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Министерство образования и науки Российской Федерации


Федеральное государственное бюджетное образовательное учреждение высшего образования
«АЛТАЙСКИЙ ГОСУДАРСТВЕННЫЙ ПЕДАГОГИЧЕСКИЙ УНИВЕРСИТЕТ»

Ж. А. Коротких

FOUNDATIONS OF INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION


Введение в теорию межкультурной коммуникации
Учебное пособие

Барнаул
ФГБОУ ВО "АлтГПУ"
2015

Об издании - 1, 2, 3. ISBN 978–5–88210–773–3


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УДК 811.111(075)
ББК 81.432.1я73
К687

Коротких, Ж.А.
Foundations of Intercultural Communication [Электронный ресурс] = Введение в теорию межкультурной
коммуникации) : учебное пособие / Ж.А. Коротких. – Барнаул : АлтГПУ, 2015.
ISBN 978–5–88210–773–3

Рецензенты:
Колесов И.Ю., доктор филологических наук, доцент (АлтГПУ);
Рогозина И.В., доктор филологических наук, доцент (АлтГТУ)

В пособии излагаются базовые теоретические сведения по проблемам межкультурной коммуникации.


Определяется специфика межкультурной коммуникации как коммуникации особого типа;
раскрываются особенности процесса коммуникации в зависимости от типа культур; описывается
процесс восприятия «чужого»; анализируются причины возникновения стереотипов и предрассудков;
рассматривается связь языка и культуры; характеризуются факторы, влияющие на процесс адаптации к
инокультурной среде. Содержащиеся в пособии примеры и практические задания позволяют глубже и
полнее освоить темы.
Учебное пособие предназначено для студентов лингвистических институтов и факультетов
иностранных языков, а также для всех, интересующихся проблемами межкультурной коммуникации.
Рекомендовано к изданию редакционно-издательским советом АлтГПУ 13 мая 2015 г.
Текстовое (символьное) электронное издание.
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Размещено на сайте: 29.09.2015

Федеральное государственное бюджетное образовательное учреждение высшего образования


«Алтайский государственный педагогический университет» (ФГБОУ ВО «АлтГПУ»)
ул. Молодежная, 55, г. Барнаул, 656031
Тел. (385-2) 36-82-71, факс (385-2) 24-18-72
е-mail: rector@altspu.ru, http://www.altspu.ru

Об издании - 1, 2, 3. ISBN 978–5–88210–773–3


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Contents
Preface
Методические рекомендации
Unit 1
Intercultural Learning: Definition and Main Objectives
Different Contexts for Intercultural Learning
Viewpoints for IL
Cultural Relativism
History of the Study of Intercultural Communication
Development of Intercultural Communication Studies in the USA
Development of Intercultural Education in Europe
Interdisciplinary Approach to the Study of Intercultural Communication
Questions, Exercises and Activities
Unit 2
Views on the Communication Process
Ingredients of Communication
Breadth of the Communication Field
Forms of Intercultural Communication
Questions, Exercises and Activities
Unit 3
Defining the Term "Culture"
Dominant culture, mainstream culture, subculture/co-culture, counterculture, idioculture
Concepts of Culture
Metaphors of U.S. Cultural Diversity
Questions, Exercises and Activities
Unit 4
Kluckhohn and Strodtbeck Framework
E. Stewart’s Cultural Patterns
G. Hofstede’s Cultural Patterns
E.T. Hall’s Cultural Patterns
H.C. Triandis’ Cultural Patterns
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Questions, Exercises and Activities
Unit 5
Beliefs
Values
Norms
Attitudes
World View
Questions, Exercises and Activities
Unit 6
Perception
Attribution Theory
Ethnocentrism
Stereotypes
Prejudice
The Fear of the Foreign
Causes of Xenophobia
Consequences of Xenophobia
Questions, Exercises and Activities
Unit 7
Language and Culture
Language and Perception
Cultural Attitudes toward Verbal Messages
Verbal Communication Styles and Culture
Turn-taking
Overlapping and Interrupting
Code Switching
Questions, Exercises and Activities
Unit 8
Problems of Communication
Causes of Miscommunication in Intercultural Encounters
Pronunciation
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Words and meanings
Grammar
Pragmatics
Speech Acts
Intercultural Pragmatic Failure
Questions, Exercises and Activities
Unit 9
Culture Shock
Cultural Adaptation
Developmental Approaches to Cultural Adaptation
U-curve and W-curve Models of Cultural Adaptation
Reverse Culture Shock
Critique of "Curves" Models
Individual Influences on Adaptation
Context and Adaptation
Modes of Adaptation
Questions, Exercises and Activities
Glossary
Selected Bibliography
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Preface
People from different cultures increasingly and inevitably encounter each other during travel, study, and business
interaction. Today, knowledge and skills in intercultural communication are critical in meeting the demands of an
integrated society. Our book presents a comprehensive overview of intercultural communication that explains the need
to understand communication among culturally diverse persons at a theoretical level, while simultaneously addressing
the need for application of theoretical principles.
Students usually come to the field of intercultural communication with some knowledge about many different cultural
groups, including their own. Their understanding is often based on observations drawn from television, movies, the
Internet, books, personal experiences, news media, and other sources. In this book, we try to encourage students to
think critically about intercultural communication issues.
Unit 1 explores the history of the field of intercultural communication and presents various approaches to this area of
study. It analyses the essence of intercultural learning and major contexts in which intercultural learning is relevant. It
emphasizes the importance of self-awareness as a starting point for enhanced intercultural effectiveness.
Unit 2 addresses intercultural communication as a multidimensional form of interaction between members of national,
ethnic, racial, and cultural groups. Three models of communication are analyzed: linear, interactional, and
transactional. The Unit also explores specific ingredients of communication and forms of intercultural communication.
In Unit 3, we focus on one of the basic intercultural communication components—culture. We present the most
common approaches to defining culture and discuss various concepts of culture and metaphors that visualize American
culture as being a melting pot, a salad bowl, a pot of stew, a tapestry, and a huge cultural watershed, providing
numerous paths in which the many tributary cultures can flow.
Unit 4 reviews some major frameworks and cultural patterns that have been devised for categorizing and comparing
cultures.
Unit 5 focuses on the importance of belief and value systems in intercultural communication because they are at the
core of people’s thoughts and actions.
Unit 6 establishes the factors that contribute to the dynamics of other groups’ perception. The way we behave is
dictated by the way we perceive the world. Our social environment largely determines what we perceive and defines
the ways in which we cognitively process that information. The Unit focuses on such notions as attribution,
ethnocentrism, stereotypes, and prejudice. It analyzes the reasons for increased appearance of fear for the foreign and
describes possible consequences of xenophobia.
Unit 7 addresses language issues, including relationships between language and culture, discussions of verbal
communication styles and code switching.
Unit 8 explores communication problems that occur in intercultural context. Based on the assumption that language
and culture are interrelated, we argue that miscommunication occurs because of various combinations of language and
cultural differences working together.
Unit 9 addresses intercultural transitions.
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Методические рекомендации
Данное учебное пособие предназначено для организации аудиторной и самостоятельной работы
студентов, обучающихся по направлению «лингвистика и межкультурная коммуникация», а также
может быть адресовано студентам отделений культурологии, журналистики, политологии и
юриспруденции.
Каждый тематический блок (Unit) состоит из двух частей: теоретической и практической.
Вводный текст в первой части определяет проблематику тематического блока, знакомит с ключевыми
понятиями и основными теоретическими положениями. Тексты обеспечивают студентов
информацией, необходимой для обсуждения темы.
Вторая, практическая часть, содержит различные виды упражнений, тестовые и творческие задания.
REVIEW AND DISCUSSION QUESTIONS, SPEAK ON, COMMENT ON THE FOLLOWING
QUOTATIONS – это вопросы и задания по тексту, представленному в теоретической части блока. Эти
упражнения контролируют понимание и усвоение студентами новой информации.

REVISION TEST – это тесты различного вида для проверки качества усвоения информации.

KEY WORDS – раздел, содержащий основные термины блока.

ACTIVITIES – это задания, во-первых, направленные на организацию самостоятельной работы


студентов с дополнительными источниками информации, во-вторых, стимулирующие активную
дискуссию и обмен мнениями по спорным вопросам, затронутым в ходе изучения темы, с опорой на
жизненный опыт и фоновые знания студентов. Такие задания могут быть представлены в форме
анкеты, цитаты или отрывка из публицистического текста для последующего комментирования,
вопросов, апеллирующих к личному мнению студентов, тем для кратких сообщений, основанных на
опросе мнения других людей, на изучении отечественных и зарубежных периодических изданий и т.д.
Эти упражнения стимулируют интерес студентов к изучаемой теме, расширяют их кругозор,
закрепляют умение работать с различными источниками информации, вести диалог и грамотно
дискутировать. Результаты этой работы могут быть представлены аудиторно в форме презентации или
внеаудиторно в форме стенной газеты, буклета, коллажа, электронного макета и т.п. Возможна
организация конкурса между студенческими группами. Задания такого рода могут варьироваться по
усмотрению преподавателя с учетом индивидуальных особенностей и интересов студентов.

ANALYZING A VIDEO – в рамках работы над темой студентам предлагается просмотр и


обсуждение художественных фильмов. Задания могут включать вопросы или темы для
комментирования; они могут выполняться в устной или письменной форме на усмотрение
преподавателя. Художественные фильмы рекомендуются для самостоятельного внеаудиторного
просмотра. Фрагменты художественных фильмов могут демонстрироваться непосредственно на
занятиях.

WRITING – на завершающем этапе работы над тематическим блоком студенты пишут эссе или
комментарий по предлагаемой теме. Данный вид работы позволяет студентам творчески применить
полученные в ходе изучения материала знания и высказать личный взгляд на актуальную социальную,
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этическую, культурную или политическую проблему.
Для удобства работы с учебным пособием материал расположен линейно, в той последовательности,
которая наиболее целесообразна для его изучения. Однако распределение видов работ может
варьироваться в зависимости от специальности обучающихся и количества часов, определенных
рамками действующей программы.
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Unit 1. INTERCULTURAL LEARNING AND THE STUDY OF INTERCULTURAL


COMMUNICATION
Intercultural Learning: Definition and Main Objectives
Different Contexts for Intercultural Learning
Viewpoints for IL
Cultural Relativism
History of the Study of Intercultural Communication
Development of Intercultural Communication Studies in the USA
Development of Intercultural Education in Europe
Interdisciplinary Approach to the Study of Intercultural Communication
Questions, Exercises and Activities
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Intercultural Learning: De inition and Main Objectives


Intercultural learning is an area of research, study and application of knowledge about different cultures, their
differences and similarities. On the one hand, it includes a theoretical and academic approach; on the other hand, it
comprises practical applications such as learning to negotiate with people from different cultures, living with people
from different cultures, and living in a different culture.
The main goal of intercultural learning is seen as the development of intercultural competence, which is the ability to
act and relate appropriately and effectively in various cultural contexts. Intercultural competence is generally thought to
require three components on the learner's side: a certain skill-set, culturally sensitive knowledge, and a motivated
mindset. In greater detail, the skills, values, and attitudes that constitute intercultural competence include:
1. general knowledge (of the theoretical aspects of how social groups/practices work and interact);
2. specific knowledge (of other cultural values, attitudes, norms and behaviors);
3. skills of discovery and interaction (like the ability to discover information about another culture and the ability to
communicate in real-time interaction);
4. critical cultural awareness (that one’s perception is influenced by one’s culture and experience and that there are
different cultures next to one's own);
5. intercultural attitudes (like openness, curiosity, readiness).
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Different Contexts for Intercultural Learning


There are five major contexts in which intercultural learning (IL) is relevant.
1) The coexistence of the indigenous majority population of a country with the migrant population, resulting from
migration at the end of the 20th and the beginning of the 21st centuries.
In this context, IL is mostly directed toward a constructive integration of the children of migrants. This is very difficult
because the relationship between indigenous majority and migrants is very often characterized by social as well as
cultural conflicts.
2) The coexistence of the majority population with indigenous minorities within a country.
In this context, IL is aimed at discovering one’s own cultural roots. It is important to show that both majority and
minority groups have much in common owing to a common development. This implies an understanding that both the
majority and the minority group(s) have influenced the lifestyle, traditions, attitudes and values of the society in which
they co-exist.
3) The moving together of the countries in Europe as well as in the whole world; the expansion of global networks,
resulting in increased work mobility and increased interaction between people of different cultural backgrounds.
These developments mean that more people will need to be prepared to work and live in other cultural environments.
This implies fluency in 2 or more foreign languages and an ability to relate constructively to other cultural
environments. This also requires greater cultural self-awareness, an understanding of cultural differences and how they
are reflected in values, norms, and patterns of behavior.
4) The relationship between the highly industrialized countries and the developing countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin
America.
In this context, IL is aimed at creating an understanding of the cultural dimension of this relationship. It is obvious that
IL cannot provide solutions for the political and economic dimension of intercultural conflict. However, it can
contribute to the solution by enforcing the principle that the cultures of the developing countries are equivalent to and
not less valuable than the cultures of industrialized countries; by promoting global solidarity; by enabling an
understanding of the patterns of thinking, the approaches, the actions and the decisions of other cultures as a result of
their values, norms and traditions; by helping effective communication across these culturally determined differences.
5) Modern mass tourism.
In this context, IL is directed at developing sensitivity toward the foreign. IL can help tourists to cope with the culture
shock they might experience while traveling abroad. It can create awareness of cultural differences and enable more
culturally sensitive behavior in a foreign environment.
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Viewpoints for IL
In all the contexts, IL can be seen from two different perspectives.
First, IL can be seen as an approach to addressing cultural conflict, encouraging awareness of conflicts and their
cultural dimension as well as an understanding of their cultural origin. From this perspective, the promotion of IL is a
reaction to a given conflict situation.
The second perspective is to look at cultural diversity and intercultural encounters as a resource and as a potential
enrichment that can be realized by IL. This perspective has been taken by exchange organizers for many years, but
only since the early 1980s has a similar perspective been observed in approaches to education in bicultural or
multicultural societies.
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Cultural Relativism
Cultural relativism is the principle of regarding the beliefs, values, and practices of a culture from the viewpoint of that
culture itself.
Originating in the work of Franz Boas in the early 20th century, cultural relativism has greatly influenced social
sciences. It is practiced to avoid cultural bias in research, as well as to avoid judging another culture by the standards
of one's own culture. For this reason, cultural relativism has been considered an attempt to avoid ethnocentrism.
In intercultural communication cultural relativism is often associated with general tolerance and respect for difference,
which refers to the idea that cultural context is critical to an understanding of people’s values, beliefs and practices.
Cultural relativism is the view that there is no hierarchy of cultures, that no culture is superior to any other culture when
comparing systems of morality, law, politics, etc. It's the philosophical notion that all cultural beliefs are equally valid
and that truth itself is relative, depending on the cultural environment.
Intercultural education accepts differences in the thinking and behavior of people from other cultures. This implies that
the values and norms of one culture cannot be applied to judge the activities of another culture. This does not mean
that another culture cannot or must not be judged. Yet such a judgment must be based on a complete understanding of
its character, traits and complexity and not on the values and norms of one’s own culture. The possibility of judging
another culture includes the possibility of a critical judgment of one’s own culture. Nevertheless, judgment on a culture
must not be confused with judgment on members of this culture.
Cultural relativism also implies that there is a "right" to have a culture, whether it be one’s own or another. As a logical
consequence, cultural diversity is seen as a value itself. It is assumed that cultural diversity enables development and
growth. The appreciation of other cultures implies the possibility of understanding one’s own culture and learning how
to adapt to and benefit from another social environment.
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History of the Study of Intercultural Communication


As long as people from different cultures have been encountering one another there has been intercultural interaction.
However, the systematic study of what happens when cross-cultural contacts and interaction take place did not
exist before the 20th century.
Many concepts utilized today in the field of intercultural communication were formulated in the first decades of the
previous century. For example, Franz Boas’s scientific method of the study of human cultures and societies, Georg
Simmel’s concept of the stranger, William Graham Sumner’s concept of ethnocentrism, Ruth Benedict’s theory on the
relationships between personality, art, language and culture, Wilhelm Humboldt’s and Alexander Humboldt’s views on
language and culture, Edward Sapir and Benjamin Lee Whorf’s linguistic relativity theory. However, before 1950 the
study of intercultural communication had not yet had a name and its conceptualization at the intersection of culture and
communication had not yet occurred. Thus, it may be stated that before 1950, the field of intercultural communication
was in a pre-paradigmatic era.
The current study of intercultural communication is influenced in part by how it developed in the United States and in
part by the worldviews, or research philosophies, of European scholars.
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Development of Intercultural Communication Studies in the USA


The roots of the study of intercultural communication can be traced to the post–World War II era, when the United
States increasingly came to dominate the world stage and when business was expanding globally. A large army of US
government and business personnel went to work overseas, but they often found that they were ill equipped to work
among people from different cultures. They started to complain that they were not prepared for the complex
challenges of working abroad.
In response, the U.S. government in 1946 passed the Foreign Service Act and established the Foreign Service
Institute (FSI). The FSI hired Edward T. Hall and other prominent anthropologists and linguists to develop "pre-
departure" courses for overseas workers. The FSI trainees insisted that they needed to understand how to
communicate effectively with individuals who had a different culture than their own.
One function of the FSI was to teach language skills, a type of training that was carried out quite successfully. The
linguist George L. Trager played a key role in developing orientation workshops emphasizing the importance of
cultural understanding in the process of language instruction.
Communication was one of the most important dimensions. The focus in the Hall/Trager collaboration was on
communication across cultures. Hall concluded: "Culture is communication and communication is culture". The
approach to intercultural communication accepted cultural differences and was nonjudgmental. E. Hall strongly
supported cultural relativism, the belief that a particular cultural element should only be judged in light of its context.
Much attention was paid to nonverbal communication, defined (by Hall) as communication that does not involve the
exchange of words. Hall, Trager, and Birdwhistell created the empirical study of various types of nonverbal
communication: proxemics, chronemics, and kinesics.
Intercultural communication began as a highly applied type of training. However, training materials were scarce, and
FSI instructors had to develop their own. Hall and his fellow trainers used simulation games, exercises, and other
participant-involving methods of experiential instruction.
FSI theorists formed new ways of looking at culture and communication. One of the most important means of
disseminating the elements of the original paradigm for intercultural communication, worked out at the Foreign Service
Institute, was via Hall’s (1959) important book, The Silent Language. The book was the founding document of the
new field of intercultural communication. Although it was written for the general public, it also had a profound
influence on academic scholars.
In the 1960s, intercultural communication had to develop the necessary resources for it to stand alone as a discipline.
The real ‘birth’ of intercultural communication happened in the 1970s with specialized intercultural communication
courses, societies and journals. However, intercultural communication study still had a way to go before becoming
established as a mature science.
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Development of Intercultural Education in Europe


In the USA, intercultural education became a topical issue in the early 1970s, when the first scientific articles and
contributions were published. Likewise, curricula on multicultural education were introduced in Canada in the 1970s,
mainly in response to Franco-Canadian movements. In Australia the first educational experiments on a multicultural
level were made in the 1970s.
Intercultural Communication founded in the US was largely based – explicitly or implicitly – on the ‘American
experience’, but its main concepts and principles were mostly viewed as universal. The transfer of US theories,
methods, and findings to the European situation began as late as in the 1980s. However the historical and present
social conditions of Europe differ from those of the US in many ways. Some of the specific conditions of Europe
which create(d) either communication barriers or various practices of intercultural coexistence and communication can
be outlined briefly as follows:
- the multitude and diversity of autochthonous peoples, languages, religions, and cultures;
- the complex and often problematic nation building processes which produced aggressive nationalisms,
"homogeneous" ethnic majorities and numerous minorities;
- the clear East-West division of the continent;
- the mass movements of migrants and refugees;
- the great importance of history and historical memories;
- the long, and often conflict laden historical experience of peoples and groups with each other;
- the many wars, and the traumatic experiences of many peoples and groups caused by war and foreign rule;
- the mostly problematic relations between neighboring peoples and groups;
- the numerous asymmetries between groups and peoples, particularly between "great" and "small" ones;
- the stereotypes and prejudices which peoples and groups have of each other;
- the practice of interethnic coexistence and multilingualism in many regions as a historical ‘intercultural
competence’;
- the EU as inclusion and exclusion, as a chance and a risk for intercultural communication;
- the eastern enlargement of the EU and its consequences for intercultural communication.
In Europe, in the period after the economic miracle of the 1950s, teachers and politicians in most countries with
relatively high immigration flows (such as France, Germany, Belgium and The Netherlands) focused their attention on
overcoming linguistic problems in schools. On the one hand, the emphasis was put on learning the host countries’
languages; on the other hand it was important to give children the opportunity to ‘preserve’ their languages and
cultures of origin, so that a return to their native country could become possible at any time.
During this time, the growth of exchange organizations that sent students abroad to study and the appearance of
development aid organizations that sent personnel on assignments abroad had a great impact on the development of
intercultural education. From the very beginning, exchange organizers recognized that intercultural encounters could be
regarded as enrichment and could contribute to the personal development. They started preparing young people for
an increasingly international and intercultural environment. The first organization to develop the concept of intercultural
learning in exchanges was the European Federation for Intercultural Learning (EFIL). Numerous projects were
created which could be termed ‘multicultural’. Their main aim was to explore commonalities and differences on
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linguistic, religious and cultural levels.
In the 1970s, some countries in Europe saw the creation of new subjects due to the growing numbers of foreign
children in schools, such as Pedagogy for Foreigners or Pedagogy of Reception. Over time, however, this concept
was criticized, as the risks of a ‘compensatory’ and ‘assimilatory’ pedagogy became visible. It was only in the 1980s
that theoretical concepts and teaching strategies with respect to intercultural education slowly began to form in
Europe.
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Interdisciplinary Approach to the Study of Intercultural Communication


The scholars at the FSI came from various disciplines, including linguistics, anthropology, and psychology.
Contributions from these fields of study blended to form an integrated approach that remains useful to this day.
Linguists emphasized the importance of language in intercultural interaction. They determined the relationship between
language and reality, language and culture. They also pointed out that learning a second or third language can enhance
one’s intercultural competence and provide insights into other cultures.
Anthropologists explored the role that culture plays in people’s lives and the importance of nonverbal communication.
Psychologists revealed how nationality, ethnicity, personality, and gender influence our communication. They defined
notions of stereotyping and explored the ways in which prejudice functions in our lives and in intercultural interaction.
Whereas the early study of intercultural communication was characterized as interdisciplinary, over time, it became
increasingly centered in the discipline of communication. Nevertheless, the field continues to be influenced by
interdisciplinary contributions, including ideas from cultural studies, sociology, social psychology, and other disciplines.
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Questions, Exercises and Activities

REVIEW AND DISCUSSION QUESTIONS


1. What is Intercultural Learning?
2. What is the mail goal of IL?
3. What are the components of intercultural competence?
4. What are the contexts for IL?
5. From what perspectives can IL be seen?
6. How have other fields contributed to the study of intercultural communication?
SPEAK ON
1. Cultural Relativism
2. History of the Study of Intercultural Communication
3. Intercultural education in Europe

REVISION TEST
1. The study of Intercultural Communication in the U.S. can be traced to:
a) the 19th century
b) the early 20th century
c) 1936
d) post- World War II
2. Cultural relativism is:
a) the principle for IL which means that there is no hierarchy of cultures;
b) an approach to addressing cultural conflict, encouraging awareness of conflicts and their cultural
dimension;
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c) a perspective to look at cultural diversity and intercultural encounters as a resource and as a potential
enrichment;
d) learning from and with each other across cultural boundaries.
3. Fill in the gaps.
a) The Foreign Service Institute hired Edward T. Hall to develop "_________" courses for overseas workers.
b) The main goal of intercultural learning is the development of intercultural__________.
c) Intercultural competence is generally thought to require three components on the learner's side: a certain skill-set,
culturally sensitive knowledge, and a motivated ____________.
d) IL can help tourists to cope with the _____________they might experience while traveling abroad.
e) In intercultural communication cultural relativism is often associated with general tolerance and respect
for____________.
f) Before 1950, the field of intercultural communication was in a ____________era.
g) Intercultural communication began as a highly ________________type of training.
h) E. Hall’s book ____________was the founding document of the new field of intercultural communication.

KEY WORDS
Explain the meaning of the following words and expressions:
intercultural competence cultural awareness
patterns of behavior self-awareness
cultural diversity coexistence
cultural relativism ethnocentrism
autochthonous indigenous
conceptualization experiential instruction
nonverbal communication bias
homogeneous refugee
multilingualism interdisciplinary
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ACTIVITIES
1. COMMENT ON THE FOLLOWING QUOTATIONS
1. F
" undamental to ethnorelativeness is the assumption that cultures can only be understood relative to one
another. There is no absolute standard of r"ightness"or "goodness"that can be applied to cultural behavior.
Cultural difference is neither good nor bad. It is just different. One’s own culture is not any more central to
reality than any other culture, although it may be preferable to a particular individual or group".
Lambert, R. (1999). Language and intercultural competence.
In: J. L. Bianco, A.J. Liddicoat, & C. Crozet (eds), Striving for the third place: intercultural competence through
language education. Melbourne: Language, Australia.
2. C
" ulture learning is the process of acquiring the culture-specific and culture-general knowledge, skills, and
attitudes required for effective communication and interaction with individuals from other cultures. It is a
dynamic, developmental, and ongoing process which engages the learner cognitively, behaviorally, and
affectively".
Paige, R.M., Jorstad, H., Siaya, L., Klein, F. & Colby, J. (1999) Culture learning in language education: a review of
the literature.
In R.M. Paige, D.L. Lange & Y.A. Yershova (eds), Culture
as the core: integrating culture into the language curriculum.
Minneapolis: University of Minnesota.

3.
" orality differs in every society,
M
and is a convenient term for socially approved habits."
Ruth Benedict (Patterns of Culture, 1934)
Darius, a king of ancient Persia, was intrigued by the variety of cultures he encountered in his travels. He had found,
for example, that the Callatians (a tribe of Indians) customarily ate the bodies of their dead fathers. The Greeks, of
course, did not do that—the Greeks practiced cremation and regarded the funeral pyre as the natural and fitting way
to dispose of the dead. Darius thought that a sophisticated understanding of the world must include an appreciation of
such differences between cultures. One day, to teach this lesson, he summoned some Greeks who happened to be
present at his court and asked them what they would take to eat the bodies of their dead fathers. They were shocked,
as Darius knew they would be, and replied that no amount of money could persuade them to do such a thing. Then
Darius called in some Callatians, and while the Greeks listened asked them what they would take to burn their dead
fathers' bodies. The Callatians were horrified and told Darius not even to mention such a dreadful thing.
This story, recounted by Herodotus in his History illustrates a recurring theme in the literature of social
science: "Different cultures have different moral codes. What is thought right within one group may be utterly
abhorrent to the members of another group, and vice versa. Should we eat the bodies of the dead or burn
them?"
Rachels J. (1999) The Challenge of Cultural Relativism.
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Adapted from The Elements of Moral Philosophy by James Rachels,
Chapter 2, pp. 15-29. McGraw-Hill, Inc.
2. Opinion poll
Express your attitude to the following statements:

Statement strongly agree ? disagree strongly


agree disagree
Different societies have different
moral codes.
There is no objective standard that
can be used to judge one societal
code better than another.
The moral code of our own society
has no special status; it is merely one
among many.
There is no "universal truth" in ethics;
that is, there are no moral truths that
hold for all peoples at all times.
The moral code of a society
determines what is right within that
society; that is, if the moral code of a
society says that a certain action is
right, then that action is right, at least
within that society.
It is mere arrogance for us to try to
judge the conduct of other peoples.
We should adopt an attitude of
tolerance toward the practices of
other cultures.

3. Prepare a short presentation


The European Federation for Intercultural Learning - EFIL

The European Federation for Intercultural Learning (EFIL) is a non-profit volunteer based
educational organisation offering intercultural exchanges for young people around the world where young people stay
in host families who voluntarily provide this service. Volunteers from all age groups support the learning process of the
exchange participants and facilitate their re-entry back home.
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EFIL was established in 1971, mainly as a service organisation. All of EFIL’s activities are led and implemented
through a combination of volunteer and staff resources and are carried out jointly by EFIL and its Member
Organisations.
Use the following sites:
http://www.efil.afs.org/
http://www.eyv2011.eu/about-the-alliance/63-efil

WRITING
Why Thoughtful People May Be Reluctant to Criticize Other Cultures?

Write a commentary on the extract from Rachels J. (1999) The Challenge of Cultural Relativism.
(Adapted from The Elements of Moral Philosophy by James Rachels, Chapter 2, pp. 15-29. McGraw-Hill,
Inc).

Judging a Cultural Practice to Be Undesirable


In 1996, a 17-year-old girl named Fauziya Kassindja arrived at Newark International Airport and asked for asylum.
She had fled her native country of Togo, a small West African nation, to escape what people there call excision.
Excision is a permanently disfiguring procedure that is sometimes called "female circumcision," although it bears little
resemblance to the Jewish ritual. More commonly, at least in Western newspapers, it is referred to as "genital
mutilation." According to the World Health Organization, the practice is widespread in 26 African nations, and two
million girls each year are "excised." In some instances, excision is part of an elaborate tribal ritual, performed in small
traditional villages, and girls look forward to it because it signals their acceptance into the adult world. In other
instances, the practice is carried out by families living in cities on young women who desperately resist.
Fauziya Kassindja was the youngest of five daughters in a devoutly Muslim family. Her father, who owned a
successful trucking business, was opposed to excision, and he was able to defy the tradition because of his wealth.
His first four daughters were married without being mutilated. But when Fauziya was 16, he suddenly died. Fauziya
then came under the authority of her grandfather, who arranged a marriage for her and prepared to have her excised.
Fauziya was terrified, and her mother and oldest sister helped her to escape.
Meanwhile, in America, Fauziya was imprisoned for two years while the authorities decided what to do with her. She
was finally granted asylum, but not before she became the center of a controversy about how foreigners should regard
the cultural practices of other peoples. A series of articles in the New York Times encouraged the idea that excision is
a barbaric practice that should be condemned. Other observers were reluctant to be so judgmental—live and let live,
they said; after all, our practices probably seem just as strange to them.
There is, of course, a lot that can be said against the practice of excision. Excision is painful and it results in the
permanent loss of sexual pleasure. Its short-term effects include hemorrhage, tetanus, and septicemia. Sometimes the
woman dies. Long term effects include chronic infection, scars that hinder walking, and continuing pain.
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Nevertheless, a number of reasons are given in its defense. Women who are incapable of sexual pleasure are said to
be less likely to be promiscuous; thus there will be fewer unwanted pregnancies in unmarried women. Moreover,
wives for whom sex is only a duty are less likely to be unfaithful to their husbands; and because they will not be
thinking about sex, they will be more attentive to the needs of their husbands and children. Men will not want
unexcised women, as they are unclean and immature. And above all, it has been done since antiquity, and we may not
change the ancient ways.
Suppose we are inclined to say that excision is bad. Would we merely be applying the standards of our own culture?
If there is no cultural-neutral moral standard to which we may appeal, can we criticize the practice of excision?
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Unit 2. COMMUNICATION
To understand intercultural interaction one must first understand human communication. Although the parties involved
in intercultural interaction represent diverse backgrounds, they are, nevertheless, subject to the same types of
experiences that people of similar backgrounds encounter whenever they attempt to communicate. Understanding
human communication means to know something about what happens during an encounter, why it happens, what can
happen, the effects of what happens, and finally what we can do to influence and maximize the results of that event.
Defining and describing communication is a difficult task because of the complexity of the subject. There are
generally two basic understandings of the term communication. The most common is that it is a process of
transmitting messages. Various models of message transmission have been developed on the basis of this
understanding. They have been very helpful in highly technical communication systems.
A second common understanding is that communication involves the meaning of messages – their interpretation
as well as transmission.
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Views on the Communication Process


In early theories, the communication process was viewed as linear. In this linear view, communication was seen as
proceeding in a relatively straight line: the speaker spoke and the listener listened.
Drawbacks: the linear model assumes that there is a clear cut beginning and end to communication. It also displays no
feedback from the receiver.

This linear model was soon replaced with an interactional view in which the speaker and the listener were seen as
exchanging turns at speaking and listening. It is two linear models stacked on top of each other. The sender channels a
message to the receiver and the receiver then becomes the sender and channels a message to the original sender. This
model has added feedback. It indicates that communication is not a one way but a two way process.
Drawbacks: there is feedback but it is not simultaneous.

Later, an interactional model was replaced by a transactional view which sees communication as a process where
each person serves simultaneously as speaker and listener (simultaneously communicating and receiving messages).
The transactional model is a more realistic representation of human communication. It recognizes that both people
involved in the interaction are communicators, and instead of the process illustrated as linear, it becomes circular in its
function. Thus the process is an exchange. The communicators constantly respond to each other by initiating
messages and sending responses back and forth.
The messages people send and the manner in which they respond weigh heavily on what has been said previously.
The transactional model stresses that communication is influenced by physical surroundings: different environments
contribute to different modes and methods of communication. The type of social relationship between the
communicators, whether they are strangers or intimate, also influences the transaction. In a transactional view the
elements of communication are seen as interdependent, i.e. each exists in relation to the others.
There exist various graphic representations of the transactional model of communication. Compare the ones given
below.
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Figure 2.3

Figure 2.4
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Ingredients of Communication
The transactional model of communication allows us to identify specific ingredients of communication.
Source-receiver. The hyphenated term emphasizes that each person in communication is both source and receiver;
s/he sends and receives interpersonal messages simultaneously.
Encoding is an internal activity in which a source creates a message through the selection of verbal and non-verbal
symbols.
Message is the result of encoding. It is a set of verbal and/or non-verbal symbols that represent a source’s particular
state of being at a particular moment in time and space. Messages are also the signals that serve as stimuli for a
receiver.
Channel is the physical means by which the message is transmitted. It acts as a bridge between source and receiver.
There are various ways of linking people together: the vocal-auditory channel used in speaking, letters, greeting cards,
telephones, emails, SMS, billboards, etc. The consideration of channels is important in intercultural communication
because the preference of channel to be used for various types of communication varies from one culture to another.
Decoding, or information processing, is converting external energies to meaningful experience and attributing meaning
to the source’s behavior.
Receiver’s response is what a receiver decides to do about the message. Response may vary along a minimum-
maximum dimension. Minimum response can be described as the receiver’s decision to ignore the message. Maximum
response may be characterized as an immediate physical act.
Feedback is information available to a source that allows the source to make judgments about the effectiveness of the
communication situation. If communication has gone successfully, the response of the receiver will resemble that
desired by the source who created the message.
Although feedback and response are not the same thing, they are clearly related. Response is what the receiver
decides to do about the message, while feedback is information about communication effectiveness. The two
concepts are related because response or a lack of response is the normal source of feedback.
Noise is the interference that distorts a message and that is inevitable. Noise may be physical (others talking loudly,
cars honking, illegible handwriting), physiological (hearing or visual impairment, articulation disorders), psychological
(biases and prejudices in senders and receivers, closed-mindedness, inaccurate expectations, extreme emotionalism),
and semantic (use of jargon or bookish words not understood by the listener, dialectal differences in meaning, etc.).
Context is the physical, social-psychological, temporal, and cultural environment in which the communication act
takes place.
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Breadth of the Communication Field


The study and teaching of communication began more than 2,000 years ago. At that time the field focused almost
exclusively on public communication. Both Aristotle (385 – 322 B.C.) and his teacher, Plato (427 -347 B.C.),
viewed communication as a practical art of teaching citizens persuasive skills so that they could participate in the
Athenian democracy.
The modern field of communication reflects the work of ancient theorists and also extends it. Today, it includes four
major areas.
I. Intrapersonal communication. It is communication with ourselves, or self-talk. On the one hand, intrapersonal
communication involves thinking, since it is a cognitive process that goes on inside us. On the other hand, it is a kind of
communication, because it involves dialogues we have with ourselves. We engage in self-talk to sort out feelings and
ideas, plan our lives, rehearse different ways of acting, and prompt ourselves to do or not to do particular things.
Scholars who study intrapersonal communication are interested in how we talk to ourselves and how what we say to
ourselves can enhance or diminish our self-esteem.
II. Interpersonal communication. It is a transactional process of exchanging messages and negotiating meaning to
convey information and to establish and maintain relationships. It is communication between people. It includes:
a) two-person communication (dialogue). It usually, but not always, occurs face to face. Researchers study how
this type of communication is influenced by gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation; how communication creates and
sustains relationships; etc.
b) small group communication. It is a face-to-face communication among a small group of people who share a
common purpose or goal, feel a sense of belonging to the group, and exert influence upon one another. Small group
communication occurs in social situations, in organizations, in educational settings, etc.
Group dynamics is a well-researched field of study and tends to focus on small groups that engage in problem-solving
and decision-making. Scholars are interested in a wide range of topics: leadership, member roles, group structure,
task agenda, decision making process, and conflict management. They also study how a collection of individuals
transform into a cohesive group.
c) organizational communication. For many years, scholars of organizational communication have studied aspects
of work life such as interviewing, organizational structure, leadership and decision making. They have identified verbal
and nonverbal communication skills that enhance professional success and the impact of various kinds of
communication on morale, productivity, and commitment in organizations. Today, the research mainly focuses on
organizational culture and personal relationships in professional setting.
d) public communication. It occurs when a speaker addresses a large audience in person in some public place.
Public communication is relatively formal. Usually, the event is planned in advance, and the speaker is prepared for
the speech.
Scholars of public communication focus mainly on principles of effective public speaking. They study various kinds of
arguments, methods of organizing ideas, and forms of proof that listeners find effective.
e ) performance. For over two thousand years scholars studied the ways in which performance could influence the
audience in the theatre. Today scholars are increasingly interested in how individuals and groups perform identities in
everyday life and how they use rituals and other communicative practices to reflect, sustain, and sometimes alter social
relations.
III. Media and new technologies of communication. Scholars of this area study how different media work and
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how they represent and reproduce cultural values. Besides, researchers are interested in how new technologies which
provide people with the means to communicate in more ways, much faster, and with a great number of people
throughout the world influence the way people think, work and form relationships.
IV. Intercultural communication. It is communication between people from different cultures, including distinct
cultures within a single country. Intercultural communication may involve any form of interpersonal communication
(one-to-one, small group, organizational, public communication, performance); it is also inseparable from the media;
and very often it employs new communication technologies. Intercultural communication is often more complicated
due to cultural differences of the communicators. The potential for miscommunication and disagreement is much
greater in intercultural communication. Thus, the study of intercultural communication aims to understand the influence
of culture on our attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors in order to reduce misunderstandings that result from cultural
variations.
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Forms of Intercultural Communication


There are a number of terms that describe various aspects and levels of communication between people of varying
backgrounds.
Intercultural communication is the general term that refers to communication between people from different cultural
backgrounds. Sometimes the terms" cross-cultural communication" and "trans-cultural communication" are
also used. These terms are synonymous with "intercultural communication" and designate the same form of interaction.
Interracial communication. This form of communication occurs when communicators are from different races. It is
characterized by the fact that there are racially identifiable physical differences between the communicators. Interracial
communication may or may not be intercultural.
E.g. A third generation Korean, whose family has become firmly enculturated in Russia, is talking with a
Russian. This would be the case of interracial communication, but not intercultural.
The major difficulty encountered in interracial communication is an attitudinal problem associated with racial prejudice.
A person who holds stereotypes about other races often expects certain behaviors or responses that actually might
not occur.
Interethnic communication. This term refers generally to describe the situations where communicators are of the
same race but of different ethnic origins or backgrounds.
E.g. This term describes the current situation in Canada – communication between an English-Canadian and
a French-Canadian. Both are citizens of Canada and members of the same race, yet they maintain quite
different backgrounds, perspectives, viewpoints, goals, and languages.
International communication. This term refers primarily to communication between nations and governments. It is
communication of diplomacy and propaganda, and frequently involves both intercultural and interracial situations. In
the case of international communication, interaction is influenced by the policies, aims, needs, and economies of
nations. This form of communication is highly ritualized. It is regulated by international law, military strength, treaties,
secret agreements, and world opinion.
Conclusion. Thus, we may say, that intercultural communication is a multidimensional form of interaction between
members of national, ethnic, racial, and cultural groups. It also includes communication between members of the
dominant culture and members of subgroups or subcultures within a cosmopolitan society. Intercultural communication
is unique in that it involves communicators from different cultures who are affected by their differing cultural
backgrounds and experiences.
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Questions, Exercises and Activities

REVIEW AND DISCUSSION QUESTIONS


1. What is the main difference between intrapersonal and interpersonal communication?
2. What forms of communication can be referred to interpersonal communication?
3. What distinguishes intercultural communication from other forms of communication?
4. What benefits can come out of interactions with those from different cultures?
SPEAK ON
1. Linear, interactional and transactional models of communication.
2. Ingredients of communication.

