'Belonging' in the Intercultural Communication

Topics: Culture, Cross-cultural communication, Communication Pages: 6 (1930 words) Published: May 8, 2013
2. Analyze how ‘belonging’ is central to intercultural communication.

Every individual definitely belongs to something. As a mankind, every individual belong to the place where they born or raise. ‘Belonging’ means that every individual always adopt the life style and culture from the country or a group each individual raised or born. For example, the ways individual eats, how every individual communicate and interact with others. Every place or group has different life style and culture from the other. Every culture has differences, from these differences, the way each individual behave and perceive the world also different. This essay deals with a question: how ‘belonging’ is central to intercultural communication and there are three parts in explaining this question. First part will explain how Indonesian people develop their identity and how this identity relates to ‘belonging’. Different place have different culture. When one culture moves to another culture it will need a process called adaptation. Adaptation to another culture is something that is not easy like learning to another language. In adaptation, not all-different culture can be accepted. Usually, the origin culture will reject the new culture. This phase can influence the way other individual communicate with others. Last part will focus on how ‘belonging’ also can be a problem in intercultural communication. How ‘belonging’ also can be a barrier for individual in perceive other culture.

Stated by Nagel (1994) identity is the basic way in creating the ethnicity. First, each of the individual will begin to explore or discover the characteristics of identity from people around or from the place the individual born. Identity is including ethics, values, morals and beliefs. Usually the identity shaped within age of teenagers. According to Fong (2004, p. 20), there are three stages in cultural identity. First, the individual adopt their culture by without they ask but with what they see surround them. This stage called the unexamined cultural identity. The individual starts to adopt this stage in the childhood. The second stage is the cultural identity search. in this phase individual will become very sensitive to cultural, ethnic, racial changes and the individual start to learn and explore stages of identity. Next stage will make the individual to reflect and evaluate him or her, other culture, and how they adapt to another groups. When they adapt to another group, unfairness and sometimes discrimination may happen. When the minor group comes to dominant group, the minor group always adapt to dominant group. The dominant group sometimes disrespect and mistreated the minor group. Mistreated and disrespect the minor group will make them to reject the culture of dominant group and will create a barrier for the minor group in adapting the dominant group. Many identities shaped the individual such as age identity, class identity, spiritual identity, national identity and regional identity. The final stage is cultural identity achievement. At this stage, is where the individuals have established their own cultural identity. Usually, they already confidence accept and understand about other culture. it is whether they can adopt and accept it or they are avoid and get use to from the bad comments from the dominant group.

Identity influences on how a person speaks and reacts to another culture. For example, in Indonesia, because of Indonesia has many tribes this country is a cultural country. Each of the tribe has an own unique characteristic that is why the Indonesian people are much better in adjustment of another culture. Everyday Indonesian people live and communicate with other tribe with has different culture and lifestyle. Still there are difficulties to receive and accept other culture that different from the personal identity. For example, in Indonesia touching another people’s head is very not polite but in Western culture touching head...
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