Friday, October 17, 2014

InterculturalCom: Intercultural Romance: Jungle Fever and Barriers to Interracial Marriage (U7-P2) Fa14

As the number of interracial marriages has increased so too has the approval of interracial marriages.  In the late 1950s less than 10% of the U.S. population approved of interracial marriages.  By 2007, the approval rating was almost 80%.

So, still with a significant portion of the U.S. population disapproving interracial marriages, couples in such marriages face some unnecessary challenges.  Besides the normal challenges of any relationship, an interracial or intercultural relationship faces two additional barriers to a healthy relationship: internal barriers and external barriers.

The internal barriers are those of any intercultural interaction.

How does intercultural communication work? What is the process?
Two people from different cultures interact, but there are barriers to effective intercultural communication.  Some of the barriers include: difference in language, difference in nonverbals, difference in values, ethnocentrism and prejudice.

In addition to the above an interracial couple may also face some external barriers.

If you get a chance to watch or re-watch Jungle Fever, see if you spot the internal and external barriers.

You may also want to see the intercultural relationship in The Joy Luck Club.

Can you think of more recent films that show the internal and external barriers that interracial and intercultural couples face?


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