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Vietnamese And American Sense Of Community Through Their Folk Music   Linh
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Vietnamese And American Sense Of Community Through Their Folk Music   Linh Vietnamese And American Sense Of Community Through Their Folk Music Linh Document Transcript

  • Supervisor: ph¹m minh hiÒn, ma. Hanoi, May-2009
  • ACKWOWLEDGEMENTS I would like to expand my gratitude to a large number of people who helped me a lot when I was in doing thesis period. First of all, I want to express my deep gratefulness to my supervisor Pham Minh Hien, MA. for her critical comment, continuous support and encouragement. What I was given from her is priceless, without which I can not finish my graduation paper. I would like to send my sincere thanks to the following friends who helped me share out my questionnaires and supply many interesting sources that relate to my paper: Ms. Luu Thuy Duong, a graduate of University of Social Science and Humanities. She helped me deliver the questionnaires for her colleagues, who are Americans. Besides, I also want to express my gratitude to Ms. Nguyen Dieu Linh who is studying in the U.S.A as she supply me a long list of books and websites to collect the require information. I would like to particularly thank Ms. Nguyen Thuy Lan for sharing me her experience in doing a study. Special thanks are for classmates at group 05.1.E18 whose support in the process of designing questionnaires and collecting data helped me finish the paper in time. The final thanks from the bottom of my heart are for all members in my family. It is no doubt that without their love, understanding and encouragement, I could not manage to finish my very important paper. i
  • ABSTRACT This study was accomplished as an attempt to illuminate the under- researched topic- How and why Vietnamese and American senses of community differ? In the study, the research questions were raised in order to (i) compare and contrast Vietnamese and American sense of community through topics and topic preference of folk music (ii) identify cultural factors underlying each style of listening to folk songs and (iii) suggest ways to enhance mutual folk music appreciation. In the study, the data related to folk music in both Vietnamese and English were examined, and then questionnaires and interviews were analyzed to supplement findings. The investigation suggests that Vietnamese and American people shared the same concern for some major topics and high preference for such issues related to love or children. However, they differ in their topic ranking and cultural factors that lead to such different points. In addition, the researcher suggested some strategies to enhance the mutual appreciation of folk music that should aim at providing both linguistic and cultural capability with more stress on the cultural area. ii
  • LIST OF FIGURES AND TABLES FIGURES Figure 1: Respond about the existence of similarities Figure 2: Vietnamese people’s topic preference Figure 3: American people’s topic preference Figure 4: Awareness of cultural influence on sense of community Figure 5: Vietnamese cultural values Figure 6: American cultural values Figure 7: Strategies to enhance mutual appreciation of folk music TABLES Table 1: Ranking of popular topic Table 2: Level of cultural influence on sense of community iii
  • TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGE Acknowledgement i Abstract ii List of figures and tables v CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION 1.1. Statement of the problem and the rationale for the study 1 1.2. Aims and objectives of the study 3 1.3. Significance of the study 3 1.4. Scope of the study 4 1.5. Methods of the study 4 1.6. Organization of the paper 6 CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW 2.1.Sense of community language and culture 8 2.1.1. Culture 8 2.1.2. Language and culture 9 iv
  • 2.1.3. Sense of community, language and culture 9 2.2. Sense of community in cross cultural communication 12 2.2.1. Culture and some characteristics of culture 12 2.2.2 Cross cultural communication 14 2.2.3. The relationship between folk music and culture 15 2.3. Vietnamese and American culture 17 2.3.1. Vietnamese culture 17 2.3.2. American culture 18 2.4. Summary 19 CHAPTER THREE: MEHODOLOGY 3.1. Research design 20 3.2. Participant 20 3.3. Data collection 23 3.4. Data analysis 26 3.5. Procedure 27 3.6. Summary 27 CHAPTER FOUR: RESULTS AND DISCUSSION 4.1. Question 1 29 4.1.1. Topic 29 4.1.2. Sense of community 36 v
  • 4.2. Question 2 41 4.2.1. Proponent’s awareness of cultural influence on sense of community 42 4.2.2. Cultural values leading to similarities and differences 43 4.3. Question 3 46 4.3.1. Suggested strategies 46 4.3.2. Participants’ recommendations 46 CHAPTER FIVE: CONCLUSION 48 5.1.Summary of the study 48 5.2. Recommendation to improve mutual appreciation of folk music 48 5.3. Implications 49 5.4. Proposal for further study 49 REFERENCES APPENDICES vi
  • vii
  • CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION 1.1. Statement of the problem and the rationale for the study 1.1.1 Folk music According to Isabelle Mills (1974), folk music–transmitted by means of traditional patterns, learned usually by ear and imitation, and performed for friends, neighbors, and others- expresses the deepest values and fears of its community. Scholars classify folk music and song in various ways, including by topic (love, work, or war), genre (ballads and blues), and occupational group (field hollers, cowboy, railroad, or coal-mining songs), cultural group (Cherokee), region and dimension. Folk music grows out of the folk culture of a nation or region. In the United States, this music includes ballads, lyric songs, country dances, blue and certain other forms of religious expression important to the development of American culture. (Storti, 2002, p.36) Folk music is close to the soul and everyday lives of many Americans and has influenced much music around us today. It is a living, ever-changing music. On the other way, folk music is understood by the community of participants within a cultural group- the singers, dancers, players and listeners. (Storti, 2002, p.38) According to Gilbert Chase (2000), folk music, on the other hand, can be considered informal, aesthetically and musically unsophisticated, and usually simple. Folk music typically is not created by professional composers and lyricists. The creators are usually unknown. Nguyen Thi Thuy Linh- 05.1.E18 1
  • 1.1.2. Sense of community Sense of community (or psychological sense of community) is a concept in social psychology (or more narrowly, in community psychology), which focuses on the experience of community rather than its structure, formation, setting, or other features. Seymour B. Sarason (1974) found it is one of the major bases for self-definition. For Sarason, Psychological Sense of Community is “the perception of similarity to others, an acknowledged interdependence with others, a willingness to maintain this interdependence by giving to or doing for others what one expects from them, and the feeling that one is part of a larger dependable and stable structure” (1974, p. 157). McMillan & Chavis (1986) defined Sense of Community as “a feeling that members have of belonging, a feeling that members matter to one another and to the group, and a shared faith that members’ needs will be met through their commitment to be together.” Gusfield (1975) identified two dimensions of community, territorial and relational. The relational dimension of community has to do with the nature and quality of relationships in that community, and some communities may even have no discernible territorial demarcation, as in the case of a community of scholars working in a particular specialty, who have some kinds of contact and quality of relationship, but may live and work in disparate locations, perhaps even throughout the world. Other communities may seem to be defined primarily according to territory, as in the case of neighborhoods, but even in such cases, proximity or shared territory cannot by itself constitute a community; the relational dimension is also essential. Nguyen Thi Thuy Linh- 05.1.E18 2
  • As community is culture- oriented, it is an integral part of any civilization. One can not successfully learn a country’s language and culture without understanding its sense of community. It is a shortcoming if there is no research on such kind of topic. As a result, this gap has intrigued the researcher to conduct her graduation paper on the topic “A cross culture study of Vietnamese and American sense of community through their folk music” 1.2. Aims and objectives of the study The thesis’s primary aim is to investigate some major similarities and differences between Vietnamese and American sense of community through the themes of their folk songs. This goal is specified in the following research questions 1. What are major similarities and differences between Vietnamese and American in the way they perform folk songs? 2. What are major cultural factors that cause those similarities and differences? 3. How common is folk music to Vietnamese and American, especially to 8x-9x generations nowadays? 1.3. Significance of the study After being finished, this research could bring about some noticeable benefits. Firstly, the research can highlight some major similarities and differences between Vietnamese and American sense of community through their folk music. Thus, it provides an insight into Vietnamese and American people, contributing to the mutual understanding between two countries. Second, the study suggests Nguyen Thi Thuy Linh- 05.1.E18 3
