Mediation through an intercultural communication lens
Issue: Vol 2 No. 1 (2017)
Journal: Mediation Theory and Practice
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
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