Essay on Intercultural Communication

2184 Words9 Pages
Today, we live in a culturally diverse society due to globalization. As our world grows, expands and become increasingly more interconnected, the need for effective interpersonal communication among differing cultures has become apparent. When people from different cultures interact with one another there is intercultural communication because different cultures create different interpretation and expectations about what is seen as competent behaviors that will enable the construction of shared meanings.
There are numerous definitions of culture but I will use the definition of the interpretive approach and Clifford Geertz’s, which defines culture as a meaning system which members use to interpret the world around them. Culture
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When we behave ethnocentrically, we are essentially defending our group membership boundaries and our usual ways of thinking, feeling, and responding.

According to Hofstede China values collectivism and the Chinese people are very much group oriented. In school they have to wear uniform to belong in a cohesive group and unity. This is a very good example of the in-group orientation, as the Chinese people establish their identity and self-esteem by being a part of a cohesive group and they try to avoid differing from the group. As our horizon is very much a cultural and social phenomenon it may explain why people who have the same backgrounds find it easier to communicate and fuse horizons. People from similar backgrounds are able to communicate in a meaningful way. Our in-groups are also our discourse or knowledge communities that facilitate a particular identity by creating a sense of belonging, shared world view and creating norms and rules for how to conceptualize and talk about things (Discourse communities). Meaning is also tied to identity in the sense that the limitations made by the culture in which we belong to allow us to distinguish who are ‘within’ and those who are ‘outside’ (Christoffanini).

The main problem with communication between people of different cultures is the representation of the ‘Others’ as different from us. When we speak of others different from us we are in general referring to all who are
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