Jak narody porozumiewają się ze sobą w komunikacji międzykulturowej i komunikowaniu medialnym[Intercultural communication and media communication between nations] Jerzy Mikułowski Pomorski Kraków: Universitas, 2007 Selected chapters abridged and summarised by Intercultural Communication Course students English Studies Jagiellonian University 2012/13
Culture and Valuesby Klaudia Matras and Sylwia Niewczas
Outline of the presentation:1. Culture and values – Traditions and values – Cultural values – Values desired and demanded – Questions about values2. Culture as communication – Culture = communication – Culture = the mental system of an individual – The way culture is expressed – The concept of fragmentation – What are the results of the fragmentation
Did you know that…• As David Elliston Allen1 observed in 1960s, there were some serious differences in the behaviour of the British living in the North and South of the country.• For example, the way of brewing and drinking tea in the southern and northern parts of the UK was quite different. People from the southern part would boil water in kettles and then brew it in teapots, whereas people from the northern part would boil water over the fire.• The way of drinking tea turned out to be different as well.• People from the North sat by the fireplace to create more intimate atmosphere and people from the South sat around the table to talk face to face. 1 Allen, D. E. (1969) British Tastes: An Enquiry into the Likes and Dislikes of the Consumer. Panther: Manchester.
Traditions as the source of human behaviour• David Elliston Allen claims that the source of the difference in drinking tea is in various traditions: agricultural in the South and pastoral in the North.• According to Allen that is where we should look for the source of human behaviour: traditions and ways of living derived from traditions.
Cultural values• Human being raised in a certain culture is taught some rules that keep the social order and direct people‟s thoughts and actions. These rules are cultural values.• According to Olechnicki1: cultural values are established points of view on what is desired and valuable in a certain society.• According to Geert Hofstede2: cultural values are our reactions to the environment we live in, and we are taught those values before we are 10-11. There are some among them that create the concept of a desired social model. Hofstede claims that cultural values are irrational, even though they shape our subjective view on rationality. He illustrates him claim by saying that we first like something and then we try to support the claim that it is right to like it.. 1Olechnicki, K. and Załęcki, P. (1997) Słownik socjologiczny. Graffiti, BC:Toruń. 2Hofstede, G. (1998) „A case for comparing apples with oranges. International differences in values‟. In: International Journal of Comparative Sociology.
Questions concerning values that every culture should be able to answer:1. Human nature: are people good or bad?2. People and their attitude towards nature: dependent, independent or having the power over nature?3. Time: past, present, future?4. Space (in what kind of space people live and towards which space are they oriented by their culture): public, private, public and private ?5. Activeness: is it enough to just exist in a society or maybe to exist means to create?6. Society (people’s attitude towards power): authoritarian, group, individual?
Types of values according to Schwartz1Type of value Characteristic features Representative valuesPower Social status and prestige, control or domination over people and Social power, affluence, authority resourcesAchievement Personal success Successes, abilities, ambitions, influencesHedonism Pleasure or one‟s own sensual experience Enjoyment, life satisfactionExcitement Excitement, novelty, life full of challenges Courage, eventful and exciting lifeIndependence Independence in thinking and acting: choice, creation Creativity, freedom, curiosity, independence, choice of one‟s own targetsUniversalism Tolerance, consideration, Social justice, equality, liberalism, wisdom, environment preservation protectiveness towards other people and natureSecurity Confidence, harmony, social Family safety, country security, social order, cleanliness, kindness stabilityKindness Kind behaviour and help for relatives, friends and people with Assistance, forgiveness, loyalty, genuine friendliness whom we stay in close touchTradition Respect, commitment, Respect for tradition, moderation, piety, humility dedication,Conformism Respect for other people and acceptance of social norms and Obedience, discipline, kindness, respect for parents and elderly people rules 1 Schwartz, S. H., Verkasalo, M., Antonosky, A. and Sagic, L. (1997) „Value priorities and social desirability: Much substance, some style‟. In: British Journal of Social Psychology 36.
Culture = Communication Edward T. Hall1 defines culture as the content of interpersonal communication. According to him, “the human mind is internalized culture”. It means that culture exists both inside and outside the human mind . Hall equates culture with communication, claiming that „communication is culture, and culture is communication’.1 Hall, E. T. (1984) Poza kulturą [Beyond culture]. PWN.
Culture = the mental system of an individual• Geert Hoftstede looks for culture in a man‟s attitude towards oneself and the surrounding world. He argues that culture is ”the mental system of an individual”.• According to Hoftstede1, the contents of mental programs are values and attitudes and they have both individual and collective character. As far as the nation is concerned, the researcher claims that national cultures are synonyms for what previous generations used to call the national character. Differences between cultural contents are the result of different environments, in which these nations have been shaped and they have functioned to this day. 1 Op. Cit.
The way culture is expressed Culture is expressed by three communication phenomena: Control, Interaction and Expression.1. Control refers to a one-way activity aiming at conveying cultural contents and strengthening cultural values.2. Interaction can be defined as the process of collective and democratic search for the principles of social cohabitation. The product of interaction are lifestyles, being the effect of cooperation between participants and reactions to the environment.3. Expression refers to the individual expressing their own views and opinions without indicating the direct recipient. However, it does not mean that expression is communication without a recipient because the recipient, in fact, is the subject itself.
These three forms of culture expression are associated with three forms of human existence such as:• a member of the social system managed by distant institutions – control;• a member of smaller groups and circles- interaction;• an individual who can combine his/her own needs and desires with the requirements of social life- expression.
The concept of fragmentation• An interesting phenomenon which we can observe these days is fragmentation of human relations. According to Philip M. Napoli1, fragmentation refers to the process in which a traditional ”mass audience” is divided into smaller and more homogenous segments.• Napoli argues that the media simplifies the audience fragmentation. Fragmentation in the media takes two forms: intra-media fragmentation and inter- media fragmentation. The former has to do with the expansion of medium options to provide various contents, whereas the latter refers to the increase in the amount of the media in the media system, which, in turn, allows a recipient to choose from a variety of channels. 1 Napoli, P. M. (2003) Audience Economics (pp. 135-136). Columbia University Press: New York.
According to Anna Ohanyan1, in the contemporary world, there are three types of fragmentation of human relations:• sectorial fragmentation– division into various domains,• geographic fragmentation- division into various regions,• social fragmentation- division into various groups. 1Ohanyan, A. (2003) „Nationalism in globalising context: governance focused intervention in the developing world.‟ In: International Journal on World Peace 3/1.
What are the results of the fragmentation process?• As a result of the fragmentation processes a traditional version of society in which people are very close and important to each other has gradually collapsed. Nevertheless, it does not mean that a human being lives in isolation, i.e. without any connection with the rest of the society. What we can observe these days is the transformation of an old industrial society and its culture into a new, modern type of a society, where an individual can be located both in real and in virtual space.
Discussion1. Can you think of behaviours similar to those given at the beginning of this presentation that derive from traditions in your country?2. Analyse questions concerning values that each culture should be able to answer. What would be the answers for your culture?3. How do you understand the process of fragmentation? Do you think that the contemporary world is more globalised or fragmented?4. Explain in your own words the phrase ”culture is communication and communication is culture”.