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Defining Communication as an Element of Culture Chapter 2 n Is effective communication the same in US culture and in the Asian culture? n What distinguishes intercultural communication from other forms of communication? n What skills does a competent intercultural communicator possess? Communication is derived from Latin “to share with” as in sharing thought, hopes, knowledge. n Communication and culture is inseparable. n Communication requires coding and symbols that must be learned and shared. n Every cultural pattern and every single act of social behavior involves communication. n Transmission models: n Communication is a dynamic process. n Variables in the process are interrelated and influence each other. Components of Communication n Source n Encoding n Message n Channel n Noise n External noise: sights, sounds, and other stimuli. n Internal noise: thoughts and feelings that interfere with the message. n Semantic noise: how alternative meanings of the source’s message symbols can be distracting. Components of Communication (cont’d) n Receiver n Decoding n Feedback. n It makes communication a two-way or interactive process. n Context: the environment in which the communication takes place. n Helps define the communication. n Relates the the social relationship between the source and receiver. Other Definitions of Communication n Definitions of communication from many Asian countries stress harmony. n Societies influenced by Confucian history and tradition: China, N. & S. Korea, Singapore, and many East Asian countries with large communities. n Confucianism emphasizes virtue, selflessness, duty, patriotism, hard work, and respect for hierarchy. n Confucius set up an ethical-moral system to govern all relationship in the family, community, and state. n Confucianism guides social relationships. Five Effects of Confucianism on Interpersonal Relationship n Particularism:There is no universal pattern of rules governing relationships. n Status, intimacy, and context create different communication rules for diverse people. n Role of Intermediaries: Use 3rd party to avoid direct confrontations and resolve disputes n Reciprocity: Gratitude and indebtedness are important parts of Chinese culture. n Ingroup/outgroup distinction: Ingroup members engage in freer and deeper talk and many find difficult to develop personal relationship with outgroup members. n Overlap of personal and public relationships. Intercultural Communication Defined n Intercultural communication: Refers to face-to-face interactions among people of diverse cultures. n Relates to source and receiver are in different contexts and subgroups. n It is defined as communication between persons who “identify themselves as distinct from” others in a cultural sense (Collier & Thomas, 1988). n The study of intercultural communication was needed as recognized by Edward T. Hall’s Silent Language. Applications of Communication Theories n Uncertainty Reduction Theory: during the initial phase of interaction with another person your primary communication goal is reduce your uncertainty about that person. n Coordinated Management of Meaning: emphasizes the social nature of communication n Rules for interpreting the words and actions used. n Rules for deciding how to behave. Intercultural Ethics n Western Ethics: (autonomy, justice, responsibility and care. n African Ethics: Stress the well-being of the community and economic considerations over political rights. n Buddhist ethics: Value is places on patience, compassion, self-sacrifice, kindness, and love which are to be pursued for the betterment of the person, if not in this life, then in the next. n Hindu ethics: to end human suffering through active intervention in this world to make it better. Four ethical principles to guide intercultural interactions n Respect all n Do not mislead or deceive n Encourage people of other cultures to express themselves in their uniqueness regardless of popularity. n Identify with people of another culture emphasizing commonalities of beliefs & values rather than differences. Intercultural Competence n Personality Strength (self-concept, self- disclosure, self-monitoring, & social relaxation) n Communication Skills: Competent in verbal and nonverbal behaviors, empathy, identity maintenance n Psychological Adjustment: Be able to acclimate to new environments and handle the feelings of “culture shock.” n Cultural Awareness: Understand the social customs and social system of the host culture.
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