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7.2: Moving Among Cultures

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    42994
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    Experiencing a Different Culture

    Adjusting one's communication style and interactional behavior to a single individual or a small group from another culture can be stressful, but it pales in comparison to adjustments and difficulties one might encounter in spending an extended period of time living in a different culture. There are a variety of situations which might lead to such experiences. One might be an immigrant, moving permanently to another country, or a refugee, leaving one's home involuntarily due to adverse or dangerous conditions. Asylum-seekers leave their countries due to the threat of political or religious persecution. Economic refugees seek better working and living situations for themselves and their families. These situations all differ markedly from that of those who go abroad voluntarily to work or study with the expectation of returning home after a certain period of time. Those who stay for a longer time, such as 1 to 5 years, are often labeled sojourners. In comparison to those migrating involuntarily, sojourners tend to be wealthier and better educated and thus to be in a more privileged situation in the host culture. Sojourners will often associate willingly with compatriots, forming an expatriate, or ex-pat, community.

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    Figure \(\PageIndex{1}\): Japanese members of a tour group in Rome, an example of mass tourism

    Sojourners have a different experience from short-term visitors or tourists, the latter generally having a filtered exposure to the other culture, while traveling in national groups largely isolated from native communities. Because of the short time frame and the lack of in-depth exposure to the new culture, tourists normally have an unproblematic relationship to the culture, often experiencing it in a positive light, if perhaps somewhat exoticized. On the other hand, some studies have shown that tourists may have ethnocentric views reinforced. That may occur because tourists, living in an "environmental bubble" (Cohen, 1972), see only selected aspects of a culture. The aspects of the culture encountered (food, dress, festivals) do not provide a comprehensive understanding of the culture as a whole, as they represent outward manifestations of the culture, not its hidden values and beliefs. The result can be that tourists and representatives of the host culture do not see each other in their entirety as human beings:

    The mass tourist travels in a world of his own, surrounded by, but not integrated in, the host society. He meets the representatives of the tourist establishment — hotel managers, tourist agents, guides —but only seldom the natives. The natives, in turn, see the mass tourist as unreal. Neither has much of an opportunity to become an individual to the other (Cohen, 1972, p. 175).

    This applies to mass tourism. Cultural tourists, interested primarily in historical and artistic aspects of a country or region, may gain a fuller picture of the culture (Cohen, 1972). It's more likely in that case that the tourists will have prepared for the visit through some degree of study of the history and geography of the region. Optimally, that would include learning basics of the language as well.

    Topless Zulu dancers: Only for tourists?

    Naidu (2011a, 2011b) investigates the 'topless' dance tradition of Zulu girls in a cultural village in KwaZula Natal, South Africa, and perceptions of indigenous cultural bodies in tourism. In the cultural village reported in Naidu's study, a small number of Zulu-speaking girls took part in a Zulu dance as 'ethnic' performers. As unmarried virgins, they wear no tops, only beaded skirts and some jewellery when dancing.

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    Figure \(\PageIndex{2}\): The Reed Dance Festival 2006. (Public Domain; Amada44 via Wikipedia)

    However, although 'topless' has been a tradition for Zulu girls, things are very different now. As reported by two girls interviewed by Naidu (2011b), girls nowadays do not have to dance 'topless' to show that they are unmarried. Instead, they only do it at home and when there is a special celebration. Nevertheless, the girls feel that this is what tourists want to see and dancing 'topless' is a business exchange, despite the fact that they find it somewhat awkward when dancing in front of and posing along with tourists.

    Hua, 2013, p. 88

    Stereotypical images of a culture may be perpetuated through a desire on the part of the host country to accommodate tourist expectations. That may in fact be a practical necessity, if the tourist industry constitutes a major contributor to a region's economy. Hua (2013) provides the example of how topless dancing, a traditional aspect of Zulu culture, has been affected by the tourist industry (see sidebar). Tourism may have a complex relationship to a host culture, sometimes reducing culture to a commodity. Some scholars have pointed to positive aspects of tourism (Jack & Phipps, 2005), as at least one widely available means for cross-cultural contact. The TED talk on tourism by Aziz Abu Sarah argues that tourism can play a positive role in peace-keeping. Tourism, in fact, may lead to activism. Baldwin et al. (2013) give the example of the founding of the TOMS One for One shoe company, which donates a pair of shoes to poor Latin-American families for each pair sold. The founder got the idea and incentive for the company while traveling through Argentina.

