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Intercultural Health Communication

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Edited By Andrew R. Spieldenner and Satoshi Toyosaki

Intercultural Health Communication brings together the fields of health and intercultural research in new work from leading communication scholars. This book is based on two premises: neither health nor culture is a neutral concept. The authors of this collection employ critical, qualitative, and interpretive research methodologies in order to engage the political and intersectional nature of health and culture simultaneously. Changing notions of healthy behaviors (or ill health) are not just a matter of knowledge; they live inside discourses about the body, aesthetics, science, and the world. We see this book as an important step towards developing a more transnational view of health communication. Intercultural Health Communication ties together the critical public health with critical intercultural communication. Through these connections, the authors engage the health research in, amongst others: HIV, cancer, trauma, celiac disease, radioactive pollution, food politics, and prenatal care. Intercultural Health Communication emerges from a broad need to address connections and challenges to incorporating health communication with intercultural communication approaches. After compiling this book, we see ready connections to public health, global studies, gender and sexuality studies and ethnic studies. In this day and age, nation states have to be considered within the broader frameworks of globalization, transnationalism and global health. We recognize that the contemporary health issues require an understanding of culture as integral towards eliminating health disparities.

“This edited volume provides a rich intersectional compilation from different expert scholars on how race, gender, sexuality, and even religion interplay with and inform culture and health. It underlines how each of these constructs are intrinsically essential to the inquiry of human communication, identity, and health behaviors. I always encourage students to interrogate the required readings; to ask of it if their lived experiences are accurately and thoroughly depicted. I want them to become critical thinkers who push the boundaries of our heteronormative, patriarchal, typically binary scholarship and research. This book offers the groundwork for what inclusive, robust scholarship should look like. Each chapters of this text provides dynamic, transparent, even healing confirmation of how the multi-layered realities of the individual interplay with health. I am appreciative to be able to add this text to my canonical of highly-regarded books.” —Angela Cooke-Jackson, Associate Professor, Health Communication and Behavioral Science, California State University, Los Angeles

“Spieldenner and Toyosaki’s Intercultural Health Communication is a much needed and ground-breaking resource that disrupts the whiteness of health communication through compelling and intersectional case studies that center Other bodies and experiences by bringing to bear theories and methods of intercultural communication. This book brings together senior and up-and-coming scholars to address emerging issues in intercultural health communication.” —Bernadette Marie Calafell, Professor and Chair, Critical Race and Ethnic Studies, Gonzaga University

Intercultural Health Communication is perhaps the most forward-thinking book within health communication I have seen in many years! This volume offers a brilliant set of essays on identities, body politics, health, and agency, finally giving us a rich resource for understanding the complexities of marginalized bodies.” —Ronald L. Jackson II, Author of Scripting Black Masculine Bodies in Popular Media and Past President of the National Communication Association

Intercultural Health Communication adopts a critical perspective and connects health communication scholarship with intercultural communication. Rooted in lived experiences and cultural identities, the essays in this collection examine and interrogate the different aspects of health in the context of culture. Moreover, this collection employs global perspectives and is committed to social justice issues in the context of health communication. While this book fills a void in the literature and offers a much-needed outlook by connecting intercultural and health communication discourses, it also encourages a more expansive dialogue between these two areas in the field of communication. The essays in this collection employ critical, qualitative, and interpretive approaches to illuminate different areas and issues of intercultural health communication. Hence, they are bold, personal, provocative, critical, and thoughtful.” —Ahmet Atay, Associate Professor, Department of Communication, College of Wooster