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Understanding Intercultural Communication

Updated May 2, 2022
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Understanding Intercultural Communication essay

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These chapters were very interesting a brought up many different and difficult topics.

This chapter is titled “What are the Essential Cultural Value Patterns”, the main basis of this chapter is that we develop behaviors based off what cultural values and cultural patterns you are raised on or introduced to. The text says it well stating, “cultural value patterns form the basis criteria through which we evaluate our own behaviors and the behaviors of others. They cue our expectations. . .They serve as implicit guidelines for out motivations, expectations, perceptions, interpretations, and communicative actions.”, “cultural values patterns serve functions, i.e. there is a reason we develop cultural value patterns”, Stella Ting-Toomey & Leeva C. Chung Understanding Intercultural Communication (2012) Chapter 3.

My response to this chapter or area is that i can relate to this highly because I grew up in a very Hawaiian household which has its own set of rules, no shoes in the house, no hats or glasses on in the house, when you leave go honi honi everyone goodbye, and probably the biggest rule out of all of them, do not piss off tutu or papa or else. These may seem simple to other but these set of rules taught me respect for others, chivalry, kindness, and compassion.

Everyone on my dads side of the family follows those rules and in result we all get along quite nicely along with a few wild and memorable moments we share and laugh about. These “rules” have made us a close-knit family. While on my moms side of the family each individual family follows their own set of rules which in result leads to a lot of tension and stress between the family all together, which basically means the family is separated into favorites.

If there are any, what ways could you break a behavioral pattern taught from when the person little and Why would is be important to get to know a person background before conducting a interview with them?

In this chapter titled “What are the Keys to Understanding Cultural & Ethnic Identities”, this is an interesting chapter that bases itself on the topic of how one views themself culturally and ethnically and what the keys to those are. The text says “Identity is the reflective self-conception or self-image we derive from family, gender, cultural, ethnic, and individual socialization”, Stella Ting-Toomey & Leeva C. Chung Understanding Intercultural Communication (2012) Chapter 4. This means the key to identity is not truly just in yourself but by who, what, and how you surround yourself with, but also by how your cultural and ethnic values are.

My reaction to this chapter wasn’t like the other chapters i’ve read previously I kind of already understood the meaning of the keys of cultural and ethnic identity based on where I was raised. From the point-of-view as a Hawaii born and raised person 90 percent of people we see are going to be mixed culturally and based of behavior and many other factors we know what ethnicity they’d like to portray. Many are grown up around one ethnicity though so they have no choice to embrace while others like myself have to freedom to decide.

I was raised around all five of my cultures from the foods, superstitions, and cultural practices but in the end I chose to ethnically identify as a Hawaiian and I say that not because i’m from there but because I feel more proud in representing a ethnicity that’s on the decline, an ethnicity driven from their own land, a ethnicity still fighting for sovereignty. There is also an ethnicity called, Polynesian and this includes every culture inside the pacific but more specifically inside the polynesian triangle, there is even a polynesian flag hanging in my room.

My only two questions I have is, what if a person decides to choose ethnically identify with a culture they are not, and what if a person doesn’t ever identify ethnically at all?

Titled “What is the Connection between Verbal Communication & Culture”, this chapter focuses on the topic of the way a person speaks or converses in connection with their culture. The textbook explains it better by stating that language is, “an arbitrary, symbolic system that labels and categorizes objects, events, groups, people, ideas, feelings, experiences, and many other phenomena”, Stella Ting-Toomey & Leeva C. Chung Understanding Intercultural Communication (2012) Chapter 6.

My view on this topic is that it’s true because the people that influence you the most especially your language is the people who are always around you. I can connect to this completely because when i’m home i speak in a form of english called “Hawaiian Pidgin”, it is now an official language since 2012. I can switch between “Pidgin” and the way i speak in class and around the mainland, but when I am home i will speak fluent “Pidgin”.

This chapter hits home for me for the one reason that since 2012 “Hawaiian Pidgin” has become an official language and has over 600,000 native speakers, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hawaiian_Pidgin. Also big names like UFC Hall Of Famer BJ Penn has even spoken this language post fight, along with current UFC Featherweight Champion Max Holloway, former Oregon Duck and Heisman winner and current quarterback for the Tennessee Titan Marcus Mariota, and National Championship winning MVP and current quarterback for Alabama Crimson Tide Tua Tagovailoa all have been seen or heard at least once speaking “Hawaiian Pidgin”. I’ll leave a link here as an example, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cNGkfJmlWzk.

