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Building and Sustaining Intercultural Relationships: Public Perceptions and Practical Benefits of Friendships and Romantic Relationships in Intercultural Contexts
Unformatted Document Text:  Building and Sustaining Intercultural Relationships 10 stereotypes, and acquire new skills (Martin & Nakayama, 1999). The diversity that is created by an intercultural relationship allows for increased creativity and improved problem solving (Cox & Blake 1991). Problem solving is an essential skill needed in nearly all friendships at one time or another. When more ideas and perspectives are “brought to the table,” more can get accomplished because of different ways of looking at life’s situations. In an intercultural friendship, partners may also go through a process called relational learning, or learning that derives from a specific relationship, but can generalize it into other contexts or situations (Martin & Nakayama, 1999). For instance, if I heard the story of the Armenian Holocaust from an Armenian friend, I would likely be more impacted from her story than reading the same information from a book. Intercultural friendships also allow individuals to learn about others’ cultural patterns and languages. A study by the University of Wisconsin, Madison Institute for Research on Poverty found that students attending racially diverse schools had more interracial friendships than those in homogenous schools (Quillian & Campbell, 2001). More interracial relationships will likely increase all of the above mentioned benefits because of increased exposure to others’ diverse ways of life. All of these benefits can lead to feelings of connectedness with others. Additionally, intercultural communication skills will likely increase and we can establish a positive life long pattern of communication across differences and diversity. Next, intercultural romantic relationships are examined and the benefits are discussed.

Authors: Docan, Tony.
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Building and Sustaining Intercultural Relationships 10
stereotypes, and acquire new skills (Martin & Nakayama, 1999). The diversity that is
created by an intercultural relationship allows for increased creativity and improved
problem solving (Cox & Blake 1991). Problem solving is an essential skill needed in
nearly all friendships at one time or another. When more ideas and perspectives are
“brought to the table,” more can get accomplished because of different ways of looking at
life’s situations.
In an intercultural friendship, partners may also go through a process called
relational learning, or learning that derives from a specific relationship, but can
generalize it into other contexts or situations (Martin & Nakayama, 1999). For instance, if
I heard the story of the Armenian Holocaust from an Armenian friend, I would likely be
more impacted from her story than reading the same information from a book.
Intercultural friendships also allow individuals to learn about others’ cultural patterns and
languages.
A study by the University of Wisconsin, Madison Institute for Research on
Poverty found that students attending racially diverse schools had more interracial
friendships than those in homogenous schools (Quillian & Campbell, 2001). More
interracial relationships will likely increase all of the above mentioned benefits because
of increased exposure to others’ diverse ways of life. All of these benefits can lead to
feelings of connectedness with others. Additionally, intercultural communication skills
will likely increase and we can establish a positive life long pattern of communication
across differences and diversity. Next, intercultural romantic relationships are examined
and the benefits are discussed.


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