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Reflexively discuss your most significant learning in relation to your intercultural assumptions, prejudices and viewpoints on each of the following topics: 

1.How culture affects perception


2.How language and non-verbal communication are part of culture


3.How language and non-verbal communication, along with other factors, can be barriers to effective intercultural communication


4.Cultural values and their effect on the role of women


5.What happens when cultures come in contact and when people emigrate from one country to another


6.The importance of one’s cultural identity


7.The role of intercultural communication in international business innovation and sustainability

8.To what extent did your assumptions, prejudices and viewpoints change as a result of your readings and reflections related to this paper?


9.Explain fully using specific examples from your experience, supported by a particular theory or model learnt in Paper 7280.


10.Did you experience any paradigm shift and/or important realization in your brief academic journey in Paper 7280? Why or why not?

1. How culture affects perception

1.How culture affects perception

Noteworthy, perception is influenced by culture. Owing to the fact that perception is influenced by selection,  interpretation, and organization. Undoubtedly,  selection,  organization, and interpretation processes are directly affected by culture (Sage publications, N .d). According to a case study by Simons and chabris published in the year 1999, interest or focus on something (selection) enables a person to remember things.  I do agree with the notion that perception is influenced by culture due to the fact that culture provides values, standards, attitudes to which persons reflect upon during perception.

2.How language and non-verbal communication are part of the culture

Language as Part of the culture

Noteworthy, culture is an expression of shared values and symbols hence the assertion that Language is part of the culture. Inevitably, language is used to express culture. Through language values, customs and beliefs are able to fully and effectively expressed. Arguably, culture provides room for the existence of a language thus the interdependence between language and culture (Alshammari, 2018). Culture is learned among persons of a given community which is facilitated by language (Mahadi & Jafari, 2012). A culture is passed from generation to generation through language thus the interconnectedness between language and language (Elmes, N.d). This can be evidenced by the fact that different persons with different cultures sometimes speak the same language thus the link between language and culture (Mahadi & Jafar, 2012).

In my view, language is a fundamental part of culture due to the fact that it is one of the things that identifies persons sharing the same culture. Also, through language, values, attitudes, ideas, art, music which form part of the culture are communicated among persons hence making language part of the culture.

3.How language and non-verbal communication, along with other factors, can be barriers to effective intercultural communication

Owing to the existence of diverse cultures, there is bound to be a misunderstanding among persons of different cultures due to the difference in perception and language. Despite speaking the same language there might be some cultural differences among the persons speaking the same language (Keles,2012). The fact that intercultural communication is communication between persons of different symbols and perceptions raises the issue of language as a form of the communication barrier. Overall, similar language speakers are able to effectively communicate and understand each other unlike persons speaking totally different languages (Giovannoni & Xiong, 2017).

Similarly, nonverbal forms of communication such as body language might interfere with the welfare of effective communication due to the fact that different cultures have different interpretations. For instance, in the Asian culture, avoidance of eye contact is regarded as a sigh of respect whereas in most Western culture it is a sign of disrespect (Bernstein, 2017). This goes to show the different interpretations of similar body language gestures by different cultures. Particularly, the use of the arms by the Dutch has a totally different meaning for the same gesture among the French. Whereas the Dutch perceive the gesture as excitement, the French may equate it to emotions.

2. How language and non-verbal communication are part of culture

Silence

It is worth noting that silence is a form of non-verbal communication (Yuan, 2012). Through silence, ideas can be expressed and conveyed. However, there is a difference in the understanding of silence in different cultures. Whereas silence might be interpreted to mean agreement in some cultures silence is a form of disrespect thus the need to understand the context of silence in different cultures(Kostuik,2012).For effective communication to be achieved, the different meaning of silence ought to be understood by the persons communicating interculturally. Under the Chinese culture, silence is interpreted positively unlike in the American culture. The Chinse interpret silence as agreement, protest, decision whereas the Americans associate silence with anger, shame, disgust, all forms of negative feelings (Yuan, 2012).

