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Theorizations of intercultural communication

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Title:Theorizations of intercultural communication
Authors:Dasli, Maria
Date Issued:01 Jan 2010
Publisher:Heinle Cengage Learning
Citation:Dasli, M. (2010). Theorizations of intercultural communication. The American Association of University Supervisors, Coordinators and Directors of Foreign Languages Programs (AAUSC), 95-111.
Abstract:Within the fields of applied linguistics and modern language education, intercultural communication
has experienced two significant developmental turns. The first I call the traditional
view of intercultural communication, which refers to the ability of language learners to confront
the cultural practices of the Other with flexibility and tolerance. The second I term the
critical view of intercultural communication, which encourages language learners to actively
demonstrate their concerns by means of reasoned debate and reflective thinking when entering
the intercultural arena. While recent years have seen a shift of focus toward the critical view
without, however, dismissing flexible attitudes toward otherness, some language instructors
exclusively favor the first view to the detriment of the second. In a time of large-scale migrations
mobilized by the recent financial crisis and terrorist threats stimulated by the absence of
dialogue between the East and the West, I suggest that we closely focus on the critical view of
intercultural communication. Drawing on the works of major intercultural theorists, I discuss
how intercultural communication has been brought to a position of refinement while additionally
introducing the theory of communicative action (Habermas, 1984, 1989) as a means of
elaborating the critical view of intercultural communication.

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