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Critical Literacy, Communication and Interaction 1: Unit 5

Critical Literacy, Communication and Interaction 1: Unit 5



Critical Literacy, Communication and Interaction 1: Unit 5.

Critical Literacy, Communication and Interaction 1: Unit 5.

This Unit focus on Intercultural Communication



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    Critical Literacy, Communication and Interaction 1: Unit 5 Critical Literacy, Communication and Interaction 1: Unit 5 Presentation Transcript

    • Critical Literacy, Communication and Interaction 1 (GE3A)
      University of Aruba
      FAS: SW&D / OG&M
      October 6, 2009
      Unit 5
    • Today’s program:
      Summary: properties of communication
      Introduction on the subject of unit 5
      Class assignment on cultural variability
      Presentation of class assignments
    • 3
      Unit 5
      Stepping into the ‘cultural’ dimension
      Intercultural communication
      and its contexts
    • Properties of communication
      Interactive - Transactive
      Intentional – unintentional?
      Ubiquitous (omnipresent)
    • Discussion questions:
      In what ways is Aruba changing demographically?
      Why do you think there are so many people afraid of communication?
      Why are so many people afraid to communicate with people from cultures different from their own?
    • Culture
      What does the saying ‘Culture is everywhere’ mean?
      Contested concept. More than 300 definitions of culture !
      Culture= an accumulated pattern of values, beliefs, and behaviors, shared by an identifiable group of people with a common history and verbal and non-verbal movements (Neuliep, 2009)
    • Properties of Culture
      Culture is people
      Culture as an accumulated pattern of values, believes and behaviors, shared by an identifiable group of people with a common history and verbal and nonverbal symbol systems
      People who exist in the same culture generally share similar values and believes, history
      The values of a particular culture lead to a set of expectations and rules prescribing how people should behave in that culture
      Identifiable group: shared cognition, shared memory (history that binds people)
      Microcultural groups: subgroups that exist in the mainstream culture (distinct in some way, microcultures often may have histories /or properties that differ in some way with the mainstream culture
    • Different microcultures in Aruba?
      Please name different microcultures of Aruba?
      Identifiable group (subculture) within the mainstream culture?
    • Intercultural communication
      Intercultural communication occurs when a minimum of two persons from different cultures or micro cultures come together and exchange verbal and non-verbal codes
    • A contextual model of Intercultural communication (Neuliep, 2009)
      According to this model, intercultural communication occurs within and between a variety of interconnectedcontexts, includingcultural, microcultural, environmental, perceptual and sociorelational contexts.
      The term context refers to the setting, situation, circumstances, background and overall framework within which communication occurs ( see unit 1 of this course).
    • Neuliep’s contextual model of intercultural communication (2009)
    • 12
    • Identifying the various contexts
      The contextual model of intercultural communication attempts to identify the various contexts that identify what happens when a person from Culture A communicates with a person from Culture B.
      As we walk through the contextual model, please note the model is both conceptually and graphically consistent.
    • 14
    • Intercultural communication is defined by the interdependence of these various contexts:
      The perceptual contexts combine to create the sociorelational context, which is defined by the verbal and non-verbal messages sent. The sociorelational context is influences by the environmental context and defined by the microcultural and cultural contexts. These contexts combine in a complex formula to create the phenomena of intercultural communication.
    • Intercultural communication and Uncertainty
      Starting point in intercultural interaction: uncertainty!
      We may not know anything about the ‘other’ person’s culture, values, habits, behavior, dress and so on…we may not know what to do in such circumstances.
      This uncertainty about the other person may make us feel nervous and anxious. Sometimes this even resulting in avoiding communication in the first place
      Berger: the task of communicating with someone from a different culture (who may differ from yourself in cultural terms) presents you with some very complex predictive and explanatory problems;
      Because to some extend, to communicate effectively with someone from a different culture, you must be able to predict how your interaction partner is likely to behave, and based on those predictions , select appropriate verbal and non verbal messages.
      Whenever we come together and interact with a ‘stranger’, our primary concern is to reduce uncertainty (especially when the other person is someone whom we will interact again)
      Reduce uncertainty and increase predictability about the other
    • Intercultural communication Apprehension
      Successfully interacting with someone from a different culture requires a degree of communication competence
      Spitzberg: cognitive, affective and behavioral components:
      Cognitive component: how much one knows about communication
      Affective component: one’s motivation to approach or avoid communication
      Behavioral component: the skills one has to interact competently.
