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Exploring “Who are you?”

It is equally important to be aware of and sensitive to how others perceive identities, want to present themselves, or evaluate us. Identities are not

How much are we aware of how others perceive identities, want to present themselves, or evaluate us? Identities are not static , nor do they exist in vacuums. They are affected by many contextual factors.

Though we may like the idea of considering who we are culturally, we’re often not quite as ready to seriously think the same way about others. Our preference for being with people “like us” may unconsciously block us from exploring and valuing difference in others.

How does your eagerness to explore “Who am I?” compare to your interest in sincerely learning the answer to “Who are you?”
Identity awareness exercises have been an integral part of this field. There are a wide variety of methods now available for eliciting “own-culture awareness” or enhancing “Others awareness”. We have intentionally employed some of these steps in this course to help you develop greater intercultural awareness, sensitivity and readiness for adjustments.
Divergent identities may even affect us in what we consider to be familiar cultural contexts. Those from privileged or dominant cultural positions may not necessarily notice the salience of those with alternative identities. Our histories, the time, place, and social space can all affect us. Be ready to look at those around you with new eyes, keep re-evaluating your previous perceptions, and be willing to respect differences that you may have previously overlooked.
You might want to reflect on how this process of own- and other-culture discovery helping you adjust your expectations. Have you noticed that some of what is important to you may not be even noticeable or relevant to a person from another cultural background?
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Intercultural Communication: Dynamics of cultural identities in global interaction

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