Talking Past Each Other: Problems of Cross-cultural Communication

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Victoria University Press, 1984 - Intercultural communication - 61 pages
A classic text for early childhood centres who are looking at issues relating to cross cultural communication. This book was first published in 1978 but still addresses issues that are relevant today and the phrase 'talking past each other' has now become part of the language of educationalists. The phenomenon of 'listening through our ears but hearing through our culture' is still evident in many early childhood centres throughout New Zealand today because these services are 'predominantly Pakeha and vary widely in their knowledge of other cultures'. In their book Metge and Kinloch examine: verbal and non-verbal communication, the use of eye contact, interpreting and reacting to silence, decision making, and time management, in cross cultural contexts. The authors note that 'Paradoxically in cross cultural conversations between providers of early childhood services and parents ... the closer the speakers are, the more familiar they become, the more blind they may be to the occurrence of miscommunication between them'.

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About the author (1984)

Joan Metge was born in 1930 in Auckland, New Zealand. She is an anthropologist by training. She is well known for her groundbreaking research in Maori communities and the so-called urban drift of the mid twentieth century. She attended Auckland University College, where she studied Geography, French and German, completed an MA thesis on Maori population movements and, in 1958, completed a PhD in Social Anthropology at the London School of Economics. She published her thesis as her first book, A New Maori Migration: Urban and Rural Relations in Northern New Zealand. Since then she has published a number of important books on Maori history and society and on cross-cultural communication, including The Maoris of New Zealand (1967/1976), Talking Past Each Other (1978/1984 ), New Growth From Old and Korero Tahi (AUP). Her famous work Rautahi: The Maoris of New Zealand was republished by Routledge in 2004. Joan Metge was awarded the nonfiction prize in the 2015 New Zealand Prime Minister's Awards for Literary Achievement.

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