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There can be no gain stating the fact that in case of intercultural discourse, communication plays a crucial role, as it not only helps the person with different cultural identity express his views and opinions freely, but also because it acts as a marker of the speaker’s cultural identity. It is the distinct identity of the individual that determines how the individual is perceived in an inter-cultural social set up. Each society has a distinct set of beliefs, norms and ideologies that determine which communication or interaction is considered to be feminine or masculine, or which behavior is regarded as transgressive and which is deemed to be socially acceptable. Thus, while an individual or an organization seeks to communicate beyond the confines of his culture, his or her very gender identity may impede the development of effective communication. For example, while communicating with an individual having a distinct cultural identity, belonging to a conservative nation like Saudi Arabia, a woman may encounter difficulty in attaining validation, simply because of the stereotypes imposed on her gender by the culture (Sorrells, 2015). While for the Westerners, it is absolutely normal to exchange looks or shake hands with people of opposite sex, the same thing in a conservative Islamic culture may land them in trouble. Hence, the thesis statement of this report is to critically analyze what role does gender identity play in intercultural communication, as well as to evaluate which steps can help in developing healthy intercultural relations, regardless of the stereotypical gender identities (Langevin, 2014).
Although gender identity has more than often been used synonymously with the sexual identity of an individual, it should be noted that while the latter is defined by the biological identity an individual is born with, the latter explains which sexual identity does the individual wish to relate with. Thus, unlike the sexual identity of a person, gender identity is a free, flexible concept that a student is free to choose. It should be noted that the developmental psychologists tend to define gender identity as the tendency of an individual to act and feel in a masculine or a feminine way. Most of the countries not only possess a distinct culture, but it also requires its native people or even outsiders remain adherents to the cultural norms of gender identity. Often in case of organizations engaging cross-cultural trade, and intercultural communication encounter trouble with its employees strictly adhering to the internalized standard of gender, and hence getting viewed as a potential threat to the cultural values of the place. In this connection, it would be interesting to note, that gender identity should be a flexible one, where each individual, belonging to any cultural domain must be allowed to enjoy autonomy, to act, interact and behavior whatsoever way he or she pleases to (Reisner et al., 2015). In today’s global era, employees need to visit foreign nations, engage with people of different cultural backgrounds and communicate. In case of deviant behavior, as per the cultural norms of the country, the employees as individual members of the society often encounter cultural resistance. For ages, the female identity has been expected to revolve around the qualities of dependence and subservience, while the male identity has been expected to revolve around domination and independence (American Psychological Association, 2015). However, in a globalized era of the present world, people of different cultural views face each other and interact, and they people often have different ways of relating to each other. Hence, this is high time that the people of different cultural backgrounds do not constrain themselves while dealing with different gender identities, but rather aim at creating salutogenic, multifold and intercultural identities that can help in connecting people of different nations and cultural backgrounds.
The gender identity plays an important role in the intercultural communication. It generally helps to lessen the gap between various cultures and their way of communication. The ability of gender identity begins at home and it creates awareness about the cultural values. Identities are also created through communication when the messages are exchanged among the persons. In the United States, when the people are young they are motivated to develop a strong knowledge of identity. However this in same way in every society this identity development does not occur (Mallory et al., 2017). While talking about the role of the genders, people become too much protective about their traditions and culture. Different identities depend on the person with whom we are communicating and the topic we are communicating about. When we communicate with some people in our society to whom we are attached our gender identity become more important to us than our national or ethical issues. The communication is the most important and become successful whenever the person to whom we are communicating must be able to confirm the identity of a person.
In a social discussion with somebody the people are attached to, the sex or sexual introduction personality is presumably more essential to the people than, the ethnic or national characters. Also, the communication is the best when the individuals are discussing about a topic they believe is the best. Communication is very important for the development of identity. When a child is born its gender identity is determined, which is very important to understand the views of common people on biological sex.
