Aspects of intercultural communications

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Intercultural communications is a powerful phenomenon in the current global landscape. The globalization of the world has led to the interaction of people from many cultural backgrounds more than ever in world history. When one looks at intercultural communications, one has to be mindful of the cultural differences that exist in society e.g. race, religion, sexual orientation etc. An aspect that is always encouraged in intercultural communications is understanding. People should understand of each other rather than quick to judge and act harshly against those that they consider to be different from them.

All individuals claim to belong to a certain cultural group from which they find their identity. The identity of a person is something that should always be considered during intercultural communications. When in a situation with a person from a different culture, individuals are expected to be respectful (Bennett, 2015). For instance, if an individual does not agree with the actions of the LGBTQ and is against the members of the community, when the said individual interacts with a person from that community, he or she should be respectful. Simply because he does not agree with the culture does not warrant him or her to be rude and disrespectful to the person from the different culture. This is the basis of intercultural communication. Individuals are expected to treat everyone equally and fairly even though they have differences when it comes to their cultures.

Limitations of Intercultural Communications

A big limitation to intercultural communication is the existence of bias against certain cultures. The bias that individuals have tends to make them unwilling to interact with members from other communities appropriately (Leeds-Hurwitz, 2013). The existing bias creates barriers where the individuals feel that there is no need to interact with people from different cultural backgrounds. For instance, the issue of racial discrimination is entrenched in the culture of America. Young children grow up knowing that they are either inferior or superior based on their racial background. When a third party wants to come in and introduce effective and respectful intercultural interactions, the children who have grown up with that bias will be unwilling to cooperate and practice good communication. This bias makes it difficult to achieve universal effective intercultural communication.

Significance of Intercultural Communication

The differences that exist among the people due to the different cultural backgrounds has necessitated the need for intercultural communications and competence. Now, more than ever, people are expected to be sensitive of each other and careful with the words used around them. When intercultural communication is enhanced, then the small differences that create large problems in society will be appreciated rather than feared (Huber, 2014). For instance, people should be taught that there is no such thing as racial superiority and/or inferiority. Therefore, when one is racist, he or she is simply approaching the issue of racial diversity from the wrong angle. Such an understanding will enable people to be empathetic beings who are careful of what they say or do around people who are different from them. Intercultural communication, thus, creates grounds for good interactions among citizens who live in the same area together and come from different backgrounds. Good intercultural communications will lead to the rule of law, democracy and human rights being respected regardless of where someone comes from or what he or she believes in.

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  1. Bennett, J. M. (2015). The SAGE Encyclopedia of Intercultural Competence. Los Angeles, CA: Sage.
  2. Huber, J. (2014). Developing inercultural competence through education. Strasbourg: Council of Europe Publishin.
  3. Leeds-Hurwitz, W. (2013). Intercultural Competences: Conceptual and Operational Framework. Paris, FR: UNESCO.
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