University of North Dakota Communications Questions

Each “stamp or activity” should be one page (or more) in a Word document describing the activity and what you learned and how you can connect the course material.Discuss the cultural significance of the experience. For example, if you choose to eat a new-to-you dish, what are the ingredients and why are those used in the region where the recipe originated? This will require some research. If you choose to attend a dance performance, what are the performers communicating with their movements and apparel? Discuss how the course material ties into the activity you chose. Reflect on what connections you can make between what you have learned in class and what you are experiencing with the activity. Did something interest you or surprise you? Did you learn something new about yourself or others? Discuss any differences and/or similarities to activities to which you are accustomed. Is this activity allowing you to step outside your comfort zone? How?If you choose online experiences, you should include the link to the site and screenshots.

Examples of activities:

Eat at a restaurant (or order take-out) that features food you have never tried before.

MUSEUM VISITS (in person or online) There are museums across the world with online visiting options, videos, etc.

LECTURES, PUBLIC SPEAKING EVENTS, CONFERENCE PRESENTATIONS (in person or online)

MUSICAL, DANCE, OR STAGE PERFORMANCES (in person or online)

HISTORICAL SITES

FESTIVALS, CELEBRATIONS, PARTIES, HOLIDAY FESTIVITIES (beyond what you typically participate)

RELIGIOUS SERVICES OR MEETINGS (OUTSIDE YOUR OWN RELIGION OR DENOMINATION)

