Chapters 3 and 4

After studying chapters 3 and 4 I think the thing that came most surprising for me was the anxiety/uncertainty management model. I just thought that it was very interesting how when we as humans interact with someone new or different from us that we build up anxiety in our minds. At first I didn’t really believe that that’s how I dealt with situations like that. However, the more I learned about this, the more I began to realize that that’s exactly how I deal with situations like that. Anytime, I see someone not acting or going along with what I think are the social norms then I begin to want to distance myself a little from that person and observe them from afar because I’m not quite sure what they’ll do next and I get kind of uncomfortable. This was just an overall interesting way to describe how we deal with people who are different from us.

With the video we recently watched, I thought it was interesting to see how another country like Australia views racial issues. Normally for me, I only really see how the United States deals with things like that through history, civil rights and other means. I also thought that it was interesting to see the roles reversed through this video. In our world I feel that unfortunately, the white male from the western world is pretty dominant in most things globally and so it was a good look to see what would happen if the roles were reversed. The video made me also think about what would happen if the roles had been reversed here in the United States between the Europeans and the Native Americans. 

Introduction and Chapters 1 and 2

Hey everyone. My name is Jordan Berger. I’m originally from a small dairy farming town right outside of Ogden, Utah called Farr West. I’m currently studying at communications at UVU and hoping to be a journalist one day. With the intercultural communications class that I’m in we just recently studied the first two chapters that were about what culture is, intercultural and cross-cultural communication. I actually really enjoy studying about other cultures even though I’ve only been out of the country once in my entire life (and it was only to Alberta, Canada). The point that really hit me between these two chapters was when we talked about cultural mores and how bias is reinforced by powerful groups and social structures. Other than when I’m in a class studying culture I don’t really think much about culture and how it affects my daily life. For me it’s crazy to see how much our own cultures really do affect us. For example, I agree that there are many social norms, values and beliefs that affect us greatly. I also think that a lot of times we don’t even think about it especially if we’ve been apart of the culture for a while. There obviously is a specific culture here in the United States but I would say that there’s even one here in Utah and there was even one in my hometown. In my hometown, almost everyone knows everyone and a lot of people are even related to each other. This is because most people when they grow up, leave for a little while for usually college but then they come right back to Farr West and live only a neighborhood or a few streets away from their siblings or parents. Whenever someone who was brand new moved into the town and wasn’t related to anyone else, they were seen as new and different. Not bad just different from the social norm. Everyone in that town is also very friendly to their neighbors and most people know everyone else. So neighborhood and city social gatherings are a very common thing where I’m from. This is something that is the social norm in that town and it’s because a powerful group (the big families in my hometown) keep traditions like that going. Because my family grew up in that culture, we were always very close with our extended family as well. That’s why I feel that it was strange for me when I got married and my wife automatically met all of my grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins and we’ve done many things with them since then but she’s not close with her extended family at all. In fact, I haven’t met most of them and everyone else I’ve only met once or twice. The funny thing is that it’s not like my wife grew up on the other side of the planet but she grew up in Highland, Utah. So we weren’t raided too far away from each other but there was already these differences between the cultures we grew up with. So going over these things during these first two chapters really made me think specifically about the cultures I grew up with.