oa Communicare : Journal for Communication Sciences in Southern Africa - The many faces of competence: reflections on intercultural communication competence in the post-modern era

Volume 15, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0259-0069



This paper argues that postmodernism challenges the way in which intercultural communication competence has traditionally been conceptualized. The very framing of the notion as ""competence"" reveals its historical contingency and complicity with a particular interest group. Some of the assumptions which underpin the ""received"" versions of competence are examined, and are related to post-modem concerns of the nature of knowledge and truth, culture and personhood. In the course of the analysis, reference is made to the literature on competence, and suggestions are made for ways in which competence can fruitfully be explored that are more in keeping with the spirit of post-modernism.

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