REVISION TEST
1. What type of communication is described by the following: T" his term refers primarily to communication
between nations and governments. It is communication of diplomacy and propaganda, and frequently involves
both intercultural and interracial situations."
a) Intrapersonal
b) Interethnic
c) International
d) Interracial
2. Fill in the gaps.
a) ______________ communication is communication with ourselves, or self-talk.
b) An internal activity in which a source creates a message through the selection of verbal and non-verbal symbols is
called _____________.
c) Information available to a source that allows the source to make judgments about the effectiveness of the
communication situation is called ________________.
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d) The process of converting external energies to meaningful experience and attributing meaning to the source’s
behavior is called ______________.
3. State whether the statement is true or false.
a) In early theories, the communication process was viewed as transactional.
b) The transactional model indicates that communication is not a one way but a two way process.
c) The transactional model is a more realistic representation of human communication.
d) The interactional model sees communication as a process where each person serves simultaneously as speaker and
listener.
e) Noise is the interference that distorts a message and that is inevitable.
f) Feedback and response are the same notions.
4. Match the descriptions with the fields of communication:

1. Scholars focus mainly on principles of effective public a. Group/team communication


speaking.
2. Scholars focus mainly on such topics as leadership, b. Public communication
member roles, group structure, task agenda, and
conflict.
3. Scholars study various aspects of work life such as c. Performance
interviewing, decision making, organizational structure
and culture, personal relations in professional setting.
4. Scholars are interested in how individuals and groups d. Organizational communication
perform identities in everyday life and how they use
rituals and other communicative practices to reflect,
sustain, and sometimes alter social relations.

KEY WORDS
Explain the meaning of the following words and expressions:
encoding message
channel decoding
response feedback
noise context
intrapersonal communication performance
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ACTIVITIES
1. COMMENT ON THE FOLLOWING QUOTATIONS
1. Communication is a "
systemic process in which individuals interact with and through symbols to create
and interpret meanings" .
J.T. Wood (2000) Communication Theories in Action: an Introduction. 2nd ed., Wadsworth, pp. 10-11
In her definition of communication Julia Wood emphasizes 4 key ideas: process, systemic, symbols, meanings.
1. Explain what she might have in mind speaking about these four ideas.
2. Compare your explanation with the one given by J. Wood in her book"Communication Theories in Action."
The main ideas of the definition are as follows.
-It is a process, which means it is ongoing and always in motion. It’s hard to tell when communication starts and
stops, since what happened long before we talk with someone may influence interaction, and what occurs in a
particular encounter may have repercussions in the future.
-It is systemic, which means that it involves a group of interrelated parts that affect one another. In family
communication, for instance, each member of the family is part of the system. In addition, the physical environment
and the time of the day are elements of the system. People interact differently in a formal living room and sunning on a
beach, and we may be more alert at certain times of day than others. …. A lingering kiss might be an appropriate way
to communicate affection in a private setting, but the same nonverbal behavior would raise eyebrows in an office. To
interpret communication, we have to consider the entire system in which it takes place.
-Symbols are abstract, arbitrary, and ambiguous representations of other things. Symbols include all of language and
many non-verbal behaviors, as well as art and music. Anything that abstractly signifies something else can be a
symbol. We might symbolize love by giving someone a ring, saying "I love you," or taking someone out for a special
dinner.
-Meanings are the heart of communication. We create meanings in the process of communication. We talk with
others to clarify our own thoughts, decide how to interpret nonverbal behaviors, and put labels on feelings and hopes
to give them reality. In all these ways we actively construct meaning by working with symbols.
2. "Communication is a two-way, on-going, behavior-affecting process in which one person (a source)
intentionally encodes and transmits a message through a channel to an intended audience (receivers) in order
to induce a particular attitude or behavior.
Communication is complete only when the intended receiver perceives the message, attributes meaning to it
(decodes it), and is affected by it. In this process must be included all conscious and unconscious, intentional
or unintentional verbal, non-verbal, or contextual stimuli that act as cues to both the source and receiver
about the quality and credibility of the message."
L.A. Samovar, R.E. Porter, N.C. Jain (1981)
Understanding Intercultural Communication.
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Wadsworth Publishing Company, pp. 13-14.

2. Give examples to illustrate


Communication, which is:
a) interracial and intercultural;
b) interracial and not intercultural;
c) interethnic and intercultural;
d) interethnic and not intercultural.
3. Intercultural Encounter
Find an international student or someone who you know comes from a different cultural background and become
conversation partners. Describe and analyze your experience.
a. Describe the encounter. What made it "intercultural"?
b. Explain how you initially felt about the communication.
c. Describe how you felt after the encounter, and explain why you think you felt as you did.
d. Describe any challenges in trying to communicate. If there were no challenges, explain why you think it was so
easy.

WRITING
Comment on the following guidelines
Abridged from Working on Common Cross-cultural Communication Challenges (by Marcelle E. DuPraw and
Marya Axner). -
http://www.pbs.org/ampu/crosscult.html
Guidelines for Multicultural Collaboration
Practice, practice, practice. That's the first rule, because it's in the doing that we actually get better at cross-cultural
communication.
Don't assume that there is one right way (yours!) to communicate.
Don't assume that breakdowns in communication occur because other people are on the wrong track. Search for
ways to make the communication work, rather than searching for who should receive the blame for the breakdown.
Listen actively and empathetically. Try to put yourself in the other person's shoes. Especially when another person's
perceptions or ideas are very different from your own, you might need to operate at the edge of your own comfort
zone.
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Respect others' choices about whether to engage in communication with you. Honor their opinions about what is
going on.
Stop, suspend judgment, and try to look at the situation as an outsider.
Remember that cultural norms may not apply to the behavior of any particular individual. We are all shaped by
many, many factors - our ethnic background, our family, our education, our personalities - and are more complicated
than any cultural norm could suggest. Check your interpretations if you are uncertain what is meant.
What do you believe are the primary reasons people of different cultures, races, and ethnicities
miscommunicate with one another?
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Unit 3. Culture
Defining the Term "Culture"
Dominant culture, mainstream culture, subculture/co-culture, counterculture, idioculture
Concepts of Culture
Metaphors of U.S. Cultural Diversity
Questions, Exercises and Activities
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De ining the Term "Culture"


The word culture has many different meanings. For some it refers to an appreciation of good literature, music and art.
For anthropologists and other behavioral scientists, culture is the full range of learned human behavior patterns. The
term was first used in this way by the pioneer English anthropologist Edward B. Tylor in his book, Primitive Culture,
published in 1871.
Culture involves at least three components: a) what people think, b) what they do, and c) the material products they
produce. Thus, mental processes, beliefs, knowledge, values, and artifacts are parts of culture.
Culture also has several properties.
– It is shared (by the members of a society).
– It is mutually constructed through a constant process of social interaction.
– It is learned (the process of learning one's culture is called enculturation).
– It is symbolic (culture, language and thought are based on symbols and symbolic meanings).
– It is transmitted cross-generationally.
– It is arbitrary (not based on "natural laws" external to humans, but created by humans according to the "whims" of
the society. Example: standards of beauty).
- It is dynamic and adaptive (cultures are constantly changing over time, they change in the process of transmission
from generation to generation, group to group, place to place).
– It is internalized (habitual, taken-for-granted, perceived as "natural").
– It is diverse (formed by many separate but interdependent co-cultures).
Culture has been defined in many ways because it is a complex concept. The table below presents the most common
approaches to defining culture.

Approach Definition of culture

Culture consists of everything on a list of topics, or categories, such as social organization, religion,
Topical:
or economy

Historical: Culture is social heritage, or tradition, that is passed on to future generations

Behavioral: Culture is shared, learned human behavior, a way of life

Normative: Culture is ideals, values, or rules for living

Functional: Culture is the way humans solve problems of adapting to the environment or living together

Culture is a complex of ideas, or learned habits, that inhibit impulses and distinguish people from
Mental:
animals

Structural: Culture consists of patterned and interrelated ideas, symbols, or behaviors

Symbolic: Culture is based on arbitrarily assigned meanings that are shared by a society
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Writers in cross-cultural studies often distinguish between two uses of the word culture as: 1) the total way of life of a
group of people ("little c culture"), and 2) a refinement or sophistication within a society ("big C culture").
"Little c culture" includes the routine aspects of life, such as how common people greet one another, what they
wear, what they eat, their daily habits, the way they maintain body hygiene, behave, take decisions, solve problems,
relate to others, the physical distance they keep from others, whether they show feelings or not, their beliefs and
values. Thus, little c culture encompasses everything as a total way of life. "Little c culture" is sometimes called
"subjective culture", as it is concerned with the less tangible aspects of a culture, like everyday patterns.
"Big C culture" refers to that culture which is most visible. Some visible forms of culture include music, art,
architecture, and literature. When learning about a new culture, the big C cultural elements would be discovered first;
they are the most overt forms of culture. "Big C culture" is also called "objective culture"or f"ormal culture".
In Intercultural communication the main emphasis is placed on the interrelation between culture and communication.
Consequently, the definition of culture should contain the key elements that will reveal the crucial link between culture
and communication. These key elements are: a) culture is learned; b) culture is a set of shared perceptions; c) culture
involves beliefs, values, and norms; d) culture affects behavior.
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Dominant Culture, Mainstream Culture, Subculture/co-culture, Counterculture,


Idioculture
Very often the term culture is applied to the dominant culture found in most societies. The term"dominant culture"
indicates that this group is the one in power. It has the greatest amount of control over law, political process, business,
and many social institutions such as communication and educational institutions.
A dominant culture is one that is able, through economic or political power, to impose its values, religion, language,
rituals, and ways of behaving on a subordinate culture or cultures. It speaks for the entire culture, sets the norms for
the society as a whole. The dominant culture is usually but not always in the majority.
Another term that is used to describe the ideas, attitudes, or activities that are shared by most people and regarded as
normal or conventional is"mainstream culture" . People, activities, or ideas that are part of the mainstream are
regarded as the most typical, normal, and conventional because they belong to the same group or system as most
others of their kind. The opposite of the mainstream are subcultures and countercultures.
Within the same culture there exist various co-cultures. Scholars use different terms to name this phenomenon: co-
culture, subculture, microculture, diversity culture. The term subculture has some negative connotations,
because it suggests hierarchical relationship and subordination to a larger group. The term co-culture means an
ethnic, regional, economic or social group exhibiting characteristic patterns of behavior sufficient to distinguish it from
others within an embracing culture or society.
Many co-cultures have much in common with the mainstream culture possessing at the same time some unique
features. There are, however, co-cultures whose members are largely alienated from the dominant culture. They not
only reject the values of the dominant culture but may actively work against these values. These co-cultures are called
countercultures.
Most people belong to a number of groups due to their origin, family background, age, sex, occupation, religious
beliefs, political affiliations, hobbies and interests, etc.
Idioculture is the sum total of features peculiar to the individual member of a given culture. It reflects individual
variables of culture. Idiocultural differences stem from different family traditions within the same culture or co-culture.
Persons of the same culture or subculture may have misunderstandings because they were "taught" differently in their
families. They use different methods of coding, storing, and decoding information. However, idioculture is easily
adaptable to the mainstream culture.
Contacting with a foreign culture the individual has to determine if this or that behavior is typical of the culture, co-
culture (counterculture) or if it reflects traits peculiar to the individual. It pertains not only to behavior but also to
customs, beliefs, and all cultural categories. This is the way to avoid inaccurate generalizations and stereotyping.
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Concepts of Culture
CULTURE AS MENTAL PROGRAMMING
Geert Hofstede in his book Culture’s Consequences: Comparing Values, Behaviors, Institutions, and
Organizations across Nations (2001, pp. 2-4) presents another concept of culture. He refers to the patterns of
thinking, feeling and potential acting learned through a lifetime as "mental programs" and, in analogy to the way
computers work, as "software of the mind". Unlike a computer, however, a person can deviate from her or his mental
programs and act in new and different ways. The programming only indicates which actions are likely and
understandable, given one’s past.
According to Hofstede, humans are born very "incompletely programmed". To be equipped for life, humans need a
period of intensive programming by their social environment. Most of the programming takes place in early childhood
within the family, but it continues in one’s social environment, in school and in the workplace. Since the programming
is at least partly shared with people who live or lived within the same environment, culture is a collective phenomenon.
In this sense, Holfstede defines culture as "the collective programming of the mind that distinguishes the members of
one group or category of people from another".
G. Hofstede distinguishes three levels in mental programs.

The least unique but most basic is the universal level of mental programming that is shared by all, or almost all,
humankind. This is the biological "operating system" of the human body, which determines one’s physical and basic
psychological functioning.
The collective level of mental programming is shared with some but not all other people; it is common to people
belonging to a certain group or category, but different from people belonging to other groups or categories. Hofstede
refers the "whole area of subjective human culture" to this level. It includes the language in which we express
ourselves, the deference we show to our elders, the physical distance from other people we maintain in order to feel
comfortable, and the way we perceive general human activities.
The individual level of human programming is the truly unique part. Hofstede argues that "no two people are
programmed exactly alike, not even identical twins reared together". This is the level of individual personality, and it
provides for a wide range of alternative behaviors within the same collective culture.
The borderlines between universal, collective, and individual levels of human programming are not rigid. It is difficult to
draw a sharp dividing line between individual personality and collective culture or to state which phenomena are
culture specific (that is, collective) and which are human universals.
Hofstede searched for ways to compare cultures and came up with the following areas in which cultural differences
basically manifest themselves: symbols, heroes, rituals and values. (Culture’s Consequences: Comparing Values,
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Behaviors, Institutions, and Organizations across Nations. 2001, pp. 9-11).
Values are invisible until they become evident in behavior. The visible manifestations of culture are symbols, heroes,
and rituals. Hofstede developed the ‘Onion Diagram’: Manifestations of culture at different levels of depth
which pictures symbols, heroes, and rituals as the layers of an onion around a core that consists of values.
The ‘Onion Diagram’: Manifestations of Culture at Different Levels of Depth

Symbols are words, gestures, pictures, and objects that carry complex meanings which are only recognized by those
who share the culture. The words in a language or jargon belong to this category, as do dress, hairstyles, Coca-Cola,
flags, and status symbols. New symbols are easily developed and old ones disappear; symbols from one cultural
group are regularly copied by others. According to Hofstede, symbols are the most superficial manifestations of
culture.
The next, deeper, level is heroes: persons, alive or dead, real or imaginary, who are glorified within a culture and who
thus serve as models of behavior. Even fantasy or cartoon figures such as Batman in the United States or Asterix in
France, can serve as cultural heroes.
The next level is rituals, which are described as collective and socially essential activities within a culture – such as
greeting or eating rituals, social and religious ceremonies, rituals in the political and business world.
In the ‘Onion Diagram’ symbols, heroes and rituals are subsumed under the term practices. As such they are visible
to an outside observer, their cultural meanings, however, are invisible (again, suggesting an iceberg analogy) but
recognized and interpreted only by members of the respective cultures. They are based on the deepest level of cultural
manifestations, represented by values, which Hofstede describes as "broad tendencies to prefer certain states of
affairs over other". Values are learned unconsciously and implicitly, mostly during childhood. Since, to a large degree,
they remain unconscious to those who hold them, they cannot be directly observed by outsiders.
In order to identify actual differences in value systems, Hofstede has defined four areas of comparison: social
inequality, including the relationship with authority; the relationship between the individual and the group; the concepts
of masculinity and femininity; ways of dealing with uncertainty, relating to the control of aggression and the expression
of emotions. These areas refer to basic problems of human society: the relation to authority, the concept of self, and
ways of dealing with conflict.
THE ICEBERG CONCEPT OF CULTURE
A frequent approach to describing the concept of culture is the analogy to an iceberg. It graphically demonstrates the
idea of having both a visible and invisible structure.
The visible tip of an iceberg contains the elements of culture that can be seen and that are manifested in the physical
sense. More often than not these are the elements that people come into contact with first in a new culture. Such
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"visible" elements include music, dress, architecture, language, food, gestures, devotional practices, art, and more.
Depending on your own culture, foreign customs and behavior may be regarded as weird, strange, rude, ignorant or
simply silly.
However none of the visible elements can make real sense without understanding the drivers behind them. These
"drivers" are hidden at the bottom of the iceberg. They constitute the invisible part. These invisible elements are the
underlying causes of what is seen in the visible part. The invisible part of the iceberg includes religious beliefs,
worldviews, rules of relationships, motivations, tolerance for change, attitudes to rules, communication styles, modes
of thinking, comfort with risk, the difference between public and private, gender differences and more.

The iceberg metaphor has some key points for learning about a culture:
The things we observe almost always have deeper meaning, that is, they represent a more fundamental
cultural value. Although the iceberg separates culture into visible and invisible elements, these are almost always
interrelated.
What we think we see is not always what is going on. Even trickier is how a visible aspect of culture,
something so seemingly obvious such as laughing, can have very different meanings in different cultures. For example,
laughing can mean "that’s funny" or "I’m embarrassed."
We interpret what we see in the host culture as we would in our own, but the actual meaning may be
quite different.
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Metaphors of U.S. Cultural Diversity

The United States is a multi-cultural society. When the country was first settled, it welcomed
individuals from all cultures, races, and walks of life. When people talk about the blend of US
cultural groups they often use metaphors.
The "Melting Pot" Metaphor
It is the oldest metaphor used for describing multiple cultures in the United States. In the
eighteenth and nineteenth century, the metaphor of a "crucible" or "(s)melting pot" was used to
describe the fusion of different nationalities, ethnicities and cultures. It was used together with
concepts of the United States as an ideal republic and a "city upon a hill" or new promised land. It was a metaphor for
the idealized process of immigration and colonization by which different nationalities, cultures and "races" were to
blend into a new, virtuous community, and it was connected to utopian visions of the emergence of an American "new
man".
The term "melting pot" came into general usage in 1908, after the premiere of the play The Melting Pot by Israel
Zangwill where different metals that melt together are placed together over a hot fire to form a product that is stronger
than any one metal on its own. But it also suggests that the different cultures should melt together as one, or assimilate
instead of integrate.
However the melting pot metaphor has never been an accurate description of what has actually occurred in the United
States. The tendency for diverse cultures to melt together and assimilate their unique heritages into a single cultural
entity has never really existed. Rather, the cultural groups adapted to one another, adopted some of the practices of
other groups while maintaining their own distinctive heritage.
The "Pot of Stew" Metaphor
The "Pot of Stew" metaphor describes American society as a variety of ingredients which are combined and
connected by the broth in which they exist. Each ingredient is able to maintain its distinct flavor and texture, but at the
same time is influenced by the broth in which they float. Some ingredients are even softened by the broth, while still
maintaining their distinct characteristics.
The broth in which each ingredient exists includes the country's identity, geography, values, beliefs, laws, media and
other elements. As a whole, the stew is able to exist with many distinct flavors and textures: new ingredients may be
added, the flavor may change, but the broth holds the society together so that they function as a whole.
The "Tributaries" Metaphor
It is a currently popular metaphor for describing the mix of cultures in the United States. America, according to this
image is like a huge cultural watershed, providing numerous paths in which the many tributary cultures can flow. The
tributaries maintain their unique identities as they surge toward their common destination.
This view is useful and compelling. The tributary image suggests that it is acceptable and desirable for cultural groups
to maintain their unique identities. However, when the metaphor of tributaries is examined closely, there are objections
to some of its implications. Tributary streams are small secondary creeks that ultimately flow into a common stream,
where they combine to form a major river. This notion rests in the hidden assumption that the cultural groups will
ultimately and inevitably blend together into a single, common current. Indeed, there are far fewer examples of cultures
that have totally assimilated into mainstream U. S. culture than there are instances of cultures that have remained
unique. Further, the idea of tributaries blending together to form one main stream suggests that the tributaries are
somehow subordinate to or less important than the mighty river into which they flow.
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The "Tapestry" Metaphor
A tapestry is a decorative cloth made up of many strands of thread. The threads are woven together into an artistic
design. Each thread is akin to a person, and groups of similar threads are analogous to a culture. Of course, the
threads differ in many ways, their thickness, smoothness, color, texture, and strength may vary.
The weaving process itself can vary from one location to another within the overall tapestry. Here, a wide swatch of a
single type of thread may be used; there, many threads might be interwoven with many others, so no single thread is
distinguished; and elsewhere, the threads may have been grouped together into small but distinguishable clumps.
Although the metaphor of a tapestry has much to commend it, the image is not flawless. After all, a tapestry is rather
static and unchangeable. One does not typically unstring a bolt of cloth, for instance, only to reassemble the threads
elsewhere in a different configuration. Cultural groups in the United States are more fluid than the tapestry metaphor
might imply; migrations, immigrations, and mortality patterns all alter the cultural landscape.
The "Garden Salad" Metaphor
The "Tossed Salad" Metaphor
The "Salad Bowl" Metaphor
These metaphors visualize American culture as being a bowl full of different ingredients that are being tossed
continuously. Each ingredient contributes its own flavor and identity to the whole. Substitute one ingredient for
another, or even change how much of each ingredient is present, and the entire flavor of the salad may be changed.
However the Romaine lettuce remains Romaine lettuce, even if it lies next to the iceberg lettuce, and the tomatoes and
cucumbers may be of different kinds. The whole thing is called a salad, but it is the sum of many diverse parts.
This idea demonstrates a perspective that the newcomers bring different cultures, and each of these cultures is kept as
an essential part to make up the whole. Every distinctive culture or belief is considered to be one of the tastes that
form the whole; therefore its original shape and characteristics are maintained.
In contrast to the tapestry image, which implies that the U.S. culture is fixed and unchanging, a garden/tossed salad
suggests an absence of firmness and stability. A typical garden salad has no fixed arrangement; it is always in a state of
flux.
The salad bowl idea has its supporters and detractors. Supporters argue that being American is not inherently tied to a
single culture, but rather to citizenship and loyalty to the United States. Thus, one does not need to abandon one's
own cultural heritage in order to be considered "American". Critics tend to oppose the idea saying that American
needs to have a common culture in order to preserve a common "American" identity.
Conclusion. All of these metaphors are different, but they are alike in the main. They all suggest that there is
something called American culture, the culture which is a result of the combination of the diversity of cultures that
somehow contributed to a uniqueness that differentiates Americans and their culture from others.
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Questions, Exercises and Activities

REVIEW AND DISCUSSION QUESTIONS


1. What does "little c culture" include?
2. What areas/aspects of life can be referred to "big C culture"?
3. What does the term "dominant culture"indicate?
4. How can the term m
" ainstream culture"be defined?
5. Why does the term subculture have some negative connotations?
6. What is the difference between a co-culture and a counterculture?
7. What co-cultures do you belong to?
8. What do idiocultural differences stem from?
9. Do cultures change overtime? Why and how?
10. Can one have several cultural backgrounds and what does that imply?
11. Do culture's metaphors help us to understand something about the culture itself?
12. Are some cultural metaphors universal?
SPEAK ON
1. Approaches to defining culture.
2. The iceberg concept of culture.
3. G. Hofstede’s concept of culture as mental programming.

REVISION TEST
1.The oldest metaphor used for describing multiple cultures in the United States is
a) the salad bowl metaphor
b) he tributary metaphor
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c) the melting pot metaphor


d) the pot of stew metaphor
2. The term "melting pot" came into general usage in
a) 1908
b) 1875
c) the 19th century
d) 1990
3. The ________ image implies that the U.S. culture is fixed and unchanging.
a) melting pot
b) tributary
c) tapestry
d) garden/tossed salad
4. An ethnic, regional, economic or social group exhibiting characteristic patterns of behavior sufficient to
distinguish it from others within an embracing culture or society is called
a) "mainstream culture"
b) "little c culture"
c) idioculture
d) co-culture
5. Fill in the gaps.
a) There are two types of culture: "big C" culture (objective/formal culture") and "little c" culture (or
__________culture).
b) When a way of life is shared by an entire society it is a culture; when it is limited to a distinguishable segment of that
society it is a ____________ .
c) The sum total of features peculiar to the individual member of a given culture is called ________ .
d) A ___________culture is one that is able, through economic or political power, to impose its values, religion,
language, rituals, and ways of behaving on a subordinate culture or cultures.
e) Co-cultures whose members are largely alienated from the dominant culture and reject the values of the dominant
culture are called _________________.
f) The least unique but most basic is the ________level of mental programming that is shared by all, or almost all,
humankind.
6. State whether the statement is true or false.
a) In the ‘Onion Diagram’ symbols, values, and rituals are subsumed under the term practices.
b) According to Hofstede, symbols are the most superficial manifestations of culture.
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c) The tributary image suggests that it is acceptable and desirable for cultural groups to maintain their unique identities.
d) The salad bowl metaphor suggests an absence of firmness and stability.

KEY WORDS
Explain the meaning of the following words and expressions:
artifact enculturation
heritage conventional
little c culture (subjective culture) utopian
big C culture (objective/formal culture) tapestry
dominant culture hero
mainstream culture subculture/ co-culture
counterculture the mix of cultures
idioculture symbol
ritual

ACTIVITIES
1. COMMENT ON THE FOLLOWING QUOTATIONS
1. "Most social scientists today view culture as consisting primarily of the symbolic, ideational, and intangible aspects
of human societies. The essence of a culture is not its artifacts, tools, or other tangible cultural elements but how the
members of the group interpret, use, and perceive them. It is the values, symbols, interpretations, and perspectives
that distinguish one people from another in modernized societies; it is not material objects and other tangible aspects
of human societies. People within a culture usually interpret the meaning of symbols, artifacts, and behaviors in the
same or in similar ways."
Banks, J.A., Banks, & McGee, C. A. (1989).
Multicultural Education.
Needham Heights, MA: Allyn & Bacon.
2."Culture: learned and shared human patterns or models for living; day-to-day living patterns. These patterns and
models pervade all aspects of human social interaction. Culture is mankind's primary adaptive mechanism" (p. 367).
Damen, L. (1987). Culture Learning: The Fifth Dimension on the Language
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Classroom. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.
3."Culture is the collective programming of the mind which distinguishes the members of one group or category of
people from another." (p. 9).
Hofstede, G. (2001). Culture’s Consequences: Comparing Values, Behaviors,
Institutions, and Organizations
across Nations. 2nd ed. Sage Publications.
4. " Culture consists of patterns, explicit and implicit, of and for behavior acquired and transmitted by symbols,
constituting the distinctive achievements of human groups, including their embodiments in artifacts; the essential core of
culture consists of traditional (i.e. historically derived and selected) ideas and especially their attached values; culture
systems may, on the one hand, be considered as products of action, and on the other as conditioning elements of
further action."
Kroeber, A.L., & Kluckhohn, C. (1952). Culture:
A Critical Review of Concepts and Definitions.
Harvard University Peabody Museum of American
Archeology and Ethnology Papers 47.
5. "Culture is the composite set of patterns of behavior, language, mores, history, philosophy, values, belief structures,
and religion that guide day-to-day relations between inhabitants of a given community. Not only do the above facets
facilitate human relations, they dictate to a significant extent people’s relationship with their environment. Culture
involves a diverse set of attributes that forms the foundation of human interactions. One important characteristic
feature of culture is patterned behavior. This is to say that people in a given culture develop a pattern of behaving
and responding to their environments. The pattern emerges out of consistent and repeated past actions and reactions
and becomes a guideline for our behavior." (p. 34).
Calloway-Thomas C., Cooper P.J., Blake C. (1999).
Intercultural Communication: Roots and Routes. Allyn and Bacon
6. "Culture is the deposit of knowledge, experiences, beliefs, values, attitudes, meanings, religion, timing, roles, spatial
relations, concepts of the universe, and the material objects and possessions acquired by a large group of people in
the course of generations. Culture manifests itself in patterns of language and in forms of activity and behavior that act
as models for both the common adaptive acts and the styles of communication that enable us to live in a society within
a given geographic environment at a given state of technical development at a particular moment in time. It also
specifies and is defined by the nature of material things that play an essential role in common life." (p.24)
Samovar, L.A., Porter R.E., Jain N.C. (1981).
Understanding Intercultural Communication. Wadsworth Publishing Company
7. "Culture is at once a shared and a learned pattern of beliefs and perceptions that are mutually intelligible and widely
accessible. It is also a site of struggle for contested meanings". (p.93)
Martin J., Nakayama T. (2010)
Intercultural Communication in Contexts. 5th ed. McGraw-Hill
2. Give examples to illustrate that the following statement is true.
"The iceberg model implies that the visible parts of culture are just expressions of its invisible parts. It also points out,
how difficult it is at times to understand people with different cultural backgrounds – because we may spot the visible
parts of "their iceberg", but we cannot immediately see the foundations that these parts rest upon".
3. Identifying aspects of culture
What are the kinds of things that lie above or below the surface? Take a look at these sample items and place them on
the iceberg, the more visible elements going above the water line and the less visible below.
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____ clothing ____ food ____ gesture
____ time management ____ views on equality ____ rules of politeness
____ religious beliefs ____ methods of worship
Reflection questions:
Did you place some items both above and below? If so, why?
Were some items difficult to place?
Where, for example, did you place method of worship? If you don’t have any visible signs of worship (like going to
a public place of worship), what does that mean? Would someone come to learn about your own religious beliefs?
Most would place "views on equality" in the deep aspects of culture. What might be visible signs of gender equality?
What visible signs are there about equality among social classes?
4. In small groups discuss the author’s interpretation of the 'melting pot' metaphor?

By Ruth Walker / November 24, 2006


The melting pot has been around for quite a while as a way to describe a certain American ideal – "Give us your tired,
your poor" – your immigrants from wherever, and we'll turn them into Americans. That was the idea behind that broad
paraphrase of Emma Lazarus by way of Fiorello LaGuardia, with some Jane Addams and Eleanor Roosevelt thrown
in.
More recently, this ideal has been called into question. Is it a good thing for newcomers to America to give up their
ancestral languages, their perhaps richer traditions of extended family life, or their more interesting food to become, in
effect, pretend Anglos?
"No" is the answer from some quarters. A cultural-sensitivity coach in San Francisco sums up a new attitude thus:
"Today the trend is toward multiculturalism, not assimilation. The old 'melting pot' metaphor is giving way to new
metaphors such as 'salad bowl' and 'mosaic,' mixtures of various ingredients that keep their individual characteristics.
Immigrant populations within the United States are not being blended together in one 'pot,' but rather they are
transforming American society into a truly multicultural mosaic."
The first time I can remember hearing the term "multicultural" was in Australia in 1984, where I reported on an
extensive "multicultural television" operation based in Sydney. Reviewing the piece now, I see that I did indeed use the
phrase melting pot – as a culinary metaphor.
But was I right? There are relatively few ingredients that one melts in the kitchen – butter, fat, chocolate, perhaps
cheese. One doesn't, in any cuisine I'm aware of, melt whole assemblages of ingredients into a single dish.
Soup-making may be a good source of metaphors for different approaches to assimilation or multiculturalism. Some
soups are homogenized through a blender – get it? In other soups, the constituent elements remain distinct. My mother
used to make what she called a vegetable soup with chunks of beef big enough that we ate it with knife and fork.
But a melting pot is not a soup kettle. Here's a quotation from Ralph Waldo Emerson's journal in 1845:
"[A]s in the old burning of the Temple at Corinth, by the melting and intermixture of silver and gold and other metals a
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new compound more precious than any, called Corinthian brass, was formed; so in this continent, – asylum of all
nations, – the energy of Irish, Germans, Swedes, Poles, and Cossacks, and all the European tribes, – of the Africans,
and of the Polynesians, – will construct a new race, a new religion, a new state, a new literature, which will be as
vigorous as the new Europe which came out of the smelting-pot of the Dark Ages."
This passage reflects some strange ideas about metallurgy – Emerson seems here to be promoting a sort of reverse
alchemy, whereby gold is turned into baser metal. But it's clear that the pot he had in mind was not in the kitchen.
My thinking was also nudged a bit by one of the definitions I found for "melting pot": "a vessel made of material that
does not melt easily; used for high temperature chemical reactions." Here the "not-melting" aspect seems as important
as the "melting." There's a metaphor there for a vessel that can take the heat.
This may give us a way to think about the difference between the essential framework – the constitutional system, so
to speak – and the ever-changing content held within that framework – the new peoples and new cultures that come
to a country. And that metaphor may be a way to think about assimilation and multiculturalism.
If we pay attention to literal meaning, even a metaphor long since morphed into cliché may still have lessons for us.
5. Do you support the author’s statement:" What is happening to each minority depends on each
minority"
?
Answer from karlc
(http://askville.amazon.com/melting-pot-cultures/AnswerViewer.do?requestId=4225619)
It is neither tossed salad nor melting pot.
The "tossed salad" metaphor is meant to signify that the various ethnic groups are staying relatively separate (while still
contributing to the whole), rather than blending into one thick creamy soup. But in my view, neither metaphor really
does justice to the situation. What is happening to each minority depends on each minority.
For example, some groups like the Polish seem to have "melted" pretty well into American culture. Polish foods and
customs are often considered American food and customs now. Nobody talks about being Polish-American.
The Irish have blended in slightly less. People still refer to themselves proudly as Irish-American. There is even a
distinctive Irish-American holiday, St. Patrick's Day.
The Japanese probably have blended in about the same amount. They are aware of themselves as a distinct heritage.
On the other hand, the rate of Japanese-Caucasian miscegenation is so great that some people say that Japanese-
Americans will disappear as a distinct ethnic group within a generation or so.
Other groups have blended in less well (and by "well", I don't mean it is better to blend in, or worse). Some groups
haven't had time to blend in, since they have been here only one generation or so. The Vietnamese and possibly the
Koreans are in that situation.
Other groups have been prevented from blending in, sometimes by active discrimination, sometimes for other reasons.
Blacks and Hispanics still have distinct ethnic identities, despite hundreds of years of history in the US. Part of the
reason is the economic barriers raised to economic achievement in this country. A lot of those barriers are not racist;
Vietnamese people face many of the same barriers, for instance. But the Vietnamese have some cultural assets that
some other groups lack, particularly a high value placed on education. And nobody ever looked at Vietnamese people
and thought "Slaves," or "Property." Even if those labels are not applied nowadays, they are still hurting people, even
now. (The Vietnamese also have some real disadvantages, including the trauma of war, indoctrination, and
refugeeism).
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People would like to think that "Blending in" or assimilating is a happy outcome, like daisies blooming or a rainbow
coming out after a storm. But really, it basically means becoming financially secure. If you can't become financially
secure, you can't assimilate. After you are financially secure, ethnic identity generally becomes just a matter of pride,
and of holidays. That is why, for instance, the Irish are finally assimilated in this country. When they first came over,
they were considered dirty (and Papist).
So the picture is complex, and not easily summarized in a simplistic metaphor like "melting pot" or "tossed salad."
People aren't vegetables (or cheese, chicken broth, or herbs and spices).

