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Blue paint and white underwear: miscommunication and humour in intercultural contexts.

Victoria, Mabel



Jaspal Naveel Singh

Argyro Kantara

Dorottya Cserző


When two individuals from different cultural backgrounds fail to achieve mutual understanding, the accusatory finger is almost always automatically pointed at ‘cultural difference’. Indeed it is a commonly held notion that interactions between speakers from different cultural
backgrounds are susceptible to miscommunication. This chapter seeks to put forward a dynamic and multi-faceted view of intercultural miscommunication that forces us to re-evaluate the role that culture plays in the interaction and, secondly, to illuminate an aspect of miscommunication that has often been obscured—that is, what happens after the miscommunication episode. Methodological and analytic inspiration derives from linguistic ethnography combining insights from discourse analysis and ethnography. The data suggest that miscommunication between participants does not lead to a communication break own but instead, creates a productive site for negotiating relationships.

Conference Name Downscaling Culture: Revisiting Intercultural Communication Conference
Start Date Sep 18, 2014
End Date Sep 19, 2014
Acceptance Date Dec 31, 2015
Online Publication Date Apr 1, 2016
Publication Date Jun 1, 2016
Deposit Date Oct 6, 2015
Publisher Cambridge Scholars Publishing
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Pages 92-113
Book Title Downscaling Culture: Revisiting Intercultural Communication
Chapter Number 5
ISBN 1443890561, 9781443890564
Keywords Intercultural; Miscommunication; Humour; Culture; Discourse;
Public URL
Additional Information Presentation title at Conference = "Transforming borders into bridges: Communication strategies and resources for building relations across cultures