Handbook of Communication and Social Interaction Skills

By John O. Greene; Brant R. Burleson | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 24
NEW DIRECTIONS IN INTERCULTURAL
COMMUNICATION COMPETENCE:
THE PROCESS MODEL
Christopher Hajek and Howard Giles
Department of Communication
University of California, Santa Barbara

Scholars have emphasized the necessity for improving intercultural competence and skills, given the continued expansion of the global marketplace and increases in the numbers of tourists and students in study abroad programs (e.g., Cushner & Brislin, 1996; Gallois & Callan, 1997). This necessity is further magnified by expanded conceptions of intercultural communication to embrace a wider variety of intergroup contexts, including communication with the elderly (e.g., Fox & Giles, 1993; Harwood, Giles, & Ryan, 1995), between those of different sexual orientations (see Herek, 1991), or genders (e.g., Tannen, 1990) and with persons who are physically challenged (see Emry & Wiseman, 1987; Fox & Giles, 1996), such as the deaf (see Shearer, 1984), to name a few. Given these trends, this chapter is an attempt to enrich our understanding of intercultural communication competence, in part by systematically applying models derived from intergenerational communication. The resulting framework is a culture-general, theoretical alternative that may be successfully invoked to analyze communication between various social and cultural groups. The development of new intercultural communication theory is important given the view that theory in this area of inquiry is underdeveloped, leading a number of scholars to propound the need for more robust frameworks (e.g., Gudykunst & Nishida, 1989; Kim, 1988; Wiseman, 1995).

The chapter begins with a discussion of research relating to intra- and intercultural communication competence and skills. This includes a critique of the role of intercultural communication training in the skill/competence literature, and the presentation of intercultural communication theories that carry implications for communication competence. Next, two intergenerational communication models are applied to the intercultural communication context: the communication enhancement of aging model (Ryan, Meredith, MacLean, & Orange, 1995) and the communication predicament of aging model (Ryan, Giles, Bartolucci, & Henwood, 1986). These, along with other sociopsychological and sociological variables, are amalgamated into

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