Midterm Exam Part II

634 Words3 Pages
Martin and Nakayama discuss four potential barriers to intercultural communication, both attitudinal and behavioral. The four that are discussed are ethnocentrism, stereotyping, prejudice and discrimination. The authors believe that attitudinal behaviors such as stereotyping and prejudice can be the gateway leading to larger behavioral communication barriers such as prejudice. With each barrier having its own unique challenges and strategies to help combat. “Ethnocentrism is the belief that one’s own cultural group – usually equated with nationality – is superior to all other cultural groups.” (Martin & Nakayama, 2011, p. 54) Along with this idea individuals that believe this place a hierarchy on other cultures, placing their culture at the top. Therefore other cultures are then ranked below their own. This leads to a since of superiority among a given culture and limits their ability to see others as equals. Martin and Nakayama suggests that by spending extended periods of time with other cultures can lead to a better appreciation can keep ethnocentrism from getting out of hand. The dictionary describes stereotypes as “simplistic generalizations about a group that allows others to categorize them and treat them accordingly”. ("Stereotype," n.d., para. 2) The text describes them as “widely held beliefs about a group of people”. (Martin & Nakayama, 2011, p. 55) Similar to the other communication barriers discussed here, stereotypes themselves are not necessarily bad, but when use to belittle of single out a group negatively they can cause communication issues. There has been a big debate in recent years as to whether or not women should be placed in combat related job fields. One of huge factors preventing this from happening wa... ... middle of paper ... ...ctive effort. All four communication barriers discussed have education at the source of the strategies used to combat them. Recognizing that ethnocentrism, stereotyping, prejudice and discrimination exist and understanding what they truly mean is the first step. Self-evaluation is next in making sure individuals recognize negative traits within themselves and finally spreading that knowledge; whether it is through individual, collective or institutional education. Finally exploring alternative means of combating these communication barriers will help society as a whole become better. Works Cited Martin, J. N., & Nakayama, T. K. (2011). Experiencing Intercultural Communication: an Introduction (4. ed.). London: McGraw-Hill Education - Europe. stereotyping. (n.d.). The Free Dictionary. Retrieved March 30, 2014, from http://www.thefreedictionary.com/stereotyping
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