Communication and culture integrate to form a complex relationship involving the different values, norms and world views that are the manifestation of a culture. The three manifestations of culture provide the base for understanding intercultural relationships and even culture formation. Communication helps people of different cultural backgrounds to adhere and adapt to different behavioral traits which ultimately when shared, forms common practices and beliefs. Communication entails a meaningful exchange of information amongst two or more parties through visuals, speech, writings or even behavior while culture involves common practices and beliefs among a social group.
Communication as seen in the above definition involves passing of information, and this plays a pertinent role in cultural formation because a culture is formed by common practices among a social group and that means communication between the constituents of that group. The constituents develop a common mode of communication which evolves as time goes by to become an identity of that group. An example is the Khoisan group of southern Africa who had lived in isolation and had developed a common language to express themselves and communicate which later became part of their norms and beliefs.
Culture can be maintained by communication especially where there is a common established language among that social group. This is possible through the transfer of the specifics of one culture to the future generations who will inherit the same practices ascertaining the culture’s continuity. Culture alteration can occur when two or more social groups with different norms comes together to form a larger unit; an example would be the African American culture where the Africans after being taken by united states adopted the English language, and hence the norms and beliefs of the native American people passed on to the immigrant Africans consequently altering their native culture.