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Intercultural and Intergroup Communication

Howard Giles and Bernadette Watson

Subject Communication Studies » Intercultural Communication

Key-Topics cross-cultural research

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405131995.2008.x


Social groups, such as adolescents, police, and ethnic groups, very often have their own distinctive cultures that include such ingredients as specialized foods and utensils, customs and rituals, dress styles, art, dance, literature, music ( Giles et al. 2009 ), and so forth, while other intergroup situations (e.g., artificially constructed laboratory groups) constitute social categories that cannot claim such cultural artifacts ( Fortman & Giles 2006 ). Reading, thinking, and research are needed at interfaces between the all too independent fields of intercultural communication on the one hand, and intergroup communication on the other (see, however, Gudykunst et al. 1988 ). Intercultural communication is not subsumed under, or even a special case of, intergroup communication, but rather the two are parallel traditions capable of significant coalescence. As just indicated, when comparing many cultures and social groups with relevant and contrastive others, we see that they vary from each other in a plethora of important ways, many of them inherently communicative. Prime among these are their social values, norms, nonverbal behaviors, and negotiating styles, as well as their attitudes toward each other's communicative practices (→ Cultural Patterns and Communication ; Intercultural Conflict Styles and Facework ; Intercultural Norms ; Language Attitudes in Intergroup Contexts ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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