It is related to the notion of cultivation. The psychological definitions are also known as functional definitions. Hence culture helps us to solve problems (find food or shelter). Culture is the human response to the environment. For instance in South Asia, people use a lot of different spices, and these spices protects the body against the heat. Emphasizing similar patterns is not enough, but structuralism considers the holistic nature of elements and their interrelatedness. That is they work in a systemic way and the operation of the whole is dependent on parts. Like a human body. Genetic means studies look to the geneology.
The structural–functional approach has been the dominant approach in most of the fields of social science. FOUR different turns happened in social sciences and humanities as far as the role of culture is concerned after the 1970s. The first is Interpretivism: The distinction between structural-functionalism and interpretivism is that the latter concentrates on the creation of meaning. Interpretivists claim that the social reality is under the constant process of construction through message exchange and symbolic interaction.Studies that are base more interpretation: these are based on the works of the anthropologist Clifford Geeretz. I.e. interviews, narratives, stories of politicians, activists, etc. There are studies which focus on graffitis and how grafittis are used to express certain feelings of protest, anger, etc. Or Clifford Geeretz has analyzed the meaning that cockfights have created in Indonesia and how these expresses different values of honor, pride, etc. The older totalistic, positivistic view of structural-functionalist understanding of culture became more pluralistic, open-ended, and interpretive. Hence, using a metaphor of Geeretz. Culture means WEBS OF SIGNIFICANCE. People create (spun the web and are suspended in them.) Intergroup perspective replaces the construct of culture with the construct of group. It is more specific, it focuses on how group membership is created and how distinctions between in groups and out-groups are sustained: how people identify with groups how others identify people as members of groups how groups define themselves and are defined by others how groups separate themselves from others and/or compare themselves with other groups Social Identity Theory of Tajfel and Turner developed out of a desire to explain discriminatory behaviors in comparison to other groups. The ESSENTIAL UNDERLYING CONCEPT in SIT is that people have both an individual and a social identity. In certain situations, (i.e. intercultural encounters) a person will behave not according to his belief system but according to the belief system held by his identity group. According to SIT, a situation is cultural, when the context activates group based identification. Three basic principles: - Individuals strive to achieve or maintain a positive social identity - Positive social identity is based to a large extent on favorable comparisons that can be made between the in-group and out group - When social identity is unsatisfactory, individuals either leave their group to a some positively distinct group or try to make their group more positively distinct CRITICAL THEORISTS revolution through the disciplines, especially in literary criticism, art, foreign languages, media studies, history, sociology. Critical theorists’ focus moves from what culture is or even how it comes to be to TO WHOM DOES IT SERVE. Scholars increasingly consider the power relations present in the symbolic production of culture. In this definition culture is a site of contestation. For instance neo-Marxists see popular culture as tied to capitalism hence a way for the bourgeoisie to attach to their power. CHOMSKY and the relationship between media and economic power. Feminist scholars, queer theories, or anti-racist theories were part of this Critical Turn. For instance, feminist scholars have looked how gendered advertisements or television programs objectifying women’s bodies contribute to sexism. The important point the critical theorists focus is power and hierarchies emerging out of these power relations. Example Chomsky and the broadcasting as a site of economic domination, Edward Said and media/scholarly works/literature as a site of colonial domination, etc.
Interpretive approaches to culture concentrates on how people create meaning. Defines content. Evolving ways of life, product, practices, perspectives, communities, persons
Political movement in reaction to modernism. Postmodern perspectives were born in early 21stcentur. —it rejects only one objective truthRealities are social constructs and therefore are subject to change. It emphasizes the role of language, power relations, representation, difference and agency. And, it basically attacks binary dichotomizations such as native speaker—nonative speaker, male vs female, white vs black…it holds realities to be plural and multiple. Philosohers and writers associated with this paradigm include Jacques Derrida, Samuel Kuhn, Michel Foucault. iN literature: samuelbackett, ernesthemingway, Franz Kafka
Postmodernism in a way reject anything that modernity has to offer including linear logic, liberal democracy, all-encompassing explanations, modern technology, etc. In the postmodern approach of culture, culture is not about clarifying or defining the essence of a group, but about problematizing the group and revealing its fragments, tensions, and contradictions, as well as borders between cultures. According to postmodernists it is impossible to objectively define or describe anything, because the description or definition will be dependent on the observer’s ideology, etc.
