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.
Chapter 2: Understanding Cultural Differences
Understanding Cultural Differences
Our cultures have a tremendous influence on the way we communicate, whether we are aware of it or not. We generally are not aware of how our cultures affect our behavior. To communicate effectively with strangers, we must understand how our cultures influence our communication. In this chapter, I examine how cultural similarities and differences influence the way we communicate with strangers. We can use our knowledge of cultural similarities and differences in communication to make accurate predictions of and explanations for strangers' behavior. There also are several other sources of diversity that affect our communication every day. I, therefore, discuss how ethnicity, gender, disability, age, and social class influence our communication in the next chapter.
Culture has been viewed as ...