  • strategies which would help young Vietnamese and American learn more about each other’s language and culture through their folk music’s appreciation. Moreover, the research would serve as a previous reference for any subject related to Vietnamese and American culture in general and Vietnamese and American sense of community through folk music in particular. 1.4. Scope of the study The study was confined to folk music’s themes that are usually listened to by Vietnamese and American people. The reason for the choice is that the researcher is the one who has big consideration about culture in general and folk music in particular. This discussion only included the themes of folk songs that they know and how their sense of community is expressed in such songs. In addition, only cultural factors are considered when explaining the similarities and differences between the two community styles. 1.5 . Method of the study 1.5.1. Designs The approach applied in this study was comparative data analysis. The similarities and differences in Vietnamese and American sense of community are the main target of the research. Therefore, the most proper research design is a comparison study. 1.5.2. Participants There are two groups of participants in the research: 25 Americans (group A) and 25 Vietnamese (group B). In group A, 15 are living in Vietnam, 10 are living in the U.S.A. They can be in different status in the society but have consideration about culture and folk music, in particular. Nguyen Thi Thuy Linh- 05.1.E18 4
  • As the personal status is expected to have impact on one’s sense of community, the study examined the experience of intercultural communication. 1.5.3. Data collection method To ensure the reliability and validity of the collected data, the research used different methods. The data collection instruments included survey- questionnaires and in-depth interviews. 1.5.4. Survey-questionnaires In order to have a comprehensive view of the issue, three questionnaires were designed. The first English questionnaire was for Americans, the second for Vietnamese majoring in English and the last in Vietnamese for Vietnamese with non-English major. The questionnaire for Americans provided the most common themes of folk songs. Through it, the researcher can find out what their sense of community is reflected. Meanwhile, with the knowledge about cross-cultural experience, Vietnamese majoring in English defined the popular themes of folk songs with the influence of cross-cultural communication. The last questionnaire for Vietnamese with non- English major would display the Vietnamese folk songs themes and sense of community reflected through them. 1.5.5. In-depth interviews In-depth interviews would help increase the validity and reliability in collecting the information. 1.5.6. Data analysis method The collected materials were organized with the application of statistical and interpretive methods and classified into different Nguyen Thi Thuy Linh- 05.1.E18 5
  • categories based on the aims of the research, including similarities and differences, cultural factors and implications 1.6. Organization of the paper Chapter I: An introduction about the study in which rationale compelling researcher to carry out the study, the aim and the research questions of the study, significance, scope and organization of the study they are stated. Chapter II: Literature review is the theoretical background aiming at providing readers an overview of the research by discussing (1) sense of community in language and culture, (2) sense of community in cross-cultural communication, (3) Vietnamese and American culture and (4) Vietnamese and American culture in terms of sense of community through folk music. Chapter III: Methodology describes quantitative and qualitative methodologies applied in the stage of collecting and analyzing data. In this chapter, the participants of the study are explains in details. Also, the data collection instruments are discussed in terms of suitability, drawbacks, and backup methods to deal with those shortcomings. Finally, procedures of data collection and analysis are presented. Chapter IV: Results and discussion presents the researcher’s findings in terms similarities and differences between Vietnamese’s senses of community music and Americans’ through folk music Chapter V: Conclusion A review of the study, the summary and the conclusion are drawn out. The chapter also highlights limitations and benefits of the study. Nguyen Thi Thuy Linh- 05.1.E18 6
  • The relevance of the study is discusses and recommendations for further research are made. Besides, the research includes Appendices where the study’s bibliography, sample questionnaires and interview transcription are attached for reference. Nguyen Thi Thuy Linh- 05.1.E18 7
  • CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW Chapter one has defined the problems of lacking studies on Vietnamese and American sense of community through their folk music. To illustrate the study, chapter two will give an examination of the literature by discussing necessary background and relevant information related to the studies. First of all, this chapter will provide the definition of sense of community under scope of language and culture. This naturally leads to the discussion of Vietnamese and American cultures 2.1. Sense of community, language and culture 2.1.1. Culture There have been various definitions of culture. According to Banks, J.A., Banks, & McGee, C. A. (1989), “Most social scientists today view culture as consisting primarily of the symbolic, ideational, and intangible aspects of human societies. The essence of a culture is not its artifacts, tools, or other tangible cultural elements but how the members of the group interpret, use, and perceive them. It is the values, symbols, interpretations, and perspectives that distinguish one people from another in modernized societies; it is not material objects and other tangible aspects of human societies. People within a culture usually interpret the meaning of symbols, artifacts, and behaviors in the same or in similar ways.quot;). A culture is a configuration of learned behaviors and results of behavior whose component elements are shared and transmitted by the members of a particular society. (Linton, 2003) In another aspect, culture as held by Phan (2005) is the “pattern of behaviour and thinking that people living in a country “learn, create Nguyen Thi Thuy Linh- 05.1.E18 8
  • and share” (p6.) Kramsch (as cited in Latin nascere, 2000) explain further “culture is what makes you a stranger when you are away from home”. It includes all those beliefs and expectations about how people should speak and act which have become a kind of second nature to you as a result of social learning. Another definition has identified three aspects of culture: socio- facts (the way people act), artifacts (the things people make), and mentis-facts (experience or the ideas, beliefs and values they hold (Fanitini, 1997, as cited in Nguyen, 2004) 2.1.2. Language and culture As cited in Phan, 2005, p.5, language and culture are inseparably entwined. However, there are some different points of view in such issue. Firstly, language, human beings’ principle tools to communicate, is claimed as the most important “tangible resource” that researchers rely on study culture (Nguyen, 2006, p.6). In addition, Fanniti (1997) finds out that language acts as a road map to “how one perceives, interprets, thinks about and expresses one’s view of the world (Nguyen, 2006, p.15) On the other hand, according to Fanon, “to speak a language is to take on a world, a culture. Also, culture is “the final arbiter of meaning or linguistic meaning is entirely determined by the cultural context in which the language occurs (Fawley, 1992 as cited in Phan, 2006, p.5). In short, our interpretation is apparently activated by our culture- rooted assumptions. The studied that are mentioned above share the common point of view about the close connection between language and culture 2.1.3. Sense of community, language and culture Nguyen Thi Thuy Linh- 05.1.E18 9
  • The close relationship between language (lyric/ words of the songs) leads to the discussion of the links between sense of community, folk music and culture. Sense of community Sense of community was developed by Macmillan and George (1986) to the 40-item Sense of Community Scale (SCS) to probe communicative behaviors and attitudes at the community or neighborhood level of social organization. The basis of the SCS was what had been called the quot;critical dimension of community structurequot; (Tropman, 1969, p. 215), and it was to be used to differentiate low, medium, and high SCS neighborhoods on its five factors: informal interaction (with neighbors), safety (having a good place to live), pro-urbanism (privacy, anonymity), neighboring preferences (preference for frequent neighbor interaction), and localism (opinions and a desire to participate in neighborhood affairs). The results of Doolittle and MacDonald's study led to three generalizations. First, there is an inverse relationship between pro- urbanism and preference for neighboring. Second, there is a direct relationship between safety and preference for neighboring. Finally, pro-urbanism decreases as perception of safety increases. Steve’s (1981) measure of the psychological sense of community is based on the work of Hillery (1955), augmented by responses to a questionnaire distributed to randomly selected members of the Division of Community Psychology of the American Psychological Association.. He identified 202 behaviors or sub concepts related to Nguyen Thi Thuy Linh- 05.1.E18 10