In this section of the book, the chapter discusses the influence of culture on different aspects of interaction and learning of L2. Cultural awareness can aid the attaining of second language proficiency. Language use needs to be undrstood as a social and cultural phenemenon. Communication between cultural groups entail cultural identities.
The study of culture developed in different domains such as anthropological, sociological, political, sociocultural and sociocognitive. Antrolpologistsare concerned with the culture as the way of life of a group of people..the way of thinking, feeling and believing and behaving. It looks at symbolic representations of self, identity.Scholars after 70s closely addressed some of the relationships between language and culture. Moving beyong the four Fs.
Week 2 343
English 343: Cultureand its complexities WEEK 2 Recent approaches to culture Learning, interaction and culture
Agenda• Your Voices• Overview of key concepts and theories• Recent approaches to culture (Moran, Kumar, Wintergerst)• Discussion Facilitation by Amy, Kelly and Kaitlyn Culture and its complexities (Kumar Ch. 2 & Interaction and culture in language teaching (Hinkel 1 and 2).• Group Discussion: Teaching culture. Approaches to intercultural communication (Wintergerst, A. &McVeigh, )
Important terms and concepts Hinkel KumarCHAPTER 2 AND 3 CHPATER 2• Speech events • Habitus• Conversational • Cultural capital Implicature• Cooperative Principle • Otherization/cultural otherization• Inner speech • The principle of• Habitus linguistic relativity• Interaction and culture • Sapir-Whorf hypothesis
Your voices on culture…Reflections, reactions, reappropriations, and more….
Shawn says…• Ever since studying abroad, Ive started to realize that culture was more than what I see, feel, hear, etc. It finally hit me when something incredible happened one time while I was studying abroad in Taiwan. This was how the story went…• This is story is one of the many I know that has made me think about culture differences. I started to think about the "hidden" culture. The culture that isnt easily seen or noticed. From Wintergerst and McVeighs book and Patrick Morans Teaching Culture, I learned about culture being like an iceberg. There is a part that is seen (above water) and another part that isnt seen, but is there (below the surface of the water). My "hidden" culture is actually true!!
Victoria says…• I believe that, as nearly all our authors studied thus far, students should discuss the idea of culture as an iceberg and detail what culture means to them. In this way, in reading their course texts, they can take all they read with the proverbial grain of salt; hopefully understanding that the small boxes shoved into textbook margins or short online videos featuring the same cast of characters at the end of each chapter is NOT representative of an entire people, its generations, its history, and even its present!• There is so much more to a people than what can be demonstrated in reading a textbook and in 50 minutes of instruction... or even in 100 hours of instruction. Language instruction is an opportunity to get a glimpse at the tip of an iceberg that is the studied language. Language study opens the door so that each student might pass through and learn firsthand what the global perspective has in store on his/her adventure through Wonderland. Discussion of cultural norms is helpful to students in understanding actions or ways of speaking which they might otherwise view (through ATTRIBUTION) as bizarre or offensive.
Tara says…• One concern Hinkel brings up is that foreign language can rarely be learned or taught without addressing the culture of the community in which it is used. Unfortunately though, in many language classrooms culture is frequently reduced to foods, fairs, folklore, and statistical facts. Instead of teaching these surface level parts of culture, it is important to link the teaching of language to culture as a whole. Often times this is a difficult task and teachers are not trained in pedagogy courses successful ways of teaching culture and language together. Another concern is that even the nonnative speakers who have had many years of experience with the second culture may have to “find their own place at the intersection of their natal target cultures” (6). Also, although it may be possible to develop an intellectual understanding and tolerance of other cultures, it may not be as easy for people to become cognitively like members of other cultures. For example, it may be difficult for adults to see the world through culturally different eyes. When teaching Spanish I am challenged by these concerns because I have spent a very small amount of time in countries where the Spanish language is spoken; therefore, I have not developed my own identity within the target language culture and find it difficult to teach something I am not completely a part of.
