Chapter 6: Introduction to Cultural Communication

Chapter Learning Outcomes

In this chapter you will:

  1. Define Culture
  2. Define intercultural communication
  3. Discuss the effects of ethnocentrism.
  4. List several examples of common cultural characteristics.
  5. Describe international communication and the global marketplace
  6. Give examples of various styles of management, including Theory X, Y, and Z.

Culture is difficult to define, as there are several ways that culture is used in business contexts. For the purposes of this chapter, culture is defined as the ongoing negotiation of learned and patterned beliefs, attitudes, values, and behaviours. Unpacking the definition, we can see that culture shouldn’t be conceptualized as stable and unchanging. Culture is “negotiated,” and as you will learn later in this chapter, culture is dynamic, and cultural changes can be traced and analyzed to better understand why our society is the way it is. The definition also points out that culture is learned, which accounts for the importance of socializing institutions like family, school, peers, and the media. Culture is patterned in that there are recognizable widespread similarities among people within a cultural group. There is also deviation from and resistance to those patterns by individuals and subgroups within a culture, which is why cultural patterns change over time. Last, the definition acknowledges that culture influences your beliefs about what is true and false, your attitudes including your likes and dislikes, your values regarding what is right and wrong, and your behaviours. It is from these cultural influences that your identities are formed.

Chapter Acknowledgements

This chapter has been adapted from the following texts:


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Advanced Professional Communication Copyright © 2021 by Melissa Ashman; Arley Cruthers; eCampusOntario; Ontario Business Faculty; and University of Minnesota is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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