Barriers to Intercultural Communication - Barriers to...

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Barriers to Intercultural CommunicationFollowing are the four main barriers in intercultural communication1.E t h n o c e n t r i s m2.S t e r e o t y p i n g3.P r e j u d i c e4.D i s c r i m i n a t i o nExplanation1) EthnocentrismIntercultural communication may involve groups whose members differ in terms of gender, age, ethnicity and physical ability among other things.Ethnocentrism is a belief that one’s own culture or group is superior to all other groups or cultures. Ethnocentrism becomes a barrier when it prevents people from even trying tosee another’s point of view through another’s “perception lens”. It is the largest problemthat occurs during intercultural communication in which people bring an ethnocentric perspective to the interaction.If some body observed and judged the rest of the world from his own culture’s perspective he is known to be ethnocentric. To some extent, each of us operates from anethnocentric perspective but problems arise when we interpret and evaluate other cultures by the norms and standards of our own. Generally, a lack of interaction with another culture fosters high levels ethnocentrism and encourages the notion that one culture issomehow superior to other.Ethnocentrism can create defensiveness on the part of the person who is being treated asif he or she is some how deficient or inferior.SolutionIt can be very difficult to see our own ethnocentrism often; we see it best when weexpand extended time in other cultural group. How ever ethnocentrism can be avoided by judging another person’s culture by his own context which is calledcultural relativism.2) StereotypingAnother barrier to intercultural communication is stereotypes. A stereotype can bedefined as a generalization about some group of people that over simplifies their cultures.Stereotypes are widely held beliefs about a group of people. Stereotyping becomestroublesome in communication when people make assumptions about an individual onthe basis of simplified notions about the group to which he or she belongs. In fact our assumptions get us in trouble when we apply to individual what we guess to be true of agroup. Such stereotypes are injurious to individuals and groups.

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