, and solidarity

How can I think about my identity and that of others? 91

6 Intolerance–acceptance–appreciation

How can we make the world a more tolerant place? 114

Part three Messages 135

7 Verbal communication

How can I reduce cultural misunderstandings in my verbal communication? 137

8 Nonverbal communication

Can I make nonverbal blunders and not even know it? 159

9 Rhetoric and culture

How does my culture relate to persuasive writing and speaking? 180

10 Culture, communication, and media

How do media shape our views of others? 203

Part four Contexts 225

11 Global media, global cultures

How do culture and globalization influence each other? 227

12 Adaptation and intercultural competence

How can I be effective in a new culture? 249

13 Relationships and conflict

How can I have better cross-cultural relationships? 269

14 The political context

How can we use communication to shape politics and culture? 290

15 Intercultural communication in international organizational contexts

How does culture shape business, and how is business culture changing? 306

Conclusion 329

Glossary 331

Index 343

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Author Information

John R. Baldwin is Professor of Communication at Illinois State University.

Robin R. Means Coleman is Associate Professor in the Departments of Communication Studies and Afroamerican and African Studies at the University of Michigan. 

Alberto González is Professor of Communication at Bowling Green State University.

Suchitra Shenoy-Packer is Assistant Professor of Communication Studies at DePaul University.

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“The combination has the advantage bringing into one’s hand a somewhat integrated presentation, guidance and a direction without the leakage and serendipity of online meanderings.”  (Diversophy.com, 1 November 2014)

“This broad introduction to intercultural communication, uncommon for its inclusion of ethics, civic engagement, and global media, also integrates popular culture examples likely to appeal to students.” — Wendy Leeds-Hurwitz, Villanova University, USA

“Well written, lively, and practical, Intercultural Communication for Everyday Life is the first intercultural communication textbook to challenge students to think critically about civic and political engagement in intercultural contexts.  Bravo!” — Robert Shuter, Diederich College of Communication, Marquette University, USA

“Baldwin, Means Coleman, González, and Shenoy-Packer have written an intercultural communication text that starts with a rich conceptualization of culture while, at the same time, focusing students on basic concepts, key terms and frameworks in a rigorous but approachable style. Avoiding the “binary” contrasts that characterize so many books, the authors provide examples from around the world so students learn about cultures rather than about US culture compared to “the others.” In addition, the book has a number of other exciting features, including social scientific and interpretive/critical approaches, a fuller discussion of ethics and globalization, and a community engagement focus that invites students to understand and critique materials and then explore how they can be applied in communities. This book will engage and challenge your students and, as well, you as a teacher to explore the complex and shifting world of culture in order to reach new understandings and develop new practices.” — Michael Hecht, The Pennsylvania State University, USA

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