Media and Intercultural Communication Shifts: A Semiotic Analysis of the Cultural Identity in Two International Films


Intercultural communication; cultural exposure; cultural empiricism; cultural identity; semiotic


This research investigated the role of media in fostering intercultural communication within the global context. Specifically, the study examined how films continue to serve as important media tools to facilitate the maintenance of cultural identity even within multicultural settings where exposure to other cultures and cultural empiricism were common. To explore the study’s purpose, grounded theory was used as a qualitative method. With this method, it was possible to analyze the impact of intercultural communication and cross-cultural interaction on people from a behavioural perspective. Whereas grounded theory was the overall research strategy, the specific data collection method employed was semiotic analysis. Two films, “My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002)” and “Shanghai Kiss (2007)” were selected and analyzed. The findings revealed that cultural exposure and cultural empiricism could sometimes lead culturally related dilemma and contamination, but they do not necessarily guarantee that people experiencing them will always give up their cultural identities. Two major conclusions were: 1) that films can aid intercultural communication in a global context and 2) cultural exposure and cross-cultural interactions can take place without a person losing his or her cultural identity.