Eliminating Socio-Cultural Barriers for Asian Students

Communication plays an essential role in people’s lives and it can be considered as a highly complex idea with a multitude of critical components, such as structure, features, and functions. The process of communication includes key elements of transmitting a message and its comprehension, which leads to coordinated evaluation of interaction. The main issue the given communication campaign is attempting to address and solve is the problem of cross-cultural communication in interpersonal settings in order to eliminate socio-cultural barriers for Asian students. The paper can be effectively used by educators and employers, who observe the issue of reticence among Asian employees or students. The overall roadmap will consist of identifying the target audience, and the thorough analysis of attitudes and behavior, and setting.

Target audience

The primary target audience for the campaign will be ethnic minorities, more specifically Asian students, who experience the reticence. The latter can be considered as a major communication barrier of cross-cultural type. The study suggests that a majority of successful teams in sports or business possess a strong factor of competence in cross-cultural communication (Bell & Riol, 2017).

However, it is important to point out the main issue, which is reticence of Asian students during educational and intercultural processes. It is stated that such tendency to be passive and silent is not determined by their culture, because various pedagogical activities can reverse the given effect (Shao & Gao, 2016). It is also critical to note that the campaign is not solely targeted at Asian-Americans, but includes international students from Asia as well. The overall goal is to create a highly inclusive and open environment, where Asian students will express less reticence.

Attitudes and Behavior

Sociocentric and non-argumentative approaches were selected as key attitudes in order to make the campaign effective. It is stated that Asian people are more inclined to express more sociocentric and less argumentative attitudes due to their collectivistic nature (Pekerti & Thomas, 2015). In addition, the behavior of horizontal collectivism was chosen, because it primarily allows the members of a group or community to be accepted and understood (Arpaci, 2019). These concepts are related to the issue, because they are specifically designed to eliminate or reduce the effect of reticence among Asian students.

The formation of intercultural competence should occupy a central place in the pedagogical process, which is of particular importance right now. This is especially important when the mixture of peoples, languages, and cultures has reached unprecedented proportions and, as always, the problem of raising tolerance for foreign cultures, awakening interest and respect for them, overcoming the feeling of irritation from redundancy, insufficiency or simply the dissimilarity of other cultures has become acute. Despite the fact that communicative and intercultural approaches develop in direct interconnection and interdependence, determining the setting of goals for teaching foreign languages, there is a fundamental difference between them.

A non-argumentative approach involves the assimilation of a foreign values directly in the function of communication. It is focused on the achievement of a foreign language communicative competence, which is based on the model of the communicative competence of a native speaker, although it is not identical to it. There is non-identity of the foreign language communicative competence of the communicative competence of the bearer of culture.

The nature, component composition and structure of non-cultural communicative competence differs from the structure of communicative competence in the native culture. This idea is fundamental for the campaign, since the ideal of training is not a native speaker dictating the norms of the culture being studied, but a linguistic personality in the role of a mediator of cultures.

The interaction of participants in intercultural communication should not imitate or be built solely according to the rules of communication adopted in the studied culture. It is built according to the rules of intercultural communication, which is different from communication in specific cultures and has its own characteristics. Thus, in the context of intercultural communication, not only the contact of language systems and their speech manifestations takes place, but also the contact of different cultures.

In other words, the socio-ethnic approach is not only the interaction of groups, but also the interaction of cultures, so the communication process crosses not only the boundaries of behavior, but also the boundaries of cultures. The rapid development of information and communication technologies, the growth of globalization contributes to the improvement of actions to address the growing needs of interlanguage and intercultural communication.

There is an attempt to introduce a communicative component into the structure of intercultural competence, to unite the above competencies. Thus, a relatively new concept of intercultural communicative competence appears. This competency does not imply a simple merger of the two competencies that make up the term intercultural competence, but is intended to reflect the new properties of a person who is ready for a dialogue of cultures.

To clarify the boundaries and parameters of the campaign goal, it is necessary to compare the concepts of intercultural competence and intercultural communicative competence. The answer is obvious that a person who does not speak the language as a means of communication can be interculturally competent. In this context, it can serve as the necessary link, in fact, a communicant of intercultural communication. Intercultural communicative competence can be inherent only to persons who speak the language at a level sufficient to implement effective intercultural communication.

Based on the foregoing, it seems possible to formulate a definition of intercultural communicative competence. This is a combination of intercultural knowledge, skills to apply them in practice, the presence of personality qualities necessary for the implementation of these knowledge and skills, and knowledge of a foreign language as a means of communication necessary for the implementation of productive interaction with representatives of foreign cultures. Based on the foregoing, it can be concluded that the formation of intercultural competence should be highlighted as an independent component of the goals of the campaign.


