My Ssec Capstone Project Introduction to Intercultural communication Presented By Prof

Introduction to Intercultural communication Presented By Prof

Introduction to
Intercultural communication
Presented By
Prof. Dr. Anthony A.

?Introduction; What exactly is the intercultural
communication? How we can define it?
?Non-verbal communication
?Own identity
?The concept of time
?Six Imperatives for Studying ICC

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? is linked to communication and a wide range of human
experience including feelings, identity and sense-making
? provides people with different ways of thinking, seeing,
hearing and interpreting the world;
? involves a number of man-made, collective artefacts
and is shared by the members of a social group;
? is something that shapes one’s behaviour or structures
one?s perception of the world

Culture and communication
t Scout Law”
Culture is often
defined in
interrelation to

It means that Culture is passed on via communication and
communication reflects one?s culture!

“Culture is
is culture”

Intercultural communication

“We may say that intercultural communication is
the communication among those people who
have so different cultural references that they
perceive themselves as pertaining to differnent
1Rodrigo Alsina, Miquel: “Comunicación
intercultural”, Anthropos Editorial, Barcelona 1999, p.

Non-verbal communication

The shortest way between
two people is a smile

non-verbal language may have the
following basic functions:
1) to communicate attitudes and emotions
2) to support the sense of words
3) substitution of verbal language
Non-verbal communication

It means that
1) to communicate attitudes and emotions
2) to support the sense of words
This may take place in different ways:
? completing the sense of the words
? controlling synchronisation
(among the different speakers of a group)
? producing feed back
? maintaining the attention

It means that (Cont.)
3) to substitute verbal language
? body language, gestures
? gaze behaviour
? …
Non-verbal language, depending on
authors, makes from 50% to 70% of direct
communication among human beings.

Stereotypes often reflect the differences in
socioeconomic status, religion or dialect;
? It is important to suspend judgement, avoid
misconceptions, narrow perspectives and
immature reactions;
? Stereotypes often contain a grain of truth, but
cannot characterize an entire culture;
? Getting the whole picture of culture needs
active participation;


?Identity Is the relationship between “the I” and
“the other”

? there is no identity without the “other”

? so: when talking about the own identity, we
also have to consider the foreign identity

Two kinds of identity:

1. Personal identity:
based on the culture in which we weresocialized

2. Cultural identity
founded on the sense of belonging to a
community with certain characteristics
Two kinds of identity

Monochronic Cultures

•Also called: Rigid-time culture
• Do only one thing at the same
•Appointments (time) are
• Punctuality is a norm of
• Time is money

Polychronic Cultures

•Also called: Fluid-time culture
• Do several things at the same
time engagements are more
• work is considered less
important than being polite, nice,
helpful, etc. with other people
• Time is an opportunity

Two people, participating is the same task, one
monochronic and the other
?will consider the whole process from very
different points of view
? will have different objectives
? will have different priorities
It means that

What we have to take into account…
?There are no “better” and “worse” tastes
? There are different culinary customs
?Each culture establishes its culinary order and
marks food as “eatable” or “uneatable”
? Each culture marks certain food as
The concept of taste

?Food is an element of cultural
?Identification- for example:
(We are what we eat.)
?9, 8, 13, Wednesday, etc.
?British call French “frogs”
?Germans call Italian “Spaghettifresser”
The concept of taste (Cont.)

Six Imperatives for Studying ICC
?I. The Self-Awareness Imperative
?II. The Demographic Imperative
?III. The Economic Imperative
?IV. The Technological Imperative
?V. The Peace Imperative
?VI. The Ethical Imperative

I. Self Awareness Imperative
?One of the most important reasons for studying intercultural
communication is the awareness it raises of one’s own
cultural identity and background.
Ethnocentrism— what is it?
–a tendency to think that their own culture is superior to
other cultures.
?If a person is white and middle class, intercultural learning
may mean an enhanced awareness of his or her privilege.
?Self-awareness, then, that comes through intercultural
learning may involve an increased awareness of being
caught up in political, economic, and historical systems—not
of one’s own making.

II. The Demographic Imperative
?Individuals may have probably observed that their
world is increasingly diverse. For example Colleges,
Universities & Sports teams.
A. Changing U.S. Demographics
–Non-Hispanic whites make up 63% of the U.S.
population; Hispanics make up 17%; blacks, 12.3%;
Asians, 5%; and multiracial Americans, 2.4%.
–There are now four states—Hawaii, California, New
Mexico, and Texas—that are “majority-minority”.

