Group Blog 3 – Understanding Culture in the Context of Interpersonal Communications

When it comes to the context of differences and even violent conflicts between those of different cultures, this lies in the inability to relate to one another effectively at an interpersonal level. One wonders at how this may happen and to what degree it does but it can be fascinating at the underlying factors that take place in making it happen.

One theory that allows for this phenomenon is something that can be attributed to “culture shock.” When it pertains to this theory an individual goes through a certain period where they are assimilating into a culture that’s different and oftentimes vastly so. Making the adjustments into that culture may be a painful and arduous process. It will not happen overnight. After all, those from Asian and Middle Eastern countries are much more rigid and adhere to stricter rules of principle than those here in Western society, in countries such as America, Canada, and much of Europe. Westerners are viewed as individualists, while Easterners are viewed as more collectivist. One values family more, while the individualists value personal self-worth more.  Women are seen to assume different roles there as well. It would seem that in arriving here, that would certainly be a shock to see. While having that unmitigated freedom may be beneficial it could also be a huge deterrent as well and result in harm to both oneself and/or others.

Another theory that would hold for violence amongst different cultures would be misunderstandings, or something that could be defined as the inability to relate to social norms. Humor is something that is certainly different here in the West as defined from the East, and the pattern of communication is definitely different. While those who may be accustomed to such actions it is easy to detect or possibly pick up on, in others it is viewed as disrespectful, rude, and in some cases antagonistic. Bullying also is viewed differently oftentimes among different cultures. Bullying in one culture may be seen as rough play in another.

Probably the most important and applicable principle that one could apply when interacting with one of a different culture would be attribution theory which is the ability to combine critical thought processes with the understanding of both feelings as well as personal emotions. Being receptive to others’ feelings but having the ability to remain emotionally detached and not take a negative response personally is the best method of going about interacting with someone from a different culture. So in essence, insight and also maturity are the tools one needs to have in order to accomplish this successfully. images Blog #

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