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Exploring Intercultural Communication by Grothe

Two concepts from the reading that appeared to be the most interesting are the interrelation between ascribed and avowed identities and ability as a cultural identity. Ascribed identities relate to personal, social, or cultural identities recognized in the society a person lives in (Grothe, 2020). In other words, it can be compared with stigmatization or stereotypes in some cases. Avowed identities, in turn, are the people’s opinions about themselves (Grothe, 2020). The relation between these concepts is interesting as it can cause tensions between an individual and society in case of mismatching. For instance, a person who wears glasses and enjoys reading can be considered a nerd, though these characteristics do not necessarily imply such a notion. Therefore, one should be especially careful with claiming people with some identities that can be not that straightforward in order to avoid conflict. Personally, I will be more attentive when communicating with people of different backgrounds to their perception of themselves to prevent any possible intense situation.

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As for ability as a cultural identity, this idea was novel for me as it is not usually perceived as a socio-cultural dimension. However, surprisingly, in the USA, the people with disabilities constitute the biggest minority group, not least because of the improvements in healthcare that allow such people to live longer. Especial importance in this concept lies in interability communication, meaning communication between people with different abilities (Grothe, 2020). The “Ten Commandments of Etiquette for Communicating with People with Disabilities” have specific advice on such communication that I will undoubtedly apply in my life. For instance, the assistance should be provided only with the preliminary accepted offer to ensure the necessity of this help. Another point worth considering concerns the common phrases that include verbs potentially related to a person’s disability, like “See you later.” Usually, it does not matter a lot as disabled people do not seem to take it personally.

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Grothe, T. (2020). Exploring Intercultural Communication. LibreTexts.

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