Introduction to intercultural communication
Intercultural communication is the research / study and practical exercise of communication (verbal, non-verbal) through different cultural settings. The same goes for national and international cultural differences such as ethnicity or race, and gender / sex, and for international differences, i.e. associated with different nationalities or different regions of the world. .
Now let’s discuss some basic concepts related to intercultural communication:
What is communication?
Communication is the exchange of verbal or non-verbal information between two or more people. For example, if you are exchanging ideas on a movie, you want me to understand the context of the movie and also something about your idea and your assessment of the movie.
You share the details in your own words and include examples from other movies to make a relevant detail of the story. The language we speak is the same between us. And, your unique film experience. It would help me get a feel for the film and understand the whole context. If your communication is effective, I would be able to understand the concept right away.
Therefore, intention and interpretation play a balanced role to make everything understandable. The conclusion of the communication event is our mutual creation of a pleasant position.
What is intercultural communication?
Intercultural communication is communication between people from different cultures. Intercultural communication enables people to create and promote multicultural communication. It leads to biculturalism rather than simple assimilation. It also supports cross-cultural sensitivity or emotional connection to enable a friendly understanding of cultural differences.
What is culture?
Culture reflects the ideas, norms, customs and social behavior of a society. It is a generalization of how a society generally behaves when faced with a particular situation. This is done through various social structures:
- Family standards
But under these social structures there is a habitual practice of how the world experiences different things. These habits are often referred to as cultural assumptions and values, and they occur in every group, not just in any local or national society in a country.
Thus, in general, intercultural communication focuses on the broad view of culture and not on the institutions of culture. Human communication takes place between people, not between institutions. The concern of the study of communication is how people organize meanings.
Our societies are mainly influenced by the institutional structures which we consider to be a major pillar of society.
A necessary part of culture is the boundary that differentiates “them” from “us”. Every human being belongs to a certain group which is defined by certain boundaries. The borders are usually formed by nation states like the United States, Chinese, Canadians or by certain ethnic groups of people with some tribal, national or regional heritage, for example Jewish, Russian, Kurdish, European, African. Within a certain boundary, people communicate and behave differently with each other than with people outside the boundary. The difference may or may not be visible in the language, but in the actions it shows a significant difference.
The multicultural hierarchy in societies
Let’s discuss multicultural societies and the cultural hierarchies within them. In multicultural societies, ethical and national boundaries are combined to indicate the existence of both groups as members of the same region, such as African Americans, Singaporean Malays, Kazakh Russians, and American Europeans.
Additionally, the borders are also formed by geographic regions such as Italians, Western Europeans, Pacific Northwest Americans, and Sub-Saharan Africans.
Boundaries within organizations often indicate strong cultures such as police culture, corporate cultures, peace corps culture, armed forces culture.
Cultures within organizations include accountants, detectives, engineers,
Even societies are based on gender, sexual orientation and generation (age).
Religious and political groups can also generate particular cultures, not because of what they believe, but because members of these groups spend more time with people who agree.
What is intercultural communication?
Intercultural communication is communication between people with differences in any of the following areas:
- Working styles
Intercultural communication is also the attempt to exchange, negotiate and mediate cultural differences using language, gestures and body language, etc. This is how people from different cultures and ethnicities communicate with each other.
Other intercultural terms
A multicultural society means that there is more diversity in social customs. For example, people in the United States experience greater cultural diversity due to immigration, age difference, and national ethnic groups.
Societies become multicultural when immigrants settle there and begin to practice their way of life. The best example is a classroom where the teacher faces a multicultural classroom.
The terms diversity and multicultural can be used interchangeably. The meaning of both words refers to cultural difference. For example, if a company has a diversity policy, it means that it must have people from different ethnic groups working there.
Intercultural differences in business can be turned into an advantage, as they can be the key to inviting workforce from all over the world. And it can be done through effective multicultural communication.
The terminology “intercultural” refers to the relationship between people belonging to different cultural groups. For example, if a company has a multicultural employee, it is more likely that there is an intercultural relationship between the workers.
The term intercultural refers to the interaction between people belonging to different cultural groups. It opens up new opportunities to communicate and interact with intercultural, multicultural and intercultural people. The term intercultural is generally used as a modifier, i.e. intercultural communication or intercultural relations. Cultural differences in communication can be an obstacle or an opportunity in intercultural communication for people.