    Cross-cultural adaptation

    Those who have the day-to-day experience of living in the culture are likely to have a quite different experience from tourists. This might involve learning and using a second language, coping with bureaucracies, finding out how things get done in that culture, making new friends, and a host of other issues and potential difficulties that everyone living in that culture – native or foreigner – experiences. This process of adjustment is often referred to as acculturation, the learning and adapting of at least some of the values, norms, and behaviors of the new culture. This may be an easy process, or long and difficult. That depends on many factors, including one's age, educational level, familiarity with the language and culture, reasons for relocating, support structures available (friends, family, coworkers), and the degree of difference between one's home culture and that of the new residence. Acculturation can be fragmented; that is, one might adapt to some parts of a culture and not others. Ward and Rana-Deuba (1999) distinguish between psychological adjustment (emotional well-being) and sociocultural adaptation (the ability to function day-to-day in the target culture). While psychological adjustment is largely dependent on personality and social support, "sociocultural adaptation, measured in relation to the amount of difficulty experienced in the performance of daily tasks, is more dependent on variables such as length of residence in the new culture, language ability, cultural distance, and the quantity of contact with host nationals" (Ward & Rana-Deuba, 1999, p. 424). While both forms of adjustment are present during initial contact with the new culture, normally sociocultural problems steadily decrease over time. Psychological adjustments are more variable.

    The process of acculturation can vary as well depending on the purpose of the contact, such as colonization, trade, evangelism, or education. It can also depend on the length of time the contact lasts. A scholar who has studied acculturation extensively, John Berry, has identified four principal modes of acculturation (Berry & Sam, 1997). Assimilation is the loss of one's original cultural identity by acquiring a new identity in the host culture. The goal is to become indistinguishable from other people in that culture. Adapting to the host culture but maintaining the identity from one's native culture is integration. This kind of bicultural identity is likely to provide the most successful and satisfying acculturative experience. In some cases, individuals prefer no close contact with the host culture. In this mode, separation, the individual maintains his or her native identity with minimal adaptation to the host culture, although the individual may choose for practical reasons, such as employment, to adopt particular aspects of the host culture (speech, dress). The fourth mode of acculturation is marginalization, in which individuals have a weak identification with both host and native cultures. This can lead to alienation and a sense of abandonment. An additional mode of acculturation was identified by Richard Mendoza (1989). He labeled this cultural transmutation, in which an individual chooses to identify predominately with a third cultural group, such as youth culture or gay/lesbian groups.

    At the opposite end of the travel spectrum from tourists are those who are forced to leave their home countries, whether that be because of adverse living conditions (famine, war, civil unrest) or due to the need to find gainful employment for oneself and one's family. The book Global Woman (Ehrenreich & Hochschild, 2003) describes how millions of women migrate in order to support their families, moving from the global south (Philippines, Sri Lanka, India) to the north (North America, Europe and Middle East) to work as domestics:

    Mexican and Latin American women are the domestics for U.S. women; Asian migrant women work in British homes; North African women work in French homes; Turkish women in German homes; Filipinas work in Spain, Italy, and Greece; and Filipino, Indian, and Sri Lankan women travel to Saudi Arabia to work (Martin & Nakayama, 2010, p. 311).

    Such migrations raise many troubling issues. In addition to the main issue of social injustice and cultural loss, Ehrenreich & Hochschild point to the ironic fact that often women in such situations are forced to leave their own children in the care of others while they tend to the children of their employers.

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    Figure \(\PageIndex{3}\): Filipina nanny in Canada

    Added to the emotional toll these women endure from being separated from their families and cultures, they may not find social acceptance in the host communities. Typically, domestic or manual migrant laborers are treated differently from intellectual workers or business professionals. Migrants from the same country might be treated differently in the host culture:

    Class issues often enter into the picture. Sometimes immigrant workers are seen as necessary but are not really welcomed into the larger society because of their class (which is often fused with racial differences). And sometimes the discrimination and class issues result in conflict between recent migrants and emigrants from the same country who have been in the host country for a long time. (Martin & Nakayama, 2010, p. 339).

    In the US, for example, Mexican workers who have achieved middle class status, and therefore some degree of acceptance in mainstream white US society, may take a dim view of the arrival of undocumented Mexicans, since their arrival may jeopardize their own standing (see sidebar). A crucial factor that affects social acceptance is not just the identity and status of the migrants, but as well their numbers. The large influx of refugees to Europe from Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, and other Middle Eastern and some African countries in 2014 through 2016 contributed to the backlash against immigrants that led to protest movements and the rise of anti-immigrant political parties in Denmark, France, Germany and other countries.

