For the intercultural communication competency, I interviewed a manager of a restaurant in Texas that serve various cuisines from different parts of the world. The choice of this interviewee premised on my perception that cultures are best displayed in unconfined environments such as nightclubs, live performance shows, and restaurants. In such places, individuals of different socio-cultural inclinations come together and interact freely without retraining any social aspects (Scollon, Scollon, & Jones, 2011). Ideally, my focus on the Hispanic as a cultural group influenced my choice of a restaurant manager in Texas since the state has more than 90% of its population comprising of Hispanics. My interview covered various topical areas including aspects of the Hispanics that make it a distinct cultural group in the United States of America, its binding value systems, and norms.
I also explored whether the Hispanics are causal or formal in their interactions with one another (Scollon, Scollon, & Jones, 2011). To follow up on responses about the formality or otherwise of interactions among the Hispanics population, I prescribed proximate questions such as how much time on average does a Hispanic spend when exchanging pleasantries with the other? I also asked about the nature of inter-class interactions among the Hispanics such as a person of higher social caliber interacting with an individual of a lower socio-economic setting (Scollon, Scollon, & Jones, 2011). Furthermore, I asked about the respect that an average Hispanics accord to ranks and essence of titles on the mainstream Hispanic culture. For example, I perceived that in a conversation, the use of words such as sir, Mr. Dr. Professor and many other connote some sense of respect engendered by a particular cultural pattern.
A general assessment of the interactions among the Hispanics, I considered it fair to assess the respondents feelings about their verbal communication. The fundamental aspect of such an evaluation included the existence or lack of a unique tinge of courtesy and respect. I also asked about how the Hispanics that visit the restaurant show affection (Gudykunst & Mody, 2002). It is my understanding that just like any other human beings, the Hispanics also in one way or the other show affection in public. In pursuing this question, I expected to determine whether the Hispanics show affection through non-verbal cues including hugs, pats on the back, and pecks on the cheeks, verbally or through any alternative means.
I also asked about the way adult Hispanics treat their children in the presence of other older people (Scollon, Scollon, & Jones, 2011). For instance, I asked how a Hispanic mother would react if another adult enters a restaurant where all the seats are occupied, but a child is sitting. I anticipated that if the society has a specific inclination towards courtesy and respect for the old, then the interviewee would affirm that the mother would remove the child and allow the older adult to rest (Gudykunst & Mody, 2002). In my interview, I asked about the extent of politeness in interactions among the Hispanics and with other communities. Cultural pundits contend that the Hispanics are very polite; an aspect which outsiders may construe as being subservient or servile. Therefore, my interview intended to pursue this hypothesis to its logical conclusion.
Using theories of intercultural communication such as constructivism, I was able to comprehend the subjectivity and contextual aspects of responses hence able to distinguish between facts and innuendoes in the reactions (Hammer, 1990). The interview exposed me to some of the practical differences between theoretical concepts and reality. For instance, sometimes the interviewee provided a generalist impression of the culture in question without understanding the context in which the observation was made. Conceivably, people are inclined to behave differently within a different setting which must be incorporated in the assessment of the general culture.
Gudykunst, W. B., & Mody, B. (Eds.). (2002). A Handbook of international and intercultural communication. Sage.
Hammer, M. R. (1990). Theories of intercultural communication: Young Yun Kim and William B. Gudykunst (Editors) Newbury Park, CA: Sage.
Scollon, R., Scollon, S. W., & Jones, R. H. (2011). Intercultural communication: A discourse approach. John Wiley & Sons.
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