Worth noting is that the difference in interpretation is based on the different cultural perceptions among the Chinese and the Americans hence the concurrence as to nonverbal cues hindering effective communication.

4.Cultural values and their effect on the role of women

Due to the generational nature of cultural practices, gender inequality is likely to persist. These views have created societal expectations, responsibilities, and tasks against women in favor of men (Rubio-Banon, 2016). Traditionally, women are viewed as homemakers rather than breadwinners. In deeply traditional countries of the world, women are not accorded opportunities to express themselves or partake in certain activities due to cultural norms, customs, and traditions (Oluyemo, 2014). Inevitably culture determines the arrangements of society as regarding gender roles thus limiting opportunities for women.

Undeniably, culture makes assumptions, ideologies about what the role of respective gender should be based on biological features. Gender roles dictated by culture are considered a reflection of cultural values and norms of a social context. In some cultures, men are considered authoritarian and women modest, such are examples of gender roles imposed on by some cultures. In the event that a woman seeks to pursue a leadership position in an authoritarian or patriarchal society, her chances of success are nullified by the social-cultural expectations (Neculaesei,2015).

 It's my view that at the time, culture sought to protect women from hard labor due to biological justifications. However, due to the modern world, education and all, gender equality should be achieved.

5.What happens when cultures come in contact and when people emigrate from one country to another

Undoubtedly, there is the movement of persons from one region of the world to another which results into acculturation (Esses,2018). Basically, acculturation refers to the changes likely to follow in the event that two or more cultures come into contact(Li,2015).. Due to migration, some people tend to retain their cultural heritage whereas other tend to accommodate and indulge in the new culture (Centre for Applied Cross-cultural Research, 2018). According to research undertaken by the Centre for applied cross-cultural studies, migrants are more than likely to maintain their cultural identity.

However, there is that motivation by migrants to explore newer cultures as much as to maintain their own as an adaptation strategy. Arguably, ”colonialization” can be a consequence of cultural contact whereby one culture practices, values, and norms are replaced or assimilated by another culture. This can be evidenced by the fact that Taiwanese persons are comfortable with Japanese media, comics, music. In a way, the Taiwanese are adopting the Japanese culture or way of life during their daily lives. The diffusion and convergence model seeks to explain the consequences of culture contact.

3. How language and non-verbal communication, along with other factors, can be barriers to effective intercultural communication

Through diffusion, information is spread among persons of different cultures whereas under the convergence model information is spread through interpersonal networking systems (Lycett & Cramin-Taubadel,2016). I agree that both models have contributed to intercultural communication and cultural development.

6.The importance of one’s cultural identity

Predominantly, cultural identity denotes persons who subscribe to the similar philosophy, language, symbols, thought patterns and behavioral norms (Li, 2015). Largely, culture is crucial to the formation of a person’s identity (Usborne, 2014). Arguably, cultural identity is critical to the mental development of children into adulthood. Through cultural identity, a sense of belonging is achieved by an individual who identifies with the respective culture (Usborne, 2014). Arguably, cultural identity contributes to the psychological well-being of an individual. The idea of self-conceptualization allows an individual to understand who they are, their origins, what their roles and responsibilities in the society and how to relate to the rest of society members.

 Owing to the fact that a person develops a sense of belonging to a different culture helps in the growth of their self-esteem and self-conceptualization (Usborne & Taylor, 2010).In a way, a person knowing their cultural identity creates a sense of belonging and something to identify with thus contributing to the personal wellbeing of an individual (Wexler, 2009).In my view, cultural identity is important as it provides the concept of belonging, psychological well-being, and self-esteem

7.The role of intercultural communication in international business innovation and sustainability

 Noteworthy, communication plays a vital role in business, innovation, and sustainability due to the fact that communication is the medium through which offers, debates, presentations, contract drafting, and implementation are communicated among cross cultures. All of the above brings into focus the importance of communication among persons of cross cultures.(Birukou et.al,2013).The fact that the international business arena consists of persons from different cultures makes it imperative that cross cultures seek to understand the cultures of other people to avoid misunderstandings that might otherwise cripple international business transactions (Padhi, 2015). Additionally, it is important that business persons learn the different business cultures from other countries so as to prevent conflict of operations and possible business arrangements.

