• 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.

Being Perceived as Competent Communicators
Being perceived as competent communicators

In the previous chapter, I discussed exchanging messages with strangers. When we exchange messages with strangers, we may perceive them to be competent or incompetent communicators. Strangers also have perceptions about whether we are competent communicators. My purpose in this chapter is to look at what it means to be perceived as competent communicators in intergroup encounters. I begin by defining perceived communication competence. Following this, I examine the three components of perceived competence: motivation, knowledge, and skills.

Perceived Competence

In everyday usage, competence implies adequate, sufficient, and/or suitable (Wiemann & Bradac, 1989). Given this usage, we see people who get by and manage to avoid the pitfalls and traps of miscommunication as competent communicators. Misinterpreting strangers' messages ...

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