History Impacts Intercultural Communication •Why would it be important to examine the role of history in Intercultural Communication? When we examine the role of history in Intercultural Communication, we gain an understanding of how our past influences our communication skills with people from other cultures. We need to learn and understand why we communicate the way we do. It can be very helpful in improving our relations with other cultures. Studying the histories of cultures that are different from ours gives us a frame of reference that can lead to better intercultural communication.
It is not only important to study the histories of other countries’ cultures but our own American subcultures as well. We need to understand where someone is coming from in order to communicate more effectively. •What are hidden histories and how might hidden histories affect intercultural interactions? Hidden histories are events of the past that are not widely known or taught. Most of the time, these histories have a negative connotation.
They are not favorably viewed for one reason or another and so they have been suppressed.
Usually, hidden histories revolve around controversial events such as the oppression of Native Americans or slavery. The ramifications of hidden histories are probably farther reaching than we know. All history, no matter how unfair or horrific, is important to intercultural communication. We need to learn from past mistakes and communicate between cultures to help each other overcome our differences and try to heal the damage that was created from those mistakes.
•Compare and contrast family histories with national histories. Family histories are past events that happen within a family.
They are usually not recorded for future generations but they are passed down through the telling of stories from family members. These events happen at the same time as national and world historical events and sometimes might even be influenced by them. While family histories are typically only important to the members of our respective families; national histories are important to an entire nation and sometimes even the world. National histories are usually recorded in some way so as to preserve them for future generations to learn from.
Typically, a nation will only teach its own history to its students and only touch upon the histories of other nations as they pertain to our own. How is the history of gays and lesbians relevant to intercultural communication? Whether mainstream society likes to admit it or not, gays and lesbians have their own sub-culture. It is a sub-culture that has existed since the beginning of time but has only recently been recognized as a reality. Homosexuals have a place in the histories of every culture throughout the world.
As stated in a previous paragraph, all histories are important to intercultural communication. When we learn about and understand other cultures we create the ability to communicate more effectively with others. The history of gays and lesbians has a place within every culture so it is just as important to intercultural communication as any other histories are. How can we negotiate histories in interactions? When we interact with people from other cultures it is important to understand that there is a history behind how they view us and how we view them.
Many cultures within our country, as well as throughout the world, have such different belief systems from ours that if we don’t make a point of learning about the history behind other belief systems then there could be a breakdown in communication. Of course, those with whom we interact should reciprocate by learning the histories that make us interact the way we do. When both parties take steps to understand each other then all interactions between the two will have a much better outcome.