There have been a lot of stories in the press about the recent conflict between the Everest Sherpas and the Western mountain climbers. In a dangerous setting, with reputations, adrenalin, linguistic difficulties, competing interests, and vastly different expectations and communication styles, this example of intercultural conflict got heated, but luckily didn’t have a worse outcome.
Americans are taught that more choice is better, but not all cultures are the same. Sheena Iyengar studies choices and ideas about them cross culturally, encouraging listeners to question their own assumptions.
In March, UNESCO released this framework on intercultural competence. It provides 26 concepts and defines them in order to connect different fields that focus on intercultural issues, giving a common vocabulary and goal in teaching, training, enacting, and supporting intercultural work.
The British Council recently released a study on the value of intercultural skills in the workplace! I use studies like this at the start (and often end) of my class to get students interested in why they should care about and study intercultural communication.
The folks at Cultural Detective have great products and services, plus a wonderful newsletter!
The Intercultural Communication Institute sponsors a wonderful Summer Institute for Intercultural Communication each July. The website and list of this year’s courses is at http://www.intercultural.org.