InterculturalCommunication in a Global world Dr Gary Wills Mrs E.A. Draffan
Plan for afternoon• 13.00 Intro - who we are what we have done (10mins)• 13.10 Presentation 25-30 mins (30 mins)• 13.40 Discussion (10 mins) Provide Pointers - 2-3 groups discussing scenarios - 5 different aspects.• 13.50 Feedback 15mins• 14.05 Explain framework for evaluating culturally different websites - issues arising (10 mins)• 14.15 Look at websites• 14.30 Feedback• 14.40 Wrap up.
Ability and of school – impacts onCompetency in ICT often learnt out Skillsuse in education (Thorne, 2003a) - multiplicity of devicesusing digital multimedia Lack clear visual cues Reduced social context Internet- mediated communication Misinterpretation
LanguageInternet-mediated global English – Netspeak (Crystal, D. 2001)• Informal and friendly may suit individualistic cultures but “prove disturbing for unprepared members of a collectivist culture” (O’Dowd, 2001) o salutations, o assertive rather than questioning, o aggressive but apologetic. (Marcoccia, 2012) but…• “anonymity can play a positive role in intercultural communication.” (Marcoccia, 2012) those who hesitate in f2F may communicate more when online.
CultureCulture is “essentially elusive, abstract and invisible”(Furstenberg et al., 2001)• Low-context (text and speech) v. High-context cultures (visual cues and silence) e.g. North European v. Far Eastern and Arab (Würtz, 2005).• Just because you are connected it does not mean you necessarily communicate enough to learn about a culture (Marcoccia, 2012) however…• Cyberspace shares its own cultural practices within a virtual community – use English and follow the rules of netiquette? (Ersoz, 2009) but may mean you reduce cultural understanding.
High Context Cultures (HC) Japan Arab Countries Greece Spain Italy England France North America Scandinavian Countries German-speaking Countries Low Context Cultures (LC)Source: Hall, E. and M. Hall (1990)Understanding Cultural Differences
Hypotheses (Würtz, 2005) http://jcmc.indiana.edu/vol11/issue1/wuertz.html1. High Context (HC) cultures will, to a higher degree than Low Context (LC) culture websites, implement strategies for assimilating human presence on their websites.2. HC cultures are likely to use more imagery and less text than their LC counterparts.3. The imagery chosen on HC culture websites will reflect values characteristic of HC cultures, such as family values, whereas LC culture values will be present on LC culture websites.4. The pages making up LC websites are expected to be consistent in their layout and colour schemes, whereas pages in HC websites are expected to be diverse.
More Cultural Dimensions: Geert Hofstede• Cultures and Organizations: Software of the Mind, Geert Hofstede, McGraw-Hill, 1991, 1997• Hofstede examined IBM employees in 50 countries, 1978-83• Statistically valid data and analysis• One limitation is that he says that each country has only one dominate culture• However research has shown that these dimensions are still useful today.
Hofstede’s 5 Dimensions of Culture1. Power-distance o high power distance cultures include many hierarchical levels, autocratic leadership, and the expectation of inequality and power differences, and are affiliated with HC cultures. o low power distance cultures are characterized by flat organization structures, consultative or participative management style, and the expectation of egalitarianism, especially evident in LC cultures.
Hofstede’s 5 Dimensions of Culture2. Collectivism vs. individualism: o Collectivistic cultures prioritize group welfare over the goals of the individual. Tends to reflect HC cultures o Individualism emphasis is put on the goals and accomplishments of the individual rather than the group – relates to Low Context Cultures
Hofstede’s 5 Dimensions of Culture3. Femininity vs. masculinity o masculine cultures, the traditional distinctions are strongly maintained, while feminine cultures tend to collapse the distinctions and overlap gender roles (both men and women can exhibit modesty, tenderness, and a concern with both quality of life and material success.) o Traditional masculine work goals include earnings, recognition, advancement, and challenge. o Traditional feminine work goals include good relations with supervisors, peers, and subordinates; good living and working conditions; and employment security.
