Intercultural Alliances, Volume 25 of The International and Intercultural Communication Annual, reflects the struggle to comprehend our international communities and improve the ways in which we communicate and negotiate across cultures. Carefully organized and edited by Mary Jane Collier, this accessible volume defines intercultural alliances and demonstrates their potential through examples of effective and ineffective alliances. A group of diverse and distinguished contributors presents an array of approaches to intercultural alliances, analyzing relationships between groups and individuals; institutionally based relationships that are constrained and enabled by structures, ideologies, and histories; and relationships as situated discourse. Tailored for scholars who study culture, communication, sociology, or language, Intercultural Alliances is also essential reading for upper level undergraduate and graduate students interested in culture or communication.

Embodied Negotiation: Commodification and Cultural Representation in the U.S. Southwest

Embodied negotiation: Commodification and cultural representation in the U.S. Southwest
KathrynSorrellsCalifornia State University, Northridge

Introduction

In the highly commodified world in which we live, culture has become a product that can be invented, packaged, and consumed. The marketability of a culture frequently depends upon the ways in which the cultural forms of representation embody difference—difference from the dominant culture. This “difference” between the culture that is commodified and those who consume it must be constructed as “real,” which depends heavily upon rhetoric of “authenticity.” When the dynamics of commodification are in motion, cultural representation often is “fixed” or “frozen” in the past, perpetuating stereotypical and limiting images of the dominant culture's notion of the “other.”

In this chapter, I ...

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