Labeled individuals: The influence of stereotypes on interpersonal communication between American and Non-American students
This study aims to dig the negative influences of stereotypes on interpersonal communication, and to give public awareness to reduce the number of the victims of isms, labels and negative stereotypes. The arguments are discussed in different cultural, social, political and religious contexts, and the findings are supported by qualitative and quantitative research methods. The particular emphasis is given to the influence of stereotypes on interpersonal communication between American and international students at Wichita State University, Kansas. Two different surveys were taken by two groups of American students (N=50) and international students (N=50). Thirteen other individuals were interviewed to express their authentic personal feelings of being stereotyped. The study offers practical and theoretical solutions and remedies to help the educators and students solve stereotypic issues that are main communication barriers even at multicultural universities. This study indicates that 80 percent of the international students have experienced being unfairly stereotyped and negatively judged, compared to only 32 percent of the American students who had similar feelings. None of the international students had a sense of ethnocentrism, whereas 44 percent of the American students mentioned they feel superiority. Majority of the international students (66 percent) found communicating with American students challenging and difficult, and they believed American students are unpredictable and they feel uncomfortable when interacting with American students. International students' accent and cultural differences are the main reasons American students avoid communicating with international students, and African American and Middle Eastern students are described as the most challenging groups and races to communicate with for American students.
Thesis (M.A.)--Wichita State University, Fairmount College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Elliott School of Communication