Intercultural communication
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Intercultural Communication. Chapter 8 Nonverbal Intercultural Communication. Definition of Nonverbal Codes. Nonverbal communication is a multi-channeled process that is usually performed spontaneously Nonverbal and verbal codes inseparably linked together. Defining Nonverbal Codes.

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Intercultural Communication

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Intercultural communication

Intercultural Communication

Chapter 8

Nonverbal Intercultural Communication


Definition of nonverbal codes

Definition of Nonverbal Codes

  • Nonverbal communication is a multi-channeled process that is usually performed spontaneously

  • Nonverbal and verbal codes inseparably linked together


Defining nonverbal codes

Defining Nonverbal Codes

  • Some characteristics of nonverbal codes

    • Function as a “silent language”

    • Continuous and natural

    • No dictionaries or formal set of rules

    • Less precise


Intercultural communication

  • The relationship takes a variety of forms.

    • Used to accent the verbal message

    • Can compliment the verbal message

    • Sometimes contradictory

    • Help to regulate interactions

    • Serve as a substitute for verbal messages


Cultural universals in nonverbal communication

Cultural Universals in Nonverbal Communication

  • Some authors have identified what they refer to as “cultural universals” of nonverbal communication.

  • Some examples of these nonverbal universals include the shoulder shrug, facial expressions, and the need to be territorial.


Cultural variations in nonverbal communication

Cultural Variations in Nonverbal Communication

  • Nonverbal communication must be interpreted in the context or framework of the culture in which it occurs.

    • Cultures differ in the specific repertoire of behaviors that are enacted

    • Cultures have unique sets of display rules

      • Norms

      • Intensity

      • Differences cause discomfort and misinterpretation


Cultural variations in nonverbal communication1

Cultural Variations in Nonverbal Communication

  • Cultures vary in interpretation

    • Behavior is random

    • Idiosyncratic interpretations

    • Shared interpretations

    • Cultures differ in these aspects

  • None of this is taught verbally-learned through observation and experience


Nonverbal messages in icc are multichanneled

Nonverbal Messages in ICC are Multichanneled

  • Body movements (kinesics)

    • Emblems

    • Illustrators

      • Emphasize, explain, and support

      • Less arbitrary than emblems

    • Affect displays

      • Many universally recognized

      • May be unconscious and unintentional

    • Regulators

    • Adapters


Nonverbal messages in icc are multichanneled1

Nonverbal Messages in ICC are Multichanneled

  • Space (proxemics)

    • Personal space

      • Awareness of cultural use of space

      • Intimate, personal, social, public space

    • Territoriality

      • Protect and defend

      • Rage, invasions, and contaminations


Nonverbal messages in icc are multichanneled2

Nonverbal Messages in ICC are Multichanneled

  • Touch (haptic)

    • Express positive or negative feelings

    • Cultures differences can lead to difficulties

    • Differ in amount, where, whom, setting, etc.


Nonverbal messages in icc are multichanneled3

Nonverbal Messages in ICC are Multichanneled

  • Time (chronemics)

    • The value placed on the passage of time

      • Past-oriented cultures

      • Present-oriented cultures

      • Future-oriented cultures

    • They are implicit rules

      • Technical time systems

      • Formal time systems

      • Informal time systems


Nonverbal messages in icc are multichanneled4

Nonverbal Messages in ICC are Multichanneled

  • Time (chronemics)

    • Informal time systems can be

      • monochronic or

      • Polychronic

    • Because cultures differ in their time orientations and in time systems they use to give order to experiences, misinterpretations often occur.


Nonverbal messages in icc are multichanneled5

Nonverbal Messages in ICC are Multichanneled

  • Voice (vocalics)

    • Can include:

      • Non-speech sounds

      • Filler sounds

      • Pitch

      • Rate

      • Rhythm

      • Volume

    • Convey meaning beyond words


Nonverbal messages in icc are multichanneled6

Nonverbal Messages in ICC are Multichanneled

  • Other

    • Chemical

    • Dermal

    • Physical

    • Artifactual


Synchrony of nonverbal communication codes

Synchrony of Nonverbal Communication Codes

  • Synchronized behaviors form patterns

  • They typify an expected response

  • Subtlety is clearly noticed

  • Behavior of all parties must match


Nonverbal communication and intercultural competence

Nonverbal Communication and Intercultural Competence

  • The rules and norms that govern most nonverbal communication behaviors are both culture-specific and learned unconsciously.

  • Monitoring one’s emotional reactions to differences in nonverbal behaviors alerts a person to the interpretations he or she is making and therefore to the possibility of alternative meanings.


Nonverbal communication and intercultural competence1

Nonverbal Communication and Intercultural Competence

  • A person should observe general tendencies in the nonverbal behavior of culturally different people.

  • Looking for exceptions to general tendencies observed allows one to recognize that no one individual will fit exactly the cultural generalization formed.

  • One can practice the ability to observe, evaluate, and behave in effective ways during intercultural encounters.


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