Reflections on interculturalness

Consider one further perspective from another pair of experts. Read the notes below and consider the degree of shared cultures between communicators as an influence on the potential for cross-cultural cooperation or misunderstandings.

One of our invited colleagues, Prof. Myron Lustig and his wife, Prof. Jolene Koester, both pioneers in the field of intercultural communications, often use a very useful perspective to apply intercultural communication concepts to everyday life. You can find this in their book Intercultural Competence: Interpersonal Communication across Cultures.

They note that Intercultural communication is considered different from other types of communication not because of its type, but by the degree of shared cultures between communicators. Most encounters occur somewhere between the two ends marked as “the most intercultural” and “the least intercultural”.

Depending on how you draw boundaries for cultural groups, whether by shared demographics, common beliefs and interests, each communication event can be marked on an “interculturalness” scale. We recommend you try to map out your own personal scale – which cultural groups do you think are most like you or least like you on a continuum?

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This article is from the free online course:

Intercultural Communication

Shanghai International Studies University (SISU)