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Human Encounters

Introduction to Intercultural Communication


Øyvind Dahl

This book gives a comprehensive introduction to intercultural communication in the era of globalization. The reader is introduced to essential concepts in the field, different theories and methods of analysing communication, the importance of verbal and nonverbal languages for bringing about mutual understanding and, finally, the ethical challenges that arise.

The volume also has a practical aspect. The author discusses subjects such as handling encounters with people using foreign languages; incorporating different life styles and world views; the use of interpreters; non-familiar body language; different understandings of time; relocation in new settings; the use of power and how to deal with cultural conflicts generally.

Published in English for the first time following a very successful original edition in Norwegian, this richly-illustrated book offers a refreshing and engaging introduction to intercultural understanding.

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Chapter 1: Understanding in a Global World


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Understanding in a Global World

A pharmaceutical company wants to launch its brand of headache pills on the North African market and the company marketing team was certain that the comic strip below would adequately communicate the effectiveness of the pills. The first image shows a man suffering from a headache. In the next, he takes the pills. In the final image he feels wonderful and no longer has a headache.

Figure 1.1: The comic strip that caused a headache!

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