When euripides wrote, all is change ; all yields its place and then goes in 422 B.C., he probably did not realize that he would be helping to introduce a book on intercultural communication. Yet, that study of intercultural communication is about change. It is about changes in the world and how the people in that world must adapt to them. More specifically, this book deals with that world changes that have brought us intro direct and indirect contact whit people who, because of their culture, often behave in ways that we do not understand. Whit or without our consent, the last three decades have thrust upon us groups of people who often appear alien. These people, who appear different, may live thousands of miles away or right next door. What is special about them is that in many ways they are not like us. This book is about those people and how to understand them and communicate whit them. Intercultural communication, as we might suspect, is not new. Wandering nomads, religious missionaries, and conquering soldiers have been encountering people different from themselves since the beginning of time. These early meetings, like those of today, were often confusing and hostile. In fact, over two thousand years ago the playwright Aeschylus wrote, -Everyone's quick to blame the alien.- In the 1990s intercultural contacts are more common and the in many ways more significant than those earlier meetings.
[...] Where Yankee technological know-how and marketing power once dominate world markets, Americans now find themselves jockeying for business amid a throng of muscular new competitors- competitors from different cultures that we need to understand if we hope to be successful in the new world. Domestic Contacts As changes throughout the world began to alter and even reconstruct life in the United States, a kind of cultural revolution took place within our own boundaries a revolution that made us redefine and rethink the meaning of the word American. [...]
[...] Cultures throughout the world also began to worry about international hostility as membership in the nuclear weapons club continued to grow. Dangerous and deadly secrets that had once been the private possession of a few powerful nations were now in the hands of countries over which we had no control, and even less contact. It was estimated that fifteen countries had the ability to launch ballistic missiles, and that twenty to thirty nations had developed the capability to produce mustard and nerve gases and other lethal chemicals. [...]
[...] People all over the world know that they can seek refuge in the United States, a country that grants immigration status to twice as many people as all the other countries of the world combined. Hence, many of the worlds fifteen to eighteen million refugees will end up in the United States. It should be clear from this that the population of the Unites States is changing and shifting, and that these transformations will continue. For example, in 1990 whites will account for approximately 78 percent of the total population of the United States. [...]
[...] It is as if a combination of the following three events has made intercultural contact inevitable : new technology and information systems, changes in the world's population, and a shift in the world's economic arena. All of these issues, because they will help predict the future while telling us about the past, are important enough to consider in some detail. The new technology. Trips once measured in days are now counted in hours. Supersonic transports place the tourist, business executive, or diplomat anywhere in the world within hours. [...]
[...] These individuals, while residing in the United States, live a life that often divers considerably from the dominant culture. It should be easy to grasp how many of America's institutions, and must of its communication patterns, have been affecter by the groups we have been discussing. The new immigrants and their children joined determined co-cultures and began to reshape our educational system, the family, and the work place. In each of these settings intercultural contacts became inevitable. In many cities such as Chicago, Miami, Los Angeles, Dallas, San Diego, Detroit, Washington, San Francisco, and Albuquerque, minority students now outnumber white students in the public schools. [...]
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