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Social Sciences and Humanities in the Far East

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Jia Y. , Jia X. A

        Jia, Yuxin – Professor of Sociolinguistics and Intercultural Communication at the Harbin Institute of Technology (China); President of the China Association for Intercultural Studies and a member of the Board of Directors of the China Association of English Education Study; a member of the Board of Directors of the International Association for Intercultural Communication Studies (IAICS); editor in chief of the academic journal «Intercultural Communication Research» and a member of editorial boards of several Chinese and international academic research journals.
        Contacts: e-mail: yuxin1228@yahoo.com.cn

        Jia, Xuerui – Master of Education; an Associate professor of English at the School of Foreign Languages at Harbin Institute of Technology (China); PhD in English linguistics and Literature; a member of the International Association for Intercultural Communication Studies (IAICS).
        Contacts: e-mail: yuxin1228@yahoo.com.cn


The study of the theories of intercultural communication has made tremendous progress in China in recent years. The theories in this field include many aspects of research on culture and communication, which can generally be summed up within the broad rubric of communication across cultures at the cultural level and individual level (Gudykunst, 2003). This paper introduces a sociolinguistic approach to the study of intercultural communication. However, this sociolinguistic approach is different from the traditional sociolinguistic approach in the sense that it takes the position that cultural and social identities are largely communicatively produced. That is, people in the globalizing world are using appropriate linguistic resources to produce and reproduce their rights, style, and cultural and social identities? Therefore, to understand issues of social reality, social change, and social and cultural identity and how they affect and are affected by cultural, social, political, and ethnic divisions we need to gain insights into the communicative processes by which they arise. This paper seeks to present or develop an interpretive sociolinguistic approach to explain intercultural communication phenomenon in the Chinese context, hoping to uncover the role language behavior plays in the production and reproduction of cultural and social identities in general.

        Key words: intercultural communication, identity, communication process, language behaviour, sociolinguistics.

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