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Training “international engineers” in Japan: discourse, discourse and stereotypes

Handford, Michael 2020. Training “international engineers” in Japan: discourse, discourse and stereotypes. In: Mullany, Lousie ed. Professional Communication, Consultancy, Advocacy, Activism, London: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 29-46. (10.1007/978-3-030-41668-3_2)

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Training programmes and materials that aim to enable professionals to function effectively in international contexts often draw on Hofstedian approaches to intercultural communication (ICC); in other words, they employ an essentialist framework which puts nationality at the core of conceptions of culture (Piller, Intercultural Communication: A Critical Introduction. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2011). While seductive, they arguably draw on and reinforce stereotypes, and may damage rather than facilitate ICC (Handford, The Language of Business Meetings. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010; Piller 2011). This chapter outlines an alternative approach to ICC training, developed over several years with an engineering multinational based in Japan. The core aim of the training was to change the organisational discourse around ‘internationalisation’. Trainees were introduced to the concepts of discourse, Discourse (Gee, 2005) and stereotypes (Bar-Tal, 1997), and were encouraged to critically apply them to their demanding work contexts.

Item Type: Book Section
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: English, Communication and Philosophy
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
ISBN: 9783030416683
Last Modified: 09 Jul 2020 12:45

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