During communication each of the indications of a man's character is communicated either through verbal or nonverbal means. Rarely the individuals cover up that non-verbal communication is a most powerful communication. Difference in multicultural communication, expression of face, utilization of space, and particularly, indication are very much prone to error. A complex culture makes it clear that people of the societies manages their beliefs about sex, and gender identity in many different ways (Furnham and Sen, 2013). Gender diversity or gender identity, is referred to the way that societies have developed diverse gender systems, and that these frameworks manage these difficulties in an unexpected way.
Sexual introduction refers to a person's ID as bisexual, gay or lesbian. Sexual orientation character alludes to a person's interior feeling of being male or female. Despite the fact that not yet secured as an ensured class under government law, there has been various Congressional endeavors try to ensure gay, lesbian, androgynous and transgender people from private working environment separation and badgering (Turner, 2015). Some government courts have expanded Title VII sex segregation or lewd behavior insurance in instances of saw sex generalizations, cross-dressing and sex character investigation. Further, many states have ordered laws to shield workers from segregation in light of sexual introduction and sex character. Also, workers influenced by sexual introduction/sex personality segregation or provocation have used other lawful speculations against businesses, for example, battery, deliberate punishment of enthusiastic trouble, criticism and wrongful end (Ting?Toomey, 2015). According to these laws, the employers must have the knowledge to recognize the discrimination issues which can help to protect the employees from sexual harassment or gender identity discrimination. This will help them to protect themselves from litigation.
Any identity is merely a socially conditioned situation, and under no circumstance can be regarded to be fixed and stable. In today’s world, the gender identity is regarded as an ever changing conceptualization, a fluid idea that is defined by the socio-cultural ideas of a society. It is quite obvious a fact that every individual society does contain individuals who do not necessarily fit into a specific culture’s dominant sex or gender categories - persons born intersexed that is those exhibiting behavior or desires which are deemed appropriate for the "opposite" sex/gender, have been found experiencing inner conflict with the socially accepted roles in some way or the other. Hence, it is important to educate people about the Third Sex, the less socially acknowledged gender choices and gender identities through proper education (Callens et al., 2016). The employees of an international organization should be trained to embrace workplace diversity within and outside the nation. By accelerating globalization processes in the present world, a greater emphasis is placed on intercultural competencies, both individual as well as collective, which enable the members of the society manage gender diversity, within intercultural contexts, more effectively and monitor cultural change in a better way (Rogers et al., 2015).
In all over the world when it comes to the points of the sexuality and gender identity, some people used to join together to stand against discrimination and abuse. These people are known as activists who changed the policies of daily life in various places. They generally struggle for the togetherness of common people. The gay lesbian or transgender people used to suffer from discrimination in workplace and at public places (Bamman, Eisenstein, & Schnoebelen, 2014). This discrimination occurs due to gender identity. Although there are no such laws to protect the LGBT peoples from discrimination, there are some special laws and many other policies which can provide help to the people who have been mistreated. There are various ways which can reduce the discrimination of gender identity in intercultural communities. They are:
In a workplace an employee should establish some policies which prohibit gender identity discrimination against the individuals. It’s important to provide some training to each and every employee regarding the gender identity discrimination and sexual orientation. In an organization class must have the power to report a complaint against the peoples who are discriminating or harassing others on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Also they must follow the state and Municipal laws regarding the workplace protections different peoples on the basis of gender identity (Langevin, 2014). An employee must also consider accommodation that is needed to provide the LGBT peoples. Although they are protected under the special federal law there have been numerous efforts to protect gay, lesbian and transgender individual in a workplace against discrimination and harassment. Some of the court laws have extended in order to protect sexual harassment in case of gender stereotypes and gender identity exploration moreover the employees who get affected by the gender identity discrimination or harassment can utilize other legal authority against the person who is discriminating or harassing them (Cahill & Makadon 2014).
