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Honorio Gonzalez

EDU 533
Intercultural Competence
Chapter Notes- Chapter 1
Explain the purpose of this book- p. 2.
The purpose of this book is to provide the readers with conceptual tools for understanding
how cultural differences can affect the readers own interpersonal communication. Some
practical suggestions are offered to the readers concerning the adjustments necessary to
achieve competence when dealing with these cultural differences. This is accomplished
by examining the forces that create the need for increased attention to intercultural
communication competence. (p. 2)
List and explain the five imperatives for intercultural competence.
Demographic- Recent census figures provide a glimpse into the shape of the changing
demographics of the U.S. population (p. 3). People are also becoming more comfortable
with multiple racial and cultural identities (p. 3). Census figures indicate that cultural
diversity is a nationwide phenomenon (p. 3). This means that people are becoming more
intercultural competent due to the changing demographic in the U.S. The demographic
landscape is also allowing for bilingualism to become more commonplace in the U.S. and
therefore, allowing intercultural competence to do the same.
Technological- Today, the global village is an image that is used to describe the
worldwide of interconnections that modern technologies have created (p. 6). Technology
allows and facilitates human interactions across the globe and in real time (p. 7). These
had increased the urgency for intercultural competence because of the widespread
availability of technologies and long distance transportations, intercultural competence is
now as important as it ever has been (p. 8). This means that as the world becomes smaller
and more connected, we have to become intercultural competent because this is needed in
order to operate in a more connected world.
Economic- Globalization-the integration of capital, technology, and information across
national borders-is creating a global marketplace (p. 8). Therefore, U.S. economic
relationships require global interdependence and intercultural competence, since
economic growth or retrenchment in one part of the world now reverberates and affects
many others (p. 8). One example of this would be the U.S. banking crisis that occurred in
2008 and led the country into a recession. This affected the economies and currencies of
countries worldwide. Which is why economic competence is as important as intercultural
competence since the two are linked and what affects one affects the other and vice-versa.
Peace- The vision of interdependence among cultural groups throughout the world and
the United States had led Robert Shuter to declare that culture is the single most
important global communication issue that humans face (p. 10). The need to understand
and appreciate those who differ from ourselves has never been more important (p. 10).
The importance of this can be seen today in the wars that rage not only in Africa and the
Middle East but around the world also due in part to there no being any intercultural
communication present. The need to be able to understand different cultures can pave the
way for these conflicts to be resolved faster if intercultural communication can be applied
and understood. Furthermore, the peace imperative for intercultural communications is
exemplified by the goals and experiences of the athletes and fans of the Olympics (p. 10).

Interpersonal- The demographics, technological, economic, and peace imperatives all

combine to create a world in which human interactions are dominated by culture, cultural
differences, and the ability of humans to understand and interact within multiple cultural
frameworks (p. 10). Furthermore, the challenge of communicating in an intercultural
world occurs in our families, homes, work setting, schools, and neighborhoods (p. 11).
Which is why learning intercultural communication in interpersonal relationships is of
great importance. It allows us to participate in our communities and societies in an
intercultural world. The challenge of the 21st century and this book are to understand and
to appreciate cultural differences and to translate that understanding into competent
interpersonal communication (p. 12).
Define communication
Communication can be defined and interpreted in many various ways. The book states
that communication is a symbolic, interpretive, transactional, contextual process in which
people create shared meanings (p. 12). Communication is symbolic because symbols are
central to the communication process because they represent the shared meanings that are
communicated (p. 12). Communication is interpretive because whenever people
communicate, they must interpret symbolic behaviors of others and assign significance to
some of those behaviors in order to create as meaningful account of others actions (p.
Communication is transactional because it implies that all participants in the
communication process work together to create and sustain the meanings that develop (p.
15). Communication is contextual because it takes place within a setting or situation (p.
17). The physical context, or where the actual location takes place and the social context,
or what is expected of the participants varies in interactions (p. 17). The interpersonal
context refers to the expectations people have about the behaviors of others as a result of
differences in the relationships between them (p. 18). Communication is a process
because people, relationships, activities, objects and experiences can be describes in static
terms (p. 18). Furthermore, communication involves shared meanings because the
interpretive and transactional nature of communication suggests that correct meanings are
not just out there to be discovered (p. 18).
Since I am planning to go to Japan in the future, there are many applications that can be
applied to how I will address the teachers and students and how I will be address by them
in return. As I have found, honorifics not only play a big part in Japan, but also in Asia as
a whole, I would have to know how to address my fellow teachers and students. I would
also have to know how to address them in a formal and informal setting. This can
determine how I would be perceived in Japan once I got there. It would also determine
how others treated me and how long I would stay in Japan due to the experience I would
have there. This is what is it important to know how to address people in Japan, it will
determine how one is perceived and treated, all which I have now learned in time. This is
why intercultural competence and intercultural communication are of great importance to
me and will be once I am in Japan.
Biblical Links
Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another love. Ephesians

This verse comes to minds when I think of going overseas. I would have to be patient
because not only is it a virtue from God but also because it is part of Intercultural
competence. I would have to go overseas completely humble, gentle, and with love. This
is because this would help not only with my host culture but also in my personal
relationship with God and also future interpersonal relationships with people of different