Noteworthy, intercultural communication has been hindered for lack of common language between potential international business partners (Mansouri,2017). Additionally, the style of management and operations might differ due to the difference in culture. For instance, there is a huge difference between American and Chinese cultures. Whereas the Chinese culture might be collectivism, the American culture is individualistic thus the difference in perceptions as to the ways business is done (Seligson,2009).In addition due to the different cultural attitudes towards solving problems, intercultural communication might not be so effective in solving the dilemma that might occur at the workplace.

 In my view, it is important that potential business partners with different cultures in play make an effort and fully understand the other partner's culture and attitudes towards business in order to sustain international business relations with persons of different cultural backgrounds.

8.To what extent did your assumptions, prejudices, and viewpoints change as a result of your readings and reflections related to this paper? 

4. Cultural values and their effect on the role of women

Prior to reading Paper 7280, my assumption was that culture negatively influenced the role of women as homemakers rather than leaders and breadwinners. It has come to my attention that in as much as culture dictates the roles of women in the society, the reasons behind it were not all negative as I initially thought. For most cultures as per my reading, women were given lighter duties and responsibilities due to their biological inclinations. It sounds unreasonable that women that women be required to perform certain hard labor jobs because of the harm it might do to their physical features. Additionally, certain cultural customs were made at a time when women were not as exposed and educated as they are now hence it made sense to have those cultural practices at the time.

9.Explain fully using specific examples from your experience, supported by a particular theory or model learned in Paper 7280. 

The diffusion model as part of cultural contact seeks to explain how cultural practices, values come about. Basically, it involves communication among two persons whereas the convergence model involves communication with more persons. In my view, all the models are true due to the fact that communication takes place and that’s enough to make a difference of opinion or practice to a person or persons over a period of time (Velvarde & Sole, 2015). Also, I had no idea what a large part culture plays in international business innovation and sustainability. Apparently, culture influences the management style of doing business, the operations themselves and problem resolving. I understood this after reading on the distinctly American and Chinese business culture (Adamczyk, 2017).

10.Did you experience any paradigm shift and/or important realization in your brief academic Journey in Paper 7280? Why or why not?

Yes.

 Actually, I realized that culture is not always negative. Initially, my assumption was that culture doesn’t support the empowerment of women as in the case of women not being permitted to hold certain responsibilities. The justification was the lack of experience and the biological considerations. In a way, the culture was a protector for women at that particular point in time. Initially, I thought cultural gender roles were meant to subdue and oppress women. Also, I realized the importance of intercultural communication in international business. I realized it is important to understand different cultures so as to avoid conflicts in management, operations in business that comes about due to two different cultures meanings and perception. Additionally, I realized there are different interpretations of the same body language thus the need to make an effort and learn other cultures.

References

Adamcyzk, M. (2017). The importance of cultural differences in international business. Retrieved from https://www.cerem-review.eu/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/cerem_1_2_art_08.pdf

Alshammari, H. S. H. (2018). The Relationship between Language, Identity and Cultural Differences: Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/323522229_The_Relationship_Between_Language_Identity_and_Cultural_Differences_A_Critical_Review

 Bernstein, R. (2017).7 cultural difference in Nonverbal Communication. Retrieved from https://mospace.umsystem.edu/xmlui/bitstream/handle/10355/15006/research.pdf?sequence=2https://online.pointpark.edu/business/cultural-differences-in-nonverbal-communication/  

Birukou, A, Blanzieri, E, Giorgini, P & Giunchiglia, F. (2013).A Formal Definition of Culture. Retrieved from https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/6b6e/052a0c179581ef48b0aa6728b2dea4432c53.pdf

Centre for applied cross-cultural research. (2018).What happens when people move to a different culture. Retrieved from

Elmes, D. (N .d).The relationship between Language and Culture. Retrieved from https://www.lib.nifs-k.ac.jp/nii/46-11.pdf