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Intercultural Communication:
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©2015 | ISBN-13: 978-1-285-07739-0
Intercultural Communication:
A Reader, explores how communi­
cation values and styles can vary
across cultures and communities,
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Communication Between
CULTURES
NINTH EDITION
Larry A. Samovar
San Diego State University, Emeritus
Richard E. Porter
California State University, Long Beach, Emeritus
Edwin R. McDaniel
San Diego State University
Carolyn S. Roy
San Diego State University
Australia • Brazil • Mexico • Singapore • United Kingdom • United States
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Communication Between Cultures,
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Larry A. Samovar; Richard E. Porter;
Edwin R. McDaniel; Carolyn S. Roy
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Brief Contents
Preface
xix
CHAPTER 1
Intercultural Communication: A Requirement for
the Interdependent Global Society
1
CHAPTER 2
Communication and Culture: The Voice and the Echo
25
CHAPTER 3
The Deep Structure of Culture: Lessons from the Family
68
CHAPTER 4
Worldview: Cultural Explanations of Life and Death
103
CHAPTER 5
Cultural History: Precursor to the Present and Future
161
CHAPTER 6
Cultural Values: Road Maps for Behavior
198
CHAPTER 7
Culture and Identity: Situating the Individual
243
CHAPTER 8
Verbal Messages: Exchanging Ideas Through Language
265
CHAPTER 9
Nonverbal Communication: The Messages of Action, Space,
Time, and Silence
295
CHAPTER 10
Intercultural Communication in Contexts:
Applications in Business, Education, and Healthcare
339
CHAPTER 11
The Challenges of Intercultural Communication:
Managing Differences
380
Notes
Index
409
446
iii
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Contents
Preface
xix
CHAPTER 1
Intercultural Communication: A Requirement
for the Interdependent Global Society
1
The Interdependent Global Society 1
The Requirement for Intercultural Cooperation 3
Social Challenges 4
Ecological Concerns 8
Humanitarian and Legal Cooperation
Political Issues 12
Security Concerns 13
11
Technology 15
Developing Intercultural Awareness 17
Individual Uniqueness 18
Generalizing 19
Objectivity 20
Compromise in Intercultural Communication 21
Communication Is Not the Universal Solution 22
Preview of the Book 23
Summary 23
Activities 24
Concepts and Questions
CHAPTER 2
24
Communication and Culture: The Voice and the Echo
25
Human Communication 25
The Uses of Communication 26
Communication Helps Fulfill Interpersonal Needs 26
Communication Assists with Person Perception 27
Communication Establishes Cultural and Personal Identities
Communication Has Persuasive Qualities 27
27
v
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vi
Contents
Defining Human Communication 28
The Ingredients of Human Communication 28
Components of Human Communication 30
Communication Is a Dynamic Process
Communication Is Symbolic 30
Communication Is Contextual 31
30
Number of Participants 32
Environmental Context 32
Occasion 33
Time 33
Communication Is Self-Reflective 33
Communication Is Irreversible 34
Communication Has a Consequence 34
Communication Is Complex 35
Misconceptions About Human Communication
36
Communication Can Solve All Problems 36
Some People Are Born Effective Communicators 36
The Message You Send Is the Message Received 37
Culture 37
Culture Defined 39
Characteristics of Culture
39
Culture Is Shared 40
Culture Is Transmitted from Generation to Generation
Culture Is Based on Symbols 41
Culture Is Learned 43
Culture Is Dynamic 54
The Elements of Culture
Worldview 57
Religion 57
History 57
Values 58
Social Organizations
Language 59
41
56
58
Developing Intercultural Competence 61
The Basic Components of Intercultural Communication Competence
61
Motivation 61
Knowledge 62
Skills 64
Summary 66
Activities 67
Concepts and Questions
67
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Contents
CHAPTER 3
vii
The Deep Structure of Culture: Lessons from
the Family
68
The Deep Structure of Culture 70
Deep Structure Institutions Transmit Culture’s Most Important
Messages 71
Deep Structure Institutions and Their Messages Endure 71
Deep Structure Institutions and Their Messages Are Deeply Felt 72
Deep Structure Institutions Supply Much of a Person’s Identity 72
Family 73
Definition of Family 74
Forms of Family 75
Nuclear Families 76
Extended Families 76
Globalization and Families 77
Functions of the Family 78
Reproductive Function 78
Economic Function 79
Socialization Function 79
Language Acquisition Function
Identity Function 80
79
Cultural Variants in Family Interaction
80
Gender Roles 81
Individualism and Collectivism 88
Individualism and the Family 88
Collectivism and the Family 89
The Elderly
92
United States 92
Latino 93
Arab 93
Asian 93
East African 95
American Indian 95
African American 96
Social Skills
97
Communication Skills 98
Aggressive Behavior 98
Developing Communication Competence Through the Family
Summary 101
Activities 101
Concepts and Questions 102
99
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viii
Contents
CHAPTER 4
Worldview: Cultural Explanations of Life
and Death
103
Worldview and Culture 103
Manifestations of Worldview 104
Constructs of Worldviews 105
Atheism as a Worldview
106
Rejection of God 106
Role of the Individual 106
A Set of Ethical Standards 107
The Finality of Death 107
Spirituality as a Worldview 107
Religion as a Worldview 108
Religion and Human Behavior 110
Religion in the Twenty-First Century
111
Globalization and Religion 111
Violence and Religion 111
Selecting Religious Traditions for Study 112
Common Elements of Religion 113
Speculation 114
Sacred Writings 114
Religious Rituals 115
Ethics 116
Christianity 117
Core Assumptions 118
Cultural Expressions of Christianity
118
Christianity and Community 118
Christianity and Individualism 119
Christianity and “Doing” 119
Christianity and the Future 120
Christianity and Courage 120
Christianity and Ethics 121
Christianity and Notions About Death
122
Judaism 123
Origins 124
Core Assumptions 124
Branches of Judaism 125
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Contents
Cultural Expressions of Judaism
ix
126
Oppression and Persecution 126
Learning 127
Social Justice 127
Family and Community 127
Judaism and Ethics 128
Jewish Notions About Death 128
Islam 129
Origins 130
Core Assumptions
130
One God 130
The Koran 131
Submission 131
Predestination 131
Judgment 132
Five Pillars of Islam 132
Cultural Expressions of Islam
134
The Message and Response to Jihad
A Complete Way of Life 135
Sharia Law 135
Gender 136
Ethics and Islam 137
Islamic Notions About Death
134
137
Hinduism 138
Origins 138
Sacred Texts 139
The Vedas 139
The Upanishads 139
The Bhagavad Gita 139
Core Assumptions
140
Divine in Everything 140
Ultimate Reality 140
Brahman 140
Multiple Paths 141
Cultural Expressions of Hinduism
141
Complete Way of Life 141
Dharma 142
Karma 142
Four Stages of Life 142
Ethics and Hinduism 144
Notions About Death 144
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x
Contents
Buddhism 144
Origins 145
Core Assumptions
146
The Four Noble Truths 147
The Eightfold Path 148
Cultural Expressions of Buddhism
149
The Use of Silence 149
Impermanency 149
Karma 150
Buddhist Ethics 150
Buddhist Notions About Death
151
Confucianism 152
Confucius the Man 152
Core Assumptions 153
Analects 153
Cultural Expressions of Confucianism
154
Jen (Humanism) 154
Li (Rituals, Rites, Proprieties, Conventions)
Te (Power) 155
Wen (The Arts) 155
154
Confucianism and Communication 155
Confucianism and Ethics 156
Confucianism and Notions About Death 156
Developing Religious Tolerance 157
Summary 159
Activities 160
Concepts and Questions
CHAPTER 5
160
Cultural History: Precursor to the Present
and Future
161
History’s Influence 161
U.S. History 164
Contemporary Social Issues
167
Russian History 168
Contemporary Social Issues
171
Chinese History 172
Communicating History 175
Contemporary Social Issues 176
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Editorial review has deemed that any suppressed content does not materially affect the overall learning experience. Cengage Learning reserves the right to remove additional content at any time if subsequent rights restrictions require it.
Contents
xi
Japanese History 177
Contemporary Social Issues
180
Indian History 181
Contemporary Social Issues
184
Mexican History 184
Contemporary Social Issues
188
Historical Overview of Islamic Civilization 189
Muslim Demographics 189
The Age of Ignorance 190
The Rise and Spread of Islam 190
The Legacy of Islamic History 193
Developing Historical Memory Competency for Intercultural
Communication Interactions 195
Summary 196
Activities 197
Concepts and Questions
CHAPTER 6
197
Cultural Values: Road Maps for
Behavior
198
Perception’s Influence 200
Beliefs, Values, and Behaviors 201
Beliefs 201
Values 202
Behaviors 203
Understanding Cultural Patterns 203
Choosing Cultural Patterns 205
Applying Cultural Patterns 205
Kohls’ “The Values Americans Live By”
205
Personal Control over Nature 206
Change 207
Time and Its Control 208
Equality/Egalitarianism 208
Individuality and Privacy 209
Self-Help 210
Competition and Free Enterprise 210
Future Orientation 211
Action/Work Orientation 211
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xii
Contents
Informality 212
Directness, Openness, and Honesty
