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Culture and Communication Paper

Culture and Communication Paper

COM 200 Week 2 Assignment 1

The Culture and Communication paper

Culture and communication are interwoven societal aspects that are mutually dependent. Communication is utilized in the creation of cultures. Culture influences how we interact with one another. In the increasingly multicultural world, it is essential to create cultural awareness and depict its links with communication as communication across cultures is very vital. Lack of cultural awareness may lead to communication breakdowns or misunderstandings in various contexts, which ought not to occur. It is necessary for any individual who aspires to be an effective communicator to understand the links between culture and communication, the influence of culture on the different forms of communication, and the relationship between culture and various themes that are central to it, such as gender and individualism and collectivism.

Explain two points detailing why it is so important to be aware of culture when thinking about communication, utilizing Bevan.

According to Bevan (2020), communication is a social activity since it is a process where those involved share common meaning using both verbal and nonverbal messages in different contexts. Bevan (2020) defines culture as a collective set of customs, values, beliefs, and norms of a group of people. Culture is a process since it has to follow the above sets to fit into society. For the above sets to form culture, they must be shared by the group of people. As such, it is important to understand culture while thinking about communication to incorporate the aspects of the process and shared meaning, which are core social aspects making up communication. These aspects are needed to sustain relationships.

Communication has been found to advance cultural aspects since it is the process through which cultural characteristics, including customs, values, roles, beliefs, laws, rituals, and norms, are shared. Bevan (2020) reveals culture and communication share certain things such as process and share meaning. Therefore, the relationship between communication and culture in different contexts is interlinked; hence, the need to always consider culture while thinking about communication.

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Explain how culture shapes verbal and nonverbal communication, utilizing Bevan.

Culture is a fundamental aspect of communication that determines what is right to say (verbal communication) or to show using body language (non-verbal communication). Even though different cultures may utilize the same language, each culture must have a unique set of rules that govern its use of language. For instance, while both Britons and Americans use the same language, English, their communication styles vary widely. Some communication aspects may be acceptable by the Britons yet offensive in the American culture. All global cultures have established communication ideals that must be applied in all their communication contexts to make communication effective (Bevan 2020). These ideals vary across cultures. Some verbal communication dynamics that vary from one culture to another include firmness in speech, choice of words, and the utilization of tone. Similar words may, for instance, have varied meanings in different cultures. Similarly, a certain tone during communication may indicate anger in a particular culture and show calmness in another.

Non-verbal communication is usually more affected by culture compared to verbal communication. Most of the forms of non-verbal communication are shaped by culture. Gestures, for example, vary significantly from one culture to another. Some gestures in a particular culture may be offensive in another culture. The utility of the other forms of non-verbal communication is also determined by culture. The use of Eye-contact, proximity, touch, facial expressions, and posture vary greatly among cultures. Some cultures fully discourage physical contact, touch, and eye contact in some contexts. This implies that people ought to be extremely aware of their non-verbal traits while communicating in intercultural contexts.

Describe the relationship between culture and two other themes that are central to culture from this list, utilizing Bevan:
Relationship between Culture and Gender(Chapters 2 and 3)

Culture plays a fundamental role in shaping the gender-based roles and behavior of different sexes in society (Bevan, 2020). In different contexts, it has always being debated whether women are better than men. This is the notion of perceiving the two genders unequal is brought about by the culture. The influence of culture on gender roles and classification can be said to have led to the development of gender culture. Gender culture is defined as how both men and women feel they have been affected by societal cultures, and this influences their decisions and behavior in different contexts. For example, in many African cultures, while growing up, boys and girls are segregated, where they are both encouraged to socialize and interact mainly with the persons of their own gender. It is assumed that this helps them to learn their gender’s roles and norms as well as a distinct culture. As a result, this leads to behavioral and communication differences between men and women.

Relationship between Culture and Individualism and collectivism

Individualism-based culture concentrates on self-sufficiency, individual rights, and independence. Collectivism-based culture, on the other hand, emphasizes group interaction, obligations of others, and interdependence (Kotlaja, 2018). The type of culture adopted by society affects many functions, including how been learn and communicate (Bevan, 2020). For example, people from the collectivist culture will always talk on how they can sacrifice their self-interest for the betterment of the group. Their communication will be group-centered, unlike individuals from the individualistic cultures who feel that their self-interests and goals are more important than that of the group.

Conclusion

Culture is a vital tool in determining how we communicate with one another. A greater understanding of cultures in all contexts enhances communication. It is possible to offend people from other cultures unknowingly either through verbal or non-verbal communication, as different cultures have different communication ideals. Culture also influences the perceptions of gender, such as gender roles and the concepts of individualism and collectivism. While some cultures encourage self-sufficiency, others promote shared responsibility.

References

Bevan, J. L. (2020). Making connections: Understanding interpersonal communication (3rd            ed.). https://content.ashford.edu

Kotlaja, M. M. (2018). Cultural contexts of individualism vs. collectivism: Exploring the relationships between family bonding, supervision, and deviance. European Journal of Criminology, 17(3), 288-305. doi:https://doi.org/10.1177/1477370818792482

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