Intercultural Communication

Topics: Culture, Sociology, Intercultural competence Pages: 9 (2120 words) Published: June 20, 2013
Chapter 8
AWARENESS OF THE WORLD

INTRODUCTION
Modern technology has made world to become smaller and people will often come into contact with other cultures. Cultural differences are always doubtless and often quite obvious.

Theme PREsENTAtion
For personal benefits, out of an urge to acquire national awareness or because of whatever reason to approach different cultures, people undertaking the study of communication with respect to the culture shall have in mind differences in the perception of the world: attitude systems civilizations have formed along centuries, particular beliefs, values and world views.

8.1 Types of Awareness

Why study intercultural communication?

The modern society feels more and more acutely the need of cross-cultural contacts and interaction. Hence, the problems which develop from the inability to understand and get along with groups and societies differentiated by space, appearance, ideologies or behaviour, resulting in international misunderstanding: from minor quarrels or isolationism to even armed conflict.

The study of intercultural communication also enhances one’s view upon own status in the world, providing awareness of the person in the social, national and international context. [19]

8.1.1. Personal

Studying intercultural communication people may easily get aware of more things than before, enlarge their sphere of knowledge and become more open both to the social phenomena around and to the changes of a private character that they should undergo in order to fit better into a changing world.

As personal advantages of studying intercultural communication we may consider:

Enjoyment and satisfaction for discovery of something new, another person’s culture

1 e.g.: fascination of seeing a Buddhist religious ceremony

Aid in avoiding misunderstanding

1 e.g.: Gestures may differ (greetings, nodding head etc.)

Extended employment opportunities

1 Openness, tolerance, understanding diversity represent favourable points in finding a job within a multinational company, for instance, or in another country

Improving self–perception, psychological approach

1 Better understanding of own culture

2 Examining rationally prejudices and stereotypes

8.1.2. Domestic

Intercultural awareness provides at the same time a better understanding of the own culture’s particularities, an important apprehension of the national specificities being as relevant in the modern world as that of the mixture of cultures.

Cultural revolutions within the countries have led to the emergence of new groups and subcultures and a series of associations appeared demanding all sorts of rights.

Thus, there are more and more aggressive organizations seeking usually not more than recognition.

E.g.: Blacks, the poor, women, homosexuals, hippies…

The peculiarities that define them differ form superficial characteristics such as: language, dress, skin colour, length of hair etc., to complex differences like: lifestyle, values, way of perceiving the universe.

8.1.3. International

Since 1960s the world became smaller, we got to know other cultures through rapid transportation, mobility and modern communication technology. Other cultures seemed unfamiliar, strange and mysterious because of our lack of cultural understanding.

Some common concerns and worries appeared. The mutual dangers that began to jeopardize the modern society, the nuclear threat and the shortage of natural resources, made it clear that such matters cannot afford a poor communication because lack of understanding could cause disasters.

In what the International Business community was concerned, the import, export, investments, foreign markets, multinational companies, multilingual catalogues etc. led to a clear interdependence and the need of developing international awareness and cross-culture communicational skills....
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