Exploring Cultural Communication From the Inside Out

An Ethnographic Toolkit (First Edition)
Tabitha Hart
©2022, 186 pages

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Exploring Cultural Communication From the Inside Out

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    What do you do when you are a newcomer in a cultural group and you must find your way? From the perspective of an ethnographer of communication, one of the most effective strategies you can take is to go from the inside out.

    Exploring Cultural Communication from the Inside Out: An Ethnographic Toolkit is a workbook that offers readers a hands-on approach to navigating new cultural environments. The text helps readers develop richer and more nuanced understandings not only of the different cultures they are members of but also their own roles in an increasingly multicultural and global society.

    The book is grounded in an interpretive theoretical/methodological framework of the ethnography of communication and speech codes theory, and guides readers through the process of applying this framework to any setting of their choice. Throughout, the text introduces theoretical concepts and pairs them with applied activities that require readers to engage in ethical fieldwork, data collection, and analysis. Readers are then challenged to document their experience, communicate what they have learned, and participate in deep reflection.

    Featuring a unique methodology and highly practical information, Exploring Cultural Communication from the Inside Out is exemplary for courses in intercultural communication, language and culture, sociolinguistics, and communication research.

    Tabitha Hart holds a Ph.D. in communication with specialized training in the ethnography of communication and speech codes theory from the University of Washington. She is an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication Studies at San José State University. Dr. Hart’s research focuses on cultural communication, service communication, service learning, and civic engagement.
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    "Exploring Cultural Communication From the Inside Out is written very well. It is much more accessible than an advanced theoretical treatise. It is not too dense and is written in a plain and straightforward manner ... In every chapter it presents—for every key concept—vivid and concrete examples, illustrations, real situations, and anecdotes. These make every chapter easy to follow and interesting to read ... I really like the workbook format. I can immediately see how the workbook format makes this book one through which students can be immediately engaged in working on learning about intercultural communication. Students in a distance learning format could use the exercises to talk with friends about the queries and short assignments and this would help them learn. Students in an in-person classroom setting could be set to work immediately in large-group or small-group work sessions ... The eight chapters, taken together, really hang together as a coherent book. The first seven chapters each provide one piece of a puzzle, as it were, and then the puzzle gets completed in the final chapter. The final chapter brings the parts together as one coherent whole. I think the students will experience a sense of fulfilment and wholeness in the end. Very sharp ... Each chapter and the book as a whole draws from a wide variety of studies, theoretical treatments, and schools of thought. It draws consistently from one network of scholars in the communication discipline, but at each point (in each chapter) it draws from other scholars or groups of scholars. So it has a particular emphasis and flavor but it also brings in other important useful networks and groups of people who do research about intercultural communication ... I could happily teach a 5-credit quarter system course or 3-credit semester course using only this book because the book could be used to facilitate and guide a lot of student work individually, and, if wanted, student work in learning groups."
    Gerry Philipsen, Professor of Communication, University of Washington
    Originator of speech codes theory

    "The workbook is excellent! A joy to read and I really look forward to using it in my future classes. I believe it will help my students learn EC/SCT and the research process more deeply ... [The workbook] teaches them how to do ethnography of communication (EC)/speech codes theory (SCT) research in a very approachable, easy-to-understand way, for what is very complex research. So often undergrad and grad students are overwhelmed when they read EC and ethnographic work in general. They love the work, but have no idea how to go about it. You can assign a number of very good EC studies to read in class that are fascinating to students, but they have no idea how to get from point A to point B. Research in general can be very challenging, especially for undergrads. The workbook is very student-centered, very hands-on. It’s wonderful! I would use it for all levels of undergrad, and would use it for intro grad classes on EC."
    Michelle Scollo, Associate Professor of Communication, College of Mount Saint Vincent

    "Exploring Cultural Communication From the Inside Out very precisely synthesizes EC/SCT work paired with others of its type. There are clear explanations of many of the large concepts we all cover in classes and specific activities to help students move this process along. There is an enormous body of EC/SCT work covered in the book, which is super impressive and very helpful for seeing the big picture."
    Evelyn Y. Ho, Professor of Communication Studies, Asian Pacific American Studies, and Critical Diversity Studies, Faculty Chair of the Honors College, University of San Francisco