Intercultural Communication Concepts Of Power Distance Essay

1670 Words Aug 16th, 2015 7 Pages
The word ‘culture’ can be interpreted in many different ways and has been altered to fit the beliefs of society depending on the time period. In the 19th century, the term was most commonly used as a synonym for Western civilization, but nowadays is not specifically associated with countries. The modern definition of culture is “a community or population sufficiently large enough to be self-sustaining, that is, large enough to produce new generations of members without relying on outside people” (Jandt, 2010). This essay will illuminate and illustrate the intercultural communication concepts of Power Distance, Long-term Orientation, White Privilege, and New Racism by drawing upon the cultural experiences of my friend and flat mate, Claude Olivier.

Growing up in South Africa, Claude witnessed, first-hand, the way in which a society handles and accounts for inequalities among groups of people. Geert Hofstede’s theory of Power Distance outlines this, and states that the dimension of Power Distance centres around the degree to which the less powerful members of society accept that power is unequally distributed. South Africa scores 49 on this dimension meaning that most people accept a hierarchical order where everybody has their place, and no further justification is needed. However, when comparing that to New Zealand, who scores a mere 22 on the scale, it is clear to see the difference in cultural practice and equality (South Africa, 2015). Claude grew up in South Africa’s…

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