Sarah says…Second culture acquisition has been investigated fromsocial, attitudinal, and cognitive standpoints. Adultsare indeed capable of restructuring the culture to someextent but with the right motivation and context.Culture is better labeled as a verb, not a noun, becauseit is a dynamic process of transforming order in societyand identifying formation. It is a prism through whichwe view life.
Victoria says…• In class last week, when I related culture to water, you (Dr Lisya Seloni) asked me whether or not the water held the shape of its container even once removed. Thinking on this, and on this weeks reading, I would say yes, but only to an extent. We are like ice cubes, forming since birth within a certain shapely confine: some round, some square, some heart or seahorse- shaped. Once we are removed from our specific local cultures, like the ice cube removed from the freezer tray, we melt over time. We may then re-form in a similar, but never quite the same shape, or we may take a new perspective-shape completely. However, we are still water and will always carry with us the minerals of our source (or in the case of my freezer here, little pieces of broccoli or spinach that we keep frozen for later use and which somehow always finds its way into the cubes).
Susana says…• When I go visit family in Mexico I am shocked to hear that my cousins who speak only Spanish are listening music in English that is popular here in the United States. Also, the way they dress is also Americanized. They watch tv shows that are American. All of these ideas and concepts are in turn influencing their culture. When I hear the term "cultural otherization" I think of teachers having the potential to give students the idea that their culture is inferior to that of the teachers self culture If the teachers to not make students feel that their culture is valuable. Having students articulate their own definition of culture is a great start to get an idea of what prior knowledge your students have. Maybe they know a lot about culture in general, but they struggle with their own culture and their own identity. I think that teachers should build awareness about stressed caused by cultural adjustments. Not only should the teacher be aware, but also he or she should make his or her students aware of how stressful making a cultural transition can be.
Historical Roots• The word culture comes from early Latin, colere, which means to till or cultivate the ground.• Since it is a contested and elusive concept, there are different ways of defining culture (Kroeber and Kluckhohn, 1952): • Enumeratively distinctive ( a list of the content of culture, values, Four Fs) • Historical (emphasis on social heritage, tradition) • Psychological and cognitively (learning, habit, adjustment, problem-solving device, metaphors) • Structural (focus on the pattern or organization of culture, systemic whole, patterns) • Genetic (focus on the origin of culture)
Recent Approaches to Culture• Interpretivism• Socio-cognitive perspective• Critical Turn: Cultural Otherization and Orientalism
Interpretive approaches• Concentrates on creation of meaning (Clifford Geertz): Culture means WEBS OF SIGNIFICANCE. People create meanings through interactions (spun the web and are suspended in them.)E.G. There are studies which focus on graffitis and street art, and how grafittisare used to express certain feelings of protest, anger, etc.• Moran’s five dimensions of culture (See Shaw’s Example in her blog)• Culture as iceberg: Tacit and explicit dimensions of a culture.• Getting inside the emic view: “We as language teachers need to acquire more information about culture—its products, practices, perspectives, communities, and persons.” (p. 29) Also, see an ESL teacher’s experience in Moran PAGE 29-31
Socio-cognitive Approach• Intergroup perspective: Social Identity Theory (Tajfel and Turner, 1986; Tajfel, 1978)Intergroup perspective replaces the construct of culture with the constructof group. Focuses on how group membership is created and howdistinctions between in groups and out-groups are sustained:• how people identify with groups , how others identify people as members of groups• how groups define themselves and are defined by others• how groups separate themselves from others and/or compare themselves with other groups
Socio-cognitive• Aspirations and attitudes toward self and society: People have both an individual and a social identity.Three basic principles: - Individuals strive to achieve or maintain a positivesocial identity- Positive social identity is based to a large extent on favorable comparisons that can be made between the in-group and out group- When social identity is unsatisfactory, individuals either leave their group to a some positively distinct group or try to make their group more positively distinct
Critical Turn: Otherization and OrientalismOtherization• Reductive process that ascribe an imagined superior identity to the Self and an imagined inferior identity to the Other. “Colonizers systematically devalue the colonized and how develuation expends to every aspect of life. See Memi’s The Colonizer and the colonized.Orientalism (coined by Edward Said)• Western representation of the Other (i.e. East). “Orientalism is a systematically constructed discourse by which the West “ was able to manage—and produce— the Orient politically, sociologically, ideologically, scientifically, and imaginatively” (Said, 1978). Eg. Accents of Arabs in Aladdin. Aladdin is also Arab bur speaks English in Standard English.• Produces an essentialist and static Other. “The discourse of orientalism is built on binary oppositions between East and West.• Cultures, just like people, are not islands by themselves. They are all interconnected, making every culture, in effect, a hybrid culture.
