Requirents and Use Case Tplates - American University

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Requirents and Use Case Tplates - American University


    What Is Intercultural Communication?


Chapter 2 Objectives:

As a result of reading Chapter 2 and participating in related class discussions and activities, you

    should be able to:

(1) Deepen your understanding of a “transactional, process-centered” approach to intercultural


(2) Define the specific characteristics of the term, intercultural communication;

    (3) Identify the three facets of meaning in an intercultural encounter process;

    (4) Compare and contrast flexible and inflexible intercultural communication;

    (5) Distinguish the difference between an ethnocentric mindset and an ethnorelative mind-set;

    (6) Discuss the components and criteria of intercultural communication flexibility; and

    (7) Define and use examples to illustrate the four stages of developing intercultural

    communication flexibility.

Chapter 2 Outline:

I. Defining Intercultural Communication: A Process Model

     Intercultural communication occurs when cultural group membership factors affect

     communication process (NOTE: This is a brief description; see textbook for

     complete definitions of all terms.)

     A. Intercultural Communication Process: Overall Characteristics

     Intercultural communicationsee definition in text, which includes the

     following 6 characteristics:

    1. Symbolic exchange: verbal and nonverbal symbols to accomplish shared


     a. Digital aspects: content information that we convey

    b. Analogical aspects: “picturesque” or affective meanings

     2. Process: interdependent nature of the intercultural encounter

     a. Transactional: simultaneous encoding and decoding

     b. Irreversible: same message can produce different impressions

    3. Cultural community: interacting group within a bounded unit who uphold

     shared traditions and way of life

     B. Intercultural Communication: Meaning Characteristics

    4. Negotiate shared meanings: goal of having our message understood.

     Three layers of meaning: content, relational, and identity

     5. Interactive situation: occurs in relational, psychological, and physical


     6. Embedded societal system: has multilayered contexts

    II. Practicing Intercultural Communication Flexibility


     1. Flexible intercultural communication: integrate knowledge, open-minded

     attitude, putting into adaptive practice

     2. Inflexible intercultural communication: use our own cultural values,

     judgments, and routines

     3. Ethnocentric mind-set: stuck in our own cultural worldviews and values

     to evaluate others’ behaviors

     4. Ethnorelative mind-set: understanding behaviors from others’ cultural frames

     of reference

     A. Three Content Components

     1. Knowledge: through formal studying and informal learning

     2. Attitude: includes both cognitive and affective layers

     a. Cognitive: suspend ethnocentrism, be open-minded

     b. Affective: emotional commitment to perspective-taking and cultivation

     of an empathetic heart

     3. Skills: operational abilities

     D. Three Criteria

     1. Appropriateness: degree to which exchanged behaviors are regarded as

     proper by cultural insiders

     2. Effectiveness: degree to which communicators achieve mutually shared

     meaning and integrative goal-related outcomes

     3. Communication adaptability: ability to change our interaction behaviors and

     goals to meet needs of situation

    III. Developing Intercultural Communication Flexibility

     A. A Staircase Model: Four Stages of Flexible Intercultural Communication

     1. Unconscious incompetence: blissfully ignorant

     2. Conscious incompetence: semi-awareness

     3. Conscious competence: full mindfulness

     4. Unconscious competence: mindlessly mindful

     B. An Essential Hook: A Mindful Perspectiveincludes:

     1. Training, vast knowledge

     2. Mindful cultural scanning

     3. Understanding of complexity of intercultural communication IV. Deepening Intercultural Process Thinking

     Process Consciousness: Underlying Principles: Intercultural communication involves:

     A. Principle 1: Mismatched expectations stem from group differences

     B. Principle 2: Varying degrees of biased intergroup perceptions

     C. Principle 3: Simultaneous encoding and decoding of verbal and nonverbal messages,

     likely to be misjudged

     D. Principle 4: Multiple goals: content, relational, identity

     E. Principle 5: Understanding and acceptance of diverse communication approaches

     and styles

     F. Principle 6: Involves culture bumps and well-meaning clashes.

     G. Principle 7: Takes place in a context (physical setting, etc.)

     H. Principle 8: Always takes place in embedded systems

    IV. Intercultural Reality Check: Do-Ables

     A flexible intercultural communicator:

     A. Emphasizes a process-focused approach

     B. Recognizes separate, ethnocentric realities that divide us

     C. Is willing to suspend snap judgments concerning differences

     D. Can deal with ambiguities and paradoxes

     E. Can communicate appropriately, effectively, and adaptively


    Check out the following quiz questions related to figures in Chapter 2:

    In an intercultural communication situation, what does each communicator operate from that has to do with his or her own cultural perspectives and ways of viewing appropriate behavior?


     A cultural frame of reference. To see the other elements in the Process Model of

     intercultural communication, check out Figure 2.1 on page 25 in the text.

    Quiz: What is the highest level of communication competence in the staircase model?


     Unconscious competence. This is the stage where intercultural communication

     flexibility becomes so natural that one is almost unaware (unconscious) of being

     flexible and competent, or “mindlessly mindful.” To see the other levels in the

     staircase model, check out Figure 2.2 on page 31 in the text.


    Match the following five terms with their respective definitions:

a. Transactional nature of intercultural communication

    b. Flexible intercultural communication

    c. Inflexible intercultural communication

    d. Ethnocentric mind-set

    e. Ethnorelative mind-set

    ___ 1. Emphasizes the importance of integrating knowledge and an open-minded attitude and

    putting them into adaptive and creative practice in everyday communication.

