CID Poster #4: Types of Cultural Communication

CID PostersThis is the next of the posters designed by Linda J. de Wit, in her role as CID intern. The need for clarification between intercultural/ intracultural/ cross-cultural/ international forms of communication has been made obvious by the number of times I’ve been asked to explain the differences. These terms have been discussed at length in many publications; one relevant source is cited on the poster itself. The idea to use fruit for the visual explanation of the different terms was Linda’s, and came from proverbs: in English, one is told not to compare apples and oranges; in many other languages, the fruits referred to are apples and pears. The poster thus implicitly refers to the relativist idea that cultures shouldn’t be judged in comparison to others.

Types of Cultural Communication
Just in case anyone wants to cite this poster, the following would be the recommended format:

Center for Intercultural Dialogue. (2017). Types of cultural communication. CID Posters, 4. Available from:

As with other series, if you wish to contribute an original contribution, please send an email before starting any work to receive approval, to minimize inadvertent duplication, and to learn about technical requirements. As is the case with other CID Publications, posters should be created initially in English. Given that translations of the Key Concepts in Intercultural Dialogue have received so many views, anyone who wishes to translate their own poster into another language (or two) is invited to provide that as well. If you want to volunteer to translate someone else’s poster into a language in which you are fluent, send in a note before starting, to receive approval and to confirm no one else is working on the same one.

Wendy Leeds-Hurwitz
Director, Center for Intercultural Dialogue
intercult.dialogue AT

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Key Concept #5: Intercultural Communication Translated into Simplified Chinese

Key Concepts in ICDContinuing with translations of the Key Concepts in Intercultural Dialogue, today I am posting KC#5: Intercultural Communication, which I first published in English in 2014, and which Yan Qiu has now translated into Simplified Chinese. As always, all Key Concepts are available as free PDFs; just click on the thumbnail to download. Lists of Key Concepts organized chronologically by publication date and number, alphabetically by concept, and by languages into which they have been translated, are available, as is a page of acknowledgments with the names of all authors, translators, and reviewers.

KC5 ICC_Chinese-simLeeds-Hurwitz, W. (2017). Intercultural communication [Simplified Chinese]. (Y. Qiu, Trans). Key Concepts in Intercultural Dialogue, 5. Available from:

If you are interested in translating one of the Key Concepts, please contact me for approval first because dozens are currently in process. As always, if there is a concept you think should be written up as one of the Key Concepts, whether in English or any other language, propose it. If you are new to CID, please provide a brief resume. This opportunity is open to masters students and above, on the assumption that some familiarity with academic conventions generally, and discussion of intercultural dialogue specifically, are useful.

Wendy Leeds-Hurwitz, Director
Center for Intercultural Dialogue

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

CID Poster #1: Intercultural Communication/Competence/Dialogue

CID PostersThis is the first of the posters designed by Linda J. de Wit, in her role as CID intern. This one provides a quick and easy way to understand, and differentiate between, the concepts of “intercultural communication,” “intercultural competence,” and “intercultural dialogue,” using a rooster and a sheep to represent members of different cultures (and she notes that the animals are vector designs by The article where these explanations of these concepts (as well as lots of other concepts) were published is referenced at the bottom of the poster.

Intercultural communication/competence/dialogue

Just in case anyone wants to cite this poster, the following would be the recommended format:

Center for Intercultural Dialogue. (2017). Intercultural communication, intercultural competence, intercultural dialogue. CID Posters, 1. Available from:

Now that the first poster is available as a model, the series is open to submissions. If you wish to contribute an original design, please send an email before starting any work to receive approval, to minimize inadvertent duplication, and to learn about technical requirements. As is the case with other CID Publications, posters should be created initially in English. Given that translations of the Key Concepts in Intercultural Dialogue have received so many views, where specific quotes are provided, anyone who wishes to translate their own poster into another language (or two) is invited to design that as well. If you want to volunteer to translate someone else’s poster into a language in which you are fluent, send in a note before starting, to receive approval and to confirm no one else is working on the same one.