6. Comment on the following statement


"The shortages of the melting pot and salad bowl paradigms can be expressed in the following summarising parables:
In the case of the melting pot the aim is that all cultures become reflected in one common culture, however this is
generally the culture of the dominant group - I thought this was mixed vegetable soup but I can only taste tomato.
In the case of the salad bowl, cultural groups should exist separately and maintain their practices and institutions,
however, Where is the dressing to cover it all? Hopefully the solution may be offered by the concept of the ethnic
stew where all the ingredients are mixed in a sort of pan-Hungarian goulash where the pieces of different kinds of
meat still keep their solid structure".
Laura, Laubeová (2000)
Encyclopedia of The World’s Minorities,
Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers (http://www.tolerance.cz/courses/texts/melting.htm)
7. Create your metaphors
"The Soviet people (Russian: " ") was an ideological epithet for the
population of the Soviet Union. The Soviet government promoted the doctrine of
assimilating all peoples living in the USSR into one Soviet people, accordingly to Marxist
principle of Fraternity of peoples. The effort lasted for the entire history of the Soviet Union, but
did not succeed, as evidenced by developments in most national cultures in the
territory after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991" (Wikipedia, en.wikipedia.org/).
What metaphor(s) can best describe the current state of the Russian Federation?
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MAKE A PRESENTATION
List as many co-cultures/countercultures as you can. Pick two or three of these cultures and identify the structure and
symbols of these groups. How do their structure and symbols foster or inhibit communication with other cultural
groups? Present the results of your research to the group.

WRITING
The following concept of CULTURE was developed by Julia Eremina in 2005, when she was a third-year
student of Linguistic Institute (BSPU, Barnaul).
Write an essay analyzing strong and weak points of her concept.
MY CONCEPT OF CULTURE. ANALOGY TO A GLASS OF WATER
My model of culture looks like a glass of water. At the top of this glass there is a piece of ice that does not melt
because of the appropriate temperature. And the water constantly evaporates. As we know from the course of
physics, it happens at any temperature. So, the system consists of ice, water, and evaporation (steam).
Now, let’s describe it in detail.
The first part of the model is presented by ice. Ice is hard and solid; it has a constant shape, weight, color, and other
physical characteristics. To examine it we can use our senses. We can see it, smell it, touch it (sometimes even taste
it!). We are aware of its existence. If we take it in our hands, we will feel its surface, weight, shape, and it will not
disappear. In my system ice is responsible for such elements of culture as laws and rules. The analogy is very easy.
Laws and rules are the most obvious elements of a culture. They are created by the government and are known by the
majority of the society. We are aware of them, and they are often stable and, metaphorically speaking, some of their
characteristics resemble those of a piece of ice. When we hold a piece of ice in our hands we perceive its existence as
we perceive the existence of laws and rules which are also "solid" and in most cases are obvious. We can break the
rules as we can break ice, and in both cases we may damage ourselves. Splinters of ice are very sharp and may hurt
us, as well as violation of rules and laws may have painful consequences (it’s enough just to imagine what may happen
if a person does not obey traffic rules).
The second part of the concept is represented by water. Water consists of the same elements as ice, but its physical
characteristics are absolutely different. It’s neither solid, nor hard. When we try to take it in hands, it has a tendency to
escape. It’s transparent, and we don’t always see it depending on its purity and the vessel where it is found. To this
part of the concept belong customs, habits and traditions. As well as water, they can be easily perceived but it is not
necessarily so. Sometimes we are not aware of them and act in accordance with them subconsciously. Water has no
constant shape and it takes various shapes depending on the vessel it occupies. Accordingly, customs, habits and
traditions have various forms in different cultures.
The last element of the system is evaporated water. It is similar to ice and water from the point of view of its chemical
components but different by its physical state. This is the most abstract element of the system. Evaporated water is a
part of air. We are surrounded by air, we can’t live without it, we are part of it, and at the same time we are not
conscious of it like a fish that lives in water is not aware of it. We take the existence of air for granted, we never think
about it, at least until it is poisoned by something terrible. We cannot see it, we cannot touch it, and we cannot taste or
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hear it. We can hardly perceive its existence, but at the same time we are sure that it exists. We often act according to
some way of behavior appropriate in our culture; we judge others also according to some norms and values of our
culture. And often we are not aware of it, we do not think about it. This element of the system comprises such things
as personal distance, gestures, degree of eye contact, concept of beauty, body language, conception of "self",
definition of insanity, conception of cleanliness, concept of justice, definition of sin, notions of modesty, and many
other aspects of culture that are beyond the surface. For example, if we see a person, we judge about his/her
appearance not according to some book of laws but due to some subconscious concept of beauty that is something
within us.
Thus, we can see that culture exists on three levels: conscious, half-conscious, and unconscious. But what are the
relations between them? It’s obvious, that there is no rigid line. What is a rule in one country may be a custom in
another one. Sometimes when we follow a rule we get used to acting according to it and do it unconsciously. Where
should we place it then? The model gives an answer to it. As we know, the main substance of this model, water,
changes its modular states easily. What is water now may become ice or steam in a minute, and vice versa. The same
is true about culture. What is obvious (the ice) for us may be unintelligible for others (the air). For example, when
Americans come to Russia, they ask about tipping customs, and we usually do not know what to answer, because
tipping is a usual thing for them, and there are even rules of doing it in the USA, while in Russia it is not a custom, and
there are no strict rules for it. And the model shows this non-stability.
Why is my concept of culture different from the others? In fact, it resembles the Iceberg Analogy combined with the
perception of culture as a continuum, but it is based on a different principle. In the Iceberg Analogy the author speaks
about external characteristics: a small part of iceberg is seen while the biggest part is not. In my concept I deal not
only with what is seen and what is not, but also with some internal characteristics of the components. Moreover, if
compared to the Iceberg Analogy, the scope of my concept is wider and it consists of three elements instead of two.
The model also emphasizes the idea that there is no rigid borderline between the components.
I assume that my model is not perfect; it has a number of flaws and it is open to criticism. I’m not a scholar yet, but
just a third-year student who is willing to contribute to the conceptualization of such a complex phenomenon as
CULTURE.

ANALYZING A VIDEO
Watch the movie Witness, a 1985 American thriller film directed by Peter Weir and starring Harrison Ford and
Kelly McGillis. The screenplay by William Kelley, Pamela Wallace, and Earl W. Wallace focuses on a detective
protecting a young Amish boy who becomes a target after he witnesses a murder in Philadelphia.
After viewing the movie, conduct an internet search for additional information about Amish people in the U.S.
Discuss the perceptual limitations people have of the Amish culture. What perceptual limitations do the Amish
have of the larger macro-culture?
Comment on the following:
"T he film was not well received by the Amish communities where it was filmed. A
statement released by a law firm associated with the Amish claimed that their
portrayal in the movie was not accurate. The National Committee For Amish
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Religious Freedom called for a boycott of the movie soon after its release, citing
fears that these communities were being "overrun by tourists" as a result of the
popularity of the movie, and worried that "the crowding, souvenir-hunting,
photographing and trespassing on Amish farmsteads will increase". After the movie
was completed, Pennsylvania governor Dick Thornburgh agreed not to promote Amish
communities as future film sites".
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Witness_(1985_film)
What metaphor of American culture can this movie illustrate?
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Unit 4. CULTURAL PATTERNS


Culture can be best expressed in the complex interactions of values, attitudes, and behavioral assumptions of a
society. However much of the understanding of cultural variation has been achieved by reducing analysis to the study
of values. Value differences arise from the solutions different cultural groups have devised for dealing with the finite
number of problems with which all people must deal. Because there are a limited number of ways in which a society
can manage these problems it is possible to develop a system that categorizes and compares societies on this basis.
By examining the choices cultural groups make, we can infer their preferences for such fundamental human issues as
their relationships to their environment and to each other.
This Unit reviews some major frameworks and cultural patterns that have been devised for categorizing and
comparing cultures.
Cultural patterns are regarded as shared beliefs, values, and norms that are stable, over time and that lead to
roughly similar behaviors across similar situations. Cultural patterns are inside people, in their minds. They provide a
way of thinking about the world, of orienting oneself to it. Cultural patterns are not so much consciously taught as
unconsciously experienced as a byproduct of day-to-day activities.
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Kluckhohn and Strodtbeck Framework


(Kluckhohn F., Strodtbeck F. Variations in Value Orientations.
Evanston, Ill.: Row and Peterson, 1961)
Kluckhohn and Strodtbeck's model was formulated as a result of research conducted among five cultural groups
including Navaho Native American Indians, Mexican-Americans and members of the Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints (Mormons), all of whom were at that time to be found in the south-west of the USA.
Florence Kluckhohn and Fred Strodtbeck (1961) put forward six value orientations based on how societies typically
dealt with the following core issues: relationship with nature; attitudes to time; views of human nature; activity;
relationships between people; and space. These six generic problem areas are of such a profound nature that they are
faced by all cultural groups and consequently form the basis for a group's values.
• Relationships to nature. People have a need or duty to control or master nature (domination), to submit to
nature (subjugation), or to work together with nature to maintain harmony and balance (harmony).
• Beliefs about human nature. People are inherently good, evil, or a mixture of good and evil.
• Relationships between people. The greatest concern and responsibility is for one’s self and immediate family
(individualist), for one’s own group that is defined in different ways (collateral), or for one’s groups that are
arranged in a rigid hierarchy (hierarchical).
• Nature of human activity. People should concentrate on living for the moment (being), striving for goals
(achieving), or reflecting (thinking).
• Conception of space. The physical space we use is private, public, or a mixture of public and private.
• Orientation to time. People should make decisions with respect to traditions or events in the past, events in the
present, or events in the future.
Figure 4.1 shows the variation in preferences that people across cultures exhibit on these six dimensions.
Cultural Variation in Value Orientations

Environment Domination Harmony Subjugation


Time Orientation Past Present Future
Nature of People Good Mixed Evil
Activity Orientation Being Thinking Achieving
Responsibility Individualistic Group Hierarchical
Conception of Space Private Mixed Public

Figure 4.1
In this conceptualization of cultural variation, the six value orientations are not bipolar dimensions. That is, a high
preference for one assumption does not necessarily imply a low preference for the other two assumptions in the same
value orientation. All preferences can be represented in a society, but with a rank order of the preferred
alternatives. For example, people from the United States might exhibit a preference for a present time orientation,
but a future orientation might be a close second choice.
The fundamental approach of Kluckhohn and Strodtbeck provided the basic principles for all further research in the
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area of cross-cultural research aiming at quantitative measures of cultural values. Further research based on
Kluckhohn – Strodtbeck’s model offers variation by sample, context and the set of values/dimensions used to
describe cultures. Kluckhohn and Strodtbeck's work continues to find echoes in the specific area of cross-cultural
organizational studies.
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E. Stewart’s Cultural Patterns


(Stewart E.C. American Cultural Patterns: A Cross-cultural Perspective.
Pittsburgh: Regional council for international education, 1971)
Edward Stewart compared the preferred cultural patterns of the typical middle-class Euroamerican with those of
other cultures. His work is particularly useful because it describes a broad range of cultural patterns against which a
particular culture can be understood.
There are four major elements in E. Stewart’s taxonomy of cultural patterns.
1. Activity orientation
It defines how the people of a culture view human actions and the expression of self through activities. To define their
activity orientation, cultures usually choose a point on the being-becoming-doing continuum.
"Being" is an activity orientation that values non-action and an acceptance of the status quo. These are passive
cultures which believe that all events are determined by fate and are inevitable or fatalistic.
A "becoming" orientation sees humans as evolving and changing. People with this orientation think of ways to
change themselves as a means to change the world.
The "doing" culture is often a striving culture, in which people seek to change and control what is happening to them.
This is an active culture, in which it is important to get things done. For example, Euro-Americans always ask "What
do you do?" when they first meet someone. The slogan of this type of culture is "Where there’s a will there’s a way."
This culture encourages its members to work hard, never to give up, to fight on.
A culture’s activity orientation also suggests the pace of life, which can be presented as a continuum from relaxed to
fast and hectic governed by clocks, appointments and schedules.
Work and play are treated differently by different cultures. In "doing" cultures work is seen as a separate activity
from play and an end in itself. In the "being" and "becoming" cultures, there is no clear-cut separation between work
and play. The social life for these individuals spills over into their work life. When members of a "being" culture work
in the environment of a "doing" culture, there are often misinterpretations of behavior. In a "doing" culture, employees,
who spend too much time on the telephone with family or friends or chatting with their fellow employees, may be
reprimanded by a supervisor. In the "being" and "becoming" cultures those in charge fully expect their workers to mix
working and socializing.
2. Social relations orientation
It describes how people in a culture organize themselves and relate to one another.
A social relations orientation can range from one that emphasizes differences and social hierarchy (vertical
cultures) to one that strives for equality and the absence of hierarchy (horizontal cultures). Vertical cultures
emphasize status differences between individuals; in horizontal cultures distinctions based on age, gender, race,
occupation, etc. are discouraged.
One way to notice differences in social relations orientation is in the degree of importance a culture places on
formality. In cultures that emphasize formality, people address others by appropriate titles, and their interaction is
governed by highly prescriptive rules. In cultures that stress equality, people believe that human relations develop best
when those involved can be informal with one another.
Another important way in which social relations orientations can vary is the way in which people define their
social roles or their place in a culture. In some cultures, one’s place is determined by the family and the position into
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which one is born. At the other extreme are cultures in which all people, regardless of family position, can achieve
success and high status.
Cultural patterns can also prescribe the appropriate behavior for men and women. In some cultures, very
specific behaviors are expected; other cultures allow more ambiguity in the expected roles of men and women.
A culture’s social relations orientation affects the style of interpersonal communication that is most preferred.
Cultures may emphasize directness and confrontation, or indirectness and ambiguity, including the use of
intermediaries (when marriages are arranged, business deals are made, homes are purchased. And other major
negotiations are all conducted through third parties).
A culture’s social relations orientation also affects the sense of social reciprocity, that is, the sense of obligation
and responsibility between people. Some cultures prefer independence and a minimum number of obligations and
responsibilities; others accept obligations and encourage dependence.
3. Self-orientation
It describes how people’s identities are formed, whether the culture views the self as changeable, what motivates
individual actions, and the kind of people who are valued and respected.
Some cultures strongly believe that the individual is definitely separate from others. From a very young age,
children are encouraged to make their own decisions and be independent. Other cultures see the individual as part of
a group. They emphasize interdependence, and teach their children to be bonded or connected to others.
The source of motivation for human behavior is also part of culture’s self-orientation. In some cultures
individuals are motivated to achieve external success in the form of possessions, positions, and power. Individuals
are expected to set their own goals and identify the means necessary to achieve them. Failure is viewed as a lack of
will power, and losers are disrespected. In this cultural framework individuals regard it as necessary to rely on
themselves rather than on others. Other cultures do not value external success. They lay greater emphasis on
spiritual development of an individual.
An additional part of self-orientation is the set of characteristics of those individuals who are valued. For
example, many cultures venerate their elders and view them as a source of wisdom and valuable life experience. In
other cultures, innovation and new ideas, rather than the wisdom of the past, are regarded as important.
4. World orientation
Cultural patterns tell people how to locate themselves in relation to the spiritual world, nature and living things.
Some cultures view human beings as living in an interactive state with the natural and spiritual world. They
consider humans to be an integral part of nature. Most Euro-Americans view humans as separate and distinct from
nature and other forms of life. They believe in the supremacy of the individual and regard nature as something to be
manipulated and controlled in order to make human life better. They also believe that disease, poverty, loss, even
death can be overcome, or at least postponed, by selecting the right courses of action.
Some cultures view the spiritual and physical worlds as distinct, others – as one. In cultures with a clear
understanding that the physical world is separate from the spiritual world individuals like mind-readers are viewed with
suspicion, and those who have seen ghosts are questioned to find a more "logical" or "rational" explanations. In other
cultures it is "logical" for spirits to live in both animate and inanimate objects.
The final aspect of a culture’s world orientation concerns how people conceptualize time. Some cultures choose
to describe the past as most important, others emphasize the present or the future.
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Edward Stewart’s book American Cultural Patterns: A Cross-Cultural Perspective, originally published in 1971,
is an indispensable classic that has been used extensively as a classroom textbook for its comprehensive, critical
approach to American thought and behavior. In their revised edition (Stewart E.C., Bennett M.J. American Cultural
Patterns: A Cross-cultural Perspective. Intercultural press, Inc., 1991), Edward C. Stewart and Milton J. Bennett
combine their expertise to describe Americans' perception both of themselves and the world as well as their values,
their common patterns of thinking and their verbal and nonverbal behaviors. By juxtaposing these traits against the
cultures of both Western and non-Western countries, they give a comprehensive picture of the possible pitfalls in
communicating with Americans and guidelines on how to avoid misunderstanding.
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G. Hofstede’s Cultural Patterns


(Hofstede, G. (2001). Culture’s Consequences: Comparing Values, Behaviors, Institutions, and Organizations
Across Nations. 2nd ed., Sage Publications)
Geert Hofstede’s research is based on a large questionnaire survey of IBM employees and managers working in 53
different countries. Hofstede’s work is especially significant because it is the only large-scale cross-cultural study in
which the respondents worked for a multinational corporation that had uniform personnel policies.
Hofstede’s approach is based on the assertion that people carry "mental programs" that are developed during
childhood and are reinforced by their culture. These mental programs contain the idea of one’s culture and are
expressed through the dominant values. Hofstede identified 5 dimensions along which dominant patterns of a culture
can be ordered: 1) power distance, 2) uncertainty avoidance, 3) individualism-collectivism, 4) long-term and
short-tem orientation, 5) masculinity-femininity.
1. Power distance.
One of the basic concerns in all cultures is the issue of human inequality. Cultures with low power distance index
(PDI) prefer small power distances as a cultural value, they believe in the importance of minimizing social or class
inequalities, questioning or challenging authority figures, reducing hierarchical organizational structures, and using
power only for legitimate purposes.
Cultures with relatively high PDI prefer large power distances. They believe in a social order in which each person
has a rightful and protected place. They also believe that the actions of authorities should not be challenged or
questioned. They think that hierarchy and inequality are appropriate and beneficial, and those with social status have a
right to use their power for whatever purposes and in whatever ways they want.
The consequences of the degree of power distance are evident in family customs, the relationships between students
and teachers, organizational practices, and so on. Children raised in low-PDI cultures put less value on obedience and
are taught to seek reasons for their parents’ actions.
2. Uncertainty avoidance.
This dimension describes the extent to which the culture feels threatened by ambiguous, uncertain situations and tries
to avoid them by establishing more structure. Hofstede has created an uncertainty avoidance index (UAI) to assess
cultures.
Cultures with low UAI have a high tolerance for uncertainty and believe in minimizing the number of rules and rituals
that govern social conduct and human behavior. These cultures are tolerant to people who behave in ways that are
considered socially deviant, who take risks and try new things. Low-UAI cultures prefer to resolve disputes by
negotiation or conflict. They are more likely to adopt religions such as Buddhism and Unitarianism, which emphasize
relativity.
Cultures with high UAI prefer to avoid uncertainty, they demand consensus about societal goals and do not tolerate
deviation in the behaviors of cultural members. These cultures usually try to ensure certainty and security through an
extensive set of rules and regulations. Historically, these cultures tend to have an extensive system of laws and rules
with which to resolve disputes, and they often embrace religions such as Catholicism and Islam which stress absolute
certainties.
3. Individualism-collectivism.
This dimension describes people’s relationships to the larger social groups of which they are a part.
In collectivistic cultures the collectivity’s goals are valued over those of the individual. The individual mainly thinks
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of himself or herself as connected to others. To be independent in one’s thinking or actions is considered selfish and
rude. An individual who is not a good team player is punished for breaking the norm of collectivism.
In individualistic cultures the individual’s goals are valued over those of the collectivity. The individual perceives
himself or herself as independent. Being too much dependent on others is considered weak or unassertive.
4. Long-term – Short-term Orientation.
It is related to the choice of focus for people’s efforts: the future or the present. In his book "Culture’s Consequences"
(p. 366) G. Hofstede summarizes key differences between long-term and short-tem orientation societies.
In Family, Social Relations, and Work

Low long-term orientation High long-term orientation


Children should learn tolerance and respect for other Children should learn thrift.
people
Strong need for affiliation in traditional children’s Weak need for affiliation in traditional children’s stories.
stories.
Gifts to children for their self-concept and love. Gifts to children for their education and finances.
All siblings are equal. Differentiation between elder and younger brothers and
sisters.
Living with in-laws is a problem. Living with in-laws is no problem.
Couples should share tastes and interests. Shared tastes and interests is not a requirement for
marriage.
Preschool child need not suffer if mother works. Preschool child will suffer if mother works.
Marriage should last even if love has disappeared. If love has disappeared from marriage it is best to make a
new start.
"Humility" is a feminine virtue. "Humility" is a general human virtue.
Young women expect affection from boyfriend, not Young women expect affection from husband.
husband.
Less satisfied with daily human relations. Daily human relations (family, neighborhood, friends) are
satisfying.
Less satisfied with own attempts at correcting social No need to contribute more to correcting social injustice.
injustice.
Old age is seen as coming later. Old age is seen as coming sooner but as a satisfying life
period.
In business, short-term results: the bottom line. In business, building of relationships and market position.

Family and business sphere are separated. Vertical coordination, horizontal coordination, control, and
adaptiveness.
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Meritocracy: economic and social life is to be People should live more equally.
ordered by abilities.

5. Masculinity – Femininity.
This dimension pertains to the extent to which cultures prefer achievement or social support. It also indicates the
degree to which a culture values such behaviors as assertiveness and the acquisition of wealth or caring for others and
the quality of life.
Relatively high masculine cultures believe in achievement and ambition, in judging people on the basis of their
performance, and in the right to display the material goods that have been acquired.
Masculine cultures are more likely to confront conflicts directly and to competitively fight out any differences; they are
more likely to emphasize win-lose conflict strategies.
Relatively high feminine cultures believe less in external achievements and shows of manliness. They believe more
in the importance of life choices, they value service to others and sympathy for the unfortunate. They prefer equality
between the sexes, less prescriptive role behaviors associated with each gender.
Feminine cultures are more inclined to compromise and negotiation in resolving conflicts; they are more likely to
emphasize win-win solutions.
Hofstede’s model has been praised for its empirical basis; hardly any other study or theory of culture can offer a
similar quantitative support. On the other hand, the model gives no explanation why exactly there should be only five
dimensions, and why only these dimensions are the basic components of culture. Furthermore, the model implies
culture to be static rather than dynamic, why or how cultures develop cannot be explained within the model. In
addition, Hofstede has been criticized for focusing only on culture as a trait of nations, and having no eye for the
cultural diversity that prevails in most modern societies, for sub-cultures, mixed cultures, and individual development.
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E.T. Hall’s Cultural Patterns


(Edward T. Hall & Mildred R. Hall. Understanding Cultural Differences.
Intercultural Press, INC, 1987. (pp.6-10; 183).
Edward T. Hall originated the classification of high-context versus low-context cultures, based on the amount of
information that is implied versus stated directly in a communication message.
Context is understood as the information that surrounds an event. Context is inextricably bound up with the meaning
of that event.
A high-context culture is one in which the meanings of a communication message are found in the situation and in the
relationships of the communicators, or are internalized in the communicators’ beliefs, values, and norms.
The communication context (particularly the relationships with the other individuals in the communication situation)
plays an important part in the interpretation of a communication message.
Collectivistic cultures, such as Asian and Latino, are usually high-context cultures. These cultures emphasize non-
verbal communication and subtleness in communication rather than being frank. High-context cultures are extremely
polite. Ambiguity and obscurity characterize conversations in a high-context culture. One purpose of communication is
to avoid threatening the face of one’s conversation partner, thus bringing shame upon oneself. What is not said (an
unverbalized message) may be more important than what is said.
Members of high-context cultures believe that information does not need to be explicitly stated for it to be
understood. Members of such a culture have known one another for long periods of time, and there is a strong
agreement as to what is expected and not expected. In the high-context Japanese society, there is even an aphorism
that expressly addresses this issue: He who knows does not speak; he who speaks does not know. Hence, verbal
communication is frequently not necessary and may well impede the transmission of the message.
Also, members of high-context societies tend to have less physical space between them when communicating than
those in low-context societies.
In a high-context society, time tends to be polychronic. Besides, power distance in these societies is well-defined. As
Edward Hall notes, high-context societies tend to require a strong leader to whom everyone else expresses
submission or at least great respect. In the Arabic countries, such a leader will sit in his office surrounded by people
seeking his help and advice. He will not address the issues and people sequentially. Rather, he will deal with several
issues and people going from one group to another in a seemingly haphazard fashion that takes into consideration their
sensitivities and need to save face or avoid embarrassment.
High-context cultures are reluctant to question the judgments of their supervisors. Criticism should only take place in
private to enable the person to save face.
High-context cultures are reluctant to say "no" for fear of offending and causing the person to lose face. For example,
it’s necessary to distinguish between the Japanese executive’s "yes" when it means "yes" and when it means "no". The
difference is not in the words used but in the way in which they are used.
A low-context culture is one in which the meanings of a communication message are stated clearly and explicitly,
without depending on the context of the communication.
Reactions are expressed frankly during a conversation. Meanings are explicitly coded in a communication message.
Verbal communication in a low-context culture leaves little to the imagination. A concern for clarity is highly valued,
while a concern for hurting someone else’s feelings or a concern for avoiding being perceived negatively by a
communication co-participant is not highly valued. Conversations in a low-context culture are clear and to the point.
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Low-context cultures are individualistic cultures. They place less emphasis on personal relationships and more
emphasis on the written, explicit explanation, and for example, on the written contracts in business transactions.
When this difference between high-context and low-context cultures is not understood, misunderstandings can easily
result. For example, the directness characteristic of the low-context culture may prove insulting, insensitive, or
unnecessary to the high-context cultural member. Conversely, to the low-context member, the high-context cultural
member may appear vague, underhanded, or dishonest in his or her reluctance to be explicit or engage in
communication that a low-context member would consider open and direct.
Another frequent source of misunderstanding related to high- and low-context cultures is face-saving. High-context
cultures place a great deal more emphasis on face-saving. For example, they are more likely to avoid argument for
fear of causing others to lose face whereas low-context members (with their individualist orientation) will use argument
to win a point.
Hall has a kind of bias against low-context societies, even though he recognizes that it is much easier to interact within
a low-context society because information about rules and permissible behaviors is explicitly stated. To him, such
societies tend to be too mechanical and lacking sensitivity to the needs of individuals. However, he does not critically
analyze some of the problems found in high-context societies, particularly the overwhelming power of the leader,
which can be used indiscriminately, or the in-group bias that hinders relations with anyone outside the culture.
Still, E. Hall’s work has been significant and insightful, particularly his treatment of time and space.
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H.C. Triandis’ Cultural Patterns


(Triandis H.C. Culture and Conflict. In: Samovar L. A., Porter R. E. Intercultural Communication. A Reader. 10th
edition. Wadsworth Publishing Company, 2003. Pp. 18-28)
Harry C. Triandis defines culture as "a shared meaning system, found among those who speak a peculiar language
dialect, during a specific historic period, and in a definable geographic region" (p. 19). He argues that a culture
functions to improve the adaptation of its members to a particular ecology, and it includes the knowledge that people
need to have in order to function effectively in their social environment.
H.C. Triandis singles out cultural syndromes, which he defines as "shared patterns of beliefs, attitudes, self-
definitions, norms, roles, and values organized around a theme." He classifies all cultures into:
1. simple and complex cultures
The organizing theme is complexity. In complex societies one finds subgroups with different beliefs, attitudes, etc.,
whereas in simple societies individuals are in considerable agreement about their beliefs and attitudes. Cultural
uniformity and conformity are much higher in simple than on complex societies.
2. tight and loose cultures
Tight cultures have many rules, norms, and ideas about what is correct behavior in each situation. People become
quite upset when others do not follow the norms of the society and may even kill those who do not behave as is
expected.
Loose cultures have fewer rules and norms. In loose cultures people are tolerant of many deviations from normative
behaviors.
Tightness is more likely when the culture is relatively isolated from other cultures. It is also more likely that tightness
will occur in situations where people are highly interdependent (when the other deviates from norms it hurts the
relationship) and where there is a high population density (high density requires norms so that people will not hurt each
other). When the population density is low, it may not even be known that a person who is miles away has behaved
improperly.
When cultures are at the intersection of great cultures (e.g. Thailand is at the intersection of China and India)
contradictory norms may be found, and people cannot be too strict in imposing norms. Cosmopolitan cities are loose,
whereas small communities are relatively tight.
3. vertical and horizontal cultures
Vertical cultures accept hierarchy as a given. People consider hierarchy a natural state. Those at the top "naturally"
have more power and privileges than those at the bottom of the hierarchy.
Horizontal cultures accept equality as a given. People are basically similar, and if one is to divide any resource it
should be done equally.
4. active and passive cultures
In active cultures individuals try to change the environment to fit them. The active cultures are competitive, action-
oriented, and emphasize self-fulfillment.
In passive cultures people change themselves to fit into the environment. The passive cultures are more cooperative,
emphasize the experience of living, and are especially concerned with getting along with others.
5. universalist and particularist cultures
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In universalist cultures people try to treat others on the basis of universal criteria (e.g., all competent persons
regardless of their sex, age, race, etc. are acceptable employees); in particularist cultures people treat others on
the basis of who the other person is (e.g., I know Joe Blow and he is a good person, so he will be a good employee).
In general individualists are universalists and collectivists are particularists.
6. diffuse and specific cultures
Diffuse cultures respond to the environment in a holistic manner (e.g. "I do not like your report" – means "I do not
like you"). Specific cultures discriminate different aspects of the stimulus complex (e.g., "I do not like your report"
says nothing about liking you).
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Questions, Exercises and Activities

REVIEW AND DISCUSSION QUESTIONS


1. Is it true that when we talk about culture as a whole, we can only focus on the major cultural patterns or
orientations shared by dominant/ mainstream culture, not its co-cultures?
SPEAK ON
1. Kluckhohn and Strodtbeck's cultural model.
2. E. Stewart’s taxonomy of cultural patterns.
3. G. Hofstede’s cultural patterns.
4. E. Hall’s cultural patterns.
5. H. Triandis’s cultural syndromes.

REVISION TEST
1. What type of culture is described by the following: "one in which the meanings of a communication
message are found in the situation and in the relationships of the communicators, or are internalized in the
communicators’ beliefs, values, and norms":
a) horizontal culture
b) loose culture
c) individualistic culture
d) high-context culture
2. Cultures with low UAI are cultures that:
a) prefer to avoid uncertainty, they demand consensus about societal goals and do not tolerate deviation in
the behaviors of cultural members;
b) have a high tolerance for uncertainty and believe in minimizing the number of rules and rituals that govern
social conduct and human behavior;
c) the collectivity’s goals over those of the individual;
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d) have many rules, norms, and ideas about what is correct behavior in each situation.
3. Cultures which accept hierarchy as a given are called
a) high-context cultures
b) vertical cultures
c) complex cultures
d) specific cultures
4. Cultures which believe more in the importance of life choices, value service to others and sympathy for
the unfortunate; prefer equality between sexes and less prescriptive role behaviors associated with each
gender are called
a) low-context cultures
b) individualistic cultures
c) feminine cultures
d) diffuse cultures
5. These cultures have many rules, norms, and ideas about what is correct behavior in each situation.
a) collectivistic cultures
b) active cultures
c) cultures with high PDI
d) tight cultures
6. He originated the classification of high-context versus low-context cultures.
a) E. Hall
c) G. Hofstede
b) R. Ruffino
d) M. Erdheim
7. These cultures usually try to ensure certainty and security through an extensive set of rules and
regulations.
a) cultures with low PDI
b) cultures with high PDI
c) cultures with low UAI
d) cultures with high UAI
8. According to G. Hofstede, these cultures tend to have an extensive system of laws and rules with which
to resolve disputes, and they often embrace religions such as Catholicism and Islam which stress absolute
certainties.
a) cultures with low UAI
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b) cultures with high UAI
c) individualistic cultures
d) masculine cultures
9. Ambiguity and obscurity characterize conversations in this culture. One purpose of communication is to
avoid threatening the face of one’s conversation partner, thus bringing shame upon oneself. What is not
said (an unverbalized message) may be more important than what is said.
a) collectivistic cultures
b) low-context cultures
c) high-context cultures
d) feminine cultures
10. In these cultures individuals try to change the environment to fit them. These cultures are competitive,
action-oriented, and emphasize self-fulfillment.
a) masculine cultures
b) cultures with high UAI
c) individualistic cultures
d) active cultures
11. According to E. Stewart’s classification, this is an activity orientation that values non-action and an
acceptance of the status quo. These cultures believe that all events are determined by fate and are
inevitable or fatalistic.
a) being
b) becoming
c) self-orientation
d) world orientation
12. Fill in the blanks
a) Cultures with ________ PDI think that hierarchy and inequality are appropriate and beneficial.
b) Cultures with ________ PDI believe in the importance of minimizing social and class inequalities, reducing
hierarchical organizational structures, and using power only for legitimate purposes.
c) According to E. Hall’s classification, cultures in which the meanings of a communication message are stated clearly
and explicitly are called _____________ cultures.
d) According to E. Stewart’s classification, a "_____________" orientation sees humans as evolving and changing.
People with this orientation think of ways to change themselves as a means to change the world.
e) Relatively high ____________ cultures believe in achievement and ambition, in judging people on the basis of their
performance, and in the right to display the material goods that have been acquired.
f) Verbal communication in a ___________ culture leaves little to the imagination. A concern for clarity is highly
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valued, while a concern for hurting someone else’s feelings or a concern for avoiding being perceived negatively by a
communication co-participant is not highly valued.
g) Relatively high __________ cultures believe less in external achievements and shows of manliness. They believe
more in the importance of life choices, they value service to others and sympathy for the unfortunate. They prefer
equality between the sexes, less prescriptive role behaviors associated with each gender.
h) According to E. Stewart’s classification, the " ________" culture is often a striving culture, in which people seek to
change and control what is happening to them. This is an active culture, in which it is important to get things done.
13. Match the authors with the classifications:

1. E. Stewart a. simple – complex


tight – loose
vertical – horizontal
active – passive
universalist – particularist
2. G. Hofstede b. high context – low-context
3. E. Hall c. activity orientation
social relations orientation
self-orientation
world orientation
4. H. Triandis d. power distance
uncertainty avoidance
individualism – collectivism
masculinity – femininity

14. Match the type of culture with the description:

1. collectivistic culture a. success depends on your surpassing others,


competition is emphasized
2. passive culture b. the group’s goals are most important
3. individualistic culture c. people change themselves to fit into the environment
4. loose culture d. people are tolerant of many deviations from
normative behavior

15. Match the definitions with the terms:

1. A striving culture, in which people seek to a. role culture


change and control what is happening to
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them. This is an active culture, in which it is


important to get things done.
2. These cultures believe in achievement and b. "doing" culture
ambition, in judging people on the basis of
their performance, and in the right to display
the material goods that have been acquired.
3. In this culture people change themselves c. passive culture
to fit into the environment.
4. This is our social position that offers d. masculine culture
specialized communicative behavior.