  • sense of community, from which 120 items were developed, representing real and ideal characteristics. Identifying “sense of community” in another aspect, Riger and Lavrakas (1981) studied “sense of community” as reflected in neighborhood attachment and found two empirically distinct but correlated factors they called social bonding and behavioral rooted-ness. The social bonding factor contained items concerning the ability to identify neighbors, feeling part of the neighborhood, and number of neighborhood children known to the respondent. Behavioral rooted-ness refers to years of community residency, whether one's home is owned or rented, and expected length of residency. Using these factors, the authors identified four quot;meaningful and distinct groups of Comtion, McMillan citizensquot;: young mobiles (low bonded, low rooted), young participants (high bonded, low focused on here on that rooted), isolates (low bonded, high rooted), and established participants (high bonded, high rooted). In this study, age played a major role in determining attachment. Examining the relationship between community involvement and level of residents' fear of crime, Riger, LeBailly, and Gordon (1981) identified four types of community involvement: feelings of bonded-ness, extent of residential roots, use of local facilities, and degree of social interaction with neighbors. They found that the first two types of bonded- ness were related significantly and inversely to residents' fear of crime, while the last two, reflecting behavior rather than feelings, were not related significantly to fear of crime. A plausible explanation for the differential relationships is that variables within a Nguyen Thi Thuy Linh- 05.1.E18 11
  • domain (e.g., feelings of bonded-ness and other feelings) are more likely to be strongly correlated than are variables measured across domains (e.g., feelings and behaviors) (Campbell & Fiske, 1959). Despite the weakness of the study as suggested by such an explanation, we believe that the findings of Riger et al. attest to the force of sense of community in the lives of neighborhood residents. Sense of community, music and culture In terms of culture and sense of community relation, a dominant theme of writings is the insensibility of liberalism and importance of sense of community in culture. Another idea comes from Kymlicka (1991), there must be liberal beliefs about community and culture. With the consideration about the link between music and culture, some previous studies have provided some findings a bout such issue. As cited in Patterson, “folk music, song, lore and customs provided the first genuinely expressions of native content and style.” To sum up, sense of community, folk music and culture have an interdependent relationship with each other. It can be seen clearly because each pair of them is closely tied. 2.2. Sense of community in cross culture communication 2.2.1. Culture and some characteristics of culture There have been various definitions of culture; however, culture is what makes you a stranger when you are away from home. It includes all those beefs and expectations about how people should Nguyen Thi Thuy Linh- 05.1.E18 12
  • speak an act which have become a kind of second nature to you as a result of social learning. One way of thinking about culture is to contrast it with nature (Nguyen, 2006, p.11). Nature refers to what is born and grows organically (from the Lain nascere “to be born”); culture refers to what has been grown and groomed (from the Latin colere “to cultivate”) ( Kramsch, 2000, p.4) In Goodenough’s famous definition (1957), the term “culture” is made in the sense of whatever a person must know in order to function in a particular society. A society’s culture consists of whatever it is one has to know or believe in order to operate in a manner acceptable to its members, and to do so in any role that they accept for any one of themselves. Culture, therefore, is the “know- how” that a person must possess to get through the task of daily living; only for a few does it require a knowledge of some, or much, music, literature, and the arts. According to Nguyen Quang (1998), the hidden of nature of culture has been compared to an iceberg, most of the influence of culture on an individual can not be seen. The part of culture that is exposed is not always that which creates cross-cultural difficulties; the hidden aspects of culture have significant effects on behaviour and on interactions with others. So as to have better understanding of culture, the author would like to consider six characteristics of culture proposed by Porter and Samovar (1994) • Culture is not innate, it is learned. Fact has shown that members of culture learn their patterns of behaviour and ways of thinking Nguyen Thi Thuy Linh- 05.1.E18 13
  • until they have become internalized. The power and influence of these behaviours and perceptions can be seen in the ways in which people acquire culture. • Culture is transmissible. The symbols of a culture are what enable us to pass on the content and patterns of culture. People can use spoken words, written words as well as nonverbal actions as symbols to spread culture. • Culture is dynamic. As with communication, culture is on going and subject to culture, they can produce changes through the mechanisms of invention and diffusion. • Culture is selective. Every culture represents a limited choice of behaviour patterns from the infinite patterns of human experience. This selection is made according to the basic assumptions and values that are meaningful to each culture. In other words, culture also defines the boundaries of different groups. The notion of selectivity also suggests that cultures tend to separate one group from another. If one culture selects work as an end (Japan) while another emphasizes work as a means to an end (Mexico), we have cultural separation. • Facets of culture are interrelated. As Hall clearly states: “You touch a culture in one place and everything else is affected” (Porter and Samovar, 1994, p.13). This characteristic serves to inform us that culture is like a complex system. • Culture is ethnocentric. Keesing notes that ethnocentrism is a “universal tendency for any people to put its own culture and society in a central position of priority and worth” (Porter and Samovar, 1994, p.13). Ethnocentrism, therefore, becomes the perceptual window through which a culture interprets and judges all other cultures. Nguyen Thi Thuy Linh- 05.1.E18 14
  • In conclusion, culture, in anthropology, the patterns of behaviour and thinking that people living in social groups learn, create and share. Culture distinguishes one human group from others. It also distinguishes humans from other animals. A people’s culture includes their beliefs, rules or behaviour, language, rituals, art, technology, styles of dress, ways of producing and cooking food, religion, political and economic systems 2.2.2. Cross- cultural communication “…Life is a constant reminder Not one of us exists in a void…” (Seeger, 2001, para. 3) Technological advances have brought people closer than ever and cross cultural- communication has become everyday encounter (Nguyen, 2004, p.6). The concept of cross-cultural communication or intercultural) is widely perceived as the ‘communication) verbal or no-verbal between people from different cultures in which the interactants’ reaction and responses are influenced by their cultural values, attitudes and beliefs” (Q.Nguyen, 1998 as cited in T. Nguyen, 2004, p.6). Similarity, as a social science, cross- cultural communication ( also referred to as intercultural communication) is defined as “a field of study that look at how people from differing cultural backgrounds endeavor to communicate ( Wikipedia, 2007, para.1 as cited in Nguyen, 2005, p.9). Its central responsibilities are also specified as “to establish and understand how people from different cultures communicate with each other”, thus producing “guidelines” Nguyen Thi Thuy Linh- 05.1.E18 15
  • to help people from different cultures better communicate with each other (Wikipedia, 2007, para.2) 2.2.3. The relationship between folk music and culture According to Storti (2002), folk music and culture have very close relationship. When mentioning about folk music, the difference between how people think and talk about music on one hand and how it is experienced on the other will respect the way they experience their cultures. It is of course a general phenomenon and not one confined to music, that words and images rarely if ever express quite what they are meant to. They distort the experiences that they are intended to represent, either through carrying false or unintended meaning with them or through leaving unexpressed the finer shades of what was intended. But in the case of music the problem of experience and its representation is so pressing and so specific that some theorists, like the ethnomusicologist Charles Seeger, have questioned the degree to which words can be regarded as capable of expressing musical experience at all. To be told that the beauty or significance of a piece of music lies in relationships that one can not hear is to have the aesthetic validity of one’s experience of the music thrown in to doubt, and the manner in which music is described by professionals can only create in the untrained listener a sense of inadequacy, a feeling that though he may enjoy the music he cannot claim really to understand it. It is not the enjoyment of the musical connoisseur who knows something about classical harmony and form that is perplexing: it is the degree of involvement that people who know nothing of these Nguyen Thi Thuy Linh- 05.1.E18 16
