The chapter on Intercultural Communicative Competence is an analytic one in the sense that, it explores the concept and dissects its aspects in great details. However there are certain parts the relevance of which seems doubtful or overrated to me.
I completely agree with the exploration of the meaning and implications of the metaphors used to define the multicultural bulk and environment of America. It lays the very foundation of the angles and degrees of depth from which the following content needs to be approached and scrutinized. Both agreeing and disagreeing with the author, I find both The Tapestry and Garden Salad metaphors closest to the reality of the multicultural population and identity of America but also find both very elusive and incomplete in the sense that, no single metaphor can relate the entire complexity of the mechanism of this multicultural population as one whole. Rather, the Rainbow metaphor seems to depict the immediate reality of this society in more practical angle as fixed positions, comparative subordination and inequality are things people try to get rid of but still do exist in any multicultural society as that of America; and still they coexist in harmony for generations on personal level.
The initial section deals with the terms that will be used to refer to individual cultural groups in America, and their choices of the preferred terms are justified in unnecessarily great details. Terms that have been approved among others are US Americans, European Americans, African Americans, Latino or Latina and the like, which has been used for decades and are familiar to even people beyond the Americas. So, the detailed justification of their use or approval seems unnecessary and oddly defensive. The background and possible socio- political implication of these terms and others like Hispanic, Dominant or Majority, Black, Chikano etc. are extremely likely to be known to the possible audience who would like to explore a chapter or book like this.
The one thing I appreciate thoroughly in this chapter is the practical interpretation that there is no single prescriptive set of direction to achieve cultural communicative competence. Rather, to achieve this is a rather elusive goal. The explanation of how this competence is not an individualistic aspect, but an interactive and contextual judgment between interlocutors based on relational, situational, expected and permitted appropriate set of behavioral, and interactive appropriateness, is evident of the authenticity and practicality of the approach and research of the author. To all that adds the commendable segment in which author explores, in considerable details, how maintaining of the aspects of respect, empathy, orientation of knowledge, effective interaction management, task role and rational role behavior, tolerance to ambiguity and interaction posture, contribute to achieving better intercultural communicative competence. The emphasis that all the above aspects of development are culture- general only enhances the author’s authenticity. However, the interpretation of the above points again seems a little repetitive to me to certain degree, and they overlap logically speaking.
Overall, the chapter does a marvelous job in providing information and interpretation but the audience consideration and research feels weak. The possible audiences who are supposed to read such content are not supposed to be laymen readers approaching the book on this topic for the first time. The way the details have been organized in minute explanatory approach seems a little overdone and unnecessary. However, it still holds merit for the same reason as a reference resource.