chapter  1
25 Pages

If Culture is Practice … ? A Practice-Theoretical Perspective on Intercultural Communication and Mediation

WithIben Jensen

This chapter discusses how to take culture into account in intercultural encounters in everyday life-as in, for example, a job interview or in conflict mediation-without culturalizing or ethnifying. It argues that people need to rethink the concept of culture and intercultural communication in order not to privilege culture. The chapter suggests seeing culture from a practice theoretical perspective, which means that practice is foregrounded, and focuses on body, on agency, and on appropriate performance. It provides an example of how a job interview can be analysed from a practice theoretical perspective. The chapter also argues that a reconceptualized concept of intercultural communication should be named post-cultural communication. It finds three aspects in practice theory especially relevant for culture, intercultural communication, and intercultural mediation: body, agency, and appropriate performance. Practice theory is a particular reading of certain theoretical elements from certain researchers in order to create a new analytical approach to micro-processes in social life.