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Transcript of Intercultural Communication
Intercultural Communication Problems
Characteristics of Different Cultures
Individualist vs Collectivist
Uncertainty-Accepting vs Uncertainty-Rejecting
On-time vs Sometime Cultures
Improving Intercultural Communication
Practice supportive communication behaviors
Develop sensitivity towards diversity
Avoid stereotypes and ethnocentrism
Develop code sensitivity
*At some point, you will interact with people outside of your own culture.
*Our economy is increasingly dependent on other countries.
*We gain a better understanding of cultural friends and enemies.
*Convergence of technologies has made instant communication across the globe possible.
*The United States is (and always has been) a melting pot of cultures.
culture - a unique combination of rituals, religious beliefs, ways of thinking and behaving that unify a group of people
dominant culture - determined by who has the power and influence in a group
non-dominant culture - exists within a larger, dominant culture but differs from the dominant culture in some significant characteristic.
Goals of Non-Dominant Cultural Communication
assimilation goal - attempting to fit in with the dominant group
accommodation goal - trying to keep its identity while striving for a positive relationship with the dominant group
separation goal - achieved when the marginalized group relates as exclusively as possible with its own group and as little as possible with the dominant group
individualist vs collectivist cultures
uncertainty-accepting vs uncertainty - rejecting cultures
on-time vs sometime cultures
Place a value on:
"I" before "We"
competition before cooperation
Examples: United States
Place a value on:
-family, tribe, clan
-group defined norms over personal opinions
"We" before "I"
cooperation before competition
-tolerate ambiguity, uncertainty and diversity
-less likely to have a rule for everything, more of just general principles
-more likely to accept political refuges and immigrants
Examples: United States, Denmark, Sweden
-difficulty with ambiguity, uncertainty and diversity
-lots of rules for behaviors
-more likely to reject outsiders
Examples: Japan, France, Russia, China
How can the differences between these two kinds of cultures create problems in communication?
-Compartmentalize time to meet personal needs
-Separates task and social dimensions
-Points to the future
-Sees time as something that can be wasted
Example: United States, Northern Europe
-Time is not saved or wasted
-time is just one factor in a big picture
-relationships trump time
Examples: Latin America
Reflexivity - being self-aware and learning from interactions with the intent of improving future interactions
Why is understanding intercultural communication perhaps more important today than it was 60 years ago?
- the belief that your own group/culture is superior to all others.
- a generalization about some group or people that oversimplifies their culture.
- a negative attitude toward a group of people just because of who they are.
Cultural Relativism in Gestures
Chinese always use both hands when passing food, a gift or a business card.
The U.S. indication of one (index finger) means two in Italy.
Greece & Turkey:
A small upward nod that means
"yes" in the U.S. is the way to say "no".
The OK sign in the U.S. is obscene.
Pointing with the index finger is considered insulting.
Knowing characteristics of cultures can help us better adapt, understand and prevent problems when communicating with people of different cultural backgrounds.
For this writing assignment, choose a culture (other than your own) that interests you and research its characteristics (collectivism vs. individualism, norms & values). Type a full 2 page paper on your chosen culture's characteristics and submit it under "Assignments".
DUE SUNDAY DEC 11 @ 11:59 PM
Many people belong to one or more non-dominant culture that exists within the dominant culture. For example, you are a woman, you are Jewish, you are gay or perhaps all at the same time. How in your experience does the non-dominant culture with which you are most familiar relate to the dominant culture, especially in the way they communicate with each other - or not?