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Culture and interpersonal communication


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  • 1. Culture and Interpersonal Communication
    Chapter 2
  • 2. Culture
    Culture consists of the relatively specialized lifestyle of a group of people that is passed on from one generation to the next through communication, not through genes.
  • 3. Enculturation, Ethnic Identity and Acculturation
    Enculturation- The process by which you learn the culture into which you’re born.
    Ethnic Identity- A commitment to the beliefs and philosophy of your culture that can act as a protective shield against discrimination.
    Acculturation- The process by which you learn the rules and norms of a culture different from your native culture.
  • 4. Culture Beliefs and Values
    The Relevance of Culture:
    Demographic changes
    Increased sensitivity to cultural differences
    Economic interdependency
    Advances in communication technology
    The fact that communication competence is specific to a culture
  • 5. Demographic Changes
    Most obvious relevance of culture are the vast demographic changes.
    The United States was a country largely populated by Europeans, now it’s a country greatly influenced by the enormous number of new citizens from Latin and South America, Africa, and Asia.
    These changes have brought different interpersonal customs and need to understand and adapt to new ways of looking at communication.
  • 6. Sensitivity to Cultural Differences
    American society has moved from an assimilationist attitude to a new perspective that values cultural diversity.
    In this diverse society, and with some notable exceptions- hate speech, racism, sexism, homophobia, and classism come quickly to mind.
    We are more concerned with saying the right thing and ultimately with developing a society where all cultures can coexist and enrich one another.
  • 7. Economic and Political Interdependence
    Our economic lives depend on our ability to communicate effectively across different cultures.
    Our political well-being depends in great part on that of other cultures.
  • 8. Spread of Technology
    The rapid spread of technology has made intercultural communication as easy as it is inevitable
    News from foreign countries is a commonplace.
    Internet has made intercultural communication easy.
  • 9. Culture- Specific Nature of Interpersonal Communication
    Culture-specific is what proves effective in one culture may prove ineffective in another.
  • 10. The Aim of a Cultural Perspective
    Culture influences:
    What you say to yourself and how you talk to your friends, lovers, and family in everyday conversation
    How you interact in groups and how much importance you place on the group versus the individual
    The topics you talk about and the strategies you use in communicating info or in persuading
    How you use the media and the credibility you attribute to them
  • 11. How Cultures Differ
    Power Distances
    Masculine and Feminine Cultures
    High and Low Ambiguity Tolerant Cultures
    Individualist and Collectivist Orientations
    High and Low Context Cultures
  • 12. Power Distance
    Low Power Distance
    General feeling of equality that is consistent with acting assertively.
    Seen as a certain distrust for authority.
    Rely less on symbols of power.
    High Power Distance
    Direct confrontation and assertiveness may be viewed negatively.
    Respect authority.
    Rely more on symbols of power.
  • 13. Masculine and Feminine Cultures
    Emphasize success
    Assertive, ambitious, and competitive.
    More likely to confront conflicts directly and fight out the differences
    Win-lose conflict strategy.
    Emphasize the quality of life
    Modest and emphasize close interpersonal relationships.
    More likely to emphasize compromise and negotiation in resolving conflicts.
    Win-win strategy.
  • 14. High and Low Ambiguity Tolerant Cultures
    Don’t feel threatened by unknown situations.
    Readily tolerate individuals who don’t follow the same rules.
    Avoid uncertainty.
    Have great deal of anxiety about the unknown.
    Create very clear-cut rules for communication that must not be broken.
  • 15. Individualist and Collectivist Orientations
    Individualist Orientation
    Responsible for themselves and perhaps their immediate family.
    United States, Australia, Great Britain, Canada, Netherlands, New Zealand, Italy, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, France and Ireland.
    Collectivist Orientation
    Responsible for the entire group.
    Guatemala, Ecuador, Panama, Venezuela, Columbia, Indonesia, Pakistan, Costa Rica, Peru, Taiwan, and South Korea.
  • 16. High and Low Context Cultures
    High Context
    Less verbally explicit communication, less written/formal information
    Long term relationships
    Knowledge is situational, relational.
    Decisions and activities focus around personal face-to-face relationships, often around a central person who has authority.
    Low Context
    More knowledge is codified, public, external, and accessible.
    Separation of time, space, activities, and relationships
    Knowledge is more often transferable
    Decisions and activities focus around what needs to be done, division of responsibilities.
  • 17. Principles of Intercultural Communication
    Intercultural communication refers to communication between people who have different cultural beliefs, values or ways of behaving.
    Educate Yourself
    Reduce Uncertainty
    Recognize Differences
    Confront Your Stereotypes
    Adjust Your Communication
    Reduce Your Ethnocentrism
  • 18. Educate Yourself
    Learn about other cultures
    Recognize and face your own fears
  • 19. Reduce Uncertainty
    Reduce uncertainty about others
    Active listening
    Perception checking technique
    Seeking feedback
    Try to resist your natural tendency to judge others quickly
  • 20. Recognize Differences
    between yourself and the culturally different
    within the culturally different group
    in meaning
  • 21. Confront Your Stereotypes
    Stereotype- a fixed impression of a group of people.
    Stereotyping can lead to two major barriers: 1. can lead you to perceive that a person possesses certain qualities and you will fail to appreciate the multifaceted nature of all people and all groups. 2. can lead you to ignore the unique characteristic and you may fail to benefit from the special contributions each person may have.
  • 22. Adjust Your Communication
    Learn the other person’s signals, how they’re used and what they mean
    Share your own signals with others so they can understand you.
  • 23. Reduce Your Ethnocentrism
    Ethnocentrism- the tendency to evaluate the values, beliefs and behaviors of your own culture as being more positive, logical and natural than those of other cultures.