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From cultural meetings to multiculturalism


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From cultural meetings to multiculturalism

  1. 1. Jak narody porozumiewają się ze sobą w komunikacji międzykulturowej i komunikowaniu medialnym[Intercultural communication and media communication between nations] Jerzy Mikułowski Pomorski Kraków: Universitas, 2007 Selected chapters abridged and summarised by Intercultural Communication Course students, English Studies Jagiellonian University 2012/13
  2. 2. From cultural meetings to multiculturalism by Małgorzata Zoń, Anna Widzińska and Karolina Dąbrowska
  3. 3. Outline of the presentation1. Intercultural meeting2. Etic and emic approach3. Stranger4. Third Culture Kids5. Discussion
  4. 4. Intercultural meeting• Communication between people of different cultures forms a chain of events which begins with an individual or a group meeting with a foreign culture and end with the modification of personal behaviours. It leads to inter- culturalness – the creation of a new set of rules which do not belong to any of the cultures in question, but to the so-called third culture.
  5. 5. • An intercultural meeting is an encounter of people brought up in different cultures. The people communicate with one another but have no intention of participating in their interlocutors‟ cultures. When people visit foreign countries as guests, they do not intend to adapt to the local culture. They remain foreign to it, yet to live in so distinct conditions they have to try to adjust themselves.
  6. 6. Acculturation• Acculturation - the process of cultural and psychological change that results from meeting different cultures• Acculturation phenomena create a chain of experience known as the acculturation curve which consists of the following four phases:
  7. 7. Phases of acculturation• Phase I Euphoria• Phase II Culture Shock• Phase III Acculturation• Phase IV Stable State or Biculturalism
  8. 8. Euphoria• Phase I Euphoria: or the honey moon; individuals experience pleasant feelings, the excitement of travelling to and seeing new places
  9. 9. Culture Shock• Phase II Culture Shock: individuals experience a different way of living in the new environment• The notion of culture shock was introduced by K. Oberg who defined it as “omnipresent and negative reactions of depression, frustration and loss of orientation experienced by people living in new cultures” 1 ._________________________________________________________________________________1 Feraro, G. (1998) The Cultural Dimension of International Business. Prentice Hall: London.
  10. 10. Consequences of culture shock according to Gary Feraro1: – The feeling of nostalgia – Boredom – Withdrawal – Excessive sleep – Compulsive eating/drinking – Irritability – Excessive concern over cleanliness – Stress – Stereotyping of the foreign culture – Hostility towards host nationals – Psychological disorders 1 op.cit.
  11. 11. Stages of culture shock According to Oberg, the Westerners working in foreign cultures experience the following stages of culture shock:• Honeymoon: positive attitudes towards the host country, fascination with the new culture,• Irritation and hostility: realisation of cultural differences, lack of readiness to adjust oneself, the feeling of being in a permanent crisis• Gradual adjustment: one grows accustomed to the new culture and develops routines, one knows what to expect in most situations and the host country no longer feels new• Mastery/ Biculturalism: the ability to participate fully and comfortably in the host culture
  12. 12. Acculturation• Phase III Acculturation: individuals learn to function in a new cultural environment, adapt to some of the local values and customs, become more confident and develop social relationships.
  13. 13. W-curve of acculturation11 Hoffenburger, K., Mosier, R., & Stokes, B. (1999) Transition experience. In: J.H. Schuh (ed.)Educational programming andstudent learning in college and university residence halls. ACUHO-I: Columbus, OH.
  14. 14. Stable State/Biculturalism• Phase IV Stable state: or biculturalism; individuals reach a stable state of mind. They may either (a) remain negative towards a foreign environment and continue feeling alien; (b) remain feeling the same as at home and consider oneself as being bi-culturally adapted; or (c) remain more positive towards a foreign environment, as compared to home, and become like „„natives‟‟
  15. 15. The stages of adaptation to a new culture• Curiosity: when the foreign culture seems attractive due to its distinctness• Ethnocentrism: when a foreigner begins to evaluate the foreign culture from the point of view of their own culture which seems better and subordinate• Polycentrism: when a foreigner accepts the worldwide diversity of values and behaviours, and begins to accept them• Xenophilia: a belief that the foreign culture is much better than their native one, it may result in the rejection of the native culture and acceptance of the new one.
