Item Details

Mediation through an intercultural communication lens

Issue: Vol 2 No. 1 (2017)

Journal: Mediation Theory and Practice

Subject Areas:

DOI: 10.1558/mtp.32579


The article examines intercultural communication theory for the purpose of considering to what extent this theory may be useful to mediation researchers and practitioners. Early theory associated with Hall (1959, 1976) and Hofstede (2003/1991) which posits cultural differences associated with national groups has been very influential in intercultural training, including training for mediators. A second area of influence concerns prescriptions for intercultural competence. The drawbacks of such theory and prescriptions are considered, and more recent intercultural communication theory which focuses on intercultural discursive practice is explored (Higgens 2007, Zhu Hua 2015). Key areas are examining how participants in an interaction ascribe cultural categories to one another, and how they negotiate cultural matters. With reference to the author’s studies of family mediation and university mediation data, it is proposed that this discursive approach could be useful for mediation researchers. Implications for intercultural training for mediators are discussed, taking into account the pragmatic reality of access to different types of authentic materials.

Author: Siobhan Brownlie

View Original Web Page

References :

Arminen, I. (2005) Institutional Interaction: Studies of Talk at Work. Aldershot:
Avruch, K. (1998) Culture and Conflict Resolution. Washington, DC: US Institute
of Peace.
Baker, W. (2015) Culture and Identity through English as a Lingua Franca. Berlin:
Walter de Gruyter.
Barrett, M., Byram, M., Lazar, I., Mompoint-Gaillard, P. and Philippou, S. (2013)
Developing Intercultural Competence through Education. Strasbourg: Council of
Brandt, A. (2008) On ‘interculturality’: a review of research applying ethnomethodology
to the study of intercultural interactions. ARECLS 5: 205–29.
Brewer, P. and Veniak, S. (2012) On the misuse of national culture dimensions.
International Marketing Review 29(6): 673–83.
Brigg, M. and Bleiker, R. (eds) (2011) Mediating Across Difference: Oceanic and
Asian Approaches to Conflict Resolution. Honolulu, HI: University of Hawaii
Brownlie, S. (forthcoming) Using cultural categories for opposition and brokering in
conflict mediation. Language and Intercultural Communication
Busch, D. (2010) How does culture affect conflict mediation? Disentangling
concepts from theory and practice. In D. Busch, C-H. Mayer and C. Boness (eds)
International and Regional Perspectives on Cross-cultural Mediation 15–50.
Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang.
Busch, D., Mayer, C.-H. and Boness, C. (eds) (2010) International and Regional
Perspectives on Cross-cultural Mediation. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang.
CMP Resolutions (2015) ILM Endorsed: Qualified Workplace Mediator. Support
Pack for Learners. Bassingbourn: CMP Resolutions.
Day, D. (1998) Being ascribed and resisting membership of an ethnic group. In
C. Antaki and S. Widdicombe (eds) Identities in Talk 151–70. London: Sage.
Deardorff, D. (2009) The Sage Handbook of Intercultural Competence. London:
Fisher-Yoshida, B. (2005) Reframing conflict: intercultural conflict as potential
transformation. Journal of Intercultural Communication 8: 1–16.
Gallois, C., Ogay, T. and Giles, H. (2005) Communication accommodation theory: a
look back and a look forward. In W. B. Gudykunst (ed.) Theorizing about Intercultural
Communication 121–48. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Greatbatch, D. and Dingwall, R. (1999) Professional Neutralism in Family Mediation.
In S. Sarangi and C. Roberts (eds) Talk, Work and Institutional Order: Discourse
in Medical, Mediation and Management Settings 271-292. Berlin and New York:
Mouton de Gruyter.
Hall, E. T. (1959) The Silent Language. New York: Doubleday.
Hall, E. T. (1976) Beyond Culture. New York: Anchor Books/Doubleday.
Halualani, R. and Nakayama, T. (2010) Critical intercultural communication studies
at a crossroads. In T. Nakayama and R. Halualani (eds) The Handbook of Critical
Intercultural Communication 1–16. Malden MA: Wiley-Blackwell.
Hammer, M. (2005) The intercultural conflict style inventory: a conceptual
framework and measure of conflict resolution approaches. International Journal of
Intercultural Relations 29: 675–95.
Higgins, C. (2007) Constructing membership in the in-group: affiliation and resistance
among urban Tanzanians. Pragmatics 17(1): 49–70.
Hofstede, G. (2003) Cultures and Organizations: Software of the Mind. London:
Profile Books.
Holliday, A. (1999) Small cultures. Applied Linguistics 20(2): 237–64. https://doi.
IMI (2011) Criteria for approving programs to qualify mediators for IMI intercultural
certification. Retrieved on 28 March 2017 from
Kecskes, I. (2014) Intercultural Pragmatics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Kimmel, P. (2000) Culture and conflict. In M. Deutsch and P. Coleman (eds)
Handbook of Conflict Resolution 453–74. San Francisco, CA: Jossey Bass.
LeBaron, M. and Pillay, V. (eds) (2006) Conflict Across Cultures: A Unique Experience
of Bridging Cultures. Boston , MA: Intercultural Press.
Mayer, C.-H. and Boness, C. (2005) Intercultural Mediation and Conflict Resolution.
Stuttgart: Ibidem.
McSweeney, B. (2002) Hofstede’s model of national cultural differences and their
consequences: a triumph of faith – a failure of analysis. Human Relations 55(1):
Mori, J. (2003) The construction of interculturality: a study of initial encounters
between Japanese and American students. Research on Language and Social
Interaction 36(2): 143–84.
Morris, P. (2015) Screening for domestic violence in family mediation: an investigation
into how mediators manage disclosures of domestic abuse and associated
emotions. PhD thesis, Brunel University.
Nishizaka, A. (1995) The interactive constitution of interculturality: how to be a
Japanese with words. Human Studies 18: 301–26.
Rogers, E., Hart, W. and Miike, Y. (2002) Edward T. Hall and the history of intercultural
communication: the United States and Japan. Keio Communication
Review 24: 3–26.
Schegloff, E. (2007) Categories in action: person-reference and membership
categorization. Discourse Studies 9(4): 433–61.
Schön, D. ([1983]1995) The Reflective Practitioner: How Professionals Think in
Action. Aldershot: Arena.
Sorrells, K. (2013) Opening the conversation: studying intercultural communication.
In Intercultural Communication: Globalization and Social Justice 1–24. Los
Angeles, CA: Sage.
Stokoe, E. (2011) Simulated interaction and communication skills training: the
‘conversation-analytic role-play method.’ In C. Antaki (ed.) Applied Conversation
Analysis: Intervention and Change in Institutional Talk 119–39. Basingstoke:
Palgrave Macmillan.
Stokoe, E. (2015) Identifying and responding to possible -isms in institutional
encounters: alignment, impartiality, and the implications for communication
training. Journal of Language and Social Psychology 34(4): 427–45. https://doi.
Ting-Toomey, S. (2010) Intercultural mediation: Asian and Western conflict lens. In
D. Busch, C-H. Mayer and C. Boness (eds) International and Regional Perspectives
on Cross-cultural Mediation 79–98. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang.
Woolford, A. and Ratner, R. (2009) Mediation frames/justice games. In D. Sandole, S.
Byrne, I. Sandole-Staroste and J. Senehi (eds) Handbook of Conflict Analysis and
Resolution 315–27. Abingdon: Routledge.
Zhu, H. (2015) Negotiation as the way of engagement in intercultural and lingua
franca communication: frames of reference and interculturality. Journal of English
as a Lingua Franca 4(1): 63–90.