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3

Intercultural
Communication

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scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website,
in whole or in part.
LEARNING OUTCOMES

1 Define culture and the role of communication


in it
2 Explain the relationship between dominant
and co-cultures
3 Understand the seven dimensions in which
cultures differ
4 Describe the inherent barriers in
intercultural communication and the
methods to develop competent intercultural
communication

Copyright ©2016 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part. COMM4 | CH3 2
LO - 3.1

Define culture and the role of


communication in it

Copyright ©2016 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part. COMM4 | CH3 3
Culture

• System of shared values, beliefs, attitudes,


and norms
• Guides what is considered appropriate among
an identifiable group of people
• Values: Commonly accepted standards of
what is considered right and wrong
• Ideal values: Values that members of a culture
profess to hold
• Real values: Values that guide actual behavior

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Intercultural Communication

• Interactions that occur between people of


different cultures
• Communication between them is altered
• Effective intercultural communicators:
• Understand cultures
• Identify how cultures differ from one another
• Realize how the differences influence
communication

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Intercultural Communication (continued)

• Culture shock: Psychological discomfort


when engaging in a new cultural situation
• Culture is transmitted and modified through
communication

Copyright ©2016 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part. COMM4 | CH3 6
LO - 3.2

Explain the relationship between


dominant and co-cultures

Copyright ©2016 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part. COMM4 | CH3 7
Dominant and Co-Cultures

• Dominant culture: Learned system of


norms held by the majority group of
empowered people in a society
• Co-culture: Common values, beliefs,
attitudes, and customs of smaller groups
• Differ from those of the dominant culture
• Members sometimes code switch
- Code switch: Altering linguistic and nonverbal
patterns depending on circumstances

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Dominant and Co-Cultures (continued 1)

• Cultural identity: Based on how closely one


associates with both the dominant culture
and various co-cultures
• Some co-cultures are formed around shared
beliefs and values related to:
• Race
• Ethnicity
• Native (or first) language: Language of one’s
ethnic heritage

© 2011 Cengage Learning


Copyright ©2016 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part. COMM4 | CH3 9
Dominant and Co-Cultures (continued 2)

• Sex and gender


• Sexual orientation
• Religion
• Socioeconomic status (SES)
• Age/generation
• Disability

© 2011 Cengage Learning


Copyright ©2016 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part. COMM4 | CH3 10
LO - 3.3

Understand the seven dimensions in


which cultures differ

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Dimensions of Cultural Variations -
Individualism and Collectivism

• Individualistic cultures
• Value personal rights and responsibilities,
privacy, voicing one’s opinion, freedom,
innovation, and self-expression
• Collectivist cultures
• Value community, collaboration, shared
interests, harmony, public good, and avoiding
embarrassment

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Dimensions of Cultural Variations -
Individualism and Collectivism (continued)

Individualistic cultures Collectivist cultures


Form independent self-concepts Form interdependent self-concepts

Self-esteem is based on individual Self-esteem is based on how well the


accomplishments individuals work in a group
Assertive and confront conflict directly Engage in collaboration or avoid conflict

Optimal outcomes are paramount even at Strive for consensus and may sacrifice
the expense of disharmony optimal outcomes for the sake of group
harmony

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Dimensions of Cultural Variations - Context

• Low-context cultures: Speakers use words


to convey most of the meaning
• Verbal messages are direct, specific, and
detailed
• High-context cultures: Speaker’s message is
understood from the context

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Dimensions of Cultural Variations - Context
(continued)

• Effective communication between high- and


low-context cultures
• Low-context communicators should be aware
that building a good relationship first is crucial
• High-context communicators should recognize
that:
- Verbal messages should be taken at face value
- Low-context communicators might not
understand indirect contextual cues

Copyright ©2016 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part. COMM4 | CH3 15
Dimensions of Cultural Variations -
Chronemics

• Study of how the perception of time differs


among cultures
• Monochronic cultures: View time as a
series of small units that occur sequentially
• Polychronic cultures: View time as a
continuous flow

Copyright ©2016 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part. COMM4 | CH3 16
Dimensions of Cultural Variations -
Uncertainty Avoidance

• Extent to which people desire to predict


what is going to happen
• Low uncertainty-avoidance cultures
• Tolerate uncertainty and are less driven to
control unpredictable people, relationships, or
events
• High uncertainty-avoidance cultures
• Low tolerance for uncertainty and a high need to
control unpredictable people, relationships, or
events

