Cross Ethnic Conflict Styles

by Constance Turrell, June 2014

3000 words

10 pages


Intercultural communication appears when individuals influenced by different cultural communities negotiate shared meanings in interaction. This term is limited by some authorities to refer only to communication among individuals from different nationalities. On the contrary, other scholars expand this notion of intercultural communication to cover inter-ethic, inter-religious, and sometimes inter-regional communication, as well as communication among people with different sexual orientations.

However, any kind of communication is impossible without conflicts. An ethnic conflict is a conflict between ethnic groups, often appearing as a result of ethnic nationalism or even ethnic hatred. As it is well-knows, the United States of America have already become home for many nationalities. The most numerous ethnic groups are African Americans, Asian Americans, Latino/a Americans, and Native Americans. Each of these groups fought for its rights and freedoms. A lot of historical events are the consequence of these fights, and even wars. Even nowadays communication between these ethnic groups is strained.

Social scientists still debate the impact of large-scale immigration on low-skilled American natives. At the same time, these Americans certainly believe that high levels of immigration threaten their economic well-being. As current researches show, these fears are mostly widespread between African Americans. There is also a growing conflict between African Americans and Latina/os for group position, status and political power. The reason for this is the fact that the most immigrants of Hispanic ancestry in areas proximate to African American populations in the nation’s largest cities. Another reason for this argument is African American gains in office-holding. They appear to be leveling off at higher levels of office, while Latino/a ones are rapidly rising. It happens because of the outflow of non-Hispanic white office holders and African Americans, although African Americans are more susceptible given their smaller general numbers. African Americans are supposed to be the most contentious ethnic group. Is it true? There are some pages of history to be turned over.

The majority of African Americans are the descendants of enslaved Africans transported from West and Central Africa to the USA during the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Then there were flows of immigrants from the Caribbean, South America and Africa. Early in the nineteenth century there was the emergence of ethnic self-identities in the American North. Later these identities became political power groups: Germans, Irish Jews, Hispanics, and African Americans. There was a strict division into immigrants and the citizens of the USA. Despite this division, immigrants understood that power in America comes to those who command bloc votes. After some political changes, ethnic groups were voting blocs. It is easy to suppose that African Americans would have been initially more diverse than European Americans. On the contrary, the united powers of Jews, Irish and Germans allowed using the slave labor of African Americans. That was the time Black Yankees appeared. They differed greatly from nowadays’ African American ethnicity. However, this movement is one of three cultural streams modern African American ethnic traits come from. Another two ones are the slave traditions of the antebellum …

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