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The Effect Of Stereotypes On The Intercultural Communication

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If we want to portray someone in a positive light, we might refer to them as beautiful, trustworthy, enterprising or as a pillar of society. We would show respect by referring to them as Sir, Miss or Ma’ am. On the other hand, if we want to portray someone in a less favorable light, we might call them by their last name only, use words such as shady or dubious. We often refer to people of color as minorities or use the phrase “ those people” when talking about someone we consider to be on equal footing.

Language choices not only reveal how we feel about members of another group, but they also inform younger members and children how they should address the people in that group as well. This, in turn, establishes a social platform of misinformation that often continues for generations. Being mindful of chosen language when talking about others is a key step in establishing a positive venue for cultural information exchange. In his book, An Introductory Guide to John Storey explores how theorist Jim McGuigan advocates popular culture in its relationship and relevance to social and political power.

McGuigan also advises commencing “ a dialogue between cultural studies and the political economy of culture. ” (Storey 2006, p. Intercultural communication is the exchange of information between two cultures for the purpose of creating meaningful comprehension about the group members. Communication is an interpretive process, and not always intentional. Every aspect of an individual sends a message that is open to interpretation by another. Aspects such as dress code, speech, social habits, or religious practices present information about a that may or may not be correctly interpreted by another.

Stereotyping, if used as a building block to more advanced knowledge, can open doors to initiating a conversation among different groups.   Stereotypes become counterproductive, however, when a person believes that the broad nature of the stereotype is the end all of the group’ s members, and fails to further discover deeper-rooted characteristics about the group.

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