Cross-Cultural Communication: International Communication

International Communication: A Process of Discovery

by S.A. Mousalimas
Oxford University

Proceedings of the Conference on Inter-Cultural Communication
Mirny Polytechnic Institute and Sakha (Yakutsk) State University
Mirny, Sakha Republic (Yakutia)
27-28 April 2002

Introduction:

International communication is vital, and particularly during periods of crisis. It provides us with the opportunity, a necessary opportunity, to gain an understanding of others in this world and furthermore to gain deeper insights into ourselves.

Through the academic disciplines of social anthropology and sociology, a succession of phases can be analyzed to explain the process by which people typically react and then adapt to international experiences. These phases can be referred to as:

  1. a "touristic" phase;
  2. an experience of culture shock;
  3. an adaptation, re-orientation.

The boundaries between these three phases cannot be demarcated strictly during the actual experience. Three phases can occur simultaneously, as a person may emerge into the third phase of some aspects of the overall experience while still remaining in the first and second phases in some other aspects. The clear delineation of these three phases is useful for analysis, nevertheless.

The analysis was tested in sets of interactive undergraduate courses that this author initiated and developed in London through the 1990s, "Cross-Cultural Relations" and "Cross-Cultural Problem Solving". The classes were composed of students from every habitated continent (in other words, all but Antarctica, naturally), and from every major religion. The analysis was also tested in undergraduate courses in the fields of cultural anthropology and sociology for USA students in southern England through the UMUC European Division. Well over one thousand students were observed by the author in these contexts. The analysis corresponds, furthermore, to the author's own individual experiences. I shall draw from these individual experiences and allow myself the liberty of expressing some examples in the first-person singular to be vivid in this summary report.

Continue to the Phases


Citation Guidelines

Mousalimas, S.A., "International Communication: a Process of Discovery", Cross-Cultural Communication: International Communication, Proceedings of the Mirny Regional Scientific-Practical Conference on Inter-Cultural Communication: Issues of Politics, History, Language and Literature (27-28 April 2002), Mirny Polytechnic Institute and Sakha (Yakutsk) State University, edited by S.A. Mousalimas, 2002, available at http://www.OxfordU.net/mirny/2002/mousalimas.html.


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