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Blocks of intercultural communication

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In society there are four building blocks of intercultural communication. They are culture, communication, context, and power. Culture can be viewed as patterns of learned beliefs that are shared through generations. It is often considered to be the main concept in intercultural communication, and how we think about culture affects our idea and perceptions. Throughout the world there are many differences between cultures. For example in France, it is customary to greet the shopkeeper before beginning to select items, while in America it is our cultural norm to enter the store, begin to shop, and pay for the items. By thinking about our culture we can broaden our perception to consider different views of culture.

Values are the most felt beliefs shared by any culture. They show what is wanted in their lives, not what is needed. The main belief behind values is that it is a shared perception on society and on ones self. But that is human nature to have many sides, like the whole “Good” versus “Evil.” It is human nature to be one of the three elements. They can be basically a good person. They can be a mixture of good and evil. Or they can be basically evil. This type of thinking is one way of analyzing the thoughts and actions of people. Many people in America hold this belief. In the past years, there has been a shift of views in human nature. Many people are changing their views on the primary evil of humanity.

These values can influence different patterns of communication between people. People who are very individualistic will prefer to have direct contact when communicating. While group oriented people or societies will prefer less direct contact in communication where there is no face-to-face communication going on. Or a collective orientation emphasizes a connection between other individuals. But these values have a direct connection with economic status. Normally, a person with a higher economic class will be favorable to collectiveness, because they donate more effort to helping others.

Power takes on a large role in intercultural communications, and there is always someone who becomes favored more than others. Those on the top, normally determine what is generally accepted in terms of communication in the society, and what is taboo. There are two types of group related power, there is the primary dimensions, and the secondary dimensions. The primary dimension has to do with age, ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation. These are much more permanent in nature. While the secondary deals with education, economic status, marital status, and geographical location, which are much more unfixed than the primary dimensions. Power relationships are generally determined by social institutions like classrooms where the professors are in charge, and the students are the submissive who try to attain certain goals that are set by the instructor to achieve exemplary marks.

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