___ 2. Staying stuck with one’s own cultural worldviews and using one’s own cultural values as

    the baseline standards to evaluate another person’s cultural behavior.

    ___ 3. The simultaneous encoding and decoding of exchanged messages.

    ___ 4. Stresses the continuation of using one’s own cultural values, judgments, and routines in

    communicating with culturally different others.

    ___ 5. Understanding a communication behavior from another person’s cultural frame of

    reference and the ability to perceive through that person’s cultural lens.


     1. b

     2. d

     3. a

     4. c

     5. e

Match the following five terms with their respective definitions:

a. Content meaning

    b. Relational meaning

    c. Appropriateness

    d. Effectiveness

    e. Communication adaptability

    ___ 1. The degree to which communicators achieve mutually shared meaning and integrative

    goal-related outcomes.

    ___ 2. Offers information concerning the state of the relationship between the two


    ___ 3. The degree to which exchanged behaviors are regarded as proper and match the

    expectations generated by the insiders of the culture.

    ___ 4. The ability to change interaction behaviors and goals to meet the specific needs of a


___ 5. The factual (digital) information conveyed.


     1. d

     2. b

     3. c

     4. e

     5. a

    Match the following five terms with their respective definitions:

a. Content goals

    b. Identity goals

    c. Well-meaning clashes

    d. Relational goals

    e. Culture bump

___ 1. A cultural violation on the behavioral level when our meanings do not overlap with one

    another in viewing the same behavior, therefore creating communication awkwardness or


___ 2. Misunderstanding encounters in which people are actually behaving in a “socially skilled

    manner” and with “good intentions” according to the norms in their own culture.

    ___ 3. External, substantive issues in the communication process.

___ 4. The socioemotional issues or relational role expectations involved during the interaction.

    ___ 5. Projected self-image or self-worth issues during the interaction.


     1. e

     2. c

     3. a

     4. d

     5. b


Multiple Choice: Select and click the BEST ANSWER from the choices available.

    1. Aileen becomes aware that she has committed an intercultural faux pas during an interaction

    with a cultural stranger, but thinks to herself, “That’s just the way I am. It’s not worth trying

    to change.” Aileen is in what stage of the staircase model of flexible intercultural


     a. Unconscious incompetence

     b. Conscious incompetence

     c. Conscious competence

     d. Unconscious competence


     b. Conscious incompetence (p. 31)

    2. The degree to which communicators achieve mutually shared meaning and integrative goal-

    related outcomes is which of the three criteria of a flexible intercultural communicator?

     a. Appropriateness

     b. Effectiveness

     c. Communication adaptability

     d. Communication ethnocentrism


     b. Effectiveness (p. 30)

    3. The degree to which exchanged behaviors are regarded as proper and match the expectations

    generated by insiders of a culture is which of the four criteria of a flexible intercultural


     a. Appropriateness

     b. Effectiveness

     c. Communication adaptability

     d. Communication creativity


     a. Appropriateness (pp. 29-30)

    4. In the staircase model of intercultural communication, the stage in which an individual is

    “mindlessly mindful” and can code-switch effortlessly between the two different intercultural

    communication stages is the ____________ stage.

     a. conscious competence

     b. conscious incompetence

     c. unconscious incompetence

     d. unconscious competence


     d. unconscious competence (p. 32)

    5. Adine decides to increase her intercultural communication flexibility. She takes a vacation in

    Belgium, taking in the sights and interacting with Belgian individuals. What component of

    flexible intercultural communication is she focusing on?

     a. Knowledge: informal learning

     b. Knowledge: formal studying

     c. Meaning: cognitive layer

     d. Meaning: affective layer


     a. Knowledge: informal learning (p. 29)

    6. Alisha is from Georgia and is surprised that on her first trip to New York City, native New

    Yorkers do not respond to her friendly overtures on the subway. She learns that New Yorkers

    generally do not talk to strangers on the subways as a way of obtaining some privacy in a

    very crowded city. So, instead of condemning New Yorkers as “unfriendly and suspicious,”

    she uses a different cultural frame of reference, understanding their behavior from within

    their own frame of reference. Alisha is using what mind-set to evaluate New Yorkers’


     a. Adaptability

     b. Informal

     c. Ethnocentric

     d. Ethnorelative


     d. Ethnorelative (p. 28)

    7. Taking this class in intercultural communication is an example of which kind of knowledge?

     a. Formal studying

     b. Informal learning

     c. Affective knowledge

     d. Ethnocentric knowledge


     a. Formal studying (p. 29)

    8. Ah Ming, a Chinese native, is assigned to a temporary overseas work assignment in the United

    States, and upon return, he reports that U.S. employees are “pushy and critical,” as they often

    directly told him what to do. What kind of mind-set is Ah Ming using to evaluate U.S.

    employees’ behavior?

     a. Flexible intercultural communication

     b. Ethnocentric

     c. Ethnorelative

     d. Appropriate


     b. Ethnocentric (p. 31)

    9. Barry approaches his international manager to ask her for a salary increase. What type of goal

    is Barry’s salary increase in this intercultural communication interaction?

     a. Content goal

     b. Relational goal

     c. Identity goal

     d. Symbolic goal


     a. Content goal (p. 34)

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