Practicality and Efficiency 213
Materialism 213
212
Other Cultural Pattern Typologies 214
Kluckhohn and Strodtbeck’s Value Orientations
Human Nature Orientation
Person/Nature Orientation
Time Orientation 217
Activity Orientation 218
214
215
216
Hall’s High-Context and Low-Context Orientations
220
High-Context 220
Low-Context 222
Hofstede’s Value Dimensions
222
Individualism/Collectivism 223
Uncertainty Avoidance 225
Power Distance 227
Masculinity/Femininity 228
Long- and Short-Term Orientation 230
Minkov’s Cultural Dimensions
231
Industry Versus Indulgence 231
Monumentalism Versus Flexumility 232
Exclusionism Versus Universalism 233
Tight and Loose Cultures
234
Face and Facework 236
Cultural Patterns and Communication 238
Developing Cultural Value Awareness 238
Summary 240
Activities 241
Concepts and Questions
CHAPTER 7
242
Culture and Identity: Situating
the Individual
243
Identity: Defining the Concept 244
The Influence of Identity 246
Examining Social Identities 247
Racial Identity 248
Gender Identity 248
Ethnic Identity 250
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Contents
National Identity 251
Regional Identity 252
Organizational Identity 253
Personal Identity 254
Cyberidentity and Fantasy Identity
Other Identities 255
xiii
255
Identity Acquisition and Development 256
Multistage Identity Development Models
257
Establishing and Enacting Cultural Identity 259
Globalization and Cultural Identity 261
Competency and Identity in Intercultural Interactions 262
Summary 263
Activities 263
Concepts and Questions
CHAPTER 8
264
Verbal Messages: Exchanging Ideas
Through Language
265
Functions of Language 266
Social Interaction 266
Social Cohesion 267
Expressions of Identity 268
What Is Language? 269
Characteristics of Language
269
Words Are Only Symbols 269
Words Are Arbitrary 269
Words Evoke Denotative or Connotative Meanings
270
Language and Culture 270
Language and Thought 270
Language Variations 273
Accents 273
Dialect 274
Argot 274
Slang 275
United States 275
Britain 276
Texting 276
Idioms 276
Using Language
English
277
277
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xiv
Contents
Spanish 278
Brazilian Portuguese 279
Northeast Asian 279
Arabic 281
German 282
Interpreting 283
Cultural Considerations in Interpreting
Working with Interpreters 286
285
Preparing for the Session 287
During the Session 287
Interpreting and Technology 288
Developing Language Competence in the Intercultural Setting 288
Learn a Second Language 289
Be Mindful 289
Be Aware of Conversational Taboos 290
Be Attentive to Your Speech Rate 291
Be Conscious of Differences in Vocabulary 291
Attend to Nonverbal Behavior 291
Use “Checking” Devices 292
Be Aware of Cultural Variations in the Use of Language 292
Summary 292
Activities 293
Concepts and Questions 294
CHAPTER 9
Nonverbal Communication: The Messages
of Action, Space, Time, and Silence
295
Defining Nonverbal Communication 297
Intentional and Unintentional Messages 297
Verbal and Nonverbal Messages 298
The Functions of Nonverbal Communication 298
Conveying Internal States 298
Creating Identity 298
Regulating Interaction 299
Substituting for Words 300
Studying Nonverbal Communication 300
Nonverbal Communication Is a Multichannel Activity 300
Nonverbal Communication Is Often Ambiguous 301
Numerous Variables Influence Nonverbal Communication 301
Nonverbal Communication and Culture 301
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Contents
xv
Classifications of Nonverbal Communication 302
Messages of the Body
Appearance 302
Judgment of Beauty
Skin Color 304
Attire 305
Body Movement
302
303
307
Posture 309
Gestures 310
Facial Expressions 312
Eye Contact and Gaze 314
Touch 317
Scents 319
Paralanguage 321
Space and Distance
323
Personal Space 323
Seating 325
Furniture Arrangement 326
Time
327
Informal Time 328
Monochronic (M-Time) and Polychronic (P-Time)
Silence
330
331
Developing Nonverbal Communication Competency 334
Your Interpretations Should Be Tentative
Be Conscious of the Context 335
Utilize Feedback 335
Know Your Culture 336
Monitor Your Nonverbal Actions 336
Summary 337
Activities 338
Concepts and Questions 338
CHAPTER 10
335
Intercultural Communication in Contexts:
Applications in Business, Education,
and Healthcare
339
Culture and Context 339
Assumptions Grounding Communication Contexts 340
Communication Is Rule Governed 340
Context Dictates Communication Rules 341
Communication Rules Vary Across Cultures 341
International Communication in Contexts 342
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xvi
Contents
Intercultural Communication in Globalized Business
Business Protocol 344
Leadership and Management
Decision Making 349
Conflict Management 350
Negotiations 351
342
346
The Role of Language in Globalized Organizations
Benefits of Globalized Organizations 354
354
Education in the Globalized Society 355
Culture as a Teacher 358
Learning from Culture 358
Cultural Attitudes Toward Education
Language and Education 361
The Multicultural Classroom 362
360
Cultural Considerations in the Multicultural Classroom 362
Multicultural Classroom Communication Strategies 364
Healthcare in a Multicultural Context 365
Globalization and Healthcare 366
Intercultural Communication in Healthcare
Healthcare Belief Systems Across Cultures
Supernatural/Magico/Religious Perspective
Holistic Perspective 368
Scientific/Biomedical Perspective 369
366
367
367
Illness Prevention Across Cultures 370
Language Diversity in Healthcare 371
Death and Dying Across Cultures 373
Developing Intercultural Communication Competence
in Contexts 374
Summary 376
Activities 378
Concepts and Questions
CHAPTER 11
378
The Challenges of Intercultural
Communication: Managing
Differences
380
Intercultural Communication in a Dynamic World 380
Entering Another Culture 381
Culture Shock and Its Impact 381
The Process of Acculturation 383
Managing Culture Shock and Enhancing Acculturation
384
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Contents
Learn About the Host Culture 385
Learn About the Language of the Host Culture
Guard Against Ethnocentrism 385
Stay Connected to Your Own Culture 386
385
Obstacles to Effective Intercultural Communication
Tendencies to Seek Similarities 387
Managing Uncertainty 388
Withdrawal 388
Stereotyping 389
Stereotyping Defined 389
Acquiring Stereotypes 390
Stereotypes and Intercultural Communication
Avoiding Stereotypes 391
Prejudice
xvii
387
390
391
Functions of Prejudice 392
Causes of Prejudice 393
Expressions of Prejudice 394
Avoiding Prejudice 395
Racism
396
Racism Defined 396
Categories of Racism 397
Countering Racism 397
Power
398
Power Defined 398
Power in Intercultural Communication
399
Ethical Considerations 400
Ethics in Communication
400
Relativism 401
Universalism 402
Guidelines for Intercultural Ethics
403
Be Aware That Communication Produces a Response
Respect Others 403
Seek Commonalities 403
Recognize and Respect Cultural Differences 405
Be Self-Responsible 405
403
A Final Appeal 406
Summary 406
Activities 407
Concepts and Questions
Notes
409
Index
446
407
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Preface
Every tale can be told in a different way.
GREEK PROVERB
Our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this planet.
JOHN F. KENNEDY
Real cultural diversity results from the interchange of ideas, products, and
influences, not from the insular development of a single national style.
TYLER COWEN
T
he opportunity to write a ninth edition of Communication Between Cultures
offered us both rewards and challenges. The realization that earlier texts had
been well received by our peers and students to the extent that another edition
was warranted imbued us with a sense of gratitude. We interpreted this degree of
success to mean that during the past forty-four years our message regarding the
importance of intercultural communication appears to have resonated with a sympathetic audience. We welcomed the prospect of being able to refine and improve
upon what we had done in eight previous editions. We did, however, realize the
requirement to exercise prudence when advancing new perspectives while concurrently retaining the focus that had contributed to the acceptance of earlier editions.
Hence, this current volume seeks to respect the past while allowing us to forecast
the future prospects of intercultural communication. In short, we have retained the
core concepts of the discipline, added contemporary perceptions and research, and
also ventured into new territory.
This book still recognizes the synergy between communication and culture and
how that interface influences human interactions. More specifically, it is about
what happens when people of different cultures engage in communication with
the objective of sharing ideas, information, and perspectives. Knowing that the
concepts of communication and culture inextricably intertwine, we have endeavored to incorporate the basic principles of both topics throughout the text.
Informed by the understanding that intercultural interactions are a daily occurrence
for an ever-increasing number of people, we designed this book for those individuals whose professional or private lives bring them into contact with members of
other cultures or co-cultures.
xix
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xx
Preface
RATIONALE
Global interest in the study of intercultural communication has never been more
