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Global Dialectics in Intercultural Communication

Case Studies


Edited By Jolanta A. Drzewiecka and Thomas K. Nakayama

This book is an edited collection of case studies of contemporary issues in culture and communication around the world. Framed around a dialectical approach to intercultural communication, this collection offers a useful framework for thinking about contemporary research in this area. It offers in-depth cultural information about a broad range of specific cases in different places around the world. It is an ideal book to use in advanced undergraduate and graduate courses in culture and communication, global communication and intercultural communication courses. Scholars interested in contemporary work in intercultural communication will find this collection essential in mapping the state of the art in this area.


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Strategic Communications in Crisis


c h a p t e r n i n e Telling the Story of Ebola: Cosmopolitan Communication as a Framework for Public Relations in Local–Global Contexts nilanjana bardhan, southern illinois university, carbondale, il, usa The Ebola outbreak of 2014 started as a local phenomenon in west Africa and gradually took on global proportions. The world took little notice while the out- break was contained within west Africa, even as hundreds were succumbing to the virus; however, Ebola became a major news story as soon as the virus spilled over into North America (specifically the U.S.) and Europe. How such local–global crises are publicly narrated and framed by sources considered globally powerful and credible has significant implications for action (or inaction) on the ground, and for how much attention the world pays. In cases such as this one, governmen- tal and relevant nongovernmental actors are considered to be primary sources of information, and their public relations discourse (e.g., news releases produced for the media and other stakeholders/publics) can play a critical role in how a crisis is perceived and addressed (Bardhan, 2002). The representations highlighted play a role in shaping the meanings of the crisis, and of the organizations, cultures, countries, and people involved. These meanings have consequences from a social/ global justice perspective. 206 | nilanjana bardhan This chapter brings together concepts from intercultural communication and public relations to examine the social/global justice and local–global dimensions of the 2014 Ebola outbreak, as it was represented through news...

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