According to Matthews & Thakkar (2012) achieving the most effective form of intercultural communication has been an ongoing challenge for global organizations. In the cases of schools, medical facilities, and organizations all over the world, it is plausible to conceive how bilingualism is rapidly transitioning to multicultural and multilingual. Being a leader in a multinational organization and being married to a Cuban man, my own life is inundated with an explosion of intercultural interactions. Therefore, I found it intriguing to research intercultural communication between people of Latin decent and Anglo Saxon decent to best gauge effectiveness in intercultural communication. This will be done by evaluating what symbolic intercultural communication is and how it contributes to the overall concept of communication. We will reveal Latin identity traits and commonalities in comparison to Anglo Saxon traits and commonalities. We will surface cultural boundaries that interfere with effective communication and stereotypes. Next, we will consider how verbal and non-verbal communication between Latin and Anglo Saxon cultures impacts cultural understanding and influence. It is this author’s position that increasing awareness between Latin and Anglo Saxon cultures will promote positive interactions between the groups, and improve intercultural communications overall.
Symbolic Intercultural Communication
Communication is a basic mechanism of interacting with another person. There are many studies on communication, but from a fundamental approach Williams’ analysis of communication is that it is a basic human need, a basic human right; and more than this, it is a basic human power. (Williams, 2000) Further research suggests...
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... that commonality in language, a series of customs and symbols, a style, rituals, and appearance were considered vital elements in the connection to ones ethnicity. (Roosens, 1989) Descendants of Anglo Saxon cultures operate in the same way as Latin descendants. They, too, are provided cultural, national, and ethnic forms of identity at early ages and later form their own connection to a cultural. Also, like Latin descendants, Anglo Saxon descendants have sub-cultures that wildly differ and certainly impact ones identity. Alba’s research synthesized that symbolic ethnicity is the desire to retain a sense of being ethnic, but without any deep commitment to the ethnic social ties and behavior. (Alba, 1990) This significant finding supports the underlying purpose of this paper, which is to appreciate cultural differences and maximize most efficient ways to communicate.
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