prevalent and necessary. The concern and significance arise from a fundamental
premise regarding how the world changed in the past century. The change can be
seen in the fact that you live in a dynamic, rapidly evolving era. This global dynamism is characterized by dramatic alterations in technology, increased world travel,
many new economic and political institutions, shifts in immigration patterns,
growing demographic diversity, and greater population density. These changes have
created a world that requires regular interaction with people of different cultural
origins—be they next door, across town, or thousands of miles away. Whether or
not you embrace these “conversations,” they will continue to increase in frequency
and intensity. Huston Smith succinctly summarized these circumstances when, in
The World’s Religions, he wrote, “When historians look back on [the twentieth]
century they may remember it most, not for space travel or the release of nuclear
energy, but as the time when the peoples of the world first came to take one another
seriously.” His reflections on the past century remain correspondingly valid for our
current globalized society.
APPROACH
Our approach is anchored in the belief that all forms of human communication
involve some manner of action. Stated in different terms, your communicative behaviors affect you as well as the people with whom you interact. Whether you are generating or receiving words or nonverbal symbols, you are creating and producing
messages that influence someone else. Any study of communication must include
information about the choices that are made in selecting your messages as well as a
discussion of the consequences of those choices. Hence, this book advances the conviction that engaging in intercultural communication is pragmatic (you do something), philosophical (you make choices), and ethical (your chosen actions have
consequences).
PHILOSOPHY
A dual philosophy has guided the preparation of this ninth edition. First, we hold
that it is advantageous, if not a requirement, for the more than 7 billion of us sharing
this planet’s limited resources to improve our intercultural communication skills.
Globalization and demographic alterations within many countries have created a
world so small and interdependent that we must rely on each other—whether we
want to or not. As simplistic as it may seem, what occurs in one place can now
have a major impact on people in countless other parts of the world. However,
many of the obstacles to understanding other people can be mitigated through motivation, knowledge, and an appreciation of cultural differences. Our objective is to
provide you with all three.
We realize that writing about culture and communication involves a series of personal decisions and an explicit approach. As scholars and authors, we have made
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Preface
xxi
those decisions and developed a point of view regarding intercultural interaction. We
contend that the first commandment of any civilized society is the dictum that allows
people to be different as long as their differences do not create hardships for others. At times,
you will find that we have openly stated our personal positions, and for those convictions, we make no apologies. Concurrently, we have made a concerted effort to check
our collective and individual ethnocentrism. For those instances where it unintentionally surfaces, we apologize.
NEW FEATURES
The ninth edition contains an abundance of new material. As has been the case with
each edition, we have remained mindful of the constructive comments made by users
and reviewers of previous editions. We combined those suggestions with our own
vision of the discipline. Specifically, we were concerned with where the study of
intercultural communication has been and our evaluation of its future direction.
Combining these two orientations generated some of the following new features:
• The most apparent new feature of this edition is the additional chapter, Chapter 11,
which directly relates to the philosophy we articulated earlier in the Preface. To
repeat—communication is an act people engage in that influences other people.
To assist you in making those acts more rewarding and successful, the new
chapter aims to enable you to become a more effective participant in the countless intercultural encounters in which you will participate. This new chapter has
three main goals. First, the chapter examines the challenges of entering another
culture by offering a discussion of selected obstacles that can impede effective
intercultural communication. Second, suggestions are advanced that can assist
you in overcoming those difficulties. Finally, the chapter concludes with an
overview of ethical considerations relevant to intercultural behaviors.
• Another visible addition to the text appears at the conclusion of each chapter.
Because we consider it essential in this era of intercultural connectedness that
you acquire the skills necessary to become a competent communicator and because
such competence and skill development is attainable, we now conclude each chapter with a section on developing competency.
• To underscore the importance of intercultural communication in the present,
Chapter 1 has been completely revised. We emphasize the need to understand
and adjust to the many challenges that require collective management by the
international community. Social challenges, ecological concerns, humanitarian
demands, political questions, and security issues are just a few of the topics
highlighted in the first chapter. To facilitate dealing with these matters, we have
added a new section to the opening chapter that discusses the need for compromise in intercultural communication.
• As the role of contemporary information technology has grown throughout the
world, so has our treatment of this important topic. In nearly every chapter we
indicate the increasing interconnectivity of people worldwide using technology as
a communication apparatus. Our analysis looks at issues such as how technology
enables the reconstitution of cultures. We also examine how this new technology
contributes to the polarization of some segments of society at the same time it
fosters social and cultural changes.
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xxii
Preface
• While continuing to address globalization, we have not neglected U.S. domestic
intercultural issues. The latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau illustrate the dramatic changes in U.S. demographics, and projections of population changes demonstrate the increasing criticality of intercultural communication.
• Since it is our belief that communication and culture are inseparable, we have
increased our presentation of human communication. Part of the expansion
includes a detailed explanation of the importance of a communicator being motivated, knowledgeable, and skilled.
• It has long been our conviction that the chief impediments to intercultural
understanding are not found in shallow and superficial differences related to
food, transportation systems, architecture, and the like. Instead, misunderstandings and conflicts are the product of variances associated with a culture’s deep
structure institutions. These institutions, such as family, community, and religion, encompass the most significant definitions and meanings regarding life.
These messages are transmitted from generation to generation, carry a culture’s
most important values, endure, and supply a sense of identity to its members.
Since family is among the most important of these deep structure elements and
because the contemporary world order has altered the face of the family, we have
increased the scope of our analysis concerning this key institution. We demonstrate how globalization and social changes are having an impact on traditional
family structures. Specifically, we address how globalization is affecting gender
roles, individual identity, group orientation, perceptions of aging and the elderly,
and personal social skills.
• Worldview and religion remain relevant issues in contemporary society. Continuing media focus and growing misconceptions mandated that we offer a more indepth examination of religious extremism and conflict. The increasing numbers
of people moving away from traditional religion prompted our expanded discussion
of atheism and spirituality. We also now include a section related to religious
tolerance.
• We continue to believe that history provides a picture of where a culture has been
and a blueprint for its future. For this reason, our history chapter has undergone
significant changes. The “Country Statistics” tables have been updated, as has
“Contemporary Social Issues.” We discuss current social conditions and how they
may affect both the present and the future. Because of current events, the Islamic
history section has been extensively revised. We have also added a new segment to
this chapter that explains the connection between historical memory and intercultural competence.
• Two new taxonomies (Minkov’s cultural dimensions and Gelfand’s “tight” and
“loose” cultures) were added to the cultural values chapter. We have also
expanded our treatment of the principal values associated with the U.S. dominant
culture.
• The language chapter has been completely revised with an emphasis on how language functions and operates in intercultural settings. The discussion of variations
