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a learned system of meanings that fosters a particular sense of shared identity and community among its group members
consists of patterns of traditions, beliefs, values, norms, symbols and meanings that are shared among members

Intercultural Communication

balance between meanings in different cultures; work out code of meaning not identical to either culture, but somewhere in-between


prescription for appropriate behavior, what you SHOULD do
- Ex: if a stranger has an ipod on you shouldn't talk their ear off


unspoken assumption about norms
- Ex: if someone is wearing headphones, they probably don't want to be disturbed.


what kind of cooperation does each person need to achieve their wanted perception
- positive facework: need something from others to uphold identity ("talking him up")
- negative facework: don't want to be imposed on or constrained

Cultural identities

identifying with certain culture; believing in same things/values makes part of that culture

Relational identities

shared relational culture "privately transacted system of understandings;" smaller scale (compared to cultural)
- Ex: husband and wife, best friends - inside jokes/saying one word and knowing what it means when others may not


ability to successfully negotiate mutually acceptable identities in interaction; effective management of relational and cultural identities


- task: accomplishing a task
- relational: cohesiveness of group; how they got along; willing to continue working together
- personal: how you feel about performance and working with the group


expect independence; expect competition; care more about individual


equal sharing; consultation rather than initiative; care more about the group, more cooperation


attempting to "fit in" with the dominant group; emphasizing commonalities to blend into dominant group
- Ex: dressing like the dominant group


attempting to influence/educate dominant group members on the non-dominant group; attempting at dispelling stereotypes imposed on the non-dominant group
- Ex: black women explaining their hair to white people at work


a way to maintain the differences between the dominant group and non-dominant groups
- Ex: physical avoidance


The trend toward increased cultural connectedness between people throughout the world


unique entity; selfish (related to individualism)


individual connected to other members (collectivism)

Critical incidents

An event that has the power to shape or influence the group positively or negatively. Group problems, problem behaviors, critical issues, and critical first-time behaviors to illustrate this.




a PLAN of action to achieve goals


action to achieve certain goals; similar to facework, but can be done between equals

Cultural capital

how much you got from the culture
- less cultural capital = non-dominant group; a way to keep dominant group in control

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