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Discuss th major goals of criminal sentecing. what message regarding crime and criminal does each of these objectives convey?

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Discuss th major goals of criminal sentecing. what message regarding crime and criminal does each of these objectives convey?
Intercultural communication

What is culture?
Culture is a shared system of symbols, values, beliefs, attitudes, expectations and norms of behaviour. The definition of culture therefore assumes a coherent group of people, that they share common basic values. People of shared culture are seen as having common understandings among members.

Culture shapes experience and communication. It determines how people perceive the world and how they communicate and relate with others

It is important to note that even within cultures, complexities in individual behaviour will be observed based on religion, personality, age, gender, class, ethnicity and so on. These divides may also create sub-cultures within a culture. Direct and indirect interactions within the group ensure that culture is passed on from person to person and from one generation to the next.

Culture comprises the shared values and assumptions of a particular group of people. Because these values and assumptions are shared, it is easy for people to take them for granted and assume that they are the ‘normal way’. This makes people believe that the way they do things and behave, and the things they value, are right and true for everyone.
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It can be difficult to see our own culture, because it too familiar, too ubiquitous to recognise. Cultural assumptions are usually hidden and become more apparent when one encounters contrast. When individuals encounter foreigners, or visit other cultures, cultural differences become more apparent. Many have stated that, if it were not for the existence of more than one culture, we would not think of about culture at all! The apparent differences of how human think, feel and act are what make us aware of culture.

To facilitate communication between cultures, it is important to understand that different groups have different values, different ways of communicating, different customs and assumptions. So, while these may conflict with our own understandings and assumptions, it does not mean that they are inferior, wrong or offensive.

Essential features of culture
Culture is the human part of environment. It is social and not innate/biological
Culture reflects widely shared assumptions about life
Culture becomes evident when one encounters someone from another group such as country or even ethnic identity, who deviates from their own cultural norms.
Culture is transmitted from one generation to another.
Cultural values endure for long, and changes in culture take place over a number of generations.

Understanding culture: The iceberg model of culture

This way of looking at culture, focuses on the elements that make up culture, and on the fact, that some of the elements are very visible, whereas others are hand to discover.

The idea behind this model is that culture can be pictured as an iceberg: only a very small portion of the iceberg, can be seen above the waterline. The top of the iceberg is supported by the much larger part of the iceberg, underneath the water line and therefore invisible. Nonetheless, this lower part of the iceberg is the powerful foundation.

Also in culture there are some visible parts: architecture, art music, cooking, and language, etc. But the powerful foundations of culture are more difficult to spot: the history of the group of people that hold the culture, their norms , values , basic assumptions about space, nature , time etc. The iceberg model of culture implies that the visible parts of culture are just expressions of its invisible parts. It also points out that, how difficult it is at times to understand people with different cultural backgrounds because we may spot the visible parts of their iceberg, but we cannot immediately see what are the foundations that these parts rest upon. Often this problem leads to stereotypes.

Intercultural communication
The study of intercultural issues is not entirely a new phenomenon. In the ancient days, human beings from different cultures interacted through wars, religious missions and trade. Intercultural contact occurred during such engagements. This interaction was however limited to a few people such as missionaries, soldiers, the wealthy and influential and traders. The interaction also had limited geographical coverage owing to the challenges of transport and communication.

In modern society however, intercultural interaction has become a reality of life for everyone. Most people have contact with or exposure to foreign culture. There has also been a growth in the interdependence of people and cultures. We live in a global village where no nation, group or culture can survive in isolation. Events that occur in one part of the world affect many other parts of the world as well. Due to globalisation, people from different cultures increasingly interact.

Intercultural communication refers to the communication between people of different cultures. It occurs when a member of one culture produces a message for consumption by a member of another culture, and the message MUST be understood for communication to be complete.

The study of intercultural communication is therefore analysis of communication between people whose cultural perceptions and symbol systems are distinct enough to alter meaning in their communication.

