Pop Culture Problems in Intercultural Communication

Since the beginning of time, it is a known fact that humanity has had different ways of communications and beliefs or cultures in order to understand one another. In the last two decades, popular culture and intercultural communication have proven this concept. In today’s world, which has become a global village, more people are travelling, seeking educational as well as business opportunities, communication across cultures is becoming increasingly significant. Frequent cross border movements resulting in growing diversity between cultures is taking place and as a result, communication breakdown is inevitable. Cultural background is a key factor in determining how people will understand and interpret communication and culture. That being said, Cultural differences tend to pose various blocks in the process of interaction. This therefore, leads to problem causes of intercultural communication from popular cultures.

They are several problem causes of popular culture; Anxiety, language, assuming similarities instead of differences, stereotypes, modern technology, nonverbal misinterpretations and ethnocentricity to mention but a few. The first cause is experience of anxiety. This cause is common when people enter into new environments in which they are not familiar with. People tend to be most anxious when surrounded by unfamiliar settings, which subconsciously makes them focus on their feeling and neglect their surroundings. Secondly, the language factor. People have tendencies of picking up new vocabulary from different cultures of which the cultural differences can lead to miscommunication. For example, when a host from the western culture asks a guest from the east to stay for dinner. Guests from the east consider this rude and therefore decline the offer because the offer is a first time offer.

The third cause is assuming similarity instead of difference. Cultures have many differences in between them. A person should not assume that everyone in the same environment practices similar cultures. Cultural difference is a sensitive issue and making assumptions can be dangerous. Cultural difference will continue to exist because people are raised up differently.

Another problem cause is stereotypes. With this type of cause, when people are faced with anxiety on how to interact with new cultures, they tend to resort to a false comfort of stereotype. A stereotype is a general belief of a culture of which can be both positive and negative.

In conclusion, the key to understanding different popular cultures in relation to intercultural communication is to have the ability to learn and communicate from other cultures.