What Is Intercultural Communication?

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Jan D ten Thije addresses the spectrum of scientific and societal issues referred to as intercultural communication by pointing out five different theoretical and methodical approaches. First, he discusses the interactive approach which investigates intercultural (face-to-face) interaction. He then focuses on approaches that compare and contrast cultural and linguistic systems, before discussing those that consider collective and national images of ‘self’ and ‘other’ by analysing cultural representations in various forms of (computer-mediated) communication. A fourth approach comprises studies into multilingualism and linguistic diversities, and finally, the transfer approach integrates knowledge, attitudes, capacities, reflectivity and motivation in learnable intercultural competencies. Ten Thije elaborates on the interfaces and interrelations of these approaches in how they address the notion of ‘intercultural mediation’.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Cambridge Handbook of Intercultural Communication
EditorsGuido Rings, Sebastian Rasinger
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9781108555067
ISBN (Print)9781108429696
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020

Publication series

NameCambridge Handbooks in Language and Linguistics
PublisherCambridge University Press


  • intercultural communication
  • interaction
  • mediation
  • multilingualism
  • diversity


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