“What is the secret to successful intercultural communication?” This was one of the questions I was asked after my lecture on “New directions in intercultural communication” at United Arab Emirates University in Al Ain. In my lecture I had been exploring the assumptions underlying the intercultural communication advice literature, particularly in the vein of Geert Hofstede’s work. Detailed arguments against the banal nationalism, monolithic and monodimensional views of culture, and the pseudo-objectivism undergirding that strand of the intercultural communication literature can be found here and here, and also in my new book. So, my response was about the importance of appreciating diversity and avoiding advice that closes the mind to other cultures rather than opens it to an appreciation of diversity. Ultimately, there is no golden bullet simply because intercultural communication per se does not exist.
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- 200401 applied linguistics and educational linguistics
- 200405 language in culture and society (sociolinguistics)