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Unit 3: Intercultural Communication and Its Barriers

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Title: Unit 3: Intercultural Communication and Its Barriers


1
Unit 3 Intercultural Communication and Its
Barriers
  • Intercultural Business Communication
  • Hsin-Hsin Cindy Lee

2
Contents
  • Overview
  • Part 1
  • Key Words and Concepts
  • Part 2
  • Barriers in Intercultural Communication
  • Part 3
  • Overcome Intercultural
  • Communication Barriers
  • Checkpoint References

3
Overview
  • This session studies stereotypes which are the
    key obstacles to successful intercultural
    communication.
  • We will discuss how stereotypes are formed and
    categorized.
  • It is important to learn how to avoid stereotypes
    and other barriers in cross-cultural
    communication!

4
Key Words Concepts
  • Part 1

5
Key Words and Concepts
  • Do you know what they mean?
  • Values
  • Beliefs
  • Cultural generalizations
  • Stereotypes
  • Prejudice
  • Bias
  • Discrimination
  • Conflict

6
Personal Values
  • Personal values evolve from circumstances with
    the external world and can change over time.
  • Integrity in the application of values refers to
    its continuity persons have integrity if they
    apply their values appropriately regardless of
    arguments or negative reinforcement from others.
  • Personal values are implicitly related to choice
    they guide decisions by allowing for an
    individuals choices to be compared to each
    choices associated values.

7
Personal Values
  • Personal values developed early in life may be
    resistant to change. They may be derived from
    those of particular groups or systems, such as
    culture, religion and political party.
  • However, personal values are not universal one's
    family, nation, generation and historical
    environment help determine one's personal values.

8
Personal Values
  • This is not to say that the value concepts
    themselves are not universal, merely that each
    individual possesses a unique conception of them.
  • In brief, personal values indicate what a person
    thinks is right and thus chooses to do or to see
    things in those right ways.

9
Cultural Values
  • Groups, societies, or cultures have values that
    are largely shared by their members. The values
    identify those objects, conditions or
    characteristics that members of the society
    consider important that is, valuable.
  • E.g. In the United States, values might include
    material comfort, wealth, competition,
    individualism or religiosity.

10
Cultural Values
  • The values of a society can often be identified
    by noting which people receive honor or respect.
  • E.g. In the US, professional athletes are honored
    (in the form of monetary payment) more than
    college professors, in part because the society
    respects personal values such as physical
    activity, fitness, and competitiveness more than
    mental activity and education.

11
Cultural Values
  • Values identify what should be judged as good or
    bad.
  • Members take part in a culture even if each
    member's personal values do not entirely agree
    with some of the normative or mainstream values
    sanctioned in the culture.
  • This reflects an individual's ability to
    synthesize and extract aspects valuable to them
    from the multiple subcultures they belong to.

12
Beliefs
  • Belief is the psychological state in which an
    individual holds a proposition or premise to be
    true.
  • Mainstream psychology and related disciplines
    have traditionally treated belief as if it were
    the simplest form of mental representation and
    therefore one of the building blocks of conscious
    thought.

13
Cultural Generalizations
  • Cultural Generalization indicates the result of
    generalizing or categorizing cultures.
  • It explains or describes cultures (or people of a
    culture) according to their traits or features.
  • Some empirical studies show the characteristics
    of a culture.
  • E.g. Synthetic Cultures studied by Gert Jan
    Hofstede, Paul Pedersen and Geert Hofstede

14
Stereotypes
  • A stereotype is a simplified and/or standardized
    conception or image with specific meaning, often
    held in common by people about another group.
  • A stereotype can be a conventional and
    oversimplified conception, opinion, or image,
    based on the assumption that there are attributes
    that members of the other group hold in common.
  • They are typically generalizations based on
    minimal or limited knowledge about a group to
    which the person doing the stereotyping does not
    belong.

15
Stereotypes
  • Persons may be grouped based on racial group,
    ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, age or
    any number of other categories.
  • Stereotyping is a way of representing other
    people.
  • Stereotypes can revolve around a certain
    characteristic of the group of persons to which
    they are assigned.
  • The persons of that group may even be reduced to
    being known and understood through a lens based
    on the stereotype that results from this, rather
    than being viewed as individuals.

16
Prejudice
  • The word prejudice refers to prejudgment making
    a decision before becoming aware of the relevant
    facts of a case or event.
  • The word has commonly been used in certain
    restricted contexts, in the expression 'racial
    prejudice'.
  • Initially this is referred to making a judgment
    about a person based on their race, religion,
    etc., before receiving information relevant to
    the particular issue on which a judgment was
    being made.

17
Prejudice
  • However, to be widely used to refer to any
    hostile attitude towards people based on their
    race or even by just judging someone without even
    knowing them.
  • The meaning now is frequently "any unreasonable
    attitude that is unusually resistant to rational
    influence".
  • Race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age,
    and religion have a history of inciting
    prejudicial behavior.

18
(Short Break) Classic Novel Pride Prejudice
19
Bias
  • Bias is a term used to describe a tendency
    towards a particular perspective, ideology or
    result.
  • All information and points of view can generate
    some form of bias.
  • In careful usage bias refers to a belief that
    leads to a false judgment.
  • A bias could lead one to accept or deny the truth
    of a claim.