Due to the cultural differences that exist in such interaction, there is great risk of misunderstanding and disagreement. Since cultures differ from one another, communication practices and behaviours of people will also vary as a result of their different perceptions of the world. Studying intercultural communication reduces this risk. That is, language errors and cultural mistakes in intercultural communication can be avoided if we increase our knowledge and understanding of other people and their cultures. The study of intercultural communication examines the communication and interactions between people of different cultures or subcultures.

Intercultural communication can hence be defined as the interpersonal interaction between members of different groups, which differ from each other with regard to assumptions and knowledge shared by their members and in respect of their linguistic forms of symbolic behaviour.

The greater the variation in culture between groups, the more the likelihood of misunderstanding in communication. The more the cultures are alike, the less influence culture will have on communication. e.g. in intercultural communication situations between Americans and Canadians, culture would have little negative influence on the communication since the two cultures have a lot in common .

Human beings have a natural tendency to be with people who are similar to them; people with whom they share the same ways of doing things, the same values and rules. When they interact with people from other cultures therefore, they realise that those things relating to human interactions which they assumed to be common sense, are not necessarily the same for others. These new experiences can be shocking and difficult to cope with. A study of intercultural communication sheds light on how people react, why they react the way they do and how to make the intercultural interactions a more positive experience.

Importance of improving intercultural communication

Improvements in communication and transportation have led to previously stable and isolated cultures meeting. Where such cultural interaction occurs, misunderstandings could arise due to differences in world view.

Improving intercultural communication guides the process of exchanging meaningful and unambiguous information across cultural boundaries in a way that ensures that mutual respect is preserved and antagonism is minimized.

People with different cultural backgrounds may interpret verbal and non-verbal signals differently. Improving intercultural communication reduces the risk of making basic mistakes.

Communication is important in making differences apparent. It is only through communication that a means to understand and bridge differences is created. A study of intercultural communication also helps to clarify the sources of misunderstandings and conflict between groups.

In today's globalized world of international contact and multicultural interaction, effective intercultural communication is increasingly seen as a pre-requisite for social harmony and organisational success. In order to live and function effectively in the multicultural environment that we operate in, people must be competent in intercultural communication.

Intercultural vs. International Communication

International communication is not necessarily intercultural communication and intercultural communication is not necessarily international communication.
If two brothers, one studying in Chicago and the other in Eldoret, Kenya, communicate via Phone or say email, this is international communication. However, they share the same culture and common basic understandings. This doesn’t qualify as intercultural communication, because it is international communication within the same culture

In the same way, if a Chinese student studying in the USA is talking to a Gabonese student studying on the same campus, the communication is not international –yet it is intercultural. It constitutes intercultural communication within the same nation.

Intercultural communication could either be international or national. Intercultural communication that involves international contact tends to generate greater possibilities of misunderstanding in communication than those involving national contacts. In international intercultural communication, cultures are more likely to have deeper and wider differences, as well as fewer incidences of previous interaction than would be the case for national level interactions

International Contact
The development of the world into a global village and the rapid development of technology have enhanced a constant flow of information across boundaries. Communication is faster and more available now than ever before. The improvements in transportation have also increased the direct interaction of people from different continents and their cultures. These developments have at the same time impacted on global economy, where world businesses have become more international and interdependent. Shared natural resources such as water, oil and minerals also make it inevitable that people from different cultures interact .
There have also been large migrations across countries and continents, even creating new cultural identities. Therefore, international contacts have increased phenomenally and continue to shape the modern world and define intercultural interaction. International contacts have therefore been influenced mostly by-:
i) New technology and information systems ii) Changes in world population and migrations iii) Globalisation of the world economy
Some of the international concerns that call for increased intercultural and international communication are:-
World population growth
Migration
Shared natural resources such as water, oil and minerals
The environment (issues such as global warming, deforestation, drought, agriculture)
International conflict
The global economy
Education

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