Accommodating intercultural encounters elaborations and extensions

Even as individuals of differing ethnic backgrounds live and work in closer proximity than ever before, issues of ethnicity and ethnic identity frequently bring about volatile responses in many people.Indeed, hardly a day passes without reports of some new incidents of ethnic conflict in some part of the world.Associative and dissociative behaviors are not two mutually exclusive categories but vary in the degree of associative social meaning that is being communicated.Behaviors that are closer to the associative end of this continuum facilitate the communication process by increasing the likelihood of mutual understanding, cooperation, and convergence or the coming-together of the involved persons.An often-investigated psychological attribute is the communicator's cognitive complexity, or the mental capacity to process incoming information in a differentiated and integrated manner.As explained by George Kelly (1955) and by James Applegate and Howard Sypher (1988), individuals of high cognitive complexity tend to use more refined understanding of incoming messages and to display more personalized messages. Young Yun Kim gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).In this group-level definition, ethnicity becomes the objective (i.e., externally recognizable) character, quality, or condition of a social group as well as an individual's membership in an ethnic group.Likewise, anthropological approaches to ethnicity emphasize the group-level collective cultural patterns including language, norms, beliefs, myths, values, and worldviews, as well as symbolic emblems, artifacts, and physical characteristics—from foods, flags, folk songs, folk gestures and movements, and folk dances to skin colors and facial features.

Such a cognitive tendency to perceive others as unique individuals is variously labeled in social psychology as "differentiation," "particularization," "decategorization," "personalization," and "mindfulness." The associative orientation is expressed outwardly in what Cynthia Gallois and her colleagues (1995) refer to as "convergent" verbal and nonverbal encoding behaviors.

Robert Hopper (1986) explains such an ethnocentric tendency when he focuses on "Shiboleth schema" as the way in which people consider the dialects and accents that are displayed by non-mainstream groups to be defects and therefore objects of discrimination.

Associative and dissociative interethnic communication behaviors are directly linked to the internal characteristics of the communicator.

Psychologists have tried to identify factors within individuals and the immediate social situations that help explain ingroup communication behaviors (i.e., between people of the same background) and outgroup communication behaviors (i.e., between people from different backgrounds).

Sociologists have examined interethnic relations mainly from the perspective of society, focusing on macro-structural factors such as social stratification and resource distribution.

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