Intercultural Communication

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Transcript Intercultural Communication

Intercultural Communication
Processing Our Experiment
• How similar or dissimilar were you and
each of your partners?
• For Part 1 and Part 2:
– What did you learn about your partner and his
or her group?
– How did you feel about your partner and his or
her group?
– Was the information you received about your
partner correct?
The True Information You
Received about Yourself
A’s and D’s
B’s and C’s
• You are openly energetic • You are calm around
• You are (emotional,
unemotional, or
• You are (open-minded,
opinionated, or apathetic)
Part 1: The Stereotyped
Information You Received about
Your Partner
A’s are hostile
B’s are lazy
A’s are hysterical
B’s are judgmental
C’s are lazy
D’s are hostile
C’s are judgmental
D’s are hysterical
Part 2: The Information You
Received about Your Partner
Assume equality with
A’s; You have no other
Assume equality with
B’s; You have no other
Assume equality with
C’s; You have no other
Assume equality with
D’s; You have no other
• Intercultural sensitivity is necessary to effectively communicate
with diverse groups.
• Intercultural sensitivity involves:
• Self-esteem
• Self-monitoring
• Open-mindedness
• Empathy
• Interaction involvement
• Suspending judgment
• Using stereotypes makes communication with diverse groups
• Stereotypes resist alteration and can lead to prejudice and
• Stereotypes create a barrier between us and others
Communication should be
approached at both the individual
and the cultural level.
• “Emphasizing differences can lead to
stereotyping and prejudice…Emphasizing
only similarities may lead us to ignore the
important cultural variations that exist,”
(Martin & Nakayama, 2000, p. 46)
• “Groups are made up of individuals with
unique as well as similar voices,” (Collier,
2000, p. 24).
Communication from a
Cultural Perspective Only
is Insufficient
• “We should not expect any group to use a
particular communication style all the
time,” (p. 159).
• When “we assume knowledge about another
person’s identity, based on his of her
membership in a particular cultural
group…we are ignoring the individual
aspect,” (p. 141).
Communication from an
Individual Perspective
Only is Insufficient
• You may overemphasize similarities, and
see others more like yourself.
• You may judge others by your own cultural
standards, rather than considering other
cultural standards.
Intercultural Communication –
Some Definitions to Start Us Off…
• Culture: “that set of values, beliefs, norms, customs,
rules, and codes that socially define groups of people,
giving them a sense of commonality.”
-- Race
-- Gender
-- Disability
-- Ethnicity
-- Religion
-- SES
-- Age
-- Sexual Orientation
-- Etc.
• In-Groups and Out-Groups
• Co-cultures: “The perception of membership in a group
that is part of an encompassing culture.
• Intercultural Communication: “The process that occurs
when members of two or more cultures exchange
messages in a manner that is influenced by their different
cultural perceptions and symbol systems.”
Cultural Values and Norms
High-Context vs. Low-Context
• How much is communicated by the context,
and how much needs to be directly said?
Low Context
High Context
Self-Expression Valued
Native Americans,
Relational Harmony Valued
*Individualism vs. Collectivism*
• Individualistic Cultures
– Loyalty to self
– Define self based on
what you do
– Value autonomy,
change, youth,
individual security,
– Examples:
• US, Canada, Australia,
Great Britain
• Collectivistic Cultures
– Loyalty to family,
community, work, etc.
– Define self based on who
your in-group is
– Value duty, order,
tradition, age, group
security, status,
hierarchy, relationship
– Examples:
• Latin American and Asian
Power Difference
• More egalitarian vs. more hierarchical?
Low power deferential
High power deferential
Philippines, Mexico,
Venezuela, India, Singapore
Uncertainty Avoidance
• “The degree to which members of a culture feel
threatened by ambiguous situations and how
much they try to avoid them.”
• Low Uncertainty Avoidance:
– Tolerates or values nonconformity
• High Uncertainty Avoidance:
– Threatened by ambiguous situations/nonconformity
– Values security
– Clearly defined rules and regulations
Achievement vs. Nurturing
Achievement Culture
Nurturing Culture
Material success/Goal-oriented
Strict gender roles
More gender neutrality
Spain, France
The Interplay Between Culture
and Verbal & Nonverbal Codes
Verbal Codes
• Language and Identity
• Verbal Communication Style
– Directness
– Elaborateness/Succinctness
– Formality/Informality
• Language and Worldview
– Linguistic Determinism – language determines worldview
• Sapir-Whorf hypothesis: “the structure of a language affects the
perceptions of reality of its speakers and thus influences their thought
patterns and worldviews.”
– Linguistic Relativism – language strongly influences perceptions
Nonverbal Codes
• Some nonverbals have universal meanings
(e.g., smiles, crying)
• Others are more culturally-determined
Decoding Messages CrossCulturally
• Translation
• Attributions
– We tend to judge others’ behaviors less generously and
according to our own cultural norms.
– Stereotyping
• Cultural Systems of Logic
– Linear/Rational or Intuitive
– Dichotomous or Nondichotomous
Developing Greater Intercultural
Communication Competence
Intercultural Competence
• Motivation and attitude
– Tolerating ambiguity
– Being open-minded
• Not being ethnocentric
• Not being prejudiced
• Not stereotyping
• Knowledge of how other cultures communicate &
skill in creating and responding to messages
– Mindfulness – awareness of one’s own
behavior and that of others
• Passive observation
• Active strategies
• Self-disclosure
– Learn about who in a culture especially
receives respect, and how this is communicated
– Learn about how interactions are managed (the flow of
conversation, turn-taking, etc.)
– Learn about roles, rules, and expectations for goalaccomplishment (e.g., business), and for relationships