According to Schaefer there are five features of minority group:
- members of minority groups are treated differently from members of majority group by members of majority group
- members of minority groups have either physical or cultural characteristics that make them stand out from majority group
- membership in minority group is not voluntary
- members of minority group tend to associate with and marry other members of their group
- they are aware of their subordinate status, which leads to strong group solidarity (Gudykunst & Yun Kim, p. 65)
What is most important for the good intercultural dialogue is that ethnic groups possess as a distinctive feature not only racial marks but also language religion etc.
We can describe ethnocentrism as way of describing oneself by identification with its ingroup and passing its judgment on outgroups and its members according to its own standards. That is why ethnocentric people tend to view their own nation/group/cultural values as more “natural”, “right” and in the way “it has to be done”. Ethnocentrism has important influence on communication conditions and the way we speak to other people.
According to Lukens ethnocentric speech is reflected in three communicative distances:
- the distance of indifference – when somebody is trying to “demonstrate lack of concern form persons of other cultures and reflect an intensity of cultural differences”
- the distance of avoidance – when somebody is “limiting the amount of interaction with out – groups”
- the distance of disparagement – when somebody is demonstrating feelings of hostility towards out – groups and is deriding ore belittleing them (Lukens 1978, p. 41)