Sample Essay on Intercultural Communication

Intercultural Communication

Question 1

Creating cultural stereotypes is one of the biggest and commonest mistakes that many people make. I am a social person and have friends from all walks of life. However, I do have these two awesome Black American friends, Amos and Lucinda who have taught me a lot when it comes to accepting the nature of people and dealing with differences in opinion. Amos works as a lead engineer at a corporation here in Monrovia while Lucinda is a nurse in a local hospital. The Black Americans are always stereotyped to be loud, aggressive and very abusive in nature and having an inner concealed loathe for the whites because of the racial tension and because of the post slavery subtle wrangles. Though it is against the constitution and the second amendment rights, racial bigotry is well known to secretly co – exist within the Black American society.

I know my friends very well, and I do understand them – at least to some degree because mutual understanding is ideal. Amos is the typical black American stereotype, at times I do blame let him know that his education has not helped refine him and free him from racial discrimination. Though his morals are well within the law but when it comes to the discrimination, some morals are not entirely illegal and prosecutable but are entirely unethical and uncouth. Surprisingly, Amos is this person who never rattles you out, especially if you are friends. Your friendship is your bond. Lucinda on the other hand, is this charming and lovely colored American lady, who believes in the rights of all for being people. She believes in making the world a better place and advocates for the rights of people free from racial subjugation, religious affiliation or sexual orientation. Lucinda is so non – judgmental and believes that discrimination of any sort is entirely fueling further division and drawing the nation back to the old dark days when racial subjugation took precedence.

The dangers of stereotyping come in when a person views Lucinda and uses her skin color to judge her. The fact that she is black does not mean she is violent, aggressive, uneducated, unrefined or racially polarized. Her society should not be used as an opportunity of pinning her down and giving her vices that are entirely not hers. The characters of both my friends can attest to the fact that stereotyping is fallacious. Amos has proven me wrong in some instances when it comes to his behavior and treatment of people of different races and cultures. As the chief engineer, at times he is granted chance to choose his own team to work with. Knowing Amos so well, albeit, he would choose all black American people to be his team members. However, in a recent interview, he conducted a transparent session and did a selection based on qualification, proficiency and experience. I personally gave him kudos, but he told me that when it comes to his social responsibility and where the lives of others might be on the line, his personal unsettled scores are best kept at bay for the good of all.

Amos’ character emanates from the fact that his uncle was a case of collateral damage in a shoot-out between the police and some thugs. Uncle Benny was a soldier who got shot by a white police officer in a cross fire between a mob and the police. Owing to their close relationship, he developed a disliking for the white people pinning them as the reason for his uncle’s demise. This is however untrue, only one police officer shot his uncle and not all the white folks. Though Amos and Lucinda are all members of the same black society, they have different perceptions when it comes to their stances and beliefs despite the fact that they were born and raised by people of the same color. Therefore viewing the skin color of the both of my friends and assuming that they will act in a particular way because they belong to a particular culture is erroneous. People ought to be respected and judged on the basis of merit independent of their political, religious or racial affiliation.

Question 2

The communication between peter and Hansen is ineffective. First, Hansen misinterprets Peter’s laughter to mean that it is a mock to him. He vents his anger on Peter and asks him to leave his car. Peter was simply marveling at the way in which they are similar form the look of the Saint Christopher’s statuette which is similar to that of his own. He is moved and toils to pull out his own statuette from his pocket which Hansen misinterprets as a move for his gun and ends up shooting thereby killing peter in cold blood. To make matters worse, Hansen dumps the body by the road and torches his car to destroy the evidence.

The interaction between Hansen and Peter may have improved if Peter became conscious of their cultural differences and tension that existed between them owing to the fact that they belong to different cultures. More importantly, this would have assisted Peter in accepting their differences and modes of communication. For one, the intercultural sensitivity would have made Peter to notice Hansen’s distrust and fostered his chance to assuring him that he meant no harm but marveled at the Saint Christopher’s statuette which was similar to his. Moreover, Peter would have maintained the conversation to be formal owing to his bad reputation of crime.

A handshake in the African culture is a show of peace. However, in one particular culture, handshakes are only made in admission of a deal, that is, the handshake means that a deal has been sealed. I had a meeting with a friend from such a culture, we talk in depth but we never reached a consensus. He tried to convince me several times but I kept denying the terms, I was running late so I had to shake his hand as a way of saying goodbye and keeping peace. Surprisingly he mistook this gesture for a deal seal.

Question 3

In the film Crush, Jean has stereotyped Hispanics as a result of being carjacked by Peter and Anthony. The locksmith Daniel Ruiz is a Hispanic, Jean complains to Rick about the Hispanic prompting loudly that the Daniel might copy the set of keys of their Cabot house and give it to their gang banger friends. This annoys Jean who leaves the set of keys on the kitchen counter of Jane. In this context Daniel Ruiz is a victim of stereotype in which Jane connects her demise of being carjacked to his tendencies of helping out as a locksmith.

The loud nature in which Jean complains to Rick about Daniel is a reminder of the despite, undermine and condemnation that Jean attributes to Hispanics. At the first glance of the tattoos of Daniel, she judges him and attributes him to belonging to a particular gang which might be out to harm them just like Anthony and Peter who earlier on robbed them. On the other hand, Daniel Ruiz feels victimized and undermined. He reacts to his current situation by leaving the keys of Jean on the kitchen counter.

