Chapter 1: Introduction
1. Practical reasons to study Intercultural Communication
• Increased global workplace heterogeneity
• Increased domestic workforce diversity
• Engaging in creative problem solving
• Comprehending the role of technology in global communication
• Facilitating better multicultural health care communication
• Enhancing intercultural relationship satisfaction
• Fostering global and intrapersonal peace
• Deepening cultural selfawareness and other awareness
2. Definition of Culture used in the book
• A learned system of meanings a valueladen meaning system that helps you to make
sense of and explain what is going on in your everyday intercultural surroundings
3. Surface Level of the cultural iceberg (popular culture)
• Basically refers to cultural artifacts or systems that have mass appeal and that infiltrate
our daily life.
• Those cultural artifacts, processes, effects, and meanings that are popular by definition,
derivation, or general understanding
4. Intermediate level of the cultural iceberg (symbols, meanings, norms)
• Symbol a sign, artifact, word, gesture, or nonverbal behavior that stands for or reflects
• Meanings interpretations that we attach to a symbol
• Cultural norms collective expectations of what constitutes proper or improper behavior
in a given interaction scene
5. Deep level of the cultural iceberg (traditions, beliefs, values)
• Tradition includes myths, legends, ceremonies, and rituals that are passed from one
generation to the next via an oral or written medium in a specific culture
• Belief a set of fundamental assumptions or worldviews that people hold dearly to their
hearts without question. Many religions seek to answer these questions.
• Value a set of priorities that guide good or bad behaviors, desirable or undesirable
practices, and fair or unfair actions. Can serve as motivation for actions
Chapter 2: Intercultural Flexibility
1. Definition of intercultural communication from book (4 overall characteristics)
• Symbolic exchange the use of verbal and nonverbal symbols between at least two people
to establish a shared meaning.
• Proces refers to the interdependent nature of intercultural communication. This
transactional nature refers to the simultaneous encoding and decoding of exchanged
messages. It is an irreversible process. • Different cultural communities groups of interacting individuals within a bounded unit
who uphold a set of shared traditions and way of life. They can be a national cultural
group, and ethnic group or a gender group.
• Negotiating shared meanings goal of any intercultural communication. It’s a give and
take process in the interpretation of the meaning of the message.
2. Three layers of meaning (Content, relational, identity)
• Content meaning the factual information that is being conveyed to the receiver verbally
or through other means. (ex. Business contract details)
• Relational meaning offers information concerning the relationship between the two
communicators. Is inferred by nonverbal means. Body movements, or gestures shown
• Identity meaning refers to the role each member plays in communication. It involves
issues like display of respect or disrespect and identity approval or disapproval. Identified
through speaker’s tone, facial expressions, posture, distance, and word choice.
3. Intercultural Flexibility: ethnocentric and ethnorelative mindsets
• Ethnocentric mindset inflexible intercultural communication. Using of our own cultural
values, judgments, and routines in communicating with culturally different people.
• Ethnorelative mindset flexible intercultural communication. To understand a
communication behavior from the other person’s cultural frame of reference.
4. Intercultural Flexibility: Staircase model (four stages)
• Unconscious incompetence stage when one is unaware of the mistakes in
communication with a cultural stranger. One usually has no culturesensitive knowledge
• Conscious incompetence stage when one is aware of their incompetence in
communicating with other cultures, but doesn’t know how to fix it. They usually begin to
question their ethnocentric lens.
• Conscious competence stage when one is actively pursuing new intercultural knowledge
to improve their communication competency. They use an ethnorelative lens to interpret
whats going on.
• Unconscious competence stage when individuals can move in and out of adaptive
communication with members of the new culture. One must constantly update their
knowledge about cultural difference issues to be in this stage.
5. Underlying principals of intercultural communication
• Often involves mismatched expectations that stem, in part, from cultural group
• Often involves varying degrees of biased intergroup perceptions (stereotypes)
• Involves the simultaneous encoding and decoding of verbal and nonverbal messages in
the exchange process
• Involves multiple goals, and the goals people have are largely dependent on how they
define the interaction episode. (content, relational and identity goals)
• Calls for understanding and acceptance of diverse communication approaches and styles • Encounters involve wellmeaning culture bumps or clashes (when meanings don’t
overlap each other, and creates communication awkwardness or embarrassment)
• Always takes place in a context (setting of communication matters)
• Always takes place in embedded systems (we are socialized from birth from many
different sources and that affects communication)
Chapter 3: Cultural Values
1. Cultural Values: four functions
• Identity functio cultural values provide a frame of reference for one to decide who they
are. Cultural beliefs and values are anchor points to which we attach significance to form
• Explanatory cultural values are used to explain or even defend certain culturebased
• Motivational cultural values serve as motivation towards rewards that are emphasized in
the cultural community. Also serves as motivation to stick to basic norms of the cultural
community for fear of punishment.
• Ingroupoutgroup shared cultural values create an accepting atmosphere where members
are included in the ingroup, and differences in values create the outgroup.
2. Primary value dimensions
• Individualism & collectivism Individualism is the tendency of values of a culture to
emphasize the importance of individual identity over group identity, individual rights
over group rights, and individual needs over group needs. Collectivism is the exact
opposite. Those cultures emphasize ‘we’ over ‘I’. Collectivism promotes relational
interdependence, ingroup harmony, and ingroup collaborative spirit.
• Smalllarge Power Distance small power distances value equal rights and relations,
equitable rewards and punishments on the basis of performance. Large power distance
tend to accept unequal power distributions, hierarchical rights, asymmetrical role
relations, and rewards and punishments based on age, rank, status, title or seniority.
• Feminine and masculine feminine values pertain to social gender roles that can overlap.
Both women and men can do all the same things if they want. Masculine cultures have
gender roles that are complementary and distinct. Men must be tough, make money etc.
and women should be modest, tender, and “motherly”.
3. Value orientations
• Activit what people consider worthwhile in everyday activity. Can either be emphasis
on achievement oriented activities, being emotionally connected with significant others,
or on spiritual renewal.
• Peoplenature how people tend to see as the function of nature to humans. Can either be
controlling of the environment to increase productivity, in harmony with nature (going
with the flow), or yielding to nature by saying nature is too powerful to be controlled by
• Temporal What time period a culture focuses on: past, present or future. Futureoriented
cultures plan for the nearfarther future. Presentoriented cultures emphasize here and now, especially current interpersonal relationships. Past oriented cultures honor historic
ties and respect elder’s wisdom.
• Independent vs. interdependent refers to the degree to which one identifies themselves as
separate or connected to others. Independents use their own ideas and value personal
achievement. Interdependents value conformity, and aim for relative harmony.
• Horizontal vs. Vertica horizontal refers to equal treatment regardless of one’s status.
Vertical refers to unequal treatment of others according to a hierarchy with respect to age,
titles or positions.
• Internal vs external locus of contr individuals with internal locus of control tend to
emphasize free will, motivation, effort, and responsibility for the success of an
assignment. External locus of control is the opposite, where people emphasize external
determinates like karma or fate
5. ODIS model for intercultural flexibility
• Observe verbal and nonverbal signals attentively
• Describe mentally the characteristics of the communication. Refrain from adding
evaluative meaning to the behavior
• Interpretations shoul