Meanings in Madagascar: Cases of Intercultural Communication

Front Cover
Greenwood Publishing Group, 1999 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 189 pages
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 meaning. To illustrate problems with communication and culture, Dahl focuses on the cultures 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. A "meaning matrix" is included to assist in interpretations of everyday cases.
 

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Contents

Mysteries of Meanings in Madagascar How Can I Ever Understand?
1
Communication Conditioned by World View Where the Dead Ones Do Not Die
25
Time Concepts and Communication When the Future Comes from Behind
43
Under the Menace of Imperfection Always Guilty
60
Vertical and Horizontal Social Structures Father and Mother Sister and Brother
80
Conflicts and Personal Relationships The Art of Living Together
104
Malagasy Pragmatics Dont Show Your Molars to Strangers
124
Decision Making and Attenuated Speech Lukewarm Common Opinion
143
Interpretative Intercultural Communication The End Where Everything Begins
158
Glossary
173
References
175
Index
185
Copyright

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About the author (1999)

OYVIND DAHL is Professor of Social Anthropology and Intercultural Communication in the School of Mission and Theology, Stavanger-Norway.

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