Wendy Leeds-Hurwitz
Director, Center for Intercultural Dialogue
intercult.dialogue AT

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.







Lauren Mark Researcher Profile

Researcher ProfilesLauren Mark is a doctoral student and Graduate Teaching Associate at the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication at Arizona State University. She is a certified Civil Dialogue Facilitator and holds an M.Ed in Educational Organization, Leadership and Policy, an M.A. in Dance, and a B.A. in English Literature and French. Prior to joining Hugh Downs, Lauren worked as a co-founder and project manager of two cross-cultural learning organizations in Taipei, Taiwan – Becoming, 緣創an intercultural development platform, and the East West Culture Project. Lauren has also worked as a translator and interpreter in Taiwan and Israel across a variety of business and artistic sectors.

Lauren MarkRooted in her experiences in the field, Lauren’s general research interests focus on identity shifts in acculturation. Her studies focus on the intersection of ethnic, linguistic and performative factors in acculturation, as well as how local cultures influence people’s ways of being.

Pedagogically, Lauren explores innovative means to bring embodied self-reflexivity to classroom contexts, within courses such as Communication and Creativity and Gender and Communication. Her work in this arena began with her thesis work, Visible Histories, in which she explored how the sharing of embodied reminiscence and the collective physical reconstruction of memories served as a meeting ground for multiple generations exploring the art of dance. Lauren continues to experiment with ways that purposeful nonverbal communication can enhance reflexivity and active listening. This is an extension of her previous work in Taiwan, where she managed creative interdisciplinary labs and choreographed works that tested the boundaries between audience and performers.


Brezis, R. S., Singhal, N., Daley, T., Barua, M., Piggot, J., Chollera, S., Mark, L., & Weisner, T. (2016). Self- and other-descriptions by individuals with autism spectrum disorder in Los Angeles and New Delhi: Bridging cross-cultural psychology and neurodiversity. Culture and Brain, 4(2), 113-133.

Competitively Selected Presentations

Mark, L. (July, 2017). The construction of narrative schema in acculturation and third culture building. Paper presented at Benedictine University at Mesa’s conference, “Identity Negotiations,” Mesa, AZ.

Mark, L. (May, 2017). Visible histories. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association, San Diego, CA.

Kim, Y., Shin, Y., Mark, L., & Lu, Y. (November, 2016). CTI and Social media: Investigating multi-layered identities on the Facebook. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the National Communication Association, Philadelphia, PA.


Study of CID social media followers

About CIDFrom October 2016 until March 2017, Min He conducted research to learn about the social media subscribers of the Center for Intercultural Dialogue. As CID aims to establish connections between scholars in the field of intercultural communication, the large follower base is of central importance for both the Center and those connected to it.

The study is primarily based on those subscribers for whom enough details could be obtained, amounting to 967 individuals out of the total of 2802 followers CID had across all social media platforms on January 11, 2017 when data collection stopped and analysis began. LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter were the three major resources for data collection, as they provide the greatest amount of detail about subscribers, either individually (LinkedIn) or as a group (Facebook and Twitter).

The results of the study show that CID has social media subscribers across the globe. The largest single group is based in the USA, but the majority of followers are based in other countries, as the charts below illustrate. The data represent the 967 followers’ countries of residence: in many cases their respective countries of origin are different.

CID subscribers by continent


CID subscribers by country

As CID especially aims at serving scholars, it is not surprising that most followers in the subset have substantial education: almost three quarters have completed a master’s degree, and almost 40% a Ph.D.

Not surprisingly, the majority of the followers in the subset are based within academia (58%), with most of the rest being professionals of various sorts (37%). For either group, most persons are active in the discipline of Communication. The following charts show the exact distribution.

CID followers by discipline

Within Communication, the single largest specialization is Intercultural Communication, for obvious reasons.

