Communication and Culture

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A guest Lecture by Obioha Durunna for ALES204: Communications: Theory & Practise class run by Dr. Jessica Laccetti. Obi regaled the class with examples of how easy it is to misunderstand cultures different from our own and that tolerance is key.

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  • Some words in some cultures may need to be stressed and these may be accompanied by behaviors that seem aggressive
  • The peace sign may mean victory (Iran)
  • Communication and Culture

    1. 1. Communication and culture Durunna Obioha
    2. 2. Objectives <ul><li>This presentation will help us to… </li></ul><ul><li>-reduce the extent we misunderstand what other people mean </li></ul><ul><li>-reduce our actions that may be misinterpreted by others </li></ul><ul><li>-increase our abilities to communicate clearly </li></ul><ul><li>-help others by clarifying what they mean (if we know) </li></ul>
    3. 3. Outline <ul><li>Basic Definitions..communication and culture </li></ul><ul><li>How cultures are different. </li></ul><ul><li>How to effectively adjust to a new community. </li></ul>
    4. 4. <ul><li>Communication </li></ul><ul><li>Communication is the exchange of thoughts, messages or information by signals, writing, speech or behavior. </li></ul>
    5. 5. Communication There are two main types of communication … -verbal -non verbal (75% of most communication) Communication Verbal Non-Verbal
    6. 6. <ul><li>Culture is the way of life of a group of people, usually passed from one generation to the next. </li></ul><ul><li>-it identifies the group through Language, Dressing, Behavior, etc. </li></ul>Culture
    7. 7. Culture <ul><li>Our culture (from nurture or adoption) may affect the way we communicate. </li></ul>
    8. 8. <ul><li>Different cultures may exist within a region or family! </li></ul><ul><li>Reasons for multicultural communities … </li></ul><ul><li>-jobs </li></ul><ul><li>-marriages </li></ul><ul><li>-education </li></ul><ul><li>-tours </li></ul><ul><li>-instabilities in other countries </li></ul><ul><li>-etc. </li></ul>
    9. 9. <ul><li>Alberta example… </li></ul><ul><li>-has over 3.8 million people (2010) </li></ul><ul><li>-is the 4 th largest immigrant receiving province </li></ul><ul><li>Most are immigrants </li></ul><ul><li>from other countries </li></ul><ul><li>(19.7%) or from </li></ul><ul><li>other provinces </li></ul><ul><li>(58%) </li></ul>
    10. 10. <ul><li>More than half live in Edmonton and Calgary </li></ul><ul><li>Implying that many cultures exist in these two cities. </li></ul><ul><li>There will be frequent communication with individuals from other cultures. </li></ul>
    11. 11. <ul><li>Knowing that differences exist is very important to prevent problems. </li></ul><ul><li>The responsibility of understanding lies on everybody. </li></ul><ul><li>Could there be instances where we misunderstood what someone said or did? </li></ul>
    12. 12. Ways cultures differ and affect communication <ul><li>Conversational styles </li></ul><ul><li>Narrative styles </li></ul><ul><li>Stance and attitudes </li></ul><ul><li>Personal responsibility </li></ul><ul><li>Face </li></ul>
    13. 13. <ul><li>1. Conversational styles </li></ul><ul><li>-soft vs loud tones </li></ul><ul><li>-slow vs fast pace </li></ul><ul><li>-gestural vs motionless </li></ul><ul><li>-topic of conversation </li></ul>Understanding cultural differences
    14. 14. <ul><li>Acceptable conversational topics </li></ul><ul><li>weather News Sports </li></ul><ul><li>Health Job </li></ul><ul><li>Non-acceptable conversational topics </li></ul><ul><li>Religion Politics Salary </li></ul><ul><li>Age Weight Physical appearance </li></ul><ul><li>Marital status (parents). </li></ul>
    15. 15. <ul><li>2. Narrative styles </li></ul><ul><li>Cultures may differ on the right way to tell a story </li></ul><ul><li>-which story </li></ul><ul><li>-ideal channel </li></ul><ul><li>-ideal medium </li></ul>
    16. 16. <ul><li>3. Stance and Attitudes </li></ul><ul><li>-People’s frame of mind or beliefs </li></ul><ul><li>-affect behavior and thoughts </li></ul><ul><li>e.g. middle class white North Americans indicate interest by </li></ul><ul><li>-more eye-contact </li></ul><ul><li>-giving more smiles and nods </li></ul><ul><li>… these may be interpreted differently in another culture </li></ul>
    17. 17. <ul><li>4. Personal responsibility … </li></ul><ul><li>Is the perception of doing the right thing </li></ul><ul><li>Differences exist in </li></ul><ul><li>-limits to express one’s view </li></ul><ul><li>-limits to acceptable actions </li></ul>
    18. 18. <ul><li>5. Face … </li></ul><ul><li>This refers to the standing of others in one’s eyes </li></ul><ul><li>-addressing people </li></ul><ul><li>-by names vs. titles </li></ul><ul><li>-greetings </li></ul>http://www.caboose.org.uk/media/Nigeria/TayoWedding/Picture%20030_w.jpg http://www.gitsiegirl.com/wp-content/uploads/2006/05/lost_handshake.jpg
    19. 19. <ul><li>5. Face … </li></ul><ul><li>-Other greetings patterns </li></ul>
    20. 20. <ul><li>Failure to understand these cultural differences </li></ul><ul><li>may lead to miscommunication or misunderstanding . </li></ul>
    21. 21. <ul><li>How we can fit well in a new community. </li></ul><ul><li>-research the new environment’s basic communication and cultural norms </li></ul><ul><li>-learn some basic words and sentences if the language is different </li></ul><ul><li>-be tolerant and patient </li></ul><ul><li>-understand the people’s likes and dislikes </li></ul><ul><li>-observe…and identify more differences </li></ul>
    22. 22. Summary <ul><li>The world can only get more diverse… not less, </li></ul><ul><li>-this will occur primarily through migration </li></ul><ul><li>Cultures are different in many ways </li></ul><ul><li>Most communications reflect culture </li></ul><ul><li>We should take steps to understand the people from other cultures </li></ul>
    23. 23. <ul><li>THANK YOU </li></ul><ul><li>QUESTIONS? </li></ul>
    24. 24. <ul><li>References </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.wisc.edu/english/rfyoung/336/xcc.pdf </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.purdue.edu/apsac/pdf/APSAC_WeaverPPT.pdf </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.beyondintractability.org/ppt_swf_insets/cross_cultural_communication.ppt#258,2,Slide 2 </li></ul><ul><li>Alberta Immigration facts and figures (2005). Employment, Immigration and Industry, Communications </li></ul>
    25. 25. Home-Work (Due before Monday's class) <ul><li>You will use Twitter for this homework! </li></ul><ul><li>Tweet TWO points from the today’s talk. Send them as two separate tweets to me (@JessL) so that I can see them (participation mark). </li></ul><ul><li>You should watch either of the videos noted in the blog post from  Module 1  and send me ONE tweet (@JessL) with your thoughts on that video. </li></ul><ul><li>So, THREE Tweets in total; two from Obi's talk and one from either of the videos on the  Module 1  post. </li></ul>

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