Meanings in Madagascar
Cases of Intercultural Communication
by Oyvind Dahl
May 1999, 216pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-0-89789-642-9
$86, £64, 72€, A123
eBook Available: 978-0-313-37119-6
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

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

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.

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