CID subscribers within CommunicationIn conclusion, the study shows that the followers of CID form a large and varied group of persons engaged with intercultural dialogue on different levels. As the CID embraces diversity and integrates multicultural members drawn from around the world into a single network, it builds a borderless online community for scholars and professionals alike. To that end, the CID LinkedIn group has proven particularly appropriate for helping to establish connections.









Use of New Media in Intercultural Communication Education

Intercultural PedagogyA few months ago, Sachiyo Shearman and Mariko Eguchi shared a request for participants in a survey they were conducting about the use of new media when teaching intercultural communication. They have now completed the survey and compiled the results, which they are making available to CID readers.

Here’s their conclusion:

“The majority of professors and instructors who we have surveyed use some form of experiential learning, ranging from in-class role playing, case studies, and simulation games, and to the assignments that involve intercultural contacts. Only about one third of instructors who we surveyed actually have incorporated computer-mediated intercultural encounter into their classes, and some ideas includes online guest lectures, in-class video-conferencing interview sessions, and using programs such as Soliya Net. We can categorize a variety of new media: asynchronous or synchronous platforms, text-based or audio/video based, or first generation or second generation web technology. There are benefits and limitations for each type of new media and examples are discussed in the chapter. Nowadays, we tend to combine these different types of new media, as we use it in our classroom. Our intention is not to say that new media technology is better than the conventional approaches to the intercultural pedagogy. All of the approaches of intercultural communication teaching – lectures, intercultural training, and study abroad programs, are indispensable. We believe that the use of new media in intercultural communication provides us with an additional valuable approach for us to facilitate students’ learning at the multi-dimensional level. When computer-mediated intercultural contacts are provided, students are actively engaged as they interact with students in other countries.”

Their results are being published as:
Shearman, S. M. & Eguchi, M. (Forthcoming). “I have to text my classmate in China!”: Use of new media in intercultural communication classes toward multidimensional learning. In N. Bilge & M. I. Marino (Eds.), Reconceptualizing New Media and Intercultural Communication in a Networked Society.



Elizabeth S. Parks Researcher Profile

Elizabeth ParksElizabeth S. Parks (Ph.D., University of Washington) is an assistant professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Minnesota Duluth. She has degrees in Communication (M.A., University of Washington), Deaf Studies: Cultural Studies (M.A., Gallaudet University), Communication Studies (B.A., Creighton University), Sign Language Interpreting (Iowa Western Community College), and a graduate certificate in Values in Society (University of Washington). She uses her many years of international fieldwork research experience with diverse cultural communities to ground her scholarship in communication ethics, listening, intercultural dialogue, cultural studies, disability studies, and research methods. Embracing a mixed method approach that draws from both social sciences and humanities, her current research focuses on the ways in which cultural diversity and embodied difference impacts perceptions and practices of “good listening” that ultimately promote ethical dialogue across difference. Fluent in American Sign Language, she pays particular attention to the ways that diverse sensory and linguistic experiences impact the ways that we conceptualize and experience listening in our relationships. She has served as a guest editor for Listening: Journal of Communication Ethics, Religion, and Culture and her research has been published in journals such as the Journal of International and Intercultural Communication, Critical Issues in Language Studies, Journal of International Communication, Multilingua: Journal of Cross-Cultural and Interlanguage Communication, and Organizational Development Journal,.



St Cloud State U Job Ad: Communication Studies

Assistant Professor Communication Studies – One-year Fixed Term at St. Cloud State University
Start date: August 16, 2017

The department is seeking candidates with a broad background in Speech Communication/Communication Studies, college teaching experience in an undergraduate program and evidence of effective working relationships with peers and students.  This position is a one-year fixed-term position.

Teach introductory intercultural communication course and introductory communication studies course. Other responsibilities could include public speaking, small group communication, interpersonal communication, or intercultural communication related courses. Additional responsibilities, such as committee work, will be assigned.

