Downscaling Culture: Revisiting Intercultural Communication

In the current era of globalisation, big-C Culture loses analytical purchase. However, research, as well as intercultural training and education, continues to take for granted a more or less fixed idea of culture. This volume updates intercultural communication, both its theory and its application, by utilising a theory of scales in order to understand how culture gets contextualised as speakers communicate and negotiate meaning with each other. As succinctly captured in the title of this volume, it is suggested that research can ‘downscale culture’ analytically: culture might be, but also might not be, relevant in an interaction. The 14 chapters brought together here explore the possibilities of such downscaling from a wide range of core themes in intercultural communication studies and from various research traditions, including interactional sociolinguistics, critical geography, conversation analysis, critical discourse analysis, textual analysis, multimodal analysis and nexus analysis.

Jaspal Naveel Singh, Argyro Kantara and Dorottya Cserző are all postgraduate researchers at the Centre for Language and Communication Research at Cardiff University, UK. They work with a range of approaches in communication studies, including linguistic ethnography, conversation analysis, and media studies. In their editorial work for this volume, they open up a dynamic space between the notions of intercultural communication and scales.

“Interculturalism as a phenomenon is ‘multifactorial’ in its origin and in its manifestation. This diversely complex phenomenon has, from time to time, called for multidisciplinary and innovative analytical approaches, especially from scholars in the twin-fields of language and communication. This book constitutes such an innovative approach in its exemplary treatment of the concept of ‘scale’, distantly borrowed from geography, but made more accessible in recent sociolinguistic analyses. The editors do an excellent job in mapping the concept of scale – and by extension the multi-scalar perspective on culture as context – onto intercultural studies – with which the contributors synergise both conceptually and empirically using a mix of methodological toolboxes across a wide range of settings. The book reads like a chorus, which is a unique attribute for an edited volume originating from a conference. The epilogue offers a balanced but critical appraisal of the accomplishments. I foresee this book serving as an intoxicant to other researchers in the field of intercultural studies vis-à-vis globalisation, while encouraging them to think about the topic ethno-analytically.”
Srikant Sarangi
Professor and Director, Danish Institute of Humanities and Medicine, Aalborg University, Denmark

Christian Abello-Contesse

Kyriaki Korina Giaxoglou

Mina Kheirkhah

Mariana Lazzaro

Harriet Lloyd

Maria Dolores Lopez-Jiménez

Yannik Porsché

Shobha Satyanath

Tereza Spilioti

Mabel Victoria

Elina Westinen

Marta Wilczek-Watson

Adam Wood

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ISBN: 1-4438-9056-1

ISBN13: 978-1-4438-9056-4

Release Date: 22nd September 2016

Pages: 397

Price: £52.99