chapter  3
18 Pages

Understanding the intercultural communication process

WithMasami Nishishiba

Intercultural communication is defined as the interactive symbolic exchange process among individuals whose cultural frames of reference affect their attempt to negotiate shared meanings. Three key ideas are included in this definition are: a process of interactive symbolic exchange; a cultural frame of reference; and negotiation of shared meanings. The concepts of mindfulness, and the concept of mindlessness, have been applied to many areas, such as psychopathology, developmental psychology, education, political science, and communication. This chapter discusses principles to clarify the meaning and practice of being mindful. The three theoretical frameworks help examine the functions of mindfulness in the dynamics of intercultural communication: manage anxiety and uncertainty; accommodate different communications styles; and attribute meaning in the communication process. Communication accommodation theory proposes two types of accommodation: convergence and divergence. Convergence refers to a process where each person adapts a communication style to match the others. Divergence refers to a process where a person emphasizes or accentuates differences in communication style.