After reading this chapter, you should have a greater understanding of how culture influences communication. We began with an overview and description of the various aspects of personal identity and how they work together to determine a person’s and co-cultures relative power and privilege. Next, we traced the process of coming to an understanding of one’s individual identity through the use of the identity models for minorities, Bi-racial individuals, Majority members, and those whom identify as global nomads. Turning to specific communication styles we discussed the differences between high and low context cultures and the continuums of direct/indirect, elaborate/exact/succinct, personal/contextual, and instrumental/affective styles. Finally, we examined a particular site for intercultural communication—the media. We hope this chapter has increased your knowledge base as well as your enthusiasm and interest in this exciting area of the Communication discipline. Moreover, we encourage you to think about the importance of culture when studying the other sub-disciplines of communication such as gender, organizational, interpersonal, rhetorical theory, rhetorical criticism, and health communication.
- What are some ways that you see to support Hofstede’s claim that the U.S. is the most individualistic society? Are there ways in which we display attributes of collectivism?
- Describe a situation in which you attempted to diverge or converge your communication with others? What did you do? What were you attempting to accomplish by doing so? What was the result?
- What examples of representation and symbolic annihilation can you locate and analyze in contemporary texts of popular culture?
- Critical race theory
- Communication Styles
- High and low context
- Popular Culture
- Symbolic Annihilation