Acculturating Intergroup Vitalities, Accommodation and Contact

Authored by: Howard Giles , Douglas Bonilla , Rebecca B. Speer

The Routledge Handbook of Language and Intercultural Communication

Print publication date:  November  2011
Online publication date:  March  2012

Print ISBN: 9780415572545
eBook ISBN: 9780203805640
Adobe ISBN: 9781136649530


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A compelling issue challenging many societies is the movement of people across their national and cultural boundaries. This can happen for many reasons, from planned tourism (Ward 2008) and educational exchanges to the sudden displacement of frightened refugees avoiding oppression and genocide (see Berry 2006). The current case of Uzbeks fleeing Kyrgyzstan constitutes a tragic example; the recent free movement of individuals across national borders in the European Union to seek more gainful employment prospects is another. Such movements are linked to cogent political dynamics and emotional reactions. PEW (2002) showed that, although 49 percent of Americans and 77 percent of Canadians felt immigration was “good”, only 25 percent of Italians and 24 percent of Poles felt the same. In sum, immigration is an important, global, and sometimes contentious, issue.

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