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Intercultural Communication

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Meghan Martinez

on 29 November 2016

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Transcript of Intercultural Communication

Why is studying intercultural communication important?
Key Terms
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
Intercultural Communication
Chapter 7
*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
Individualist Cultures
Collectivist Cultures
Place a value on:
"I" before "We"
competition before cooperation

Examples: United States
Great Britain
Place a value on:
-family, tribe, clan
-group defined norms over personal opinions
"We" before "I"
cooperation before competition

Examples: China
-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?
Communication Log:
- 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.
Intercultural Paper
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?
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