Culture and Ethnic Identities by Ting-Toomey and Chung


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In their 40 page article, Stella Ting-Toomey and Leeva Chung discussed the factors that affect the formation of our ethnic and cultural identities, the role of the family as a framework of our society and possible scenarios when an individual migrates/encounters a different culture.

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  • Activity #1
  • Social: Refers to our memberships to different groups such as gender, sexual orientation, professional, social and disabilityIn groups; affects our behaviour and psychologyPersonal:Unique attributes that separates us from our group that we attribute to our individuated selves
  • People are born in a network of family relationships. Culture becomes the “framework” of our daily lives: how we speak, how we relate to people of different gender and ages, how we react to certain situations.Family serves as a primary value socialization channel that creates a lasting imprint in our communication behaviour.
  • Traditional:nuclear; mother, father, childrenExtended: includes grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousinsBlended: members from a previous family merges together into one (e.g. re-marriage=step brother and sister)Single: composed of the child and single parent, may include a grandparent or so
  • Family types in decision making processPersonal: problems are easily communicated from the children to their parentsPositional: emphasis on role, “chain of command”, has a strict and rigid structure, Children are expected to obey rules without question “because I said so”
  • Family types in decision making processPersonal: problems are easily communicated from the children to their parentsPositional: emphasis on role, “chain of command”, has a strict and rigid structure, Children are expected to obey rules without question “because I said so”
  • Familism- refers to the deep commitment to family ties; the family should come firste.g. British Pakistani girls are forced to marry someone close to the family line, such as cousins, second cousins, etc. to continue their lineage and expand the clan’s influencesPersonalism: refers to inner qualities of a person that earn respect and social recognition.e.g. individual achievements bring prestige to the family; a son who’s a doctor, another son who is a doctor, a daughter who is a lawyer or being a good son or daughter who is also kind to other peopleHierarchy: Many Asian countries are very particular in hierarchy, especially in Confucian countries : a hierarchy exists that privileges certain groups of individuals (In the US, these groups include men, Euro Americans, heterosexuals, persons without disabilities, and the middle and upper class)Generational: showing respect to older individuals in the familye.g. In the Filipino setting, this hierarchy manifests through actions, and languageGender: traditional status role difference of men and women (dominant and submissive)Spiritualism: religious and spiritual convictions that should be followed by the family; members who assume a different spiritual belief are viewed as traitorsFatalism: perception of their social environment; acceptance and resignation
  • Meanings and interpretations are based on our orientation towards genderDeviations from these norms are often rebuked and boxed into “bakla” or “tomboy”; women have struggled since the dawn of the century to break away from these traditional thinkingResponsibilities in the family also differ between males and femalese.g. girls should stay at home, learn how to sew, etc. while the boys are encouraged to explore further away from their homeChildren learn of these gender roles through games
  • Scoring:Add up the scores on all the odd-numbered items and you will find your Filipino cultural identity.Add up the scores on all the even-numbered items and you will find your marginal cultural identity score.Interpretation: Kung ano mas mataas, yun kayo.Pagpantay, minsan super Filipino ka, minsan confused ka kung Pinoykabatalaga.
  • To make Cultural Identity more understandable it is necessary to discuss two processes that contribute to Cultural Identity: Value Content and Cultural Identity ValenceValue Content: the amount of value we regard to things, phenomenon, traits & characteristics we encounter; value dimensions that underlie in people’s behaviorCultural Identity Valence: how deeply we connect with our larger culture (I am proud to be Filipino)Strong association of membership=High Cultural Identity ValenceWeak association of membership=Low Cultural Identity Valence
  • Ethnicity:can be based on national origin, religion, language, IP affiliation etc; based on where their ancestors came where they can trace their ethnic heritage based on language or religious practicesPersonal choices is not an option because it is sometimes ascribed by other people based on physical, lingual and traditional characteristics (e.g. black americans)Ethnicity is basically an inheritance wherein members perceive each other as emotionally bounded by a common set of traditions, worldviews, history, heritage, and descent on a psychological and historical level. Ethnic Value Content: continued practices of their traditionse.g. 1. Chinese and Business, Latino for their music and love for food and dance, etc2. Genuine Intsik or GI if marunongmagsalitang Cantonese or Fukyen, may business nanaipapamana through generations, etc.Ethnic Identity Valence: can be sustained by shared objective characteristics such as shared language and religion. Deviation from this is regarded as a form of betrayal
  • Acculturation involves the long term conditioning process of newcomers in integrating the new values, norms, and symbols of their new culture
  • Acculturation involves the long term conditioning process of newcomers in integrating the new values, norms, and symbols of their new culture
  • RECAP OF PREVIOUS DISCUSSIONFamily and Gender SocializationCulture-Ethnic Identity FormationCulturaland ethnic membership that includes, gender, professional, hobby, social class, disability, etc.