In this textbook chapter titled, “The Triangle of Linguistic Structure”, in the chapter it goes in detail on the three levels of speech. The three levels are meaning/reference, function/intention, and form, this means that what you say, what you mean, and the way you say it could affect what the person your talking to may interpret. There’s also something as direct and indirect speech and in the textbook it gives and example, “It’s hot in here, won’t someone open the window? Or Please open the window, could you open? Open the window won’t you? You look strong enough to open the window”, Leila Monaghan & Jane E. Goodman A Cultural Approach to Interpersonal Communication (2012) Chapter 16

This chapter brings up a lot of interesting topics including speech and what you say versus what the person interprets/hears. Another example from the textbook is very simple yet has two totally different forms, “go home” or “why don’t you go home” Leila Monaghan & Jane E. Goodman A Cultural Approach to Interpersonal Communication (2012) Chapter 16, one sounds mean and very rude as if you were intentionally trying to be aggressive to the person your speaking to while the other sounds polite and formal in a way. When a person is trying to understand what another is saying many factors come into mind such as tone, volume, surroundings, and how you say it to the person.

I can relate to this highly because my voice is very very deep, I tend to speak loudly, and I have a habit of using my hands a lot when I speak. All these together make me seem as if I am angry most of the time along with me seeming sleepy, stoned, and sarcastic. It’s not so much a problem because I mostly talk to others from Hawaii so they know that i’m speaking regularly because almost everyone in Hawaii speaks the same way from using their hands while speaking to speaking loudly.

Coming up with question for this chapter is challenging because everything is laid out in the text so there isn’t much to question but i came up with two questions; is there a form of speech that could mean nothing even if you go into detail and what are the steps could someone take to improve their speech so that there is less of a chance that they are misinterpreted?

This chapter is titled “Conversations: The Link Between Words and the World, the concept of this chapter is to go over what it takes to make a conversation setting, participants, ends, act sequence, key, instrumentality, norms, and genre, Leila Monaghan & Jane E. Goodman A Cultural Approach to Interpersonal Communication (2012) Chapter 18. Other factors are speech of different volumes and tone, speech of different speeds, and specific examples of nonstandard speech.

I can somewhat relate to this but majority-wise I can’t because i’m mostly either in my room, at a party, or on the phone when i’m talking to my friends these days since my friends are all at home in Hawaii. But when i’m talking to an adult or someone of a higher social status than me i will always try my best to be formal unless told otherwise, but me speaking all depends on all the factors listed above also.

One of the factors listed above really caught my eye and it was “norms” and that’s something that really is easy for me to understand depending on the place i’m in and the people i’m with. I’m pretty good at picking up norms because i’m a very observant person and I have a good tendency to observe my surrounding and identify the people i’m speaking with before i speak so that I don’t offend anyway.

Some questions I have are what if there are two opposite types of people there at the same time, wouldn’t you be stuck between trying not to offend one or the other and are there any ways around this rule?

This very interesting chapter is titled simply “Conversational Signals and Devices”, this chapter is primarily about common saying like “hold your horses” and “ what are you waiting for?”, Leila Monaghan & Jane E. Goodman A Cultural Approach to Interpersonal Communication (2012) Chapter 19. This chapter will continue to be mostly about common saying that are used in everyday conversation.

This is a chapter that I can really relate to because I probably use common saying like those above in every other sentence and it’s something that I don’t think about anymore so it just slips out unknowingly by me. I can’t really stop because the way I speak is very common if you listen to me clearly I don’t use any complicated or intricate speech at all because I myself am a very simple and upfront person and I won’t tell you what you want to hear, i’ll tell you the truth because it’s quicker and easier to say.

I am not a person pleaser so i’ll end up saying what I truly mean while using common saying to help explain myself clearly which makes me sound more sarcastic and mean than i intend to be. But it also helps for me to deliver my message more clearly to the person I am speaking to.

My only questions are, are there saying or phrases that mean the same thing but don’t even mean what they say and could it be possible to have a full conversation while only speaking in conversational signals?

“A Cultural Approach to Male-Female Miscommunication” is a touchy topic that explains the miscommunication between male and female conversations. Men and women have totally different minds and what is said could mean totally different things in a male and female mind. Common mistakes is when the the genders assume something about the opposite gender which causes conflict and possibly an argument when one is not needed whatsoever. The books definition is, “cross-sex conversations they do not play the same role in interaction”, A Cultural Approach to Interpersonal Communication Leila Monaghan & Jane E. Goodman (2012) Chapter 20

I can connect this very much because I have a lot of friends that are females and we don’t really have issues conversing because i understand the difference between the male and female mind and I understand and know to watch what i say so that i’m not misinterpreted. I tend to listen for conversational keys so that I don’t offend the female i’m talking to.

I learned that women tend to ask a lot more questions than men do because it gives them a better understanding of what they are talking about, while men on the other hand tend to just assume and that is where misunderstandings happen. I try to ask just as many if not more question than women do so that I don’t assume anything at all.

I have a lot of questions on this topic but i narrowed it down to these two, should men ask more questions when conversing with women and should women be more considerate of men trying to understand a conversation they are having.

Understanding Intercultural Communication essay

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