INTERPERSNL COMMNCTN CMST 2010
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This 8 page Class Notes was uploaded by Gaetano Price on Tuesday October 13, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to CMST 2010 at Louisiana State University taught by L. Hunt in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 9 views. For similar materials see /class/222689/cmst-2010-louisiana-state-university in Communication Studies at Louisiana State University.
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Date Created: 10/13/15
CHAPTER 3 o Intercultural communication communication between and among individuals and groups from different cultural backgrounds 2 Defining 0 Culture Culture the shared personal and learned life experiences of a group of individuals who have a common set of values norms and traditions Values of a culture are its standards and what it emphasizes most Norms are patterns of communication Traditions are the customs of a culture It is almost impossible to separate values norms and traditions from any conversation pertaining to intercultural communication 0 0 When defining culture we are embracing a global interpretation We acknowledge culture to include commonlyheld components such as race ethnicity physical ability age gender and sex We also believe that a person s religious identity career path sexual identity and family background are also part of culture Three underlying principles associated with our definition of culture Culture is Learned Cult ure People learn the values norms and traditions of their culture through the communication of symbols for meaning We learn about culture both consciously and unconsciously We can learn about culture directly someone actually teaching us and indirectly when we observe cultural practices In the US our family friends and the media are the primary teachers of our culture Enculturation occurs when a person either consciously or unconsciously learns to identify with a particular culture and a culture s thinking way of relating and worldview o Allows for successful participation in a particular society and makes a person more accepted by that society Acculturation occurs when a person learns adapts to and adopts the appropriate behaviors and rules of a host culture 0 acculturated individuals have effectively absorbed themselves into another society You don t have to sacrifice your personal set of principles simply because you ve found yourself in another culture Creates Community Community the common understandings among people who are committed to coexisting Cultures create their own sets of values norms rules and customs which help them to communicate Cocultures a culture within a culture 0 Each community has unique communication behaviors and practices but each also subscribes to behaviors and practices embraced by the larger culture Culture clash a conflict over cultural expectations or experiences 0 0 Not necessarily bad in fact having the opportunity to view a situation from a different cultural point of view can be productive Culture is Multileveled Cultures can be formed on other levels such as generation sexual identity gender race region etc and are not exclusive to national backgrounds Example people of different regions ofthe US Midwesterners New Englanders Southerners have differing characteristics from other regions but also share common things that all Americans share Example Cultures that develop around a certain age cohort generation 0 People who grew up in different time frames grew up in different cultural eras depression babies of the 1930s amp Flower children of the 1960s 0 As people age they find it difficult to abandon many of the values they learned during childhood Our interpersonal relationships can constitute mini cultures 0 A relational culture develops when an interpersonal relationship is characterized by a unique system of communication including nicknames joint storytelling inside jokes and code words 0 Two people with their own relational culture share a common worldview but it is one they have constructed themselves 2 Diversity in the United States A Nation of Newcomers o The diversity associated with intercultural contact affects family structure corporations religious institutions schools and the media 0 The increasing diversity over the past several years is not without consequence It is observed that people of different races ethnicities and nationalities are being thrown together and torn apart It is a terrifying experience this coming together one for which we have of yet only the most awkward vocabulary 0 We live in a nation that experiences almost constant immigration For example Latinos many from Mexico are the fastest growing cultural group in the US The U S traditionally supports cultural newcomers but a backlash of sorts is increasing Politicians and activists are afraid that the arrival of new cultural groups in the US risks dividing the country along language and cultural lines They have tried to fix this problem by enforcing English only movements to try and make English the official language of the country In 1996 the US House of Representatives passed the English Language Empowerment Act which would have made English the official language ofthe US but it never became a law Increased anxiety about immigration arose when the terrorist attacks of September 11 2001 happened This prompted security concerns about illegal immigration This also prompted more drastic reforms including a large fence on the MexicanAmerican border denying immigrant families access to health care and deporting all undocumented immigrants to their native countries 0 Culture is communication and communication is culture We learn how where why when and to whom we communicate through cultural teachings Equally when we communicate we reproduce