intercultural communication chapter 6 cultural identity and cultural biases 1

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  • Intercultural CommunicationChapter 6Cultural Identity and Cultural Biases*

  • Cultural IdentityAs part of the socialization process, children learn to view themselves as members of particular groups.People have the tendency to categorize themselves and others into ingroups and outgroups.


  • The Nature of IdentityIdentity or self-concept, is built on an individuals cultural, social, and personal identities.


  • Your Cultural IdentityFormed in a process that results from membership in a particular culture.Involves learning about and accepting the: traditions, heritage, language, religions, ancestry, aesthetics, thinking patterns, and social structures of society.People internalize the beliefs, values, norms, and social practices of their culture and identify with that culture as part of their self-concept.*

  • Your Social IdentityDevelops as a consequence of membership in particular groups within ones culture.Common characteristics/concerns shape the way individuals view these characteristics. Types of groups people identify with can vary widely and might include perceived similarities due to:age, gender, work, religion, ideology, social class, place (neighborhood, region, and nation), and common interests.*

  • Your Personal IdentityRefers to peoples unique characteristics, which may differ from those of others in their cultural or social groups.(Remember, there is a great deal of interdependence among these three aspects of identity.)*

  • Formation of Cultural IdentityUnexamined cultural identity stage.Lack of interest in cultural issues. Taking ones own cultural characteristics for granted.Lacks an awareness of cultural differences and the distinguishing characteristics of one culture to another.Unquestioningly accept the prevailing stereotypes held by others.May internalize common stereotypes of their own culture and themselves.*

  • Formation of Cultural IdentityCultural identity search Involves exploration and questioning about ones culture in order to learn more about it.By exploring their culture, individuals can learn about its strengths and may come to a point of acceptance both of their culture and of themselves.For some individuals, a turning point or crucial event precipitates this stage.*

  • Formation of Cultural IdentityCultural identity search Common to this stage is an increased social and political awareness along with an increased desire to learn more about ones culture.There may be an emotional component in this stage which can involve tension, anger, and even outrage directed toward other groups.*

  • Formation of Cultural IdentityCultural identity achievement The acceptance of oneself and an internalization of ones cultural identity.People have developed ways of dealing with stereotypes and discrimination so that they do not internalize others negative perceptions and are clear about the personal meanings of their culture.This outcome contributes to increased self-confidence and positive psychological adjustment.*

  • Characteristics of Cultural IdentityProvide a framework for organizing and interpreting ones experiences of others.Cultural identities are central to ones sense of self.Like gender and race, your culture is more basic because it is broadly influential and is linked to a great number of other aspects of your self-concept.*

  • Characteristics of Cultural IdentityLiving in another culture or interacting with a person from a different culture can trigger an awareness of your own identity.Most of your experiences are interpreted by your cultural membership.Cultural identities are dynamic and change with ones ongoing life experiences.Cultural identities are multifaceted.*

  • Cultural Biases-Social CategorizingWe impose patterns by organizing stimuli into conceptual categories.We are constantly bombarded with hundreds of perceptual stimuli.It becomes necessary to organize the stimuli into categories, groupings, and patterns.Culture helps people to organize perceptual cues to impose meaning.*

  • Cultural Biases-Social CategorizingMost people think that other people perceive, evaluate, and reason about the world in the same way that they do.Humans assume that other people are like themselves.The human tendency to draw upon their own experiences to understand and evaluate others is an aspect of ethnocentrism.*

  • Cultural Biases-Social CategorizingHumans simplify the processing and organizing of information by identifying certain characteristics as belonging to certain categories of persons and events.The characteristics of particular events, persons, or objects, once experienced, are often assumed to be typical of similar events, persons, or objects.Though these assumptions are sometimes accurate, often they are not.*

  • Cultural Biases-EthnocentrismThe beliefs, values, and practices of one culture are viewed as superior others.People have the tendency to evaluate other cultures using their own cultural categories.People from other cultures who do things differently are viewed as wrong.It produces emotional reactions to cultural differences that reduce peoples willingness to understand disparate cultural messages.It tends to highlight and exaggerate cultural differences.*

  • Cultural Biases-EthnocentrismAll cultures can be ethnocentric.To be a competent intercultural communicator, you need to:Recognize how your own culture influences your judgments of others, be aware of your emotional reactions to such judgments, and acknowledge the existence of your judgments to minimize their effect on your communication.*

  • Cultural Biases-StereotypingA generalization about a group of people.Making assertions about the characteristics of all people who belong to that category.It is a selection process that simplifies perceptions of others and leads to generalizations about a group of people.Groups can be stereotyped based on their: Religion, age, occupation, social class, geographical location, and other characteristics.*

  • Cultural Biases-StereotypingStereotypes can be inaccurate in 3 ways.1-Inaccuracies occur when stereotypes are assumed to apply to all members of a group or category, resulting in a tendency to ignore differences among the individual members of the group.This type of stereotyping effect is called the outgroup homogeneity effect.When this happens, all members of a particular group are perceived as much more similar to one another than they actually are.*

  • Cultural Biases-Stereotyping2-Inaccuracies occur when the group average, as suggested by a stereotype, is simply wrong or inappropriately exaggerated.

    3-Inaccuracies occur when the degree of error and exaggeration differs for positive and negative attributes.


  • Cultural Biases-StereotypingA positive valence inaccuracy occurs when overestimating the prevalence and importance of a cultures positive characteristics.A negative valence inaccuracy occurs when exaggerating a cultures negative attributes while ignoring or devaluating its positive ones (this is often called prejudice).Stereotype inaccuracy can lead to errors in interpretations and expectations about the behaviors of others.*

  • Cultural Biases-StereotypingStereotypes provide the basis for estimating, often inaccurately, what members of the group are likely to do.Stereotypes lead to expectations about peoples behaviors and may persist even when the expectations are violated.While stereotyping is essential to all humans, intercultural competence requires an ability to move beyond stereotypes.*

  • Cultural Biases-PrejudiceAttitudes toward other people that are based on faulty and inflexible stereotypes.Prejudiced attitudes include irrational feelings of dislike and even hatred for certain groups.Biased perceptions and beliefs about group members not based on experience or knowledge. Leads to a readiness to behave in negative and unjust ways toward members of the group.Universal psychological process; all people can be prejudice toward others not like themselves.*

  • Cultural Biases-PrejudiceFunctions of prejudiceHelps organize and simplify the world.It satisfies a utilitarian or adjustment function.Certain people may like us more.The ego-defensive function protects self-esteem.Make ourselves feel better by putting down others.It serves a value-expressive function.Differentiates our own values.It serves a knowledge function.Provide security and sense of predictability.*

  • Cultural Biases-DiscriminationRefers to behavioral manifestations of prejudice; it is prejudice in action.Occurs in many forms from:segregation and apartheid to biases in housing, employment, education, economic resources, personal safety and legal protections.It is the unequal treatment of certain individuals because of their membership to a particular group.*

  • Cultural Biases-RacismBlauner describes racism as a tendency to categorize people who are culturally different in terms of their physical traits such as skin color, hair color and texture, facial structure, and eye shape.Taylor focuses on the behavioral aspects of racism by defining it as the cumulative effects of individuals, institutions, and cultures that result in the oppression of ethnic minorities.*

  • Cultural Biases-RacismAt the individual level, racism is conceptually very similar to prejudice.It involves beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors of a given person toward people of a different racial group.Positive contact and interaction between members of two different cultural groups can sometimes change discriminatory attitudes.*

  • Cultural Biases-RacismAt the institutional level, racism is the exclusion of certain people from equal participation in the societys institutions solely


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