  • things feel in music, and their ability to respond to the music in an appropriate and meaningful manner. To some extent, I would maintain that music is an essentially democratic art: while it may not eradicate the distinction between the connoisseur and the layman, it does seem to render the distinction less important than it is in other arts. The listener’s feeling and experience when hearing a piece of music will express their culture. What I offer might be described as a psychology or sociology of musical imagination. What we can see is there is no doubt that to approach another culture’s music from an aesthetic view point is to interpret it in an ethnocentric and therefore partial manner. While a scholar might play before a few like- minded friends, the concept of public performance was altogether foreign to this tradition. 2.3. Vietnamese and American Culture The earlier section has revealed culture’s significant impact on each community. This naturally leads to a brief review on Vietnamese and American culture in this section. Since the literature in this area is huge, this study just gives a brief review of the most relevant items to its discussion, which is the system of value in each culture. The present study does not tend to assign certain value to each culture and state that only this culture hold such values which are totally absent from the other. It is noteworthy that most cultural values are present in all communities. However, their “proportion” and “manifestation” vary from culture to culture, which determines each community’s “identity” (Q.Nguyen, 2004, p.189) Nguyen Thi Thuy Linh- 05.1.E18 17
  • 2.3.1. Vietnamese culture It is impossible to provide a detailed description of Vietnam’s 4000 year-old-culture. Therefore, in this section, only some values that receive the most discussion will be taken into consideration. Strong sense of community According to Ellis (1995), a strong sense of community is felt by all Vietnamese (p.58). She attributes this attachment to Vietnamese reliance on wet rice agriculture. Agricultural activities cause them to cooperate and work together on intra-village irrigation systems to get a good harvest. This sense of unity, as claimed by Bao Van (1979) prioritizes the community rather than individuals. Therefore, social harmony is always preferred and individual decision making is avoided” (Ellis, 1995, p.59) Family- oriented lifestyle As commented by Ellis (1995), “as in many parts of Asia, Vietnamese life revolves around the family” (p.58). Mac Giao (2002) adds that close contact is always maintained between family members; even they live alive or dead. All family members have the responsibility to help one another financially and spiritually. Adaptability This value is regarded as one of the Vietnamese strong points (Xuan Ha, 2003). Adaptability enables Vietnamese to tune their actions to the reality as one saying ‘honor when honor is due”. 2.3.2. American culture Nguyen Thi Thuy Linh- 05.1.E18 18
  • Among all the considerable information on American culture value, this paper would like to reflect 3 noticeable values that have been researched in some previous studies. Self-reliance. This value has been pointed out by Huu Ngoc (2006) and Hoang (2004). Amazingly, Hoang (2004) observes “self-reliance” as “the price to be paid for one’s freedom” (p.124). She intricates that most American try not to depend on any one to keep their freedom and gain others’ esteem as well. Individual freedom. The concept “freedom” is explained as “the desire and the ability of all individuals to control their own destiny without outside interference” (Hoang, 2004, p.24). Moreover, she demonstrates by citing, “the U.S. Constitution’s Bill of rights assures individual rights, including provisions for freedom of speech, press, and religion” (p.64). Self- advertising Another difference between American culture and Asian culture lies in the idea of self-advertising. Asian tends to be modest about their achievement while their American counterparts find it unnecessary to depreciate their accomplishments. This difference explains that why Americans like boasting and exaggerating things in Asians’ point of view. This paper has just listed out 3 most distinctive features of American style. To sum up, the values of Americans can be measured in many different aspects. Nguyen Thi Thuy Linh- 05.1.E18 19
  • 2.4. Summary Chapter two has presented a thorough assessment of the literature relevant to the present study. Firstly, it examined the concept of ‘sense of community” with regard to the culture and music by clarifying the link between culture, music and sense of community. Then, “sense of community” was taken into consideration in the setting of cross-cultural communication. Finally, a review of Vietnamese and American culture with the focus on typical values then was given. The chapter concluded with a brief analysis of the difference between the two cultures. As a result, their sense of community also was under comparison. Chapter Three will continue by recounting the design and performance of the research undertaken in the light of literature review. Nguyen Thi Thuy Linh- 05.1.E18 20
  • CHAPTER THREE: METHODOLOGY Chapter three will now report the way to carry out the thesis’s target. The details of participant profiles, methods of data collection and analysis and the procedure of collecting the data will be shown in this chapter. 3.1. Research design The approach which is applied in this chapter is comparative data analysis. The main purpose of the research is to focus on the differences and similarities in Vietnamese and American sense of community. So, it requires a comparative study (Viver& Leng, 1997, chap.1). Purposely, through different data instruments, the research compares the way they perform folk songs and the culture factors that contribute to such points. Questionnaires were delivered to tow groups: Vietnamese native speakers and American native speakers. The Vietnamese did the Vietnamese version, and the American group did the American- English version. Particularly, external validation studies turns out to be the most proper type of implementing research. With an attempt to “explore the meaning and cases of cross-cultural differences with the aid of context variables” (Vijver &Leng, 1997, p.21), the manner of such study can fit the aim of this thesis. Briefly, the design chosen for the research is an external validation study and a kind of comparative ones, with its structural orientation. 3.2. Participant 3.2.1. Sampling of participants Nguyen Thi Thuy Linh- 05.1.E18 21
  • Participants have been chosen on the basis random sapling which involves two groups similar on relevant background variables. This sampling scheme has been applied because it helps the research “control some of the cultural differences” and then “whether cultural differences observed are due to valid cultural differences or non- controlled differences observed, e.g. education or demographic characteristics” (Vijver &Leung 1997, p.30) The two groups of participants involve in the research and their similar background variables will be detailed in the following part 3.2.2. Participant profile With the participation of 60 participants: 30 American students (group A) and 30 Vietnamese students (group B), the research was carried out. Each group of participants was chosen for certain aim. Group A In group A, 15 American belong to a group of students that had a study tour in Vietnam in March, 2009. They come from some universities of America (sub-group A1), and the other 10 are American ones who studying at the Faculty of Vietnamese language, Vietnam National University. The rests are some American who working in Embassy of the united State (sub-group A2).By choosing such groups, the researcher is willing to enhance the validity of the data. The participants living in the USA and absorb themselves in the American culture were chosen for the important reason. It is, they are perpetrated from Vietnamese culture, so they suffer no Vietnamese Nguyen Thi Thuy Linh- 05.1.E18 22
  • influence. Thus, their reflection on the way feeling folk music is typically theirs. Meanwhile, the American students studying in Vietnam can give valuable remark on similarities and differences between senses of community of the two through their folk music. Nguyen Thi Thuy Linh- 05.1.E18 23
  • Group B Group B is comprised to 15 Vietnamese students at university of languages and international studies, VNU (sub group B1) and the other 15 are from College of Art (Sub- group B2). The purpose of this choice is to examine the influence of intercultural communication on folk music in terms of the way they listen and perform folk music. Sub-group B1 is chosen or two reasons. First, they major in English, o they have a rather satisfactory command of English and background of English speaking cultures, including American culture. Secondly, as fourth-year students, they are studying the subject of American studies, thus they have a certain level o indirect spotlight to American culture. As a result, they are believed to use their understanding of English language and their knowledge of American culture to make comparison between Vietnamese and American sense of community and kind explanations for the differences and similarities as well. Moreover, sub-group B2 may display their experience in Vietnamese folk music thoroughly. They are also the students who know about American music and traditional music in particular because of their curricula. Actually, this selection of participants would offer a methodical description of sense of community seen from different point of view. Variables As can be seen, the intercultural communication has significant impacts on people’s sense of community. This study has Nguyen Thi Thuy Linh- 05.1.E18 24