-M.A./M.S. in Communication Studies/Speech Communication, at time of appointment
-Teaching experience in an undergraduate program
-Evidence of effective working relationships with peers and students
-Coursework or teaching experience in intercultural communication
-Coursework or teaching experience in the hybrid communication course or its components (interpersonal, small group, public speaking)
-Evidence of demonstrated ability to teach and work with persons from culturally diverse backgrounds

–  Ph.D., at time of appointment
– Experience teaching online courses
To apply for this position, please continue the process online

Application Review begins April 23, 2017; position is open until filled.

Required documents to be submitted with a completed application include:
-Cover Letter
-Resume/Curriculum Vitae
-Evidence of effective teaching.  At minimum representative samples of teaching evaluations and course syllabi.
-Contact information for three (3) current, professional references
-Copies of Transcript(s) (undergraduate/graduate/PhD); if advanced to finalist, official transcripts will be required.
-Evidence of commitment to incorporating diversity issues and perspectives.  At minimum, include a narrative describing how the candidate has or will incorporate these perspectives in teaching and professional activities.
-Note each required document must be uploaded for your application to be considered.

Contact Information:
Eddah Mutua, Search Committee Chair
Communication Studies/Intercultural Communications Professor

Vacancies at SCSU are contingent on university budgets and funding.

*Employment for this position is covered by the collective bargaining agreement for the Inter Faculty Organization.

Survey: New Media in Intercultural Communication Courses

Use of New Media in Intercultural Communication Courses – Call for Survey Participants

Sachiyo Shearman and Mariko Eguchi are conducting an online survey about the use of new media in intercultural communication courses among those who teach Intercultural Communication, Cross-cultural Communication, or the courses with another title which deals with Culture and Communication.  If you currently teach intercultural communication courses or if you have taught intercultural  communication courses in the past, please consider participating in this survey.

This survey takes no more than 10 minutes to complete.  The first page provides the informed consent form of the study with more details.

If you are interested in getting the summary of this survey, please contact Sachiyo Shearman via email.

Feel free to share this link with instructors who teach intercultural communication, or other related courses.

Intercultural Communication or Post-Cultural Communication?

Guest Post by Paola Giorgis

Intercultural communication or post-cultural communication? Reflecting on mistakes in intercultural encounters

Some years ago, I worked with a total of about 350 refugees who, with the help of some radical activists, had become squatters, taking over an empty building which occupied almost an entire block. Most were from Somalia, Eritrea and Sudan; the majority were young men, a few women with children, and there were one or two couples with babies. A group of associations had gathered to offer help and, as an activist and volunteer in an association for human rights, I decided to participate. With the on-and-off support of the local Institutions (mainly town council and prefecture), the group of associations developed a project which had the goal of meeting basic needs – food, shelter, health care – and then organizing the integration of the refugees into the region through accommodation, language classes and vocational training courses. What I liked about this project was that its goal was not assistance, but rather creating a path to autonomy and independence. The first to be integrated were the women with their children, then the vulnerable males (young men with diseases or handicaps), and then all the rest. The project lasted for about one year, and at the end of that time, all the refugees were, more or less successfully, integrated and settled in the region.

Most of the activists, me included, had a regular job, so we had to organize shifts to bring food (which was offered by some associations involved in the project), to take women and children to hospital, to the lawyers who were following their cases, or to the communal baths, as the place where the refugees stayed had no water facilities.

As one can imagine, conditions were really hard. People were crowded into a small space, with no heating or electricity, they were frustrated and angry, and these conditions sometimes fueled fights, which we volunteers had to deal with – trying not to involve the police as much as we could, as they would have immediately evacuated the building.

I felt frustrated and angry myself, as I could not conceive how so many people could be left to live in such conditions in a so-called civilized western country. There were many political issues at stake, and things were not always easy within the different groups of volunteers and activists, as well as between the associations involved.

