Researching the intercultural: Solid/liquid interculturality in Moroccan-themed scholarship

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Accounting for the complexity of intercultural interactions in highly multicultural-fluid times requires re-imagining of (a) the fundamental constructs that have shaped our perceptions of interculturality and (b) the factors that contribute to smooth functioning in intercultural situations. Researchers’ epistemological and methodological positioning can strongly influence the range of findings and interpretations; thus, examining the theoretical stances embraced in papers in a specific geographical context can propel the rigorousness of its scientific research. Many perspectives and theories in intercultural communication scholarship have signalled a shift from national-wide and generalisable perceptions of cultural-communication dyadic relationship towards a consideration of sense-making processes and intersubjectivity. However, some treatments of interculturality still often reproduce, consciously or not, the same preponderant epistemologies that benchmark intercultural interactions as static and essentialist, especially at the inter-individual level. Liquid interculturality, as a postmodernist alternative responsive to the construction of cultures and identities, responds to the non-linearity of intercultural encounters and considers the fluidity of individuals’ representations of themselves and other interlocutors. This paper, by highlighting the shift from solid to liquid paradigms in intercultural communication theory and research, seeks to (a) situate and critically reflect on Moroccan intercultural communication scholarship with regards to today’s relevant research and (b) clarify how researchers tend to conceptualise intercultural encounters in reference to the theoretical underpinnings of liquid interculturality. Findings revealed that most research methods have been based on solid representations of interculturality with few signs of liquid interculturality. Copyright © 2020 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)441-462
JournalJournal of North African Studies
Issue number3
Early online dateSept 2020
Publication statusPublished - 2022


R'boul, H. (2022). Researching the intercultural: Solid/liquid interculturality in Moroccan-themed scholarship. Journal of North African Studies, 27(3), 441-462. doi: 10.1080/13629387.2020.1814750


  • Intercultural interactions
  • Liquid interculturality
  • Intercultural communication research
  • Moroccan scholarship
  • Interculturality


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