Essay about Intercultural Communication Barriers

1559 Words Apr 4th, 2000 7 Pages
Humans have been communicating since four million years. On the other hand, the birth of culture is estimated to have token place about 35,000 years ago. Today, both culture and communication have evolved considerably and have become interdependent of one another, to the point that communication is considered to be a product of culture. Thus, our own culture has a deep impact on our thoughts and behaviors. Since each culture has its distinct aspects, intercultural communication can be the cause of conflict and disorder. There are three main issues which are at the root of the problem of intercultural miscommunication : language as a barrier, cultural diversity and ethnocentrism. I will analyze these three notions in situations in which …show more content…
Hence, in this specific case, diversity is considered to be at the root of miscommunication. In comparison to verbal communication, non verbal communication takes a different form in different cultures. Gestures and facial expressions play a key role in communication. However, each culture incorporates different types of gestures and disregards others. For example, in most western societies , it is customary to shake one's hand upon introduction. However, in most oriental countries shaking one's hand is frown upon, since they believe bowing is the only acceptable type of introduction. Non-verbal communication includes not only facial expressions and gestures; it also involves seating arrangements, personal distance, and sense of time. In addition, different norms regarding the appropriate degree of assertiveness in communicating can add to cultural misunderstandings. For instance, some white Americans typically consider raised voices to be a sign that a fight has begun, while some black, Jewish and Italian Americans often feel that an increase in volume is a sign of an exciting conversation among friends. Thus, some white Americans may react with greater alarm to a loud discussion than would members of some American ethnic or non-white racial groups. Furthermore, many other diversities between cultures lead to miscommunication. Ideologies, values, traditions, habits, norms, beliefs and social relationships are all
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