Representation and Construction of Culture
- Anastacia Kurylo - Marymount Manhattan College
Today, students are more familiar with other cultures than ever before because of the media, Internet, local diversity, and their own travels abroad. As such, traditional intercultural communication textbooks which focus solely on the 'differences' approach aren't truly effective for today's students, nor for this field's growth. Using a social constructionist framework—which explores how culture is constructed and produced in the moments in which it is experienced—Inter/Cultural Communication provides today's students with a rich understanding of how culture and communication affect and effect each other.
Inter/Cultural Communication improves upon current textbooks in four significant ways: (1) It provides a differences approach and a social constructionist approach; (2) It explores the consequences of cultural moments on immediate communication and on larger scale social issues; (3) It is descriptive, not prescriptive, of how culture is communicated; and (4) It introduces intercultural topics, rather than interpersonal topics.
Weaving multiple approaches together in order to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of and appreciation for the diversity of cultural and intercultural communication, this text allows them to become more aware of their own identities and how powerful those identities can be in facilitating change—both in their own lives and in the lives of others. In addition, the book will help students deal with unfamiliar cultures and understand those with whom they come in contact when they travel, in their communities, in the workplace, in their home, and online.
There is so much here, I could go on and on...There is a full range of approaches to understanding culture from the perspectives of communication theory and social psychology. It provides a good overview and an update for those of us who don't get to see it all put together in the same place very often. At the same time, for those of us who don't have an airline ticket to New York, the book provides a deep sense of how diversity discourse is constructed, expressed and propagated in the USA.
Selection of chapters
The textbook covers the topic of intercultural communication comprehensively, but its strongest features lies in the section about Media and Culture. I have found that students can clearly relate to this theme and I find it to be a highly relevant and fresh perspective in this field of study.
a useful book which details core themes which crop up in prctice.
Text is straightforward, easy for students to follow (maybe too easy?). Appreciate the critical and social justice focus of this book.
Course was cancelled, but I might have used it as a non-essential reading option, especially for some specific topic areas I enjoyed in this book. Definitely take a look into it.
The book is very reader-friendly and enjoyable! It's organized in a clear way, written easily and interestingly. Besides of this, I and my students liked very much the Appendices showing examples of methods applied to fascinating real-world socio-cultural linguistic questions. The book not only teaches by it's content, but also makes the students courious about the world and that's invaluable!