Any account of the foundations of intercultural competence theory and practice necessarily requires acknowledging the contributions and influences of the discipline of cultural anthropology, specifically the ways in which the concept of culture evolved throughout the 20th century, which is the subject of this entry. The focus will be on the anthropological concepts and fieldwork methods that were adopted by and incorporated into the emerging field of intercultural communication as it developed over the second half of the century, including the ways in which their underlying paradigms and conceptual toolkits diverged significantly.

Disciplinary Foundations

Many of today’s central anthropological concepts related to the study of culture are a fairly modern development, occurring from the late 1800s through the first four decades of the 20th century. The discipline’s ...

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