Hofstede’s 5 Dimensions of Culture4. Uncertainty avoidance o high uncertainty avoidance tend to have more formal rules, require longer career commitments, and focus on tactical operations rather than strategy. These cultures tend to be expressive; people talk with their hands, raise their voices, and show emotions. o low UA cultures tend to be more informal and focus more on long-range strategic matters than day-to-day operations. These cultures tend to be less expressive and less openly anxious;
Hofstede’s 5 Dimensions of Culture5. Long- vs. short-term time orientation o Long-Term Orientation seemed to play an important role in Asian countries that had been influenced by Confucian philosophy over many thousands of years. o Western countries, by contrast, were more likely to promote equal relationships, emphasize individualism, focus on treating others as you would like to be treated, and find fulfilment through creativity and self- actualization
Question?Does cyberspace symbolise‘cultural standardisation ‘or does it allow for ‘cultural variations and local appropriation’?
Activity and EnvironmentMultiple means of representation, expression and engagementto accommodate task, setting as well asability/skill, demographics, language and culture. o representations to cater for individual preferences? Accessibility and UsabilityBusiness case for time / finance, skills /knowledge One version or multiple: o versions of the information for different regions? o representations depending on the type of content? o presentation depending on the technology used? Desktop, tablet, mobile etc
Practical User interfaced design• Images: Images can easily offend, especially when people are involved and may also differ in approach to the type of image shown especially in the degrees of say violence and sexuality.• Colours: Colour is sometimes used to convey meaning or to help us focus on part of the page, but colour has a different meaning in different cultures.• Flow/Navigation: we look read a web page differently, we start at different points and then move our eye in different ways (some up and down across). Similarly navigation is differ not only in flow, but also what information we want to see first.
ColourColour China Japan Egypt France United StatesRed Happiness Anger Danger Death Aristocracy Danger StopBlue Heavens Villainy Virtue Faith Freedom Masculine Clouds Truth PeaceGreen Ming Dynasty Future Youth Fertility Criminality Safety Go Heavens Energy StrengthYellow Birth Wealth Grace Happiness Temporary Cowardice Power Nobility Prosperity TemporaryWhite Death Purity Death Joy Neutrality Purity
Practical User interfaced design• Text: This is not the same in all culturesin terms of character sets and the waylanguage is used.• Number, Dates and Time formats:not all cultures have the same calendar “Its raining cats and dogs!” French “Il pleut des cordes”, or its rainingor number format. ropes! Dutch “Het regent pijpestelen” its raining pipe stems• Metaphors/ Idioms: we often conveya new idea using a figure of speech that is not always understood inthe same way by another culture or in another language.
Need to also think about…• Space• Maintenance• Linking between sites• Contact for each version of your servicehttp://www.omniglot.com/language/articles/multilingual_websites.htm
News from around the world• http://eisamay.indiatimes.com/• http://www.aljazeera.net/portal• http://www.pravda.ru/• http://www.4semanas.com/• http://www.nhk.or.jp/• http://www.xinhuanet.com/• http://www.alithia.com.cy/• http://www.amx.is/• http://us.cnn.com/?hpt=ed_US• http://www.arib.info/
References• Furstenberg et al., (2001). Giving a virtual voice to the silent language of culture: The CULTURA project http://llt.msu.edu/vol5num1/furstenberg• LeDoux, J. (2002). Synaptic self: How our brains become who we are. New York: Penguin.• Thorne, S.L., (2003a). Artefacts and cultures-of-use in intercultural communication http://llt.msu.edu/vol7num2/thorne• Crystal, D. (2001) Language and the Internet (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press)• O’Dowd, R. (2001) In search of a truly global network: hhtp://callej.org/journal/3- 1/o_dowd.html• Marcoccia, M. (2012) The internet, intercultural communication and cultural variation. Language and Intercultural Communication, 12:4, 353-36 http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14708477.2012.722101• Ersoz, S. (2009) Cultures in Cyberspace: Interpersonal communication in a computer- mediated environment http://maltepe.academia.edu/SelvaEesoz/Papers/563123/Cultures_in_cyberspace_inte rpersonal_communication_in_a_computer-mediated_Envrionment• Würtz, E. (2005). A cross-cultural analysis of websites from high-context cultures and low-context cultures. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 11(1), article 13.http://jcmc.indiana.edu/vol11/issue1/wuertz.html