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Negotiating Intercultural ConflictIntercultural Conflict ScenarioI remember an intercultural conflict that I experienced some time ago with a friend from the neighborhood He is an Arab immigrant and he lives with his family We passed by two women wearing Islamic clothes which appears uncomfortable to me since it was the summer season I said It is illogical to wear something like that when it is hot I wonder why people in hot countries agree to suffer under such clothes The comment was purely innocent but my friend got offended In my defense I completely forgot that he was from a hot place where people wear heavy fabrics and he is a Muslim He took it as if I was ridiculing a practice he deems acceptable and logicalHe asked What did you gain from such comment I was caught off-guard and failed to see the root cause immediately He also said that I got annoyed and I was just against their practices and beliefs My friend received the message of what was supposed to be a casual and innocent remark negatively Here it is obvious that the individual differences between the sender and the receiver of the message affect how the underlying meaning of the message is interpretedAnalysis of the ConflictThe conflict had micro meso and macro dimensions of conflict Sorrells 203 The micro dimension is the difference in the ways we were raised He failed to see the lightness in my comment because he is not used to careless remarks He told me that he was brought up in a serious manner while I grew up in an open and light-hearted family circle in China There are even times when he takes jokes seriously because he does not know that it was supposed to be a joke The meso dimension is his linking himself to immigrants It seems like he sees people who are coming from a different group like Americans Asian European etc and he
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