Interpersonal Communication

Topics: Cross-cultural communication, Communication, Nonverbal communication Pages: 8 (1319 words) Published: August 12, 2013
There are many ways that my culture influences my self-concept. First let’s take a look at the

many kinds of cultures there are. Culture is defined as the relatively specialized lifestyle of a

group of people that is passed on from one generation to the next through communication, not

through genes. Culture is transmitted from one generation to another through enculturation, the

process by which you learn the culture into which you’re born (your native culture). Parents,

peer groups, schools, religious institutions, and government agencies are the main teachers of

culture. Through enculturation you develop an ethnic identity, a commitment to the beliefs and

philosophy of your culture that, not surprisingly, can act as a protective shield against

discrimination. A different process of learning culture is acculturation, the process by which you

learn the rules and norms of a culture different from your native culture. In acculturation your

original or native culture is modified through direct contact with or exposure to a new and

different culture. Cultures, of course, differ in a wide variety of ways; and for purposes of

communication, the difference that probably comes to mind first is that of languages. Certainly,

cultures do differ in language spoken and understood. Masculine cultures emphasize success and

socialize their people to be assertive, ambitious and competitive. Members of masculine cultures

are thus more likely to confront conflicts directly and to competitively fight out any differences;

they are more likely to emphasize win or lose strategies. Feminine cultures emphasize the quality

of life and socialize their people to be modest and to emphasize close interpersonal relationships.

Members of feminine cultures are thus more likely to emphasize compromise and negotiation in

resolving conflicts; they are more likely to seek win – win solutions. Members of cultures with

high ambiguity tolerance do not feel threatened by unknown situations; uncertainty is normal

part of life and people accept it as it comes. Members of cultures with low ambiguity tolerance

do much to avoid uncertainty and have a great deal of anxiety by not knowing what will happen

next; they see uncertainty as threatening and as something that must be counteracted. In an

individualist culture members are responsible for themselves and perhaps their immediate

family. In a collectivist culture members are responsible for the entire group. In a high context

culture much of the information in communication is in the context or in the person. In a low

context culture most of the information is explicitly stated in the verbal message. In my every

day life I use more of the intercultural communication. Intercultural communication is

communication between persons who have different cultural beliefs, values, or ways of

behaving. Being that I am African-American and my fiancée is Caucasian my culture changes

my self-concept. Being a male you assume that that’s the dominant one in a relationship or what

not. I believe that being a male you should set the example for the household. It’s not my way or

the highway is the wrong approach. It’s more of a compromise or we agree to disagree. I think

that shows masculine. I can say race plays a lot but I would be lying. That would go back to a

stereotype. A stereotype is a fixed impression of a group of people. From the outside looking in

age would be a stereotype as well. I’ve recently turned twenty-five so that plays into another

stereotype. Half way to fifty; what are you doing with your life. Or the stereotype of a black guy

with a white woman. You hear it all but its all about your self-concept. I’m comfortable in my

own skin. There were more important things of listening that I didn’t realize. One purpose of

listening is to learn, something you do...
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