  • examined this variably. Such other sociolinguistic variables as age, sexual category, married status an ethnic controlled. Therefore, he participants can be described as follows: Age: 18 to 60 years old Education background: 50 percent are doing B.A degree 25 percent are studying music 25 percent have different social status Gender: male/ female evenly distributed in each group Married status: Both single and married Ethnicity: ethnic Vietnamese and Anglo citizen Experience of intercultural communication: 50 percent are often exposed to cross-cultural communication and the rest are not. To sum up, participating in the research were two main groups. Their age and social status are variable. As a result, the findings will be reliable and persuasive. 3.3. Data collection Data were collected during six weeks in early 2009 using different tools in order to increase the validity and reliability. The main sources of data collection were documents about folk music in (1) journals and textbooks, internet and (2) Questionnaire. The use of diverse instruments was intended to enhance he validity and reliability of the data collected (Stake, 1995). This is because the Nguyen Thi Thuy Linh- 05.1.E18 25
  • quality comes up to fit well the researchers’ purpose of gaining “rich and detailed data (Flechling, 1997, Section 5, para.1). The description and validation of each data source will be in depth as below. 3.3.1. Data from variable sources The first data were collected from the internet. The researcher had to study from many different websites with the related information. In these websites, many interesting points about folk music can be found, both in Vietnamese and English. As a result, American folk music and Vietnamese folk music can be studied under a very objective scope. Next, what come from books are always highly reliable. The authors of such books seem to understand and have deep knowledge about folk songs and the way people perform them. The results that they point out help express the sense of community of the two cultures so clearly. Collecting data by this way, the researcher believes that she could gain the most up-date (for the first way) and academic information (for books). Collected information about folk music from these sources is respected to provide the researcher with an overall picture of Vietnamese and American folk music. Then, their sense of community can be exploited. 3.3.2. Questionnaire Questionnaire was seen as one data collection instrument for two reasons. Firstly, data from questionnaires can be collected at different times and are comparable which bring about Nguyen Thi Thuy Linh- 05.1.E18 26
  • “administrative conveniences” (Jo and Steve 1997 p.172 as cite in Nguyen, 2007, p32). Moreover, according to Jo and Steve (1997, p.171 as cited in Nunan, 1998 p.132 and in Nguyen 2005, p.33), questionnaires assure much precision and clarity as the needed information is elicited by controlled questions. In order to have a comprehensive view of the issue, three questionnaires were designed. The first English questionnaire aimed at American. The second English questionnaire was deigned for Vietnamese majoring in English. The last one n Vietnamese was used for Vietnamese with non- English majors. Each questionnaire consists of four parts: part one about sociolinguistic information, part two about participants’ opinion about folk music, favored topics, part three about participants’ tentative suggestion of cultural factors influencing their choice of topics when listening to music and folk one, in particular, part four about their experience when enjoying folk music. In terns of the character of the questions, all questionnaires are a combination of pen-ended and close-ended questions to gain benefits from the value of both types. It can be explained that the close-ended questions were created with a range of answers for the participants to choose in order to produce “data that are objective or concrete – quick and easy to categorize, sort and calculate” (“Introduction 2006, Section 3, para.7). On the other hand, the open-ended questions have the advantage of “the answer is typically richer” and “resulting in more detailed information” (“Introduction”, 2006, Section 3, para.8). B combining two types of questions, the researcher would like to boost the consistency and the soundness of the information. Nguyen Thi Thuy Linh- 05.1.E18 27
  • The questionnaires were designed after he researcher had identified major topics and the sense of community expressed through folk music from the literature review and the collection of folk songs in two languages Vietnamese and English. The participant also gave much important information such as suggestion of cultural actors influencing the way they perform folk songs and recommendations for guidelines to understand more each other’s sense of community through such songs. By delivering three different questionnaires, the researcher expected different kinds of information. The questionnaire for American students would shed light on their most exploited topics and sense of community through the way they sing folk songs. Meanwhile, the English questionnaire for Vietnamese students majoring in English majors would clarify Vietnamese student’s choice of topics and sense of community through folk music with certain influence of cross-cultural experience. The third questionnaire is the Vietnamese version for Vietnamese people at a wide rage of age level and different social status and occupation. By using it, the researcher hopes that this kind of questionnaire would bring typical topic of their favorite folk songs and their sense of community be reflected evidently. 3.4. Data analysis After finishing collecting the data, the researcher started to analyze them with both statistical and interpretive methods. More specifically, data from books, journals and from the internet were statistically analyzed by being scientifically counted and presented in forms of charts and paragraphs. Comments were then made in reference to relevant knowledge conferred in Literature Review. Nguyen Thi Thuy Linh- 05.1.E18 28
  • Besides, data from questionnaires were similarly managed with much focus on the differences and similarities between the collected information and that from other sources. Moreover, sets of categories were also established to code the information taken from all the related data and sources. In short, in order to strengthen the validity and reliability of the information as much as possible the researcher assumed the mixture of two data collection methods. They are data from many reliable sources and questionnaires. At the next step they were analyzed under the light of numerical and interpretative methods. 3.5. Procedure 3.5.1. Data collection procedure To collect the necessary data, the researcher has followed the procedure as follows: Step 1: Collect all the information about folk music both in English and Vietnamese for reliable sources Step2: Design questionnaires Step 3: Pilot questionnaires Step 4: Revise questionnaires Step 5: Deliver the main questionnaires to the targeted groups in person or via email 3.5.2. Data analysis procedure Step 1: Code the data Step 2: Analyze the data Nguyen Thi Thuy Linh- 05.1.E18 29
  • Step 3: Compare the data of Vietnamese and American groups Step 4: Take account of variables The above four steps are the procedure that was carried out so as to analyze completely the data collected 3.6. Summary To sum up, the study’s issues were approached under scope of external validation study and comparative study as well. Data were obtained from four different groups of participants and collected from many sources that mention about folk music. By the way, the data were then carefully analyzed in a systematic way to gain the power and reliability of the research. Nguyen Thi Thuy Linh- 05.1.E18 30
  • Nguyen Thi Thuy Linh- 05.1.E18 31
  • CHAPTER FOUR: RESULTS AND DISCUSSION This chapter aims to present and discuss the study’s findings with regard to the following questions: 1. What are the similarities and differences between the types of folk songs that Vietnamese and American favorites and their sense of community reflected through them? 2. What are the cultural factors that lead to those similarities and differences? 3. What are the implications for enhancing mutual appreciation of folk music between Vietnamese and American? 4.1. Question 1: Similarities and differences in the choice of topics between Vietnamese and American people’s folk songs and their sense of community reflected through them There are two aspects of folk music that the researcher would like to examine: topics and sense of community strategies. Therefore, the content of this section is the findings that are chased in the light of reviewed literature. 4.1.1. Topics The comparison and contrast are considered in topics that are chosen for listening Similarities The investigation into the first data source, text hardback and from forums highlighted some similarities and differences. In fact similarities were seen at both topic and sub-topic level. Nguyen Thi Thuy Linh- 05.1.E18 32
  • At topic level, results indicate that people of both countries tended to listen to the following topics: (1) Narrative ballads (story songs) (2) Broadsides (3) Work songs (4). Children’s songs- lullaby (5). Rally and protest songs (encouraging social and political change) In order to explore more similarities in favourite folk songs’ topics in-depth interviews were carried out. Five American studying in Vietnam and Vietnamese students were chosen to make interview. Two questions were: (1) Are there any similarity between the topics of Vietnamese folk songs and the American’s? (2) If yes, what are they? The results come from the interviews can be summarized as following Figure 1: Respond about the existence of similarity 25% Yes No 75% Nguyen Thi Thuy Linh- 05.1.E18 33
