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Introducing Intercultural Communication

Introducing Intercultural Communication
Global Cultures and Contexts

Second Edition
Additional resources:

November 2014 | 384 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

Introducing Intercultural Communication uses examples and case studies from around the world to situate communication theory in a truly global perspective. Covering the essentials from international conflict to migration and social networking, this book shows students how to master the skills and concepts at work in how we communicate and understand each other across cultural boundaries.

Each chapter brings to life the links between theory and practice, and between the global and local, showing you how to understand the influence of your culture on how you view yourself and others. In this book:

  • Theory boxes show you how to use key ideas in work contexts.
  • Case studies from European, Chinese, Australian and American contexts give you a truly global perspective.
  • Critical questions help you to challenge yourself.
  • A full chapter gives practical tips on how to become an effective intercultural communicator.
  • Annotated lists of further reading and free access to online SAGE journal articles assist you in your research.
  • A companion website ( provides you with exercise questions, as well as extended reading lists.

This book will guide you to success in your studies and will teach you to become a more critical consumer of information.

Introduction: Communicating in a Culturally Diverse Society
Part 1: Challenges of Living in a Global Society
Contributors to cultural diversity
Necessity and benefits of intercultural communication
Join the debate: Will globalization result in the disappearance of local cultures?
Case study: Migration and diversity in Australia
Part 2: Understanding Communication
The multifaceted nature of communication
Models of communication
Current issues theorizing communication
Communication and culture
Join the debate: Universal or culture-specific theories of communication?
Case study: hanging out in the public square
Part 3: Understanding Culture
Definitions and components of culture
Characteristics of culture
Join the debate: Are we what we eat?
Case study: mobile banking in rural Papua New Guinea
Part 4: The Influence of Culture on Perception
Stages of the perception process
The influence of culture on perception
Perception and intercultural communication
Join the debate: Is ageism the fear of our future self?
Case study: How are eastern Europeans perceived by the West?
Part 5: Cultural and Value Orientations
Hofstede's cultural dimensions
Hall's high-and-low-context cultural dimension
Kluckhohn and Strodtbeck's value orientations
Schwartz's cultural value theory
Intercultural communication ethics
Join the debate: Should same-sex marriage be accepted across the world?
Case study: Museums as a site of culture
Part 6: Categorization, Subgroups and Identities
Social categorization and identities
Subgroup memberships and identities
Identities and intercultural communication
Join the debate: Is identity what we have or what we perform?
Case stuy: South African identity and apartheid in South Africa
Part 7: Verbal Communication and Culture
The components and characteristics of verbal codes
Language, culture, and discourse
Cultural variations in verbal communication
Language and identity
Join the debate: 'Do the limits of my language mean the limits of my world?'
Case study: How is politeness expressed across cultures
Part 8: Nonverbal Communication and Culture
Characteristics and functions of nonverbal codes
Types of nonverbal communication
Influence of culture on nonverbal communication
Join the debate: How can we lie with our body language?
Case study: Nonverbal expressions in politcis - the case of Vladimir Putin
Part 9: Immigration and Acculturation
Migration and cultural diversity
Diversity and multiculturalism
Culture shock and acculturation orientations
Cross-cultural adaptation
Join the debate: to what extent should migrants be encouraged to maintain their heritage culture?
Case study: the cronulla riots
Part 10: Developing Relationships with Culturally Different Others
Dimensions and characteristics of human relationships
Stages of human relationship development
Culture and human relationship development
Developing intercultural relationships
Join the debate: Does communication technology bring us closer or set us further apart?
Case study: Love by arrangement in India
Part 11: Managing Intercultural Conflicts
Potential sources of intercultural conflict
Conflict stages and conflict management approaches and styles
Influence of culture on conflict management
Join the debate: When can conflict lead to productive and positive outcomes in workplaces?
Case study: Hollywood celebrity activism in war-torn societies
Part 12: Mass Media, Technology, and Cultural Change
Globalization, technology, and mass media
Mass media and symbolic social reality
Mass media and cultural change
Join the debate: Will the print media still maintain a place in the digital age?
Case study: OhmyNews in South Korea
Part 13: Becoming an Effective Intercultural Communicator
Homogenization and fragmentation
Globalization and localization
Developing intercultural competence
Join the debate: Will our attitudes become more 'provincial' in the global economy?
Case study: Doctors without borders


Liu Companion Website

For Students:

  • SAGE Journal Articles: free access to selected further readings
  • Glossary Flashcards: practice

For Instructors:

  • 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

A very relevant and useful book for communication in a multi cultural society. The book is set out well with interesting questions and discussion points. The extra reading and web site links were also very useful. I would recommend this book if you are interested in cross cultural communication.

Ms Joanna Harrison
School of Health and Wellbeing, Wolverhampton University
April 20, 2015

Provides good theoretical basics within a global context pertinent for today's communication world

Dr Juliet Thondhlana
School of Education, Nottingham University
March 12, 2015

Well written and pleasant to read introductory text to Intercultural Communication. The case studies, included in this edition, are of great value for understanding theoretical claims and suppositions. Includes valuable online materials to support interactive teaching.

Mrs Beata Kviatek - Simanska
School of Communication and Media, Hanze University Groningen
February 19, 2015

This is a fantastic text book. The chapters are well divided and can be used for specific lectures. I am especially impressed with the chapter on Understanding Culture (Chapter 3)and Mass Media, Technology and Cultural Change (Chapter 12). I have put the book as a recommended text.

Mr Rohit Dasgupta
Winchester School of Art, Southampton University
January 6, 2015

An excellent overview of intercultural communications.

Mr Michael Parsons
Faculty of Business and Society, University of South Wales
January 6, 2015

For instructors