  • European Americans have very high regard of their ethnic identity
  • Assimilation:adoption of the native cultureAccommodation: refers to the interaction strategies that combine both native and foreign practicesSeparation: Total differentiation of the two cultures (Englishmen in America)
  • Socio-economic Conditions:The natives attitude towards the immigrants are greatly influenced by the socio-economic standing. If the country is bountiful, tolerance and hospitality is also favorable. Otherwise, the immigrants will be viewed as competition to the scarce resources of the countryFilipinos thrive better in the US than some American familiesCultural Assimilation vs. Cultural PluralismA host culture’s stance on cultural assimilation and cultural pluralism.Cultural assimilation demands that strangers conform to the host environmentEthnic identity is influenced greatly. Its formation lies greatly on the host cultural practices and beliefsCultural pluralist stance encourages diversityEthnic identity formation rests on the choices of between maintaining the customs of the heritage and inventing a new identityAttitude of the Local Institutionslocal institutions serve as firsthand contact agencies that facilitate or impede the adaptation process of the natives and foreignersCan either greatly facilitate or produce roadblocksChildren may experience bullying, social inacceptanceetcPerception of “Strangers”Can be friends, foes, slaves, abomination, competition, guest, visitor, etc
  • Immigrants uproot themselves due to a mixture of factors such as political and economic reasons and opportunities. They strive to start a new life in their new host country or cultureTheir attraction of their “new” home depends on the opportunities it gives: better education, better career, quality livingKnowledge about the host cultureEthnic and cultural historyGeographyPolitical and economicReligious and spiritual beliefsValue systemsSituational normsFluency of the host culture’s LanguageCommunication barriers are overcome because it is easier to convey a message when both communicators are using the same languagePragmatic competence: knowing what to say appropriately, under what situations Demographics: younger immigrants are said to adapt easier than the adults (relative)
  • Social networks composed of people with the same ethnic background help in the initial stages of the immigrant’s adaptation process. Similar experiences are shared and it serves as a new framework for the new cultureImmigrant participation in dominant group activities show a positive relationship with the immigrants’ adaptation processAvailability of newpapers, tv channels, magazines and radio channels that is in the native language of the immigrants also help the immigrants’ keep themselves rooted to their own traditions while in a foreign land; they are updated on news about their country, their families who were left behind Availability of the host media also plays a role in the immigrants’ process of adaptation because the host media can help the immigrants learn the language, they receive a broad (but not deep) range of the hosts national topics, concerns and it becomes a bridge that holds them to their host culture
  • Culture and Ethnic Identities by Ting-Toomey and Chung

    1. 1. Culture and Ethnic Identities Stella Ting-Toomey and Leeva Chung Prepared by: Karla Maolen Visbal
    2. 2. Outline:  Family and Gender Socialization  Culture-Ethnic Identity Formation  Group Membership: Intercultural Boundary Crossing  Ethnic-Cultural Identity Change Process  Intercultural Toolkit: Recaps and Checkpoints
    3. 3. Identity
    4. 4. Identity  A reflective self-conception or self-image that we each derive from family, gender, cultural, ethnic and individual socialization processes.  Our reflective views of ourselves and of other perceptions of our self images.  Social  Personal
    5. 5. Family Socialization and Interaction Patterns
    6. 6. Family as a framework  Family  the fundamental communication system in all cultures  Beliefs and values of a cultures is acquired through primary family system  Scripts, boundary and space, value of time and authority are learned through our family socialization processes
    7. 7. Types of Family  Traditional Family  Extended Family  Blended Family  Single Family
    8. 8. Family Systems  Personal Family System  Emphasizes personal, individualized meanings, negotiable roles between parents and child, and interactive discussions in the family (Guerrero, 2001)  Positional Family System  Emphasizes on communal meanings, ascribed roles, statuses between parents and child, and family role conformity (Guerrero, 2001)
    9. 9. Family Systems Personal Family Systems Positional Family Systems Individualized meanings Communal meanings Democratic decision-making Authoritarian decision-making Negotiable role Conventional roles Children are encouraged to ask questions Children should obey without question Small power distance Large power distance
    10. 10. Family System (Collectivistic)  Familism  Personalism  Hierarchy  Generational  Gender  Spiritualism  Fatalism
    11. 11. Gender Socialization and Interaction Patterns
    12. 12. Gender Identity  Refers to meanings and interpretations we hold concerning our self-images and other-images of femaleness and maleness  Females are expected to act in a more nurturing manner  Males are expected to be more competitive and more emotionally reserved  Children learn appropriate gender roles through rewards and punishments they receive from their parents in performing the “proper” and “improper” gender-related behaviors.
