Intercultural Interview Essay

Do you know about the peculiarities of intercultural communication? Is it possible to find common language with the representative of a different culture? How would you construct the interview with the representative of a different culture? I believe that intercultural communication is very important for self-development. When you communicate with a different person, you learn about her lifestyle, traditions, culture, etc.

You broaden your outlook and obtain valuable experience, which will help you improve your life. I have always been interested in intercultural communication, but I could not find a proper candidate for the interview. I have dreamt about the comparison of my native and foreign culture. Fortunately, I found a friend from Japan who agreed to answer a few questions about his traditions and lifestyle.

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I organized the interview with the exchange student from Japan who spent a few months in my city. He was interested in the peculiarities of our culture and we spent long hours discussing our traditions and way of life. When I was asked to make an intercultural communication interview, I understood that this job was not easy. I did not know what questions I should ask in order to reflect the most interesting aspects of the culture of Japan. I decided to focus on such cultural elements as literature, cuisine, sports, popular culture and body language.

I decided to start my interview with the simplest elements. Everyone enjoys eating tasty dishes; therefore, I began my interview with the brief discussion of the Japanese cuisine. I decided to discuss the most famous Japanese food – sushi. I found out that this meal is supposed to be their traditional food and they consume sushi regularly. It is interesting that the attitude towards this meal is completely different in Japan. We treat sushi as an exotic meal while the Japanese treat them as the simplest food consumed by the poor. Sushi consist of cheap ingredients; therefore, this dish was popular among the poorest people.

The next question was devoted to another specific element – anime. Everybody knows about these specific cartoons with the sophisticated and strange plot. I asked about the difference between our cartoons and anime. I asked about violence in anime, because I noticed that nearly every cartoon of this type contains many violent and rude scenes. An average character in anime has superpowers, which make its plot more interesting. I emphasized that an animator from the USA, the UK or Russia will never make a good anime, because the Japanese possess their own way of thinking and specific imagination. You will never create a character with the specific appearance if you possess a different way of thinking.

I asked a few questions about the Japanese behavior. Everybody knows that the Japanese cannot say ‘no’. I asked about this stereotype in order to understand it. I learnt that they are extremely polite and they avoid annoying and disappointing people. When our entrepreneur wants to sign a contract with the Japanese entrepreneur, he should be very careful. When the Japanese businessman is not interested in the suggested deal, he will say that he will definitely think about it. He will say that he requires time to make his decision. Doubtless, this misunderstanding can last for a few years. Therefore, it is important to know about this trait of character if you do not want to waste your time and nerves.

Intercultural communication interview is a very specific task. It is difficult to brainstorm the right questions, which will help you understand a different culture. I have learnt about the peculiarities of the Japanese behavior and psychology. For example, I was surprised that they do not have the separate words, which define blue and green colors. They have one word, which means these two colors at once. Therefore, do not be surprised when the Japanese says that the grass is blue.

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INTRODUCTION TO HUMAN COMMUNICATION - SPRING 2007

PROFESSOR CIRAULO

INTERCULTURAL INTERVIEW PAPER

ASSIGNMENT: Achieving competence as an interpersonal communicator in a diverse society is necessary to your personal and professional success. One way to enhance our understanding of interpersonal communication as a relationship-building activity is to engage in first hand dialogue with people from cultures other than your own. This assignment gives you the opportunity to engage in the dual perspective - honoring the perspective of the person with whom you are communicating as well as honoring your own perspective. You are also able to contrast your worldview with the perspective of someone with a different life experience than your own. This assignment will give you the opportunity to learn about culture and interpersonal communication by engaging in dialogue with people from cultures other than your own, most likely with different life experiences than yours.

PURPOSE: The purpose of this assignment is to explore and understand the ways in which culture influences the ways in which we communicate, form relationships with others and view the world in which we live. This assignment is designed to help you improve your competency in intercultural interpersonal communication.

FORMAT AND GRADING: The format and requirements for written assignments as described in the syllabus will apply (see "Grading Criteria"). Your paper must be six full pages. It must have a cover page which must include: a title, your name, the course name, my name, Copper Mountain College and the semester and year in which you wrote the paper. Any research you use in your paper will be cited according to A.P.A. standards and will have a "works cited" section on the final page. You will want to begin work on this project early in the semester. This paper is due by 5 p.m. on May 7th. Submit your paper via email with "YOUR NAME - Speech 1 - Intercultural Interview Paper" in the subject field. No late papers will be accepted for this assignment.

EVALUATION CRITERIA: In addition to the grading criteria for written assignments as described in the course syllabus, papers will be evaluated on three specific criteria. First, papers must demonstrate an understanding of the interpersonal communication concepts and principles we have discussed in class. Integrate, incorporate and apply as many IPC concepts as you see fit. Second, papers must analyze how those IPC concepts apply across the three cultures you select (yours, and the culture of your interviewees that are different than your own). Third, papers must demonstrate an effective and creative writing style, thoughtful reflection and insightful analysis.

PROCESS: Interview two people who belong to cultural groups different than your own. Note: think of "cultural" groups in the broadest sense of the term. For example, do not be limited by race or ethnicity - consider interviewing people who are different in terns of sexual orientation, physical ability or life experiences other than your own. Use some of the communities or cultures we've discussed - if you need help on how to find these folks, ask me.

You must conduct your interviews in person - not via the internet, email, telephone or any other technology-mediated communication - so that you can engage in full dialogue using mindful listening and honoring the dual perspective with the person you interview.

While it is easiest to interview friends or family, that is less interesting than finding two interviewees from cultures or communities other than your own whom you do not already know. Remember - when we engage in dialogue with people with whom we would not normally communicate, we are able to contrast our worldview with the worldview of others, we learn more about the world around us, and we learn more about ourselves. The more you demonstrate a willingness to step outside of your 'comfort zone' in this regard, the more I will understand your commitment to increase your competence as an interpersonal communicator through this project.

Your task in the interviews is to engage in first hand dialogue with your interviewees about how communication functions within their cultures - and how that is both different and similar to the way in which your culture communicates. You will use the results of your interviews to analyze how your own cultures communication practices compare with those of the cultures of your interviewees

Consider some of these IPC concepts that you might ask about in your interviews, but do not be limited by them:

- the creation and understanding of self

- language and verbal communication

- nonverbal communication

- gender roles and gender speech communities

- communication with families and friends

- communication with people within the culture (intracultural communication)

- communication with people from outside of the culture (intercultural communication)

- how emotions are communicated

- how conflicts are managed through communication

- how friendships are created and recreated through communication

- how romantic relationships are created and recreated through communication

Any IPC concept that we have discussed in class or is discussed in the text is eligible for discussion.

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