Mass channels and interviews will be two main forms of setting used for the communication campaign. The former will be manifested in the fact that popular social media platforms will be fully utilized in order to effectively transmit the message. It is stated that social marketing campaigns are highly effective in raising the overall awareness of the issue (George, Roberts, Beasley, Fox, & Rashied-Henry, 2016). In addition, the interview format will be used due to its inherent nature of reducing stress during discussions of key ideas (Mann, Yanson, & Lambert, 2018). It will help to achieve the overall goal, because it is clear that reticence is tightly intertwined with stress. In addition, social media campaigns provide entertaining ways to create a proactive environment, which will greatly help in achieving communicative inclusiveness for Asian students.


Arpaci, I. (2019). Culture and nomophobia: The role of vertical versus horizontal collectivism in predicting nomophobia. Information Development, 35(1), 96-106.

Bell, R., & Riol, C. F. (2017). The impact of cross-cultural communication on collective efficacy in NCAA basketball teams. International Journal of Cross Cultural Management, 17(2), 175-195.

George, K. S., Roberts, C. B., Beasley, S., Fox, M., & Rashied-Henry, K. (2016). Our health Is in our hands: A social marketing campaign to combat obesity and diabetes. American Journal of Health Promotion, 30(4), 283-286.

Mann, M. J., Yanson, R., & Lambert, A. D. (2018). Using service learning to improve interviewer and interviewee effectiveness. Management Teaching Review, 3(1), 20-36.

Pekerti, A. A., & Thomas, D. C. (2015). The role of self-concept in cross-cultural communication. International Journal of Cross Cultural Management, 15(2), 167-193.

Shao, Q., & Gao, X. (2016). Reticence and willingness to communicate (WTC) of East Asian language learners. System, 63, 115-120.


  • The problem is reticence and its effect on cross-cultural communication among Asian students.
  • The topic is important because it provides a valuable insight for employers and educators in handling such situations.
  • The target audience is ethnic minorities, specifically Asian students.
  • The attitudes are sociocentric and non-argumentative approaches, whereas the behavior is horizontal collectivism.
  • Setting includes mass channels, such as social media marketing campaigns, and interpersonal channels, such as interviews.

Design Features

The campaign will utilize three persuasive design features, which are reciprocation, validation, and likability. Reciprocation will be effective in order to cohesively work together with non-argumentative approach. This will allow an interviewer to create an environment where reticence is substantially reduced. Validation factor is critical for the behavior of horizontal collectivism, because the members seek to be accepted by the group despite the differences. In addition, the likability design feature is essential due to the fact that it will promote sociocentric attitude during both mass channels and interviews.

Reciprocity and Non-argumentation

Reciprocity should be understood as the principle of interpersonal and social relations, which implies the presence of explicit and latent mutual obligations of their participants. For the most part, reciprocity is seen as an attribute of horizontal, that is, not related to the dominance and subordination of parties and relations. In conditions of an imbalance of resources and opportunities among the parties, reciprocity fades into the background, although it is not completely canceled. However, the higher the potential interest of the parties is, the more popular is reciprocity, which, from an abstract principle, acquires the character of a norm (Dienlin, Masur, & Trepte, 2017).

Its essence is the absence of a calculation for direct compensation of the expended efforts and resources. However, reciprocity of expectations is distinguished from negative reciprocity by the awareness of the possibility of being in a situation of exclusion, empathy, the ability to put oneself in the place of the needy. It is also stated that dialogue and cooperation can determine the level of non-argumentativeness (Budevac, Arcidiacono, & Baucal, 2017). The only way to make such actions understandable and explicable is the reciprocity of perspective.

It is important to note that there will be no use for reciprocity if the non-argumentative approach will not be utilized. At the beginning of the dispute, the topic is, as a rule, not sufficiently definite, but this is revealed only in the course of the dispute. Its participants are forced to constantly clarify their positions, which leads to a change in approaches to the topic of the dispute, to a shift in emphasis on this topic itself. Clarification and concretization of the positions of the disputants is an important point in the dispute; one cannot do without it. However, one still needs to constantly keep in mind the main line of the dispute and try not to go far from it.

If the subject of the dispute has changed, it is advisable to specifically pay attention to this and emphasize that the dispute regarding a new subject is, in essence, a different and not the previous dispute. Many disputes result in their participants becoming even more firmly established.

