This chapter extends the basic communication principles introduced in the previous two chapters to include information about how culture affects someone’s communication behavior. An important point the chapter does stress is that “intercultural” does not mean “international”; people from different subcultures within a dominant culture can have just as much trouble communicating as people from different countries. Intercultural encounters in small groups will increase, yet most of students are not aware of the many difficulties that intercultural encounters can involve. The chapter is designed to sensitize students to these difficulties and to reduce their natural tendency toward ethnocentrism.
1. What’s the difference between a collectivist and an individualistic culture? Give examples of each.
2. What is power distance and how can members’ concepts about appropriate power distance affect their behavior in a group?
3. How is co-culture different from subculture? Is it a preferable term? Why or why not?
3. Why is the backchannel an important source of potential intercultural misunderstanding?
4. Define intercultural communication and give an example.
5. What does ethnocentricity mean, and why is it important to small group communication?
6. Can you have intercultural communication between people from the same culture? Defend your answer.
7. What does current research identify as predictable differences between the communication behaviors of men and women?
8. What does current research identify as predictable differences between the communication behaviors of African Americans and European Americans?
1. In what ways are you ethnocentric? How do you think this affects your behavior toward others?
2. When you work
with others who are very different from you (perhaps from other countries or
from other areas of the
3. How do you feel when you have to share a grade with other members of the group? Do you prefer to be rewarded for your own work, or as a member of a group? Why?
4. Can a communication interaction be totally intracultural or mostly intracultural? How?
5. Consider the cultural characteristics that affect communication: How do you suppose such characteristics are formed?
Buxton/Speech 225 Study guide and exam review