The History / Intercultural Communication Connection<br />
Do we need to change our perspective of history?<br />Americans ignore history, for to them everything has always seemed new under the sun. The national myth is that of creativity and progress, of a steady climbing upward into power and prosperity, both for the individual and for the country as a whole. Americans see history as a straight line and themselves standing at the cutting edge of it as representatives for all mankind. They believe in the future as if it were a religion; they believe that there is nothing they cannot accomplish, that solution wait somewhere for all problems.<br />
The Grand Narrative<br />The grand narrative is a unified history and view of humankind. <br />The grand narrative organizes history into an understandable story which makes certain assumptions, such as:<br />Development in Science, medicine & education would lead to progress and better life. <br />The grand narrative dominated how people saw the past, present and future.<br />The grand narrative is being constantly challenged.<br />
Transitioning from History to Histories<br />“To understand the dialectics (the reconciliation of logic and conflict) in everyday interaction ,we need to think about the many histories that help form our different identities” (Martin & Nakayama, 2010, p. 123).<br />
Our Many Histories<br />To understand culture, we need to understand the following types of history:<br />Political History : history connected to political events<br />Intellectual History : history relating the development of ideas<br />Social History : history focusing on everyday experiences<br />Family History : history of families<br />National History : knowledge based on past events influencing a countries <br />Cultural Group History : history of a cultural group within a nation<br />Racial & Ethnic History : histories specific to a racial or ethnic group<br />Gender & Sexual Orientation History : history of sex and gender<br />Diasporic History : history of displaced peoples <br />
The Absent History<br />What about histories from marginalized groups, such as the American slaves?<br />Absent histories are the histories not recorded or that are missing.<br />Absent history is a result of concealing the past. <br />It is the decision of the powerful to withhold the information, past and present.<br />
History and Identity are Connected<br />Our identity is connected to our histories. Yet, some of our identities come from hidden histories.<br />Hidden Histories are forgotten or neglected from mainstream history and their representations of the past.<br />
Intercultural Communication and History Connection<br />To understand specific relationships in communication and history, one must understand the following concepts:<br />Antecedents of Contract<br />The Contact Hypothesis<br />Application of the Dialectical Perspective<br />
Antecedents of Contracts<br />When we communicate, we need to understand that we bring our individual histories with us. These personal histories involve our experiences and attitudes. Such as:<br />Childhood Experiences<br />Historical Myths<br />The language we speak influences our interactions.<br />Current Events<br />
The Contact Hypothesis<br />The contact hypothesis is the notion that better communication between groups of people is facilitated simply by bringing them together and allowing them to interact.<br />While history does not support this hypothesis, many public policies—both national & international—support this hypothesis.<br />There are conditions which may exist to support this hypothesis, for further reading check the Martin & Nakayama text pages 149-150.<br />
Application of the Dialectical Perspective<br />To negotiate our intercultural interactions, we need to take into account the following:<br />We all have our own histories<br />We should understand the role history takes in our identities<br />Then we acknowledge the tensions we may experience in our different histories and identities.<br />
References<br />Martin, J.N. & Nakayama, T.K. (2010). Intercultural Communication in Contexts, 10 ed. New York: McGraw Hill.<br />
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