within language groups has been updated and amplified. Dissimilarities related to
accents, dialects, argot, slang, and texting are presented. The treatment on interpreting has been expanded and now includes material on how new technologies
are influencing interpretation and translation. Eight selected cultures are examined
as a way of demonstrating how each of them has several unique language
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Preface
xxiii
characteristics that they employ during interaction. Due to the need to employ an
interpreter during many communication events, we have added a detailed section
on cultural considerations in these circumstances. A unit on developing competence in using language is also new to this chapter. We explain how understanding
in the intercultural setting could be improved by learning a second language, being
aware of one’s surroundings, knowing about conversational taboos, monitoring
speech rates, becoming aware of vocabulary differences, and knowing about variations in conversational styles.
• Chapter 10 concentrates on the setting and context of the intercultural encounter
and has been completely restructured. Comprehensive changes in the business,
education, and healthcare settings necessitated a revised approach to these three
environments.
• Finally, because our reviewers asked for more visual images as a way of teaching
some of the strategic concepts of intercultural communication, we significantly
increased the number of “cultural photographs” in this new edition.
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
No book is the sole purview of the authors. Many people contributed to this new
edition, and we acknowledge them. We are especially pleased with our publisher
for the past forty years. While we have experienced and survived numerous changes
in ownership, editors, and management and even corporate name changes, the
commitment of Wadsworth Cengage to producing a high-quality textbook has
remained intact.
We begin our specific expressions of appreciation with a sincere “thank you” to
Karolina Kiwak, our associate content developer. From inception to completion, she
offered us direction and support. Whether our problems, questions, or grumblings
were major or minor, Karolina constantly responded with efficiency and infinite
patience. Also, we wish to recognize the hard work and contributions of Jyotsna
Ojha, content project manager, Sarah Seymour, program marketing manager, and
Farah Fard, intellectual property project manager. We also extend our sincere thanks
to the reviewers of the previous text. Their suggestions contributed significantly to
the many improvements found in this edition.
Finally, we express our appreciation to the tens of thousands of students and the
many instructors who have used past editions. For forty years they have permitted us
to “talk to them” about intercultural communication. By finding something useful in
our exchange, they encouraged us to produce yet another edition of Communication
Between Cultures.
Larry A. Samovar,
Richard E. Porter,
Edwin R. McDaniel,
Carolyn S. Roy
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CHAPTER 1
Intercultural Communication:
A Requirement for the
Interdependent Global Society
Every tale can be told in a different way.
GREEK PROVERB
If there is one lesson from the past 100 years it is that we are doomed to co-operate.
Yet we remain tribal.
MARTIN WOLF
In a world where security challenges do not adhere to political boundaries and our
economies are linked as never before, no nation can go it alone and hope to
prosper.
CHUCK HAGEL
T H E I NTERDEP ENDENT G L O B A L S O C IETY
When Euripides wrote, “All is change; all yields its place and goes” in 422
BCE, he probably did not realize that he would be helping to introduce a book
on intercultural communication. Yet, the study of intercultural communication is
about change. It is about changes in the world and how the people in that world
must adapt to them. More specifically, this book deals with the world changes
that have brought us into direct and indirect contact with people who, because of
their culture, often behave in ways that we do not understand. With or without
our consent, the last three decades [1960–1990] have thrust on us groups of
people who often appear alien. These people, who appear “different,” may live
thousands of miles away or right next door. What is special about them is that, in
many ways, they are not like us.1
Written nearly thirty years ago to introduce the first edition of Communication
Between Cultures, the above paragraph is more relevant today. The world is now
changing at a much faster pace, requiring rapid adjustment to evolving technology
1
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2
CHAPTER 1 • Intercultural Communication: A Requirement for the Interdependent Global Society
Courtesy of Edwin McDaniel
New technologies
allow people almost
anywhere in the world
to exchange ideas and
information.
and changing social conditions. Our interactions with people of different cultures
have become common in the classroom, the workplace, and the healthcare setting,
and with growing frequency in our neighborhood. The term “globalization” originally
implied an emerging development, a work in progress, but can now be characterized
as both an existing condition and a continuing dynamic. With rare exceptions, our
lives are increasingly dependent on people and events in other parts of the world.
As Cabrera and Unruh point out, “Our economy, environment, resources, education,
and health systems all interconnect to, rely on, and affect the economies, environments, resources, and health systems in other countries.”2
The reliance on food imports serves as an easily understood example of this international interdependency. Population growth and increasing ethnic diversity in the
United States have generated a demand for more and diverse food imports.3 A 2012
government report indicated that “an estimated 15 percent of the U.S. food supply is
imported, including 50 percent of fresh fruits, 20 percent of fresh vegetables and
80 percent of seafood.”4 But before any of those items can be imported, international
agreements must be reached on innumerable specifications relating to quality, packaging, labels, storage, labor conditions, etc. Food products sent abroad from the United
States must also meet import requirements established by the receiving nation, all of
which involve cross-cultural negotiations, agreements, monitoring, and inspections.
These procedures are carried out and implemented for all U.S. imports and exports,
and intercultural communication is the
nexus in every step.
REMEMBER THIS
Since our first edition, we have offered
As the world becomes more interconnected, our lives are
numerous examples and statistics to conincreasingly dependent on people and events in other parts
vince the reader of the importance of interof the world.
cultural communication in contemporary
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Intercultural Communication: A Requirement for the Interdependent Global Society
3
© Richard Lord/PhotoEdit
Overpopulation
presents immense
challenges to people
throughout the world.
society. However, today, most readers of this text will have grown up in an era when
the activities associated with “multicultural,” “cross-cultural,” “intercultural,” “cultural diversity,” “ethnic pluralism,” and others were common. Therefore, rather than
offering a set of examples to illustrate the role of intercultural communication in your
social, professional, and even private lives, we now choose to argue that in the
globalized world, effective intercultural communication is an increasingly essential
requirement in the critical efforts to ensure world peace, improve relationships
between co-cultures and the dominant cultures within each country, assure resource
sustainability, and promote ecological viability.
T H E R EQU IREMENT FOR I NTERC UL TURA L C O O P E R A T I O N
Discussions of “globalization” most frequently focus on economic benefits and the
ramifications of interdependence. However, in addition to economic considerations, globalization has raised awareness of existing and emerging conditions that
influence many aspects of our planet and society. The global community is currently faced with a broad spectrum of circumstances that present national governments with pronounced demands on financial and physical resources. Moreover,
there are conditions looming on the horizon that portend severe consequences for
the future unless properly anticipated and managed. Successful resolution of many
of these problems will require global governance—a transnational approach to
cooperatively engage and solve multistate problems. Table 1.1 presents a menu of
particularly salient issues confronting the globalized society, all of which have to be
addressed through competent intercultural communication. We will illustrate some
of the issues confronting the global society, many of which will likely influence
your lives.
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4
CHAPTER 1 • Intercultural Communication: A Requirement for the Interdependent Global Society
TABLE 1.1
Challenges for the Globalized Society
CONTEMPORARY AND PROJECTED ISSUES REQUIRING INTERCULTURAL
COOPERATION
Social challenges





