Overcoming Barriers to Intercultural Communication.docx

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Overcoming Barriers to Intercultural Communication Introduction For successful intercultural communication to occur, a sender and receiver must be in collaboration and share the same point of view. When communicating with someone from the same culture, sharing the same point of view is generally not a problem. Although, during intercultural communication, people need to realize that each culture will operate with a different perspective or point of view. This node will look at several barriers to intercultural communication by briefly considering ethnocentrism, stereotyping, and prejudice and discrimination. These barriers take place around a judgment made before any communication can take place. The very nature of communication illustrates the past, present, and future component that strongly influences interaction. Barriers are directly related to past experience and profoundly affect future communication. The node will continue with three strategies used to overcome intercultural barriers: assimilation, accommodation, and separation. Learning Materials Intercultural interactions across cultures and languages are difficult and filled with barriers. Even two people who speak the same language may misinterpret a message, resulting in misunderstandings and confusion. Most people find it difficult to identify the cause of the misunderstanding. In verbal interactions, people must be aware of the different patterns of thought during communication. Compared to the direct linear patterns used in low-context cultures, high-context cultures tend to meander and use an indirect nonlinear pattern. These cultural differences require a cultural savviness for successful verbal communication. As a first step toward developing cultural sensitivity during communication, it is essential to understand
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one’s own culture. This awareness will help ensure one does not adopt an ethnocentric attitude, stereotype, prejudice, or discriminate against another culture. Ethnocentrism Ethnocentrism is a term that describes the assumption that one’s culture and cultural ways of doing thing is far superior to any other cultures. Most people are proud and devoted to the country where they were born, so it is important not to confuse ethnocentrism with patriotism (the devotion to one’s country). Ethnocentrism is a natural phenomenon because one’s culture becomes one’s reference point for viewing the world. Although, it takes the devotion one may
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