    Old & new immigrants: not always a good mix

    Mexicans have come in increasing numbers to work in the carpet plants in the Southeast [USA] and in the meatpacking plants in the Midwest. This has led to tension between those Latinos/as, who have worked hard to achieve harmony with whites and to attain middle-class status, and the newcomers, who are usually poor and have lower English proficiency. The older Latinos/as feel caught between the two—ridiculed by whites for not speaking English correctly and now by recently arrived Mexicans for mangling Spanish. This resentment between old and new immigrants has always been present in America—from the arrival of the first Europeans.

    Martin & Nakayama, 2010, p. 339

    Refugees

    In addition to those leaving their home country in order to better themselves and their families economically and socially, many migrants leave in order to escape regional or national danger or deprivation. Some leave to escape discrimination due to their ethnicity, religion, or political affiliation. In some cases, migration may be limited to individuals, families, or small groups, as may be the case with political activists or members of small religious denominations. In other cases, there may be mass immigration due to extreme conditions of hardship or widespread political or religious persecution. In the 19th century, for example, large numbers of Irish families migrated to the US due to the potato famine, as did many Germans to escape political prosecution after the failed 1848 revolution. Discrimination towards minorities, leading in some instances to ethnic cleansing, can lead to mass migration. Large numbers of Rohingyas, Muslims from Rakhine State have left Myanmar (Burma) to escape mistreatment.

    The Rohingyas have sought refuge in Bangladesh and Thailand, countries located nearby. This is the normal pattern for refugees, that they tend to relocate to areas close by their home countries. This is for practical reasons, namely ease of migration and likely cultural similarities. Many refugees prefer to stay close to home in the hope of repatriation after a short period away. In other cases, families may be separated and want to stay close to enable family reunification. Sadly, hopes that refugees' stay will be temporary are often disappointed. Many temporary refugee settlements become semi-permanent. Displaced Palestinians, for example, have lived in refugee settlements since the Six Days War in 1967. Long-term refugees can be found in many other regions, particularly in Africa. The quality of life in refugee camps varies considerably. Generally, however, available services will be significantly inferior to those available to permanent residents of the country. Schools may not be available, and there will often be substandard health care. Refugees are not usually permitted to work. Given the adverse conditions, it's not surprising that refugee settlements often become sites of strife and hopelessness.

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    Figure \(\PageIndex{4}\): Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh

    The relationship between refugees and permanent residents is often problematic. The local populace may resent public resources being used to support groups of refugees. There may be fears that frustrated refugees well resort to crime. Occasionally, there are rumors about refugees bringing in diseases. In recent years, a new worry has emerged, namely that refugees are harboring terrorists in their midst. In some cases, backlashes against refugees have led to local protests or discriminatory actions, such as not allowing refugee children to attend public schools. Sometimes, refugees are exploited as cheap labor, or women are tricked into working in the sex industry. In recent years there has been violence directed against refugees in some countries. In Germany, for example, built or designated refugee homes have been set on fire by arsonists.

    Organized efforts to help refugees exist in many countries. In some cases, these are organized by national governments, often in cooperation with international groups such as the international Red Cross or the UN Refugee Agency. The help may come in the form of food, clothing, and housing. Occasionally, social and medical services may be offered. Educational and cultural resources are provided less often. As it is uncertain how long refugees will be present, there is often no long-term planning for their possible integration into the host country. At a minimum, one should expect to have schools available for all children. Ideally, training should be provided to enable future employment either in the host country, or wherever the refugee may end up living. Training in English, for example, is crucial in virtually any country, for use as a lingua franca in the host country, but also as an important factor in employability.