There are circumstances in which I have stereotyped the Arabs and gotten very worry of any Arab that came close for friendship. This is majorly because the Arabs have been sources of terrorism all over the world. This has really affected me but, nowadays, I have learnt to accept them for who they are and I do believe that there are some among them who fight for the rights and freedoms of all. Confronting my situation was hard, but through counselling and constant communication with some of my Arab friends, I have adjusted accordingly and stopped stereotyping people for whichever reason.

Question 4

The first stereotype is the gun shop owner who sold guns to Farhad and his daughter Dorri. After being impatient with waiting for the argument between Farhad and Dorri to end, he calls Farhad “Osama” and orders the security to escort him out of the shop. Osama is an abusive name to mean a terrorist. He dismisses the relentless efforts of Farhad explaining that he is an American citizen.

The second stereotype is the white undercover police officer who shot and killed his counterpart undercover black police officer. The white police officer had shot and killed three black Americans including this undercover cop. All this was as a result of cultural stereotypes which led to mistaken identity and murder of people of a particular race.

The last stereotype is Jean who stereotyped Daniel Ruiz based on his tattoos. According to her, she was suspicious that Daniel Ruiz could copy their set of keys and surrender such to his gang banger friends. This spoilt the mood for Daniel’s work in protest, he quits the scene leaving the set of keys on the kitchen counter. Should I switch places with the gun shop owner, I would have been a victim of the same stereotype because I would not have been aware of the intentions of Farhad and her daughter Dianne.

Most people think that I am aggressive violent and vindictive because I am huge tall and black. The space that I am given at the walk way is very wide, little do they know how interactive, social and fun I am. Stereotypes are the causes for lack of understanding in multicultural communication. It is thus very important to refrain from stereotyping in order to make communication interactive.


Question 5

Cultural communication style is important in the understanding between individuals belonging to different cultures and ethnic backgrounds. The film Crush is a construct of racial bigotry and conflicts that emanate from cultural stereotypes and misunderstandings due to cultural styles of communication. This makes it very vital when it comes to establishing contact and deducing exactly what is needed by the other party in a conversation. Intriguing is the fact that this film does not take stances at supporting one race and leaving out the other – that is, making one race the victim and the other the villain. Crush reveals the elements of racial bigotry and cultural misunderstanding in true light without concealing particular cultural stereotypes.

The argument between Farhad the Persian and his daughter Dorri over the revolver to purchase from the gun store was misconstrued by the shop owner for Osama after growing impatient. Farhad is escorted out of the store by a security guard under instructions from the shop owner while throwing culturally polarized stereotypical insults at Farhad despite his vain attempt to explain to the shop owner that he is an American citizen. The differences in cultural styles of communication were sparked off by accent and lack of mutual understanding on the part of the shop owner. Osama is an Afghan, mistaking Farhad for Osama was simply because Farhad was arguing with his daughter in an Arab language that could not be discerned by the shop owner. For one, Farhad and Dorri were arguing and the shop owner could not understand whether the two were planning on something sinister that did not apply to the purchase or the purchase itself. He therefore uses Osama as reference to the way the two interacted to capture their attention and show distaste for the language.

The best way to communicate between the shop owner and Farhad would have been in a language that they both understand, most preferably English. Tensions were high in the United States shortly after the terrorist attack on the world trade center. The shop owner cannot be absolved from the blame entirely owing to his cultural stereotypical insults that he was hurling at Farhad. However, efficiency in communication would have been achieved if Farhad and his daughter would have argued in English because this would make the shop owner comfortable and would give them time to establish the right type of revolver that they wanted to purchase. Moreover, Farhad should have employed some decorum in communicating with his daughter by excusing himself while communicating with his daughter. The actions of the shop owner show a cultural stereotype who is unwilling to listen and very unbending in his choices, especially with regard to throwing Farhad out of his shop.

I visited Africa for some weeks and was used to doing transactions in liquid cash rather than the payment through deductions from my credit card. I got used to this system; little did I know that this was going to cost me. Once back in the United States, I went to check for my mortgage payment deductions because there was an issue with my housing that I wanted to clear. Upon completing with the service, I stashed out one hundred dollars the way I usually do in Africa as payment of service. An officer came charged at me from the corner and questioned me my intention of handing the money in the reception. Owing to my skin color, the officer stereotyped me to be engaging in corrupt dealings with the receptionist. However, we cleared the air once I explained that the move was erroneous because I had visited Africa recently and used to stashing out liquid cash as payment of services delivered. Moreover, the audio recording cleared me. Communication can only be effective if cultural stereotype are withdrawn and judgment is dispensed on the basis of the law and the constitution. Interacting with a different culture in Africa sparked off the supposed bribe menace that was embarrassing coupled with the stereotype for my black heritage. Most crimes, whether civil or criminal are stereotyped to the Black Americans this is contradiction with the law and should be kept at bay at all costs. Moreover, the discrimination against the whites by the colored society should stop. Socialization and communication should be well within the law.