Internet-Mediated Communication at the Cultural Interface

Internet-Mediated Communication at the Cultural Interface

Leah P. Macfadyen (The University of British Columbia, Canada)
Copyright: © 2006 |Pages: 8
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-562-7.ch057
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Abstract

As individuals launch themselves into cyberspace via networked technologies, they must navigate more than just the human-computer interface. The rhetoric of the “global village”—a utopian vision of a harmonious multicultural virtual world—has tended to overlook the messier and potentially much more problematic social interfaces of cyberspace: the interface of the individual with cyberculture (Macfadyen, 2004), and the interface of culture with culture. To date, intercultural communications research has focused primarily on instances of physical (face-to-face) encounters between cultural groups, for example, in the classroom or in the workplace. However, virtual environments are increasingly common sites of encounter and communication for individuals and groups from multiple cultural backgrounds. This underscores the need for a better understanding of Internet-mediated intercultural communication.

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