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Journal Articles Journal of Intercultural Communication Year : 2012

Deconstructing Culture : towards an Interactional Triad


How may culture be defined? Numerous works and important contributions have been answering this crucial question for the past thirty years; yet the problem remains unsolved. When taking a close look at ‘intercultural communication’, we may see that some utterances might not be that cultural at all. If we have a clear definition of ‘intercultural communication’, then what is ‘intra-cultural communication’ (Winch 1997, Ma 2004)? Is there really a sharp difference between these two concepts and is miscommunication necessarily ‘cultural’ when implying individuals or groups from alleged different cultural backgrounds? We will study various examples and try to separate the cultural from the non-cultural by taking a close look at intercultural and intra-cultural miscommunication, insofar as their definitions seem to ultimately cover the same conceptual maps. After this first step, we will deconstruct the concept of culture, as it has been defined by scholars in various research fields over the last decades; we will thus see that culture might not be a set of shared values or behaviours (Knapp & Knapp-Pothoff 1990; Scollon & Wong Scollon 2001): culture may only be a very personal variable of a complex, strangely organized and experimental toolbox (Kay 1999) which would constitute a product of our education, psychology, social encounters and language and would only remain activated through particular contexts. This exploration will eventually be followed by a proposal for a redefinition of ‘culture’ as a concept, based on interactional pragmatics, contextics (Castella 2005) and a triadic declension of this very concept with three notions: bathyculture, dramaculture and osmoculture.
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hal-02104102 , version 1 (19-04-2019)


  • HAL Id : hal-02104102 , version 1


Albin Wagener. Deconstructing Culture : towards an Interactional Triad. Journal of Intercultural Communication, 2012, 29. ⟨hal-02104102⟩
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