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Conference Information

Full Title: Dialogues without Borders: Strategies of Interpersonal and Inter-group Communication

Short Title: 4th ESTIDIA conference
Location: Sofia, Bulgaria
Start Date: 29-Sep-2017 - 30-Sep-2017
Contact: Ivanka Mavrodieva
Meeting Email: click here to access email
Meeting URL:
Meeting Description: The 4th ESTIDIA conference is hosted by Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”, Sofia, Bulgaria, on 29-30 September, 2017. The conference serves as a discussion forum for researchers and practitioners to showcase their dialogue-oriented work on current societal and community-related issues, and on methodological approaches to dialogue and strategies of interpersonal and inter-group communication. The aim is to bring together senior and junior scholars and practitioners from a wide range of disciplines and professional orientations to critically explore, through dialogue, different perspectives on human thinking, communication strategies, interpersonal relations, socio-cultural traditions, political processes and business interactions by means of theory-based and practice-driven investigations.

Most of the world’s population – and Europe is a case in point – lives in contexts that are becoming increasingly multi-ethnic, multi-lingual, multi-cultural. Travel across national boundaries is becoming an everyday activity for many, and new technologies allow individuals to communicate easily and cheaply across such boundaries, even if they stay at home. Meanwhile, hostilities between ethnic, national, religious, and other groups do not seem to be decreasing, but on the contrary, are being kindled by extremist groups and totalitarian leaders. To prevent and do away with such negative and dangerous developments in the 21st century, it is more important than ever to acquire an in-depth understanding of how individuals communicate based on group or community memberships, and how communication allows or encourages group segregation or harmony.

The major goal of this conference is to offer a forum for interdisciplinary and multi-level dialogue among researchers and practitioners in interpersonal and inter-group communication across social-cultural contexts and fields of activity. The questions to be explored and debated include, but are not limited to, the following:

- How are interpersonal and intergroup relations constructed, de-constructed and re-constructed through multilingual, multi-level and multidimensional communication?
- To what extent can social rituals and cultural traditions enable, promote or prevent ingroup harmony/disharmony and outgroup inclusion/exclusion?
- How do the groups people belong to influence the (positive and negative) ingroup-outgroup stereotypes they develop/hold? What role do language and linguistic representations play in spreading or exposing stereotypes?
- What types of pro-migrant and anti-migrant arguments are being put forward in official media coverage and in the social media? In what ways do they differ and how do they affect individual and group reactions?
- How do media programmes, advertisemensts, online networking, and other types of multimodal communication impact the (positive and negative) attitudes and emotions of the viewers?
- What commonalities and what differences can be noticed in the terminology and discourse used to describe individuals and/or groups migrating within or between countries? Which are the recurrent collocations used with regard to categories of people referred to as refugees, migrants, immigrants, expats, asylum seekers, and/or displaced people?
- What is the role played by digital platforms in reproducing, reinforcing or challenging class and gender systemic inequalities within and across groups?
- In what ways can translation and interpreting serve as bridge-builders across generations, genders, and a wide range of different or mixed cultures?

Keynote Speakers:

Prof. Cornelia Ilie , Malmö University, Sweden (
Prof. Helen Spencer-Oatey, University of Warwick, UK (
Linguistic Subfield: Anthropological Linguistics; General Linguistics; Sociolinguistics
LL Issue: 28.955

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