After reading the Chapter 4 from “Intercultural Communication in Context” and the article “Despotism and Godless Terrorism”, I found there is a intimate relationship between the power of history and our identity, that is, how do people consider themselves, especially the impact of different history over intercultural communication. History shapes us, both national and personal history have inevitable influence on people, and our understanding of identity.
People’s identity shaped by all kinds of history, ethnic history, brings us cultural background, tradition. Sexual Orientation history, which didn’t be specified until Abraham Lincoln, Diasporic History, melt new culture to immigrants, and Religious History, Socioeconomic Class Histories, Religion histories and so on, all these various kinds of history in broad perspective function as building gradual process for people shaping identity for themselves. I’d like to talk specifically how personal history affects our intercultural communication. No one can doubt the importance of family education for children, because childhood experience provides the initial model for communication style. Besides, historical myths, language all affect intercultural communication, people share same language can easily establish communication compare to people speak different language. History sometimes can be obstacle in intercultural communication, for instance, Chinese and Japanese may don’t have desire to communicate each other because they can’t forget the history, due to the war in 1940’s, great deals of Chinese people still can’t forgive the invasion made by Japan, even nowadays, Chinese hate Japanese people for this reason, and limits the intercultural communication between these two countries. It’s important to know the impact of history for intercultural communication can be either positive or negative.
The power of History is enormous, it decides who we are, more specifically, who do we believe we are, people always prefer to staying with similar one, this is because they feel easier, more comfortable when communicating, owing to they have similar background, share similar culture, religion. Like the Contact Hypothesis, more interaction promotes better communication, that is, the more similar the history is, the better communication.
Unfortunately, histories don’t always be told in objective way, either completely. Considering “absent history”, refers to any section of history is lost or not been recorded, not all the history can be reached by us. Sometimes government aim to conceal the truth for some reason, even the history was been recorded, documentation doesn’t be reached by people. For example, Chinese people normally don’t clear about the contributions made by nationalist party during the war, this is because Communist Party governs current china, and these two parties were opposite. The real contribution, stories of Nationalist party can’t be found in the history book in china. Based on the article “Despotism, and Godless Terrorism” written by Kinzer, the unbelievable conspiracy of US government is uncovered, which illustrates how the power of a nation influence intercultural communication, due to socioeconomic force, in many cases, histories can only be told by most powerful side, the article also change my understanding of contemporary culture somewhat by knowing the real history, the more realistic, objective the history is, the more reliable identity people can have.