• Define and explain culture and its
impact on your communication
• Delineate seven ways that cultural
variables affect communication
• Describe the communicative power
of group affiliations
Chapter Outcomes (cont.)
• Explain key barriers to competent
• Demonstrate behaviors that
contribute to intercultural
– A learned system of thought and
behavior that belongs to and typifies a
relatively large group of people
– The composite of their shared beliefs,
values, and practices
• We learn culture through
communication with others.
• We express our culture through
• Your personal worldview is the
which you interpret
the world and the
people in it.
Culture Is Learned
• The communication between people
from different cultures who have
• Necessary in our diverse, mobile
• Mediated communication gives us
regular exposure to people from other
• Cultural variations play out along a
continuum and are not absolute.
• High-context cultures use
contextual cues to both interpret
meaning and send subtle messages
– Cues: time, place,
• Low-context cultures use direct
language and rely less on situational
– Examples: U.S., Canada, northern Europe
• Collectivistic cultures perceive
selves primarily as members of a
group; use hyperbole.
– Examples: Arab and Latin American
cultures, China, Japan
• Co-cultures within a larger culture
• Individualistic cultures value
individuality, communicate autonomy and
privacy, and downplay emotions.
– Examples: U.S., Great Britain, Australia,
• High uncertainty avoidance cultures
adapt behavior to avoid risk and use formal
rules to communicate.
– Examples: Portugal, Greece, Peru, Japan
• Low uncertainty avoidance
cultures have a higher tolerance for
risk and ambiguity and use fewer
formal rules to communicate.
– Examples: Sweden, Denmark, Ireland,
• Power distance is the way in which
cultures accept the division of power
• Masculine cultures place value on
ambition, and competitiveness.
– Examples: Mexico, Japan, Italy
• Feminine cultures value
nurturance, relationships, and quality
– Examples: Sweden, Norway
• Time orientation: the way that
cultures communicate about and with
– Monochronistic cultures are time-
conscious; include U.S., Great Britain
– Polychronistic cultures have a more fluid
approach to time; include Latin America,
• In monochronistic cultures, time is a
valuable resource that is not to be
wasted. Polychronistic cultures have
a more fluid approach to time and
deal with various projects and people
• Co-cultures: Members share some
of the general culture’s system of
thought and behavior, but have
distinct unifying characteristics.
– Include race, gender, sexual orientation,
– Include generations
• Social Identity Theory includes
– Personal identity
– Social identity from your group memberships
• Intergroup communication
– How communication occurs within and between
groups and affects relationships
– We communicate differently with people in
ingroups versus outgroups.
• Changing thinking (cognition)
• Changing feelings (affect)
• Changing behavior
• Being mindful (intercultural
• Desiring to learn about other cultures
• Overcoming intergroup biases
– Intergroup contact theory:
interaction between members of different
social groups generates a possibility for
more positive attitudes.
• Accommodating appropriately
– Convergence involves shifting
language or nonverbal behaviors toward
each other’s way of communicating.
– Avoid overaccommodation, or going
too far in making changes based on
stereotypes about another group.
• Listen effectively.
• Think before you speak or act.
• Be empathic.
• Do the right thing.
Practice Your Skills