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Assumption And Stereotype Essay

2025 words - 9 pages

Perception is part of human nature. Human beings started to perceive the world since they were born. Chen & Starosta (1998) states that human perception is a process of sensing the world by using human brain. This process is firmly influenced by a person’s first culture, which means people interpret the meaning of other’s behavior based on their cultural backgrounds and personal experiences. Scollon and Scollon (2001) state based on perceptions, people make assumptions about the other people and then choose the appropriate communicative style in order to reduce confusion and avoid miscommunication. Therefore, I agree that people ‘make significant assumption about what kind of a person the ...view middle of the document...

For instance, when I was working in a five star hotel in China. One day, I saw an old man who was wearing a suit looks very nervous. I made an assumption that he is a Chinese old man by his Asian appearance and I need to serve him with a very respectful way, because I believed that we have different level of status in terms of age and job. He, as a Chinese elder, would accept this difference of status and like this respectful way I serve him. Making this assumption, which is influenced by my Chinese cultural backgrounds, is an unconscious process. According to Scollon and Scollon (1995) it is important to make assumptions about other participants during the conversation to reduce the ambiguity of communication. This skill is successfully socialized in our first culture and language. The ideology and the process of socialization determine the preferred way of making assumption about people in our society. Thus, this process of making assumption is identified as a natural process.
Scollon and Scollon (1995) state in intercultural communication, people also make assumptions to minimize the chances of miscommunication and confusion. For instance, in my early days in South Korea, I lost my way to university. I found a well-dressed lady about 50 years old with an Asian appearance walking on the street. By watching Korean dramas, many Chinese people believe that Korean lady has an Asian appearance and always well dressed, also many Korean women did not work. Thus, I made an assumption that she was a nice Korean lady and willing to help me find the way with her free time. This lady and I were strangers to each other and she is older than me. Korea is a high power distance country in that the hierarchical difference is high (Hofstede, cited in Chen & Starosta, 1998). Korea is also deeply influenced by Confucianism, which requires people showing respect to the elder and unfamiliar persons (Yum, 1994). Thus, I decided to use the most respectful language to ask her for help. In the meantime, I assumed that she was an old Korean lady; she would like this communication style.
In this example, my goal was trying to find someone who can help me, and then I observed and made assumptions about people on the street, finally I made an assumption that this lady could help me. During this process of making assumption, I was using the knowledge of Korea, which I learned in China through TV. Therefore, it is easily find that in intercultural communication, people made assumptions by using knowledge of other cultures, which obtained from their first cultures. To avoid misunderstanding, communicate partners need to think carefully to make assumptions during the communication to help them achieve the goals.
While making assumptions about the other people, people intend the other people to think of them. As before described, when I asked the Korean lady for help, I assumed the power distance between us was high, because she was a stranger who is older than me. Thus, I...

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