The seventh chapter focuses on the different types of identity and their effects or influence on intercultural communication. Identity is essential in intercultural communication since it is prevalent in social interactions. It is not a single entity but rather a multifaceted concept as it includes a combination of several integrated identities which operate in combination depending on the social context (Samovar et al., 2016). In this case, each person has several identities, such as national, racial, personal, or organizational, among others. However, the importance of each varies depending on the context they are in.
According to the chapter, identities can be classified as human, social, and personal (based on Turner) or personal, relational, and communal (based on Hall) (Samovar et al., 2016). It argues that people pick up various identities through interactions with other people, and one’s family plays a significant role in influencing their identity formation. Although identities are formulated through group memberships, the group members’ ideas of identity could change with time (Samovar et al., 2016). Therefore, to ensure competency in intercultural communication, individuals must find common ground in their identities.
I agree with the concepts highlighted in the chapter, as I believe that a person can have several identities at the same time. I have a variety of identities, including my nationality, gender, race, and personality. These identities came about due to the different groups I belong to and the various people I have interacted with. Thus, I believe what was said in the chapter’s ideas and arguments. I also liked what I read since it opened up my mind to effectively and competently interact and communicate with people of different identities than mine.
Reading this chapter raised the question of whether our identities are contributing factors to negative issues such as racism. It is no wonder that the author states that effective communication in an intercultural situation requires flexibility and adaptability to ensure little or no potential for tension or misunderstanding (Samovar et al., 2016). Thus, the biggest lesson I learned from the chapter is the importance of finding common ground when talking to an intercultural group.
Samovar, L. A., Porter, R. E., McDaniel, E. R., & Roy, C. S. (2016). Communication between cultures (9th ed.). Cengage Learning, 243-264.