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武汉大学研究生英语课文原文 Stumbling Blocks in Intercultural Communication

particular visible pattern on the face, the combination of muscles contracted for anger, fear, surprise, sadness, disgust, and happiness is the same for allmembers of ourspecies, but this seems helpful until it is realized that a person’s cultural upbringing determines whether or notthat emotion will be displayed or suppressed, as well as on which occasions and to what degree. The situations that bring about the emotional feeling also differ from culture to culture, for example, the death of a loved one may be a cause for joy, sorrow, or some other emotion, depending upon the accepted cultural belief.

4.Since there seems to be no universals of “human nature” that can be used as a basis for automatic understanding, we must treat each encounter as an individual case, searching for whatever perceptions and communication means are held in common and proceed from there. If we realize that we are all culture bound andculturally modified, we will accept the fact that, being unlike, wedo not reallyknow what someone else"is."

5.The aura of similarity is a serious stumbling block to successful intercultural communication. A look-alike facade is deceiving when representatives from contrasting cultures meet, eachwearing Western dress, speaking English, and using similar greeting rituals. It is like assuming that New York, Tokyo, and Tehran are all alike because each has the appearance of a moderncity. Without being alert to possible differences and the needto learn new rules for functioning, persons going from one city tothe other will be in immediatetrouble, even when acting simple roles such as pedestrian and driver.

6.Theconfidence that goes with the myth of similarity is much more comfortable than the assumption of differences, the latter requiring tentative assumptions and behaviors and a willingness toaccept the anxiety of"not knowing."Only with the assumptionof differences, however, can reactions and interpretations be adjusted to fit"what's happening."Otherwise someone is likely tomisread signs and judge the scene ethnocentrically.