Intercultural Communication and Diversity - Training Materials


If you need help, please contact Moninder Lalli, Liaison Librarian: Graduate Business Programs; Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies; Sociology/Anthropology; Labour Studies Program; Komagata Maru at 778.782.4264 (Burnaby); 778-782-5043 (Vancouver) or or Ask a librarian.



Link to resources


"Intercultural communication" has emerged as a distinct field with contributions from many other disciplines. This guide has been created to assist practioners in any field learn about "intercultural communication" and how to apply its principles within their own work setting. Increasingly there is an interest in developing "personal competence" about interacting with people from different cultures, i.e."intercultural competence." The models of intercultural communication presented in this guide are mainly western-based. A small cautionary note...there can be a danger of "generalizing" and "stereotyping" people from other cultures, based on a few readings and one's own personal experiences with only a limited number of people from other cultures. Another false assumption can be that people from another culture are all "homogenous" (all the same) whereas there are as many differences in other cultures as there are in our own. Learning about ourselves and other cultures is an ongoing processs so one needs to keep an open and inquiring mind and heart.

The guide also makes a distinction between the terms "intercultural" and "diversity." "Intercultural" refers to communication between members of two different cultures, and "diversity" is a more general term, indicating "differences" due to cultural factors, and other factors such as gender, soci-economic status, ability, etc. The term "cross cultural" is generally used in the United States to describe "inter-cultural" interactions. Moninder Bubber


Journal articles

Some terminology that may be useful in the various databases includes: intercultural, cultural, cross-cultural, cross-cultural skills, cross-cultural orientation, cultural competence, communication and culture, cultural literacy, cultural awareness, cultural sensitivity, cultural differences, collectivism, individualism, ethnocentrism, ethno-relativism, multicultural, diversity, workforce diversity, diversity in the workplace, ethnicity, ethnic, "ethno-", minority, minorities, pluralism, etc.

Please take a look at the "subject" listing of databases (use the pulldown menu for the top box) for articles related to a certain field.  Apart from that you may want to start with a few databases from the list below:

  • Sociological Abstracts - indexes sociological journals.
  • Anthropology Plus -- Unites Harvard's Anthropological Literature and the Royal Anthropological Institute's Anthropological Index Online
  • Academic Search Complete - a multi-disciplinary dtbs
  • Communication & Mass Media Complete

    Indexing & abstracts for over 550 journals in the fields of communication, mass media studies, linguistics and film including full text for over 400 journals.

  • Humanities & Social Sciences Index - indexes arts, humanities and social science journals.
  • Project MUSE Search (full text) - humanities and social science journals. In Advanced Search box, mark the box for "JSTOR" backfiles, to search both databases at once.
    • JSTOR (full text) - starting from first issue of journal, excluding the most current 5-6 years of the journal.
  • Google Scholar - for articles from a wide variety of academic publishers, professional societies, preprint repositories and universities, as well as scholarly articles available across the web.

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  • Dictionary of multicultural psychology : issues, terms, and concepts / Lena E. Hall Thousand Oaks, Calif. : Sage, c2005. GN 502 H336 2005  
  • Dictionary of race, ethnicity and culture / edited by Guido Bolaffi ... [et al.]. London ; Thousand Oaks, Calif. : SAGE Publications, 2003.GN 495.6 D53 2003  
  • Dictionary of race and ethnic relations / Ellis Cashmore ; with Michael Banton ... [et al.] ; and specialist contributions from Heribert Adam ... [et al.]. London ; New York : Routledge, 1994, 3d ed. Bennett Reference GN 496 C37 1994 
  • Intercultural Glossary / DFAIT Canada
  • The new dictionary of cultural literacy [electronic resource] / E.D. Hirsch Jr., Joseph F. Kett, James Trefil. Boston : Houghton Mifflin, 2002, revised and updated (part of xreferplus)
  • The Sage dictionary of cultural studies / Chris Barker. London ; Thousand Oaks, Calif. : Sage Publications, 2004. Bennett Reference HM 623 B38 2004  

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Background information

  • xreferplus - a compendium of many dictionaries and encyclopedias - try searching for terms such as: "cross-cultural", diversity, "multicultural", "multiculturalism", etc.
  • International Encyclopedia of the Social Behavioral Sciences: IESBS - articles under: "cross-cultural psychology", "cross-cultural research methods", "cross-cultural study of education", "cultural assimilation", "cultural diversity, human development and education", "ethnocentrism", "ethnicity, race, and health", "multicultural education", "parenting in ethnic minority families", "race: history of the concept", etc.

