Intercultural Communication

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate June 2001

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"Similarity in Perceptual Orientations really struck my interest. " This concept refers to a person's prevailing approach to reality and the degree of flexibility he manifests in organizing it."(Barnlund, 31.) Due to this very general concept, I feel that the ideal behind perceptual orientation being related to culture is subject to question. Firstly, I feel that anyone from any culture can share this type of concept because it is not necessarily based on culture, but on mindset, and though people of other countries may have different influences, they can share the same frame of mind: either that change is good, or the familiar is more comfortable.

According to the concept of perceptual orientation, a person can be perceived from two different standpoints. On the one hand, a person can be very open-minded about the world and different environments that are contained within it. They are willing to take many risks and try new things when in relation to culture or lifestyle.

They are able to escape from their own cultural bubble and explore the world. Drawn to new things, they are intrigued by a vast variety of different and opposing cultures in seeking diversity. On the other hand there are certain people who are much less narrow-minded when it comes to attempting to gain a certain "worldliness." They are not willing to commit their lives to different lifestyles and are not comfortable giving up the old and starting out with the new, culturally speaking. They prefer to stick within their own cultural comfort zone where everything has remained constant, for the most part, and familiar. These types of individuals are relentlessly seeking to verify their past experiences.

Though the actual phrase "perceptual orientation" was new to me, the concept itself seemed very proverbial. Throughout the course of my life I...