“Culture and Cultural Identity in Intercultural Technical Communication.”

Reading Rhetoric

Hunsinger, R. Peter. “Culture and Cultural Identity in Intercultural Technical Communication.” Technical Communication Quarterly 15.1 (2006): 31-48. Web.

Hunsinger critiques much of the attention technical writing texts give to culture as isolating culture as “an inaccessible tradition beyond critical examination, or, in other words, to a substantive and inherited culture” (45).  Instead, Hunsinger advocates situating culture within its intertextual context.  For example, sexist Saudi business practices are not merely expressions of “inherited culture,” but are also the product of economic, political, and religious contexts–which the West has helped shape.

The author recommends augmenting textbook case studies with other readings such as Said’s Orientalism or other articles, films, and texts that highlight intersections that are missed by a narrow focus on “culture.”  This approach bears some resemblance to literary “contact zones” and transnationalism with their emphasis on movements, flows, and interactions between peoples as opposed to static conceptions of the world…

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