Reflexivity and criticality for language and intercultural communication research and practice

Authored by: Julie S. Byrd Clark

The Routledge Handbook of Language and Intercultural Communication

Print publication date:  May  2020
Online publication date:  April  2020

Print ISBN: 9781138389458
eBook ISBN: 9781003036210
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781003036210-7

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Abstract

Expanding upon Byrd Clark and Dervin’s 2014 volume on reflexivity, this chapter underscores the significance of reflexivity as an integral, dialectical, and ongoing process, particularly in relation to contemporary language and intercultural communication research and practice. The chapter also devotes some attention to one of the main dimensions of reflexivity: criticality. Criticality as a non-linear component of reflexivity becomes important to develop or increase consciousness/awareness of the ways in which we invest in certain social meanings and representations as well as in our performances of them. Without criticality as a component of reflexivity, we would simply accept things for what they are, without questioning, and suffice it to say, without change. However, criticality must be understood in its relationship to reflexivity. Reflexivity (comprised of criticality) represents a serious and necessary multidimensional process particularly when witnessing huge shifts in the ways we communicate and engage with one another. That said, this chapter offers valuable insights as well as suggestions on how to incorporate reflexivity in both our language and intercultural communication research and practice.

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