Identity and Language
The labels that refer to particular identities are an important part of intercultural communication . These labels do not , of course , exist outside of their relational meanings. It is therlationships - not only interpersonal but social-that help us understand the importance of the labels.
Communication sholar Dolores Tanno (2000) describes her own multiple identities reflected in the various labels applied to her. For instance , the label "spanish" was applied by her family and designates an ancestral origin in spain. The label "mexican American" reflects two important cultures that contribute to her identity ."Latina" reflects cultural and historical connectedness with others of spanish descent (e.g. , Puerto Ricans and south americans) , and "chicana" promotes political and cultural assertiveness in representing her identity . She stresses that she is all of these , that each one reveals a different facet of her identity : Symbolic , historical , culrural , and political.
In empashizing the fluidity and relational nature of labels , communication scholar Stuart Hall (1985) notes that ,
"At different times in my thirty years in England , i have been "hailed" or interplated as "coloured" , "west-indian" , "negro" , "black" , "immigrant".sometimes in the street , sometimes at street corners ; sometimes abusively;sometimes in a friendly manner ; sometimes ambiguosly"