Jandt8e_ppt03 - Chapter 3 Barriers to Intercultural...

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Chapter 3: Barriers to Intercultural Communication © 2016, SAGE Publications, Inc.
What will you learn? What are some barriers or stumbling blocks to effective and appropriate intercultural communication? Anxiety Assuming similarity instead of difference Ethnocentrism Stereotypes, prejudice, racism Case Study: How can these barriers to effective communication account for communication between China and the United States? © 2016, SAGE Publications, Inc.
Identifying Intercultural Barriers Since it would be an impossible task to learn the norms of all cultures, intercultural communication experts have focused on identifying intercultural barriers to be surpassed LaRay Barna (1997) developed a list of six barriers to intercultural communication: 1. anxiety 2. assuming similarity instead of difference 3. ethnocentrism 4. stereotypes and prejudice 5. nonverbal misinterpretations 6. language © 2016, SAGE Publications, Inc.
Anxiety When you are anxious due to not knowing what you are expected to do or to say, it’s only natural to focus on that feeling and not be totally present in the communication transaction Focusing on that one feeling of anxiety makes you seem awkward and often causes you to make mistakes that would otherwise be avoidable © 2016, SAGE Publications, Inc.
Intercultural Anxiety Gudykunst (1983, 1985): Strangers = people who are members of other groups who act in ways different from one’s own culture When encountering strangers, you experience uncertainty (not knowing how to interpret the person’s reactions) and anxiety (being afraid of the initial interaction), so you are unsure how to behave and you tend to avoid contact © 2016, SAGE Publications, Inc.
Sugawara (1993): Survey of 168 Japanese and 135 U.S. Americans working in Japanese companies in the United States: 30% of the Japanese employees felt the U.S. co-workers were impatient with their accent, while only 8% of the U.S. employees reported feeling impatience with the Japanese co-workers accent (experiencing anxiety impacted Japanese co-workers’ perceptions) © 2016, SAGE Publications, Inc.
Assuming Similarity Instead of Difference When you have no information about a new culture, it might make sense to assume no differences exist, to behave as you would in your home culture; but making that assumption could result in miscommunication Boucher (1974) has shown how cultures differ in terms of to whom it is appropriate to display emotions. If you assume that display of emotions is similar to your culture, you might see people of different cultures in certain circumstances as lacking emotion and others in other circumstances as displaying emotions inappropriately © 2016, SAGE Publications, Inc.
Ethnocentrism Ethnocentrism: negatively judging aspects of another culture by the standards of one’s own culture; believing in the superiority of one’s own culture Cultural nearsightedness: less extreme form of ethnocentrism; taking one’s own culture for granted and neglecting other cultures Cultural relativism:

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