Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

The Sage Encyclopedia of Intercultural Competence

Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

The Sage Encyclopedia of Intercultural Competence

Article excerpt

The Sage Encyclopedia of Intercultural Competence. Ed. by Janet M. Bennett. Los Angeles: Sage Reference, 2015. 2 vols. Acid free $340 (ISBN 978-1-4522-4428-0).

Encyclopedia of Intercultural Competence draws together multiple concepts and theories related to interaction between groups of people with different cultural identities. As such, a wide range of disciplines and perspectives are represented in the entries, spanning education, healthcare, and the social sciences. What distinguishes these volumes from similar works, such as Jane Jackson's Handbook of Language and Intercultural Communication (Routledge 2012) is the broadening of scope beyond verbal communication to include values, ethics, customs, and culture.

Generally, the implicit contrast set is between English-speaking North Americans and other countries and cultures. Most entries are accessible and written in straightforward language with a distinct voice of each writer. As a aid to findability, entries are listed both alphabetically and thematically in a reader's guide. The 261 entries are classified according to twenty themes such as "Diversity and Inclusion," "Intercultural Communication," "Research Paradigms and Research Methods," and "Values." These themes are extremely useful as a means of navigating the volumes at a glance, especially when several disciplines are grouped together under one such concept. All entries have reference lists of supplementary readings, and one of the three appendices provides a substantive bibliography of up-to-date intercultural texts.

An advantage of these volumes is that the originators of particular theories were selected to write their own sections, which gives them a particular insight into their subjects. …

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