    13. 13. Girl vs. Boy Games Girls Boys Pairs or in small groups (e.g. doll, house, kitchen) Involves a fairly large group (e.g. basketball, baseball) “Fluid” discussion on roles Win-Lose outcomes Communication is expected to be used to create and maintain relationships and respond to other’s feelings empathetically Communication is expected to be used to achieve outcomes, attract and maintain an audience and compete
    14. 14. Cultural-Ethnic Identity Formation
    15. 15. Know Thyself #2: 1. It is important for me to identify closely with the larger Filipino culture. 2. I do not feel a sense of belonging at all to the larger Filipino culture. 3. I usually go by the values of the overall Filipino culture. 4. I feel very confused about my membership in the larger Filipino society 5. I feel very comfortable identifying with the larger Filipino society.
    16. 16. Know Thyself: 6. I often feel lost concerning my cultural membership. 7. The overall Filipino culture is an important reflection of who I am. 8. I feel anxious thinking about cultural membership issues. 9. I am Filipino. Period. 10. I feel like I live on the borderline of the larger Filipino society.
    17. 17. Cultural Identity Conceptualization
    18. 18. Cultural Identity  The emotional significance one attaches to their sense of belonging or affiliation with the larger culture. 1. Value Content  The standards or expectations that people hold in their mindset in making evaluations 2. Cultural Identity Valence  Refers to the strength of affiliation we have with our larger culture.
    19. 19. Ethnic Identity Conceptualization
    20. 20. Ethnic Identity  “Inherently a matter of ancestry, of beliefs about the origins of one’s forebears” (Alba, 1990) 1. Ethnic Value Content  Individualism vs. Collectivism of certain countries 2. Ethnic Identity Salience  Subjective allegiance and loyalty to a group (regardless of size) with which one has ancestral links
    21. 21. Group Membership: Intercultural Boundary Crossing
    22. 22. Acculturation  A gradual process defined as the degree of identity change that occurs when an individual move from a familiar environment to an unfamiliar one. Country Immigrants in 2000 Mexico 173, 919 China 45, 652 Philippines 42,474 India 42, 026 Vietnam 26, 747
    23. 23. Acculturation
    24. 24. Enculturation  Refers to the sustained primary socialization processes of strangers in their original home culture wherein they have internalized their primary cultural values.
    25. 25. Social Identities
    26. 26. Social Group Membership  “Self-concept comes from the knowledge we have of our social group membership.” Tajfel (1978)  “Individuals who have weak ethnic identities with the group have a higher tendency to marry out of their ethnic group.” (Alba, 1990)
    27. 27. Emotional Significance  If an individual places high value on the emotional significance of group membership, the result is a positive self-concept.
    28. 28. Communication Strategies  Strategies of “foreigners” use to deal with their everyday surroundings: 1. Assimilation 2. Accommodation 3. Separation
    29. 29. System Level Factors  Elements in the host environment that influences new comer’s adaptation to the new culture (and the native’s acceptance of the new comer) 1. Socio-economic Conditions 2. Cultural Assimilation vs. Cultural Pluralism 3. Attitude of the Local Institutions 4. Perception of “Strangers”
    30. 30. Individual-Level Factors  The permanent residence status evokes a mixture of affective and work-related stressor. a. The sense of “no return” (for immigrants) b. “Transitory stay” (for tourists) c. Knowledge of the host culture d. Fluency of Language e. Demographics
    31. 31. Interpersonal-Ethnic Media-Level Factors  Includes relational face-to-face network factors, mediated contact factors and interpersonal skills factors  Social network support  Immigrant participation in dominant group activities  Availability of ethnic media  Availability of host media
    32. 32. Ethnic-Cultural Identity Change Process  Immigrants are keenly sensitive to the intersecting issues of ethnicity and culture (e.g. perceived imbalance in power) Cultural Identity EthnicIdentity Strong Weak Strong Bicultural Identity Ethnic- Oriented Identity Weak Assimilated Identity Marginal Identity
    33. 33. Racial-Ethnic Identity Development Model
    34. 34. The Intercultural Toolkit
    35. 35. The Intercultural Toolkit  Mindful Listening  Mindful Paraphrasing Skills  Perception-Checking Skills  Identity Validation
    36. 36. Thank you!