What Is Intercultural Communication
Intercultural communication is the process of communication between different cross-cultural groups in an attempt of understanding each other. Intercultural communication attempts to bridge gaps between unrelated cultures by attempting to have them communicate with one another. Intercultural communication tries to understand how two anthropologically different groups can communicate and understand one another. It is designed to create guidelines by which different cultural diverse groups upon interacting have common tools for communication.
Intercultural communication is also called cross-cultural communication. What it is; is an anthropological study of how diverse cultural groups communicate within their group and how they in turn communicate out side of their cultural niche base. What it does is try and find a way to establish communication between totally different cultural groupings.
In order for two cultural diverse groups to communicate they have to be looked at anthropologically, psychologically, culturally and how their own communication system is evolved.
In order to communicate on intercultural basis one has to know a little about the communication protocol of that culture he wishes to communicate with. For example, in some cultures you do not speak directly to a woman etc. if you are a male. That would a disrespectful intercultural communication. One has to look at the cultural competence of the different culture. In other words one has to see how the people within that culture communicates and learn how their culture can compliment the others communication system as opposed to trying to change it. When one culture goes into another cultural system and attempts to change their communication system they are in danger of destroying key elements of that culture. This is what goes on world wide in the cultural genocide of a people and in the old systems of Imperialism. When entering into the realm of a different culture one has to be devoid of racial supremacy in order to communicate effectively with that culture.
There are certain principals used in intercultural communication so it can be an effective tool of interaction. What has to be established is a common ground between the two cultural groups to open up channels of communication exchange. Therefore one must identify the symbols, beliefs, attitudes, values, expectations and what are the norms of behavior for that cultural group they are trying to communicate with and apply those things to the transmission of information. In order for intercultural communication to be a positive effect on the two diverse cultural groups there must be a willingness to get along in the others system of being. This would mean finding areas where adaptation for the sake of understanding that culture comes into play. Ever hear of the expression “When in Rome do as The Romans do”, well this illustrates the point. To communicate on an intercultural level one must make an attempt to sincerely adapt to that culture he is attempting to communicate within. This establishes trust, to build a communicative interaction with that culture.
Unfortunately globalization is wiping out many indigenous diverse cultures for the cause of a homogeneous cultural existence. Homogeneous cultural existence bridges by force cultural diversity at the expense of an indigenous people’s culture. This is not in my opinion the establishment of intercultural communication. Instead it is intercultural destruction at the expense of those who are defenseless against the perpetrators.