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The roots of the study of communication and culture can be traced back to the post-World War II era, when there was an increasing need to prepare government and business personnel for working effectively overseas. In the early development of the discipline, culture was primarily defined as “nationality,” with an emphasis on cross-cultural comparisons of verbal and nonverbal communication patterns so as to provide practical cross-cultural training to overseas personnel. However, as the discipline evolves, culture has been defined in many ways, ranging from shared perceptions that influence communication, to patterns of symbolic actions and meanings that are enacted through communication, to a cite of contestations and conflicts in which members use communication to construct or resist meaning. These definitions, respectively representing (a) the social ...

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