Self-categorization Theory

Henri Tajfel passed away in 1982, but work on the social identity approach to intergroup/intercultural communication was just heating up, so the late John Turner (Tajfel's student and colleague) continued the work with others-they attempted to explain how certain social identities (as explained by Social Identity Theory) are cognitively activated within people's brains, and their answer to this question … Continue reading Self-categorization Theory

Anxiety/Uncertainty Management Theory

Anxiety/Uncertainty Management Theory (AUM) was originally proposed by the late William Gudykunst as an extension of the Uncertainty Reduction Theory (URT), which predicted when strangers meet for the first time they seek to reduce uncertainties they have about each other so that they can more easily predict each other's behaviors, thus helping with their communicative interactions … Continue reading Anxiety/Uncertainty Management Theory

Social Identity Theory

Throughout the week, you probably think of yourself as a daughter/son, sister/brother, mother/father, girlfriend/boyfriend, wife/husband, friend, coworker, employee, teammate, student, partner, traveler, customer, and countless other categories of identities. Social Identity Theory (SIT), first developed by Henri Tajfel and John Turner during the 1970s and 1980s, assumes these types of identities can influence our thoughts … Continue reading Social Identity Theory

Intergroup Contact Theory

What can we do to reduce prejudice?^ In 1954, Gordon Allport created the Contact Hypothesis in an attempt to answer that question, and it has been a successful framework in the struggle against prejudice for many decades. As alluded to by its name, the Contact Hypothesis focuses on contact between people of different backgrounds (e.g., cultures) and assumes … Continue reading Intergroup Contact Theory

Communication Accommodation Theory

Have you ever caught yourself speaking slower and louder to someone who did not speak your language well in an attempt to help them understand you? Or perhaps you remember a time when someone did that to you because they thought you didn't understand them. These accommodating behaviors, their motivations, and  their consequences, are what … Continue reading Communication Accommodation Theory

Common In-group Identity Model

The Common In-group Identity Model (CIIM) has roots in Intergroup Contact Theory (ICT). Intergroup Contact Theory explains processes involved in reducing prejudice between groups when individuals from those groups interact. Thus, we assume people who are  part of different groups (i.e., in-groups) are likely to have prejudices about each other, since ICT predicts contact between those … Continue reading Common In-group Identity Model

Patriotism: Celebrating Diversity

This is a great campaign by the Ad Council, a campaign they ran for U.S. Independence day last year (July 4th, 2016)--it does a nice job of using celebrity (John Cena) to discuss patriotism in the context of intercultural understanding within a diverse society.  Disclaimer: The above post is an old one, which I am reposting on this … Continue reading Patriotism: Celebrating Diversity