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CHAPTER 3
CULTURE,
COMMUNICATION,
CONTEXT , AND POWER
CHAPTER OBJECTIVES:
1. Identify three approaches to culture
2. Define communication
3. Identify and describe nine cultural value orientations
4. Describe how cultural values influence communication
5. Understand how cultural values influence conflict behavior
6. Describe how communication can reinforce cultural beliefs
and behavior
7. Explain how culture can function as resistance to dominant
value systems
8. Explain relationship between communication and context
9. Describe characteristics of power
10. Describe relationship between communication and power
WHAT IS CULTURE?
 Learned patterns of behavior and attitudes
shared by a group of people.
 Considered the core concept in intercultural
communication
 Defined in many ways from a pattern of
perceptions that influence communication to
a site of contestation and conflict.
 How we think of culture frames our ideas and
perception
Scholar Wen Shu Lee
Identifies different common
uses of the term culture :
1. unique human efforts
2. Refinement , mannerism
3. Civilization
4. Shared language, beliefs, values
5. Dominant culture
6. The shifting tensions between the shared
and unshared
3 PERSPECTIVES ON DEFINING
CULTURE:
SOCIAL SCIENCE PERSPECTIVE:
( focused on the influence of culture on
communication, )
 Culture is learned and shared
 patterns of perception “programming of the
mind”
 A social psychologist Geert Hofstede says that
culture becomes a collective experience
because it’s shared with people who live in
and experience the same environment.
 The relationship between culture and
communication: culture influences
communication
CRITICAL PERSPECTIVE:
 Heterogeneous, dynamic ( we have richness,
complexity)
 Site of contested meanings ( critical scholars
suggest that the differences between U.S
Americans are often looked over)
EX: Tiger woods has multicultural identities
 Relationship between culture and
communication is that communication
reshapes culture.
INTEPRETIVE PERSPECTIVE:
( focuses on contextual patterns of
communication behavior rather than on group-
related perceptions)
 Learned and shared
 Common example = ethnography of communication :
analyzing symbolic meaning of verbal and non-verbal
activities in attempt to understand patterns and rules of
communication
 Contextual symbolic meanings (activity must have the
same symbolic meaning for everyone)
EX: Gathering around the coffee machine at work every
morning symbolizes the desire to interact with colleagues
 Involves emotion
 Relation between culture and communication would be
that culture influences communication and
communication reinforces culture.
WHAT IS COMMUNICATION?
 A symbolic process whereby reality is
produced, maintained, repaired, and
transformed.
How Cultural Values Influence
Communication
(1950s study of contemporary Navaho and
descendants of Spanish colonists and European
Americans in the Southwest)
 They emphasized …
 Cultural values: the worldview of a cultural group
and its set of deeply held beliefs
 They are the most deeply felt beliefs shared by a
cultural group, they reflect the shared perception of
what ought to be and not what is.
 Example: Equality (shared by many, refers to belief
that all humans are created equal)
Cultural values influence
conflict behavior
 Intercultural conflicts are often caused by
differences in value orientations.
 To not have conflict members of cultural
groups must answer these questions…
 What is human nature?
 What is the relationship between humans and
nature?
 What is the relationship between humans?
 What is the preferred personality?
 What is the orientation toward time?
 These answers become a framework for
understanding broad differences in values
among various cultural groups.
 Pg. 97
Kluckhohn and Strodtbeck
Value Orientations
 According to these men, there are three
possible responses to each question as
they relate to shared values. They believe
that although all responses are possible in
all societies, each society has one, or
possibly two, preferred responses to each
question that reflect the predominant
values of that society.
 Ex. : Religious beliefs may reinforce certain
cultural values.
Relationship Between
Communication and Context
 Context typically is created by the physical or
social aspects of the situation in which
communication occurs.
 Ex.: Communication may occur in a
classroom, a bar, or a church. In each case,
the physical characteristic of the setting
influence the communication.
