I chose Ethnocentrism because it applies to our modern world of communication. Ethnocentrism is a communication barrier we all have experienced one time or another. Whether at school, at the grocery store, or in a professional setting, ethnocentrism often occurs without purpose or fault. This barrier is also relatable and a valid point of discussion with recent events in the media. It is very alive. Ethnocentrism should be made to be more aware in order to achieve proper communication.
This specific article was of interest because of the college level research and testing performed on communication barriers related to ethnocentrism. It is important to understand that although one may not feel guilty of this communication barrier, it in fact can be executed easily from simple misunderstandings. “Sometimes misunderstandings occur due to cultural completion and political and social reality existing in at the national level at this time of study” (Dumessa, M., & Godesso, A. 2014).
The Journal of Intercultural Communication published a study titled Explorations of Intercultural Communication Barriers among the Students of College Social Sciences and Law at Jimma University, Oromiya, Ethiopia. The general objectives of the study were based on 5 specific topics as stated; identify barriers within intercultural communication, describe the student’s motivation towards developing intercultural sensitivity and competence, to explain why most students interact with each other on ethnic basis, to describe the students view towards multiculturalism, and to suggest possible strategies for promoting intercultural communications. (pg. 7). During the study Laray M. Barna (1997) found that there were six major barriers/struggles with the students when it came to intercultural communication. The first barrier assumptions and dissassumptions of one’s culture. In order to have successful intercultural communication it is vital to be aware of the basic laws habits and attitudes. Being unaware of these practices within someone’s culture causes a certain level of anxiety and discomfort which can lead to poor communication. “The reason for the assumption might also be our discomfort in dealing with difference.” (pg. 6). Secondly language differences can cause misunderstanding and increased difficulty within intercultural communication. Third on the list was nonverbal misinterpretations, which can be a barrier in any form of communication as previously learned in Real communication, An Introduction with Mass Communication. Next comes the fourth barrier which was found to be stereotypes and preconceptions students had. In the article Samovar and Porter(1991) “ defines stereotypes are over generalized, second hand beliefs that provide conceptual bases from which we make sense out of what goes on around us.” (pg. 6) The fifth is the way humans try to overly analyze a person. Specific actions and words are targeted when they should be looked at as a whole based on the person. Lastly any stressors or anxieties about speaking with a person different from yourself whether it’s culturally or not can cause immediate communication barriers. An interesting point discovered during the interviews with the various cultural groups attending the university, was the difference in attitude and tolerance towards other cultures from the beginning of attendance to later on in attendance at the university. One group in particular that was mentioned was the students that came from Somali. Coming from Somali to Ethiopia was a large change in culture. The Somali students where raised with mono