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2: Cultural Diversity and Context

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    • 2.1: Cultural Characteristics and the Roots of Culture
      Carbaugh suggested that culture is “a learned set of shared interpretations and beliefs, values, and norms, which affect the behaviors of a relatively large group of people.” Our course will combine Carbaugh’s longer definitions into the statement that culture is a learned pattern of values, beliefs, and behaviors shared by a large group of people. It is within this framework that we will explore what happens when people from different cultural backgrounds interact.
    • 2.2: Taxonomies of Cultural Patterns
      To develop confidence in intercultural communication, you must understand differences in cultural patterns. Cultural patterns are the similar behaviors within similar situations we witness due to shared beliefs, values, norms and social practices that are steady over time. In this chapter, you will explore three different taxonomies, which help us understand similarities and differences in these cultural patterns. Specifically, we will examine Edward Hall’s High-Low context cultural taxonomy, Ge
    • 2.3: Understanding Cultural Identity
      Ask yourself the question “Who am I?” We develop a sense of who we are based on what is reflected back on us from other people. Our parents, friends, teachers, and the media help shape our identities. While this happens from birth, most people in Western societies reach a stage in adolescence where maturing cognitive abilities and increased social awareness lead them to begin to reflect on who they are. This begins a lifelong process of thinking about who we are now, who we were before, and who
    • 2.4: Self and Identity
      To understand our communication interactions with others, we must first understand ourselves. Although each of us experiences ourselves as a singular individual, our sense of self is actually made up of three separate, yet integrated components: self-awareness, self-concept, and self-esteem.
    • 2.5: Social Construction of Cultural Identity
      We can get a better understanding of current cultural identities by unpacking how they came to be. By looking at history, we can see how cultural identities that seem to have existed forever actually came to be constructed for various political and social reasons and how they have changed over time. Communication plays a central role in this construction. As we have already discussed, our identities are relational and communicative; they are also constructed. Social constructionism is a view tha

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