  16. 16. Reverse Culture Shock• Reverse Culture Shock ("Re-entry Shock", or "own culture shock") may take place - returning to ones home culture after growing accustomed to a new one can produce the same effects as in culture shock.
  17. 17. Etic vs Emic• Intercultural communication can be viewed from the perspective of an observer or a participant. The first approach can be defined as etic, whereas the latter as emic.• This terminology was introduced in linguistcs by Pike and applied to anthropology. It refers to the distinction between phonetics – universal characteristics of sounds in a language and phonemics – elements which have meanings in a given language.
  18. 18. The definitions by Fred E. Jandt1:• Etic – the knowledge learnt by an outsider/observer. It is theoretical information about a culture from the point of view of a researcher, not a member of the culture.• Emic – the knowledge acquired from the inside which involves particular norms known to the members of the culture. 1 Jandt, F. E. (1995) Intercultural Communiaction. An Introduction. Thousand Oaks. p. 405
  19. 19. Application of the etic and emic approach• Research strategies: etic – we look for general rules of behaviour, emic – we look for particular group rules.• Communication attitude in relation to oneself and people whose attitude towards foreigners is similar or different than one‟s own.• Etic approach is frequently used in the theory of intercultural communication. When people are to evaluate themselves, them begin to understand that foreigners see many more characteristics than they have thought.
  20. 20. Stranger• The term „stranger‟ was introduced on a large scale by George Simmel 1 , who characterises a stranger and their influence on lives of other people in one of his articles.• According to Simmel, the deciding factor is that the stranger does not share the target culture from its very beginning nor recognises similar values as important. 1 Simmel, G. (1975) „Obcy‟. In Socjologia [Sociology]. PWN: Warszawa. pp. 504-512.
  21. 21. Definition• „Stranger‟ is a person who, independently of their intimacy with the target culture, is perceived different by its members on the basis of everyday communication.• A stranger usually aims at adapting to the new surrounding because: – people have a natural tendency to reorganise their lives in order to adapt to a new situation, – adaptation is done through communication, – adaptation is a complex and dynamic process resulting in the qualitative transformation of a person.
  22. 22. Characteristics• Mobility – the stranger takes part in various cultures but is not tied to any which hinders understanding things in the same way. Example: a merchant• Objectivity – lacking the limitations of a particular culture, the stranger is able to evaluate any society in an objective way and then adapt to it. Adaptation is easier in more developed cultures. Example: a judge or confidant in an Renaissance Italian towns
  23. 23. Antagonism• Objectivity and distance can result in a lack of trust or a negative attitude towards the stranger. According to Znaniecki1, there are two types of antagonism towards the stranger: – defensive antagonism – avoiding any contact with a stranger, – provocative antagonism – coming into contact with a stranger to impose one‟s own rules on them. 1 Znaniecki, F. (1990) „Studia nad antagonizmem do obcych‟. In: Współczesne narody. PWN:Warszawa. p. 292.
  24. 24. Attitude• The attitude towards the stranger is often based on the lack of knowledge about their culture. In such a situation, the stranger is classified on the basis of any known, often stereotypical, information. Example: somebody is mean because he’s a Scott or loud since he’s a German.• People perceive strangers from etic and the members of their culture from emic perspective (the behavior is interpreted as influenced by a particular situation)
  25. 25. Reason for the difference• The difference in the perception seems to be an effect of a process in which people predict possible behaviour of a partner. The process uses data from three levels: – cultural – behaving in accordance with your culture, – sociocultural - behaving in accordance with your professional and social aspirations, – psychocultural - behaving in accordance with your personal characteristics.• Stereotypical thinking is mostly socio- and psychocultural driven.
  26. 26. Contact with a stranger• Contact with a stranger is often connected with fear: – of losing one‟s own identity, – feeling unqualified, insecure and lacking control, – of negative consequences of any contact with a stranger, – of being abused or dominated, – of negative evaluation, – of group disapproval.• Fear and distance on the one hand and objectivity on another result in ambivalent attitude towards the stranger – the stranger is close in a sense of general characteristics but distant due to stereotypes.