Ecological concerns
• Competition for natural resources

Raw materials

Water shortages

Food scarcities

Pelagic resources
• Environmental changes/degradation
Humanitarian and legal cooperation




Political questions
• International legal system
• Scientific advancement ethics
• Human rights issue
Security issues




World population growth
Mass migration
Urbanization
Intercultural integration
Aging populations/declining birthrates
Disease control
Disaster relief
International mishaps
Transnational crime

Cyber crime

Intellectual property
Weapons of mass destruction
Terrorism and piracy
Peacekeeping missions
Emerging threats

Sectarian and ethnic tensions

Renascent nationalism

Contested territorial claims
SOCIAL CHALLENGES
Scientific and socioeconomic advances in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries
resulted in rapid population growth (see Table 1.2). Vastly improved healthcare,
increased food production and nutritional knowledge, and greater availability of social
support systems contributed to reduced infant mortality and increased life expectancy.5 Accompanying the many improvements and benefits, this population explosion has exacerbated some older problems and given rise to numerous new ones.
Perhaps the most pressing is, “What changes must be made in order to ensure the
world’s environment can support these levels of human activities?” It is a question
that no single organization, government, or nation can answer. It will require shared
ideas, interaction, and mutual effort across cultural and state borders.
Social and technological improvements have also facilitated and encouraged
large population movement from rural areas to urban environments. We have seen
mass migration from regions afflicted by poverty, political oppression, or conflict
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Editorial review has deemed that any suppressed content does not materially affect the overall learning experience. Cengage Learning reserves the right to remove additional content at any time if subsequent rights restrictions require it.
Social Challenges
TABLE 1.2
POPULATION
1 billion
2 billion
3 billion
4 billion
5 billion
6 billion
7 billion
8 billion
9.6* billion
10.9* billion
5
World Population Growth6
YEAR REACHED
YEARS TO REACH
1804
1922
1959
1974
1987
1999
2012
2025*
2050*
2100*
118
37
15
13
12
13
13
25
50
*Estimated.
to areas offering personal safety, economic opportunities, and political stability.
Immigration issues are a daily topic in the United States and regularly produce a
divided electorate. Movement of people from poverty-ridden and violence-torn
African and Middle Eastern nations, along with those from Eastern Europe seeking
better employment, has altered the complexion of Western Europe. Immigrants
from Latin America and Asia have changed the traditional composition of the
United States. Minorities now represent more than 37 percent of the U.S. population, almost 13 percent were born in another country, and more than 20 percent
speak a language other than English at home. And changes brought by immigrants
are expected to continue—studies indicate that “new immigrants and their children
will make up 84%” of the 24 million net increase in the U.S. labor force by 2030.7
The magnitude of future immigration, the accompanying challenge, and the attendant need for intercultural skills is clearly pointed out by Professor of Evolutionary
Biology Mark Pagel:
the dominant demographic trend of the next century will be the movement of people from
poorer to richer regions of the world. Diverse people will be brought together who have little
common cultural identity of the sort that historically has prompted our cultural nepotism,
and this will happen at rates that exceed those at which they can be culturally integrated.8
A majority of new immigrants, both in the United States and in other nations,
will seek work and residence in urban areas. According to the United Nations, over
half the world’s population currently lives in cities, a figure that is expected to reach
66 percent by 2050. In the United States, 80.7 percent of the population already
resides in urban areas.9 Greater population density raises requirements for better
waste management, availability of foodstuffs, and reliable freshwater resources. It
also places people of different ethnicities, religious practices, worldCONSIDER THIS
views, beliefs, values, etc. in closer
proximity to each other. In order to
What are some reasons that make intercultural cooperation
achieve prosperity, they will have to
more important than ever?
learn to cooperate and respect each
other’s differences.
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6
CHAPTER 1 • Intercultural Communication: A Requirement for the Interdependent Global Society
Courtesy of Edwin McDaniel
Low-cost air travel
permits people to
experience other
cultures with
great ease.
Globalization has additionally resulted in increasing intercultural relationships.
Mounting immigration, urbanization, international employment, study abroad, and
ease of foreign travel are facilitating contact between people with different racial, ethnic, religious, and cultural backgrounds. In greater numbers, people are living and
working abroad. The resultant extended intercultural contact has led to a rise in
international marriages in Asia, Europe, and the United States. According to 2010
census data, 9.5 percent of married-couple households in the United States were
interracial or interethnic, an increase of more than 2 percent from 2000. Naturally,
these cross-cultural marriages, both internationally and domestically, have produced
intercultural children, and 32 percent of U.S. citizens self-identified as multiracial in
the 2010 census. This growing international phenomenon of cultural mixing gives
added emphasis to the important role of intercultural communication and draws
attention to identity issues.10
In the United States, the white non-Hispanic population is forecast to lose majority status by 2043, after which the nation will be a majority of minorities. By 2060,
minority groups will represent an estimated 57 percent of the population. Clearly, this
will bring changes to the traditionally “dominant” U.S. culture, a product of the
beliefs and values of the historically white majority. This transition will demand
greater intercultural insight, acceptance, and communication expertise.11
Aging populations represent another emerging problem that will require intercultural
communication knowledge and skills. Almost every nation in the world is experiencing
an increase in older citizenry (i.e., over 60 years) made more pronounced by declining
birthrates. Globally, the older age-group represented 9.2 percent of the total population
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Social Challenges
7
© Bob Daemmrich/PhotoEdit
Globalization has
caused population
shifts as people
immigrate seeking
new opportunities and
escaping oppressive
conditions.
in 1990, had expanded to 11.7 percent by 2013, and is expected to reach 21.1 percent
by 2050. In the United States, those over 65 years of age represented 13.1 percent of
the 2010 population, which was a faster rate of growth than the total population, and is
expected to increase to 21.4 percent by 2050. There are numerous social and economic
consequences arising from this trend toward expanding aging populations, not the least
of which is the ratio of working age to elderly dependency age (i.e., the number of
working-age people in relation to those in retirement). This imbalance is a concern
because most social support programs for older people are dependent on fiscal support
generated by the workforce. Fortunately for the United States, in spite of the declining
birthrate, overall population growth is robust due to immigration, which also raises the
importance of intercultural understanding.12
A prescient summation of concerns about the world’s aging population is contained in a U.S. government report on world aging. The report calls for actions that
will clearly require intercultural communication exchanges:
Despite the weight of scientific evidence, the significance of population aging and
its global implications have yet to be fully appreciated. There is a need to raise
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8
CHAPTER 1 • Intercultural Communication: A Requirement for the Interdependent Global Society
REMEMBER THIS
Globalization has resulted in increasing intercultural relationships. Mounting immigration, urbanization, international employment, study abroad, and ease of foreign travel are facilitating
contact among people with different racial, ethnic, religious,
and cultural backgrounds.
awareness about not only global aging
issues but also the importance of rigorous
cross-national scientific research and
policy dialogue that will help us address
the challenges and opportunities of an
aging world.13
ECOLOGICAL CONCERNS
The need and competition for natural resources among nations has a long historical record of creating turmoil and conflict. The globalized economy continues to
be characterized by nations seeking to acquire and preserve raw materials needed
to fuel their economic engines. In the 1960s and 1970s, Japan scoured the world
for needed materials. It was followed by South Korea, and now China is acquiring
resources worldwide in order to sustain its industrialization. India’s growing economy is also adding to the demand for raw materials. As other nations’ populations
grow, the requirement for various natural resources will expand. In his 2014
report, the U.S. Director of National Intelligence predicted that “Competition
for scarce [natural] resources, such as food, water, or energy, will likely increase
tensions within and between states and could lead to more localized or regional
conflicts, or exacerbate government instability.”14 Demands for energy resources
(e.g., natural gas, oil, and coal), the most vital for economic growth, are expected
to increase 37 percent by 2040, and much of this demand will be from China,
India, and emerging economies—a situation ripe for political tensions. International agreements will be needed to regulate the extraction of resources from
regions of disputed sovereignty and common areas outside national boundaries,
such as seabed hydrocarbons and minerals. And cooperative policing mechanisms
may be necessary to ensure compliance with treaties and pacts. In some cases,
disagreements will have to be mediated through international governance organizations, such as occurred in the World Trade Organization’s resolution of a trade
dispute between China and the United States over rare earth metals, essential in
manufacturing high-tech products, such as smart phones and cameras.15 In every
instance, intercultural communication will be key to the success of these international negotiations and agreements.
Water represents the most indispensable resource for human, animal, and plant life
on our planet. Factors such as overconsumption, misuse, pollution, and climate
change threaten existing supplies, and serious water shortages are widely predicted
for the future. Studies indicate that by 2050, three-quarters of the world’s population
could experience water scarcity. Potable water is already an issue in parts of the
United States, particularly Southern California, and “megadroughts” lasting thirtyfive years or more are predicted for the Southwest and Midwest during the latter
part of this century. The growing population and increased urbanization are placing
enormous demands on existing water sources and creating competition between
urban and agricultural populations. In addition to more water for human consumption, increases will be needed for agriculture to grow the necessary food sources.
Lack of water has implications for health, economic development, security, and
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Ecological Concerns
9
© GIPhotoStock/PhotoEdit
Expanding
populations create
pollution that crosses
national borders
requiring
interculturally
negotiated solutions.
environmental sustainability. Intercultural communication will play a role in a number of areas related to managing water shortages. International and domestic agreements will have to be negotiated regarding access to water, water distribution rights,
and even water trading.16 An important role for intercultural communication expertise will likely be in developing and implementing educational programs for water
management and conservation, especially at the consumer level, where presentations
will need to cross multiple cultural lines.
The threat of insufficient food resources is yet another problem arising from population growth, urbanization, and changing dietary habits. In addition to increased
numbers of people, socioeconomic improvement has enabled millions to begin consuming more animal protein, in turn requiring expanded land area, water usage, and
crops for animal feed. Academic research has revealed that world crop production will
have to double by 2050 to meet anticipated demand for human and animal consumption and biofuels. However, crop production is not keeping pace with the projected
requirements. A reduction in available food resources will drive prices up, place additional burdens on people living near or below poverty levels, and increase the potential for political instability. As insurance, some nations are already acquiring vast
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10
CHAPTER 1 • Intercultural Communication: A Requirement for the Interdependent Global Society
tracts of arable land in Africa, South America, and Southeast Asia for agricultural
development.17
Adding to the burden of agricultural production is the decline in pelagic resources
