Written communication across cultures

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What is the best way to approach the comparison of intercultural business genres? What persuasive orientations can be embedded in English and Chinese cultural and rhetorical backgrounds? What are the main persuasive strategies used in English and Chinese business correspondence? How are they similar or different, and what causes such similarities and/or differences? What are the implications of the research for learning and teaching business language in cross-cultural communication? These major questions underlie the research in Yunxia Zhu’s exciting study, Written communication across cultures.

The volume consists of nine chapters. In addition to a brief introduction to the book, Ch. 1, ‘Introduction and outline’, brings in the necessity for developing a theoretical framework for genre comparison. It discusses genre in relation to a ‘stock of knowledge’ that is shared in a relevant discourse community in specific sociocultural contexts. Ch. 2, ‘Communication across cultures’, focuses on cross-cultural aspects as a part of the theoretical groundwork for comparing Chinese and English genres, and discusses sociocultural, organizational, and interpersonal levels for studying the business genres involved. Specifying the main theoretical framework for intercultural genre analysis, Ch. 3, ‘Conceptual framework: A dual perspective’, proposes a model for genre comparison, emphasizes genre-intertextuality interaction, and promotes cross-cultural genre study from sociocognitive and intercultural viewpoints based on English and Chinese literature related to genre analysis.

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