  27. 27. Multiculturalism• The growing number of immigrants results in the changing perception of a stranger – people are no longer treated from a distance. They become multicultural thanks to cross-cultural acculturation.• Acculturation takes place when: – a stranger successfully socialised in one culture moves to another one, – the person is at least minimally dependent on a new surrounding and at least minimally engaged in the communication with it, – the person is ready to accept rules and values of a new surrounding
  28. 28. Enculturation• Enculturation allows to unite individuals through the communication with their surrounding and developing cognitive, emotional and behavioural abilities.• Once the person starts classifying the world with new culture models thus developing their cultural or ethnic identity, the process of full adaptation (acculturation to the new culture and deculturation of the old one) is almost finished.
  29. 29. Cross-cultural adaptation• Cross-cultural adaptation: – requires both acculturation and deculturation, – is often connected with fear and growth of one‟s own culture, – leads to cross-cultural transformation of a stranger through the stress-adaptation-growth process, – can be observed in the fluctuation in the stress-adaptation- growth process once the transformation is done, – can be observed in the growing functional efficiency, mental health and cross-cultural identity.
  30. 30. Third Culture KidsThird culture kid (TCK) is a term coined in the early 1950s by theAmerican sociologist and anthropologist Ruth Hill Useem 1 "to refer to thechildren who accompany their parents into another society".Useem spent a year researching expatriates in India. She discovered thatpeople who came from their home (or first) culture and moved to a host(or second) culture, had, in reality, formed a culture, or lifestyle, differentfrom either the first or second cultures. She called this the third cultureand the children who grew up in this lifestyle third culture kids. At thattime, most expatriate families had parents from the same culture and theyoften remained in one host culture while overseas.1 Useem, R. H. (1974) „Third cultural factors in educational change‟. In: Brembeck, C. S. and Hill, W. H.(eds) Cultural Challenges to Education: The Influence of Cultural Factors in School Learning. LexingtonBooks: Lexington.
  31. 31. • More recently, American sociologist David C. Pollock1 (2009) developedthe following description for third culture kids:• A Third Culture Kid (TCK) is a person who has spent a significant part ofhis or her developmental years outside the parents culture. The TCKfrequently builds relationships to all of the cultures, while not having fullownership in any. Although elements from each culture may be assimilatedinto the TCKs life experience, the sense of belonging is in relationship toothers of similar background.• People become familiar with a particular culture by picking up from theenvironment certain patterns of behaviour. However, third culture kidscannot take anything for granted. What is considered to be perfectly normalin one culture, may be stupid, not acceptable or even forbidden in another.Thus, TCK constantly asks himself a question: what patterns of behaviourare correct? Which culture should I choose? Where do I belong?1Pollock, D.C. and Van Reken, R.E. (2001) Third Culture Kids. The Experience of Growing UpAmong Worlds. Nicolas Breasley Publishing. p.21
  32. 32. • Children also learn a culture by observing various people. First of all, kids observe their parents, they way they dress, behave, speak, make requests or warnings. By doing that, kids become familiar with what is acceptable and what is not. Usually, the society in which a family lives, strengthens the norms that a child learns from his parents. However, the situation is different when a child is being raised in a foreign culture. There is often the discrepancy between what children learn at home and what they learn at school, from their teachers, friends or their nannies. Thus, every third culture kid is torn between two or more different cultures.
  33. 33. Third Culture Kids typesThird culture kids may be divided into four categories:• FOREIGNER – he looks different and he thinks differently. Third culture kid does not look and speak the same way as people who surround him, and he also has a different outlook on life.• ADAPTED – he looks different but he has adopted the way of thinking of people that surround him. He feels comfortable in the environment that he lives in. However, he may be viewed by others as a foreigner.• A HIDDEN IMMIGRANT – he looks the same but thinks differently. Some of the third culture kids conform to the traditional standards of appearance but their way of thinking is similar to their parents‟.• THE MIRROR – he looks and thinks the same way as people who surround him. This category applies to children who either come back to their “passport” country after a short period of time spent in another country, or to children who left their “passport” country with their parents at a very young age. Such children strongly and entirely identify with one culture.