      An interculturally competent communicator is motivated to communicate, knowledgeable about how to communicate and skilled in communicating. And sensitive to the expectations of the context in which communication occurs. Compotent communicators interact effectively by adapting messages appropriately to the context . They understand the rules, norms and expectations of the relationship and do not significantly violate them.
    • e.g. of strategies: asking questions, appropriate non-verbal expressiveness
    • 19
      the cultural context
    • The cultural context
      The cultural context in which human communication occurs is perhaps the most defining influence on human interaction.
      Culture provides the overall framework wherein humans learn to organize their thoughts, emotions and behaviors in relation to their environment.
      Although people are born into a culture, it is not innate: Culture is learned
      Culture is socially distributed, it rests in our social memory (shared cognition)
      Culture teaches one how to think, conditions one how to feel, and instructs one how to act. Especially how to interact with others
    • Communication is culture, culture is communication
      You can say that the concepts communication and culture can be used interchangeably.
      Hall: “Culture hides more than it reveals, and strangely enough what it hides, it hides most effectively from it’s own participants.” [culture hides more than it reveals particularly from its members]
      As we conduct our daily lives, most of us are unaware of our culture. Yet culture influences every thought, feeling and action.
      Culture provides people with an implicit theory about how to behave and how to interpret the behavior of others. People from different cultures learn different implicit theories.
      These theories are learned through socialization. It is through socialization that individuals learn the dominant values of their particular culture and their self-identities.
    • Making Culture more tangible: cultural variability, the difference between cultures
      We will focus on 5 dimensions of cultural variability that can be used to differentiate between cultures (sociology, anthropology, communication sciences, psychology):
      Individualism – collectivism
      High-low context
      Value orientations
      Power distance
      Uncertainty avoidance
      Each of these dimensions affects how people communicate
    • Cultural continua:
      The 5 dimensions of cultural variability will be presented along the following cultural continua:
      Low High
      This continua allows us to represent the dimensions of cultural variability as continuous and varying in magnitude by degree
      In other words: no culture is purely and absolutely for e.g. Individualistic or collectivistic. Instead a culture can be more collectivistic than an other culture (always in comparison with an other culture)
    • Important notion when approaching cultures in terms of variability dimensions:
      Important: these cultural dimensions of variability are not opposites; that is, a culture where for instance a larger power distance is practiced should not be thought of as the opposite of a culture where small power distance is practiced. In many cases, dimensions of cultural variability may coexist in cultures (think about difference of microcultures).
      Many cultures are in a state of great transition. E.g. Japan, considered collectivistic [group-oriented] is since 1950, becoming more individualistic.
      When we label a culture for example as individualistic etc, this does not mean that every person in that culture is an individualistic, think about micro-cultures and personal differences.
      Because their can be considerable within-country variation, labeling a particular in terms of a absolute cul. var. dimension can lead to overgeneralization
    • Class group assignments: Culture variabiltyimprovisation game
      Divide the class in 5 groups. Each group will focus on 1 of the 5 dimensions for cultural variability
      The group has 1 hour to prepare the following:
      Read the pages that talk about your group’s assigned cultural variability dimension.
      Give a description of that specific cultural variability dimension your group is assigned to focus on in terms of properties. What does this dimension try to measure, how are cultures described in terms of this dimension?
      Describe the Aruban culture in terms of this specific cultural variability dimension and illustrate this with examples.
      Present this approximately 10 minutes to the class.
    • 5 groups for the class assignment:
      Group 1: Individualism-Collectivism
      Group 2: High-low context
      Group 3: Value orientations
      Group 4: Power distance
      Group 5: Uncertainty avoidance
    • Videos [individualism-collectivism]
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-SE-VYfXl4 (Geert Hofstede explains this dimension himself)
    • Individualism- Collectivism (Hofstede,2005)
      One of Hofstede’s dimension of cultural variability is that of “individualism-collectivism.”.He concluded the dimension of “individualism-collectivism” was a major explanatory concept for differences across cultures.
      According to Hofstede, individualistic cultures place emphasis on the achievements, initiative, and goals of the individual (the individual uniqueness, being yourself, the 1 in a million, to differentiate yourself from the mass/the group is important)
      While collectivist cultures subordinate those to group membership and the goals of the group (belonging to a group is important, membership of a group, loyalty to a group).
    • Individualistic common values & characteristics
      Personal independence
      Emphasis on personal responsibility
