Intercultural Interview Analysis Essay
Cultural changes have been witnessed in most parts of the world. In the current world, it is becoming difficult to maintain indigenous cultures. This is attributed to the rate at which technology is transforming the world across borders and making interactions between people of different cultures easier. The interaction has facilitated erosion of several aspects of people’s cultures. In place of these cultural norms, people adapt universal ways of doing things which determine how they carry out social aspects of their lives. However, this has not always been the case; people had distinct cultural values that determined how they went about their economic and social affairs. These elements identified the different cultural groupings back then. Consequently, understanding these aspects and adapting to them represent the greatest challenge for people who work across borders. Even though there have been continuous erosion of most cultural values, these changes are more pronounced in the younger generation. The older generation is more rigid in the aspect that they have held to cultural values. Understanding a people’s culture is critical in communicating with the people. It is the reason why one has to know the culture before setting out to interact with a different cultural group. The best way to understand cultural differences is by carrying out interviews. This paper structures such an interview with a fellow student who is a Mexican.
The questions to ask in the interview are modeled to understand the differences between North American culture and Mexican culture. These questions put emphasis on the importance of communication in the Mexican culture, and how communication is facilitated across different members of the culture. The first question will ask recognizable differences on how people communicate in America as compared to Mexico. The second question will focus on whether there is equity across gender groups in the Mexican culture. The third question focuses on the use of non verbal signs in both cultures while the last question will ask the difficulties in adapting to American culture if one is from Mexico. Getting adequate answers to these questions will help in understanding the Mexican culture and how communication can be facilitated between an American and a Mexican.
The interview which took about 30 minutes brought out certain differences as well as similarities between the two cultures. Most importantly, it helped provide information on how communication can be facilitated between the two cultures. Starting with the differences, the Mexican culture has a different inclination on what prompts their interest in conversations. In North America, it is easy to elicit conversations through fairy tales and detective stories as these thrill a significant part of the American communication. This is very different from Mexicans who find thrill in stories themed on love myths and legends. The difference is critical in establishing what mode of communication to adopt in reference to Americans or Mexicans (Crouch, 2004). It is worth noting that Mexicans delight in fantasy or fantasizing while Americans prefer hard reality. Using factual information as a head start for a conversation with a Mexican may not prompt a conversation and it would hinder communication between the individuals.
Americans are automatically trusting. On the other hand, Mexicans are automatically suspicious and require a clear indication of intent coupled with actual evidence before trusting. To encourage communication with a Mexican, one needs to give them time to understand the person or else they would become suspicious. Consequently, in such cases, no meaningful communication would take place. Americans encourage criticism and are not opposed to change. Mexicans on the other hand eschew criticism and are fearful of change. Criticizing a Mexican the same way one would do to an American would attract a hostile reaction which would hinder effective communication. There are also views on gender equity which impacts communication between Americans and Mexicans. Americans have little emphasis on male supremacy and talking to a woman is not taken as belittling a man. In contrast, Mexicans are a patriarchal society where talking to a woman preferentially is viewed as demeaning to a man. This discourages sober communication and in some instances elicits hostility from the predominantly patriarchal society. However, there are some similarities in the two cultures, the most common being use of gestures in communication. These gestures include nodding which means acceptance and shaking of one’s head which denotes negation (Mente, 2009). These are the only clear cut similarities impacting on information between the American and Mexican cultures.
In conclusion, intercultural analysis enabled by this kind of an interview involves an actual encounter between two participants who represent different linguistic and cultural backgrounds. It presents an opportunity to identify similarities and differences between these linguistic and cultural backgrounds. By identifying these differences and similarities, those seeking to interact have a basis of doing it successfully by creating the right impression. The right impression encourages communication and makes it easy to elicit information or conduct business in the foreign culture. However, the success of this is dependent on the structure of the interview which should include questions on all aspects that impact communication within the other culture. From the above comparison, it is easy to understand the Mexican culture and this facilitates easy communication within the cultural setup.