Negotiation of identities in intercultural communication

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Abstract

Negotiation of identities in communication entails affirming the identities we want others to recognize in us and ascription of identities we mutually assign to each other in communication. The study of intercultural communication focuses on cultural identity as the principal identity component that defines intercultural communication. In this article, the assumption that cultural group membership factors determine the context of intercultural communication is questioned. The article examines how intercultural interlocutors negotiate their identities in various intercultural interactions. The aims of the research presented in this paper are: 1) to examine which identities - cultural, personal, or social - intercultural interlocutors activate in intercultural communication; 2) to determine whether interlocutors’ intercultural communication is largely influenced by their cultural identities; 3) and to identify situations in which they activate their cultural identities (3). The research data were collected from 263 international students studying at Masaryk University in Brno in the years 2010 - 2016. Although the research results are not conclusive, they indicate that cultural identities predominate in the students’ ethnocentric views and that stereotypes constrain the students’ cultural identities and affect the negotiation of identities in intercultural communication.

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