Cultural dimensions and an intercultural study of narratorial behavior

Patrick Cattrysse
  • The Journal of Internationalization and Localization, January 2016, John Benjamins
  • DOI: 10.1075/jial.3.2.01cat

What is it about?

This paper introduces the concept of ‘cultural dimension’ as developed in intercultural communication, into the field of intercultural narrative studies. Since cultural dimensions describe and explain patterns of social human behavior, the question emerges whether they can also help to study narratorial behavior. If so, cultural dimensions may assist scholars to study the cultural localization of global values in narratives. When conceiving of narrative as the representation of characters acting in situations, one may distinguish two levels of narrative behavior: the level of character behavior, i.e. the represented, and the level of a narrator behaving narratively, i.e. the representation. This paper focuses on the level of the narrative agency. Borrowing some classical concepts from narratology (real authors, implied authors, narrator, narratee, implied audience and real audiences), it examines how narratorial behavior may display cultural, i.e. localized values at various levels. By way of conclusion, this essay suggests how the concept of ‘cultural dimension’ could assist a study of cross-cultural audience empathy.

The following have contributed to this page: Professor Patrick Cattrysse