Training Action Plan

Multiculturalism, Communication Patterns and Assumptions in Differing Cultural Groups in the United States

Author(s)/Developer(s): Elliott, C. E.
Date: 2010
Publisher/Source: Cross-Cultural Communication Styles, pre-publication Masters thesis
Available from: Center for Persons with Disabilities, Utah State University
Submitted by: Center for Persons with Disabilities, Utah State University
Type: Training Material

This Master's thesis disaggregates communication into behaviors and the assumptions of the meaning of these behaviors that can explain different communicative intent for what are viewed as universal communication behaviors. The behaviors or communication patterns include: (1) animation/emotion, (2) directness/indirectness, (3) eye contact, (4) gestures, (5) identity orientation, (6) turn taking and pause time, (7) space, (8) time, (9) touch, (10) vocal patterns. This study describes anticipated behaviors for each of these categories for Native Americans, White non-Hispanic Americans, Asian Americans, and Hispanic Americans. Content is not specific to individuals with disabilities, but provides an introduction to the understanding cultural differences in communication. If this resource is used in UCEDD curricula and training activities, caution should be taken to avoid stereotyping about communicative intent and behaviors based solely on membership with a specific racial or ethnic group.

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