Intercultural Communication 35852
Dr. Mei-Chen Lin
November 28, 2007
The movie Fear and Trembling shows many examples of intercultural communication. Amélie, one of the main characters in the movie, encounters different kinds of intercultural adaption difficulties. A few examples of these are making friends, cultural knowledge and appreciation and pressure to conform. Some of Amélie's experiences have her going through some aspects of culture shock such as feeling of strain, feeling of rejection and feeling of anxiety. Amélie asks questions and disagrees with her superiors while she is going through the adaptation process. The process consists of enculturation, acculturation and deculturation. I disagree with Amélie choice to handle her position with the company because she wasn't being treated fairly. Adaptation Difficulties
There is many adaptation difficulties sojourner's encounter as our usual communication styles or cultural norms seem very foreign. It is difficult to make friends that are dependable and trustworthy in a time of need. Having knowledge about the culture, knowing social norms and values can be very valuable in everyday situations. When in completely different surroundings everyone feels as if he or she should conform to how others act in order to be accepted.
Making friends in a new company is difficult. This is especially difficult when you are the minority and when a new culture is introduced. When Amélie first arrived at work she was working directly under a higher superior who was acting very rude to her. She seemed like there was no hope for friendship and interaction within the company. When she met her immediate supervisor she felt very content on her beauty and her kindness. Amélie helped out another coworker to try and gain another friendship and that friendship continued. Although, because she did such outstanding work, her supervisor felt threatened and made an example that they are coworker and not friends.
Although Amélie is French she was born in Japan and lived there until the age of five. She thought it would be a wonderful idea to be a part of the Japanese culture and thought that she could contribute a lot to a large corporation. Amélie thought that she knew how to communicate and to fit in with the corporation lifestyles, but soon learned that her social norms didn't mix well. She could speak the language, was very polite and knew how to relate to other workers by knowing more about them. All of these backfired and she would have to learn through her experiences.
Amélie felt out of place because she was a young French woman that was trying to make a name for herself. She tried to act with her familiar communication styles because that is what she was used to. Some of the things that caught her by surprise were that asking questions was unacceptable and voicing her opinion didn't matter when someone in authority has the power. She had to learn to conform to how to conform in order to be accepted by her superiors and coworkers. She did this by acting as she wasn't affected by how much she was being mistreated and carried out her daily tasks in a professional way. Culture Shock
Amélie experiences different kinds and many forms of culture shock as she encounters different situations. She felt strain and culture distance as she tried to explain her point of view but wasn't heard. The feeling of rejection and adjustment stress hit as she wrote multiple letters and made copies for her manager, performing other workers tasks and working above her position. Also she felt anxiety and culture fatigue when she was unsure of how to approach different encounters with her immediate superior, manager and vice president.
The feeling of strain between Amélie and her superiors grew strong when she was unable to explain her side of the story. An example of this is when she did outstanding work for a coworker and was...