Review Intercultural communication: An interdisciplinary approach. When neurons, genes and evolution joined the discourse (a review)

original work by DR MAI NGUYEN-PHUONG-MAI reviewed by PHILIP WILLIAMS

In the preface to this book, Dr Mai Nguyen- Phuong-Mai describes how as a journalist she was always struck by the emphasis people put on cultural difference and, on entering the field of intercultural communications as an academic, she felt this was repeated in her new field of study. Indeed, she points out later on in the book how the discipline of intercultural communications was founded in the context of the Cold War and an environment of conflict, which led to a focus on difference and obstacles between cultures rather than similarities. Driven by a desire to find what different cultures could share rather than stress their differences, Dr Mai explains how she went on a journey to explore the subjects of biological evolution and cultural neuroscience – neurons, genes and evolution. This book is her summary of that journey. The book is a penetrating and wide- ranging tour of intercultural communications through the prism of these new disciplines.

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