REFLECTIVE ESSAY ON INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION 2
Interpersonal communication is important for many reasons. According to the textbook, there are six reasons for studying intercultural communication,
“including the peace imperative, the economic imperative, the technological
imperative, the demographic imperative, the self-awareness imperative, and the
ethical imperative” (Martin, J.N. and Nakayama, T.K., 2014, p. 24). . In this
paper, interpersonal communication, including interpersonal discrimination and conflict, popular culture influence, and effective communication will be explored. Discrimination can be found almost anywhere. It used to be thought that discrimination was mainly between males and females or different races, but discrimination is much more than racial or gender discrimination. Interpersonal
conflict is defined as “conflict that occurs between individuals rather than groups”
(Martin, J.N. and Nakayama, T.K., 2014, p. G-
4). “Recent studies have also
suggested that interpersonal discrimination, including race-related perceptions,
may be associated with excess general and abdominal fat” (Hunte, 2011, p.
1233). Interpersonal discrimination is often found among kids at school or in extracurricular activities. Interpersonal discrimination among adults can often times be found in the
workplace. “Obese individuals are frequently stigmatized
because of their weight in many domains of daily life, including employment,
health care, schools, the media, and interpersonal relationships” (Puhl, R.M., and
King, K.M., 2013, p. 117). There are many careers where obese people often
seem to be excluded, including on the news, and in health care. It isn’t very
often that one will find an overweight person as a news anchor.
When I registered for this class, I knew we were going to be Skyping refugees in Germany and other individuals who are helping with the “refugee crisis”, but I never expected for these Skype interviews to have such an impact on me, personally and on my learning experience. After Skyping with Ghadeer, Thomas, Anne and Sylvia, I now feel almost directly connected and more knowledgeable about refugees and also the current situation regarding refugees in Europe. Overall, the first two Skype interviews impacted me as a critical thinker and subsequently, I believe Skype interviews have great potential to further intercultural communication skills and thus, should be used in numerous classes at Connecticut College.
As a result of the Skype interviews providing a new learning opportunity, I believe that they have great potential to facilitate intercultural communication skills. Consequently, other courses at Connecticut College should follow, depending on the course, by supporting their existing syllabus with Skype interviews. Skype interviews add a unique measure to courses and the interactive nature of Skype provided me with a new and different opportunity to learn outside of the usual lecture that most classes have. Skype also provides humanization and intercultural communication aspects to what one is learning about. For example, over the course of the semester, we have learned a lot about refugees and the different situations they have had to endure. We have watched videos about them, read articles about what many refugees’ situation looks like and have also discussed the different policies regarding refugees and their status as refugees. Even though, I really enjoyed all of the information that we learned, refugees, and their situation in Germany and elsewhere seemed very distant to me. However, Skyping with refugees like Ghadeer and other individuals who work with refugees humanized and put into perspective that the many facts and statistics we have learned about are connected to real people and cultures. Therefore, I think other classes that learn about similar topics would greatly benefit from Skype interviews because they have the potential to advance intercultural communication skills.