Chapter 10 intercultural competence in interpersonal relationships
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Chapter 10: Intercultural Competence in Interpersonal Relationships. Benefits and Challenges of Intercultural Relationships Cultural Differences in Notions of Friendship Cultural Differences in Relational Development Relationships Across Differences Contexts of Intercultural Relationships.

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Chapter 10: Intercultural Competence in Interpersonal Relationships

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Chapter 10 intercultural competence in interpersonal relationships

Chapter 10: Intercultural Competence in Interpersonal Relationships

  • Benefits and Challenges of Intercultural Relationships

  • Cultural Differences in Notions of Friendship

  • Cultural Differences in Relational Development

  • Relationships Across Differences

  • Contexts of Intercultural Relationships


Types of interpersonal relationships

Types of Interpersonal Relationships

  • Strangers

  • Acquaintances

  • Friends

  • Romantic Partners

  • Family


Benefits and challenges of intercultural relationships

Benefits and Challenges of Intercultural Relationships

  • Benefits of intercultural relationships:

    • Acquiring knowledge about the world (relational learning)

    • Breaking stereotypes

    • Acquiring new skills


Benefits and challenges of intercultural relationships1

Benefits and Challenges of Intercultural Relationships

  • Challenges of intercultural relationships:

    • Differences in communication styles, values, and perceptions

    • Negative stereotypes

    • Anxiety

    • Need to explain ourselves to others


Cultural differences in notions of friendship

Cultural Differences in Notions of Friendship

  • Notions of friendships are related to ideas about identity and values:

    • Individualists tend to view friendship as more voluntary, individual-oriented, and spontaneous than collectivists.

    • In some collectivist cultures, friendships are long-term and involve obligations.


Cultural differences in notions of friendship1

Cultural Differences in Notions of Friendship

  • In some cultures, family and friend relationships are inextricably intertwined.

  • What most people in the world consider simply a “friend” is probably what a U.S. American would consider a “close friend.”


Cultural differences in notions of friendship2

Cultural Differences in Notions of Friendship

5. Characteristics of friends are prioritized differently in different cultures, both internationally and domestically.


Cultural differences in relational development

Cultural Differences in Relational Development

Cultural differences affect relationships at each stage of development:

1. Initial attraction

2. Exploratory interaction

3. Stability phase


Cultural differences in relational development1

Cultural Differences in Relational Development

  • Initial attraction:

    • The proximity principle - People in the U.S. form relationships with people to whom they are in close proximity, and are attracted to individuals from similar social, economic, and cultural backgrounds.

    • The structures of society often determine whom we come in contact with.


Cultural differences in relational development2

Cultural Differences in Relational Development

  • Initial attraction:

    3. Physical attraction is especially important in the United States.

    4. Standards for physical attractiveness are culturally based.

    5. According to the similarity principle, we tend to be attracted to people we perceive to be similar to ourselves.


Cultural differences in relational development3

Cultural Differences in Relational Development

  • Initial attraction:

    6. Finding that people agree with our beliefs confirms that we are right and provides us with cognitive consistency.

    7. The complementarity principle - we are also attracted to persons who are somewhat different from ourselves in ways that can contribute balance in a relationship.


Cultural differences in relational development4

Cultural Differences in Relational Development

  • Exploratory interaction:

    • Different cultural rules govern how to regard strangers.

    • In high-context cultures, relationships will not easily develop without background or contextual information.


Cultural differences in relational development5

Cultural Differences in Relational Development

  • Stability phase (friendships):

    • As relationships develop more intimacy, friends share more personal and private information.

    • There are also cultural variations in how much nonverbal expression is encouraged.


Cultural differences in relational development6

Cultural Differences in Relational Development

  • Stability phase (romantic relationships):

    Gao (1991) and others have found both similarities and differences across cultures, some of which seem to reflect individualism-collectivism.


Cultural differences in relational development7

Cultural Differences in Relational Development

  • Gay and lesbian relationships:

    1. Gay and straight relationships differ in terms of:

    a. the role of same-sex friendships,

    b. the role of cross-sex friendships, and

    c. the relative importance of friendships.


Cultural differences in relational development8

Cultural Differences in Relational Development

  • Gay and lesbian relationships:

    2. Some issues (permanent relationships, relational dissolution) are unique to gay and lesbian partners.

    3. Same-sex relationships are very much influenced by the cultural contexts in which they occur.


Relationships across differences

Relationships Across Differences

  • Communicating in intercultural relationships:

    • Linguistic and cultural competence

    • Finding similarities

    • Time/involvement

    • Turning points such as self-disclosure


Relationships across differences1

Relationships Across Differences

  • Intercultural Dating and Marriage:

    The likelihood of dating interculturally is influenced by

    - family attitudes,

    - geographic context,

    - social status, and

    - larger social discourses.


Relationships across differences2

Relationships Across Differences

  • Permanent Relationships

    • Increased interethnic/interracial marriage

    • Challenges include pressures from family and society and issues around raising children.

    • Cultural conflicts within relationship (values, habits, roles, time, religion…)

    • Certain groups have been made to seem more attractive and acceptable as partners.


Contexts of intercultural relationships

Contexts of Intercultural Relationships

  • It is important to consider intercultural relationships in the contexts in which they emerge.

    • History

    • Dialectical tension between the social, political, and economic contexts and the desires and motives of the partners involved


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