Why study Multi-Cultural Communication?

Many students take an anthropology course to learn about the different cultures and habits of people living in faraway places throughout the world. Sometimes, students expect the course to resemble a National Geographic magazine that presents ‘primitive’ and ‘exotic’ people that are presumed to live in ‘isolation’ from the ‘modern’ world and engage in ‘bizarre’ or ‘backward’ practices.

The field of anthropology contributes to a greater understanding of diversity.

While the field of anthropology has undoubtedly contributed to the production of extremely pejorative, and perhaps entertaining, representations of peoples and cultures throughout the world, most contemporary anthropologists now aim to take a more nuanced approach to cultural diversity. Today, anthropology aims to understand human diversity by addressing the unique social and historical circumstances that shape the human experience. By studying anthropology, you will not only become more aware of the mechanisms that shape cultural differences, you will also be able to understand how people can perceive the same phenomenon very differently because they interpret reality through very different experiences. More importantly, you will be able to identify how human diversity reaches far beyond generalized differences between large groups of people defined by national, ethnic, racial or religious affiliations as you come to understand the rich diversity that exists between individuals interacting within each group.

By studying anthropology, you will become more adept at multi-cultural communication, and this will enhance your ability to negotiate inter-cultural differences as you interact with a diverse range of individuals. why is this important? Because we live in an increasingly globalizing world that demands interpersonal interactions between people who are vastly different from one another.  By developing a better understanding of people and groups who appear to be quite different from what you are most familiar with, you will not only enhance your ability to succeed in a culturally diverse professional and academic environment, you will be able to enrich your life by experiencing  meaningful encounters with a more broad range of culturally divers people.




written by Sarah Cervone Copyright 2012