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Interview Stereotypes and Ethnocentrism

Introduction
This interview was conducted to see the nature of stereotypes. It was conducted on-line with a colleague from Sweden named Pelle Hybbinette. He was 26 years old and studied part-time whilst he freelanced as a photographer and writer and recently started to make film documentaries. He was quick to point out that these things merely defined what he does rather than reflect who he is, which gained my appreciation. He suggested himself a vagabond and indicated that it was very hard for him to settle down somewhere after many years of travelling. During these years he has lived for 6 months in London, for 5 months in Madrid and for 6 months in Barcelona. He has also travelled the globe for a period of one year and spent 4 months in Sydney. I found this very exciting and fascinating and was keen to hear him giving an account of what he had experienced living for several months in different countries and in different cultures. As he had spent quite some time abroad so I naturally expected that he would have gained plenty of experiences which could be related to both topic areas; stereotypes and miscommunication in intercultural encounters.

This was originally to be a piece of research concerned with miscommunication. This was due to enthusiasm for the concepts and findings we had covered in the module so far and I was subsequently curious to find out more. As well as this I had also experienced miscommunication myself in international encounters. Being an Erasmus-student in Nottingham surrounded by students from all over the world this was a common occurrence for me. However, as the research topic of stereotypes seemed to interest both Pelle and I, we had difficulties deciding upon our' final topic. It took quite some time to establish regular contact and we finally decided to start off exchanging our ideas about stereotypes. We felt that this would be a good foundation from which we could discuss communication.

 

 

Reflection
When reflecting about my ideas, beliefs and values and what I have learned about them during this experience, I have found that I cannot only think of my discussions with Pelle and the research I conducted as I have gained more insight from the module as a whole. Our e-mail discussions and the theoretical research being only a part of the overall process I have undergone during this module. The issues raised in class made me aware that I actually think about myself, my beliefs and my values from a cultural stand point I, which has made me subsequently even more aware of the impact that terms such as abroad have on my overall view of the world. All these processes have made me think seriously about many situations I have faced in everyday life. As a consequence, I see many things from a different perspective now. I have experienced what may be called a culture shock and have become aware of my own ethnocentrism and started to reflect upon my perception of the world, the many cultures and the people that surround me. I see many things in a different light now and all of these concepts have contributed to a valuable experience which has broadened my cultural thinking and awareness of national stereotypes.

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