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Intercultural Communication - A Discourse Approach

            Intercultural Communication: A Discourse Approach, written by Ron Scollon, Suzanne Wong Scollon, and Rodney H. Jones, was published in 2012. It was the third edition of the book while the first edition had been published as early as in 1995 and the second edition was in 2001. Compared to the earlier editions, the most significant improvement of the third version is the discussion of "Gay Culture" and "Tongzhi" Discourse System (pp. 257 - 264). Apart from that, this book also provided a different as well as a specific way to study intercultural communication.
             Intercultural Communication.
             A Discourse Approach consisted of 12 chapters. Ron Scollon, one of the authors, was a Professor of Linguistics so more than half of the book is devoted to language, interdiscourse communication, interpersonal communication and the ideologies and forms of discourse. All of these topics were closely related to linguistics, which might be the reason that some universities used this book as a textbook for students of linguistics – I saw this book was on the reference booklist of many Chinese universities for linguistic students. As it was mentioned in the preface, the main audiences of the book are two kinds of people: "professional communicators who are East Asian speakers of English, and their teachers in courses on professional communication, whether in Asia or elsewhere" and "professional communicators who are concerned with any communications which cross the lines of discourse systems" (p. XV). However, intercultural communication cannot be separated from language or discourse. Therefore, the book also included topics like stereotypes (pp. 271 - 275), high context and low context situation (pp. 40 - 42), face system (chapter 3), the shifting of U.S. individualism and the shifting of Chinese collectivism in six generations (chapter 10), etc. .
             Before discussing the research method or approaches of the book, it defines what is meant by discourse.

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