It would be hasty, however, to draw the conclusion that most disputes are ineffective from this. Although the positions of those who argued did not change, they undoubtedly became clearer than before the moment of the argument. Not all controversy ends in the fact that everyone passes into one faith. However, almost every polemic helps the parties clarify their positions, find additional arguments for their defense, and this explains the increased conviction of the participants in the ended dispute in their own rightness. Therefore, it is evident that non-argumentative attitude through reciprocity will assist the campaign to stay on its path in order to reach the objectives.

Validation and Horizontal Collectivism

Horizontal collectivism is important in defining validation as one of the main characteristics of this campaign. Representatives of this society consider themselves as part of a group and strongly emphasize common goals and interdependence. Horizontal individualism is associated with a higher level of manifestation of emotions, compared with vertical individualism, vertical collectivism is associated with more stringent requirements for emotional control, compared with horizontal collectivism. This type of collectivism emphasizes interdependence and unity.

However, the strict hierarchy characteristic of collectivism is often accompanied by the solidarity of individuals with different statuses. In collectivist cultures, group norms are a more important regulator of behavior than social attitudes. It is also important to note that correct behavior is highly appreciated. With horizontal collectivism, success is attributed to the help received from other people, so it is logical enough that collectivists in difficult situations turn to the social environment for help (Arpaci, 2019).

In addition, collectivists are inclined to attribute success and achievements to the help of other people. It is also stated that empathetic validation can result in better communication (Linton, 2015). Therefore, it is important to design a campaign feature that adhere to the given element and validation allows communicators to have differences and still remain non-argumentative.

Likeability and Sociocentrism

Furthermore, it is important to understand the relationship between likeability design features and sociocentrism. Sociocentrism is a picture of the world, putting society at the center of the universe, understood as a product of human interaction (Marcelo, 2019). Society is understood as that sphere in which all conditions of a human being are created. Outside of society there is no man, and outside of the interaction of people there is no society.

Accordingly, the paradigm is affirmed that everything is in society, everything comes from society and is transformed through society. In many existing social, ideological and political conditions, it acted as a singular paradigm, not allowing ideological alternatives in relation to itself. It can be said that this is absolute sociocentrism, when a person is not conceived in isolation from society, and the natural principle in it is actually oblivious. Absolute sociocentrism means the unconditional unit of society, the social environment over a person. A different approach in this concept can be considered as a gross violation of methodological discipline.

The given attitude was chosen over ethnocentrism, because Asian people consist of multiple and diverse ethnic groups. It is stated that the likeability factor is in strong accordance with attribute analysis and audience interpretation (Lobinger & Brantner, 2015). The lack of overall inclusiveness of the campaign will reduce the likeability factor, which will directly affect the behavior of horizontal collectivism.

Therefore, it will not be effective to adhere to a single ethnic group, which cannot represent all Asian people. However, sociocentrism allows the campaign to speak to the target group without undermining one’s cultural background. In addition, it will be highly convenient to leave the ethnocultural aspect for interpersonal interviews, where the given subject can be elaborated and discussed in more detail. This type of approach will be realized through likeability design features, which will be highly inclusive to the target group. Likeability will also be critical for promoting horizontal collectivism due to the fact that one should like another in order to accept him or her to the group.


Arpaci, I. (2019). Culture and nomophobia: The role of vertical versus horizontal collectivism in predicting nomophobia. Information Development, 35(1), 96-106.

Budjevac, N., Arcidiacono, F., & Baucal, A. (2017). Reading together: The interplay between social and cognitive aspects in argumentative and non-argumentative dialogues. In F. Arcidiacono & A. Bova (Eds.), Interpersonal argumentation in educational and professional contexts (pp. 47-73). Berlin, Germany: Springer.

Dienlin, T., Masur, P. K., & Trepte, S. (2017). Reinforcement or displacement? The reciprocity of FTF, IM, and SNS communication and their effects on loneliness and life satisfaction. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 22(2), 71-87.

Linton, S. J. (2015). Intricacies of good communication in the context of pain: Does validation reinforce disclosure? International Association for the Study of Pain, 156(2), 199-200.

Lobinger, K., & Brantner, C. (2015). Likable, funny or ridiculous? A Q-sort study on audience perceptions of visual portrayals of politicians. Visual Communication, 14(1), 15-40.

Marcelo, L. S. (2019). Decolonising postcolonial thinking: Ethnocentrism and sociocentrism as transideological and multiscalar phenomena. An International E-Journal for Critical Geographies, 18(1), 1-24.

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ChalkyPapers. (2022) 'Eliminating Socio-Cultural Barriers for Asian Students'. 1 February.


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ChalkyPapers. "Eliminating Socio-Cultural Barriers for Asian Students." February 1, 2022. https://chalkypapers.com/eliminating-socio-cultural-barriers-for-asian-students/.