16. Match the definitions with the terms:

1. These cultures accept equality as a given. People are a. tight cultures


basically similar, and if one is to divide any resource it
should be done equally.
2. These cultures have many rules, norms, and ideas b. collectivistic culture
about what is correct behavior in each situation.
3. This culture is one in which the meanings of a c. horizontal cultures
communication message are stated clearly and explicitly,
without depending on the context.
4. In this culture the collectivity’s goals are valued over d. low-context culture
those of the individual.

17. Match the definitions with the terms:

1. These cultures prefer small power distances as a a. High-context cultures


cultural value, they believe in the importance of
minimizing social or class inequalities, questioning or
challenging authority figures, reducing hierarchical
organizational structures, and using power only for
legitimate purposes.
2. These cultures prefer to avoid uncertainty, they b. Cultures with high uncertainty avoidance index (UAI)
demand consensus about societal goals and do not
tolerate deviation in the behaviors of cultural members.
3. These cultures prefer large power distances. They c. Cultures with low power distance index (PDI)
believe in a social order in which each person has a
rightful and protected place. They also believe that the
actions of authorities should not be challenged or
questioned.
4. These are cultures in which the meanings of a d. Cultures with high power distance index (PDI)
communication message are found in the situation and in
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the relationships of the communicators, or are


internalized in the communicators’ beliefs, values, and
norms.

18. Match identical types of cultures from G. Hofstede’s and H. Triandis’ classifications:

1. Cultures with low PDI a. tight


2. Cultures with high PDI b. vertical
3. Cultures with low UAI c. loose
4. Cultures with high UAI d. horizontal

19. Match the definitions with the terms:

1. In these cultures overlapping is considered to be a a. high UAI cultures


sign of bonding, showing rapport, even of helping the
other speaker.
2. In these cultures the meanings of a communication b. high PDI cultures
message are found in the situation and in the
relationships of the communicators, or are internalized in
the communicators’ beliefs, values, and norms
3. These cultures prefer to avoid uncertainty, they c. high-context cultures
demand consensus about societal goals and do not
tolerate deviation in the behaviors of cultural members.
4. These cultures prefer large power distances. They d. high-involvement cultures
believe in a social order in which each person has a
rightful and protected place. They also believe that the
actions of authorities should not be challenged or
questioned.

20. Match the definitions with the terms:

1. These cultures have a high tolerance for uncertainty a. low UAI cultures
and believe in minimizing the number of rules and rituals
that govern social conduct and human behavior. These
cultures are tolerant to people who behave in ways that
are considered socially deviant.
2. These cultures prefer small power distances as a b. low-context culture
cultural value, they believe in the importance of
minimizing social or class inequalities, questioning or
challenging authority figures, reducing hierarchical
organizational structures, and using power only for
legitimate purposes.
3. In these cultures the meanings of a communication c. low-involvement cultures
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message are stated clearly and explicitly, without


depending on the context of the communication.
4. In these cultures overlapping is considered to be d. low PDI cultures
impolite, rude, an unacceptable violation of
communication norms

21. Match the definitions with the terms:

1. This culture is one in which the meanings of a a. horizontal cultures


communication message are stated clearly and explicitly,
without depending on the context of the communication.
2. In this culture people change themselves to fit into the b. low-context culture
environment.
3. These cultures accept equality as a given. People are c. passive culture
basically similar, and if one is to divide any resource it
should be done equally.
4. In this culture the collectivity’s goals are valued over d. collectivistic cultures
those of the individual.

22. State whether the statement is true or false.


a) Members of low-context cultures spend lots of time getting to know each other before any important transactions
take place.
b) Florence Kluckhohn and Fred Strodtbeck put forward six value orientations based on how societies typically dealt
with the core issues.
c) Relatively high feminine cultures believe in achievement and ambition, in judging people on the basis of their
performance.

KEY WORDS
Explain the meaning of the following words and expressions:
cultural pattern domination
bipolar dimensions subjugation
hierarchy "being" culture
status quo "becoming" culture
pace of life "doing" culture
ambiguity horizontal culture
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external success spiritual world
high-context culture vertical culture
communication context low-context culture
simple society face-saving
complex society tight culture
loose culture vertical culture
horizontal culture

ACTIVITIES
1. COMMENT ON THE FOLLOWING QUOTATIONS
1."Teachers in masculine cultures praise their best students because academic performance is rewarded highly.
Similarly, male students in these high-MAS cultures strive to be competitive, visible, successful, and
vocationally-oriented. In feminine culture, teachers rarely praise individual achievements and academic
performance because social accommodation is more highly regarded. Male students try to cooperate with one
another and develop a sense of solidarity, they try to behave modestly and properly, they select subjects
because they are intrinsically interesting rather than vocationally rewarding, and friendliness is much more
important than brilliance".
Lustig, M.W., Koester J. Intercultural Competence :
Interpersonal Communication Across Cultures.
HarperCollins College Publishers, 1993. P. 148.
Where would you place Russian culture on the masculinity-femininity continuum in respect of teaching
principles?
2. "The Easterners believe that silence often sends a better message than words, and anyone who needs words
does not have the information. As the Indonesian proverb states, "Empty cans clatter the loudest."
Liu Quingxue. Understanding Different Cultural Patterns.
Investigationes Linguisticae, vol. IX, Poznań, April 2003.
http://www.staff.amu.edu.pl/~inveling/pdf/liu_quingxue_inve9.pdf
2. Team up with 3-4 students and discuss the following questions. Report the results of your discussion to
the whole group.
• What do you assume about the nature of people, that is, are people good, bad, or a mixture?
• What do you assume about the relationship between a person and nature, that is, should we live in harmony with it
or subjugate it?
• What do you assume about the relationship between people, that is, should a person act in an individual manner or
consider the group before taking action (individualism to "groupism" or collectivism in terms of such issues as making
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decisions, conformity, and so forth)?
• What is your primary mode of activity, that is, being or accepting the status quo, enjoying the current situation, and
going with the flow of things; or doing, that is, changing things to make them better, setting specific goals and
accomplishing them within specific schedules, and so forth?
• What is your dominant temporal orientation: past, present, or future?
3. "Any shift in the level of context is a communication" (E. Hall).
Study examples given by E. Hall. Give your own examples.
"The shift can be up the scale, indicating a warming of the relationship, or down the scale (lowering the context),
communicating coolness or displeasure – signaling something has gone wrong with a relationship.
In the Unites States the boss might communicate annoyance to an assistant when he shifts from the high-context,
familiar form of address to the low-context, formal form of address. When this happens the boss is telling the
subordinate in no uncertain terms that she or he has stepped out of line and incurred disfavor.
In Japan moving the direction of the context is a source of daily feedback as to how things are going. The day starts
with the use of honorifics, formal forms of address attached to each name. If things are going well the honorifics are
dropped as the day progresses.
First-naming in the United States is an artificial attempt at high-contexting; it tends to offend Europeans, who view the
use of first names as acceptable only between close friends and family. With Europeans, one is always safe using a
formal form of address, waiting for the other person to indicate when familiarity is acceptable".
4. On the basis of G. Hofstede’s classification, state what dimensions of culture (power distance,
uncertainty avoidance, masculinity, individualism, time orientation) are described by the following
statements:
1. The emphasis is on belonging to organizations or other in-groups; membership is the ideal.
2. The motivation to help others is provided by the ideal of service.
3. Superiors consider subordinates to be different kind of people.
4. The way to change a social system is to redistribute power among all members of society.
5. People feel a need for written rules and regulations.
6. Quick results are expected.
7. Deviant persons are not necessarily dangerous: they are dealt with in a tolerant fashion.
8. In society, each person is supposed to take care of himself/herself and his/her immediate family.
9. Subordinates consider superiors to be "people like me".
10. In society, people are born into extended families or clans who protect them in exchange for their absolute loyalty.
5. Some individual and collective culture differences.
Which statements do you agree/disagree with?
Which statements characterize the majority of students in your group?
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Individualistic Culture Collectivistic Culture


Your goals are most important The group’s goals are most important
You’re responsible for yourself and to your own You’re responsible for the entire group and to the
conscience groups’ values and rules
Success depends on your surpassing others; competition Success depends on your contribution to the group;
is emphasized cooperation is emphasized
Clear distinction is made between Little distinction is made between leaders and
members; leadership is normally shared
leaders and members
Personal relationships are less important Personal relationships are extremely important
Directness is valued; face-saving is seldom considered Indirectness is valued; face-saving is a major
consideration

WRITING
Write an essay on the sources of motivation for human behavior in Russian culture and characteristics of those
individuals who are currently valued. Show how this is true in your experience.
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Unit 5. BELIEFS AND VALUES IN INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION


Belief and value systems are significant to the study of intercultural communication because they are at the core of
people’s thoughts and actions. Participants in intercultural communication hold culturally-specific beliefs and values
which determine appropriate/inappropriate behavior in a society. However, the cultural value systems differ, and
people may exhibit and expect different behaviors under the same circumstances. An understanding of cultural beliefs
and values helps you appreciate the behavior of other people and avoid confusion and conflict.
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Beliefs
Belief is something one accepts as true or real; a firmly held opinion (Oxford dictionary).
A belief is an assumed truth. We create beliefs to anchor our understanding of the world around us and thus, once we
have formed a belief, we will tend to persevere with that belief.
The formation of beliefs
Beliefs can come from two sources: 1) our own experience and reflections, 2) a blind acceptance of what other
people tell us.
1. Self-generated beliefs
Self-generated beliefs are those we create ourselves. People who generally prefer self-generated beliefs are often
confident and curious. They may be distrusting of experts and other authorities. They prefer argument and debate to
quick and blind acceptance. There are two types of self-generated beliefs:
a) experiential beliefs
These beliefs come through direct experience. Experience means trying things out in practice, observing things and
generally getting a lot broader range of evidence before committing to a belief.
b) inferential beliefs
These are beliefs which are formed on the basis of reflection; they go beyond direct observation. Reflection includes
general musing about things and building internal mental models which help to explain the world around you.
In some ways reflection is opposite to experience in that it is internal rather than external. It can also be
complementary as you either reflect after an experience or seek experiences after internal reflection.
Although internal logic systems differ from one individual to another within a culture, they differ more from one culture
to another. Various examinations of thought processes have shown that there are considerable differences in the ways
in which internal logic systems operate. The most dramatic difference in cultural variance in thinking lies between
western and eastern cultures. People actually think about, and actually see, the world differently because of differing
ecologies, social structures, philosophies, and educational systems that date back to ancient Greece and China and
that have survived into the modern world. In his book"The Geography of Thought: How Asians and Westerners
Think Differently…and Why" Richard E. Nisbett describes vast differences between East Asian and Western
mentalities, and the persistence of these differences over thousands of years. These cognitive differences between East
Asians and Westerners are so huge that one can doubt whether they can merely understand each other.
2. Externally generated beliefs
These beliefs are called"informational beliefs"
. They are formed on the basis of information provided by an outside
source we choose to believe. People who generally prefer to accept beliefs from others have a greater tendency to
trust others and to seek trustworthy sources.
Experts
Experts are people who have proven to have knowledge in particular areas. They may have qualifications and skills.
They are often professionals who are paid for their expertise. When they tell you something, you have good reason to
believe it. Experts can be met in person or they may have written books or other media you can access. However you
access their knowledge or skill, you trust them because you believe they are experts.
People who seek experts are relatively pragmatic. They trust, but not blindly. They are looking for someone to help in
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a specific area.
Authority
The difference between an expert and an authority is that you believe the authority because of their position or
charismatic powers and not because of any reasonable proof that they know well what they are talking about.
Managers, priests, teachers, and parents all offer beliefs based on their position rather than on their expertise.
People who believe authorities are followers. They believe in the sanctity of position or are gullible and easy to
persuade. They are likely to have a strong need for belonging and social approval. They may single out specific
people who they will believe blindly. Cult leaders seek to place themselves in this position.
Belief strength
Beliefs come in different strengths. Strong beliefs affect people powerfully, driving them to act with conviction.
Weaker beliefs are still beliefs, but the accompanying doubt lays the believer more open to contrary argument.
Strong belief
Strong beliefs are often closely tied to a sense of identity. An example would be a belief in Christianity that is taken as
a part of who I am. Take it away and I will feel lost.
At the extreme, strong belief drives people to remarkable self-sacrifice or acts of terrorism (which may be the same
thing, depending on whether or not you believe in the same things that they do).
People who hold strong beliefs tend not to change them easily. They are likely to see the world in black-and-white
and have a strong need for belief and so when they change they will switch to strong belief in something else, perhaps
after a period of significant discomfort during which they are very susceptible to persuasion.
Weak belief
People with weaker beliefs may be not fully convinced yet or want to keep their options open. Personal experience
can weaken beliefs.
People with weak beliefs are often easier to convince that they should change their beliefs. If, however they move
from weak belief to weak belief, their conversion may not be permanent.
Disbelief
Disbelief is a variant of belief and often accompanies beliefs. If I believe in A, then I will likely by definition disbelieve
in anything that is not A. If I hold Catholic beliefs then I disbelieve in Islamic and even Protestant tenets. The strength
of disbelief tends mirror any associated beliefs. A fanatical football supporter will hate all other football teams.
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Values
Values are the evaluative and judgmental facet of a culture's "orientation system," helping its members to determine
what is right or wrong, good or bad, desirable or undesirable, important or unimportant. Whether we are consciously
aware of them or not, every individual has a core set of personal values. Values can range from the commonplace,
such as the belief in hard work and punctuality, to the more psychological, such as self-reliance, concern for others,
and harmony of purpose.
Values are not universal, and they tend to differ from culture to culture. Sometimes, the values which are of primary
importance to members of a particular culture may be of only secondary or tertiary importance to members of another
culture. This difference can lead to problems in intercultural communication. A key ingredient in intercultural
communication is value clarification. This consists of each person discovering the crucial value structures of the other
in order to avoid hostility and communication breakdowns.
Characteristics of values
1. All values are learned. Because values are learned, they can be forgotten, and they can be learned anew, though
usually only with great effort.
2. Values are relatively enduring. The values of a society or of an individual are not easily altered. Values are
grounded in the cultural heritage of a society and pervasively housed within the institutions of the society. Values are
well established from childhood. But values can be changed. Humanity is neither innately predisposed to certain
values; nor is the content of values genetically determined.
3. Values are not necessarily consciously known by either the individual or the society. Values are seldom overtly
articulated.
4. Values tend toward consistency, i.e., like values attract like values. The set of an individual's or of a community's
values strives for compatibility and integration among those values. If a particular value is not consistent with the set of
values already held, it is not easily integrated and is often ignored and excluded.
5. Values define a culture's concepts of the morally desirable. Values provide a code and form the basis for all
moral judgments, whether directed at others, nature or the self. Values guide human conduct, providing a "road map"
for action.
6. Values are inundated with emotional feelings and are held with strong conviction. There can be no passively
neutral values.
7. Values establish a disposition to act. Values influence our behaviors by preparing us to act in certain morally-
oriented ways.
Value categories
There are a number of different categories into which values can be placed.
Personal values
Personal values are those you take for yourself and which constitute a critical part of your values and are apparent in
attitudes, beliefs, and actions. Personal values may be prioritized, such as honesty, then responsibility, then loyalty,
and so on.
Social values
Social values are those which put the rights of wider groups of people first. This may include equality, justice, liberty,
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freedom, and national pride. These are often instilled into us when we were young.
Political values
Political values are ideological beliefs about the best way to govern a country or organization, for example through
welfare, democracy and civic responsibility.
Economic values
Economic values are those around money, and may include beliefs around ownership of property, and so on.
Religious values
Religious values are spiritual in nature and include beliefs in how we should behave, including worship of our deity or
deities.
Values types
Instrumental values
Instrumental values are values which are instrumental in getting us to desired ends. They are acceptable ways of
behaving. Instrumental values moderate how we go about setting and achieving our goals, ensuring we do so only in
ways which are socially acceptable.
Examples of instrumental values include: honesty, politeness and courage.
End-state values
End-state values are things we actually value. They are the destination, while instrumental values control the journey
there.
Examples of end-state values include: happiness, salvation and prosperity.
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Norms
Values relate to the norms of a culture, but they are more global and abstract than norms. Norms provide rules for
behavior in specific situations, while values identify what should be judged as good or evil.
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Attitudes
Attitude is a settled way of thinking or feeling about someone or something, typically one that is reflected in a person's
behavior (Oxford Dictionary).
Attitudes are founded on beliefs and values. They are learned within a cultural context. The cultural environment
shapes and forms our attitudes, the ways we respond and behave.
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World View
One’s world view is important because it determines beliefs, and beliefs determine behavior. A certain belief produces
a certain consequence. Behind the behavior and the beliefs of human beings lie certain assumptions about the way the
world is constructed.
World view is a system of beliefs that are interconnected (like the way the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle are
interconnected). That is, a world view is not merely a collection of separate, independent, unrelated beliefs, but is
instead an intertwined, interrelated, interconnected system of beliefs (Dewitt, 2004).
A world view is a set of beliefs, a model that attempts to explain all of reality and not just some aspects of it.
World view is not separate from culture. It is the deepest level of presuppositions upon which people base their lives.
It influences a culture at a very profound level. World view is the outlook that a culture has concerning the nature of
the universe and the nature of humankind. It deals with a culture’s orientation toward God, man, and other
philosophical issues that are concerned with the concept of being.
Our world view is so deeply imbedded in our psyches, that we take it completely for granted and assume
automatically that everyone else views the world as we do. We sometimes forget that a Catholic has a different world
view comparing to a Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, Zoroastrian, Taoist or atheist, and this might lead to misunderstanding in
intercultural communication.
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Questions, Exercises and Activities

REVIEW AND DISCUSSION QUESTIONS


1. Are experiential beliefs influenced by culture?
2. Do you have any strong beliefs? What are they?
3. What is disbelief?
4. How does learning about one’s own culture help in understanding other cultures?
5. Into what categories can values be placed?
6. Why do cultural values change over time?
7. What Russian cultural values tend to be relatively stable?
8. Are you primarily an individualist or a collectivist? Why do you classify yourself as you do?
9. What are cultural norms?
10. How can an attitude be defined?
11. What is world view, and how is it related to intercultural communication?
SPEAK ON
1. Self-generated and externally generated beliefs.
2. Basic characteristics of values.

REVISION TEST
1. These beliefs come through direct experience.
a) inferential beliefs
b) informational beliefs
c) experiential beliefs
d) weak belief
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2. Beliefs, which are formed on the basis of internal logic systems, are called
a) informational
b) inferential
c) experiential
d) contextual
3. Political values are
a) those around money
b) spiritual in nature
c) those you take for yourself
d) ideological beliefs about the best way to govern a country
4. A principal value of American culture is
a) preserving tradition
b) avoiding direct confrontation
c) individual achievement
d) belonging to a group
5. Fill in the gaps.
a) _______ provide rules for behavior in specific situations.
b) _______ values are those which put the rights of wider groups of people first.
c) _______ -generated beliefs are those we create ourselves.
d) _______ beliefs are formed on the basis of information provided by an outside source we choose to believe.
e) Examples of _________ values include: happiness, salvation and prosperity.
f) ________is a settled way of thinking or feeling about someone or something, typically one that is reflected in a
person's behavior.
4. State whether the statement is true or false.
a) Values are always consciously known.
b) Values are inundated with emotional feelings and are held with strong conviction.
c) Values are universal.
d) Values can easily be changed.
e) Attitudes are learned within a cultural context.
f) Internal logic systems differ from one culture to another.
g) Examples of end-state values include: honesty, politeness and courage.
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KEY WORDS
Explain the meaning of the following words and expressions:
belief self-generated beliefs
experiential beliefs inferential beliefs
informational beliefs attitude
disbelief value system
values personal values
social values political values
economic values religious values
instrumental values end-state values
norms world view

ACTIVITIES
1. COMMENT ON THE FOLLOWING QUOTATIONS
1."The life-history of the individual is first and foremost an accommodation of the patterns and standards
traditionally handed down in his community through generations. From the moment of his birth the custom
into which he is born shapes his experience and by the time he is able to take part in its activities, its habits
are his habits, its beliefs are his beliefs, its impossibilities are his impossibilities. Every child that is born into
this group will share them and no child born into one of the opposite side of the globe can ever achieve the
one thousandth part."
Benedict, Ruth. (1961) Patterns of Cultures.
London. Routledge and Kegan Paul.
2. "Without values or beliefs, we would be mechanical-like beings, driven here and there by the vicissitudes of life.
Without values, we would be creature-like, compelled to action solely by our urges and passions. In this inhuman
existence, there would be little consideration for truths we hold dear, let alone implement them to ennoble and enrich
our lives. In this reality devoid of values, we would live unconscious lives, without meaning or purpose. On the other
hand, when we take to values, we live a purposeful and dynamic existence -- i.e. we become truly human".
Posner, Roy. The Power of Personal Values.
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http://www.gurusoftware.com/GuruNet/Personal/Topics/Values.htm
2. Give examples to prove that culture plays an important role in informational belief formation.
3. In small groups discuss the following quotation and state whether Russian people are more
"Westerners" or "Easterners".
In Chapter 3 of his book "The Geography of Thought: How Asians and Westerners Think Differently…and
Why"(New York, NY: The Free Press, 2003) Richard E. Nisbett brings the cognitive comparison back to the present
day by contrasting modern East Asians with modern Westerners. He provides evidence that East Asians live in an
interdependent world in which the self is part of a larger whole; Westerners live in a world in which the self is a unitary
free agent. Easterners value success and achievement because they reflect well on the groups they belong to;
Westerners value these things because they are badges of personal merit. Easterners value fitting in and engage in self-
criticism to make sure that they do so; Westerners value individuality and strive to make themselves look good.
Easterners are highly attuned to the feelings of others and strive for interpersonal harmony; Westerners are more
concerned with knowing themselves and are prepared to sacrifice harmony for fairness. Easterners accept hierarchy
and group control; Westerners are more likely to prefer equality and scope for personal action. Asians avoid
controversy and debate; Westerners have faith in the rhetoric of argumentation in areas from the law to politics and
science.
4. Top 10 Russian cultural values
Ask your friends and/or family members to list ten most important values of Russian culture. Compare these lists to
identify the most commonly mentioned values. In class compare your results with the results of other students.
5. American values
An early study, that identified a set of archetypical American values, was published in 1962 by Edward Steele and
Charles Redding (Steele, E.D. and Redding, W.C. (1962). The American Value System: Premises for
Persuasion. In: Western Speech, 26, pp. 83-91). It was based on an investigation into political speeches.
Can you say that in American society these archetypical values are relatively enduring?
Puritan and pioneer morality
The world is made up of people who are good and bad, foul and fair. You are either one of the good guys or you are
one of the bad guys. If you are not with us, you are against us.
Value of the individual
The individual has rights above that of general society and government. Success occurs at the level of the individual.
People should not have to fight for their rights. The government should protect the rights of the individual, not the other
way around.
Achievement and success
Success is measured by the accumulation of power, status, wealth and property. What you already have is not as
important as what you continue to accumulate. A retired wealthy person was successful, but is now less admirable.
Change and progress
Change is inevitable. Progress is good and leads to success. If you do not keep up, you will fall behind. Newer is
always better. The next version will be better than the last.
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Ethical equality
All people are equal, both spiritually and in the opportunities they deserve. This includes differences in race, gender,
disability, age, sexual preference and so on.
Effort and optimism
Hard work and striving is the key to success. The great American Dream of fame and fortune comes to those who
work hard and never give up.
Efficiency, practicality and pragmatism
Solution is more important than ideology. Utility is more important than show. A key question to any idea is 'Will it
work?'
6. The following are slogans that are currently very popular among American students. What cultural
values do they reflect?
1)"You have to take risks. We only understand the miracle of life fully when we allow the unexpected."
2)"Just do it!"
3)"Get involved…The world is run by those who show up."
4)"Stop procrastinating"
5)"If you can dream it, you can do it."
6)"Believe in yourself."
7)"Zero it on your target and go for it."
8)"Keep your eye on the prize!"
9)"Keep trying.
No matter how hard it seems, it will get easier."
10)"Make it happen"
11)"Family and friends are hidden treasures, seek them and enjoy their riches."
12)"Love yourself first and most."
7. Rank the following values in order of importance.
independence
family harmony
self-reliance
parental guidance
openness
aggressiveness
religious belief
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risk-taking
collectiveness
creativity
patience
thriftiness
competitiveness
hospitality
cleanliness
order
moderation
8. The European Values Study
http://www.europeanvaluesstudy.eu/
http://www.gesis.org/en/services/data-analysis/survey-data/european-values-study/
The European Values Study is a large-scale, cross-national, and longitudinal survey research program on basic human
values. It provides insights into the ideas, beliefs, preferences, attitudes, values and opinions of citizens all over
Europe. It is a unique research project on how Europeans think about life, family, work, religion, politics and society.
The European Values Study started in 1981, when a thousand citizens in the European Member States of that time
were interviewed using standardized questionnaires. Every nine years, the survey is repeated in an increasing number
of countries. The fourth wave in 2008 covers no less than 47 European countries/regions, from Iceland to Azerbaijan
and from Portugal to Norway. In total, about 70,000 people in Europe are interviewed.
In-depth analyses of the 1981, 1990 and 1999 findings with regard to Western and Central Europe, and North
America reinforced the impression that a profound transformation of modern culture is taking place, although not at
the same speed in all countries. Cultural and social changes appear dependent upon the stage of socio-economic
development and historical factors specific to a given nation. The new 2008 wave provides further insights in this
matter.
Find examples to prove that a profound transformation of modern cultures is taking place, although not
at the same speed in all countries.
9. Do you think it is difficult to learn to live with people from other culture?
a) Comment on the following passage from McGOWAN T
"ake Your Shoes Off My Books: Negotiating Hindu-
. (COMMONWEAL/June 18, 1993).
catholic Marriage"
A Catholic from Massachusetts, McGowan dropped out of college to get married and has lived in India with
her husband and family since 1981. This is her story.
My worst mistake occurred soon after our marriage. I was tidying up our apartment in a hurry just before a weekend
out of town. I had put a pair of shoes on top of a pile of books meaning to take the shoes down the hall to the closet
when I left the room. In a rush to get to the train on time, however, I left them where they were. On Sunday night, we
returned, tired and happy after our trip. The mood evaporated instantly when Ravi saw my shoes.
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"Who did this?" he shouted, practically leaping across the room to snatch them up off the books.
"Did what?" I asked, bewildered, thinking perhaps we had been robbed.
"Put these shoes on top of these books!"he thundered.
"Well, 1 guess, I did. What are you so upset about?" I was still bewildered.
When he calmed down (it took awhile), he explained that what I had done was a sacrilege. Books were a
representation of Saraswati, the goddess of wisdom. To put shoes, the dirtiest thing an Indian can think of, anywhere
near her was contempt and profanity of the worst kind. "Please don't ever do it again," he begged me.
Needless to say, I never have and now, having lived so long in India, I cannot even believe that I ever did; the idea of
it shocks me as much as it did him.
His first mistake was not quite so dramatic, or perhaps it only seems less so because I have become so accustomed
to Indian ways. We were married in the United States and his parents, niece, and several cousins came from India for
the wedding. We spent our wedding night and the day after on Cape Cod and the next evening we drove back to our
apartment, stopping on the way to pick up his parents and niece.
This seemed strange to no one but me. For the next two months (our honeymoon!) I lived as if in a foreign country.
They spoke almost exclusively in Punjabi (not a word of which I could understand), cooked only Indian food, went
shopping in Indian stores, and entertained Indian friends and relatives. All of it might have been bearable, but during
our whole engagement I had treasured a romantic image of our first year as newlyweds: the candlelight dinners, the
lazy Sunday mornings with croissants and the newspapers . . . time to get to know each other, to play house. Instead,
I seemed to be constantly struggling to get a translation: By the time I could get Ravi's attention to ask what they were
all in stitches about, they'd be on to the next story and he'd be too busy listening to bother with me.
What troubled me most in those days was that he didn't really understand why I was so upset. Of course, he could
see that no one enjoys being left out, but he couldn't see why the timing bothered me so. "We've got our whole lives to
be together," he pointed out quite logically. "We'll have our honeymoon once they leave. This is a once-in-a-lifetime
trip for them."
But even while I conceded that I was being selfish and immature, I still believed there was something crucial in the fact
that he didn't share my disappointment. And indeed, as I learned more about the Indian concept of marriage, I found I
was right. To him, the awkward situation I was in vis-a-vis his family was perfectly ordinary for a new bride in India
who must adjust herself to a family, not, as the Western version would have it, participate in a process with her hus-
band whereby each of them adjusts to the other.
b) The following extracts are taken from Rebecca R. Kahlenberg’ s article The I Do's and Don'ts of
Intercultural Marriage (www.interfaithfamily.com/relationships/marriage_and_relationships/
The_I_Dos_and_Donts_of_Intercultural_Marriage.shtml )
In reality, cultural differences often show up in more subtle and unpredictable ways than in the Hollywood models.
Dot Lin, a Washington area lawyer, and her husband, Ben Lin, an economist with the federal government, have been
married since 1987. She comes from a Methodist family that can trace its American roots to the 1600s; he was born
in Taiwan and came to live here when he was eight. Ben likes anyone entering their house to take off his shoes, a
Japanese custom that was brought to Taiwan. Dot disagrees, so they have compromised by having a shoeless rug
area; in other parts of the house, she may wear sandals. Ben also cares more about cleanliness at home than does
Dot, which she attributes to his Southeast Asian roots. When it comes to vegetables, frozen ones are fine for Dot, but
Ben wants his cut fresh and with sauce.
Even when people think they are marrying someone of the same background, intercultural issues crop up. A forty-
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five-year-old Chevy Chase mother of two remembers growing up in Texas with her Eastern European observant
Jewish father and more assimilated Texan Jewish mother. "I saw them as being from two different worlds — old
world and new world," she says. They eventually divorced. "My parents probably said, 'Hey, we're both Jewish,'
when really they had bigger cultural differences than my Presbyterian husband and I do."
Linda Caro Reinisch, a local musician who grew up in a Jewish family, and her Chinese American husband, Al
Twanmo, an actor, are currently dealing with issues of parental respect and outspokenness as they raise their two
children, ages five and three. Reinisch's childhood household was kid-oriented, while Twanmo's was more adult-
centered, with a strong emphasis on respect for adults. As a result, they now need to compromise on how deferential
they expect their own children to be toward them. Similarly, he is uncomfortable by the attention drawn to him when
one of their children has a public tantrum, whereas she views the tantrum as age-appropriate behavior. When their
older child recently started kindergarten, they began sorting out "how much to speak up for the child and at what point
to be quieter," says Reinisch. This is an issue because Twanmo's cultural instinct, compared with Reinisch's, is to be
less outspoken.

MAKE A PRESENTATION
In small groups, create an ideal culture and give it a name. Indicate what values would be primary in the value
hierarchy of your culture. Describe the outward manifestations of your cultural values (for example, dress, work,
education, roles, etc.). Present your "ideal culture" to the class.

ANALYZING A VIDEO
Watch the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding, a 2002 Canadian-American romantic comedy film written by and
starring Nia Vardalos and directed by Joel Zwick. The film is centered on Toula Portokalos, a middle class Greek
American woman who falls in love with a non-Greek upper middle class "White Anglo-Saxon Protestant" Ian Miller.
While watching the movie get ready to comment on the following items.
1. Cultural values, norms and traditions of Greek Americans.
2. The atmosphere in the Millers’ home; the reaction of Ian’s parents to the wedding folder and brochure (do they
verbally express their emotions?).
3. Preparations for the wedding in Toula’s home.
Comment on the episode when Toula’s mother asks Ian whether he would like something to eat. He refuses,
saying that he has already had breakfast. What’s her reaction? Does her response fit his cultural norms?
Toula’s brother plays a practical joke on Ian. What is his parents’ reaction?
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Comment on the discussion about whom to invite to the wedding party.