and reinforce our cultural practices 2 Why Study Intercultural Communication 0 Six imperatives or critical reasons why to study intercultural communication Technological Imperative Technological changes such as personal computers faxes palm organizers video phones and the internet increase opportunities for intercultural communication Demographic lmperative The United States is referred to as a melting pot a metaphor that evokes a unified national character formed as a result of immigration 0 Other metaphors include a symphony stew or salad suggesting that diversity provides for unique textures and tastes 0 These metaphors suggest that different cultures can retain their unique characters even while becoming a part ofthe US culture 0 The metaphors also suggest that the larger culture can accommodate and appreciate the contribution of cocultures and cocultural values In the US it s not uncommon for food dress religion and street signs to recognize individual cultural groups As a country the US will always be populated with individuals whose backgrounds are multicultural Economic lmperative Global village the concept that all societies regardless oftheir size are connected in some way The term also can be used to describe how communication technology ties the world into one political economical social and cultural system The United States depends on other countries for its economic sustainability Outsourcing a practice in which a nation sends work and workers to a different country because doing so is cost efficient People in business and industry education media and politics communicate with others of different cultures if for no other reason that that it is costefficient to do so All ofthe exchanges of human resources represent one piece ofthe process known as globalization Workers from other countries who come to the US often receive no training in intercultural similarities and differences which can be problematic Peace lmperative Learning about other cultures aids in understanding conflicting points of view perhaps resulting in a more peaceful world Also looking at an issue from another s perspective is critical to interpersonal relationships SelfAwarenesslmperative Each person has a worldview a unique way of seeing the world through their own lens of understanding 0 Worldviews can help you understand your place and space privilege comfortability etc in society 0 These perspectives are often unconscious 0 They are also directly derived from our cultural identity When we have a clear understanding of who we are and what forces brought us to our current state we can begin to understand others worldviews o Becoming personally aware of your own worldview and the worldviews of others will inevitably help you manage the cultural variation in your relationships Ethical Imperative Ethics pertains to what is perceived as right and wrong Culturally speaking ethics can vary tremendously different fields of cultural experience dictate different opinions of what constitutes ethical behavior Regardless of our personal opinions each of us has an ethical obligation to ensure that cultural behaviors are depicted in the context of cultural values We also have an ethical obligation to ensure that we fully understand cultural practices before deciding whether to impose our own cultural will upon others overseas as 2 Dimensions of Culture 0 Cultural variabilig theom a theory that describes the four value dimensions uncertainty avoidance distribution of power masculinityfemininity and individualismcollectivism that offer information regarding the value differences in a particular culture Uncertainty avoidance a cultural mindset that indicates how tolerant or intolerant a culture is of uncertainty and change High degree of uncertainty avoidance cultures that resist change and have high levels of anxiety associated with change They also desire predictability and so they need specific laws to guide behavior and personal conduct 0 Examples Greece Chile Portugal Japan and France Low degree of uncertainty avoidance cultures that are unthreatened by change They are comfortable taking risks and are less aggressive and less emotional than cultures with a high degree of uncertainty avoidance 0 Examples The US Sweden Britain Denmark and Ireland Intercultural communication problems can surface when a person raised in a culture that tolerates ambiguity encounters another who has little tolerance 0 Distribution of Power Power distance how a culture perceives and distributes power High in power distance tend to show respect to people with higher status They look up to authoritarianism and the difference between the powerful and the powerless is clear Differences in age sex and income are exaggerated and people accept these differences Examples Philippines Mexico lndia Singapore and Brazil India is an example of a culture that is high in power distance exemplified by the caste system a social classification which organizes people into four castes or categories Brahmins priests Kashtryas administratorsrulers Vaisyas businesspeople or farmers and Sudras laborers 0 Each caste has various duties and rights This caste hierarchy inhibits communication among caste groups Only one group the priests has the prerogative to communicate with all other social groups Low in power distance believe that power should be equally distributed regardless of a person s age sex or status They minimize differences among the classes and accept challenges to power in interpersonal relationships Examples The US Austria lsrael Denmark and Ireland The United States is becoming higher in power distance because of the growing disparity between rich and poor Intercultural encounters between people from high and low power distance cultures can be challenging because they view power differently