It is imperative to break gender stereotypes through effective communication. It is highly important to communicate the flexibility of gender roles to the employees as well as groom their cultural skills to embrace the new cultures, while remaining loyal to one’s self-chosen identity. One of the major flaws of the system is that usually when an expatriate employee is sent to a foreign country, he is expected to be trained in the distinct culture of the new country, and his or her gender identity needs to be adapted to the expected socio-cultural norm of the country. However, as a result, the women are expected to behave in a complaint and passive way, if they are getting transferred to a nation with conservative culture (Cahill & Makadon 2014). However, this impedes the growth and effective development of a fluid culture. Hence, it is important to ensure that the company organizes training for the existent employees of the host country as well, so that they can get embrace and explore the new culture of the foreign country, rather than merely expecting the new employees adapt to the new culture.
More than often, the transgender people do not enjoy equal rights at workplace. It is important for companies to recruit employees who are transgender, and since very few companies do that in reality, it becomes imperative to introduce quotas. Thereby it would be possible for the management authority of the companies hire as well as ensure the economic well-being of the employees (Yep, 2013). The transgender employees should not only be recruited by these organizations, but must essentially be offered equal pay and promotion rights as well. Initially, the companies might encounter resistance from the employees, and yet in due time, the diversity in identity across cultural borders will be accepted as normal. It is highly important to develop conscious sensitivity amongst the individual members of the society so that they can learn to be more considerate and lenient towards different gender identities. However, at the same time in the process of developing conscious sensitivity to decode the message carrying elements of identity, it is very important to presuppose their omnipresence (Ting?Toomey, 2015). The first step to this would be to accept and recognize the very complexity of people’s gender identity in terms of how they wish to represent themselves in different cultural contexts. In case, a person is coming from a country where the society is far more complex and multifaceted than a second country, and where the gender roles are defined in a different way than the latter, the layers and the depth of such a complex society are as a rule visible, hence must essentially be exhibited in communication as well. Consequently, in such changing societies, it would be easier for the people to establish the identity as something that is not only multifaceted but at the same time is also continuously shifting. It should be noted that in order to understand the complexity of gender, an individual must learn to look at it from different angles and embrace the diversity in it as well.
It should be noted that in the globalized era of today’s world, it is important to ensure effective intercultural communication amongst people. Identity, gender or racial or ethnic, should not impede effective communication under any circumstance. In the process of ensuring multicultural gender education, each individual member of the society should be made aware of the importance of ignoring gender prejudices and gender differences, and embrace the gender diversity as it exists. More and more people need to be aware that gender is a choice, and one is free to choose his or her own gender identity. More and more people need to be aware of the essentialist approach in gender identity that claims that there exists a universal essence, as well as homogeneity and unity amongst each gender identity, and regardless of the cultural norms, an individual should be allowed to lead a healthy life, and access to equal rights and privileges.
American Psychological Association. (2015). Guidelines for psychological practice with transgender and gender nonconforming people. American Psychologist, 70(9), 832-864.
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Cahill, S., & Makadon, H. (2014). Sexual orientation and gender identity data collection in clinical settings and in electronic health records: A key to ending LGBT health disparities. LGBT health, 1(1), 34-41.
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Furnham, A., & Sen, R. (2013). Lay theories of gender identity disorder. Journal of homosexuality, 60(10), 1434-1449.
Keuroghlian, A. S., Ard, K. L., & Makadon, H. J. (2017). Advancing health equity for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people through sexual health education and LGBT-affirming health care environments. Sexual Health, 14(1), 119-122.
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Mallory, C., Brown, T. N., Russell, S., & Sears, B. (2017). The Impact of Stigma and Discrimination Against LGBT People in Texas. The Williams Institute.
Reisner, S. L., Greytak, E. A., Parsons, J. T., & Ybarra, M. L. (2015). Gender minority social stress in adolescence: disparities in adolescent bullying and substance use by gender identity. The Journal of Sex Research, 52(3), 243-256.
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