Copyright ©2016 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part. COMM4 | CH3 17
Dimensions of Cultural Variations - Power
Distance

• Extent to which members of a culture


expect and accept that power will be
equally or unequally shared
• High power-distance cultures
• View unequal power distribution as normal
• Low power-distance cultures
• Members prefer power to be equally distributed

Copyright ©2016 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part. COMM4 | CH3 18
Dimensions of Cultural Variations -
Masculinity/Femininity

Masculine cultures

• Men and women are expected to adhere to


traditional gender roles

Feminine cultures

• People assume a variety of roles and are valued for


doing so regardless of sex

Copyright ©2016 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part. COMM4 | CH3 19
Dimensions of Cultural Variations - Long-
Term/Short-Term Orientation

• Short-term oriented cultures


• Tend to value static rewards in the here and now
- Emphasize quick results
• Value keeping leisure time distinctly separate
from working time
• Long-term oriented cultures
• Emphasize potential future rewards
- Believe in slow and steady perseverance
toward achieving a mutually acceptable result

Copyright ©2016 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part. COMM4 | CH3 20
LO - 3.4

Describe the inherent barriers in


intercultural communication and the
methods to develop competent
intercultural communication

Copyright ©2016 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part. COMM4 | CH3 21
Barriers to Effective Intercultural
Communication

Anxiety

Assuming similarity or difference

Ethnocentrism

Stereotyping

Incompatible communication codes

Incompatible norms and values

Copyright ©2016 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part. COMM4 | CH3 22
Competent Communication Strategies

• Acquiring accurate information about other


cultures’ values and practices through:
• Formal study - By reading books, periodicals,
and Web sites
• Nonparticipant observation: Learning by
watching people interact with each other
• Participant observation: Learning by living or
working with people with different cultural
assumptions

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Competent Communication Strategies (continued)

• Adopting an appropriate attitude by:


• Tolerating ambiguity
• Being open-minded and altruistic
- Altruism: Displaying genuine and unselfish
concern for the welfare of others
• Improving culture-centered skills by:
• Listening
• Developing flexibility
- Flexibility: Adjusting one’s communication to
fit the other person and the situation
Copyright ©2016 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part. COMM4 | CH3 24
Competent Communication Strategies
(continued 2)

• Practicing intercultural empathy


- Intercultural empathy: Imaginatively placing
oneself in another person’s cultural world
▸ Attempting to experience what he/she is
experiencing

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KEY TERMS

• Culture • Code switch


• Values • Cultural identity
• Ideal values • Ethnicity
• Real values • Native language
• Intercultural • Sex
communication • Gender
• Culture shock • Religion
• Dominant culture • Socioeconomic status
• Co-culture (SES)

Copyright ©2016 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part. COMM4 | CH3 26
KEY TERMS

• Disability • Polychronic cultures


• Individualistic • Uncertainty
cultures avoidance
• Collectivist cultures • Low uncertainty-
• Low-context avoidance cultures
cultures • High uncertainty-
• High-context avoidance cultures
cultures • Power distance
• Chronemics • High power-distance
• Monochronic cultures
cultures
Copyright ©2016 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part. COMM4 | CH3 27
KEY TERMS

• Low power-distance • Nonparticipant


cultures observation
• Masculine cultures • Participant
• Feminine cultures observation
• Short-term oriented • Altruism
cultures • Egocentricity
• Long-term oriented • Intercultural empathy
cultures • Flexibility
• Ethnocentrism

Copyright ©2016 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part. COMM4 | CH3 28
SUMMARY

• Culture is both transmitted and modified


through communication
• Cultural identity is based on how closely
one associates with both the dominant
culture and various co-cultures
• Dimensions of cultural variations
• Individualism/collectivism, context, chronemics,
uncertainty avoidance, power distance,
masculinity/ femininity, and long-term/short-
term orientation

Copyright ©2016 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part. COMM4 | CH3 29
SUMMARY

• Barriers to effective intercultural


communication
• Anxiety, assuming similarity or difference,
ethnocentrism, stereotyping, and incompatible
communication codes, norms, and values
• Strategies to overcome potential cultural
barriers
• Acquiring accurate information, adopting an
appropriate attitude, and developing culture-
centered skills

Copyright ©2016 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part. COMM4 | CH3 30
Copyright ©2016 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part. COMM4 | CH3 31