  • When asked, three out of five interviewees think that “American folk songs and Vietnamese folk songs are similar in terms of topic.” In their opinion, there are some common topics that they usually listen to and often perform. The most common topic can be seen is love songs, ranks at the second place is lullaby. Besides, work issue and Nature also belong to their favorite. To sum up, the existence of the similarity between Vietnamese and American folk music in terms of topic is confirmed. There is a long list of topics that very common. However, Love, Children’s songs- lullaby, Labor and Nature appear to be the most common ones. Differences There are some differences between them. Each has their own favorite topics that the other did not. For example, Americans usually perform and listen to the songs about peace and freedom, while Vietnamese are very interested in exchanging the relationship Topic preference First of all, this part will present the ranking of Vietnamese folk songs’ most poplar topics. There are two sub-groups B1 with Vietnamese major and B2 with English language majors. The same produce will be carried out with American students. Vietnamese’s people Figure 2- Vietnamese people’s topic preference (in percentage) Nguyen Thi Thuy Linh- 05.1.E18 34
  • 35 32 30.6 30 25 20.4 Love 20 Lullaby 15 10 Work 10 Other 5 0 Topic According to the results that appeared in figure 3, at the top of the list is lullaby. In terms of lullaby, they have different names for each region in Vietnam: “hát ru” for the North, “ru con” for the Middle and “hát đưa em” or “ầu ơ ví dầu” for the South. Through lullaby, mother usually express her feelings or complain about the bad lucks that she has to encounter. The lyric is folk songs or poem: Âu ơ gió đưa bụi chuối sau hè Anh mê vợ bé bỏ bè con thơ Con thơ tay ẵm tay bồng Tay dắt mẹ chồng đầu đội thúng bông. When the children grow up, they themselves sing children: Chi chi chành chành Cái đanh thổi lửa Con ngựa chết chương Ba vương thượng hạ Ba cạ đi tìm Ú tim òa âp “Love is also another hot topic in folk music. From the North to the South, they have different kinds of folksongs. Love can be expressed through folk songs that performed on the field, like “hò cấy” or on Nguyen Thi Thuy Linh- 05.1.E18 35
  • the river like “hò mái đẩy”, “hò mái nhì”, “hò sông Mã”. They also can be sung in the group work like “hò nện” or “hát phường vải”. In the North, it is very popular to listen to “Quan họ” or “Trống quân”. The love issues between men and women always play very important role in folk music. It is a kind of exchanging the relationship and it appears in “Hò giã gạo miền Trung” or “hò miền Nam”. There are subtypes of exchange- folk songs: Making friends, working and daily living. In terms of this type, “Quan Ho” is considered the most famous Vietnamese folk-songs, and love is expressed very flexibly in “Quan ho”: “Vợ anh như ngọc như ngà Anh còn tình phụ nữ là thân em” “Em đi đêm lại sợ Ông thầy Em đi ban ngày sợ Mẹ mấy Cha Yêu em, anh mở cửa raquot; quot;Ở nhà có mẹ cùng cha Lẽ đâu tôi dám nguyệt hoa cùng người” Người ơi! Người ở đừng về (Dân Ca Quan Họ Bắc Ninh) Người ơi! Người ở đừng về Người về tôi vẫn (có mấy) khóc thầm Đôi bên (là bên) sông như vạt áo, mà này cũng có ướt đầm, ướt đầm như mưa. Người ơi! Người ở đừng về Người về tôi vẫn (có mấy) trông theo Trông nước tình chung (là như) nước chảy mà này cũng có trông bèo, trông bèo (là) bèo trôi Nguyen Thi Thuy Linh- 05.1.E18 36
  • Besides, Nature is also a very attractive topic. They appear so vividly in the folk songs. “Cái cò” appears to be the symbol of labour force Cái cò đi đón cơn mưa Cái cò cái cò đi đón (mà cơn mưa đi đón mưa trên cánh đồng quê mà này cánh í đồng quê tối tăm mù mịt ấy í a í a tối tăm mù mịt (ai đưa cò về thăm quê í a) í a ha ai đưa cò về. Tình tang tang tính cò về (cò về) cò về (cò về) cò về (cò về cò về cò về thăm quán ư thăm quê thăm cha thăm mẹ cò về ư thăm anh thăm cha thăm mẹ thăm quê í a cò về.) Nguyen Thi Thuy Linh- 05.1.E18 37
  • American people Apart from Vietnamese’s love issue topic, Americans’ are about love issue in different ways. The songs convey emotional content and mood. They do not express their feeling face to face like in “Quan ho” of Vietnam’s but the man sings alone with a guitar as most common. Figure 3: American people’s topic preference Love 27 Work 20 Love Work Lullaby Lullaby 32 Other Other 19 0 10 20 30 40 Love-related issue appears to be most favorable while lullabies/ children’s songs rank the second. The voices of folksingers bear little resemblance to the voices of singers who have been formally trained. Compared with singers with classical vocal training, folk singers generally end to produce a more earthy sound. Black is the color of my true love's hair Black, black, black is the color of my true love's hair Her lips are like a rose so fair And the prettiest face and the neatest hands. I love the grass whereon she stands Nguyen Thi Thuy Linh- 05.1.E18 38
  • She with the wondrous hair. Black, black, black is the color of my true love's hair Her face is something truly rare. Oh I do love my love and so well she knows I love the ground where on she goes. She with the wondrous hair. On the other hand, both are about the Nature or creature. However, the symbols used are different from each other. While in Vietnamese, it is known as “Cai co”, in American’s, “horse” or “sheep” are used in stead. All the pretty little horses Hush-a-bye, don't you cry, Go to sleepy my little baby, When you awake, you shall have And all the pretty little horses. Black and bay, dapple and grey, Coach and six-a little horses, Hush-a-bye, don't you cry, Go to sleepy my little baby. When you awake, you shall have And all the pretty little horses Baa baa black sheep Baa baa black sheep, have you any wool? Yes sir, yes sir, three bags full! One for the master, one for the dame, And one for the little boy who lives down the lane The ranking order of the most attractive topic of folk music was summarized in table 1: Nguyen Thi Thuy Linh- 05.1.E18 39
  • Table 1- Ranking of popular topics Rank Vietnamese American 1 Love Lullaby 2 Lullaby Work 3 Work Love 4 Other Other 4.1.2. Sense of community The Vietnamese people and American people appeared to produce their own sense of community according to their culture in some cases when performing folk music. Vietnamese people“Quan ho” ( in the North) Quan họ singing is a Vietnamese folk music style characterized both by its antiphonal nature, with alternating groups of female and male singers issuing musical challenges and responses, and by the fact that most of the songs in the repertoire deal with topics of love and sentimentality as experienced by young adults. (Balaban, 2001, p.11) It is considered one of the most typical activities of Bac Ninh community. Nguyen Thi Thuy Linh- 05.1.E18 40
  • “Quan họ” is usually performed at some kinds of festival. There often have two groups sing antiphonally. By singing, they get acquainted and become friends together. In another way, they also can sing for competing. They have to sing antiphonally with corresponding meanings. So an outstanding point that can be seen is the way they organize a “Quan ho” festival. Their sense of community was highlighted very clearly. They sing together, play together and communicate to each other during the activity.ò ( in the South) “Hò” is a kind of traditional music that very popular in the South in particular. “Hò” is often matched with the river which is very gentle and quiet. They also sing the protest folk songs when staying on the boat. Women (ask): Hò ơi trên đời mọi vật bẩn nhơ Đều nhờ rửa nước trở nên trong lành Đến khi nước phải nhơ tanh Lấy gì mà rửa xin anh phân cùng… Men (reply) Hò ơi! Em ơi trải bao thế hệ oai hung Nước nhà lâm nạn anh hung rat ay Hi sinh bao quản thân dài Máu đào từng rửa, nước rày thành trong… According to Nguyen (2003), their sense of community was reflected so clearly, especially when they sing on the river. They sing together Nguyen Thi Thuy Linh- 05.1.E18 41
  • and communicate to each other. They express their satisfaction with the community and always expect the length of community residency. This point will lead to a positive relationship between senses of community and the ability to function completely in the community.ý or Vè ( in the Middle) When sailing boat, they often sing “Lý” songs. They consider women the female (mái) and men female (trống). They become the way to communicate between men and women, called “hát giao duyên” Ai đem con sáo sang sông Để cho con sáo sổ lồng bay xa.. Sense of community is impressed in some principle like “making friend custom” (tục kết bạn) named “ Hát ghẹo” or “nước nghĩa” Giãi sông ngân mây rầu rầu chuyển Một bước đường trời biển chia hai Hỡi nàng nàng ơi! Anh dặn một lời xưa nhớ đừng quên. To conclude, the Vietnamese folk music is various with no close relation with the instruments or orchestra. Folk songs can be “quan họ”, lullaby, “hò”, “lý” “đồng dao” and can be performed in some occasions that make many generations meet and communicate with each other American people According to Chase (2001), Folk music is viewed primarily as a rural tradition where songs are passed down by word of mouth. It is close Nguyen Thi Thuy Linh- 05.1.E18 42
  • to the soul and everyday lives of many Americans and has influence much music around them today. Folk music is understood by the community of participants within a cultural group-they are singers, players, dancers and listeners. The music reflects the spirit and personality and the people, who produce it, use it and value it. It is music that grows out of the life of cultures and conveys in songs the joys and the sorrows. In America, folk songs are preserved by oral transition within the communities and cultural groups. American folk music typically is not created by professionals’ composers and lyricists, the creators are still unknown. Folk music, on the other hand, can be considered informal, unsophisticated and simple. (Chase, 2001) “Save rosemary and thyme” is an example in which the authors provide series of versions in a line. It is presumed that subsequent singers misunderstood the words in the memory process or did not know the meanings of these herbs. “Save rosemary and thyme” Rosemary in time. Every rose grows merry in time. Rose de Marion time. Rozz marrow and time May every rose bloom merry in time… Broadsides The origin of many folk songs has been traced to broadsides. Thus, they became part of the oral tradition the Americans associate with traditional folk songs. People adopted in their works and many of these commercial folk songs were intended to achieve popular success and to make personal statements in urging improvement in the society. Broadsides were, in turn, replaced by newspapers and Nguyen Thi Thuy Linh- 05.1.E18 43