resulting from fish stock depletion, ocean pollution, and climate change. According
to the United Nations, over 10 percent of the world’s population relies on fisheries
for a living. However, the industry is facing a number of threats, ranging from “illegal,
unreported and unregulated fishing to harmful fishing practices to wastage to poor
governance.”18 This has resulted in more than 80 percent of ocean fish being harvested at or above their sustainability levels and the wholesale destruction of the
world’s coral reefs.19 Amelioration of this situation will require extensive international agreements covering a broad range of topics, such as quotas, permissible practices, type and extent of punishment for violations, and, most challenging,
cooperative monitoring and policing of the ocean commons. The extent of the problem and number of involved nations make this an extremely difficult task but a necessary one if we are to ensure that the oceans remain a reliable source of food.
According to the President of the Earth Policy Institute, Lester Brown, “We are
entering a time of chronic food scarcity, one that is leading to intense competition
for control of land and water resources—
in short, a new geopolitics of food.”20
CONSIDER THIS
The implications of this evolving situation are multiple. International cooperaHow do you believe we can get people throughout the
tion will be required on a grand scale to
world, and from a variety of cultures, to engage in humaniguarantee adequate food availability,
tarian cooperation? Is such engagement possible?
avoid detrimental competition, and
ensure continued political viability. In
addition to cooperative programs and
international agreements, some solutions may have to center around changing traditional dietary practices, a daunting cultural challenge.
Evolving conditions are worsened by environmental degradation, pollution, and
climate change. The destruction of natural habitats, such as wetlands and woodlands,
for industrial and residential development (along with other factors, such as pollution) is contributing to the extinction of plant and animal species at an accelerating
pace. Pollution is a significant and continually growing problem throughout the
world, including our oceans. A 2015 study revealed that as much as 8 million metric
tons of plastic trash enters the ocean every year. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch
stretches for hundreds of miles across the Pacific Ocean and consists primarily of nonbiodegradable plastics that only break down into smaller and smaller particles, ultimately to be ingested by marine life. Domestic water pollution is also a growing
problem throughout the world. According to a 2014 government report, almost
60 percent of China’s underground water was so polluted that it could not be consumed without treatment. Surveys by the Environmental Protection Agency disclosed
that pollution prevented 40 percent of U.S. rivers, lakes, and estuaries from being
used for fishing or swimming. The waters are so polluted with runoff sewage and garbage in Rio de Janeiro’s Guanabara Bay, site of the 2016 Olympic sailing and windsurfing events, that some officials have registered concern about the health risks to
the athletes. Air pollution continues to be an enervating health factor in many parts
of the world, especially China and India. Moreover, air pollution does not respect
national borders. Recent reports have revealed that industrial emissions produced in
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Humanitarian and Legal Cooperation
11
China are carried by wind patterns all the way to the U.S. West Coast, making it a
matter of international concern.21
The ever-increasing force of climate change is another consideration that necessitates competent intercultural interactions. Extreme weather conditions will bring
more frequent tropical storms, droughts, wildfires, flooding, health threats, and a
host of other maladies that can be managed only by nations working together. For
instance, in low-lying areas, complete towns will have to be relocated, and some
islands in the South Pacific are likely to be inundated, requiring relocation of entire
populations. Increased ocean temperatures will exert pressure on marine habitats and
fishing patterns, impacting traditional industries and altering diets. Insect infestations
and plant diseases will become more common with warmer temperatures and result in
lower agricultural yields. Adaptation to these many changes will require that nations
engage in cooperative efforts and share resources.22
We are stressing that ecological changes, both ongoing and in the future, carry the
potential to transform many of the beliefs, practices, and habits that have become normal over the past centuries. People, organizations, and states will have to learn new ways
of managing and cooperating. Often, this will require reaching across cultural divides.
HUMANITARIAN AND LEGAL COOPERATION
Advances in communication technologies have enabled rapid notification and dissemination of information concerning humanitarian crises, such as contagious disease
outbreaks and natural disasters. Modern transport capabilities have offered a means of
expeditiously responding to those crises, and nations and relief organizations around
the world mobilize and deploy resources to disaster sites. The 2014 outbreak of the
Ebola virus in West Africa is a good example of the complexity of responding to
such an incident. The disease affected citizens of six West African nations, and
infected individuals were also treated in the United States, England, and Spain. In
attempting to contain the disease, personnel and materials from around the world
were rushed to the area, and coordination required communication across
organizational, linguistic, and cultural lines. Additionally, to be successful, the instituted treatment and containment programs had to be culturally sensitive to local customs. For example, caring for the dead traditionally requires touching and even
kissing the body in some West African nations. To break the Ebola infection cycle,
emergency workers had to identify and implement effective methods of communicating the dangers of this practice to the local inhabitants.
Disaster response is another area of international cooperation requiring intercultural communication competence. The worldwide response to the 2010 Haiti earthquake, the 2011 Japan earthquake and tsunami, and the 2013 Philippine super
typhoon offer examples of recent endeavors. International assistance in cases of a
major accident has also become common. For instance, the 2014 loss of a Malaysian
commercial aircraft thought to have gone down in the Indian Ocean and the AirAsia
plane that crashed near Indonesia elicited international deployment of personnel and
equipment. These types of calamities increase the need for intercultural communication skills among all parties involved.
Protection of intellectual property is another legal concern in the globalized economy. The negotiation, enactment, and enforcement of regulations arising from
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12
CHAPTER 1 • Intercultural Communication: A Requirement for the Interdependent Global Society
international legal agreements are often confronted with issues of cultural divergence.
As an example, international copyright law is largely based on the Western concept
of creativity being primarily an individual effort, but, as Rajan points out, this
conceptualization is not consistent across all cultures:
A strongly individualistic conception of creativity may not be relevant to cultures which
place a higher value on group or communal creation, or locate the work of individual
authors within a strong, community tradition of educated understanding and appreciation.
They may also be difficult to reconcile with traditions which do not accord primary importance to the identity of the author.23
More succinctly, the Euro-American cultural value is on individual ownership and
creativity, but many non-European “traditions tend toward a more communal
conception.”24 As a result, to reach successful agreements in instances where these
varied cultural perspectives collide, the involved individuals will need a strong appreciation for the role of culture in communication.
POLITICAL ISSUES
As globalization has driven the international community into greater economic interdependency, it has presented nations with issues that on occasion conflict with domestic
politics. For example, domestic political divisions have kept the United States from
becoming a participant in the International Criminal Court, established to prosecute
serious crimes against humanity, despite more than one hundred other nations taking
part. Due to its opposition to capital punishment, Mexico has been reluctant to extradite criminals to the United States when there is a possibility of the death penalty
being imposed. It was only through international pressure that in 2013, the Japanese
government ratified an international agreement, first established in 1980, that is used
to adjudicate international child custody disputes.25 Japan’s reluctance to sign was due
to the strong cultural belief that child custody is the mother’s prerogative.
Scientific advances are another area that can become politically divisive. During
a period in 2013–2014, the Chinese government halted imports of U.S. genetically
modified corn, citing health risks. The national value-related attitude toward
genetically modified food also varies between the United States and the European
Union, making imports and exports subject to international negotiations and trade
agreements. Studies have shown that opinion on research employing human
embryo stem cells can also vary internationally based on religion, ideology, and
personal values. China and the United States often trade barbs about human
rights, and much of their disagreement can be traced to divergent views about
human rights. For the United States, human rights are anchored in a legal tradition
of political and civil rights. China, on the other hand, grounds its approach to the
topic on a perspective that assigns the highest priority to social and economic
rights.26
These few illustrations should provide ample evidence of the many contentious
political issues dividing states in the globalized society. Dissimilar cultural values and
attitudes are at the base of many of these controversial issues, and the only prudent
course of resolution is through dialogue and agreement—in other words, through
employing competent intercultural communication.
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Security Concerns
13
SECURITY CONCERNS
Peace and stability in the age of globalization is under constant assault by multiple
complex threats, many of which can be countered only through international governmental and military cooperation. To illustrate the continuing need for intercultural
communication in the national security arena, we will address a few of the ongoing
challenges and operations in the following paragraphs. You should try to keep in
mind the many different languages and cultures involved among participants in the
programs and operations discussed.
Weapons of mass destruction (WMDs), which include nuclear, chemical, and biological armaments, carry the potential to inflict the greatest number of causalities and
are a concern for almost every nation. The desire to prevent the spread of nuclear
weapons is exemplified in the multinational efforts to dissuade Iran from further
development and to terminate the North Korean program. Negotiations with Iran
involve representatives from China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom,
and the United States. In addition to North Korea, the Six Party Talks involve
China, Japan, Russia, South Korea, and the United States. The removal and destruction of Syria’s chemical arsenal in 2013–2014 involved Syria’s acquiescence, an agreement between the United States and Russia, a UN Security Council Resolution, and
supervision by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. Ships from
Norway and Denmark provided transport services. Logistic sites were used in Cyprus
and Italy. The chemical weapons and associated materials were destroyed aboard a
U.S. merchant ship and at sites in Finland, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the
United States.27 The role of intercultural communication in these cases is selfevident.
We are constantly reminded of the danger of global terrorism as it spreads around
the world. With the exception of Antarctica, acts of terrorism resulting in loss of life
occurred on every continent in 2014. Nor is there any indication that the threat will
diminish anytime soon. The ability ultimately to meet the challenge of terrorism will
require the cooperation of the entire international community. The Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) offers an example of how the international community can successfully engage and neutralize an asymmetrical threat. Composed of naval units from
30 nations, the CMF maintains a presence in the Arabian Gulf, Northern Arabian
Sea, and the Indian Ocean, encompassing “approximately 2.5 million square miles of
international waters.”28 This all-voluntary force conducts continuous security operations and has effectively quelled Somali-based maritime piracy. The implementation
of these hugely complex operations takes an extraordinary degree of coordination, all
anchored in communication that must pass through numerous language and cultural
filters.
The UN peacekeeping operations offer another example of international cooperation that must overcome countless cultural and language obstacles. As of January