Give an example of Greek superstition that surprised Ian.
Why do you think Toula’s whole family is involved in the preparation for the wedding?
4. Dinner at the Portokalos.
What struck Ian’s parents when they came to the Portokalos?
Comment on the introduction of the family.
Speak on the misunderstanding that was caused by incorrect pronunciation.
Why did Ian’s mother bring a cake?
What surprised and even shocked the Millers during the evening?
What did Toula’s father say about Ian’s parents after the dinner?
5. Collectivism versus individualism.
6. Gus’s speech at the wedding party, when he said: "…here we are: apple and orange. We are different, but we are
all fruit…"

WRITING
Write a persuasive essay on the following topic: "Many cultural values are ideals and they do not precisely
describe the real life".
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Unit 6. PERCEPTION, ETHNOCENTRISM, STEREOTYPE, PREJUDICE


Perception
Attribution Theory
Ethnocentrism
Stereotypes
Prejudice
The Fear of the Foreign
Causes of Xenophobia
Consequences of Xenophobia
Questions, Exercises and Activities
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Perception
The way we behave is dictated by the way we perceive the world. Perceptions vary from person to person. Different
people perceive different things about the same situation. But more than that, we assign different meanings to what we
perceive.
Perception is a process by which we make what we sense into a meaningful experience by selecting,
categorizing, and interpreting internal and external stimuli to form our view of the world.
Our social environment largely determines what we perceive (and what we ignore) and defines the ways in which we
cognitively process that information. People see what they expect (and want) to see. The source of these expectations
derives from what they learn from interacting with each other and from direct personal experiences.
Culture has a strong impact on the perception process. It serves as foundation for how people understand, predict,
and explain one another's actions, thoughts, and motivations. The influence of culture on perception is often reflected
in the attribution process. Attribution means that we interpret the meaning of other’s behaviors based on our
past experience or history.
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Attribution Theory
We all have a need to explain the world, both to ourselves and to other people, attributing cause to the events around
us. Attribution theory basically looks at how people make sense of the world; what cause and effect inferences they
make about the behaviors of others and of themselves. In other words, attribution theory explains how the average
person constructs the meaning of an event based on his /her motives to find a cause and his/her knowledge of the
environment.
Attribution theory makes a central distinction between explanations in terms of personal factors and explanations in
terms of situational factors. There are two types of attributions: internal and external.
1. When we explain the behavior of others we look for enduring internal attributions, such as personality traits.
For example, we attribute the behavior of a person to their naivety, or reliability, or jealousy.
2. When we try to explain our own behavior we tend to make external attributions, such as situation or
environment.
For example, we usually attribute our successes internally (we are smart, hard-working, purposeful, etc.) and the
successes of our rivals to external ‘luck’.
When a football team wins, supporters say ‘we won’. But when the team loses, the supporters say ‘they lost’.
The tendency to over-value dispositional or personality-based explanations for the observed behaviors of others and
under-value situational explanations for those behaviors is called the fundamental attribution error.
The ultimate attribution error is a cognitive error committed by prejudiced people in which negative behaviors are
attributed to the personality of out-group members, and are extended to all of the members of that out-group.
Negative behaviors by in-group members are attributed to situational or external causes. Essentially people who
commit the ultimate attribution error usually see members of other races or religions as genetically and/or
dispositionally inferior or flawed, while people from their own racial or religious in-group, upon committing the same
negative behaviors, are good people who are dealing with specific situations the best they can. Conversely, people
who commit this error see positive acts from out-group members as exceptions to the rule, or attribute these positive
actions to unfair advantages, by which the out-group member is "privileged".
Thus, the ultimate attribution error is used to describe entire groups of people, whereas the fundamental
attribution error has to do with dispositional attributions that apply only to an individual.
In psychology, the ultimate attribution error is considered one of the roots of prejudice.
Understanding attributions is of crucial importance to understanding communication, particularly intercultural
communication. When we are trying to understand and explain what happens in intercultural context, we tend to
explain behavior in terms of internal disposition, such as personality traits, abilities, motives, etc. as opposed to
external situational factors. We usually focus on the person more than on the situation, about which we may know
very little. We may also know little about how people from other culture are interpreting the situation.
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Ethnocentrism
There is a widespread tendency for people to favor their own group over another group. This tendency has been
variously labeled as ethnocentrism (Sumner, 1906), in-group favoritism (Tajfel, 1981, 1982) or in-group /out
group differentiation (Rabbie, 1993).
The term ethnocentrism was first used in 1906 by Sumner to describe a cultural narrowness in which the "ethnically
centered" individual rigidly accepted those who were culturally alike while rigidly rejecting those who were culturally
different. According to Sumner, "ethnocentrism is the technical name for the view in which one’s own group is the
center of everything, and all others are scaled and rated with reference to it… Each group nourishes its own pride and
vanity, boasts itself superior, exalts its own divinities, and looks with contempt on outsiders. Each group thinks its own
folkways the only right ones, and if it observes that other groups have other folkways, these excite its
scorn…" (Sumner, 1906, 13).
Ethnocentrism is the attitude and/or ideology concerning the relationship between an individual’s own group and other
groups. Ethnocentrism occurs when negative value judgments are made about others based on the differences
between one’s own culture and a foreign culture. Ethnocentrism occurs when an individual considers his culture/nation
to be absolutely superior to other nations or cultures.
Ethnocentrism leads us to make false assumptions about cultural differences. We are ethnocentric when we use our
cultural norms to make generalizations about other peoples' cultures and customs. Such generalizations are often made
without a conscious awareness that we have used our culture as a universal yardstick.
Ethnocentrism can be seen in many aspects of culture: myths, folktales, proverbs, and even language. For example,
the term Eskimo, used to refer to groups that inhabit the arctic and subarctic regions, is an Indian word used by
neighbors of the Eskimos who observed their strange way of life but did not share it. The term means "eaters of raw
flesh", and as such is an ethnocentric observation about cultural practices that were normal to one group and repulsive
to another. On the other hand, the same group of the Alaskan natives call themselves Inuit, which means "real
people" (they obviously did not think that eating raw flesh was anything out of the ordinary). Here, then, is a contrast
between one’s own group, which is real, and the rest of the world, which is not so "real."
Both terms, Eskimo and Inuit, are equally ethnocentric - one as an observation about differences, the other as a self-
evaluation.
Ethnocentrism is a major reason for divisions amongst members of different ethnicities, races, and religious groups in
society. It can lead to cultural misinterpretation and it often distorts communication between human beings. An
ethnocentric person expects everyone to think and behave like him. Ethnocentrism can have negative effects such as
not being able to empathize with other groups or persons, not being able to see the other’s point of view.
The opposite of ethnocentrism is xenocentrism which means preferring ideas and things from other cultures over
ideas and things from your own culture. At the heart of xenocentrism is an assumption that other cultures are
superior to your own.
Ethnocentrism has many commonalties with stereotyping, prejudice, discrimination, xenophobia, racism, scapegoat
theory, and enemy images. For example, stereotypes are beliefs about the typical characteristics of group members;
prejudice refers to negative feeling toward an out-group; and discrimination refers to behavior that disadvantages
individuals.
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Stereotypes
A "stereotype" is a generalization about a person or group of persons. We develop stereotypes when we are unable
or unwilling to obtain all of the information we would need to make fair judgments about people or situations. In the
absence of the "total picture," stereotypes in many cases allow us to "fill in the blanks." Thus, stereotypes can be
defined as overgeneralized and oversimplified beliefs we use to categorize a group of people.
There are two types of stereotypes: cultural and personal stereotypes. Cultural stereotypes refer to the extent to
which a stereotype is shared by the members of a culture. Personal stereotypes are simply any individual’s beliefs
about a group, regardless of whether that belief is shared by others.
Stereotypes can be positive or negative. When stereotypes are negative or unfavorable, they often lead to unfair
discrimination and persecution. People from negatively stereotyped groups can find this very disturbing as they
experience an apprehension (stereotype threat) of being treated unfairly.
Formation of stereotypes
Stereotypes can be formed on the basis of:
– our personal experiences. If we had a negative experience dealing with a person from a specific culture, we may
think that all members of this cultural group are like him/her and give them the same treatment.
– information we get from other people (family, friends, neighbors, etc.). Our environment, friends and the people
close to us with whom we share similar experiences have a large influence on the creation and reinforcement of our
stereotypes. The environment in which we grow up usually creates our scale of values and the opinion of life by which
we subsequently abide.
– information we get from the mass media. Television, books, comic strips, and movies are all abundant sources
of stereotyped characters. For example, for much of its history, the movie industry portrayed African-Americans as
being unintelligent, lazy, or violence-prone. These pictures encouraged a certain prejudice against African-Americans.
In the same way, physically attractive women (especially blonds) have been and continue to be portrayed as
unintelligent and sexually promiscuous.
By stereotyping, we assume that a person or group has certain characteristics. Stereotypes may develop in two ways:
a) a series of isolated behaviors by a member of a group is unfairly generalized and is later viewed as a character of all
members of that group;
b) a set of generalized characteristics of the whole cultural group is ascribed to an individual member of the group. In
virtually every case, we are ascribing these characteristics without knowledge of the total facts. Quite often we have
stereotypes about persons who are members of groups with which we have not had firsthand contact. In this case, the
consequence of stereotyping is that the vast degree of differences that exist among the members of any group may not
be taken into account.
Change of stereotypes
Stereotypes are very stable. It is difficult to change them or get rid of them. This is helped by the fact that the fixed
nature of stereotypes offers us a certain feeling of security by virtue of offering an organized and consistent picture of
the world and an interpretation thereof. Whatever does not correspond to the given schema is overlooked and
ignored, even if frequently unconsciously. Therefore, the impulse to change a stereotype has to be such a strong
experience that it completely fails to correspond with our opinion/stereotype up till now, leaving us no option but to
modify it in some fundamental way or cast it aside. But even in the face of disconfirming evidence, we often cling to
our obviously-wrong beliefs.
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When we do change the stereotypes, we do so in one of three ways.
Bookkeeping model: As we learn new contradictory information, we incrementally adjust the existing stereotype
to the new information. We usually need quite a lot of repeated information for each incremental change. Individual
evidence is taken as the exception that proves the rule.
Conversion model: We throw away the old stereotype and start again. This is often used when there is
significant disconfirming evidence.
Subtyping model: We create a new stereotype that is a sub-classification of the existing stereotype, particularly
when we can draw a boundary around the sub-class. Thus if we have a stereotype for Americans, a visit to New York
may result in us having a ‘New Yorkers are different’ sub-type.
Accuracy of stereotypes
Although stereotypes are exaggerated and over-generalized beliefs, they are not always false. Some of them may be
half-truths, and others partially inaccurate. Stereotypes can be inaccurate in three ways.
1) Stereotypes are often assumed to apply to all or most of the members of a particular group. This type of
stereotyping error is called out-group homogeneity effect. It results in a tendency to ignore differences among the
individual members of the group and regard all members of a particular group as much more similar to one another
than they actually are.
2) The group average, as suggested by the stereotype, is inappropriately exaggerated. For example, Germans are
stereotypically regarded as being" very efficient or punctual" when they may be actually less efficient or punctual
than the exaggerated perception of them would suggest.
3) The culture’s positive characteristics may be overestimated and negative characteristics simultaneously
underestimated, which results in" positive valence inaccuracy." Conversely, a" negative valence inaccuracy"
occurs if you exaggerate the negative attributes of a culture while ignoring or devaluing its positive ones.
The process underlying stereotyping is essential for human beings to function, as stereotypes serve as mental "energy-
saving devices". However, stereotypes may also promote prejudice and discrimination toward members of cultures
other than one’s own. One potentially harmful consequence of stereotypes is that they provide inaccurate labels for
groups of people that are then used to interpret events and experiences involving members of those groups.
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Prejudice
Prejudice refers to the irrational suspicion or hatred of a particular cultural group, race, religion, or sexual
orientation. Prejudiced attitudes include biased perceptions and beliefs about the group members that may or may
not be based on direct experiences and firsthand knowledge. Prejudice is readiness to behave in negative and unjust
ways toward members of a certain group.
The link between prejudice and stereotypes is very strong. Prejudice involves negative attitudes toward other people
that are based on faulty and inflexible stereotypes. Sometimes, a prejudice is defined as a negative stereotype because
it contains a negative evaluation or assessment, and is the manifestation of a negative relationship.
Forms of prejudice
Gordon W. Allport, in his study on prejudice, developed a model that shows five degrees of prejudiced action (G. W.
Allport, The Nature of Prejudice, 1954).The importance of this model is that it shows the relationships among
different types of prejudiced acts. It shows a progression that has been acted out repeatedly, throughout history. It
shows how one type of action prepares the way for the next.
Allport’s five types of prejudiced action are:
1. Antilocution (name calling, ethnic jokes)
2. Avoidance (omission, exclusion)
3. Discrimination (refusal of service, denial of opportunity)
4. Physical Attack (threat of physical violence, murder)
5. Extermination (mass assassination, genocide)
This model represents a range of behavior from verbal abuse to physical violence and genocide. And within each level
there is a range of behaviors.
Antilocution (Verbal abuse). Most people who have prejudices talk about them. With like-minded friends,
occasionally with strangers, they may express their antagonism freely. Verbal abuse is often accompanied by ethnic
jokes and name calling.
Such terms as "coloured", "raghead", "Paki" and "Hebe" are now well known to be offensive, displaying insensitivity
and ignorance on the part of the speaker.
Examples of the name-labeling include the following:
Chinese = Chinks
Japanese = Japs
Polish = Polacks
a German = Kraut/Fritz
a French person = Frog
a Lithuanian = Lugan
However, it has to be remembered that terms are evolving and developing all the time and what is in common use at a
particular time may be seen to be unacceptable at another point in time. For example, the term "negro" would in the
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twenty-first century be considered an inappropriate term to use, but Dr Martin Luther King Jr. used the term in many
of his speeches in the early 1960s when the term was common parlance.
Many people never go beyond verbal abuse, this mild degree of antipathetic action. But as history shows, any
negative attitude tends somehow, somewhere, to express itself in action. Few people keep their antipathies entirely to
themselves. The more intense the attitude, the more likely it is to result in vigorously hostile action.
Physical avoidance. If the prejudice is more intense, it leads the individual to avoid members of the disliked group,
even perhaps at the cost of considerable inconvenience. In this case, the bearer of prejudice does not directly inflict
harm upon the group he dislikes. He takes the burden of accommodation and withdrawal entirely upon himself.
Groups or individuals may be avoided because of different religious beliefs, behavioral patterns, and language use.
Discrimination refers to the denial of equal opportunities to out-group members. All members of the group in
question are excluded from certain types of employment, from residential housing, political rights, educational or
recreational opportunities, churches, hospitals, or from some other social privileges.
The prejudicial treatment is applied to individuals based on their membership in a certain group or category, such as
their age, ethnicity, gender/sex, national origin, sexual orientation, religion, skin color, or other characteristics.
Discrimination may be direct and indirect. Indirect discrimination happens when there is a rule or policy that is the
same for everyone but has an unfair effect on people of a particular race, colour, descent, national or ethnic origin or
immigrant status. For example, it may be indirect discrimination if a company says that employees must not wear hats
or other headwear at work, as this is likely to have an unfair effect on people from some racial/ethnic backgrounds.
Some attempts at antidiscrimination have been criticized as reverse discrimination. An example of reverse
discrimination is affirmative action which discriminates against members of a dominant or majority group. Many
people in the USA consider that there is nothing positive, affirmative, or equal about 'affirmative action' programs that
presuppose minority quotas and give preference to some groups based on race or ethnicity.
Physical attack. Under conditions of heightened emotion, prejudice may lead to acts of violence or semi-violence.
For example, African Americans in New York City tried to drive Korean merchants from black neighborhoods by
means of intimidation; gravestones in Jewish cemeteries are often desecrated; houses and churches of immigrants are
burnt down.
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center's (SPLC) latest "Intelligence Report", the number of hate groups in
the United States increased to 926 in 2008, up 54 percent since 2000. A "hate group" is an organization that
promotes hate or violence towards members of an entire class of people, based on characteristics such as race,
religion, gender, or sexual orientation. According to the report, the number of hate groups continues to grow because
of the recession, the reelection of President Obama, and fears of Latino immigration.
Extermination. Lynching, pogroms, massacres, and various programs of genocide mark the ultimate degree of
violent expression of prejudice. The burning of women as witches in Europe and America and the genocidal slaughter
by Hitler of the Jewish people are two examples of extermination. Recent conflicts in Bosnia and Rwanda also reflect
the tendency of ethnic groups to exterminate each other because of different beliefs.
Stereotypes and prejudice affect the way we communicate in intercultural encounters. They may prevent us from
interacting with people of different backgrounds; they tend to produce negative feelings during the interactions; and
they can lead to misunderstanding and conflict.
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The Fear of the Foreign


In recent years the media throughout Europe have reported events and actions which discriminate against foreigners
and examples which promulgate a fear of the foreign – residency requirements for migrants that are not applied to
natives, discriminatory treatments of seasonal workers, illegal and destructive acts against refugees. These news
stories, as well as the experiences of individuals, demonstrate an increase in both xenophobia and ethnocentrism.
Xenophobia is distrust, unreasonable fear, or hatred of strangers, foreigners, or anything perceived as foreign
or different. Everything that is outside one’s own culture is considered to be foreign – foreigners, cultural and ethnic
minorities, refugees, migrants, and possibly homosexuals, persons with mental or physical disabilities, people with
extreme political positions. Xenophobia involves a deep antipathy to foreigners or to foreign things.
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Causes of Xenophobia
Xenophobia is ever-present in Europe, but increases dramatically when recessions and economic downturns make
resources scarce. Minorities are then seen as either the source of the economic malaise or as unnecessary
expenditures of the public purse.
Much of the xenophobia in Europe in recent years has resulted from instability caused by either recession in the
Western European countries or the dramatic political, social and economic changes in Central and Eastern Europe.
What is more significant is that in those forty years of separation into different societies, different cultures evolved.
Although there might be a common language (like in East and West Germany), the separation resulted in different
symbols, values, norms, patterns of behavior and lifestyles, which could not be changed overnight. A longer process
will be required to enable the cultures to adapt and become compatible with the new situation. The result of all this is a
high degree of economic and social instability and insecurity, which serves as a prerequisite for xenophobia.
It is not only the collapse of the old order of Europe that has resulted in an increased appearance of xenophobia. It is
also the structure and development of modern society. Modern technologies lead to rapid social change. People have
to adapt constantly to a changing environment: new working conditions, new mobility, new consumer behaviors, and
new lifestyles. Once they have adapted, innovation has changed the environment again. This causes fear of becoming
an outsider in society.
Another reason for increased appearance of fear for the foreign is the fact that it is being misused to maintain and
increase political power. This follows a very simple pattern. First, foreigners (migrants, refugees, ethnic and cultural
minorities) are described as a threat to jobs, income, living conditions, cultural identity. This is not difficult since this
fear is latent. In a second step, a political solution is presented that "rescues" the "natives" from the envisaged
catastrophe and gains sympathy and allegiance from those people whose fear of the foreign has been nourished. The
fear, however, remains, but the politicians – at least for a while – can continue to act as saviors of the "natives".
Ironically, Europe needs immigration. In the short term, immigration is necessary to fuel economic growth by providing
both low-skilled and high-skilled labor. Countries like Austria and Switzerland, which have some of Europe’s largest
foreign-born populations, would be severely harmed if they lost both low-skilled and high-skilled migrants. Similarly,
Germany is estimated to be losing 20 billion euro (US$25.2 billion) a year mainly due to a shortage of information
technology experts, engineers and other professionals. The situation is similar in France and the United Kingdom.
Alongside with xenophobia there exists the opposite tendency – exoticism. Exoticism is an idealistic glorification
of the foreign. Typical examples of exoticism in Europe are the glorification of Native Americans or of other
indigenous cultural groups in Africa, Asia or America. The adoration of the foreign far away has no consequences for
one’s own life. One is not confronted with these foreigners in one’s living environment or in one’s workplace.
Exoticism can be interpreted as idealistic glorification of the foreign sufficiently far away to compensate for the fear
caused by the foreign or social change in the immediate environment and, thus, can be interpreted as escape from
one’s personal situation into idealism.
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Consequences of Xenophobia
As history tells us, there are many possible consequences of xenophobia. They depend on the specific setting of the
cultural or ethnic groups involved as well as on socio-economic and political conditions.
The most drastic consequence is the extermination of the "foreign". The best-known example of this is the genocide
undertaken by Nazis, which was directed not only at cultural and ethnic groups such as Jews and gypsies but also at
homosexuals, persons with disabilities and the political opposition. A very recent example is the genocide in former
Yugoslavia, where in a number of villages and even in some regions one ethnic group exterminated another. Another
recent example is the genocide of the Kurds in Iraq. There are numerous other examples: the genocide carried out by
Stalin (mostly of political enemies), the crusades and the Inquisition aimed at destroying the heathens, etc. In some
instances, the (dominant) minority exterminated the (suppressed) majority.
Another result of xenophobia can be expulsion and resettlement of the minority group, or the emigration of the
minority group owning to ongoing discrimination or threat – possibly the threat of being destroyed. Again, there are
many examples of this, the most recent being the ethnic cleansing in former Yugoslavia, where people have been
forced to leave under the threat of being killed, the result of which is more than two million refugees and displaced
persons. Examples of forced resettlements include those of the Tatars under Stalin or Slovene-speaking Austrians
expelled by the Nazis to provide the living space for German-speaking people. During the Nazi regime, many people
in Germany and Austria decided to emigrate to escape discrimination or threat from those in power – not only Jews,
but also artists and members of the political opposition who were marked as "enemies of the national culture".
Another result of xenophobia can be segregation, where the dominant group forces all those it perceives to be
foreigners to live as a separate society. In extreme cases, the separation can be geographic, as with the reservations
for Native Americans in North America, but usually it implies a structural separation where interaction between the
two societies is kept to a minimum and limited to formal and specific economic relations, while social interaction
happens only within each society. An obvious example of segregation was apartheid system in South Africa.
Segregation can be chosen as a strategy of the minority group to maintain its language, values and lifestyle and thus to
prevent assimilation by the majority. In many cities (especially in the USA), ethnic groups such as the Chinese or the
Italians have established their own "town in town", Chinatown or Little Italy.
A specific form of segregation is referred to as ethnopluralism, where the majority group allows the minority group
to live according to its cultural values and traditions but separately and in a way that does not affect the majority
group. Ethnopluralism can also be reciprocal, in that two or more groups agree to organize themselves as separately
as possible. In many cases, the underlying belief seems to be that the more the groups live separately, the better they
will understand each other.
There are many examples from Europe where segregation is practiced as ethnopluralism. In Switzerland, four
language groups live autonomously in relatively separate societies. In Belgium, the separation between Flemish-,
French- and German-speaking groups is reflected in different public administrations.
The most common result of xenophobia is assimilation. From the point of view of the suppressed group, this is the
only way to ensure the survival of the members of the group. From the point of view of the dominant majority,
assimilation is another strategy for eliminating the foreign, forcing the minority to adopt its values, norms, patterns of
behavior, language and lifestyle. The foreign is absorbed and, thus, eliminated.
Desirable solutions to fear of the foreign
It is necessary to find an approach where "natives" and "foreigners" peacefully co-exist on the basis of consensus.
These solutions would have to ensure equal rights for all members of society, regardless of their being part of any
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ethnic, cultural or language group. A first step towards this could be intercultural education: an education aimed at a
constructive encounter with the foreign, resulting in less racism and xenophobia; an education aimed at a critical view
of ideologies and at an understanding of structural discrimination; an education aimed at the ability to empathize with,
relate to and interact with the foreign.
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Questions, Exercises and Activities

REVIEW AND DISCUSSION QUESTIONS


1. How does social environment influence the perception process?
2. What is the essence of the attribution theory?
3. What is the difference between the fundamental attribution error and the ultimate attribution error?
4. What role do attributions play in intercultural communication?
5. How do personal stereotypes differ from cultural stereotypes?
6. Why is it difficult to change stereotypes?
7. What are the three stereotype-changing models?
8. Can jokes playing on ethnic stereotypes have negative effects on the targeted group?
9. How are stereotypes related to prejudice?
10. How is prejudice passed from one generation to another?
11. How do stereotypes and prejudice affect intercultural communication?
12. What is the difference between ethnocentrism and patriotism?
13. Is fear of the foreign a universal phenomenon?
14. What are the causes of xenophobia?
SPEAK ON
1. Ethnocentrism
2. Formation of stereotypes.
3. Accuracy of stereotypes.
4. Gordon W. Allport’s model of prejudiced action.
5. Consequences of xenophobia.
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REVISION TEST
1. Xenophobia is
a) the aversion to persons who represent the foreign
b) interpretation of the meaning of others’ behaviors based on our past experience or history
c) an idealistic glorification of the foreign
d) irrational suspicion or hatred of a particular group, race, or religion
2. Xenocentrism is
a) the feeling that one's group has a mode of living, values, and patterns of adaptation that are superior to
those of other groups
b) negative evaluations of dissimilar cultures
c) the assumption of the "centrality"of one’s own culture
d) a culturally based tendency to value other cultures more highly than one’s own.
3. Ethnocentrism is
a) the tendency to describe all other groups according to the categories and values of one’s own culture
b) irrational suspicion or hatred of a particular group, race, or religion
c) the view held by members of a particular culture that the values and ways of one's own group are superior
to others, and that all other cultures are judged inferior with reference to this view
d) the process by which an individual portrays him- or herself
4. Exoticism is
a) the aversion to persons who represent the foreign
b) interpretation of the meaning of others’ behaviors based on our past experience or history
c) an idealistic glorification of the foreign
d) irrational suspicion or hatred of a particular group, race, or religion
5. The result of xenophobia can be _________, where the dominant group forces all those it perceives to be
foreigners to live as a separate society
a) extermination
b) segregation,
c) genocide
d) assimilation
6. The deliberate and systematic extermination of a national, racial, political or cultural group is called
a) ethnopluralism
b) genocide
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c) segregation
d) assimilation
7. A strategy for eliminating the foreign, forcing the minority to adopt the values, norms, patterns of
behavior, language and lifestyle of the dominant group.
a) extermination
b) segregation,
c) genocide
d) assimilation
8. The term ethnocentrism was first used in 1906 by
a) E. Hall b) W.G.Sumner
c) G. Hofstede d) M. Erdheim
9. Fill in the gaps.
a) ___________ means that we interpret the meaning of other’s behaviors based on our past experience or history.
b) Over-generalized and oversimplified beliefs we use to categorize a group of people are called ____________ .
c) Irrational suspicion or hatred of a particular group, race, or religion is called _________ .
d) __________ stereotypes refer to the extent to which a stereotype is shared by the members of a culture.
e) __________stereotypes are simply any individual’s beliefs about a group, regardless of whether that belief is
shared by others.
f) A "________valence inaccuracy" occurs if you exaggerate the negative attributes of a culture while ignoring or
devaluing its positive ones.
g) __________ is an action or policy favoring those who tend to suffer from discrimination, esp. in relation to
employment or education.
h) __________ discrimination happens when there is a rule or policy that is the same for everyone but has an unfair
effect on people of a particular race, colour, descent, national or ethnic origin or immigrant status.
10. State whether the statement is true or false.
a) The ultimate attribution error is used to describe entire groups of people, while the fundamental attribution error has
to do with dispositional attributions that apply only to an individual.
b) Negative behaviors by out-group members are usually attributed to situational or external causes.
c) Stereotypes are not very stable. It is easy to change them or get rid of them.
d) "Out-group homogeneity effect"results in a tendency to ignore differences among the individual members of the
group and regard all members of a particular group as much more similar to one another than they actually are.
e) "Hate groups" are not numerous in the United States.
f) According to Allport, the ultimate degree of violent expression of prejudice is extermination.
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g) Ethnopluralism cannot also be reciprocal.
11. Match the terms with the definitions:

1. segregation a. the deliberate and systematic extermination of a


national, racial, political or cultural group
2. genocide b. racial segregation, specifically: a policy of segregation
and political and economic discrimination against non-
European groups in the Republic of south Africa
3. assimilation c. the dominant group forces all those it perceives to be
foreigners to live as a separate society
4. apartheid d. forcing the minority to adopt the values, norms,
patterns of behavior, language and lifestyle of the
dominant culture

12. Match the terms with the definitions:

1. exoticism a. overgeneralized and oversimplified beliefs we use to


categorize a group of people
2. xenophobia b. love and adoration of the foreign
3. stereotype c. irrational suspicion or hatred of a particular group,
race, or religion
4. prejudice d. the aversion to persons who represent the foreign

KEY WORDS
Explain the meaning of the following words and expressions:
perception attribution
internal attributions apartheid
external attributions fundamental attribution error
ultimate attribution error generalizations
xenocentrism stereotype
cultural stereotypes personal stereotypes
prejudice discrimination
indirect discrimination reverse discrimination (affirmative action)
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intimidation ethnopluralism
hate group genocide
extermination massacre
pogrom lynching
xenophobia refugees
migrants recession
immigration exoticism
expulsion resettlement
emigration ethnic cleansing
displaced persons segregation

ACTIVITIES
1. COMMENT ON THE FOLLOWING QUOTATIONS
1. "Heaven is where the innkeepers are Swiss, the cooks are French, the policemen are English, the lovers are Italian,
and the mechanics are German. Hell is where the lovers are Swiss, the innkeepers are French, the cooks are English,
the mechanics are Italian, and policemen are German".
(Joke told by a Dutch Professor)
2. "You know the world is off tilt when the best rapper is a white guy [Eminem], the best golfer is a black guy [Tiger
Woods], the tallest basketball player is Chinese [Yao Ming, 7'6"], and Germany doesn't want to go to war [in Iraq]".
(Charles Barkley, 2003)
3. "Lebanese are the ones who can buy from Greeks and sell to Jews and still make a profit".
(Lebanese saying)
4. "Why does the sun never set on the British Empire"?
– Because God doesn't trust those English bastards in the dark!
(Irish joke)
5. "They [the Chinese] are quiet, peaceable, tractable, free from drunkenness, and they are as industrious as the day is
long. A disorderly Chinaman is rare, and a lazy one does not exist".
(Mark Twain, Roughing It)
2. In small groups discuss whether the following statements are descriptions or judgments.
Note: Description is neutral; it is neither positive nor negative. It describes a cultural behavior accurately.
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E.g. Many Americans drink soda with ice.
Judgment is what we think about others’ behavior based on the rules of what is normal in our culture. It is
very similar to attribution. Judgments often lead to generalizations and stereotypes. E.g. Russians are
pessimists (Americans think so, because Russians often complain about their problems, but people according
to their cultural norms must be happy/smile/show that everything is OK, and if they have problems they must
fix them and be happy).
a) Women in this culture wear dressy clothing and use cosmetics to beautify themselves.
b) Women in this culture don’t wear any make-up.
c) Women in this culture look foolish; they are all dressed up and painted like dolls.
d) Women in this culture wear headscarves when they go out.
e) Women in this culture look ugly. They have no sense of elegance and style.
f) Women in this culture are very loud. They are shouting all the time.
g) Women in this culture are cold and unfriendly. They never talk to strangers.
h) Women in this culture have blond hair and blue eyes.
3. Small-group discussion.
Do you agree that all people are, to some extent, ethnocentric? Give examples to prove your point of view.
All human beings are, to some extent, ethnocentric, no matter how liberal and open-minded they might claim to be.
They believe that their own patterns of behavior are the best: the most correct, rational, and meaningful. Therefore,
other people live by standards that are inhuman, irrational, unnatural, or wrong.
People will always find some aspect of another culture distasteful, be it sexual practices, a way of treating friends or
relatives, or simply food that they cannot eat. Food preferences are perhaps the most familiar aspect of ethnocentrism.
Every culture has developed preferences for certain kinds of food and drink, and equally strong negative attitudes
toward others. It is interesting to note that much of this ethnocentrism is in our heads and not in our tongues, for
something can taste delicious until we are told what it is. We have all heard stories about people being fed a meal of
snake or horse meat or something equally repugnant in American culture and commenting on how tasty it was - until
they were told what they had just eaten, upon which they turned green and hurriedly asked to be excused from the
table.
In this respect, ethnocentrism is not something we should be ashamed of, because it is a natural outcome of growing
up in any society.
4. In small groups discuss the following questions:
a) In legends and folktales, do people emphasize that the in group is the center of everything and is
superior to all out groups?
b) In legends and folktales, are other cultures evaluated from the perspective of one's own culture?
Give examples of ethnocentrism in folktales, myths, or legends.
Good examples of ethnocentrism could be found in myths and folktales. One of such examples is the creation myth of
the Cherokee Indians. According to the myth, the Creator made three clay images of a man and baked them in an
oven. In his haste to admire his handwork, he took the first image out of the oven before it was fully baked and found
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that it was too pale. He waited a while and then removed the second image; it was just right, a full reddish brown hue.
He was so pleased with his work that he sat there and admired it, completely forgetting about the third image. Finally
he smelt it burning, but by the time he could rescue it from the oven it had already been burnt, and it came out
completely black!
5. Consider your own stereotypes of people in the following groups.
a) Which of your stereotypes have been created by direct experience with many/one or two people from a
particular group?
b) Which of these stereotypes are based on secondhand information and opinions, output from the mass
media?
c) Have your stereotypes of any of these groups ever changed? If yes, what were the reasons?
- Regions of the world (Asians, Arabs, Africans, Scandinavians)
- Countries (Japan, China, France, Germany, India, Mexico, Georgia)
- Cities (Londoners, Muscovites, Parisians, New Yorkers)
- Cultures (Spanish, Turkish, Egyptian, Thai, Chinese, Greek, Norwegian)
- Religion (Muslim, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, shamanistic)
- Social class (wealthy, poor, middle class)
- Age (children, teenagers, middle-aged, old)
6. Study the list of ethnic slurs
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_ethnic_slurs).
What ethnic and racial groups (or their members) have received derogatory or offensive names?
7. How was prejudice acted out in the following cases?
http://www.civilrights.org/archives/2009/03/127-hate-groups.html
1. I"n Berkeley, California in September 2004, eight female Muslim students at the University of California
were accosted by three white males who sprayed water on them, pelted them with water bottles, screamed
derogatory statements, and mocked the traditional hijabs worn by some Muslim women. One woman was
called an "East Oakland nigger."Two of the Muslim women reported that while this was the first time they have
been physically confronted in Berkeley, verbal racial taunts are frequent".
2. "In October 2008, Gagandeep Singh, a 10 year-old Sikh boy, was assaulted while walking home from school
in Wayne, New Jersey by an unknown assailant who threw him to the ground and then cut his hair. To Sikhs,
the cutting of hair is a particularly hateful crime, as they consider their hair a gift from God. H
" e came out of
nowhere,"Singh said. H " e just came up behind me, threw me on the floor, held me with his feet and cut my hair
with the knife or scissors. Then I ran away because I was so scared."Singh wonders of his assailant, "Why did
you cut my hair? What do you want from Punjabis?"
3. I"n January 2009, Memphis store clerk Mohammed Al Hadi was murdered by an unknown assailant who
calmly took aim and then fired, as if "he has some vendetta."On the same day, at another grocery story nearby,
another clerk of Middle Eastern descent was also murdered".
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8. Read the following arguments
(http://www.debate.org/opinions/is-banning-muslim-head-scarves-in-public-schools-appropriate)
Which group do you support: those who say "yes"or those who say "no".
Is banning Muslim head scarves in public s?
Is banning Muslim head scarves in public schools appropriate?

YES 29% NO 71%


It could be offensive to students of other 1st amendment
religions.
I understand the separation of church and state but
As a public school student myself, I believe that head people have the right to follow their beliefs anywhere
scarves are inappropriate school wear. My school has a they want and that includes in school. As long as they
uniform, and one of the items we are not allowed to don’t push religion on others it is fine and we only live
wear are hats and scarves. I don’t believe that Muslims in fear of Muslims today because our government
should be able to wear their scarves because they chose basically labels them terrorist but they are not in almost
to attend the school, and if they don’t plan on following all cases.
the same rules as everyone else, then they should go
(Posted By: jd222)
somewhere else.
(Posted By: PWFH2012) No, because banning Muslim head scarves in
public school is absurd.
Public schools are by law not allowed to
What would happen if school teachers and
encourage any religion over the others.
administrators were banned from wearing their
Christians, Jews, Mulsims, etc. They all are not allowed Christian symbols, such as the cross? I can’t tell you
to wear anything religiously affiliated. It is done in public how many teachers and administrators wear a cross as
schools not to oppress religions but to avoid religious a necklace. They shouldn’t be allowed to do that, but
conflict. Therefore I believe all religious garments should they do. If they are going to start doing this, then go
be banned in public schools in order for there to be ahead and ban men from having beards, people from
equality getting tattoos, women wearing diamond engagement
rings, the Amish from having their own lifestyle, and so
(Posted By: Anonymous)
forth. Yeah, make administrators and teachers stop
Yes, because public schools have to consider wearing Christian symbols, first.
safety first, and anything that can conceal (Posted By: PointlessElbert47)
something harmful is being banned nowadays.
Muslim head scarves are really no big deal to
Even though it’s unfair, the fact is that schools are
anyone, other than the Muslims.
banning articles of clothing for the sake of keeping
students safe. Schools are banning hooded sweatshirts If it is important to a Muslim to wear this scarf then, by
because they think these pose a threat due to the all means, they should be allowed to wear it. Just look
potential for concealing a weapon of some kind. Rules at those baggy pants that kids wear with their
like this have to be all or nothing. There can be no undergarments exposed. If that is allowed then, really,
exceptions. anything goes. The Muslim scarf has religious
significance and meaning, where most other fashion
(Posted By: PinkMych)
trends are shallow.
(Posted By: MarsBIue)
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9. Do you regard employers’ requirement of "perfect knowledge" of the language discriminatory? Can you
think of any job that can be done only by a native speaker?
Find examples of ethnic, racial, age, gender/sex discriminatory notices.
During recent years discriminatory notices took place in EC countries, for example in Austria: "Austrians only" or "only
German language bearers"; in Denmark the police was informed about three similar notices. In Estonia the Juridical
center for human rights called a company which employed the workers whose "native language is Estonian" to
account, and in Finland the ombudsman for ethnic minorities examined 33 notices about employment of workers
containing requirement of "Finish nationality" and/or "perfect knowledge of Finnish language". Illegality of such notices
was stressed by the decision of the European court.
10. Conduct an internet search or scan news sources for bias toward ethnic or social identification groups.
How can you spot bias/prejudice?
What words or symbols would you use to alter perceptions of these groups if you were writing the news
story?

MAKE A PRESENTATION
Choose one of the topics and make an individual or team presentation.
1. Not all people are happy with and prepared for the increase in intercultural contact.
2. The cultural screen that we develop and through which we view the world around us is not always accurate.
3. Discrimination and racism in the labor market.
4. Crimes motivated by ethnocentrism and racism
5. The Internet plays a special role in disseminating racial hatred.
6. Anti-Muslim xenophobia.