    Some governments and NGOs have come up with innovative ways to provide language and cultural training. Today, phones provide a lifeline for many refugees. They provide a vital way to connect to families and friends in the home country as well as those in the host country or on their way. A report from the European Union Institute for Security Studies stated:

    Migrants are linking up online to cross borders and meet their basic needs. They are using smartphones to share tips and geo-positional data as they cross North Africa. They rank and rate Afghan people-smugglers, trying to hold the criminals accountable for the safe transport of family members. On Google they share tips, such as to avoid exploitative Istanbul taxi drivers or evade new EU border controls. (Parkes, 2016, p. 1)

    The kind of device that migrants use will vary with the individual and place of origin. One account has shown that of young Syrian refugees, 86% owned a smartphone (Parkes, 2016). A number of mobile apps have been developed by NGOs and government agencies to help migrants in a variety of areas, including language learning, cultural integration, and practical day-to-day living. Some apps aid in the process of migrants making their way through intermediate countries to their final destination. InfoAid helps refugees in Hungary, while Gherbtna is aimed at Syrians newly arrived in Turkey. The Mobile Legal Info Source helps navigate Turkey’s legal system. The Crisis Info Hub offers support for new arrivals in Greece.

    Mobile devices can provide tools and services which can ease the transition into the culture, but they can only go so far in helping the adjustment process. Ultimately, the situation of refugees depends on the reception they receive in the host country, the living conditions provided, and on the opportunities available for living a healthy and meaningful existence. For refugees eventually granted asylum and permanent residence, the struggle is not necessarily over. Individuals will need to go through a process of transitioning into the new culture, not always a smooth, easy, or quick process.

    Culture Shock

    Some people tend to be more flexible and adaptable than others, able to suppress, at least temporarily, some aspects of their ego, developing a new way of thinking and behaving in accord with the other culture. Others, due to personality, attitude or contextual factors have a more difficult path to satisfactory acculturation. Those who have a difficult time with the adjustment process are said to be experiencing culture shock. This could manifest itself in different ways depending on the individual, but the common experience is a sense of disorientation, a feeling of loss of control over one's life, leading to sadness, grief, or anger, and in some cases even to psychosomatic or real disorders. The process of experiencing culture shock and eventually adjusting to the new environment has traditionally been described using the image of a U-curve, which suggests that travelers go through three distinct stages. This starts with a positive experience, at the top of the U, then a period of difficulty, representing the bottom of the U, before an ultimate period of adjustment and return to the top of the U. The initial period is often called the honeymoon stage, during which one is excited by the newness of the experience. The second period, often called the crisis stage, is when the newness has worn off and one is confronted by the difficulties of adjusting linguistically, socially, and psychologically to a new and different way of life. Assuming one is willing to stay the course, the adjustment stage follows eventually, with a growing confidence in one's ability to integrate into the new culture. Culture shock can be seen as a subcategory of experiences all humans encounter, namely life changes. Janet Bennett (1977) has suggested that culture shock and adaptation should be viewed in the context of other adult transitions such as going off to study, getting married, or moving to a different region of the country. As such, it can be viewed as a normal inevitable component of everyday life in all cultures

    The U-model of culture shock corresponds to what many people tend to experience in terms of struggling to make adjustments to life in a new environment. Most experience stress, which can lead to feelings of alienation and frustration. The U-curve model also points to the reality that the adjustment often takes time and that it's not realistic to expect a quick and easy transition. At the same time, there are so many individual variations in situations that generalizations, including the U-curve model, will often be wrong. It may be that most travelers experience the range of experience represented by the model but not necessarily in the same order. Some scholars have suggested other models for describing the process. Young Yun Kim (2005) sees adjustments happening in a cyclical pattern of stress – adaptation – growth. She sees stress as useful for an individual's growth and prefers "cultural adjustment" over "culture shock". It's also the case that acculturation is not just within the power of the individual. It also depends on the willingness of the host culture to accept (or not) the individual. A physician or engineer from abroad coming into a new country will likely be given a much better reception than poor immigrants; this can have a significant impact on the adjustment process. It can be the case as well that the co-cultures in the new country may be welcoming to the new arrival, if there are similarities which make acculturation smoother, such as national origin, sexual orientation, or professional affiliations. Adjusting to a new culture is facilitated by the presence of linguistic or cultural resources linked to the home culture, such as food markets, schools, clubs. Hua (2013), citing Neuliep (2006), lists a number of strategies one might use to manage culture shock (see sidebar).