2015, more than 120,000 uniformed and civilian personnel from 128 nations were
deployed to 16 international locations. These men and women were working to maintain peace, protect civilian populations, sustain the environment, and promote
human rights at 16 sites in Africa, the Balkans, the Caribbean, the Middle East, and
South Asia.29
Just as globalization has changed the economic and social landscape, it has given
rise to a series of emerging security threats. These include extant and developing
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14
CHAPTER 1 • Intercultural Communication: A Requirement for the Interdependent Global Society
sectarian and ethnic tensions. Renascent nationalism has exhibited itself as both a
political instrument and an aspirational force. Old and new contested territorial
claims are coming between nations. Differences in cultural and ideological perceptions are at the heart of many of these situations, and cooperative mutual interaction
to dispel those differences is the key to peaceful resolution.
Religion remains a potent source of divisiveness around the world. A Pew
Research Center study revealed that 77 percent of the world’s population “was living
in countries with a high or very high overall level of restrictions on religion in
2013.”30 These restrictions include government-imposed regulations and acts of social
harassment due to religious affiliation. Of the 198 nations in the study, 30 percent
had government restrictions against minority religions, and in 61 percent of the countries, religious groups experienced some form of social harassment.31 After two decades of conflict between Muslims in the north and Christians/Animists in the south,
Sudan was divided into two separate states in 2011, but tensions persist. Professed
Muslims belonging to the Boko Haram terrorist group seek to impose Islamic law
(Sharia) throughout Nigeria. Although it takes many forms, the Sunni–Shia divide
is the underlying cause of conflict in the Middle East, with entire nations taking different sides (e.g., Sunni Saudi Arabia vs. Shia Iran). India’s enduring Hindu–
Christian and Hindu–Muslim animosities give no indication of diminishing, and
occasional low-level violent eruptions are not uncommon. Since 2009, Hindus and
Buddhist in Sir Lanka have engaged in an uneasy peace following a debilitating civil
war lasting more than twenty-five years. The Chinese government has officially
banned the Falun Gong religious group. Beginning in 2012, Buddhist mobs have
engaged in violent attacks on Muslim-minority Rohingya communities in Myanmar.
Nor is the West immune to sectarian conflict, as demonstrated by recent attacks in
Denmark, France, and the United Kingdom, part of an alarming rise in antiSemitism across Europe.32
Although not as frequently mentioned in the news as religiously based conflicts,
ethnic violence is also an expanding challenge for the international community.
The following examples are but a short list of ongoing ethnic struggles. Soon after
gaining independence, peace in South Sudan was shattered by conflict between members of the Nuer and Dinka tribes contesting control of land and resources. Since the
removal of Muammar Qaddafi as Libya’s leader, the country has devolved into a civil
war with various tribal, religious, militia, and governmental groups vying for power.
Yemen has long been riven by intertribal conflicts, the most recent occurring in
early 2015, when rebels from the Houthi tribe overthrew the sitting government.
Ethnic strife continues its long history in Myanmar, where Kachin, Shans, Chins,
Karens, Mons, and numerous other minority ethnic groups contest the central government for control of their homelands, access to resources, and preservation of their culture. In Russia, ethnic tensions have long been a national concern, and the northern
Caucasus region is a site of continuing ethnic violence.
Nationalism, another divisive ideology, has historically been used as a populist call
to rally support against such multicultural issues as immigration, foreign products, or
involvement in international organizations or pacts. Globalization, with its focus less
on individual nations and more on internationalization, has opened the door for
emerging, divisive nationalist movements in several areas of the world over the past
decade. In Europe, economic recession, unemployment, immigration issues, and sectarianism have promoted nationalist political movements in the United Kingdom,
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Security Concerns
15
Denmark, France, and Germany. Since 2012, Russia has invoked emotional nationalistic appeals in its domestic political pronouncements and used nationalism as part of
the rationale for movement into the Crimea and eastern Ukraine. In India, ardent
Hindu nationalists continue to define themselves in contrast to the nation’s
Muslim population. As a justification for retaining power and to garner support for
political policies, the Chinese Communist Party instills nationalism through the educational system and popular media. There have also been recent indicators that
nationalism is growing in Japan. Nor is the United States exempt from nationalism,
as demonstrated when some politicos conflate “American exceptionalism” with
nationalism.33 When faced with any nationalistically based call, one should always
keep in mind that a fundamental function of nationalism is the creation of an “us”
and a “them.”
Conflicting territorial claims have been a historical constant due to fluctuating
borders arising from wars, treaties, political intrigues, and mass migration. Many of
the world’s established borders are seen as being unilaterally imposed by former colonial powers or viewed through the perspective of divided historical memory. Today,
most historically based disagreements lie dormant, confined to occasional rhetorical
exchanges between the disputants. However, in several areas, these ongoing territorial
differences remain active and carry the potential to disrupt the greater social order.
For example, the absence of a clearly defined demarcation between Israeli and Palestinian territory has been festering almost 100 years and remains an extremely volatile
situation today. An inability to agree on a border in the Kashmir region following the
1947 Partition has left Indian and Pakistani armed forces aligned along the Line of
Control in Kashmir. The situation is made more dangerous due to both nations possessing nuclear weapons. Only a little farther to the north, since their 1962 border
war, Indian and Chinese forces have been separated by an imaginary line extending
over 2,500 miles through an area of disputed territory. In more recent conflicts, China
has used vague historical documents and indistinct claimed boundaries to assert sovereignty over as much as 90 percent of the entire South China Sea, a claim that conflicts with the maritime economic boundaries of six other littoral nations. Incidents
between Chinese and Vietnamese ships in the South China Sea in 2014 led to riots
and the destruction of Chinese properties in Vietnam. Russia’s military takeover of
the Crimea, the support of rebels in eastern Ukraine, and President Putin’s jingoistic
pronouncements have unsettled the entire European continent.34
The foregoing discussion of the numerous challenges confronting the globalized
community was designed to provide you with a broad overview of the current and
evolving circumstances that carry the potential to create friction, instability, and
even conflict between nations. The purpose was to demonstrate the requirement for
international cooperation and, when needed, global governance in managing these
problems. The root cause of conflict often lies in an overemphasis on differences
between the groups involved. This book aims to develop your intercultural skills so
that you may play a role in resolving some of the conflicts in the globalized world.
TECHNOLOGY
Information technology (IT) has globalized and democratized access to information!
No longer are literary, scientific, legal, and educational materials the provenance of
circumstantially advantaged segments of society. With minimal investment in either
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16
CHAPTER 1 • Intercultural Communication: A Requirement for the Interdependent Global Society
money or time, anyone in almost any
place in the world can access the Internet
for knowledge, entertainment, communication, and other reasons. No longer does
The use of social media networks has expanded far beyond
one have to travel to a library, locate an
private citizens and now includes government officials, corexpert, purchase a book, send a letter, or
porations, nongovernmental organizations, and government
organizations. For example, in early 2015 the U.S. Naval
even reason out a problem for oneself. A
Academy held an important debate on the future of aircraft
vast body of knowledge is readily availcarriers. The debate was broadcast simultaneously on
able. Even when it is written in another
Twitter.35
language, a translation can often be
obtained online. The ubiquity and accessibility of information has made “I don’t
know, but I can look it up” the mantra of the digital generations.
The ability to communicate with people around the world is a source of cohesion
as well as polarization. Technology has enabled ordinary citizens to form and organize
groups quickly around a common interest regardless of veracity or social benefit. The
role of social media in the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings that occurred in part of the
Middle East is well known. The Internet and social media also played a critical role
in the 2013–2014 “Euromaidan” protests, which ultimately drove the Ukrainian president from office and set in motion the chain of events leading to armed conflict
between Ukrainian and Russian-backed separatist forces. According to one study,
Internet news sites and social media were central in the dissemination of information
about the protest and are believed to “have been highly influential—perhaps even at
unprecedented levels compared to prior protests internationally—in motivating people and framing their protest claims.”36 Unfortunately, IT is only a medium and is
unable to distinguish between use for purposes of positive or negative gain, good or
evil intent, or benign or malicious content. ISIS, for example, has employed various
modes of IT to distribute videos and messages intended to recruit converts, propagandize its claims, and intimidate opponents. As a result, ISIS has been able to use social
media, especially Twitter, to create a virtual image that exceeds actual capabilities. In
a more positive vein, while almost 90 percent of the residents of Bell, California,
speak a language other than English, the city’s website relies on Google Translate to
translate city documents into 64 different languages.37
The Internet has also launched “international classrooms” by allowing students
from different countries to meet for online discussions as part of formal class activities.
The “Global Class,” conducted by Durham College, is a “live 90-minute class
between [sic] four countries, typically three different post-secondary classes and a guest
speaker.”38 During these classes, the role of intercultural communication becomes
especially salient.
In some instances, media technology is also leading to a more polarized society,
particularly in the United States. The availability of varied information sources on
the Internet is enormous, making it quite easy to find material that confirms and solidifies almost any conviction. One author ably described this unfortunate trend:
CONSIDER THIS
Out in cyberspace, facts are movable objects, pushed aside when they don’t fit
beliefs, political leanings or preconceived notions. Everybody’s an expert. The likeminded find each other and form communities online, reinforcing their biases and their
certitude.39
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Security Concerns
17
According to Achenbach, current IT venues, which include radio and television,
permit people to inhabit a “ ‘filter bubble’ that lets in only the information with
which [they] agree.”40 Additionally, the Internet provides a degree of anonymity
that can be used to strip away social civility and allows individuals to post shrill,
demeaning, discriminatory, and even untrue information. Individuals no longer find
it necessary to seek compromises with people who hold perceptions and attitudes
that differ from their own. Although written in 2009, Nicholas Kristof’s comment
remains valid today: “Americans increasingly are segregating themselves into communities, clubs and churches where they are surrounded by people who think the way
they do…. The result is polarization and intolerance.”41 Evidence of this is seen on
a wide range of issues, such as conservative versus liberal, pro-life versus freedom of
choice, anti-immigration versus immigration rights, reduced government spending
versus social welfare programs, and the schism surrounding gay marriage rights. It is
also evident in the vitriolic exchanges often posted on entertainment blogs, even on
such mundane issues as what is a good or bad YouTube music video. Amelioration of
these divergent perspectives will be achieved only by understanding that people have
varying values and worldviews and by acquiring the ability to communicate across
those differences.
The continuing growth of digital technologies is also bringing about profound
social and cultural changes. For example, users are turning away from hard-copy publications such as news…

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