  34. 34. Stages of relocation Third culture kid‟s life is filled with high mobility – TCKs know an airport better than most people. They often relocate to new homes or countries. Five stages of relocation can be distinguished:• COMMITMENT – a person is a member of the community. He is familiar with the customs and traditions of the community and willingly takes part in them. He is committed to the important issues concerning the society. Community members know him well and accept his history, background, talents and passions.• REJECTION – a person realizes that he is not taken into consideration as far as long term plans of his friends are concerned. It should be justifiable for him as he is going to leave the country soon. However, the feeling of rejection makes that person angry and sad, intensifying his conflicts with the community.• RELOCATION – it is a very chaotic stage. A person must face not only a new culture, but also new responsibilities and expectations. It is during this stage that the functioning of a family is disturbed. The chaos results in anxieties about health, finances, relationships and security. Problems seem to be exaggerated. Parents have less time for their children which makes their sense of security decrease.
  35. 35. • ENTRANCE – life stops being chaotic. A newcomer makes a decision (consciously or unconsciously) to become a member of the society. He is afraid of making mistakes and not being accepted by the rest of the community. Those fears result in the exaggeration of certain behaviours – shy people become even more shy and self- contained; self-confident people may become too loud or even aggressive. During this stage, frequent mood swings occur.• RECOMMITMENT – a newcomer becomes the member of the society. He plays a particular role in the community, which makes him feel accepted and needed.
  36. 36. Third Culture Kid’s personality• Culturally astute, cross-culturally enriched, less prejudiced and more tolerant towards other religions, customs and views. They are more welcoming of newcomers into a community.• Excellent observers of other people. Contact with foreign culture equipped them with three-dimensional vision of the world. They are able to describe the world better thanks to their imagination.• They are called cultural chameleons. They have the ability to adapt and appear as if they are part of the culture they are in. This is a defence mechanism third culture kids create to protect themselves from the pain of rejection.
  37. 37. Third Culture Kids’ practical skills• TCKs establish relationships quickly - they cut through many of the initial levels of diffidence when forming relationships.• They are successful as teachers, especially in cross-cultural communities. They accept difficulties their students may face while trying to adapt to a new society, and they know how to overcome them. They easily understand and accept various ways of thinking and speaking.• Their capacity to think “outside the box” can offer new and creative thinking for doing business and living in our globalising world. But that same thinking can create fear for those who see the world from a more traditional world view.
  38. 38. • Through friendships that cross the usual racial, national, or social barriers, they have learned the very different ways people can see life. This offers a great opportunity to become social and cultural bridges between worlds that traditionally would never connect.• They are more mature in their social skills. They know how to deal with problems or difficulties, and are not afraid of being left to their fate.• They speak more than one language - often three or four. English may be the only language they function in, but they can think and feel in several other languages. Languages offer them a variety of ways of expressing themselves creatively.
  39. 39. The challanges of being a Third Culture Kid• The elusive concept of: Where are you from? The sense of belonging everywhere and nowhere.• Rootlessness and restlessness. The frequent need to change countries and homes.• Difficulties with commitment to people, places, schools, or school systems as these constantly change.• Loss of relationships, loss of community/school = loss of their world.• Problems with decision-making.• Feeling different from others. It occurs more often at a university level or when returning to the "passport" country, where they are misunderstood by their fellow countrymen.• Uncertain cultural identity.• Powerless - a feeling that they have no control over certain things in their lives.
  40. 40. So Wheres Home? A Film About Third Culture Kid Identity
  41. 41. Discussion1. Think about your own staying in a foreign country. Which stage have you achieved?2. What are the ways to eliminate stereotypical thinking about strangers?3. What are the benefits and drawbacks of being a Third Culture Kid? What can be done by teachers and parents to help such children?4. How can a third culture kid make and maintain friendships with non-TCKs and TCKs? How these two types of friendships differ from each other?