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Intercultural Interactions in Business and Management

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Rita Salvi and Hiromasa Tanaka

Given the consolidated position of English as the international language for communication in business and management, this book depicts a wide scenario in which to analyse and compare interactions between eastern/western European users of English, as well as Asian/European/North American speakers. From each chapter, different sociolinguistic realities emerge. They affect English, as used largely by non-native speakers, but also the relationship between local or national cultures and the global professional discourse community.
In this context not only the specialized lexis is analysed, but rather the ways in which different geo-political cultures construe, manifest and establish their identities. Although it is difficult to classify pragmatic usages of language, the six chapters in the first section deal with language and culture following a genre-based approach, whereas the six chapters of the second section specifically consider corporate identity in intercultural interactions.
This volume, which aims to avoid stereotypes and promote mutual understanding, is the offspring of a two-day seminar as part of the 10th ESSE (European Society for the Study of English) Conference, held in Turin, August 2010.

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FRANCESCA BARGIELA-CHIAPPINI Foreword 7

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FRANCESCA BARGIELA-CHIAPPINI Foreword Intercultural Communication: In and For Business Without equality, there would be no common ground for com- municating; without distinction, there would be no need to com- municate. (Tu 1994: 13-15) A preface, at least in the Anglophone tradition of academic textbooks, is not usually a space for extensive discussion and protracted argumenta- tion. More often than not, a preface seeks to provide a suitable framing of the much more important efforts of the author or, in this case, of the editors. I therefore beg the forbearance of the reader as well as the many contributors who may go on to find this intervention of mine perhaps too didactic or too partisan. The driving motivation behind this piece is a passionate belief in the importance of the academic field of intercul- tural communication (ICC), both as a pedagogic and research endeav- our within which perceived and actual ‘differences’ between groups and individuals are played out, subjected to analysis and interpretation and wherever possible helped towards co-existence. In a thought-provoking statement, Kim (2010: 177) writes about ICC in the following terms: “Intercultural communication is arguably the most serious of all problems confronting humankind, and is the single most vital domain in social science”. Seeing ICC as a problem and therefore a state of affairs to be overcome is somewhat reminis- cent of a prescriptive western approach to the subject which also treats ‘difference’ as an obstacle, thus often assuming, tacitly or otherwise, that a degree of ethnocentric conformity is...

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