  • printed sheet music. The sheets were often adorned with woodcuts. The sheets were sold in stalls or by traveling peddlers. People pasted the sheets on walls, logbooks and any other convenient area to learn them. When the song was familiar to people, it was discarded or pasted over by another song. They did together and made the whole community learn to sing. Lyric songs Lyric songs are not narrative. They include love songs, ceremonial songs, etc. These songs convey emotional content and mood in more private context. Action and drama are minimal, the text content is wide ranging and forms of poetic structures are diverse. “Little Sparrow” Come all ye maids and pretty fair mailers Take warning how that you love young man They’re like he bright star in a summer’s morning, First appear and then are gone. I wish I was a little sparrow Or some of those birds that fly so high; It’s after my true love that I would follow, And when he talked I would be sigh The most popular folk song genre is the ballad with the styles of the narrative ballad and the lyric song. Work songs and children’s songs Work songs Nguyen Thi Thuy Linh- 05.1.E18 44
  • Work songs are of both black and white Americans such as lumber songs. They are rhythmic, often incorporating technique and are sung to a beat compatible with the beat of ax. Children’s songs Children’s songs such as lullabies and game songs are usually short and easily remembered and used to comfort and literally lull babies and children to sleep; lullabies are the first songs most of us hear. While modern chromatic/ electronic/ rock-influenced performance practice is out of place in an SCA setting, so is the stereotypically `ethnic' style often adopted by `traditional' folk musicians in emulation of some American mountain style. Game songs Many children's playground and street songs are connected to particularly games. These include clapping games like 'Miss Susie', played in America, 'A sailor went to sea' and 'Mpeewa'. Many traditional Maori children's games, some of them with educational applications, such as hand movement, stick and string games were accompanied by particular songs. Through these game songs, children accompany with each other and their Nguyen Thi Thuy Linh- 05.1.E18 45
  • sense of community turned to be expressed so clearly. (Storti, 2002, p.24). To conclude, the present study merges the existence of some popular topics of folk songs that mentioned in previous works and highlighted the ranking of topics, the similarities and differences between Vietnamese and American sense of community. 4.2. Question 2: Cultural factors leadings to similarities and differences in topic and sense of community between Vietnamese and American folk music Before exploring underlying cultural factors, it is necessary to generalize the major trends in topics and sense of community of two groups to lay the foundation for a more focused cultural analysis. Similarities and differences re-examined In terms of folk songs’ topics, such universal topics as love or work, children’s song overcame differences and geographical distance to be highly available in both countries. However, two groups diverge in their additional interests approaches to same topics and topic preference. These differences imply that he Vietnamese preferred communicating to each other through folk songs. In order to cover the cultural impact on sense of community, he researcher include in questionnaires and interviews questions on two areas: (i) Proponents’ awareness of cultural influence on sense of community (ii) Specific cultural values leading to the similarities and differences found in Vietnamese and American’s folk music. Nguyen Thi Thuy Linh- 05.1.E18 46
  • 4.2.1. Proponents’ awareness of cultural influence on sense of community The participants gave their evaluation of the cultural influence on sense of community by giving mark from 1 (very much influence) to 5 (no influence) Figure 4- Awareness of cultural influence on sense of community 9% 22% 13% Very much Much 11% Pretty much Little No 45% Table 2 - Level of cultural influence on sense of community Level of influence 1 ----------------------------------------------------------------- 5 Very Much Pretty Little No much muc h Number (Tota 13 27 7 9 4 l: 60) Nguyen Thi Thuy Linh- 05.1.E18 47
  • Figure 3 and table show participants’ high awareness of cultural impact on sense of community. While none agreed with the idea that culture had nothing to do with sense of community, 67% chose the level of influence from “much” to “very much”. Less favoring culture’s role with 11% “pretty much” and 13% “little” were either Vietnamese with non-English majors or American with not very good command of Vietnamese language, especially music. So, which certain cultural values were given to the similarities and differences found? 4.2.2. Cultural values leading to similarities and differences In order to answer the questions, typical Vietnamese and American cultural values were given to participants who voted the most influential values and add their suggestions. Similarities The reasons for similarities between two cultures’ sense of community in this study can be seen in his research. Firstly, the present study suggested that Vietnamese and American cultures shared similar value due to American culture’s world wide influence an its multicultural nature. Q. Nguyen (2004) strengthens this by arguing that most cultural values are presented in all communities and only the “proportion” and “manifestation” of each value vary from culture to culture (p.189) Secondly, in view of the participants, Vietnamese adaptability played an active role in integrating other culture’s values including American values, into its culture. This is shared by Tran (2003) who says that adaptability enables Vietnamese to tune their actions to this global area. Nguyen Thi Thuy Linh- 05.1.E18 48
  • In brief, from cultural perspectives, similar topics of folk songs and sense of community of Vietnamese and American are under big consideration. Vietnamese and American cultures are interrelated. Vietnamese culture contains some Vietnamese values and vice versa. Differences As mentioned in the previous section, some respondents remarked that the root cause for different levels of topic preference was cultural difference. Following are figure 3 which demonstrates participants’ voting of the most values in Vietnamese culture and Figure 10 which does the same task with American cultural values. Figure 5: Vietnamese cultural values (in percentage) Family oriened life style 67 Adaptibility 67 Openess for close relationship 69 78 Strong sense of community 60 65 70 75 80 As indicated by figure 9, participants in this research thought that most given values affected Vietnamese’s topic preference and their sense of community as well. The most influential was Strong sense of community with 78%. Openness for close relationship was quoted by 69% and 67% were for Family oriented style and Adaptability each. Figure 6- American cultural values (in percentage) Nguyen Thi Thuy Linh- 05.1.E18 49
  • Independence appreciation 23 Equality 87 Self- reliance 41 Individual 97 freedom 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 The trend is clearer in this figure. There are two groups of cultural values. The highly favored group includes Individual freedom (97%), Equality (87%). The other group consists of Self- reliance and Independence appreciation with 41% and 23%. This means only some values in American culture have considerable effect on the nation’s sense of community which was reflected through folk music. In brief, from Vietnamese side, they chose to listen to and perform kinds of topics that highlight “sense of community”. Most of the songs are performed by groups of people. From American side, their concern for Individual freedom, Self- reliance and equality were reflected through their work songs and rally protest or broad side. To summarize, behind Vietnamese’s interest in folk songs, their modesty and tendency to communicate were reflected. Meanwhile, equality, individual freedom convinces American to favor some kinds of personal performance, except for work songs. Nguyen Thi Thuy Linh- 05.1.E18 50
  • 4.3. Question 3: The implications for enhancing mutual appreciation of folk music between Vietnamese and American. The previous section proved that all participants know rather clearly about the cultural impact on sense of community. It was also found that behind each similarity and difference were specific cultural factors. Those findings provide important implications for enhancing mutual appreciation of folk music between Vietnamese and Americans. 4.3.1. Suggested strategies for enhancement The study suggested a list of strategies which include (i) Learn more about the other language ( English/ Vietnamese) (ii) Learn more about the other system of customs values (iii) Enrich background of the other country (iv) Have access comparative study on Vietnamese and American cultures 4.3.2. Participants’ recommendation The strategies stressing theoretical knowledge of culture and devaluing cultural interaction also received little care. Figure 7- Strategies to enhance mutual appreciation of folk music (in percentage) Nguyen Thi Thuy Linh- 05.1.E18 51
