Books and Movies Reviews

Intercultural Communication in Bend It Like Beckham

Bend it Like Beckham is about a young Indian woman named Jessminder who struggles between being herself and doing what she loves and pleasing her family and their traditional values.Jess's parents want her to lead a traditional life and learn to cook, work on her education, and get married like her sister.They don't like her playing soccer, which Jess not only loves to do, but is also very talented at.
When Jess is discovered by another local female soccer player, Jules, and asked to play on their local girls' team, she knows her parents will never accept this as part of her life.However, Jess decides to lie to her parents and secretly join the team in order to pursue her love of soccer.
The film is full of so many examples of intercultural communication; it was actually hard to focus on a specific area.However, one of the aspects in the film I found especially interesting was the culture clash between Jess's very traditional parents and extended family compared to the very modern London, England, where they lived.I realized later after studying the film in greater detail that several characters within the movie experience their own culture clash and adapt and change in their own ways.In the essay "The Role of Family and Macrocultures in Intercultural Relationships" by Carley H. Dodd and John R. Baldwin, the authors explain that it has traditionally been believed that a culture is made up of large groups of people that share the same way of life, such as a specific ethnic group or members of the same country.However, many scholars now believe that "any size group can share a way of life, and for that group, this becomes a culture" (Dodd and Baldwin, 335).This was evident to me as I witnessed not only Jess's family adapt to their changing environment, but Jess herself adapt and accept the "soccer player" way of life, and also Jules' mother Paula as she…


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