 Context is neither static nor objective, it can
be multilayered and consist of the social,
political, and historical structures in which the
communication occurs.
Hofstede Value Orientation
(Based on extensive cross cultural study of personel working in
IBM subsidiaries in 53 countries)
 Examine value differences among
national societies identifying 5 areas of
common problems
1. Individualism vs. Collectivism
Although problems were shared by different
cultural groups, solutions varied from culture
to culture.
2. Power Distance
 Refers to the extent to which less powerful
members of institutions and organizations
within a country expect and accept the
unequal distribution of power.
 Ex.: Denmark, Israel, and New Zealand value
small power distance because they believe
that less hierarchy is better and that power
should be used only for legitimate purposes.
The best corporate leaders in those countries
are those who minimize power distances.
 Mexico, India, and the Philippines values high
power distance
3. Femininity vs. Masculinity
 Two dimensional
 Gender specific roles of value
 The degree to which cultural groups value so
called masculine values(achievement, ambition,
acquisition of material goods) or so called
feminine values (quality of life, service to others,
nurturance, and support for the unfortunate)
 IBM employees in Japan, Austria, and
Mexico=high masculine value
 Employees in Northern Europe rank higher in
feminine value orientation
 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P2FjLcEqVN4
4. Uncertainty Avoidance
 Concerns the degree to which people who
feel threatened by ambiguous situations
respond by avoiding them or trying to
establish more structure to compensate for
the uncertainty.
 Great Britain, Sweden, Hong Kong, and US =
prefers to limit rules, accept dissent, and take
risks.(weak)
 Greece, Portugal, and Japan= prefer more
extensive rules and regulations in
organizational settings and seek consensus
about goals.(high)
5. Long Term vs. Short Term
Orientation
 This reflects a society’s search for virtue or
truth
 Short term= concern with possessing truth
(western religions of Judaism, Christianity, and
Islam) Focus on quick results in endeavors and
recognize social pressure to conform.
 Long term= tend to respect the demands of
virtue( Eastern religions such as Confucianism,
Hinduism, and Shintoism) Focus more on thrift,
perseverance and tenacity in whatever they
attempt and to be willing to subordinate
themselves to a larger purpose.
Limitations of Value
Frameworks
 Remember that cultures are dynamic and
heterogeneous. We shouldn’t reduce
individuals to mere stereotypes based on
these value orientations.
 Another limitation of value framework is
that they tend to “essentialize” people
and assume that a particular group
characteristic is the essential
characteristic of a given member at all
times and in all context.
Relationship between
Communication and Power
 Power is universal in communication interactions, although it is
not always evident or obvious how power influences
communication or what kinds of meaning are constructed. We
often think of communication between individuals as being
between equals, but this is rarely the case.
 2 levels of group related power
 1.Primary dimensions (age, ethnicity, gender, physical
abilities, race, and sexual orientation)*more permanent
 2.Educational background, geographical location, marital
status, and socioeconomic status.* changeable
Example: Communication style in college classrooms
emphasizes public speaking and competition (first person who
raises his/her hand gets to speak)
Pg. 111
SUMMARY
 THE 4 BUILDING BLOCKS TO UNDERSTANDING
INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION :
COMMUNICATION,CONTEXT AND POWER.
 CULTURE CAN BE VIEWED AS :
1.Learned patterns of group related perceptions
2.Contextual symbolic patterns of meaning, involving
emotions
3. heterogeneous, dynamic
• Communication = process whereby reality is
produced, maintained and transformed
• Can be viewed as components of a speaker,
sender, receiver, message and channel and
variable
Cont.
 The relationship between culture and
communications is complex :
Culture is influences communication and is enacted
and reinforced through communication.
Communication can be a way of contesting and
resisting dominant culture
 Context influences communication: It is the
physical and social setting in which
communication occurs or the larger political,
social and historical environment
 Power is pervasive and plays an enormous, often
hidden role in intercultural interactions.
