• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Bridging Differences: Effective Intergroup Communication is based on the assumption that the processes operating when we communicate with people from other groups are the same processes operating when we communicate with people from our own groups. Author William B. Gudykunst has written this book from the perspective of "communicating with strangers" and addresses how factors related to our group memberships (e.g., inaccurate and unfavorable stereotypes of members of other cultures and ethnic groups) can cause us to misinterpret the messages we receive from members of those groups.   Designed for students taking courses in Intercultural Communication or Intergroup Communication, Bridging Differences is also useful for many courses in Cultural Studies, Anthropology, Sociology, and Management.

Building Community with Strangers
Building community with strangers

As indicated inChapter 1, the late Mother Teresa saw spiritual deprivation (i.e., a feeling of emptiness associated with separation from our fellow humans) as the major problem facing the world today (Jampolsky, 1989). Over the years, the social code in the United States has changed from one of self-restraint to self-gratification (J. Collier, 1991). The focus on self-gratification has led to a rise in selfishness and disconnection from others. One way to deal with spiritual deprivation, selfishness, and disconnection from others is to build community in our lives.

I begin this chapter with a discussion of the nature of community. Next, I examine the characteristics of community, community in public life, civic engagement, and diversity and community. Following this, ...

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