      Freedom of choice
      Personal autonomy
      Achieving self-fulfillment
      Distinctive personal attitudes and opinions
      Prefers self-directed behavior
      Independence of groups
      Individualists tend to see themselves as unique from others
      In some extend emotionally disconnected from ingroups such as family.
      Social control depends more on personal guilt than on shame or other social norms or conformity
      Ecology (geography, resources and the history of a society) can shape the level of individualism. E.g. modern, industrial-urban, fast-changing cultures tend to be individualist.
    • Collectivistic common values & characteristics
      Groups bind and mutually obligate individuals
      Is linked with a sense of duty to group
      Interdependence to others
      Harmony with others is primary value
      Working with the group
      Group goals have precedence over individual goals
      Culture stress values that serve the ingroup by subordinating personal goals for the sake of preserving the ingroup
      Primary groups: family, neighborhood, occupational group in which members have diffuse mutual obligations and expectations based on their status and rank
      People are not seen as isolated individuals
      Responsibility is shared and accountability is collective
      A person’s identity is defined by his or her group membership
      Emotionally connected to the ingroup
      A collectivist’s values and believes are consistent with and reflect those of the ingroup. It’s association with the ingroup may last for a lifetime
    • Behavioral traits
    • High and Low context communication
      Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8tIUilYX56E&feature=PlayList&p=B87EBA870CF4EB9F&index=0&playnext=1
      Human communication is dependent on the context in which it occurs. In addition to the verbal and non-verbal codes that are exchanged between interactants, the salient features of a communicative context include the cultural, psychical, sociorelational and perceptual environments
    • High and Low context communication
    • High and Low context communication
      The cultural context includes among others features like collectivism-individualism etc.
      The physical environment includes the actual geographical location of the interaction (classroom, bedroom, office)
      The sociorelational environment encompasses the relationship between the interactants (e.g. subordinate/superior, husband/wife, parent/child)
      Perceptual environment consists of the attitudes, motivations and cognitive dispositions of the interactants
      Each of these environments (contexts) provide a wealth of information to the interactants about how to communicate.
      The degree to which interactants focus on these contexts while communicating varies considerably from culture to culture!
    • High and Low context communication (Hall)
      Depending on the contextual features present during communication:
      Some persons choose to focus more on the verbal codes than on the non-verbal elements (LOW CONTEXT)
      While others actively monitor the non-verbal elements of the context over the verbal codes (HI CONTEXT)
      A HC communication or message is one in which most of the information is either in the psychical context or internalized in the person, while very little is in the coded, explicit, transmitted part of the message.
      A LC communication is just the opposite: the mass of information is vested in the explicit code
    • Restricted and elaborated codes
      HC culturesrestricted code
      (Next to Neuliep’s explanation on the restricted and on the elaborated code, see also Fiske (1991) (UNIT 1) for a more detailed explanation on the difference between these two kind of codes). This is very important for your exam!
    • Video {power distance}
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jU2gp3QjnNU (Geert Hofstede explains what he understands under the dimension of power distance)
    • Power Distance (Hofstede,2005)
      Hofstede defined power distance as “the extent to which the members of a society accept that power in institutions and organizations is distributed unequally.
      Individuals in high power distance cultures accept power and authority as parts of life and consequently place high value on obedience to superiors and following orders.
      In a low power distance culture, individuals value equality and may question the orders of superiors before following them.
    • Video {uncertainty avoidance}
    • Uncertainty Avoidance (Hofstede,2005)
      Hofstede’s study supports the notion that a fundamental dimension of any culture is the level of tolerance it has for uncertainty and ambiguity. Hofstede labeled this dimension “uncertainty avoidance.
      According to Hofstede, cultures high in uncertainty avoidance value conformity, maintain rigid codes of belief and behavior, and do not tolerate deviation, while cultures low in uncertainty avoidance maintain a “more relaxed atmosphere where deviance is more easily tolerated.
    • Values
      Values affect intercultural communication
      values differ among cultures
      Values prescribed what is preferred or prohibited (evaluative component of an individual’s attitudes and behavior)
      Values trigger positive or negative emotions
      Schwartz: values are concepts or believes that pertain to outcomes and behaviors, guide the selection and evaluation of behaviors and are rank according to their relative importance to the individual
    • Schwartz’s universal values
    • Kluckholn and Strodtbeck’s value orientation
      K & S’ categorization of value orientation can be used to describe and compare cultures
      The self
      The family
      Human nature