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 3: Understanding Group Differences
Understanding Group Differences
In the previous chapter, I discussed how cultural differences influence our communication with strangers. Culture, however, is only one of our group memberships that influences our communication with strangers. We have many other group memberships that also affect our communication. In this chapter, I examine how our social identities based on our ethnicities, our genders, our ages, our social classes, and whether or not we have disabilities influence our communication. My emphasis is on how our ethnic identities influence our communication with strangers. In order to understand how these group memberships influence our communication, it is necessary to begin with how we form social identities based on our memberships in ingroups.
We are members of many groups that are important ...