Free Term Paper About Non-Verbal Communication Norms
Slave trade practice that flourished in North American in the 16th century provided a platform for Native Americans and Africans to share some common aspects of culture because of the relationship the two communities had. In the first place, Native Americans were fighting to dispossess their land from colonial Europeans, while doing that, some of the Africans Americans helped them to fight even though they were slaves (Ware 177). This marked a point of commonality where the two communities though different socio-culturally learnt the culture of one another. Nevertheless, the inherent culture between the two groups remains to be different and this will form the focus on this paper. The paper seeks to use cultural aspects such as food, value orientations, and communication norms to highlight the contrast.
African Americans use of non-verbal communication is largely compared to that of Native Americans. Even if Native Americans are emphasizing on the truth, they will rarely use non-verbal communication. Unlike Native Americans, African Americans are usually passionate and use many animated signs to especially when advocating for the truth. Native Americans are not accustomed to the norm of maintaining eyesight especially when talking. On contrary, African Americans tend to maintain eyesight when talking; they will only look away from the other person when listening.
African Americans tend to be stricter on table manners as opposed to Native Americans. The latter would engage in other activities such as talking over the phone, cracking jokes with others while dinning, but Africans Americans do not allow (Ware 178). Native Americans will eat when they have time, while African Americans would abandon any activity and focus on eating before they continue. In terms of preparation, African American would prepare food using available recipe, while Native Americans would want to include all necessary ingredients in their recipe.
Cultural value orientations
According to Hofstede’s analysis, which gave rise to power distance indices, African America’s power distance is higher than that of Native American. Unlike Native Americans, African Americans would want to segregate or position themselves higher than their juniors would when they assume power (May 81). Gender inequalities are high among African Americans than they are in Native Americans. The latter, unlike the former do not have defined gender roles. Male hegemonic practices that discriminate against women are perverse among African Americans than in Native Americans. Native Americans believe that a girl or a boy child is the same regardless of their anatomical differences.
Relational communication norms
Greetings among Native Americans is not necessarily a handshake, they can wave at each other. However, even if they shake hands, it is gentle. On contrary, the handshake of greeting among African Americans has to be felt and be sustained for some time. Apart from that, greetings among Africans Americans have to be accompanied by relational conversations, unlike in the culture of Native Americans where one can wave or give a gentle handshake silently (May 48). It should be noted that relational communication norms among Native Americans reflects the formal or official way of living the community is accustomed. African Americans are used to the informal way of communication and relation and it explain why they differ with that of Native Americans.
Concisely, there is the need for Native Americans and African Americans to learn and understand the cultures of one another to enhance a harmonious living. Intermarriages, playing, and schooling together are some of the social practices that could to be used in bridging the socio-cultural differences between the two groups. In the future, African Americans and Native Americans will adopt a common culture, which is a blend of two. This initiative will help in alleviating some of the historical injustices each experienced at the expense of the other.
May, Katja. African Americans and Native Americans in the Creek and Cherokee Nations, 1830s to 1920s: Collision and Collusion. New York: Taylor & Francis, 1996. Print
Ware, Carole M. African/Native American Identified in Culture. New York: ProQuest, 2008. Print.