The Way Things Aren’t: Deconstructing ‘Reality’ to Facilitate Communication


The Way Things Aren’t: Deconstructing ‘Reality’ to Facilitate Communication


Edited by John Backman and Małgorzata Wójcik

Format: Paperback/eBook (pdf)

Are our own views really ‘the way things are’? This provocative book debunks that notion, exploring communication as a flashpoint between different ‘realities’ in case examples from Iraq, Poland, and other areas.

SKU: 9781848883482.
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In a world of continual conflict, rethinking the way we communicate with other cultures, religions, or nations is of paramount importance. Standing in the way is the unconscious assumption that our own views reflect ‘the way things are’ – an assumption both inefficient and harmful.  The Way Things Aren’t: Deconstructing ‘Reality’ to Facilitate Communication explores communication as a meeting point between different perceptions of reality, presenting how our assumptions and convictions hinder effective communication with those who are different from us. Featuring case examples from Somalia, Romania, and other regions, the chapters describe how authorities and the media often create ‘reality’ to relegate some people, cultures, languages, or religions to ‘the wrong side of the tracks’. Featuring scholars and practitioners from many disciplines, this discussion challenges readers with the idea that in order to remain open for new perspectives we must be aware that things are not always ‘the way things are’.

John Backman and Małgorzata Wójcik

Uncommon Ground: Cultural Differences in Space Perception
Richard Harris

Discourse in Canadian News: The Victim Blaming of Amanda Todd
Hailey Finnigan

Views of the Arab Revolts: Representations in the News by Brazilian Weekly Magazines
Fábio Ferreira Agra and Marcus Antonio Assis Lima

The Somalis and the Americans: The Communication Challenges of Somali Piracy
Sarah Craze

Communication Breakdown during Involuntary Resettlement in Poland
Małgorzata Wójcik and Igor Pietkiewicz

The Politics of Multilingual and Non-Verbal Multicultural Communication: Case Studies and a Research Agenda
László Marácz

Before We Talk: Discovering Dialogue as a Habit of the Heart
John Backman

John Backman, the author of Why Can’t We Talk? Christian Wisdom on Dialogue as a Habit of the Heart (SkyLight Paths Publishing), writes extensively on contemplative spirituality and its influence on dialogue. A regular contributor to Huffington Post Religion, he serves on the board of the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation and has presented internationally on dialogue-related topics.

Małgorzata Wójcik is Assistant Professor at University of Social Sciences & Humanities. Her main research interests include community and social psychology. Her scholarly writings focus on issues relating to social exclusion and marginalization of disprivileged groups.