Ethnocentrism• “ Our tendency to consider our own cultural practices as superior and consider other cultural practices as inferior” (Wintergerts & mCveigj, 2011, p. 14)
The discourse of OrientalismInterview with EdwardSaidhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xwCOSkXR_Cw• Take notes: What are some of the key arguments behind orientalism? What examples does Said give to Orientalism?
Postmodern approaches to culturePost-modern/post structural: Culture is no neatly packagedentities. They are NOT exclusive bodies of customs, values andthoughts. They are NOT perfectly shared by all who subscribe tothem. Realities are subject to change.Contact zone: The social spaces where cultures meet, clash, andgrapple with each other, often in highly asymmetrical relations ofpower, such as colonialism, slavery, or their aftermaths as theylived out in many parts of the world today”. (Pratt, 1991, p.34)—bordercrossing/borderlands by Gloria Anzaldua.Cultures as travelling (Clifford): Unrooted, permeable, ever-developing and changing.
Postmodernism• “Postmodern thought values alternative discourses and meanings rather than… goals, choices, behavior, attitudes, and personality. Postmodern social scientists support a refocusing on what has been taken for granted, what has been neglected, regions of resistance, the forgotten, the irrational, the insignificant, the repressed, the borderline, the classical, the sacred, the traditional, the eccentric, the sublimated, the subjugated, the rejected, the nonessential, the marginal, the peripheral, the excluded, the tenuous, the silenced, the accidental, the dispersed, the disqualified, the deferred, the disjointed” (Roseneau, 1992, p.8 in Baldwin et. al, 2006, p. 20-1)
Commonalities…• Culture is an elusive concept.• It plays an important function in people’s and communities’ lives.• Cultures are interconnected, making every culture a hybrid one. (Geertz “culture move live an octopus”)• Some cultures play a gatekeeping functions. Still, it is the individual people and groups that shape (or cannot) cultural transformation.
Definitions of culture:1) A culture is “a text the vocabulary and grammar of which its members learn” (Fay, 1996)2) “Culture is a verb” (Street, 1991)3) Culture is an “evolving connected activity, not a thing”. (Fay, 1996).4) Believing…that man is an animal suspended in webs of significance he himself has spun, I take culture to be those webs (Geertz, 1973)Your ideas?: What is important is NOT what culture is BUTculture does.
Culture and interaction• Culture as a hidden curriculum (Byram, 1989)“Leaners do not simply shake of their own culture andstep into another culture. Their culture is a part ofthemselves and created them as social beings”• The learning of a second/foreign language entaisl adjustments of the linguistic and cultural systems.
Studies of culture and sociolinguistics: Key terms and concepts • Social anthropology: Way of life, identity, beliefs and emotions (Geertz, 1973) • Connection between language and culture: Moving beyond four Fs “foods, folklore, and facts” (Kramsh, 1991) • Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis: language representing human experience Strong version: Language determines thought Weak version: Language influences thought • Social meaning are encoded and linguistically represented in speech events (Hymes): Speech events: All forms of language including speaking writing, pictorial governed by social and linguistic norms.
Hymes Chapter 2• “The goal of culture interaction cannot be to replicate the socialization process experienced by natives of the culture but to develop intercultural understanding” (Byram, 1991, p. 22).Is foreign culture less learnable than foreign language?How is it possible to create an intercultural understanding ofthe target culture?Is it possible to become cognitively like members of othercultures? Can we learn to construct the world from differenteyes?
Discussion Facilitation by… Amy Wolf Kelley O’Reilly Kaitlyn Swift
Group Discussion: Critical Cross-cultural Incidents• Critical incident is a cross-cultural situation where communication breakdown might occur among the interlocutors.• Please read the critical incidents and discuss what has caused the conflict. How would you approach to this incident?
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