With no formal, or even informal, training, I found myself confronted with an asymmetrical intercultural context of relations involving all the sensitive issues of potential intercultural misunderstanding and conflict:

Issues at Stake Volunteers Refugees
Role – issue of power active (the ‘givers’; the ‘helpers’) passive (the ‘receivers’; the ‘helped’)
Gender mostly female mostly male
Age mostly middle-aged women mostly young men
Religion mostly non-religious or atheist mostly religious
Language mostly monolingual mostly monolinguals (different languages than the volunteers)

To manage each of these issues, cultural and linguistic mediators were involved, but things were not always easy for them either, as sometimes they were not accepted by their own community – when, for example, they belonged to a different ethnic group than the majority of their group – and it sometimes happened that we volunteers had to mediate between the groups and their own mediators.

In a few words, situation was very complex, I was totally unprepared to deal with it, and I made all of the possible mistakes.

First of all, as there were so many people, I perceived them as groups rather than individuals – on one floor were the Sudanese, on the other the Somali women, on the next the Somali men, etc. It was only little by little, and when people were less, that I could see and appreciate differences between them, but sometimes it was too late as they were about to leave. Another mistake was that, as they all had very basic needs, I was mainly focused on doing things – bringing food, taking them to hospital, etc. – rather than trying to get some time to simply be there, stay with them, and get to know them. That attitude contributed to creating fixed roles on both sides, and sometimes I felt frustrated as I had the impression I was perceived only as a problem-solving machine. Fixed roles also meant that I saw the refugees as people in need, which of course they were, but the fact was that I could only see one side of the coin, and I was not able to notice and relish their resources and skills, which of course were many – and which, again, I was able to see only later on in our relationship. Given that several issues were at stake simultaneously, I found it difficult to cope with them: being totally untrained for this context, I swung from an almost omnipotent attitude to a sense of impotence, a fluctuation which caused frustration to me as well as to the refugees. The sense of guilt which derived from this fueled my sense of inadequacy, and only after a while was I able to replace it with a sense of responsibility able to trace good boundaries, which prevented both peaks and valleys and therefore offered greater stability to the refugees, and to myself too.

Though I made a lot mistakes, some of the refugees were able to see beyond them (a good example of their resources and skills, by the way), and that brought about several episodes where true communication occurred. For example, one day an old wise man from Sudan invited me to have a coffee in a nearby café. As soon as we got out of the building, our roles blurred: I was no longer the person who provided food, and he was no longer a person in need, but we were just two people going to have a coffee together. In the café, we talked in English about our families, and exchanged comments and opinions about children’s education. Another day, a woman invited me into her room – women rarely went out of the building, and when they did, it was to go to the doctor, or to the hospital for their kids. She offered to comb my hair; I sat down and she combed my hair in silence because I could not speak her language, nor she could speak mine. It was a precious moment of silent dialogue, as when another woman invited me to have tea in her room. We spent some time together drinking tea in silence, smiling to each other. And though there was actually not much to laugh about in general, it also happened that, with some of the refugees, we enjoyed a good laugh together – for example, we often laughed at my efforts to say some words in their language. Actually, we found out that trying to look at things, and ourselves, from a slightly different and, when possible, even humorous perspective was a good way to relieve tensions and stress, and to create connections.

We were painfully aware that this subversion of roles was only temporary, and that we would soon return to our highly asymmetrical conditions; yet, these moments created the opportunity for relationship and dialogue. I think these episodes occurred when (and because) we reciprocally put down our pre-established roles (in fact, when we decided, more or less consciously, to subvert them), and we were mutually open, curious, and generous. Then, are these attitudes – not taking people or people’s roles for granted, openness, curiosity, generosity and a little sense of humor  – the fundamental characteristics of good intercultural communication? I don’t think these were episodes where intercultural communication occurred: we did not communicate so much between cultures as between individuals. Therefore, I now wonder: haven’t we devoted too much attention to ‘culture’ in ‘intercultural communication’, and not enough to individuals as the primary protagonists, and on what can encourage (or hinder) communication between them – which does not necessarily have much to do with ‘culture’? So, I ask myself whether it would be useful to critically consider intercultural communication itself, focusing more on what happens between individuals rather than between cultures. In sum: what if we try to think beyond cultures, and consider post-cultural communication as an option?