Intercultural Communication Competence of Indonesian Undergraduate Students When Watching the Movie ‘American History X’


Intercultural communication competence (ICC) is important for students to understand and respond positively to other cultures. This study analyzed the ICC of students by indirect communication through watching foreign movies. American History X is a foreign movie that can engage with the ICC of undergraduate students. This study aimed to determine participants’ level of interest and understanding about ICC when discussing intercultural factors. The participants included three Indonesian undergraduates from various universities who participated in the WATSUP (Watch a Movie and Speak Up) national seminar in 2021, and their responses or reactions were examined, especially responses to the American racism as depicted in American History X. The data were collected by watching the recording of the seminar. The findings indicated that the students mainly showed the development of their ICC while watching and discussing American History X. The students, who were not culturally American, were then encouraged to develop their ICC by giving reactions and comments about American culture and, in the process, they found common ground between their own Indonesian culture and foreign American culture. The students thereby became more aware of the distinct yet similar cultures and they learnt to appreciate other foreign cultures. 

Keywords: intercultural communication competence, Indonesian students’ cultural competence, American History X 

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