ANALYZING A VIDEO
Watch the movie " House of Sand and Fog" , a 2003 American tragedy film directed by Vadim Perelman. The story
concerns the battle between a young American woman and an immigrant Iranian family over the ownership of a house
in Northern California which ultimately leads to the destruction of four lives.
After viewing the movie, analyze and discuss the clash of cultural values and attitudes (immigrant/Iranian and
dominant/American cultures) and consequences which ethnocentrism, stereotyping and ethnic prejudice may have.
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WRITING
After watching the movie "House of Sand and Fog", write a persuasive essay. The purpose of the essay is to reflect on
one of the issues/questions/quotations from reviews. In your essay analyze examples from the movie and synthesize
and apply material covered in this Unit.
Essay topics:
1. Behrani tells his son, R
" emember what I've told you of so many Americans: they are not disciplined and have
not the courage to take responsibility for their actions. If these people paid to us the fair price we are asking,
we could leave and she could return. It is that simple. But they are like little children, son. They want things
only their way."
How accurate is his perception of Americans? How well does it apply to Kathy and Lester?
2. How does House of Sand and Fog highlight the conflict between downwardly mobile Americans and upwardly
mobile recent immigrants? What role does ethnocentrism play in the reaction of Americans and foreigners to each
other?
3. "House of Sand and Fog doesn't, as some people have interpreted, claim that prejudice is built into American
institutions. Rather, it asserts that our institutions sometimes force us into conflicts, and that those conflicts take on
racial overtones -- not because of any overarching injustice but because human beings always manage to find easy
scapegoats for their plight. The policeman here instinctively lashes out at who he thinks is stereotypically an Arab
engaging in profiteering." (Movie review)
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Unit 7. LANGUAGE AND INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION


Language and Culture
Language and Perception
Cultural Attitudes toward Verbal Messages
Verbal Communication Styles and Culture
Turn-taking
Overlapping and Interrupting
Code Switching
Questions, Exercises and Activities
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Language and Culture


Intercultural communication is far more than language, but language is undoubtedly a central element in
communication.
Language is one of the most fundamental systems of culture. It serves its purpose as it provides the means to express,
share, and transmit the ideas and experiences of the people who practice the corresponding culture.
Language is a key component of culture. It is the primary medium for transmitting much of culture. Without language,
culture would not be possible. Children learning their native language are learning their own culture. Language and
culture are so intertwined that the American anthropologist Michael Agar suggests we use the term"
languaculture" (Agar, 1995).
Agar used the term "languaculture" for the first time in his essay Language Shock: Understanding the culture of
conversation. Languaculture is an adjustment of the term "linguaculture", suggested by the American linguistic
anthropologist Paul Friedrich. Agar explains the vowel change stating that "language" is a more commonly used word.
When Agar talks about languaculture, he defines it as the necessary tie between language and culture. He underlines
that languages and cultures are always closely related and it is not possible to distinguish languages from cultures.
Therefore you cannot really know a language if you do not know also the culture expressed by that language.
Intercultural communication usually means interaction between people who speak a common language (language of
communication), but who belong to different cultures. Thus, intercultural interaction may occur in the following
situations:
1) [NS ↔ NNS] - for one of the communicators the language of interaction is his/her native tongue, and for the other,
it is a foreign language. This is an interaction between a native speaker (NS) and a non-native speaker (NNS).
2) [NNS ↔ NNS] - the language of communication is foreign for both communicators. It is an interaction between
two non-native speakers.
3) [NS ↔ NS] - both communicators seem to be speaking the same language (with some modifications), for
example, a person from Australia interacting with someone from the United States or Great Britain, or a person from
French Canada conversing with a French-speaking citizen of Belgium. However, in this situation the communicators
may feel the same way as people who speak different languages, not only because of the language differences, but
because the cultures that govern the language use are different.
The way people use the language in intercultural communication is influenced and shaped by their culture. When non-
native speakers use English as a means of communication, it reflects their original cultures. Cultural differences are the
most serious areas causing misunderstanding, unpleasantness and even conflict in intercultural communication.
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Language and Perception


Every language has its own unique features and ways of allowing those who speak it to identify specific objects and
experiences. To understand the effects of the language on intercultural communication we must explore the relation
between the language and perception and try to answer the following questions:
- Do the categories of a language – its words, grammar and usage – influence how we think and behave? Do the
languages we speak shape the way we think? Do they merely express thoughts, or do the structures of languages
(without our knowledge) shape the very thoughts we wish to express?
In other words, does a person who learns to speak and write French, when growing in France, "see" and
"experience" the world differently than does a person who grows up speaking and writing German in Germany? Do
English, Indonesian, Russian and Turkish speakers understand and remember their experiences differently simply
because they speak different languages?
The idea that language might shape thought was for a long time considered untestable at best and more often simply
crazy and wrong. Until the early part of the twentieth century, language was generally assumed to be a neutral medium
that did not influence the way people experienced the world. At that time, the varying qualities of languages were not
expected to affect those who spoke those languages. Language, from this point of view, was regarded merely as a
vehicle by which ideas were presented rather than a shaper of the very substance of these ideas. Thus, regardless of
whether people grew up learning and speaking French, German, or Russian, they were believed to experience the
world similarly.
In 1921, Edward Sapir began to articulate an alternative view of language, which said that language influenced or even
determined the way in which people thought. Thus, he wrote: "It is quite an illusion to imagine that ... language is
merely an incidental means of solving specific problems of communication or reflection. The fact of the matter is that
"the real world" is to a large extent unconsciously built up on the language habits of the group. No two languages are
ever sufficiently similar to be considered as representing the same social reality. The worlds in which different societies
live are distinct worlds, not merely the same world with different labels attached." (In Mandelbaum, 1949: 162)
Sapir’s student, Benjamin Whorf, continued to develop his ideas, based on linguistic research they conducted in the
1930s and 1940s on Native American languages. Together, their ideas were later called"the theory of linguistic
relativity"or "the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis". During the three decades, in which they presented their ideas to the
scholarly community, their views shifted somewhat, and their writings include"firmer"or more deterministic views of
the relationship between language and thought and"softer"views that describe language as merely influencing or
shaping thought.
The Sapir-Whorf hypothesis has had tremendous influence on scholarly thinking about language and its impact on
everyday communication. It questions the basic assumption that we all inhabit the same perceptual world, the same
social reality.
However, the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis has been critiqued by a number of studies that challenge the connection
between language and how we think. The most recent position, the qualified relativist position, takes a more
moderate view of the relationship between language and perception. Steven Pinker (2007), a renowned cognitive
scientist, for example, cautions against assuming a simplistic connection between language and thought and rejects the
Sapir-Whorf assumption that the particular language we speak compels us to perceive the world in a particular way
or prevents us from thinking in different ways. At the same time, he also rejects the extreme nominalist position. He
advocates a middle ground, suggesting that the meaning of our words depends on an underlying framework of basic
cognitive concepts. (Martin & Nakayama, 2010: 223)
Many scholars today adhere to this position. They argue that although the language plays a powerful role in shaping
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how people think and experience the world, linguistic equivalences can be established between people from different
language systems.
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Cultural Attitudes toward Verbal Messages


Since all cultures have a system of language, the importance of verbal messages in interpersonal communication
appears to be universally acknowledged. Cultures differ, however, in the importance placed on words.
In individualistic cultures much attention is paid to rhetoric. A primary function of speech in these cultures is to
express one’s ideas and thoughts as clearly, logically, and persuasively as possible.
In collectivistic cultures the attitude toward speech is a holistic one – the words are only part of the total
communication context, which includes the personal characters of the parties involved and the nature of the
interpersonal relationships between them. In this holistic approach to speech and communication, verbal messages
primarily serve the function of enhancing social integration and harmony rather than promoting the speaker’s
individuality. The orientation of collectivistic cultures can be characterized as bordering in a "mistrust" of words.
An important part of communication is silence. Many people in individualistic cultures have a low tolerance for
silence; it is something to be filled in conversation. In collectivistic cultures silence is viewed as an important part of
communication.
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Verbal Communication Styles and Culture


In the cross-cultural context, it’s almost impossible to send a message that does not have at least some cultural
content, whether it’s in the words themselves or in the way they are said. And even if it were possible to send a
message without any cultural content, it’s not possible to receive one without passing it through the filter of one’s own
cultural conditioning. All of which means that host country people may not interpret everything you say the way you
meant it, and vice versa.
There are numerous examples proving that people of different cultures prefer to communicate in different ways.
Andrew Hong’s (2008) diagram highlights the communication style differences between Western, Eastern and Middle
Eastern cultures. (http://andrewhong.net/2008/07/26/communication-styles-and-culture/)

Andrew Hong argues that people from western cultures tend to get directly to the point. Their communication tends
to have a logical and linear structure. Sermons have a clear structure, and in face-to-face communication people don’t
beat around the bush, but get right to the point.
Middle Eastern people tend to eventually get to the point – after slowly spiraling in, having prepared the listener for
the message. Sermons are lengthy, and face-to-face conversations take a long time before delicately getting to the
heart of the matter.
People from eastern cultures tend to not get to the point at all. They will talk around and around the point, never
directly mentioning it – but by constantly circling around it, they will make clear what they’re really talking about.
Sermons seem to go around and around, and in face-to-face communication people never seem to say what they
really mean.
To be aware of communication style differences is very important in intercultural communication. Often people expect
others to use the same style of communication as they do. Moreover, some people tend to think that their own
communication style has an inherent rightness about it. They can become incredibly frustrated (and even angry) about
the communication styles of other cultures. Westerners can appear blunt and rude, while Easterners can seem
manipulative and untrustworthy.
Interculturalists have identified numerous differences in communication styles from culture to culture. The most
important and most studied distinctions are described and analyzed below.
Direct vs. Indirect communication style
The direct/indirect dimension refers to the extent to which speakers reveal their intention through explicit verbal
communication.
A direct communication style is one in which verbal messages reveal the speaker’s true intentions, needs, wants, and
desires. The meaning is conveyed through explicit statements made directly to the people involved with little reliance
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on contextual factors such as situation and timing. Direct style of communication emphasizes honesty, openness,
individualism, and straightforwardness.
Many English speakers in the U.S. hold the direct style as the most appropriate in most contexts. This is revealed in
sayings like "Don’t beat about the bush"; G
" et to the point"; W" hat exactly are you trying to say?" Direct style
employs such categorical words as "absolutely", "certainly", "positively".
An indirect style is one in which the verbal message is often designed to camouflage the speaker’s true intentions,
needs, wants, and desires. Indirect communicators value the idea of saving face and maintaining harmony. The
meaning is conveyed by suggestion, implication, nonverbal behavior, and other contextual cues. This style allows one
to avoid confronting another person or cause them to lose face. Indirect style prefers such words as "probably",
"perhaps", "somewhat", "maybe".
The direct-indirect style differences may be the reason for misunderstanding in intercultural communication. Cultures
with direct style of communication give a high degree of social approval to individuals, who express their feelings and
ideas precisely and directly. Competent communicators are expected to say what they mean and to mean what they
say. People from cultures which prefer indirect style of communication often find them loud and insensitive. On the
other hand, people with direct style of communication can’t understand why indirect style speakers don’t say what
they mean.
Elaborate vs. Exact vs. Succinct communication style
This dimension concerns the quantity of talk that is valued in everyday conversations in different cultures.
The elaborate style is characterized by the use of rich, expressive language in everyday conversation. Elaborate style
speakers use a large number of epithets, allusions, exaggerations, idiomatic expressions, proverbs, and metaphors.
This style is mainly used in cultures of the Middle East.
The exact style emphasizes cooperative communication. The speaker is expected to give neither more nor less
information than is required. This communication style can be found in low-context cultures. These are mainly North
American and North European cultures.
The succinct style values understatements, simple assertions, pauses and silence.
Personal vs. Contextual communication style
This dimension refers to the extent to which the speaker emphasizes the self as opposed to his or her role.
Verbal personal style is an individual-centered style. Language devices are used to emphasize the "I" identity. For
example, Americans tend to stress informality and symmetrical power relationship. They avoid titles and honorifics in
interaction with others. They prefer a first-name basis. English has no formal/informal pronouns (compare to Russian:
ты – Вы).
Verbal contextual style is a role-centered style. It is heavily based on a hierarchical social order. Language devices
are used to emphasize the "role" identity, i.e., the status of the interlocutors. For example, Koreans believe that
formality is essential to their human relationships. They have separate vocabularies for different sexes, different
degrees of intimacy, different formal occasions, and different degrees of social status.
Instrumental vs. Affective communication style
This dimension refers to the orientation of the message.
The instrumental style is characterized as sender-oriented and goal-oriented. In this style the burden is on the
sender to make the message clear. The instrumental style is dominant in individualistic, low-context cultures.
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The affective style is receiver-oriented and process-oriented. In this communication style the listener is expected to
sense the message before the speaker actually expresses himself/herself verbally. Thus, the burden to get the message
is on the receiver.
It is important to realize that the particular style we use may vary from context to context. For example, you may be
more direct in your family context and less direct in classroom settings. We should not expect any group to use a
particular communication style all the time. In intercultural communication the main thing is to be tolerant when you
encounter others who communicate in very different ways. Moreover, it is important to be able to alter your style for
better communication.
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Turn-taking
In order for social interaction to proceed smoothly, all cultures employ some kind of speech exchange system.
Turn-taking. A turn is the time when a speaker is talking and turn-taking is the skill of knowing when to start and
finish a turn in a conversation.
Knowing when it is acceptable or obligatory to take a turn in conversation is essential to the cooperative development
of discourse. This knowledge involves such factors as knowing how to recognize appropriate turn-exchange points
and knowing how long the turns and pauses between turns should be.
Some cultures allow the person speaking to continue until he or she wishes to give it up. Others regulate turn-taking
more strictly. It was observed that collectivists take short turns, distribute their turns relatively evenly, regardless of
who initiated the topic. Individualists take long monologic turns, distribute their turns unevenly, and the participant who
initiated the topic takes the highest proportion of turns in that topic. Thus, collectivists organize topics
interdependently, while individuals organize topics independently.
The way people manage conversations is also affected by individualism-collectivism. Collectivists use verbal and
non-verbal complementary expressions and repetition to support others when they speak. Individualists use less
synchronized behaviors. They tend to use feedback devices (e.g. questions, comments) to indicate that they are
attentive. Responses such as mmmm and yeah are known as minimal responses. These are not interruptions but
rather are devices to show that the listener is listening, and they assist the speaker to continue. They are especially
important in telephone conversations where the speaker cannot see the listener's eyes and hence must rely on verbal
cues to tell whether the listener is paying attention.
Story-telling within a conversation is indicated by some kind of preface. This is a signal to the listener that for the
duration of the story, there will be no turn-taking. Once the story has finished, the normal sequence of turn-taking can
resume.
Cultural differences in matters of turn-taking can lead to conversational breakdown, misinterpretation of intentions,
and interpersonal intergroup conflict.
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Overlapping and Interrupting


In intercultural communication it is also important to know whether one may talk while someone else is talking - that
is, if overlapping and interrupting are culturally appropriate.
There have been numerous attempts to define and distinguish between interruption and overlapping. Many linguists
have come to the conclusion that interruption is an act with a clearly negative and power-laden connotation because
it is a violation of the turn exchange system. However, the term "
overlap"is, in principle, neutral. Whether an overlap
becomes an interruption depends on whether or not there is symmetry. If one speaker repeatedly overlaps and the
other gives way, the communication is unbalanced. If both speakers avoid overlap, or if both speakers overlap each
other, there is symmetry and no domination.
In some cultures overlapping conversations are quite natural, while in others, overlapping is considered to be rude.
For example, in Japan the person whose turn it is to respond must pause before speaking to show respect. On the
contrary, Italians like to talk simultaneously. For them overlapping is a sign of bonding, showing rapport, even of
helping the other speaker. Overlappers are usually members of high-involvement cultures. Those who do not
overlap are members of low-involvement cultures. Those people who come from low-involvement cultures often
shudder when they see speakers interrupt each other, overlap, and leave no pauses. The normal conversational
behavior of high-involvement cultures seems very impolite, chaotic, and even rude to them. In their turn, high-
involvement speakers may feel that low-involvement ones are cold, arrogant or wishy-washy.
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Code Switching
Code switching is a technical term in communication that means switching between two or more languages, or
language varieties, in the context of a single conversation. People who speak more than one language sometimes use
elements of multiple languages in conversing with each other. Thus, code switching is the use of more than one
linguistic variety in a manner consistent with the syntax and phonology of each variety.
People code switch for several reasons.
1) The other language has a better word or phrase to express a particular idea.
2) The words we code-switch are the only ones we have or they are more readily available in the other language.
This has to do with something which Prof. Grosjean calls the "complementary principle" (Grosjean, 1982). This
means that for bilinguals different aspects of life, such as work, family, school, sports, hobbies, etc., require different
languages. For example, it may be easier for Chinese Americans to use Chinese words when they speak about family,
national food or holidays and English words when they speak about University or school.
3) The speaker feels more confident using a certain language to discuss some issues.
For example, I have taken several Intercultural Communication courses in English in various American and European
Universities. I have been teaching this course in English for over 12 years. I have read a lot on intercultural
communication books in English. So, it’s much easier for me to discuss intercultural communication issues in English
than in Russian.
4) There is a need to quote the original not using the translation which may be not precise.
5) People code-switch to avoid accommodating others.
Bilinguals may switch to the "minority" language so that those around them cannot understand them. Sometimes it
might be to say something specifically about those who are excluded; sometimes people just don’t want others to
know what they are saying. Bilinguals are surely embarrassed when they find out that the person they were trying to
exclude speaks the minority language, too.
6) People code-switch to accommodate the other speakers.
In some situations individuals change their communication patterns to accommodate others—depending on the
situation and the attitude of the speaker toward other people. So, for example, if the situation is a neutral one and the
speakers’ attitude toward others is positive, they will more likely accommodate others.
7) People want to amplify or emphasize their statement.
Your message may be better heard, if you strengthen its effect by stating it in two languages. An angry bilingual mother
may say to her crying child: Enough already! Smettila!
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Questions, Exercises and Activities

REVIEW AND DISCUSSION QUESTIONS


1. How do attitudes to verbal messages differ in individualistic and collectivistic cultures?
2. How does A. Hong characterize communication style differences between Western, Eastern and Middle Eastern
cultures?
3. Why is it important to be aware of communication style differences?
4. What is the difference between direct and indirect styles of communication?
5. What communication styles are singled out on the basis of the quantity of talk that is valued in everyday
conversations in different cultures?
6. How does personal style differ from contextual style of communication?
7. What is the difference between instrumental and affective styles of communication?
8. What is the difference between interruption and overlapping?
9. What are the reasons for code switching?
SPEAK ON
1. Relations between language and culture.
2. Language and perception.

REVISION TEST

1. Who suggested the term "languaculture"?


a) E. Hall
b) M. Agar
c) E. Sapir
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d) M. Erdheim
2. What verbal communication style can be characterized by the phrases "Get to the point," "Don’t beat
about the bush"?
a) direct
b) succinct
c) elaborate
d) contextual
3. What verbal communication style prefers such words as "maybe", "probably", "somewhat",
"perhaps"?
a) direct
b) indirect
c) elaborate
d) contextual
4. What verbal communication style is characterized by the use of rich, expressive language in everyday
conversations?
a) exact
b) elaborate
c) succinct
d) personal
5. In what verbal communication style the speaker is expected to give neither more nor less information
than is required? In:
a) indirect
b) succinct
c) elaborate
d) exact
6. What dimension of communication styles refers to the orientation of the message?
a) instrumental :: affective styles
b) personal :: contextual styles
c) direct :: indirect styles
d) elaborate :: exact :: succinct styles
7. What dimension of communication styles refers to the extent to which the speaker emphasizes the self
as opposed to his or her role?
a) instrumental :: affective styles
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b) personal :: contextual styles
c) direct :: indirect styles
d) elaborate :: exact :: succinct styles
8. What dimension of communication styles refers to the quantity of talk that is valued in different
cultures?
a) instrumental :: affective styles
b) personal :: contextual styles
c) direct :: indirect styles
d) elaborate :: exact :: succinct styles
9. What dimension of communication styles refers to the extent to which speakers reveal their intentions
through explicit verbal communication?
a) instrumental :: affective styles
b) personal :: contextual styles
c) direct :: indirect styles
d) elaborate :: exact :: succinct styles
10. What verbal communication style can be characterized as follows: the speakers tend to stress
informality and symmetrical relationship; they avoid titles and honorifics in interaction with others; they
prefer a first-name basis?
a) direct
b) personal
c) elaborate
d) contextual
11. What verbal communication style can be characterized as follows: exaggerations, figures of speech,
and repetition are some of the ways this language lends itself to the exuberant use of words. The language
itself has a power over listeners or readers; the words can have more impact and more reality than what
they describe. So, words can be used for their own sake, not for the meaning they convey.
a) direct
b) succinct
c) elaborate
d) exact
12. For members of what cultures overlapping is considered to be a sign of bonding, showing rapport, even
of helping the other speaker?
a) high PDI cultures
b) high-context cultures
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c) high-involvement cultures
d) high UAI cultures
13. For members of what cultures overlapping is considered to be impolite, rude, an unacceptable violation
of communication norms?
a) low PDI cultures
b) low-context cultures
c) low-UAI cultures
d) low involvement cultures
14. High-involvement culture is a culture in which:
a) the meanings of a communication message are found in the situation and in the relationships of the
communicators, or are internalized in the communicators’ beliefs, values, and norms
b) overlapping is considered to be impolite, rude, an unacceptable violation of communication norms
c) the meanings of a communication message are stated clearly and explicitly
d) overlapping is considered to be a sign of bonding, showing rapport, even of helping the other speaker
15. Fill in the gaps.
a) In 1921, the anthropologist and linguist E. __________ began to articulate a view of language, which said that
language influenced or even determined the way in which people thought.
b) The theory of linguistic determinism has another name: "the Sapir - ________ hypothesis".
c) In the "_____" or deterministic version of the theory of linguistic relativity language functions like a prison – once
people learn a language, they are irrevocably affected by its particulars.
d) A _______ communication style is one in which verbal messages reveal the speaker’s true intentions, needs,
wants, and desires.
e) An __________ communication style is one in which the verbal message is often designed to camouflage the
speaker’s true intentions, needs, wants, and desires.
f) In verbal personal style, linguistic devices are used to emphasize the "_____" identity.
g) In verbal contextual style, linguistic devices are used to emphasize the "_____" identity.
h) The _____________ style is characterized as sender-oriented and goal-oriented.
i) The _____________ style is characterized as receiver-oriented and process-oriented.
j) The _____________ style values understatement, simple assertions, and silence.
k) The _____________ style is characterized by the use of rich, expressive language in everyday conversation.
l) The way people manage conversations is affected by individualism-collectivism. ________ use verbal and non-
verbal complementary expressions and repetition to support others when they speak.
m) The way people manage conversations is affected by individualism-collectivism. ________ tend to use feedback
devices (e.g. questions, comments) to indicate that they are attentive.
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n) The way people manage conversations is affected by individualism-collectivism. ________take long monologic
turns, distribute their turns unevenly, and the participant who initiated the topic takes the highest proportion of turns in
that topic.
o) The way people manage conversations is affected by individualism-collectivism. ________ take short turns,
distribute their turns relatively evenly regardless of who initiated the topic.
p) Cultures in which overlapping is considered to be impolite, rude, an unacceptable violation of communication
norms are called _____________ cultures.
q) Cultures in which overlapping is considered to be a sign of bonding, showing rapport, even of helping the other
speaker are called ___________ cultures.
16. Match the communication styles with the characteristic features:

1. succinct communication style a. it is a style in which the verbal message is often


designed to camouflage the speaker’s true intentions,
needs, wants, and desires.
2. instrumental communication style b. it is a style in which the speaker is expected to give
neither more nor less information than is required
3. indirect communication style c. this style is characterized as sender-oriented and
goal-oriented.
4. exact communication style d. this style values understatement, simple assertions,
and silence.

17. Match the communication styles with the characteristic features:

1. affective communication style a. This style is individual-centered style in which


linguistic devices are used to emphasize the "I" identity
2. personal communication style b. this style is characterized by the use of rich,
expressive language in everyday conversation.
3. direct communication style c. this style is characterized as receiver-oriented and
process-oriented.
4. elaborate communication style d. it is a style in which verbal messages reveal the
speaker’s true intentions, needs, wants, and desires

KEY WORDS
Explain the meaning of the following words and expressions:
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holistic approach direct communication style
indirect communication style elaborate communication style
exact communication style succinct communication style
personal communication style contextual style
instrumental communication style affective communication style
turn-taking interruption
overlapping code-switching

ACTIVITIES
1. COMMENT ON THE FOLLOWING QUOTATIONS
1. L" anguage is a uniquely human gift. When we study language, we are uncovering in part what makes us
human, getting a peek at the very nature of human nature. As we uncover how languages and their speakers
differ from one another, we discover that human natures too can differ dramatically, depending on the
languages we speak. The next steps are to understand the mechanisms through which languages help us
construct the incredibly complex knowledge systems we have. Understanding how knowledge is built will
allow us to create ideas that go beyond the currently thinkable. This research cuts right to the fundamental
questions we all ask about ourselves. How do we come to be the way we are? Why do we think the way we
do? An important part of the answer, it turns out, is in the languages we speak".
Lera Boroditsky. Lost in Translation. July 23, 2010.
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703467304575383131592767868.html
2. "A knowledge of and engagement with the systems of culture are fundamental to being able to communicate
successfully, and provide a basis for the ways in which speakers of a language establish shared meanings and
communicate shared concepts and ways of seeing the world".
Liddicoat, A, Papademetre, L, Scarino, A & Kohler, M. (2003)
Report on Intercultural Language Learning, p 45.
Canberra: Department of Education, Science and Technology.
3. "If you change how people talk, that changes how they think. If people learn another language, they
inadvertently also learn a new way of looking at the world. When bilingual people switch from one language
to another, they start thinking differently, too".
Lera Boroditsky. Lost in Translation. July 23, 2010.
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703467304575383131592767868.html
2. Bring to class examples proving that language and culture are closely related. Discuss your examples in
small groups.
The key thesis of your discussion is: "A language is part of a culture and a culture is part of a language; the two
are intricately interwoven so that the two cannot be separated without losing the significance of either the
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language or the culture. There is no human society that is not shaped by the language and does not itself
shape the language. Changes in the language change the culture, and changes in the culture change the
language".
3. Match the description with the Position (Martin & Nakayama, 2010: 221-222).
a) The Nominalist Position b) The Relativist Position
- According to this position, perception is not shaped by the particular language we speak. Language is simply an
arbitrary "outer form of thought." Thus, we all have the same range of thoughts, which we express in different ways
with different languages. This means that any thought can be expressed in any language, although some may take more
or fewer words. The existence of different languages does not mean that people have different thought processes or
inhabit different perceptual worlds. After all, a tree may be an arbre in French and an arbol in Spanish, but we all
perceive the tree in the same way.
- According to this position, the particular language we speak, especially the structure of that language, determines
our thought patterns, our perceptions of reality, and, ultimately, important cultural components. Thus, language is not
merely an "instrument for voicing ideas but is itself the shaper of ideas, the guide for the individual’s mental activity".
4. In small groups discuss the following.
a) According to the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, language defines our experience. It is known that there are no
possessives (his/her/our/your) in the Navajo language. Might we conclude, therefore, that the Navajo think in a
particular way about the concept of possession?
b) "In the past decade, cognitive scientists have begun to measure not just how people talk, but also how they think,
asking whether our understanding of even such fundamental domains of experience as space and time could be
constructed by language.
For example, in Pormpuraaw, a remote Aboriginal community in Australia, the indigenous languages don't use terms
like "left" and "right." Instead, everything is talked about in terms of absolute cardinal directions (north, south, east,
west), which means you say things like, "There's an ant on your southwest leg." So if Pormpuraawans think differently
about space, do they also think differently about other things, like time?
To find out, my colleague Alice Gaby and I traveled to Australia and gave Pormpuraawans sets of pictures that
showed temporal progressions (for example, pictures of a man at different ages, or a crocodile growing, or a banana
being eaten). Their job was to arrange the shuffled photos on the ground to show the correct temporal order. We
tested each person in two separate sittings, each time facing in a different cardinal direction. When asked to do this,
English speakers arrange time from left to right. Hebrew speakers do it from right to left (because Hebrew is written
from right to left).
Pormpuraawans, we found, arranged time from east to west. That is, seated facing south, time went left to right.
When facing north, right to left. When facing east, toward the body, and so on. Of course, we never told any of our
participants which direction they faced. The Pormpuraawans not only knew that already, but they also spontaneously
used this spatial orientation to construct their representations of time."
Lera Boroditsky. Lost in Translation. July 23, 2010.
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703467304575383131592767868.html
5. Comment on the following.
- Can you make correct racial and ethnic identifications by hearing a voice on the telephone if the person
speaks Russian?
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More on PC Racial and Ethnic Prejudice
When I wrote my blog I was unaware of the work of John Baugh who has done a 2 year study of the phenomenon of
linguistic prejudice. In a press release put out on February 2, 2006 by the University of Washington at St. Louis, it
notes that his research demonstrates both that people can make correct racial and ethnic identifications by hearing a
voice on the telephone and that there is systematic prejudice against Hispanics and African Americans. In a press
release he is said to have claimed that some companies screen calls on answering machines and don't return calls of
those whose voices seem to identify them as black or Latino. Some companies instruct their phone clerks to brush
aside any chance of a face-to-face appointment to view a sales property or interview for a job based on the sound of
a caller's voice. Other employees routinely write their guess about a caller's race on company phone message slips.
John Baugh proved his point by having people call concerning advertised rental properties and discovered (Duh!) that
very commonly people with identifiable Spanish accented English or Black accented English were told that the
advertised properties or jobs were no longer available while the same properties or jobs were said to still be available
to those speaking standard American English.
This sort of prejudice has long been known to exist by linguists. Bill Labov demonstrated some 35 or more years ago
that three department stores in New York City exhibited dialect stratification as a function of how many dropped the
r's in "fourth floor." The more "r's" the more likely you could get a job at Sax Fifth Avenue and at Macy's. The specific
job you were assigned reflected the percentage of r's one drops. In this case, the study was not about race per se but
the fact is that Blacks tend to drop r's more than Whites in New York City and some other places, all other things
being equal.
Dr. Baugh's study helps to confirm what Hispanic Americans and Black Americans already know, namely that
America is still a country in which racial and ethnic prejudice is alive and well and being practiced.
February 18, 2006
http://thelanguageguy.blogspot.ru/2006/02/more-on-pc-racial-and-ethnic-prejudice.html
6. Match the descriptions of interaction styles with cultures.
CULTURES: 1. US (NORTH AMERICAN) CULTURE
2. NORTH AMERICAN AND BRITISH CULTURES
3. JAPANESE CULTURE
4. LATIN CULTURES: ITALY, MEXICO
5. ARABIC CULTURES
6. FRENCH CULTURE
a) a person who speaks little is trusted more than a person who speaks a great deal;
b) the ideal conversation for them would resemble a perfect spider’s web: delicate, fragile, elegant, brilliant, of
harmonious proportions, a work of art. But this type of conversation is reserved only for close relationships and it is
used in informal situations. In "serious conversations", long, interrupted responses and attentive listening are used;
c) self-congratulation and self-praise are common to the speakers. Describing one’s own accomplishments, the high
status of one’s friends, or the superiority of one’s abilities in exaggerated terms is usual;
d) lots of noise characterizes conversation, and often two or more people talk at one time;
e) words are taken literally at their face value, in most situations. Bluntness is admired in many situations. Showing
your best side in a job interview, for example, means saying clearly what your accomplishments and abilities are;
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f) a moment of silence after someone speaks is respectful; it suggests thoughtful contemplation of what has been
said;
g) the general preference in this culture is for exaggeration and overstatement. Words like terrific, great,
catastrophe, and tragedy occur in ordinary speech and refer to things that are not so tremendous after all;
h) exaggerations, figures of speech, and repetition are some of the ways this language lends itself to the exuberant
use of words. The language itself has a power over listeners or readers; the words can have more impact and more
reality than what they describe. So, words can be used for their own sake, not for the meaning they convey;
i) they enjoy talk as one of the greatest pleasures of life. Not all that is verbalized is taken literally, but enjoyment
comes from the act of verbal and non-verbal connection with others;
j) to boast about one’s own powers and achievements is very bad taste. It is putting oneself above others, which is
shameful in this culture;
k) using the right word, the best word to communicate meaning is especially admired;
l) listeners wait until a speaker is finished before speaking themselves;
m) the speakers tend to use language in a bridge pattern that goes more or less in a straight line from the first idea to
the next and so on to the conclusion;
n) interrupting someone is rude in this culture.
7. Study Andrew Hong’s diagrams of verbal communication styles and draw a diagram of Russian
communication style preferences.
Present your diagram to the class or small group.
8. Read the extracts and state the reasons for code switching.
a) "....I wanted to get here before you had breakfast." She plunged back into her car and reappeared with a paper
bag. ‘Voilà. They’re still warm.’
Max thanked her, and stood nursing his croissants while Madame Passepartout brought him up-to-date on the current
state of French bread...
.... she now looked around the kitchen.
There was a sharp intake of breath. ‘Ho la la! Mais c’est un bordel. An old man living alone. One can always tell.’
She stood with her hands on her hips, her lips clenched in disapproval. ‘This won’t do for a nice boy like yourself.
Dust everywhere! Mice, no doubt! Probably scorpions! Quelle horreur.’
(Peter Mayle, A Good Year, p. 74)
b) ‘Well,’ she said, ‘are you ready to chiner?’
‘Sounds like fun. Is it legal?’
Natalie laughed. ‘It means to go looking for antiques, for bargains.’
(Peter Mayle, A Good Year, p.85)
c) ‘We saw our electrician and Bruno who lays the stone floors eating together in a corner, and recognized two or
three other faces that we hadn’t seen sine work had stopped on the house. ... One of them called across to us.
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‘C’est tranquille chez vous? Peaceful without us?’
We said we hoped they would be coming back when work started again in August.’
(Peter Mayle, A Year in Provence, p.127)

WRITING
Attend an intercultural gathering and write a descriptive essay on participants’ communication styles.
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Unit 8. MISCOMMUNICATION IN INTERCULTURAL DISCOURSE


Language plays a paramount role in our daily transactions. It is through language that we share with others our
experiences, feelings, ideas and thoughts. But language is ambiguous. This means that we can never be certain what
the other person means – whether in speaking or writing. Speakers often are not clear themselves about what they
mean. Even when people know what they mean, they often do not say it as clearly as they should. They may hide their
true feelings or ideas intentionally or unintentionally. Either way, people often get confused about other people's
messages.
This is especially common when people from different cultures try to communicate. Even if they speak the same
language, culture acts like a lens through which they see and interpret the world. If their cultures are different, it is easy
for the same statement to mean one thing to one person and something different to someone else. Thus, intercultural
communication is especially prone to errors.
It is generally known that communication works better the more the participants share assumptions and knowledge
about the world. When two people have very similar histories, backgrounds, and experiences, their communication
proceeds fairly easily, because the inferences each makes about what the other means are based on common
experience and knowledge. Two people from the same village and the same family are likely to make fewer mistakes
in drawing inferences about what the other means than two people from different cities on different sides of the earth.
(R. Scollon & S. Scollon, 2001)
Successful communication is based on sharing as much as possible the assumptions we make about what others
mean. When we are communicating with people who are very different from us, it is very difficult to know how to
draw inferences about what they mean, and so it is impossible to depend on shared knowledge and background for
confidence in our interpretations.
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Problems of Communication
There exist various classifications of communication problems. The scholars S. Gass and E. Varonis (1991) divided
the problems of communication in intercultural context into two categories: non-engagement and miscommunication.
Non-engagement is subdivided into non-communication and communication break-off. Miscommunication is
subdivided into misunderstanding and incomplete understanding.