II. The Demographic Imperative
B. Changing Immigration Patterns
–Immigration contributes to religious diversity, bringing
increasing numbers of Muslims, Buddhists, Confucians,
Catholics, and others to the United States.
?Increasingly diverse ethnic, racial, economic, and religious
groups – contact in schools, businesses, and other settings,
bringing to the encounters different languages, histories,
and economic statuses.
?Diversity can expand people’s conceptions of what is
possible—linguistically, politically, and socially
?The main challenge – look beyond the stereotypes and

III. The Economic Imperative
?The idea of globalization—the creation of a world market in
goods, services, labor, capital, and technology
?Dell – Co-designed by engineers in Texas and Taiwan; the
microprocessor was made in one of Intel’s factories in the
Philippines, Costa Rica, Malaysia, or China; the memory
came from factories in Korea, Germany, Taiwan, or Japan.
?Other components (keyboard, hard drive, batteries, etc.)
were made by Japanese, Taiwanese, Irish, Israeli, or British
firms with factories mainly in Asia, and finally, the laptop
was assembled in Taiwan (Friedman, 2005).

III. The Economic Imperative (Cont.)
?Globalization Pros & Cons Losses are always offset by the
gains in cheaper consumer prices. Many working people,
seeing their jobs outsourced to cheap labor in India, China,
and Malaysia, feel threatened.

IV. The Technological Imperative
?Communication technology is a constant and people live in
the global village.
?Individuals are linked by technology to events in the most
remote parts of the world and connected to people they may
never meet face-to-face.
?Online communication and social media – LinkedIn, virtual
teams; and many of these people are from different cultural

IV. The Technological Imperative
Access to Communication Technology
?Digital access now varies little by age, gender, race, and
ethnicity – people worldwide have Internet access through
?In order to function effectively in a digital society, people
need cultural capital.

V. The Peace Imperative
?The key issue is whether or not individuals of different
genders, ages, ethnicities, races, languages, socioeconomic
statuses, and cultural backgrounds coexist on the planet.
?Both the history of humankind and recent world events lead
people not to be very optimistic on this point.
?Conflicts are tied to histories of colonialism or to economic
disparities (influenced by U.S. technology and media) or to
foreign policies.
?Intercultural Communication cannot end war.
?Need to consider the relationship between individual and
societal forces in studying intercultural communication.

VI. The Ethical Imperative
Ethics may be thought of as principles of conduct that help
govern the behavior of individuals and groups. These principles
often arise from communities’ consensus on what is good and
bad behavior.
?Many other identifiable principles of conduct that arise from
one’s cultural experience may be less explicit—for instance,
that people should be treated equally and should work hard.
?Ethical principles are often culture bound, and intercultural
conflicts arise from various notions of what is ethical behavior.
?One common cross-cultural ethical dilemma involves standards
of conducting business in multinational corporations.

VI. The Ethical Imperative (Cont.1)

A. Relativity versus Universality
?A universalist might try to identify acts and conditions that
most societies think of as wrong, such as murder, theft, or
?The extreme relativist position holds that any cultural
behavior can be judged only within the cultural context in
which it occurs.
?The study of intercultural communication not only provides
insights into cultural patterns, but also helps people address
the ethical issues involved in intercultural interaction.

VI. The Ethical Imperative (Cont. 2)

B. Being Ethical Students of Culture
?Related to the issue of judging cultural patterns as ethical or
unethical are the issues surrounding the study of culture.
?Part of learning about intercultural communication is
learning about cultural patterns and cultural identities—
people’s own and others.
?There are three issues to address here: developing self-
reflexivity, learning about others, and acquiring a sense of
social justice.
?In studying intercultural communication, it is vital to develop

VI. The Ethical Imperative (Cont. 3)

?C. Cultural Humility
?Being culturally humble means
–(1) having an awareness of the limitations of one’s own
cultural background
–(2) trying to take an “other-oriented” stance in each new
intercultural encounter
?Difficult to speak “for” & “about” others who have different lives.
?Hearing and listening about the experiences of people who are
different from oneself can broaden one’s way of viewing the
?A final ethical issue involves the responsibility that comes with
the acquisition of intercultural knowledge and insights

Spend few minutes at the end of this session
answering these three reflective questions:

– What did you learn today?
– Why is that learning important to you?
– How can you make use of that learning tomorrow?

Thanks you!


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