Meanings in Madagascar

Cases of Intercultural Communication

by Oyvind Dahl


Explores how people communicate when communication involves different languages, different social organizations, and different beliefs and values.

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May 1999


Pages 216
Volumes 1
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics Geography and World Cultures/Culture
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    Hardcover: £67.00/72,00€/A$111.00

Most analyses of interpersonal communication ignore the relationship between communication and culture. When intercultural communication takes place, the interlocutors may have very different conceptions of what is being discussed, since meaning in any culture results from lifelong learning within that culture. Such concepts as worldviews, cultural beliefs, and decision-making processes are unique to each culture, and affect each culture's interpretation of the same discussion. In illustrating possible misunderstandings because of cultural differences, Dahl focuses on the Merina in the Highlands of Madagascar and the Western World. He suggests many ways in which the Malagasy's worldview and values are different from the Westerner's, and how these differences affect communication.

Table of Contents

IntroductionHow Can I Ever Understand?Where the Dead Ones Do Not DieWhen Future Comes from BehindAlways GuiltyFather and Mother, Sister and BrotherThe Art of "Living Together"Don't Show the Molars to StrangersLukewarm Common OpinionGlossaryBibliographyIndex

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