Non-communication occurs when a native speaker (NS) or non-native speaker (NNS) avoids communicating with
the other person. One reason non-communication might occur is that a NS perceives that the energy necessary to
communicate with a NNS is greater that what s/he will gain from the interaction. On the other hand, an NNS may be
too shy to speak a foreign language or too afraid of making mistakes that he avoids interacting with a NS.
Communication break-off occurs when NSs or NNSs end a conversation that is taking place. The main reason is
that the communicators perceive that continuing the conversation is not in their best interest.
Miscommunication means a mismatch between the speaker’s intention and the hearer’s interpretation
Misunderstanding is a simple disparity between the speaker’s and hearer’s semantic analysis of a given utterance.
When misunderstanding occurs, the participants do not recognize that there is a problem. However, after the
interaction is over, one or both of the participants might recognize that there was a problem. The person who
recognizes a problem can choose to ignore it or try to figure out what the problem was. The decision to ignore or
correct the problem may depend on different factors: the nature of the relationship between the communicators, the
importance of the conversation, etc.
Incomplete understanding occurs when at least one of the participants perceives that something has gone wrong.
Usually, the communicator decides to correct the problem immediately.
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Causes of Miscommunication in Intercultural Encounters


Miscommunication can occur for a variety of reasons. Bank, Ge, and Banker (1991) identify four major causes of
miscommunication in intercultural encounters: culture difference, linguistic failures, failed pragmatics, and problems of
identity.
However, we argue that these causes should not be analyzed separately. As language and culture are interrelated, the
communicators may not encode and transmit their messages in a way that can be understood by others, or the
message may be misinterpreted by the other party because of various combinations of language and cultural
differences working together.
We shall proceed from the language and discuss communication problems that occur due to pronunciation, lexical,
grammatical and pragmatic errors.
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Pronunciation
Languages may have different number of phonemes, which ranges from 15 to 85. Sometimes it is difficult to hear the
distinctions in the sounds made by native speakers. This may lead to misunderstanding especially if the NNS does not
know the lexical unit used by the native speaker. For example, when listening to the text"Bruno, the Fishing Dog"
many students in the group decided that the story-teller used the word-combination"scream door"instead of screen
door as they did not know the meaning of the latter.
Very often pronunciation mistakes are made by NNS who are unable to produce foreign sounds correctly. Not all
of these errors lead to misunderstanding; sometimes they only add a heavy foreign accent to the speech which is
understood by native speakers. But some pronunciation errors can cause problems.
Russian vowels do not build long-short oppositions, so it is very difficult for a Russian speaker to pronounce the
English vowels [i: - ɪ] correctly. Mistakes often occur when these vowels are used in oppositions in the words which
have different meanings. For example, depending on the way the word [p i:/ɪ lz] is pronounced the sentence"There are
a lot of [p i:/ɪ lz] on the table"may be interpreted either as"There are a lot of pills on the table"or T
" here are a lot
of peels on the table". Mispronunciation of the vowels [i:/ɪ] may lead to misunderstanding in the following context:"
Draw a [ʃ i:/ɪ p], please."What should be drawn: a sheep or a ship?
Another pair of vowels that may present some difficulty for Russian speakers is the English close [e] and open [æ],
especially if these phonemes are used to differentiate the words. For example, man-men; pat-pet; bat-bet.
It is always difficult to pronounce the sounds of the foreign language that do not exist in the mother tongue. The vowel
[ɜː] presents some difficulty for Russian speakers, and the vowel [ɔː] may be used to substitute for it. This may lead to
the change of meaning. For example, instead of"They [wɜːk] in the park every day"the Russian speaker may say"
They [wɔːk] in the park every day".
Inaccurate intonation gives the speech a foreign accent but very seldom leads to misunderstanding. One of few
illustrations is the phrase"Thank you". There is a danger that the use of low-to-high tone instead of high-to-low tone
will give the utterance a rather casual impression instead of genuine gratitude.
The exact allocation of word-stress plays a substantial part in speech processing and serves as a clue to understanding
words. Native English speakers do not decode the spoken stream "one word at a time"; instead the stressed syllable
is picked out of the speech stream and is used to search the mental lexicon. Consequently, any incorrect placement of
stress in a word may hinder language comprehension.
The Indian scholar M. Benrabah (1997) considered the case when word stress patterns produced by non-
natives resulted in misunderstandings. He showed cases of incorrect stress placement by Indian, Nigerian, and
Algerian speakers and the interpretations given by British listeners.
Intended word Indian speaker’s British listeners’
pronunciation responses
written wriTTEN retain/return
Richard riCHARD the child
Nigerian speaker’s
pronunciation
secondary seCONdary the country
Algerian speaker’s
pronunciation
upset UPset absent
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Words and meanings


It is obvious that our culture teaches us to name what is practical, useful and important. We learn to name what is
around us. The important things in our environment take on specific names, while the less important things have more
generalized names that must be modified through additional words to become specific. For example, Trobriand
Islanders in New Guinea have a hundred words for yams, which are an important food source. Arabs have hundreds
of words for camels and camel accoutrements. Tahitians have many names for one species of fish that they can catch
in the lagoons. Each noun denotes the size and the stage of maturity of the species. Tahitians also use a whole glossary
of words for the coconut, giving it a series of noun designators related to the size, maturity, and use of each coconut.
(T. Novinger, 2001: 47)
There are a lot of examples how languages differ in the number of words for different family and kinship relations.
Some states and processes are also regarded as more or less important by different cultures. For example, the
Javanese have a specific word for ten different kinds of standing and twenty different kinds of sitting. In the Ewe
language there are thirty-three different words for thirty-three different kinds of walking. Each different variation of
walking is so valid and significant in itself that no other kind seems possible. (M. Picard, 1963: 94)
Each culture presents to its members through words the ideas and concepts that the culture transmits from generation
to generation. For example, the Sioux of North America have no words for"late"or w" aiting,"which reflects and affects
the treatment of time in that culture. (T. Novinger, 2001: 47)
Many words in different languages have two parts to their meaning: denotative and connotative. Cultural differences in
the meaning of words may lead to intercultural miscommunication. For example, in many cultures there is a negative
evaluation of Monday, the first day of the workweek, and a positive evaluation of Friday, the last day of the
workweek and the beginning of the weekend. Whereas many Arabic speakers, who are Muslims, have a negative
evaluation of Saturday, the first day of the week, after the holy day, Friday. For religious Jews, a day of rest and
worship is Saturday (a Sabbath day), and Sunday is an ordinary weekday. It may be difficult in intercultural
interaction to understand such expressions as"Monday morning blues,""TGIF,""Понедельник – день тяжелый".
Sometimes different cultures use identical words that have rather different meanings. For example, (Ukrainian)
краватка = (Russian) галстук; (Polish) sklep = (Russian) магазин; (Check) pozor = (Russian) внимание;
(English) magazine = (Russian) журнал.
Languages do not remain stable, they change overtime. For example, the word gay meaning ‘homosexual’ became
established in the 1960s as the term preferred by homosexual men to describe themselves. It is now the standard
accepted term throughout the English-speaking world. As a result, the centuries-old other senses of gay meaning
either ‘carefree’ or ‘bright and showy’ have more or less dropped out of natural use. (Oxford Dictionary)
At present, there is a strong tendency in the United States to use "politically correct" vocabulary. For example,
retarded children ˃ children with learning difficulties; invalid ˃ disabled; poor ˃ economically
disadvantaged. With more women in the workforce the use of gender-neutral terms is increasing. For example,
chairperson/chair, sales clerk, firefighter instead of chairman, salesman, fireman. The new terminology may be
the cause of intercultural miscommunication.
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Grammar
Any language is a highly structured symbolic system consisting of many interrelated parts. Speakers of a language
have in their heads a set of rules for using that language. This is a grammar, and the vast majority of the information in
it is acquired – at least in the case of one's native language – not by conscious study or instruction, but by observing
other speakers; much of this work is done during infancy.
Grammar includes a good portion of the mental habit patterns and categories that allow people in a community to
communicate with one another. Grammar is internal to the human mind, but allows the mind to "connect" to other
minds that have similar grammatical patterns. (T.E. Payne)
Traditionally, grammar is divided into morphology and syntax.
Morphology in linguistics has to do with how words are shaped, and how the shapes of words may be systematically
adjusted in order to accomplish communicative tasks.
Syntax studies how words combine to form sentences.
Today, many linguists prefer to use the term"morphosyntax." It is a hybrid word that comes from two words –
morphology and syntax. One reason linguists like to talk about morphology and syntax together is that sometimes a
communicative job that is performed by word shapes (morphology) in one language is performed by combinations of
words (syntax) in another. So if linguists want to compare different languages, it helps to be able to refer to
"morphosyntax." (T.E. Payne)
Morphosyntax shows the way in which a language community organizes its thoughts. For example, Truk Islanders
have no past tense in their language and treat the past as if it were the present – events thereby become indefinite in
duration, and old conflicts remain immediate, as if they had just happened. (T. Novinger, 2001: 47)
Another example that can illustrate different organization of thought by different language communities is the
grammatical category of number. Many languages have only two grammatical forms – the singular and the plural.
Some languages have a special form for two things, the so-called "dual number". In some native African languages
there are special forms for certain multiples, for example six or seven. There is felt to be something significant about
the meeting of six or seven people or things, so a special word-form is used to describe such a meeting.
The Figi islanders use a different word for two coconuts than for ten coconuts. Ten coconuts are not simply eight
coconuts plus two. They are something quite different. Number expresses a difference in quality as well as in quantity.
The change in the number affects the nature of the encounter. The Figi islander looks from man to the object, that is
from himself to the two coconuts, not from object to object, that is not from the two coconuts to the ten, the
encounter with the object is the thing that matters. (M. Picard, 1963: 93)
One of the fundamental issues is the way different languages organize sentences containing a subject, a verb and an
object. In English, the way a speaker communicates who is acting and who is being acted upon is mostly word order.
Consider the following examples:
a. Zarina taught Stephen. a. The dog chased the cat.
b. Stephen taught Zarina. b. The cat chased the dog.
These sentences do not mean the same thing, even though the shapes of all the words are identical. The difference in
meaning is expressed only by the order of the words. Therefore we say that the job of identifying the actor in English
is accomplished syntactically. In the Russian language, the actor is identified by the form of the word. Compare:
a. Марина учила Катю. a. Дети принесли зайца.
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b. Катю учила Марина. b. Зайца принесли дети.
In Japanese the verb comes at the end of the sentence, making it difficult for English speakers to understand what is
being said until the entire sentence has been uttered. Americans say,"How are you?"and Chinese say,"Nie hau
ma?"(ma at the end of a declarative sentence changes that sentence to an interrogative), meaning,"You good?"In
Vietnamese the verb is followed by the subject of the sentence – the reverse of the English language. (Calloway-
Thomas C., Cooper P., Blake C., 1999: 140)
Variations in verb forms can be illustrated by the example given by J. Martin and T. Nakayama. The Chinese language
has no counterfactual verb form (illustrated by "If I had known, I would have gone, but I did not"). Researchers
constructed stories using the counterfactual form and found that the Chinese respondents understood the concept of
counterfactual and could answer questions appropriately even though this structure is not present in Chinese. No
evidence indicates that Chinese speakers are unable to think in terms of counterfactuals; rather, they simply do not
normally express thoughts using such constructions. (J. Martin & T. Nakayama, 2010: 225).
Thus, the main ideas to keep in mind are:
Language is a tool for communication; therefore structural similarities among unrelated languages can, in most cases,
be attributed to common communicational functions.
Languages can accomplish the same or similar communicative tasks by changing the shapes of words
(morphologically) or by changing how words are arranged (syntactically).
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Pragmatics
Pragmatics studies the ways in which the context contributes to the meaning of the utterance. Unlike semantics, which
examines meaning that is conventional or "coded" in a given language, pragmatics studies how the transmission of
meaning depends not only on structural and linguistic knowledge (e.g., grammar, lexicon, etc.) of the speaker and
listener, but also on the context of the utterance, any pre-existing knowledge about those involved, the inferred intent
of the speaker, and other factors.
Pragmatics is a way of investigating how sense can be made of certain texts even when, from a semantic viewpoint,
the text seems to be either incomplete or to have a different meaning to what is really intended. Consider a sign seen in
a children's wear shop window: "Baby Sale - lots of bargains". We know that there are no babies for sale - that what
is for sale are items used for babies. Pragmatics allows us to investigate how this "meaning beyond the words" can be
understood without ambiguity. The extra meaning is there, not because of the semantic aspects of the words
themselves, but because we share certain contextual knowledge with the writer or speaker of the text.
Pragmatics also explains that interlocutors can successfully converse with one another if they obey certain principles.
Among these principle is the Cooperative Principle, which assumes that communicators cooperate in the conversation
by contributing to the ongoing speech event (Grice, 1975), and the Politeness Principle (Leech, 1983) that maintains
interlocutors behave politely to one another. The pragmatic principles people abide by in one language are often
different in another.
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Speech Acts
The term speech act refers to the fact that through speaking a person accomplishes goals. Speakers choose ways of
expressing themselves based on their intentions, on what they want hearers to believe, accept, or do. Several linguists
and philosophers have proposed typologies that classify differences among speech acts. One of the most well-known
classifications is the one given by John Austin (1962). He classified all utterances on the basis of their purpose and
effect.
A locutionary act is an act of "saying something". It contains the speaker’s verbalized message.
An illocutionary act indicates the speaker’s purpose in saying something, specifying in what way s/he is using
the locution. Some illocutionary acts are asking or answering questions; giving information, assurance, or warnings;
announcing an intention; making a criticism, etc.
A perlocutionary act produces sequential effects on the feelings, thoughts, or actions of hearers.
The following examples demonstrate the distinct nature of each type of act.
A locutionary act: He said to me, Y
"ou can’t do it."
An illocutionary act: He protested against my doing that.
A perlocutionary act: He stopped me, brought me to my senses. Or: He annoyed me.
This kind of categorization of speech acts has been very useful in describing problems in communication which arise
when non-native speakers translate sentences having a specific illocutionary force in their native language into the
target language, in which the interpretation of the utterance may be very different. That is, the words may be
translated, but the meaning or "force" of the utterance is lost.
Communication problems are particularly noticeable in the use of what John Searle (1976) called"indirect speech
acts."An indirect speech act is one in which the form and function do not coincide. For example, "Can you close the
door?"W " hy don’t you close the window?"If the Russian speaker is not aware of the illocutionary force of these
utterances, s/he will hear them as questions but not as indirect requests, and probably will try to answer the questions.
Thus, this type of misunderstanding is based on the NNS’s not knowing that the request may be phrased as a question
in the English language.
The same is about directives. They may be expressed explicitly with an imperative sentence, for example:"Pass the
salt (please)."But the same directive may be performed indirectly. For example:
I would like some salt.
Can you reach the salt?
Is it possible for you to pass the salt?
It would be nice if you passed the salt.
A cook forgot the salt in this dish.
A little salt would help this dish.
Requests and orders are speech acts which "impose the will of the speaker on the hearer… In general, bold on-
record directives in the form of imperatives are rarely used in conversational English, even in transactional situations
such as shopping and asking the time, whereas this is not the case in languages such as French, German and Spanish."
(L. Rothwell, 2001: 175)
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Intercultural Pragmatic Failure


J. Thomas (1983) has outlined two distinct types of cross-cultural miscommunication: pragmalinguistic and
sociopragmatic failures.
Pragmalinguistic errors are language specific errors that involve the pragmatic force of an utterance having different
meanings in two languages. In other words, pragmalinguistic errors occur when speech act strategies are
inappropriately transferred from one language to another.
Pragmalinguistic errors are numerous. For example, in the Russian language there is a verb" поздравлять." Its
corresponding English verb is "to congratulate."In Russian, it’s appropriate to say "
Поздравляю с днем рождения!"
whereas in English the phrase "I congratulate you on your birthday!"would sound strange, as the accepted formula
for this occasion is "Happy birthday!"
A pragmalinguistic error may be made when addressing a group of people. In Russian, the adjective ‘уважаемые’ is
often used, whereas in English, different adjectives are employed depending on the context. For example,
Уважаемые делегаты! – Distinguished delegates!; Уважаемые коллеги! – My most esteemed colleagues!;
Уважаемые господа! (form of address in letters) – Dear sirs. The phrase ‘Уважаемые пассажиры!’ is a
common formula of address in Russian, but in English it is pragmatically wrong to say, ‘Dear/distinguished/esteemed
passengers.’ The announcer will say, ‘Ladies and gentlemen!’ In written address the passive sentence structure is
used: "Passengers are required not to…"
There are some differences in the choice of words between English and Russian speakers in telephone conversations:
in Russian it is appropriate to use the verb ‘слушать,’ while in English the verb ‘speak’ is used.
Пригласите, пожалуйста, Олега Петровича. – Я слушаю.
May I speak with Mr. Brown? - Speaking!
The change of English Speaking! into Listening! or Russian Я слушаю into Я говорю may lead to misunderstanding.
There are public settings in which pragmalinguistic failure could be embarrassing. Such an occasion is a conference or
workshop in which an invited speaker is to make a presentation. Ron White in his article" Saying please:
pragmalinguistic failure in English interaction"describes the following situation.
The chairperson, who was a non-native speaker of English, completed a brief account of the guest speaker’s
background, referred to the topic of his talk, and then said to the guest speaker:
"Professor Morgan, please begin your talk."
Why was it an instance of pragmalinguistic failure?
Firstly, Professor Morgan had already been asked to give a talk, and he had accepted the invitation, which is why he
was present, ready, and waiting to speak. Therefore, to request him to begin talking was inappropriate.
Secondly, the purpose of an introductory speaker (chairperson) is to introduce the guest speaker and then to hand the
floor over to him or her. This is not at all the same speech act as requesting or instructing. It is an act of inviting,
because the speaker is formally inviting the guest to take the floor. Again, a request or an instruction is not an
appropriate speech act with which to perform this function.
The inappropriateness is further compounded by the use of please which cannot co-occur with invitations.
In this situation, a native English speaker would probably say something like:
And now I would like to invite Professor Morgan to tell us about . . .
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And now, without further ado, I would like to hand over to Professor Morgan.
And now it is with great pleasure that I call upon Professor Morgan to begin his talk on . . .
Professor Morgan, it gives me great pleasure to open our seminar with your paper on . . .
And now, Professor Morgan, would you like to begin?
When asked why he had said "please"the chairperson said that he used it because it was polite. No doubt his misuse
of please would be overlooked by tolerant hearers. However, the mismatch between his intentions and the effect of
his words was obvious. (R. White, 1993)
There exist pragmatic variations between dialects and variants of the English language. Claudia Brugman (1995) in her
book Communication and Context gives the following example illustrating pragmatic variations between American
English and New Zealand English. Generally an American will respond to thank you with you’re welcome. If instead
of you’re welcome an American says, that’s all right, the implication is that the favor that was performed was an
effort for the speaker, and the speaker is acknowledging the effort and saying that it was no trouble to have gone to
the effort. In New Zealand, that’s all right is a simple acknowledgement of the thanks equivalent to the American
you’re welcome; it carries no implication that the favor was a particular effort of the speaker’s. An American may
think that New Zealanders are rude after hearing such a response, because the American would think that the New
Zealander was conveying the indirect message that the favor was an effort. The American would draw the wrong
inference about the New Zealander because the pragmatic rule that operates in American English does not operate in
New Zealand English. New Zealanders may think Americans are rude for similar reasons, which stem from the
invisibility of pragmatics. (C. Brugman, 1995: 75)
Sociopragmatic errors stem from cross-culturally different perception of what constitutes appropriate linguistic
behavior. These errors occur when the communicator does not perceive the situation or does not categorize the other
people involved in accordance with the cultural norms they are using. Thomas (1983) maintains that this type of
miscommunication is the most problematic since it stems not from differences in language forms alone, but from
culture-specific belief and value systems.
For example, almost all cultures have certain rules regulating the way gratitude is expressed. Expressions of gratitude
usually occur at the time of giving, but they may also reoccur later. For Anglo-American subjects, this reentry of
thanks is as important as the original thanks. A written note or phone call at a later date is not only highly valued but
often expected.
Expressions of gratitude offered in an inappropriate context could be perceived as distancing, insulting, or rude. In
many cultures, the words thank you are not commonly used to express appreciation to family members for acts of
kindness considered part of their social roles. (Eisenstein M. & Bodman J., 1993: 73) A Puerto Rican woman who
had lived for many years in the United States described how hurt and angry her father became when she thanked him
for helping her take care of her son, his grandchild. Her mother berated her:
H
" ow could you have been so thoughtless? You thanked your father. He was happy to take care of Johnnie.
Have you forgotten how to behave? He’s your father and he loves you. How could you be so cold – to thank
him?"
Compliments relating to her father’s kindness would have been better received. (Eisenstein M. & Bodman J., 1993:
74)
Japanese students and other migrants living in the US find it strange and rather offensive when Americans in their
invitation to a social gathering after indicating when and where it will take place add a phrase like "Come if you want
to." Japanese rules of speaking require that a potential guest should be urged to accept an invitation. According to
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American rules people should not be forced to accept possibly unwanted invitations. Misunderstandings occur
because neither group is aware of the other’s pragmatic rules. No wonder, the Japanese feel hurt and uncertain
whether the invitation is really sincerely meant. (N. Wolfson, 1989)
There are cultures in which a common greeting is some version of "Have you eaten?"or W " here are you going?"Such
questions are only conversational formulas to which no precise answer is expected. The English "How are you?"is only
a greeting not a question and it calls for a ritual answer, not a recital of one’s aches and pains.
Cultural knowledge plays a critical role in communication. The ability to speak and comprehend a particular language
is a necessary but not sufficient condition for mutual understanding. People also need to share the same set of norms
about the kinds of goals expressed in speaking, norms that are learned through socialization in one’s culture.
Successful communication also involves inter-cultural understanding which, among other things, means avoiding
making wrong attributions. Erroneous attributions occur when either or both sides in an inter-cultural exchange violate
not just the surface features of language, but the conditions which give meaning to speakers’ and hearers’ intentions
and interpretations.
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Questions, Exercises and Activities

REVIEW AND DISCUSSION QUESTIONS


1. What is meant by the statement "Language is ambiguous"?
2. How do Gass and Varonis classify communication problems?
3. What are the main causes of miscommunication in intercultural encounters?
4. What mispronounced sounds can cause misunderstanding?
5. Why does incorrect placement of stress in a word hinder language comprehension?
6. What does the term "morphosyntax"denote?
7. What examples can prove that language communities organize their thoughts differently?
8. What does pragmatics study?
9. How can speech acts be classified?
10. What is an indirect speech act?
SPEAK ON
1. Misunderstanding that occurs in intercultural communication due to incorrect choice of words.
2. Intercultural pragmatic failures.

REVISION TEST
1. J. Thomas calls errors which occur when speech strategies are inappropriately transferred from one
language to another
a) grammatical
b) syntactic
c) pragmalinguistic
d) linguistic
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2. J. Thomas calls errors which stem from cross-culturally different perceptions of what constitute
appropriate linguistic behavior
a) sociopragmatic
b) pragmatic
c) pragmalinguistic
d) linguistic
3. What error does a Russian speaker make when s/he says: "I congratulate you on the International
Women’s Day"?
a) sociopragmatic
b) grammatical
c) pragmalinguistic
d) linguistic
4. What error does a Russian speaker make when speaking over the phone:
- Can I talk to Dmitry? - I’m listening.
a) sociopragmatic
b) pragmalinguistic
c) pragmatic
d) linguistic
5. What error do Americans make when they invite Japanese guests to a social gathering and add to their
invitation the phrase "Come if you want to"?
a) sociopragmatic
b) pragmatic
c) pragmalinguistic
d) linguistic
6. What error do Chinese make if they forget to say "Thank you" when Americans give them gifts?
a) pragmatic
b)sociopragmatic
c)linguistic
d) pragmalinguistic
7. Who classified speech acts into locutionary, illocutionary and perlocutionary?
a) J. Searl
b) B. Whorf
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c) J. Austin
d) M. Rosaldo
8. Arabic speakers may not understand the meaning of the phrase "Monday morning blues", because:
a) Monday is a day of rest and worship in Muslim cultures
b) Monday is the last day of the week before the holy day Tuesday
c) in English-speaking countries Monday is the first day of the week, after the weekend
d) in Arabic cultures the first day of the week is Saturday, after the holy day Friday; thus, the negative
connotation of "Monday"is not perceived by the Arabic speakers.
9. Fill in the gaps.
a) _____________ is a simple disparity between the speaker’s and hearer’s semantic analysis of a given utterance.
b) _____________ occurs when a NS or NNS avoids communicating with the other person.
c) Gass and Varonis divide problems of communication into two categories: non-engagement and _____________ .

d) According to J. Thomas’ definition, _____________ errors are language specific errors that involve the pragmatic
force of an utterance having different meanings in two languages. They occur when speech strategies are
inappropriately transferred from one language to another.
e) Americans make a ___________ error when they invite Japanese guests to a social gathering and add to the their
invitation the phrase "Come if you want to."
f) Russian speakers make a __________ error when speaking over the phone they say: ("Can I talk to Mr. Ivanov?"
- "I’m listening").
g) A Russian speaker makes a _________ error when s/he says: "I congratulate you with the New Year!"
h) Russian speakers make a _________ error when at the end of the presentation (public speech) they say: "That’s
all!"
i) A ___________ act is an act of "saying something." It contains the speaker’s verbalized message.
j) An __________ act indicates the speaker’s purpose in saying something, specifying in what way she or he is using
the locution (e.g. asking or answering questions; giving information; announcing an intention; etc.)
k) A ___________ act produces sequential effects on the feelings, thoughts or actions of hearers.
l) An __________ speech act is one in which the form and function do not coincide.
10. Match the terms with the definitions (according to Gass & Varonis’ classification).

1. misunderstanding a. avoiding communication with the other person.


2. communication break-off b. a simple disparity between the speaker’s and
hearer’s semantic analysis of a given utterance.
3. non-communication c. ending a conversation, the continuation of which is not
in the speakers’ best interests
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4. incomplete understanding d. recognition of a communication problem during the


interaction

11. Match the terms with the definitions (according to John Austin’s classification)

1. illocutionary act a. it produces sequential effects on the feelings, thoughts


or actions of hearers.
2. perlocutionary act b. it is an act of "saying something." It contains the
speaker’s verbalized message.
3. locutionary act c. it indicates the speaker’s purpose in saying
something, specifying in what way she or he is using the
locution (e.g. asking or answering questions; giving
information; announcing an intention).

KEY WORDS
Explain the meaning of the following words and expressions:
ambiguous inference
assumption non-engagement
miscommunication non-communication
communication break-off incomplete understanding
misunderstanding disparity
pragmatics speech act
locutionary act illocutionary act
perlocutionary act indirect speech act
pragmalinguistic errors sociopragmatic errors

ACTIVITIES
1. Analyze the following extract. Give your own examples to illustrate the same phenomenon.
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"And the Balti had as many names for rock as the Inuit have for snow. Brak-lep was flat rock, to be used for sleeping
or cooking upon. Khrok was wedge-shaped, ideal for sealing holes in stone homes. And small round rocks were
khodos, which one heated in a fire, then wrapped in dough to make skull-shaped kurba, unleavened bread, which
they baked every morning before setting out."
(Mortenson G., Relin D.O. Three Cups of Tea.
Penguin Books, 2006. P. 22)
2. Comment on the following example.
"Business people in the United States typically are frustrated with the mañana mentality of Spanish-speaking
countries. "They said tomorrow, but they did not mean it." For Americans tomorrow means midnight to midnight, a
very precise time period. To Mexicans, on the other hand, el mañana means in the future, soon. A Mexican
businessman speaking with an American may use the word tomorrow but not be aware of or not intend the precise
meaning of the word. The vague terminology is not precise enough for the American emphasis on efficiency. The
difficulties over the word mañana are at least as much an American problem as a Mexican problem. Dictionaries do
not help because they typically pretend that there are exact word equivalences and same meanings. In order to
communicate concepts effectively, cultural knowledge is as important as linguistic knowledge."
(Varner I., Beamer L. Intercultural Communication
in the Global Workplace. IRWIN, 1995. P.30)
3. Give examples to illustrate:
Miscommunication due to incorrect pronunciation.
Miscommunication due to the connotative component of a lexical unit.
Miscommunication due to incorrect choice of words.
Miscommunication due to incorrect morphosyntax.
Pragmalinguistic errors.
Sociopragmatic errors.
4. What was/is the attitude to first-naming in Russian culture?
"First-naming in the United States is an artificial attempt at high-contexting; it tends to offend Europeans, who view the
use of first names as acceptable only between close friends and family. With Europeans, one is always safe using a
formal form of address, waiting for the other person to indicate when familiarity is acceptable."
(E. T. Hall & M. R. Hall. Understanding Cultural Differences.
Intercultural Press, INC, 1987. P.7)
5. Read an excerpt from P.W. Roberts’ book In Search of the Birth of Jesus: The Real Journey of the
Magi (1995).
PAUL WILLIAM ROBERTS
This Land is Mine
No, it’s not!
Nuri had followed a curiously erratic route, zigzagging for no apparent reason. But since my camel – now named
Mustafa – seemed incapable of doing anything but follow Nuri’s confident mount, I had little choice but to trail behind.
No doubt I’d bought a lemon, but at least it worked – it even ran, but only when Nuri’s camel broke into the
occasional canter itself.
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I dismounted, tying Mustafa to a rock – as Nuri had done with his beast – and attempted to protest this unexpected
halt. Nuri was far from stupid, but he was also far from rocket science. In the old days, perhaps, he would have been
termed a "simpleton." It wasn’t possible to argue with him, I realized, because he only did what was currently
programmed into him, and I had not written the program. As I reluctantly unhooked my knapsack and stuff pack from
Mustafa’s tattered saddle, Nuri gestured around himself at the bleak, crepuscular wilderness, saying,
"Land-iss mine…"
"Yes," I replied, marveling at the Bedouin feeling for territory, at their innate sense of where they belonged and what
belonged to them. "Yes. Your land …"
"Land-iss mine," he said, more forcefully, sweeping his arm in an arc at all ahead.
"Yes, yes. The great Bedouin desert. Where your people have lived for thousands of years."
He seemed angry now, repeating the gesture and the phrase.
"Land-iss mine!"
Oh Christ! I thought. He’s going loony on me. I started to clear an area of small rocks and stones, where I planned to
attempt sleep, when I discovered, after scooping away some gravel, a round black cylinder of metal. About to call
Nuri and ask him to take a look, it suddenly struck me that his proprietorial announcement was nothing of the sort.
"Right," I said. "Here’s one, Nuri! Isn’t this a land mine?"
He plodded over and peered down, lighting a match.
"Ah! Land-iss mine," he agreed happily.
No wonder we’d been zigzagging.
I could have had it as a pillow – for a second. Always trust a Bedouin, particularly when you have no choice but to
trust one. An old British diplomat once confided this useful piece of information to me. It’s worth remembering.
***
1. Characterize the situation of communication.
2. Characterize the participants of communication.
3. Speak on the author’s perception of Nuri (attribution, stereotyping).
4. Analyze the author’s perception of Nuri’s behavior before the halt.
5. Speak on the author’s attitude to the uncertainty caused by Nuri’s behavior.
6. How did the author interpret Nuri’s first attempt to explain the situation (Land-iss mine)?
7. How did Nuri react to the misinterpretation of his words?
8. How did the author interpret Nuri’s second attempt to explain the situation?
9. What did Nuri do to get his message across?
10. What conflict managing strategy did the author choose when Nuri became angry?
11. When and why did the author understand the meaning of Nuri’s words (Land-iss mine)?
12. How did Nuri react to the author’s late understanding of his words?
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13. At what stage(s) of the communication process was a mistake made? What types of mistakes were made?
14. Why did misunderstanding last for quite a long time?
15. What do you think each of the communicators should have done to avoid (or correct) misunderstanding?
16. Who do you think is to blame for miscommunication?

WRITING
Comment on the following quotation.
I" think that when speaking with someone from another culture, specifically with someone who speaks English
as a second language, one must be more considerate toward that person’s needs; e.g., speaking slower,
repeating oneself if necessary, explaining and/or avoiding slang terms."

ANALYZING A VIDEO
Watch the movie Outsourced, a 2006 romantic comedy film directed by John Jeffcoat and starring Josh Hamilton,
Ayesha Dharker, and Asif Basra.
An American e-commerce company is looking to outsourcing all its sales calls to India. Todd Anderson has been
assigned the task to go to India and set-up the new call centre and to train the man who will do his job. At their first
meeting, Todd explains that he sells "kitsch to rednecks. Now I have to train some other schmuck to do it." His
trainee replies: "Would you kindly be telling me, what is kitsch, and what is redneck, and what is schmuck?"
Purohit keeps calling him 'Toad' which irritates Todd a lot.
The Indian call center is staffed by willing novices whom Todd trains to sound American.
Analyze the episodes featuring miscommunication due to incorrect pronunciation, choice of words,
pragmalinguistic and sociopragmatic errors.
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Unit 9. INTERCULTURAL TRANSITIONS


People travel across cultural boundaries for many different reasons: for work, study, or adventure, or because they
are forced by political or other events.
The word migrant refers to an individual who leaves the culture contexts in which he or she was raised and moves to
a new culture for an extended period of time.
Cultural transitions may vary in length and degree of voluntariness. We can identify four types of migrant groups based
on these criteria: two groups of voluntary travelers (sojourners and immigrants), and two groups of involuntary
travelers (short-term refugees and long-term refugees).
Sojourners are those travelers who move into new cultural contexts for a limited period of time and for a specific
purpose. This includes international students who go abroad to study, tourists, sportsmen, technical assistance
workers, corporate personnel, journalists, teachers, diplomats, and missionaries who go abroad to work for a specific
period of time. A core principle of the European Union (EU) is "freedom of movement," meaning that an EU national
may travel to another EU member state and live, study, or work on an equal basis with native born residents.
Another type of voluntary traveler is the immigrant, a person who comes to live permanently in a foreign country.
There is tremendous international migration of peoples in the world. Some people leave their home countries in search
of freedom, but most immigrants come to other countries for economic reasons or to join other family members.
There are two types of migrants who move involuntary: short-term refugees and long-term refugees. Short-term
refugees are those who are forced for a short period of time to move to a new culture. Long-term refugees are
those who are often forced to relocate permanently because of war, famine, and oppression.
According to UN's High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), there are more refugees today than ever before. The
number of people forcibly displaced worldwide has reached 43.7m people, the highest number in 15 years, according
to a UNHCR report published at the end of 2010 to mark World Refugee Day. Afghanistan, Iraq and Somalia were
the three major source countries of refugees in 2010.
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Culture Shock
Culture shock is a relatively recent theoretical construct even if the description of behaviors associated with the
discomfort of crossing cultural boundaries can be found as far back as classical Greek literature. In 1951,
anthropologist Cora DuBois first publicly used the term "culture shock" to describe the disorienting experience that
many anthropologists face when entering different cultures. In 1954, Kalervo Oberg in his classic article on Culture
Shock used and expanded DuBois’ term to be applicable to all people who travel abroad into new cultures. He
termed culture shock an "occupational disease" that international travelers face, complete with symptoms (e.g., feeling
of helplessness, home-sickness, irritability, etc.). (K. Oberg, 1954)
Culture shock is normal state; it can be viewed as a normal part of human experience, as a subcategory of transition
shock. Most people experience culture shock when entering a new and different culture. Nevertheless, it can be
unpleasant and frustrating and can sometimes lead to a permanently negative attitude toward a new culture.
Understanding the normalcy of culture shock can help lessen any potential negative implications.
Part of culture shock results from not knowing some very basic things of a host culture or from the feelings of
alienation, conspicuousness, and difference from everyone else. When you lack knowledge of the rules and customs
of the new society, you cannot communicate effectively. You are apt to blunder frequently and seriously.
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Cultural Adaptation
One of the main issues of intercultural communication is adaptation to other cultures. There are several terms which
are often used in IC books to describe how individuals respond to their prolonged contact with other cultures:
acculturation, adaptation and assimilation.
The most general term is acculturation. As enculturation is used to describe the process of first-culture learning,
acculturation can be defined as second-culture learning.
The terms acculturation and adaptation should be distinguished from the term assimilation.
Acculturation and assimilation differ in degree of adaptation to the new. Within the context of acculturation, a
person adapts to the degree of his effectiveness within the new cultural context. He assumes that he will return to the
society of his birth. He is a fully accepted member of the new culture yet in essence he has a dual identity.
Adaptation is the process by which one’s worldview is expanded to include behavior and values appropriate to the
host culture. It is "additive", not substitutive. The assumed end result of adaptation is becoming a bicultural or
multicultural person. Such a person has new aspects, but not at the cost of his or her original socialization.
Assimilation is the process of resocialization that seeks to replace one’s original worldview with that of the host
culture. Assimilation is "substitutive". The assumed end result of assimilation is becoming a "new person".
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Developmental Approaches to Cultural Adaptation


Cultural adaptation develops through stages.
Kalervo Oberg (1954) notes that culture shock occurs in four stages.
At the first stage, the honeymoon, there is fascination, even enchantment, with the new culture and its people. When
in groups of people who are culturally different, this stage is characterized by cordiality and friendship among these
early and superficial relationships. Many tourists remain at this stage because their stay in foreign countries is very
brief.
At stage two, the crisis stage, the differences between your culture and the new one create problems. Feelings of
frustration and inadequacy come to the fore. This is the stage at which you experience the actual shock of the new
culture.
During the third period, the recovery, you gain the skills necessary to function effectively. You learn how to shop, you
find a local laundry. You learn the language and ways of the new culture. Your feelings of inadequacy subside.
At the final stage, the adjustment, you adjust to and come to enjoy the new culture and the new experiences. You
may still experience periodic difficulties and strains, but on the whole, the experience is pleasant.
Peter S. Adler (1975) suggests that culture shock is a process that goes through five stages:
the euphoria of Contact, when cultural difference is first encountered;
the confusion of Disintegration, when loss of self-esteem intrudes;
the anger of Reintegration, when the new culture is rejected and the old self reasserted;
the relaxed self-assuredness of Autonomy, when cross-cultural situations can be handled with relative ease;
the creativity of Independence, when choice and responsibility accompany a deep respect for one’s own and
other’s cultures.
Milton Bennett (1993) has proposed the Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity (DMIS), which
provides a basis for understanding the development of intercultural competence. The model seeks to explain how
learners’ abilities to operate in an intercultural context, to identify and appreciate cultural differences, and to develop
strategies for dealing with cultural differences in communication, evolve over time.
The model is made up of two broad stages: ethnocentrism and ethnorelativism
Ethnocentrism is defined by Bennett as a disposition to view one’s own cultural point of view as central to reality,
using one’s own set of standards and customs to judge all people.
Ethnorelativism refers to being comfortable with many standards and customs and to having an ability to adapt
behavior and judgments to a variety of interpersonal settings. Ethnorelativism is the conscious recognition that all
behavior exists within a cultural framework, including one’s own.
Bennett argues that the starting-point for all intercultural competence lies in ethnocentrism and that individuals move
towards ethnorelativism as the result of exposure to and reflection on cultural differences.
Both ethnocentrism and ethnorelativism are further divided into three stages which are developmentally ordered.
The stages of ethnocentrism are: denial, defense, and minimization.
The stages of ethnorelativism are: acceptance, adaptation, and integration.
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Experience of Difference