Works Cited
 Martin, J.N., and T. K. Nakayama.
Intercultural communication in contexts.
5. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2010. pp 83-119.
Print.

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Culture communication context and power.sec 1

  • 2. CHAPTER OBJECTIVES: 1. Identify three approaches to culture 2. Define communication 3. Identify and describe nine cultural value orientations 4. Describe how cultural values influence communication 5. Understand how cultural values influence conflict behavior 6. Describe how communication can reinforce cultural beliefs and behavior 7. Explain how culture can function as resistance to dominant value systems 8. Explain relationship between communication and context 9. Describe characteristics of power 10. Describe relationship between communication and power
  • 3. WHAT IS CULTURE?  Learned patterns of behavior and attitudes shared by a group of people.  Considered the core concept in intercultural communication  Defined in many ways from a pattern of perceptions that influence communication to a site of contestation and conflict.  How we think of culture frames our ideas and perception
  • 4. Scholar Wen Shu Lee Identifies different common uses of the term culture : 1. unique human efforts 2. Refinement , mannerism 3. Civilization 4. Shared language, beliefs, values 5. Dominant culture 6. The shifting tensions between the shared and unshared
  • 5. 3 PERSPECTIVES ON DEFINING CULTURE:
  • 6. SOCIAL SCIENCE PERSPECTIVE: ( focused on the influence of culture on communication, )  Culture is learned and shared  patterns of perception “programming of the mind”  A social psychologist Geert Hofstede says that culture becomes a collective experience because it’s shared with people who live in and experience the same environment.  The relationship between culture and communication: culture influences communication
  • 7. CRITICAL PERSPECTIVE:  Heterogeneous, dynamic ( we have richness, complexity)  Site of contested meanings ( critical scholars suggest that the differences between U.S Americans are often looked over) EX: Tiger woods has multicultural identities  Relationship between culture and communication is that communication reshapes culture.
  • 8. INTEPRETIVE PERSPECTIVE: ( focuses on contextual patterns of communication behavior rather than on group- related perceptions)  Learned and shared  Common example = ethnography of communication : analyzing symbolic meaning of verbal and non-verbal activities in attempt to understand patterns and rules of communication  Contextual symbolic meanings (activity must have the same symbolic meaning for everyone) EX: Gathering around the coffee machine at work every morning symbolizes the desire to interact with colleagues  Involves emotion  Relation between culture and communication would be that culture influences communication and communication reinforces culture.
  • 9. WHAT IS COMMUNICATION?  A symbolic process whereby reality is produced, maintained, repaired, and transformed.
  • 10. How Cultural Values Influence Communication (1950s study of contemporary Navaho and descendants of Spanish colonists and European Americans in the Southwest)  They emphasized …  Cultural values: the worldview of a cultural group and its set of deeply held beliefs  They are the most deeply felt beliefs shared by a cultural group, they reflect the shared perception of what ought to be and not what is.  Example: Equality (shared by many, refers to belief that all humans are created equal)
  • 11. Cultural values influence conflict behavior  Intercultural conflicts are often caused by differences in value orientations.  To not have conflict members of cultural groups must answer these questions…  What is human nature?  What is the relationship between humans and nature?  What is the relationship between humans?  What is the preferred personality?  What is the orientation toward time?
  • 12.  These answers become a framework for understanding broad differences in values among various cultural groups.  Pg. 97
  • 13. Kluckhohn and Strodtbeck Value Orientations  According to these men, there are three possible responses to each question as they relate to shared values. They believe that although all responses are possible in all societies, each society has one, or possibly two, preferred responses to each question that reflect the predominant values of that society.  Ex. : Religious beliefs may reinforce certain cultural values.
  • 14. Relationship Between Communication and Context  Context typically is created by the physical or social aspects of the situation in which communication occurs.  Ex.: Communication may occur in a classroom, a bar, or a church. In each case, the physical characteristic of the setting influence the communication.  Context is neither static nor objective, it can be multilayered and consist of the social, political, and historical structures in which the communication occurs.