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    Figure \(\PageIndex{5}\): Diminishing stress-adaptation-growth over time; Kim, 2001, p. 59

    The return to one's home culture is an experience many people will anticipate with high expectations, as did the student at the beginning of this chapter, looking forward to sharing one's experiences with those back home and demonstrating the personal growth one may have experienced during the stay. Sometimes those expectations are not realistic and may not be fulfilled, resulting in what's sometimes called reentry culture shock. In contrast to culture shock, which may be anticipated, reentry culture shock may come as a surprise. It may be as serious a problem of adjustment as was the experience abroad. Baldwin (2015a) points out that a large number of business professionals leave their companies within a year of returning from assignments abroad, given the difficulty of readjusting and the lack of appreciation and understanding of their experiences. The return home does not necessitate any kind of socio-cultural adjustment, as we are already familiar with the culture, but rather a psychological adjustment. Some have suggested that the return home is another U-curve experience, with a similar pattern of high expectations, followed by a feeling of being underappreciated and misunderstood, with a final period of readjustment. Sometimes the two U-curves are put together to form a W-curve, illustrating graphically the kind of roller coaster ride such experiences can prove to be.

    Strategies for managing culture shock

    • Study the host culture, including searching websites, and interviewing friends who have travelled or lived in the culture.
    • Study the local environment and familiarize yourself with the new system.
    • Learn basic verbal & non-verbal language skills.
    • Develop intercultural friendships.
    • Maintain your support network actively.
    • Assume the principle of difference and be aware of your perceptual bias.
    • Anticipate failure events and manage expectations

    Hua, 2013, p. 79

    The concept of culture shock itself is not universally accepted. It rests on the assumption that individuals have a single "culture" and that the same holds true for the host country. It also involves a wholesale take-it-or-leave-it approach to cultural adaptation. In reality, individuals may well adopt certain elements of the culture, but not others. In some cases, individuals might choose to resist the new culture and maintain aspects of their home cultures. The situation becomes more complex for immigrants who represent established minorities in the new culture. Latinos migrating to the US, for example, will have different experiences depending on where they locate, the presence of family members, and the availability of resources for immigrants such as bilingual schools. In some cases, Latinos coming to the US may not be adjusting to mainstream US culture, but to Hispanic American culture, which has its own distinctiveness and multiple varieties, all different from the cultures of the home countries.

    The concept of culture shock has been criticized for oversimplifying a complex situation. However, it is a widely known phenomenon and one, which as Ulf Hannerz points out (1999), has led to an industry devoted to helping travelers deal with cultural adaptation:

    I mentioned above the concept of 'culture shock', diffusing widely in the late 20th century as a way of referring to the kind of emotional and intellectual unease that sometimes occurs in encounters with unfamiliar meanings and practices. Rather facetiously, I have also occasionally referred to the growth of a 'culture shock prevention industry'. The proper term for its practitioners, I should quickly note, is 'interculturalists' – a new profession of people working commercially as trainers and consultants, trying to teach sensitivity toward cultural diversity to various audiences through lectures, simulation games, videos, practical handbooks and some variety of other means. From an academic vantage point one may be critical of certain of the efforts – they may seem a bit trite, somewhat inclined toward stereotyping, occasionally given to exaggerating cultural differences perhaps as a way of positioning the interculturalists themselves as an indispensable profession. (p. 394).

    Much of this kind of training necessarily focuses on typical experiences, painting with a quite broad brush. In reality, individual case histories are much more nuanced and personal.

    Study Abroad

    Culture shock has been studied extensively in connection with study abroad programs (see Kinginger, 2008; Salisbury, An & Pascarella, 2013). Large numbers of students internationally go to study at a university in a different country for a time ranging from a short-term summer or winter program (4 to 6 weeks) to a semester or longer. Students may participate as part of a group, through an exchange program, or independently. The European Erasmus Exchange Program has enabled large numbers of students from European countries to study and receive university credit at other universities in Europe. The kind of experience one has through study abroad varies considerably depending on the manner in which it is organized. Going abroad with a group from one's own culture, and attending special university classes together, limits the exposure to the target culture and its language. Organizing independent study abroad experience is more difficult, as one must arrange oneself for university registration, selection of courses, and housing. In the process, however, one is likely to gain greater socio-cultural competence and more integration into the target culture and language. On the other hand, independent students lack the support system available to groups.

    clipboard_e95b352c2bc3bbd1909e1c7081ec7b366.png
    Figure \(\PageIndex{6}\): Erasmus exchange students in Sweden from 7 countries

    Whether one engages in study abroad independently or as a member of a group, individual disposition/personality and the local context will determine the degree of success and personal satisfaction. Hua (2013) points out that many study abroad experiences result in an increase in oral proficiency in the target language and in intercultural understanding and competence. However, that varies tremendously depending on the individual. One might have the kind of limited exposure described here:

    Her daily routine included attendance at required classes, after which she would go immediately to the study abroad center sponsored by her home university where she would stay until closing time, surfing the English language Internet and exchanging emails and Instant Messages with her friends and family in the U.S. Outside of service encounters, framed in various ways in her journal as threats to her well-being, she made little effort to engage speakers of French, limiting her use of the language to her courses. (Kinginger & Belz, 2005, p. 411)

    In fact, the issue of technology in study abroad is controversial. Some have advocated a restricted use of technology while abroad, so as to maximize real-life contact with the members of the target culture (Doerr, 2013). Some programs go so far as to forbid use of phones while participating in the program (Godwin-Jones, 2016). On the other hand, online access to home communities can be a tremendous help in psychological adjustment and in recovering from culture shock. Maintaining a blog, diary, or reflective journal provides a mechanism for sharing the experience and reflecting on what one discovers, as described in the last section of this chapter.

    In addition to study abroad, there are other avenues for university-age students to have meaningful longer-term encounters with a foreign culture. There are opportunities to engage in volunteer services abroad, through government agencies, NGOs, or religious groups. One method that has a long history, particularly in Europe, is to serve as an "au pair", living with a host family and helping with childcare and other light domestic work. Working abroad in other capacities is possible as well, although finding appropriate jobs and obtaining necessary work permits, depending on the country, may be difficult. All these options carry with them the advantage over being a tourist or student that they tend to offer more complete integration into the everyday life in the foreign country. Living with a host family or entering into a working environment automatically supplies contacts with members of the culture. Particularly attractive are internships abroad, which, in addition to supplying cultural and work experience, offer the possibility of future employment.

    clipboard_ea790f7e7cda28960bc53ab9381ec158b.png
    Figure \(\PageIndex{7}\): Columbian working as an au pair

    Achieving intercultural competence

    Learning about how a different culture enacts and talks about habitual actions can ease communication. This can help significantly in being able to speak and act appropriately. According to Spitzberg & Cupach's work (1984) on developing intercultural competence, appropriateness is one of the two major components of intercultural communication competence, the other being effectiveness in communication, i.e., being able to understand and speak confidently and intelligibly. That does not mean just being able to speak a second language, but also how to relate to others through adjusting communication styles and nonverbal behaviors. One might be able to be effective in a job setting, for example, able to get the work done sufficiently, but not necessarily be doing it in a culturally appropriate manner.

    Other researchers argue in favor of different components for intercultural communication competence. In some cases, this may be a quite extensive list. Spizberg (1994), for example, gives an example of intercultural skills, abilities, and attitudes containing 45 elements. Such long checklists may not be the most effective way to categorize competence, as Sptizberg (1994) comments:

    While each study portrays a reasonable list of abilities or attitudes, there is no sense of integration or coherence across lists. It is impossible to tell which skills are most important in which situations, or even how such skills relate to each other (p. 380).

    Spitzberg suggests a more productive approach through an integrative model of intercultural competence that sees competence as an interconnected set of competences using the same three categories discussed in the initial chapter of this book:

    • Knowledge (cognition)
    • Skills (behavior)
    • Motivation (emotion)

    Knowledge involves not only having concrete information about the history, geography, worldview, and other components of a target culture and its representatives, but also how to go about locating new knowledge. That includes knowing which media and online services tend to supply reliable information. The knowledge needed is not just about others, but also about ourselves. Enhanced self-knowledge, and self-confidence, come from having a perspective outside of ourselves.

    Skills involve the ability to speak a language intelligibly, as well as having achieved pragmatic and strategic competence – how to use appropriate expressions in different contexts and disentangle oneself from communication breakdowns and misunderstandings. That includes nonverbal behavior. Also important is the ability to build relationships; how to use the appropriate and effective verbal and nonverbal resources depending on both the individual and the circumstances.

    Motivation means becoming empathetic as well as being open to new ideas and perspectives. Highly desirable is a willingness to engage in new experiences and relationships. That can translate at times into risk taking, or at least venturing outside of one's normal comfort zone. These experiences can be person-to-person or online. They might involve, as discussed in the next section, experiences mediated through personal stories.

    Through encountering and adjusting to a new culture, we gain new thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, adding a new second language/culture persona to our identity. That process in turn makes us more adaptable to future encounters with different cultures. This kind of intercultural transformation provides us with more life choices and opportunities.


    7.2: Moving Among Cultures is shared under a CC BY-NC license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Robert Godwin-Jones.

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