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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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RITA SALVI Changes, Chances and Challenges in Describing Intercultural Professional Interactions 21

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RITA SALVI Changes, Chances and Challenges in Describing Intercultural Professional Interactions What is crucial is for people to be aware of variation in discourse patterns and to appreciate their equal validity. (Clyne 1994: 208) 1. Introduction In the last decades the need to consider intercultural interactions has been widely approached from economic, social and political sides. Whatever viewpoints we may assume, interactions are expressions of the relationship between self and others, and each individual transfers his external-physical universe, internal-mental universe and social- cultural universe (Givòn 2005: 65) into all types of interactions. In an intercultural perspective, these binomials are significant for individual contacts as well as for professional encounters. In the EU, “The frontiers for free movement of ideas and cul- tural trends and standards have been opened earlier than for the free movement of goods, services, capital and persons” (Sobotka 2001: 92). For centuries, however, Europe has been a multi-cultural society, where countries and peoples have coexisted maintaining, and some- times forcing, their identities and cultures. The Council of Europe (2007) defines cultural diversity “as an essential condition of human society”, so the challenge was, and still is, not to ignore or destroy cul- tural diversity, rather to raise cultural awareness and sensitivity. It is not by chance that in some speeches delivered by Leonard Orban, European Commissioner for Multilinguism, in the period 2006-2008, the most frequent fixed collocations were intercultural dialogue and 22 Rita Salvi language skills, meaning that language competence contributes to in- tercultural effectiveness (Salvi...

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