  • 15. Hofstede Value Orientation (Based on extensive cross cultural study of personel working in IBM subsidiaries in 53 countries)  Examine value differences among national societies identifying 5 areas of common problems
  • 16. 1. Individualism vs. Collectivism Although problems were shared by different cultural groups, solutions varied from culture to culture.
  • 17. 2. Power Distance  Refers to the extent to which less powerful members of institutions and organizations within a country expect and accept the unequal distribution of power.  Ex.: Denmark, Israel, and New Zealand value small power distance because they believe that less hierarchy is better and that power should be used only for legitimate purposes. The best corporate leaders in those countries are those who minimize power distances.  Mexico, India, and the Philippines values high power distance
  • 18. 3. Femininity vs. Masculinity  Two dimensional  Gender specific roles of value  The degree to which cultural groups value so called masculine values(achievement, ambition, acquisition of material goods) or so called feminine values (quality of life, service to others, nurturance, and support for the unfortunate)  IBM employees in Japan, Austria, and Mexico=high masculine value  Employees in Northern Europe rank higher in feminine value orientation  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P2FjLcEqVN4
  • 19. 4. Uncertainty Avoidance  Concerns the degree to which people who feel threatened by ambiguous situations respond by avoiding them or trying to establish more structure to compensate for the uncertainty.  Great Britain, Sweden, Hong Kong, and US = prefers to limit rules, accept dissent, and take risks.(weak)  Greece, Portugal, and Japan= prefer more extensive rules and regulations in organizational settings and seek consensus about goals.(high)
  • 20. 5. Long Term vs. Short Term Orientation  This reflects a society’s search for virtue or truth  Short term= concern with possessing truth (western religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) Focus on quick results in endeavors and recognize social pressure to conform.  Long term= tend to respect the demands of virtue( Eastern religions such as Confucianism, Hinduism, and Shintoism) Focus more on thrift, perseverance and tenacity in whatever they attempt and to be willing to subordinate themselves to a larger purpose.
  • 21. Limitations of Value Frameworks  Remember that cultures are dynamic and heterogeneous. We shouldn’t reduce individuals to mere stereotypes based on these value orientations.  Another limitation of value framework is that they tend to “essentialize” people and assume that a particular group characteristic is the essential characteristic of a given member at all times and in all context.
  • 22. Relationship between Communication and Power  Power is universal in communication interactions, although it is not always evident or obvious how power influences communication or what kinds of meaning are constructed. We often think of communication between individuals as being between equals, but this is rarely the case.  2 levels of group related power  1.Primary dimensions (age, ethnicity, gender, physical abilities, race, and sexual orientation)*more permanent  2.Educational background, geographical location, marital status, and socioeconomic status.* changeable Example: Communication style in college classrooms emphasizes public speaking and competition (first person who raises his/her hand gets to speak) Pg. 111
  • 23. SUMMARY  THE 4 BUILDING BLOCKS TO UNDERSTANDING INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION : COMMUNICATION,CONTEXT AND POWER.  CULTURE CAN BE VIEWED AS : 1.Learned patterns of group related perceptions 2.Contextual symbolic patterns of meaning, involving emotions 3. heterogeneous, dynamic • Communication = process whereby reality is produced, maintained and transformed • Can be viewed as components of a speaker, sender, receiver, message and channel and variable
  • 24. Cont.  The relationship between culture and communications is complex : Culture is influences communication and is enacted and reinforced through communication. Communication can be a way of contesting and resisting dominant culture  Context influences communication: It is the physical and social setting in which communication occurs or the larger political, social and historical environment  Power is pervasive and plays an enormous, often hidden role in intercultural interactions.
  • 25. Works Cited  Martin, J.N., and T. K. Nakayama. Intercultural communication in contexts. 5. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2010. pp 83-119. Print.