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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 9 Benefits of Intercultural Friendships Intercultural friendships offer many benefits to both partners, partners’ family members, and to society as a whole. A ground breaking study in 2000 examined how college students’ interracial and interethnic interactions affected development of knowledge of diverse people, leadership skills, and ability to get along with diverse people (Antonio, 2000). The sample included 8,877 full time students attending 115 four year institutions. The results found that student interracial interactions contributed significantly to development of cultural awareness and also to leadership, with leadership ability apparently enhanced by socializing and studying with students of a different race or ethnicity. This is especially so for students who are least likely to have close interracial friendships. (p. 1) It is clear that leadership skills and a development of cultural awareness are just a few benefits of intercultural friendships. Additionally, improved perception of a different culture is another benefit of intercultural relationships. When African Americans and European Americans work in team-organized and in close contact situations with one another, both groups have improved perceptions of one another (Damico, 1981). When perceptions and ideas about another group are positive, interaction between the two parties will likely be more encouraging, ultimately lessening the chances of conflict and increasing the chances of competent communication. As stated earlier, by building and sustaining relationships with others from different cultures and races, people can acquire knowledge about the world, break

Authors: Docan, Tony.
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Building and Sustaining Intercultural Relationships 9
Benefits of Intercultural Friendships
Intercultural friendships offer many benefits to both partners, partners’ family
members, and to society as a whole. A ground breaking study in 2000 examined how
college students’ interracial and interethnic interactions affected development of
knowledge of diverse people, leadership skills, and ability to get along with diverse
people (Antonio, 2000). The sample included 8,877 full time students attending 115 four
year institutions. The results found that
student interracial interactions contributed significantly to development of cultural
awareness and also to leadership, with leadership ability apparently enhanced by
socializing and studying with students of a different race or ethnicity. This is
especially so for students who are least likely to have close interracial friendships.
(p.
1)
It is clear that leadership skills and a development of cultural awareness are just a
few benefits of intercultural friendships. Additionally, improved perception of a different
culture is another benefit of intercultural relationships. When African Americans and
European Americans work in team-organized and in close contact situations with one
another, both groups have improved perceptions of one another (Damico, 1981). When
perceptions and ideas about another group are positive, interaction between the two
parties will likely be more encouraging, ultimately lessening the chances of conflict and
increasing the chances of competent communication.
As stated earlier, by building and sustaining relationships with others from
different cultures and races, people can acquire knowledge about the world, break


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