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    Communication in a Multicultural Enviroment

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    Could you please help me with these 4 questions?

    Describe an intercultural transaction in which you have participated during which one or more parties demonstrated an application of kinesics different from your cultural norm. How did you react to the difference? Did the difference prove to be a barrier to communication?
    How is it possible that individuals speaking the same language may still have to confront cultural barriers to communication?
    How do language patterns manifest themselves in culturally specific thought processes, such as orientation to problem-solving and organization?
    DQ 4
    Are certain hand gestures, or use of hands for different tasks or actions, considered offensive in some cultures? Provide examples.

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    Solution Preview

    Dear Student,
    I have decided to include a small explanation on kinesics - I am sure you have covered this in your studies already but just in case I have added it to supplement your current material. Thank you for using Brainmass.

    OTA 105878/Xenia Jones

    Communication across Cultural Barriers & Kinesics

    In America, daily communication between people is understood to be enveloped in the American 'culture' - norms, practices, beliefs & perspectives that influence and dictate meaning - how action, words and messages are perceived. Understand that while one can completely learn a language, when one is not proficient in the culture that speaks that language and where one wishes to communicate in, meanings can be confused. This usually happens more often than one can imagine. Consider any foreign tourist on a brief visit to the US - they have learned the English language to communicate, yes. It's a different story communicating in that medium alone, without using their own native tongue, to express what they mean so that Americans can completely understand them so that either communicator does not offend the other by committing a cultural impasse.

    I have been witness to something like this myself when a small group of Japanese tourists, well-meaning and happily was snapping away at the Washington Monument. They wanted a group picture taken and at that time, the nearest person was an African American security guard - so one of the old ladies called to him, "Excuse me Mr. Negro security man, please can you take photo of us?" Negro is seen as a tad derogatory when not spoken by Blacks to refer to each other and the guard did not take it lightly. The old lady could not understand what was what - in her mind she was polite enough. If you analyze the situation, the old lady wanted to ask for the help of the security guard to take their group photo - easy enough to communicate out, right? Was it possible to have not used words at all then to communicate what the old lady wanted to ask to the guard without offending his sensibilities? Perhaps, but kinesics could have been the answer or it could have aided or enhanced the process.

    Kinesics is non-verbal communication embedded in body language, actions & facial expressions. If the old lady came up to the guard, smiled at him, showed her camera, pointed to her group and said, "Please can you take photo of us?" - That would have worked just fine. Kinesics is an extension of speech when we communicate with people face to face - when a mom hugs her child and says 'I love you' warmly, or when a person says the words 'Yeah I'm not angry' but that very person's kinetic action is contrary - teeth grinding, fists clenched, words forced, face contorted in what appears a sort of anger being controlled. Kinesics can lead people to real meaning beyond speech. This is why kinesics is important in criminal investigation just as it is of great importance to ...

    Solution Summary

    The solution provides an explanation on Kinesics as it relates to communication and goes on to discuss cultural barriers to communication. Each Question in the original problem (see long description) are answered and explanation of language and meaning-making in discourse is explained. The solution is extensive and tackles the problems from a sociological perspective. It is in the form of 1,941-word essay following the APA-format. A word version is attached for easy printing.