20
Discrimination
  • In general, discrimination, in a non-legal sense,
    is the discernment of qualities and recognition
    of the differences between things.
  • We all have the power of discrimination, which is
    essential for us to be able to make decisions and
    judgments about things. And this ability is more
    commonly referred as differentiating.
  • However, in a legal sense, discrimination is the
    prejudicial treatment of a person or a group of
    people based on certain characteristics.

21
Discrimination
  • Discrimination on grounds such as race or
    religion, is generally illegal in most Western
    societies.
  • When unlawful discrimination takes place, it is
    often described as discrimination against a
    person or group of people.

22
Direct Discrimination
  • Unlawful discrimination can be characterized as
    direct or subtle. Direct discrimination involves
    treating someone less favorably because of their
    possession of an attribute
  • E.g. sex, age, race, religion, family status,
    national origin, military status, disability
  • E.g. not offering a job to a woman because she is
    likely to take maternity leave whereas a man is
    not

23
Subtle Discrimination
  • Indirect or subtle discrimination involves
    setting a condition or requirement which a
    smaller proportion of those with the attribute
    are able to comply with, without reasonable
    justification.
  • E.g. Using an aptitude test in job applications
    to disqualify a certain group of people to enter
    the company

24
(Cross-cultural) Conflict
  • Conflict is a state of discord caused by the
    actual or perceived opposition of needs, values
    and interests.
  • Conflict as a concept can help explain many
    aspects of social life such as social
    disagreement, conflicts of interests, and fights
    between individuals, groups, or organizations.

25
Conflict
  • In political terms, "conflict" can refer to wars,
    revolutions or other struggles, which may involve
    the use of force as in the term armed conflict.
  • Without proper social arrangement or resolution,
    conflicts in social settings can result in stress
    or tensions among stakeholders.

26
Barriers in Intercultural Communication
  • Part 2

27
What are barriers of intercultural
communication? (Quiz)
  • ___ Values
  • ___ Beliefs
  • ___ Cultural generalizations
  • ___ Stereotypes
  • ___ Prejudice
  • ___ Bias
  • ___ Discrimination
  • ___ Conflict

28
Barriers of Intercultural Communication
  • Stereotypes
  • Prejudice
  • Bias
  • Discrimination
  • Conflict
  • Can you avoid them?

29
Overcoming Intercultural Communication Barriers
  • Part 3

30
Overcome Communication Barriers
  1. Increase intercultural communication competence
  2. Understand national cultures with notice of
    individual differences and personal multiple
    identities
  3. Apply effective communication skills!

31
Effective Communication Skills
  • Active Listening
  • Give responding cues
  • Use paraphrasing
  • Ask questions for repetition, clarification and
    details
  • Summarize
  • Inquiry
  • Use more open-ended questions

32
Effective Communication Skills
  • Advocacy
  • Articulate your perspective or opinion
  • Invite others to respond to your views and
    assumptions
  • Be open-minded to the different opinion
  • Accept the possibility of learning new thoughts
    and shifting your views

33
Effective Communication Skills
  • Reflection
  • Slow down your thinking process while
    communicating
  • Be aware of other speakers reactions, emotions
    and assumptions while communicating
  • Reflect on the communication process later and
    prepare for next encounter

34
Effective Communication Skills Review
35
Conclusion
  • Do you remember the four components of ICC?
  • Intercultural attitudes, knowledge, skills and
    awareness
  • Increasing cultural knowledge is important.
    However, we need to recognize that our cultural
    knowledge is initial understanding and it
    should grow as any intercultural communication
    proceeds.

36
Conclusion
  • That is, we should not allow any prior cultural
    knowledge to become stereotype or even prejudice
    preventing us from getting to know a culture
    further.
  • Holding correct attitudes to see other cultures,
    applying effective communication skills and
    always reflecting as well as being aware of what
    is happening in the communication process is
    essential to achieve successful intercultural
    communication!

37
Checkpoint References
38
Checkpoint
  • (1) What are possible barriers in intercultural
    communication?
  • (2) How can you achieve effective communication?
  • __________
  • __________
  • __________
  • __________
  • (3) What are the
  • useful strategies for
  • active listening?
  • ____________
  • _____________
  • _____________
  • _____________
  • Please give at least three examples
  • ____________
  • ____________
  • ____________

39
Answers
  • (1) Barriers in Intercultural Communication
  • (2) Effective Communication Requirements
  • Stereotypes
  • Prejudice
  • Bias
  • Discrimination
  • Conflict
  • Active Listening
  • Inquiry
  • Advocacy
  • Reflection
  • (3) Active Listening Strategies
  • Give responses
  • Use paraphrasing
  • Ask questions for repetition, clarification and
    details
  • Summarize

40
References
  • Eckert, Susan (2006) Intercultural Communication.
    Thomson.
  • Bell, V., Halligan, P.W. Ellis, H.D. (2006) A
    Cognitive Neuroscience of Belief. In P.W.
    Halligan M. Aylward (eds) The Power of Belief.
    Oxford Oxford University Press.
  • Rosnow, Ralph L. Poultry and Prejudice.
    Psychologist Today, (March, 1972) p. 53.
  • (-End-)
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