ex supervisorfrom high power distance amp workers from low power distance 0 MasculinityFemininity the extent to which cultures represent masculine and feminine traits in their society 0 V Masculine cultures a culture that emphasizes characteristics stereotypically associated with masculine people such as achievement competitiveness strength and material success Examples Mexico Italy Venezuela Japan and Austria the division of labor is based on sex The US falls closer to masculinity Feminine cultures a culture that emphasizes characteristics stereotypically associated with feminine people such as sexual equality nurturance quality of life supportiveness affection and a compassion for the less fortunate Examples Thailand Norway the Netherlands Denmark and Finland the promotion of sexual equality exists 0 IndividualismCollectivism Individualism a cultural mindset that emphasizes selfconcept and personal achievement and that prefers competition over cooperation the individual over the group and the private over the public Have an I communication orientation emphasizing selfconcept and personal achievement Tend to reject authoritarianism and typically support the belief that people should pull themselves up by their own bootstraps Examples the US Canada Britain Australia and Italy Collectivism a cultural mindset that emphasizes the group and its norms values and beliefs over the self Tend to value duty tradition and hierarchy A we communication orientation prevails Families are particularly important and people have higher expectations of loyalty to family including taking care of extended family members Examples Columbia Peru Pakistan Chile and Singapore Context orientation theom the theory that meaning is derived from either the setting of the messages or the words of a message and that cultures can vary in the extent to which message meaning is made explicit or implicit 0 Answers the following question Is meaning derived from cues outside ofthe message or from the words in the message 0 The cultures of the world differ in the extent to which they rely on context 0 Divided into two areas Highcontext cultures a culture in which there is a high degree of similarity among members and in which the meaning of a message is drawn primarily from its context such as one s surroundings rather than from words People read nonverbal cues with a high degree of accuracy because people share the same structure of meaning Less formal and decisions take into consideration the relationship between and among people Examples Native American Latin American Japanese Chinese and Korean Lowcontext culture a culture in which there is a high degree of difference among members and in which the meaning of a message must be explicitly related usually in words Meanings are communicated explicitly very little of the conversation is left open to interpretation Nonverbal communication is not easily comprehended Examples Germany Switzerland the US Canada and France 2 Challenges of Intercultural communication 0 Ethnocentrism the process ofjudging another culture using the standards of your own culture Derived from two greek words ethno nation and kentron center A belief in the superiority of your own culture It is thought that cultures train their members to use the categories oftheir own cultural experiences when judging the experiences of people from other cultures Normally ethnocentric tendencies exaggerate differences and usually prevent intercultural understanding 0 Stereotyping Statements that generalize the qualities of some members of a group and apply them to the group as a whole Can be good or bad We must be willing to look beyond the generalizations about a particular group and communicate with people as individuals 0 Anxiety and Uncertainty May feel anxiety and uncertainty when you are introduced to people who speak look and act differently from you Most of us want to be culturally aware and use language that doesn t offend yet we frequently don t know what words might be offensive to members of cultures other than our own lngroups groups to which a person feels he or she belongs Outgroups groups to which a persfjon feels he or she does not belong Perceptions of belonging are directly proportional to the level of connection an individual feels toward a group o Misinterpretation of Nonverbal and Verbal Behaviors Nonverbal behaviors differ dramatically across with within cultures Verbal communication styles can differ Examples are using different words for the same thing 0 The Assumption of Similarity or Difference Suggests that intercultural communication is possible because it simply requires homing in on people s inherent similarities Assuming similarity fails to appreciate difference Also suggests that people from different cultures are vastly different from one another and therefore communication between them is difficult if not impossible Assuming difference fails to appreciate cultural commonalities 2 Choices for Intercultural Understanding 0 Know your biases and Stereotypes o Tolerate the Unknown 0 Practice Cultural Respect Cultural imperialism a process whereby individuals companies andor the media impose their way ofthinking and behaving upon another culture belittles another culture Cultural empathy the learned ability to accurately understand the experiences of people from diverse cultures and to convey that understanding responsively Involves trying to look at the culture from the inside Culture relativity the ability to avoid judging or condemning any practice in which any other culture engages 0 Educate yourself Read about other cultures Learn about cultures through others Be prepared for Consequences Relate to the individual not the culture Reevaluate and Eliminate your Prejeduices O O O
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