  • 60 56 50 45 40 33 30 20 10 11 0 (i) (ii) (iii) (iv) Figure 5 demonstrates participants’ favorite strategies to enhance their appreciation of the other culture’s folk music. At a high percentage of 45% is “Learn more about the language (i). “Learn more about the other system of customs values” (ii) cited by 56% and “Enrich background of the other country” 32% respectively. The last strategy “Have access to a comparative study on Vietnamese and American cultures (iv) is attracted the least concern with 11% only. In short, the findings of this study contributed important implications to how we could enhance the mutual appreciation of folk music between Vietnamese and Americans. It was also noteworthy that we could not afford to depreciate the actual cultural interaction when implementing any strategy. Nguyen Thi Thuy Linh- 05.1.E18 52
  • CHAPTER FIVE: CONCLUSION The current study compares and contrasts “sense of community” of Vietnamese and American people through their folk music. Specifically, the topics of folk songs and the way they choose to perform them reflect this aspect clearly. Moreover, this paper also exposes influential cultural factors and recommends sense of community strategies to enhance the mutual understanding about folk music of each culture. 5.1. Summary of the study: In this paper, the research reveals the following major findings: 5.1.1. Similarities and differences in topics of folk songs Vietnamese and American people share the same concern for some common topics of folk music, namely (i) Love-related issues, (ii) work songs, (iii) children’s songs (lullaby). However, two groups depart in their most favorite topics and topic preference. While Vietnamese rank Love- related issue at the highest position, American people usually perform to children’s songs by solo with some typical and simple instruments. 5.1.2. Underlying cultural factors All similarities and differences discovered between Vietnamese and American cultures reflected through their folk music were persuaded by specific cultural factors. Vietnamese seem to be stress on family oriented life style, adaptability, openness for close relationship and strong sense of community in contrast with American preference equality, individual freedom, and self-reliance and independent appreciation. 5.2. Recommendation to improve mutual appreciation of folk music Nguyen Thi Thuy Linh- 05.1.E18 53
  • Folk music is a very typical field of each culture. As a result, in order to understand comprehensively this point, it requires us both linguistic and cultural knowledge. 5.3. Implications This study is supposed to contribute some implications for the field of research. It highlighted some major similarities and differences between the senses of community between the two cultures. Moreover, the research also merged the cultural impacts on their preference of folk music topics. The most influential cultural factor that underlines the similarities and differences between two also pointed out. As a result, it presents an insight into Vietnamese and American culture, contributing to the mutual understanding between the two countries. Finally, the study suggests some strategies in order to help Vietnamese and American people learn more about each other’s language and culture, especially the young ones. 5.4. Proposal for further research Further research might develop in many ways. For example, additional study should involve larger number of participants at wider range of age. The variety of the topics for survey should be added in order to make the various choices of topics from participants. The researcher hopes that with the findings of this study and the future’s ones come together, they will become a useful reference for the one who really consider about Vietnamese and American culture. Nguyen Thi Thuy Linh- 05.1.E18 54
  • APPENDICES QUESTIONNAIRE I am Nguyen Thi Thuy Linh, a 4th year student from Vietnam National University, University of Languages and Foreign Studies, English Department. I am conducting a cross-cultural study on Vietnamese and American sense of community as reflected on their attitude to folk music. Please help me complete this questionnaire. Any information you provide will be kept secret. All your contributions are highly appreciated. PART1: Personal information (optional): Your name: Age: Gender: Duration of study English: Part II: Folk music and Sense of community Please circle the options that best answer the given questions. You can have more than one choice. VIETNAMESE FOLK MUSIC 1. Do you often listen to folk songs? A. Often B. Sometimes C. Rarely
  • 2. What are types of folk songs that you like to listen to? 2.1. Narrative ballads (story songs) 2.2. Broadsides 2.3. Lyric songs 2.4. Work songs 2.5. Children’s songs 2.6. Rally and protest songs 2.7. Others 3. What factors that make you consider most when listening to a folk song? 3.1. The lyric 3.2. The melody 3.3. The message 3.3. The singer 3.4. The composer/ writer 3.5. Others AMERICAN FOLK MUSIC 4. Do you often listen to American folk songs? A. Often B. Sometimes C. Rarely 5. You listen to folk music in? A. Vietnamese B. English C. Both
  • 6. How do you find the themes of American folk music? A. Interesting B. Meaningful C. Simple D. Complicated E. Useful F. Others COMPARING VIETNAMESE FOLK MUSIC AND AMERICAN FOLK MUSIC 7. Do you find any similarity and difference between Vietnamese folk music and American one in terms of topic? If yes, please specify. 8. Do you find any similarity and difference between Vietnamese folk music and American one in terms of sense of community? If yes, please specify PART III- Cultural impact on folk music listening style 10. In your opinion, how does culture influence one’s choice of topic and sense of community strategies? Please give a mark equivalent to five levels ranging from very much (level 1) to not any (level 5) 1 5 Very Much Pretty Little Not any much much
  • 11. What are the reasons for the possible similarities and differences between Vietnamese and American sense of community that you have mentioned in question 8 and 9? Vietnamese culture American culture a. More family oriented life- a. Appreciate independence style b. Prefer getting acquainted to b. Tend to be more external others c. Be more open to close c. Easier to adapt for new relationship environment a. Stronger sense of community d. More stress on individual freedom Others: Thank you!
  • PHIẾU ĐIỀU TRA Tôi là Nguyễn Thị Thùy Linh, sinh viên lớp 05.1.E18, Đại học Ngoại ngữ và Nghiên cứu Quốc tế, Đại Học Quốc Gia Hà Nội. Tôi đang thực hiện một nghiên cứu về: “Những tương đồng và khác biệt giữa tính cộng đồng của người dân 2 nước Hoa Kỳ và Việt Nam thể hiên trên âm nhạc dân gian của họ”. Xin anh /chị dành chú ít thời gian trả lời những câu hỏi trong phiếu điều tra này. Những thông tin cá nhân của anh chị sẽ không bị nêu trong bất kỳ trường hợp nào. Xin chân thành cảm ơn anh/ chị! ********************************* PHẦN 1: Thông tin cá nhân Tuổi Giới tính: Nam Nữ Tên trường Đại học: Anh chị đánh giá trình độ tiếng Anh của mình hiện ở mức độ nào? Giỏi Khá Trung bình Yếu Thời gian học tiếng Anh của anh/ chị là bao nhiêu năm? PHẦN 2: Nhạc dân ca và yếu tố cộng đồng
  • DÂN CA VIỆT NAM 1. Bạn có hay nghe nhạc dân ca không? A. Thường xuyên B. Thỉnh thoảng C. Hiếm khi 2. Chủ đề của các bài hát dân ca bạn thường nghe là gì? A. Thiên nhiên B. Con người C. Lao động sản xuất D. Tình yêu E. Bài hát ru F. Khác 3. Yếu tố nào bạn coi trọng nhất khi thưởng thức một giai điệu dân ca? A. Ca từ B. Giai điệu C. Thông điệp từ bài hát D. Ca sĩ thể hiện E. Khác
  • DÂN CA MỸ 4. Bạn có hay nghe các bài hát dân ca Mỹ không? A. Thường xuyên B. Thỉnh thoảng C Hiếm khi D. Không bao giờ 5. Bạn thường nghe nhạc dân ca bằng thứ tiếng nào? A. Việt Nam B. Tiếng Anh C. Cả 2 6. bạn cảm nhận thế nào về các bài hát dân ca Mỹ? A. Thú vị B. Ý nghĩa C. Hữu ích trong việc răn dạy D. Giản dị E. Khác SO SÁNH DÂN CA MỸ -VIỆT 8. Bạn có nhận thấy sự giống nhau hay khác biệt nào về mặt chủ đề giữa các bài hát dân ca Việt Nam và Mỹ không? Xin hãy chỉ rõ nếu có ......................................................................................................................... .................................................................................................................... .................................................................................................................... ..................................................... 9. Bạn có thấy sự giống/ khác nhau nào giữa yếu tố cộng đồng của người dân Mỹ và Việt Nam thông qua nhạc dân ca của 2 nước này không? Xin hãy nêu rõ nếu có ......................................................................................................................... ....................................................................................................................
  • .................................................................................................................... ............................................................. PHẦN III: ẢNH HƯỞNG CỦA VĂN HÓA ĐẾN CÁCH NGHE NHẠC CỦA NGƯỜI THƯỞNG THỨC 10. Theo bạn, yếu tố văn hóa có ảnh hưởng thế nào đến các chủ đề của các bài hát dân ca, cũng như là cách thể hiện yếu tố cộng đồng của người dân thông qua các bài hát? Xin hãy đánh giá tầm ảnh hưởng của văn hóa theo thang điểm từ 1( cực kỳ ảnh hưởng) đến 5 ( không hề ảnh hưởng) 1-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 5 Cực kỳ Rất ảnh Khá ảnh Ít ảnh Không hề ảnh hưởng hưởng hưởng ảnh hưởng hưởng 11. Theo bạn, đâu là nguyên nhân của sự khác biệt đã được đề cập tại câu số 8 và 9 kể trên? Văn hóa Việt Nam Văn hóa Mỹ Có xu hướng sống thiên về gia Đề cao tự do cá nhân hơn đình hơn Thích được tiếp xúc, giao lưu với Hướng ngoại nhiều người Cởi mở với các mối quan hệ thân Dễ dàng thích nghi với môi
  • thiết trường mới hơn Coi trọng yếu tố cộng đồng hơn Nhấn mạnh hơn đến tự do cá nhân Ý kiến khác: Cảm ơn sự hợp tác nhiệt tình của anh/ chị!
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