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Training resources


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  • Diversity Videos at SFU Library
    • Tip: Search by keyword
      (cultur* or cross-cultur* or intercultur*) and (communic* or train* )
      and select "Movies (dvds, vidoes, etc.") in the pull down menu on the right to get a list of current videos.
  • Diversity, Inclusion and Internationalization - some videos in this list
  • Culture and Diversity: a listing of materials available at the Justice Institute of BC - look for the videos listed in the document (Bibliography)
  • Jane Elliott - videos
  • Invisible barriers  (24 min.) HD 4903 I58 1999.
    " The scenarios presented are: a wheelchair candidate for an office job; an international marketing class divided by race; an advertisement project not addressing alternate lifestyles; an overbearing and verbally abusive department head; a facially disfigured person; an Asian job applicant; a new worker having difficulty asking for help. " (quoted from cataloguing record)
  • Peace Corps - Video Collection on the web
    • Cultural Gaffes Beyond Your Borders
      "This entertaining eight-minute video shows you how easy it is to commit a blunder, a gaffe, a slip-up in another culture. Things as simple and normal to you as sitting on the edge of a desk may be insulting in another country. See 14 examples of cultural gaffes acted out, then get some advice on how to try to avoid making such mistakes when you travel to another culture." [description from their website. mb]
  • Teaching in the diverse classroom [videorecording] / producer, Brooke Quigley ; executive producer, Jody Nyquist. Seattle : University of Washington, Instructional Media Services, c1991 ; Vancouver, B.C. : Distributed by B.C. Learning Connection, 1999. (37 min.) Loc: Media Collection. LC 1099.3 T45 1991

    " University faculty and students tell why recognizing diversity is important on the college campus and demonstrate how instructors can teach effectively in an increasingly diverse academic setting. Describes four strategies: include all students; recognize different ways individuals learn; promote respect in the classroom; and acknowledge diversity through curriculum choices." (quoted from cataloguing record)

  • Recruitment interviewing across cultures [videorecording] / BBC. London : British Broadcasting Corporation, 1991 ; Toronto : International Tele-Film ; Vancouver : B.C. Learning Connection [distributor], 2000. (24 min) Surrey Multimedia Collec. HM 258 C76 No.2 1991      


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  • Intercultural Press - specialist publisher in intercultural materials. Subject categories include: culture guides, living and working abroad, culture and global management, diversity, parenting and families, intercultural education and training, expatriate experience, conflict resolution, health, ESL resources, Latino culture, etc.
  • SIETAR Europa's link to Intercultural publishers
  • GoodMinds.Com - vendor -- "...source for purchasing bias-free books, videos, audiocassettes, kits and CD-ROM's by and about First Nations / Native Americans." (quoted from the vendor's website. ) ***First Nations
  • Theytus Books Ltd. publisher -- "Established in 1980, Theytus became the first First Nations owned and operated publishing house in Canada" (quoted from the publisher's site) ***First Nations

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Intercultural studies programs


United States

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Electronic journals and texts


The Electronic Journals Database provides access to fulltext of electronic journals available to SFU Library users, either on the web or through selected periodical indexes.

Look at "Subject Category" "Intercultural Communication and Diversity" to obtain a list of e-journals of interest. See also weblink to Journal of Intercultural Communication going back to 1999 (to be added to above list, but done, as of Jan 18, 2006).


  • ebrary - over 24,000 books, check for terms: "diversity", "intercultural", etc.
  • netLibrary - e-books, check for terms: "diversity", "intercultural communication", diversity, etc.

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Associations and organizations

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Government information

British Columbia


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Special topics


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Models of culture

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Cultural competence

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Diversity in Higher Education

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Diversity in Schools

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Diversity in Libraries



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Diversity and the media