Personal Experience and Cultural Awareness as Resources in Teaching Intercultural Communication: A Hong Kong Case Study



The first line of Kipling’s famous poem has often been quoted in isolation as an example of the author’s pessimistic attitudes toward race and the Empire, but the essential point is actually in the final line: When people meet—face to face—race, nationality, class, and geography cease to exist as dividing lines between people. The refrain from Kipling’s poem is still relevant today. Research shows that when people have no first-hand experience with people from other ethnic or cultural groups, they tend to rely on stereotypical accounts they get from the media or from other people, and the result is often prejudice and cultural generalizations. But if they meet and have personal encounters with “the other,” the stereotypes they form tend to be more positive (see, for example, Kashima, Fiedler, and Freytag 2008; Ladegaard 2011c).


Chinese Student Cultural Awareness Exchange Student Intercultural Communication Local Student 
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© Gordon E. Slethaug and Jane Vinther 2015

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