On communication in the ALGC

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Hi everyone. I hope you are all enjoying the break. While waiting for the new course I have been doing some interesting reading mainly in the area of understanding communication processes in intercultural settings like ours.

Being such a diverse cohort also entails that we are bound – as it happened – to stumble across issues typical of communicating across cultures. I find the following excerpt from Dialogue process as communication training for multicultural organizations by Kazuma Matoba very indicative of the kind of situations our cohort find itself in. Even though the distinction between “collectivistic” and “individualistic” cultures may sometimes be arbitrary, the presence of such traits in each of us and their influence on our intragroup communication is – I believe – undeniable. They are also well-represented in the overall structure of the ALGC.

Here is the quote:

Gudykunst/Kim (1992, 157) maintain that a primary function of person-based individualistic communication is “to express one’s ideas and thoughts as clearly, logically and persuasively as possible, so that the speaker can be fully recognized for his individuality in influencing others” and for her/his self-motivated purposes. In the group-based collectivistic approach to communication, verbal communication primarily serves the function of enhancing collective integration and harmony rather than promoting the speaker’s individuality. Consequently, this group-based communication seems to lack a sense of argument and persuasion. According to Bohm (1996), the main concept of dialogue process strikes a balance between the individualistic and collectivistic communication and can show us how to enter into the sphere of ‘between’ (see 3.1.).

The whole article is available at:

http://www.transcultural-dialogue.com/documents/dialogue_process.pdf

Safe travels everyone!

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