1. Why is intercultural literacy needed in today world? How can the definitions of communication and culture be used to foster this literacy? …
1. Why is intercultural literacy needed in today’s world? How can the definitions of communication and culture be used to foster this literacy? How is the language used to describe a culture, such as the Nacirema culture from the course readings, shaped by this literacy?
2. How can the definitions of communication and culture be used to foster this literacy?
3. How is the language used to describe a culture, such as the Nacirema culture from the course readings, shaped by this literacy?
4. Compare two different approaches to studying intercultural communication from Chapter 3 of your textbook.
How does having a Christian worldview shape one’s motivations or methods for studying intercultural communication, if at all? Explain. Theoretical Approaches and Methodological approaches.
Communication is much more than a simple transmission of information: it is the mutual creation of meaning. Information is not, in itself, meaningful; it is only when information is intended and interpreted in some way that it attains significance. For instance, if you are telling me about a movie you just saw, you probably intend for me to understand what the movie is about and also something about your experience and evaluation of it.
You pose the information in a language I know, use references to concepts and other films I might know, and in conveying your feeling you assume that I am able and willing to access your experience.
For my part, I try to interpret the information in the way you intended it by using common meanings for words and concepts and by recognizing both our common experience of similar events and the uniqueness of your personal experience in this particular event.
Of course, the exchange described above is an ideal that is seldom achieved in one pass (or many). What usually happens is that my interpretation is both more and less than what you intended.
It is less in my probable failure to assign exactly similar meaning to words and concepts that you use, and it is more in that I probably project many of my own feelings about similar events onto your description.
In my response (feedback) to your message, you may recognize some of my discrepant interpretation and correct it.
Assuming that this is not your first communication with someone like me, you may have already anticipated some of my likely misinterpretation by tailoring your message to me in the first place. So both your intention and my interpretation are in play as we attempt to negotiate a mutually acceptable match.
The final meaning of the communication event is neither just your intention nor simply my interpretation; it is our mutual creation of an agreeable position.
The sense of “culture” used in intercultural communication is that of “worldview.” Culture is a generalization about how a group of people coordinate meaning and action among themselves.
One way they do that is through institutions such as religious, political, and economic systems, and family and other social structures. But underlying these institutions is a habitual organization of how the world is perceived, and thus how it is experienced.
These habits are often referred to as cultural assumptions and values, and they occur in all groups, not just national societies. In general, intercultural communication focuses on this worldview aspect of culture and not so much on the institutions of culture. Human communication is conducted by people, not institutions.
The concern of any study of communication is therefore with the way that human beings organize meaning.
We all are influenced by the institutional structures that we internalize as part of socialization, and understanding those institutions may give insight into how we habitually organize our perception, but in the end it is our human worldview that generates meaning, not institutional structure.
An essential element of culture is the boundary that distinguishes “us” from “them.” Every human being belongs to groups defined by boundaries. Typical boundaries are those formed by nation- states (e.g. US Americans, Japanese, Nigerians) or by ethnic groups composed of people with a particular tribal, national, or regional heritage (e.g. Kurdish, Jewish, Russian, European, African).
Within a boundary, people communicate with each other differently than with people outside the boundary.
The difference may or may not involve using a different language or jargon, but it always includes different kinds of agreements on meaning and action. A cultural boundary indicates a greater amount of interaction and need for coordination among those enclosed by it.