Esses, M.V. (2018).Immigration, Migration, and Culture. Retrieved from https://psychology.oxfordre.com/view/10.1093/acrefore/9780190236557.001.0001/acrefore-9780190236557-e-287

Giovannoni, F & Xiong, S. (2017).Communication with language barriers. Retrieved from https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/9a2a/c37829c760a57be4b735998f8a232137ece0.pdf

Keles,  Y. (2012). What intercultural communication barriers do exchange students of Erasmus Program have during their stay in Turkey, Mugla? Retrieved from https://ac.els-cdn.com/S1877042813002206/1-s2.0-S1877042813002206-main.pdf?_tid=d2d94ad0-3b28-479b-83cf-f2ff6433fc44&acdnat=1542732331_25ec72256720720b14469c8b3c53cd1c

 Kotsuik, D.(2012). Silence: The reason why people may not communicate. Retrieved from https://mospace.umsystem.edu/xmlui/bitstream/handle/10355/15006/research.pdf?sequence=2

Li, Y. (2015). Cultural Identity in Intercultural Communication. Retrieved from https://article.sciencepublishinggroup.com/pdf/10.11648.j.ss.20150402.11.pdf

Lycett, J.S. & Cramon-Taubadel, N. (2016). Transmission of biology and culture among post-contact Native Americans on the western Great Plains. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4981875/

Mahadi, T, S, T & Jafari, M.S. (2012).Language and Culture. International Journal of Humanities and Social Science. Retrieved from https://www.ijhssnet.com/journals/Vol_2_No_17_September_2012/24.pdf, Vol.2 No.17,

Mansouri, F. (2017).Interculturalism at the Crossroads. Retrieved from https://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0024/002480/248066E.pdf

Neculaesei, N. A.(2015).Culture and Gender Role Differences. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/278684499_CULTURE_AND_GENDER_ROLE_DIFFERENCES

 Oluyemo,  A.C. (2014).The Influence of Culture on Gender Inequality in Ekiti State, Nigeria: Implication on Women's Empowerment and Development. Journal of Research in Gender Studies. Retrieved from https://www.questia.com/read/1P3-3557511021/the-influence-of-culture-on-gender-inequality-in-ekiti[July 1

Padhi,  K. (2015).The rising importance of cross-cultural communication in the global business scenario. Quest Journals. Retrieved from https://www.victoria.ac.nz/cacr/about/diversity-issues/what-happens-when-people-move-to-a-different-culturehttps://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/13e4/bea3566870e4c896b79c147d669e32bcf341.pdf

Rubio-Banon, A & Esteban-Lloret, N. (2016) Cultural factors and gender role in female entrepreneurship. Retrieved from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2215910X15000518

Sage Publications (N .d). Culture’s influence on Perception. Retrieved from https://www.sagepub.com/sites/default/files/upm-binaries/45975_Chapter_3.pdf

Seligson, H. (2009, Dec 23). For American Workers in China, a Culture Clash. The New York Times. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/24/business/global/24chinawork.html

 Usborne, E & Taylor, M.D. (2010). The Role of Cultural Identity Clarity for Self-Concept Clarity, Self-Esteem, and Subjective Well-Being.  Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/44646164_The_Role_of_Cultural_Identity_Clarity_for_Self-Concept_Clarity_SelfEsteem_and_Subjective_Well-Being

 Usborne, E. (2014).Understanding My Culture Means Understanding Myself: The Function of Cultural Identity Clarity for Personal Identity Clarity and Personal Psychological Well?Being. Retrieved from https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/jtsb.12061

 Velvarde, S & Sole, R. V. (2015). A Cultural Diffusion Model for the Rise and fall of Programming Languages. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26932571

Wexler, L. (2009). The Importance of Identity, History, and Culture in the Wellbeing of Indigenous Youth. Retrieved from https://muse.jhu.edu/article/266442

 Yuan, Y. Q. (2015).Analysis of Silence in Intercultural Communication-Atlantis press. Retrieved from https://download.atlantis-press.com/article/25837457.pdf

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