Denial Defense Minimization Acceptance Adaptation Integration


|______|_______|____________|__________|__________|_______|
Ethnocentric Stages Ethnorelative Stages
Figure 9.1. Development of Intercultural Sensitivity
Following are short descriptions of each of the six stages of development.
1. Denial of Difference
Individuals at the denial stage experience their own culture as the only "real" one. Their perceptions of the world are
based entirely on their own experience, and alternative ways of perceiving the world are unimaginable. Other cultures
are either not noticed at all or are understood in an undifferentiated, simplistic manner. People at this stage may use
stereotypes in their description of others that are based on knowing only one or two things about other people. Most
of the time, this is a result of physical or social isolation, where the person's views are never challenged.
People can remain at this level permanently if they have little exposure to other languages and cultures.
2. Defense against Difference
Individuals at the defense stage have more ability to notice cultural differences as the result of some form of exposure
to other languages and/or cultures. This position is characterized by dualistic us/them thinking and frequently
accompanied by overt negative stereotyping. One’s own culture is viewed as the best way to live and as the true
reality. Other cultures threaten that reality. People combat the threat by denigrating others with negative stereotypes
and attaching positive stereotypes to themselves. They are more likely to be acting aggressively against cultural
difference.
There is a possibility for a reversal of cultural difference perception at this stage: one’s own culture is devalued and
another culture is romanticized as superior. However, because of the naïve and stereotyped view of the other at this
stage, such a reversal does not demonstrate high levels of cultural sensitivity.
Thus, individuals at the defense stage acknowledge the other group but often attack the group, while continuing to
avoid contact with it.
3. Minimization of Difference
Individuals at the minimization stage try to bury cultural differences within familiar categories of physical and
philosophical similarity. They recognize and accept superficial cultural differences such as eating customs and other
social norms, but they assume that deep down all people are essentially the same – just human. As a consequence of
this assumption, certain cultural values may be mistaken for universal desires; for instance, U.S. Americans may
believe that people everywhere desire individual freedom, openness, and competition. In domestic intercultural
relations in the United States, minimization is usually accompanied by strong support of the "melting pot" idea, a
distrust of ethnic and other labels for cultural diversity, and an abiding belief in the existence of equal opportunity.
Thus, individuals at this stage are still ethnocentric: they lack cultural awareness and their characterization of similarities
is based on their own cultural positions.
4. Acceptance of Difference
Individuals at the acceptance stage recognize and accept the existence of culturally different ways of organizing human
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existence. They are fairly tolerant of ambiguity and diversity, although they do not necessarily like or agree with every
culturally different way of thinking and behaving. They can identify how culture affects a wide range of human
experience and can develop culture-general categories which they can use to compare cultures. People at this stage
have a real desire to be informed, and not to confirm prejudices. The key words of the acceptance stage are "getting
to know" or "learning."
5. Adaptation to Difference
Individuals at the adaptation stage use knowledge about their own and others’ cultures to shift into a different cultural
frame of reference. That is, they can empathize or take another person’s perspective in order to understand and be
understood across cultural boundaries. They can modify their behavior in ways that make it more appropriate to
cultures other than their own. Advanced forms of adaptation are "bicultural" or "multicultural", wherein people have
internalized one or more cultural frames in addition to that in which they were originally socialized. Most people at the
adaptation stage are generally interculturally sensitive with varying degrees of sophistication; they can apply skills of
empathy and adaptation behavior to any cultural context.
6. Integration of Difference
Individuals at the integration stage extend their ability to perceive events in a cultural context to their perceptions of
their own identity. As such, shifting cultural perspective becomes part of the individual’s understanding of self, and his/
her identity becomes more fluid and multivariate. The person may feel that he/she is no longer centered in any one
culture, but is rather on the margins of a combination of cultures.
However, Bennett argues that in most situations of intercultural communication, integration is not more useful than
adaptation, as successful intercultural communication requires empathy for one’s interlocutor, but does not necessitate
a radical reconstruction of identity.
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U-curve and W-curve Models of Cultural Adaptation


The U-curve theory of adaptation is based on research conducted by a Norwegian sociologist Sverre Lysgaard
(1955), who interviewed 198 Norwegian Fulbright students studying in the United States. The model has been
applied to many different migrant groups.
The main idea is that migrants go through fairly predictable phases in adapting to a new cultural situation. Adjustment
as a process follows a U-shaped curve: migrants first experience excitement and anticipation, which is followed by a
period of shock and disorientation. Then they gradually adapt to the new cultural contexts becoming more integrated
into the foreign community. Although this framework is simplistic and does not represent every migrant’s experience,
most migrants experience these general phases at one time or another.
There have been numerous modifications of the curve model of cultural adaptation. Different terms have been used to
name the stages, but the main idea that migrants go through "ups and downs" in adapting to a new cultural context
remains unchallenged. Below is one of the variants of cultural adjustment curve.
Entry into host culture

Understanding the Cultural Adjustment Curve


"The Honeymoon". Just like with many new relationships, the first reaction to a new culture is often euphoric. You
have arrived to a destination you’ve only imagined of ever seeing! The differences in scenery, food, language, or
dialect are exhilarating!
Initial Culture Shock. This is where the excitement of differences can often quickly turn to frustration with
differences. For many, the shock can come at the first meal when familiar foods are nowhere to be found. For others,
it comes at the realization that speaking a second language all day is not only exhausting; it’s frustrating to feel you can
only communicate at the intellectual level of a seven-year-old. For others, the initial shock is from many things,
including the lack of familiar faces and cultural cues.
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Surface Adjustment. This occurs when you have yourself settled into a new routine. Maybe you have successfully
found an apartment or a job. Maybe you have found others from your home country. Perhaps you’ve met some
people from the host culture that seems like they will become good friends.
Culture Shock. Here, the deeper differences between cultures are experienced and the novelty of the differences is
gone. There may be unresolved conflicts of cultural differences on the job and in daily life.
Adaptation and Adjustment. Adjusting and adapting to a new culture requires the ability to know yourself well and
to know the ways of the culture and its expectations of you. Adjustment is not a permanent state. Years of resettling
into a new culture and feeling adjusted can be offset by deep challenges to one’s belief and value system. Maintaining
a state of adjustment is constant work, often draining sojourners and immigrants’ time and energy.
In 1963, Jeanne E. Gullahorn and John T. Gullahorn expanded the U-curve, proposing the "W" in which they
conceptualized the model as having two connected U-periods (or a "W" shape) that linked the phenomenon of initial
entry culture shock with reverse culture shock.
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Reverse Culture Shock


When migrants return home to their original cultural contexts, the same process of adaptation occurs and may involve
reverse culture shock, or reentry shock. Sometimes this adaptation is even more difficult because it is so
unexpected. Some people think that coming home is easy, but many migrants who return home from abroad notice
that they have difficulties of readjusting.
There are two fundamental differences between culture shock and reverse culture shock. First, many migrants expect
stress when they leave home and go abroad. They know they will miss family and friends, and they are prepared both
physically and emotionally for the worst that could happen. On the other hand, few migrants worry about returning
home. They do not expect to experience any culture shock.
Secondly, the person who returns home is not the same person who left home. He has become a different individual.
He got new experience, went through the adaptation process in a new cultural context, and his personality changed.
Some misunderstanding may occur because his family and friends expect him to be basically the same as before. In
addition, the cultural context of reentry is different. Depending on how long the person was away, popular culture,
technology, and people whom s/he knows may have changed.
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Critique of "Curves" Models


Two publications severely critical of the "curves" approach are those authored by Colleen Ward, Stephen Bochner,
and Adrian Furnham (2001), and Kate Berardo (2006). These sources offer an extended and fine-grained analysis of
the research on "curves of adjustment" and recommend that practitioners cease using the models, or at least present
them with some critical remarks.
Bruce La Brack (http://www.nafsa.org/) argues that there is enough data to conclude that the use of the curves
models should be restricted in the future. A "curve" graphic may be used as a simple pedagogical device to discuss the
issue of culture shock, but the following arguments should be considered.
There is a lack of supporting research for the validity of the U- and W-curves; the "curves" have been dismissed
by many theorists.
The "curves" do not reflect a universal reality; they are seldom replicated (exactly or even approximately) in real
life experiences of migrants; there is a high degree of variability among individual responses exhibited by any group of
sojourners.
The models are not useful as predictors of the depth, length, or even occurrence of culture shock.
There is significant variability across phases, particularly in the initial period of euphoria upon entering another
culture, and in the duration of reverse culture shock upon reentry.
There is a limited applicability of the models to all categories of sojourners: it does not fit the global nomads and
third culture kids very well, nor does it fit ‘heritage-seeking’ students or education abroad populations from refugee/
immigrant backgrounds.
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Individual In luences on Adaptation


Cultural adaptation depends in part on the individual. Each individual has a preferred way of dealing with new
situations. Psychologists have found that most individuals prefer either "flight" or "fight" approach to unfamiliar
situations (Martin & Nakayama, 2010: 324).
The migrants who prefer a"flight"approach hesitate to speak a foreign language until they feel they can get it right;
they may watch others before they participate. This is not necessarily bad. Small periods of "flight" allow the migrants
some needed rest from the challenges of cultural adaptation. However, getting stuck in the "flight" mode can be
unproductive. For example, some Russian migrants abroad spend all of their time with other Russian people and have
little opportunity for intercultural learning.
The"fight"approach means to join and participate. Migrants who take this approach use the trial-and-error method.
They try to speak the new language, don’t mind if they make mistakes, jump on a bus even when they aren’t sure it’s
the right one, and often make cultural gaffes (Martin & Nakayama, 2010: 324). This approach may also be more or
less productive depending on the context, but getting stuck in the "fight" mode can also be unproductive.
Neither of these preferences for dealing with the new situations is right or wrong. Individual preference is a result of
family, social, and cultural influences. For example, some parents encourage their children to be assertive, and others
encourage their children to wait and watch in new situations.
An alternative to "fight" or "flight" is the"flex"approach, in which the migrant uses a combination of productive flight
and fight behaviors. Many individual characteristics – including age, gender, education, occupation, expectations –
can influence how well a person adapts.
There is contradictory evidence concerning age and adaptation.
Younger people may have an easier time adapting because they are less fixed in their ideas, beliefs, and identities. But
because they adapt more completely they may have more trouble when they return home.
Older people may have more trouble adapting because they are less flexible, but for that reason they may not change
as much and may have less trouble when they move back home.
Preparation and expectations may influence how one adapts to different cultures. Sojourners, traveling to cultures they
consider to be similar to theirs, are not prepared for cultural differences and experience a deeper culture shock. On
the other hand, sojourners traveling to cultures that are very different expect to experience culture shock.
The research shows that overly positive and overly negative expectations lead to more difficulty in adaptation; it seems
that positive but realistic or slightly negative expectations prior to the sojourn are best. (Martin & Nakayama, 2010:
324)
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Context and Adaptation


Cultural adaptation depends on the context. Some contexts are easier to adapt to than others. Some environments are
more accepting. For example, in a country like Japan, which emphasizes homogeneity, people may be less welcoming
than in less homogeneous settings. Many Muslim societies tend to be fairly closed to outsiders. In these societies, the
distinction between in-group (family and close friends) and out-group (everyone else) is very strong. It is more difficult
for women to adapt in many contexts because of the relative lower status of women in many countries.
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Modes of Adaptation
There are four basic ways in which people adapt to new cultures. They can assimilate, remain separate, integrate, or
become marginalized.
Assimilation. In assimilation mode, the individual does not want to maintain an isolated cultural identity but wants to
maintain relationships with other groups. It often entails giving up or losing many aspects of the original culture,
including language. The central focus in assimilation is on not retaining one’s cultural heritage. Thus, when migrants
value the host culture more than their own, they assimilate.
Separation. There are two forms of separation. The first is when migrants willingly choose to retain their original
culture and at the same time avoid interaction with other groups. This is the mode followed by groups like the Amish,
who came to the United States from Europe, and who maintain their own way of life and avoid prolonged contact
with other groups. These groups chose separation, and the dominant society respects their choice.
However, separation may be initiated and enforced by the dominant society. It is segregation. In the past, many cities
in the United States had quite restrictive codes that dictated where members of various racial and ethnic groups could
and could not live.
Integration. Integration occurs when the migrants have an interest in maintaining their original culture and also in
maintaining daily interactions with other groups. This differs from assimilation in that it involves a greater degree of
interest in maintaining one’s own cultural identity. However, integration depends on the openness and willingness of
those in the dominant society to accept the cultures of others.
Marginalization. Marginalization occurs when individuals express little interest in maintaining cultural ties with either
their host or their heritage culture. The term marginalization has also come to describe individuals who live on the
margin of a culture, not fully able to participate in its political and social life, due to cultural differences.
Scholars point out that many migrant experiences do not fit neatly into one of these four types. Migrants may shift
from one to the other depending on the context. Some people may integrate in some areas of life and assimilate in
others. One may desire economic assimilation in work, linguistic integration (bilingualism) and social separation
(marrying someone from the same group and socializing only with members of one’s own group). This mode of
adaptation was called cultural hybridity (Rosenau, 2004).
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Questions, Exercises and Activities

REVIEW AND DISCUSSION QUESTIONS


1. What types of migrant groups can be identified?
2. What are the relationships between culture shock and transition shock?
3. What are the main causes of culture shock?
4. What is the difference between the terms acculturation, enculturation, adaptation, and assimilation?
5. Why are some transitions easy for some people and more difficult for others?
6. Is the U-curve model the best model for addressing the emotional challenges of adjustment?
7. Why do migrants experience reverse culture shock when they return home?
8. When you find yourself in a culturally different context, what approach do you prefer: "flex", "flight" or "fight"?
9. Which groups of international students do you think Russian students would want to meet and socialize with?
Which groups would students not want to meet?
SPEAK ON
1. Kalervo Oberg’s stages of cultural adaptation.
2. Peter S. Adler’s model of cultural adaptation.
3. Milton Bennett’s Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity (DMIS).
4. Individual influences on adaptation.
5. Modes of adaptation.

REVISION TEST
1. Migrants who take this approach to cultural adaptation may hesitate to speak a language until they feel
they can get it right; they may watch others before they participate. This approach is called:
a) fight
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b) crisis stage
c) reverse culture shock
d) flight
2. Anthropologist Kalervo Oberg notes that culture shock occurs in stages. Stage two is:
a) the crisis stage.
b) the adjustment
c) the recovery
d) the honeymoon
3. What stage, according to Kalervo Oberg, is the final stage of culture shock?
a) the recovery
b) the adjustment.
c) the honeymoon
d) the crisis stage
4. People may experience culture shock when they return to their original culture after living in a foreign
culture. It is called:
a) reverse culture shock
b) adjustment
c) crisis stage
d) recovery
5. The scholar who first used the term culture shock was.
a) Edward Hall
b) Cora DuBois
c) Kalervo Oberg
d) Janet Bennett
6. In what mode of adaptation, the individual does not want to maintain an isolated cultural identity but
wants to maintain relationships with other groups?
a) separation
b) assimilation
c) integration
d) marginalization
7. In what mode of adaptation, the individual or group expresses little interest in maintaining cultural ties
with either the dominant culture or the migrant culture?
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a) separation
b) assimilation
c) integration
d) marginalization
8. In what mode of adaptation, the migrants have an interest in maintaining their original culture and also
in maintaining daily interactions with other groups?
a) separation
b) assimilation
c) integration
d) marginalization
9. In what mode of adaptation, the migrants willingly choose to retain their original culture and at the same
time avoid interaction with other groups?
a) separation
b) assimilation
c) integration
d) marginalization
10. Fill in the gaps.
a) Cultural adaptation depends in part on the individual. Each individual has a preferred way of dealing with new
situations. Psychologists have found that most individuals prefer either "flight" or "_____ " approach to unfamiliar
situations.
b) The migrant who prefers a "_______" approach when faced with new situations tends to hang back and see how
things work before taking the plunge and joining in.
c) Migrants who take a ________approach use the trial-and-error method. They try to speak the new language,
don’t mind if they make mistakes, jump on a bus even when they aren’t sure it’s the right one, and often make cultural
gaffes.
d) Anthropologist Kalervo Oberg notes that culture shock occurs in stages. The first stage is the ________, stage
two is the crisis stage, the third period is the recovery and the final stage is the adjustment.
e) Outcomes of Adaptation. There are at least three aspects, or dimensions, of adaptation: psychological health,
_____________ fitness, and intercultural identity (Kim, 1988).
f) There are four basic ways in which people adapt to new cultures. They can assimilate, remain separate,
_________, or become marginalized.
g) In ____________ mode, the individual does not want to maintain an isolated cultural identity but wants to maintain
relationships with other groups.
h) In this mode of adaptation, which is called _________, migrants maintain their own way of life and identity and
tend to avoid prolonged contact with other groups.
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i) _________ occurs when the individual or group expresses little interest in maintaining cultural ties with either the
dominant culture or the migrant culture.
11. State whether the statement is true or false.
a) The phrase "culture shock" was coined by Cora DuBois in 1964.
b) According to M. Bennett, people at the defense stage acknowledge the existence of differences in institutions and
customs, but believe that such differences are superficial and overlay a basic similarity.
c) According to M. Bennett, people at the minimization stage emphasize human similarity in physical structure,
psychological needs, and/or assumed adherence to universal values.
d) In M. Bennett’s Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity, there are three stages of ethnorelativism:
acceptance, minimization, and integration.
e) In M. Bennett’s Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity, the acceptance stage is the first stage in which
people begin to think about the notion of cultural relativity – that their own behavior and values are not the only good
way to be in the world.
f) Individuals at the adaptation stage (DMIS) are able to expand their own worldviews to accurately understand other
cultures and behave in a variety of culturally appropriate ways.
g) People at the acceptance stage (DMIS) have a definition of self that is "marginal" to any particular culture, allowing
this individual to shift rather smoothly from one cultural worldview to another.
12. Match the terms with the definitions:

1. assimilation a. In this mode of adaptation, the individual does not


want to maintain an isolated cultural identity but wants to
maintain relationship with other groups.
2. separation b. This mode of adaptation occurs when the migrants
have an interest in maintaining their original culture and
also in maintaining daily interactions with other groups
3. integration c. This mode of adaptation occurs when the individual
or group expresses little interest in maintaining cultural
ties with either the dominant culture or the migrant
culture.
4. marginalization d. This mode of adaptation occurs when migrants
choose to retain their original culture and at the same
time avoid interaction with other groups.

KEY WORDS
Explain the meaning of the following words and expressions:
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migrant sojourner
immigrant short-term refugee
culture shock long-term refugee
transition shock adaptation
assimilation reverse culture shock
separation segregation
integration marginalization
cultural hybridity socialization
acculturation enculturation

ACTIVITIES
1. COMMENT ON THE FOLLOWING QUOTATIONS
Culture Shock in Russia
As an American citizen coming to Russia for the first time, over three years ago, I experienced CULTURE SHOCK
firsthand.

The first things that shocked me culturally when I came to Russia were the seriousness of people in public, alcohol
use, the Russian language, and how wrong people are about their preconceptions of Russia. This is especially true
when speaking about St. Petersburg.
The general public is something very different than I had ever known or seen in my life in America. People are
generally quiet, rarely smile on the streets, and are at sometimes uninterested in helping you even if you ask them a
question, and may even seem depressed. Even in the metro, you find yourself sitting down, and everyone around you
just looks around and says nothing. It was a huge shock for me to see when I came here.
Alcohol is also vastly different here. The low prices of alcohol in the shops made me feel like I was in heaven for a
short while. In addition, the freedom to drink in public is a huge but great surprise for one to experience in Russia. Just
going for a walk around a park with a can of beer and some friends is always a great time. But it is not true that every
Russian person drinks vodka on the street or vodka in general. It was a huge stereotype I encountered from my
American friends before I left for St. Petersburg.
The Russian language…. what can I say, it is beautiful but yet, so difficult. If one comes to St. Petersburg and either
doesn’t know Russian, or just knows enough to get by, the language itself is intimidating just to hear, let alone, try to
speak. It was a huge fear of mine to say the wrong thing to someone when my Russian was poor, at only a basic level.
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Everyone should be careful when speaking to a stranger on the street. The speed and complexity of the language was
a huge cultural shock for me, and I am certain it will be one for anyone from outside of Eastern Europe or the former
Soviet States.
05 December 2011
http://www.sntpeters.com/news/russia-travel-tips/192-russian-culture-shock.html

Culture Shock in England


In adapting to England over the last several weeks, I would say that the culture does not feel foreign, so much as
different.
The signs are in English, although the English is often not quite the same usage as what I would anticipate.
The food often has funny or incomprehensible names but usually tastes good, although not quite like anything I’ve ever
had at home, either.
The accents of the people I pass by on the street often render their speech incomprehensible, but if I end up chatting
with those same people, eventually something clicks in my brain and the words fall together (albeit usually not until
after an embarrassing pause whilst my brain furiously processes the shift in pronunciation and the slightly different
grammar and usage). On top of this is my knowledge that most of these people have no problem understanding me,
because they have been watching American films and TV shows their whole lives and have no problems at all
understanding an American accent and American English usage.
Of course, no discussion of the differences between our two cultures would be complete without mentioning the
traffic. I have had a truly difficult time learning that the British drive on the left… and I am only referring to my
experiences as a pedestrian! This IS foreign, no doubt about it. I have crossed more busy streets here in the last
several weeks than I have in the last several years, and every time, it is a challenge for me to remember which lane
contains traffic going in which direction.
http://www.divinemind.biz/blog/2009/01/05/my-experience-with-culture-shock/
Expat Life: Let's Talk About Culture Shock

I remember the first time I heard the term culture shock. I was eight and had just moved to the Philippines. It
sounded like something terrible that could knock a person out, maybe for good. Like electric shock, or toxic shock,
or something equally awful. The adults (all American missionaries in the Philippines) were talking about it. About how
someone who had recently moved there could hardly cope with life, the culture shock was so bad. As a kid
making the transition to a new country, I don't think I really experienced too much culture shock. I didn't like being
stared at constantly and followed around all of the time. I didn't like sleeping under a mosquito net, or having to call
everyone either aunt, uncle, or the Filipino terms meaning aunt, uncle, or big sister or big brother. I remember almost
choking on our first meal when we arrived in the country-- a "hamburger" which was sweet, made of pork, with lots
of gristle, topped with banana "katsup." I didn't like how all the Filipinos treated us like we were super special and
important, better somehow because of our skin color. The cold showers were hard to get used to at first, as was
filtering all of our water. But none of these things really felt earth-shattering to me. I was having a good time, and
enjoyed the adventure. It was just different, and I am always amazed by how well children can adapt to just about
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anything.
My first real experience of culture shock was probably when I returned to the USA, which is called reverse culture
shock. I was ten, and had been living in the Philippines for two years. I remember noticing that people didn't seem as
respectful to their elders, once all of those titles were missing, and I wasn't sure how to address anyone. Table
manners and other types of etiquette were really different, and I was afraid of doing something rude. Americans didn't
smile at each other nearly as much as Filipinos do, and so I didn't feel quite as welcome in my home country. Kids
couldn't do all the things I was used to doing-- for example, taking public transport with another child to wherever we
needed to go, or building fires in our back yards. I was scandalized by the very short shorts girls wore. Everyone was
talking about movies or TV shows I'd never seen, and I felt really out of it. I particularly remember being fascinated
by the "lights" down the middle of the roads-- my dad explained that they were reflectors, and I felt silly for not
knowing something so simple. We were only "home" for several months, but I was glad to get back to a more normal
life in the Philippines.
I only went back to live in the USA one more time before I graduated from high school. In California, I felt like I
didn't know how to do anything, or how to be me in a completely new context. I couldn't figure out how to dress-- I
never seemed to be able to look like everyone else. There were no answering machines in the Philippines, and
whenever I got one when I was making a call in the States, I would freeze up. I didn't know how to pump gas
because, even though I had a Philippines driver's license, we never had to pump our own there. Also, I failed my
California driver’s license test three times! (Undoubtedly in part due to learning to drive in the Philippines!) Using a
debit card kind of freaked me out, as did many other automated situations. I could go on and on about the things that
I just didn't know how to do… I felt completely inept in the skill set I needed for my new American life. Plus, I
basically looked the same as everyone else, so no one treated me like a foreigner that needed help.
Thursday, May 10, 2012
http://and-here-we-are.blogspot.ru/2012/05/expat-life-lets-talk-about-culture.html
2. In small groups discuss Milton Bennett’s Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity (DMIS).
Give examples to illustrate each stage of development.
a) From Denial to Defense: the person acquires an awareness of difference between cultures
b) From Defense to Minimization: negative judgments are depolarized, and the person is introduced to similarities
between cultures.
c) From Minimization to Acceptance: the subject grasps the importance of intercultural difference.
d) From Acceptance to Adaptation: exploration and research into the other culture begins
e) From Adaptation to Integration: subject develops empathy towards the other culture.
3. Compare the experience of first-year college students described by William J. Zeller and Robert Mosier
with your personal experience.
At the first signs of culture shock, some first year students may think this means they have made a mistake about going
to college or that they have chosen the wrong school. If they see that this is just part of journey that everyone goes
through, they may be better able to take it all in stride.
The Honeymoon
The Honeymoon starts before students first arrive on campus. It usually begins once a student has been accepted to a
college and begins planning for school to start. Although students may also experience some nervousness, the overall
feeling is generally one of excitement and positive anticipation.
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As students arrive on campus, there generally is a strong sense of welcoming from the campus community. Other new
students quickly become friends, returning students become mentors, and staff and faculty are available to assist them
through a variety of first week programs. The initial sense of freedom new students feel is often exhilarating. Moving
away from parental oversight and taking responsibility for one’s own lifestyle create a strong positive feeling.
Culture Shock
As the newness of the college culture begins to wear off, first year students begin to deal with the reality of the many
adjustments they are experiencing. In the residence halls, students are adapting to having roommates, sharing
bathrooms, and having lots of neighbors. Elsewhere on campus, they are growing accustomed to eating in a cafeteria,
and to the diversity that comes with meeting people from different backgrounds and cultures. The process of making
new friends is fun, but can also be draining.
On the academic side of college life, the unfamiliar territory of the college classroom also creates dissonance. Large
lecture classes, unclear guidelines for note taking and studying, and unfamiliar faculty produce potential adjustment
difficulties.
Outside of the classroom, students may struggle with things that seemed simple at home. Routine tasks that were
taken for granted become problematic chores. Where to go shopping, get a haircut, or receive medical attention can
create feelings of frustration.
Homesickness may increase and some students may try to deal with this by maintaining strong ties to their home
community, often going home on weekends and staying in constant contact with friends from home. Initial
Adjustment As initial adjustments are made, first year students experience an upswing as they have successfully
managed many of the issues that have come their way. Simply overcoming the culture shock stage brings about a
sense of ell being. They fall into a routine as they gain confidence in their ability to handle the academic and social
environment of college. They feel they have regained some sense of control and normalcy in their lives. Conflicts and
challenges may still continue to come and go, but students are now feeling more in the swing of things.
Mental Isolation Although the physical environment has become more familiar, first year students will relapse into a
sense of isolation as they make comparisons between their new culture and their more familiar home culture. This may
arise after students go home for an extended break between semesters. Strong feelings of homesickness begin to
surface, and first-year students move through a second culture shock in adjusting to the new environment. This is a
time of feeling caught between two worlds. The new college environment is still not as comfortable as home used to
be, and home is now not as familiar as it once was. Students may have a sense of not completely belonging in either
place. It can be shocking to find that changes have happened at home, too.
The initial euphoria of the entrance into the university dissolves as the realities of campus life surface. Not all
professors are friendly and helpful, not all peers are potential friends, and everything is not so great. Questions or
doubt regarding the decision to attend the institution may surface after the first test scores.
Acceptance, Integration, and Connectedness
As students become more involved in campus opportunities, gain some history with new friends and get to know
some faculty and staff members, they begin to feel a true connection to the campus community. They begin to have a
more balanced and realistic view of the University. They begin to think that, generally, it’s a pretty good place to be.
The university becomes the students’ home. The original home culture becomes somewhat foreign. There is less
dependence on parents and former peers. It may be shocking for a parent to hear their college son or daughter refer
to college as home. A true sense of acceptance, integration, and connectedness occurs when a student has
successfully adapted to their new world.
(Adapted from: Zeller W.J. & Mosier R. Culture Shock and the First Year. Journal of College and University
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Student Housing,
Volume 23, No. 2, 1993).
4. Everyone who has adapted to another culture has gone through culture shock. However, the degree of
culture shock may vary.
Complete the following sentences and discuss your answers with other students.
- Tourists seldom experience culture shock because…
- Many diplomats do not experience culture shock because…
- Almost all students experience some form of culture shock because…
- Many business people experience some form of culture shock because…
5. In small groups discuss why communication may have a double edge in adaptation.
" igrants who communicate frequently in their new culture adapt better but also experience more culture
M
shock. Beulah Rohrlich and Judith Martin (1991) conducted a series of studies of U.S. American students
living abroad in various places in Europe. They discovered that those students who communicated the most
with host culture members experienced the most culture shock. These were students who spent lots of time
with their host families and friends in many different communication situations (having meals together,
working on projects together, socializing, and so on). However, these same students also adapted better and
felt more satisfied with their overseas experience than the students who communicated less." (Martin &
Nakayama, 2010: 325).

MAKE A PRESENTATION
Present alternative models of cultural adaptation
a) William Bridges’ Transition Model
The Transition Model was created by William Bridges, and was published in his 1991 book "Managing Transitions."
The main strength of the model is that it focuses on transition, not change. The difference between these is subtle but
important. Change is something that happens to people, even if they don't agree with it. Transition, on the other hand,
is internal: it's what happens in people's minds as they go through change. Change can happen very quickly, while
transition usually occurs more slowly.
The model highlights three stages of transition that people go through when they experience change. These are:
1. Ending, Losing, and Letting Go.
2. The Neutral Zone.
3. The New Beginning.
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b) Young Yun Kim’s Stress-Adaptation-Growth Dynamic
Young Yun Kim has developed an integrative communication theory of cross-cultural adaptation which conceives
adaptation as a dialectic process of the s"tress-adaptation-growth"dynamic that gradually leads to greater functional
fitness and psychological health with regards to the host environment. This portion of Kim's theory focuses on the
stress that inevitably accompanies a cross-cultural move, as the individual strives to retain aspects of their old culture
while also attempting to integrate into the new one. The internal conflict results in a state of disequilibrium of emotional
"lows" of uncertainty, confusion, and anxiety. People handle this change in various ways, to include avoidance, denial,
and withdrawal, as well as regression into pre-existing habits in order to eliminate discomfort in the new environment.
Others develop new habits and begin the process of adaptation, allowing them to become better suited to their
environment. Once this occurs, a period of growth often accompanies. The stress-adaptation-growth dynamic,
therefore, is not a linear process but a back and forth endeavor that will entail periods of regression and subsequent
progression.

WRITING
Choose one of the topics and write a descriptive essay.
1. My family migration history.
2. My global nomad experience of studying/living abroad.
3. Traveling is the best way to learn about oneself and others.

ANALYZING A VIDEO
Watch the movie Flavors (2003) which tells the stories of 13 different main characters in 5 parallel story lines.
Written and directed by Raj Nidimoru, this romantic comedy follows the lives of several Indians who have immigrated
to America. Flavors centers around the cross-cultural wedding between American WASP Jenni (Jicky Schnee) and
Rad (Anupam Mittal), whose Indian parents (Anjan Srivastava and Bharati Achreker) are forced to negotiate a
middle ground between traditional Indian culture and the culture shock induced by their blonde-haired future
daughter-in-law.
While watching the movie get ready to comment on how Indian immigrants adapt to American culture. Do they
assimilate, remain separate, integrate, or become marginalized? What factors influence the preferred mode of
adaptation? Give examples of cultural hybridity.
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Glossary
Unit 1
1. Autochthonous – indigenous.
2. Bias – inclination or prejudice against one person or group, especially in a way considered to be unfair.
3. Coexistence – existing together at the same time or in the same place.
4. Conceptualization – forming a concept or idea of something.
5. Cultural awareness – knowledge or perception of a cultural situation or fact.
6. Cultural diversity – cultural variety.
7. Cultural relativism – a) the principle of regarding the beliefs, values, and practices of a culture from the
viewpoint of that culture itself; b) the view that there is no hierarchy of cultures, that no culture is superior to any
other culture; c) the philosophical notion that all cultural beliefs are equally valid and that truth itself is relative,
depending on the cultural environment.
8. Ethnocentrism – belief in the intrinsic superiority of the nation, culture, or group to which one belongs, often
accompanied by feelings of dislike for other groups.
9. Experiential instruction – involving or based on experience and observation.
10. Homogeneous – of the same kind; alike.
11. Indigenous – native, originating or occurring naturally in a particular place.
12. Intercultural competence – a) the ability to communicate well or effectively in intercultural context; b) the ability
incorporating three components: a certain skill-set, culturally sensitive knowledge, and a motivated mindset.
13. Interdisciplinary – relating to more than one branch of knowledge.
14. Multilingualism – using several languages.
15. Non-verbal communication – not involving or using words or speech.
16. Patterns of behavior – an excellent example for others to follow.
17. Refugee – a person who has been forced to leave their country in order to escape war, persecution, or natural
disaster.
18. Self-awareness – knowledge or perception of oneself.

Unit 2
1. Channel – the physical means by which the message is transmitted.
2. Context – the physical, social-psychological, temporal, and cultural environment in which the communication act
takes place.
3. Decoding – converting external energies to meaningful experience and attributing meaning to the source’s
behavior.
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4. Encoding – an internal activity in which a source creates a message through the selection of verbal and non-
verbal symbols.
5. Feedback – information available to a source that allows the source to make judgments about the effectiveness of
the communication situation.
6. Intrapersonal communication – communication with ourselves, or self-talk.
7. Message – the result of encoding. It is a set of verbal and/or non-verbal symbols that represent a source’s
particular state of being at a particular moment in time and space.
8. Noise – the interference that distorts a message.
9. Performance – a) the act of performing identities in everyday life; the use of rituals and other communicative
practices to reflect, sustain, and sometimes alter social relations.
10. Response – what a receiver decides to do about the message.

Unit 3
1. Artifact – an object made by a human being, typically an item of cultural or historical interest.
2. Big C culture (objective/formal culture) – a refinement or sophistication within a society.
3. Conventional – based on or in accordance with what is generally done or believed.
4. Counterculture – co-culture whose members are largely alienated from the dominant culture. They not only
reject the values of the dominant culture but may actively work against these values.
5. Dominant culture – one that is able, through economic or political power, to impose its values, religion,
language, rituals, and ways of behaving on a subordinate culture or cultures.
6. Enculturation – the gradual acquisition of the characteristics and norms of a culture or group by a person,
another culture, etc.
7. Heritage – something inherited at birth, such as personal characteristics, status, and possessions.
8. Hero – person, alive or dead, real or imaginary, who is glorified within a culture and who thus serves as a model
of behavior.
9. Idioculture – the sum total of features peculiar to the individual member of a given culture.
10. Little c culture/ subjective culture – includes the routine aspects of life; encompasses everything as a total way
of life.
11. Mainstream culture – the term that is used to describe the ideas, attitudes, or activities that are shared by most
people and regarded as normal or conventional.
12. Mix of cultures – a group of people of different types within a particular society or community.
13. Rituals – collective and socially essential activities within a culture.
14. Subculture / co-culture – an ethnic, regional, economic or social group exhibiting characteristic patterns of
behavior sufficient to distinguish it from others within an embracing culture or society.
15. Symbols – words, gestures, pictures, and objects that carry complex meanings which are only recognized by
those who share the culture.
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16. Tapestry – a large piece of heavy cloth with a picture sewn on it using coloured threads.
17. Utopian – modeled on or aiming for a state in which everything is perfect; idealistic.

Unit 4
1. Ambiguity – something unclear or confusing; the quality of being open to more than one interpretation.
2. "Becoming" culture – people with this orientation think of ways to change themselves as a means to change the
world.
3. "Being" culture – in this culture people change themselves to fit into the environment.
4. Bipolar dimension – having or relating to two poles or extremities.
5. Communication context is information that surrounds an event.
6. Complex society – incorporates subgroups with different beliefs, attitudes, etc.,
7. Cultural patterns are shared beliefs, values, and norms that are stable over time and that lead to roughly similar
behaviors across similar situations.
8. "Doing" culture – a striving culture, in which people seek to change and control what is happening to them.
9. Domination – the exercise of power or influence over someone or something.
10. External success – indicates that something is on the outside of a surface or body, or that it comes from outside.
11. Face-saving – the preserving of one's reputation, credibility, or dignity.
12. Hierarchy – a system in which members of an organization or society are ranked according to relative status or
authority.
13. High-context culture is one in which the meanings of a communication message are found in the situation and in
the relationships of the communicators, or are internalized in the communicators’ beliefs, values, and norms.
14. Horizontal culture – one that strives for equality and the absence of hierarchy; people accept equality as a given.
15. Loose culture – one that has fewer rules and norms. In loose cultures people are tolerant of many deviations
from normative behaviors.
16. Low-context culture – one in which the meanings of a communication message are stated clearly and explicitly,
without depending on the context of the communication.
17. Pace of life – the speed or rate at which something happens or develops.
18. Simple society – one in which individuals are in considerable agreement about their beliefs and attitudes.
19. Spiritual world – relating to the spirit or soul and not to physical nature or matter.
20. Status quo – the existing state of affairs.
21. Subjugation – being under domination or control.
22. Tight culture – one that has many rules, norms, and ideas about what is correct behavior in each situation.
23. Vertical culture – one that emphasizes differences and social hierarchy; accepts hierarchy as a given.
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Unit 5
1. Attitude – a settled way of thinking or feeling about someone or something, typically one that is reflected in a
person's behavior.
2. Belief – something one accepts as true or real; a firmly held opinion; an assumed truth.
3. Disbelief – refusal or reluctance to believe; inability or refusal to accept that something is true or real.
4. Economic values – those around money; may include beliefs around ownership of property, etc.
5. End-state values – things we actually value. They are the destination, while instrumental values control the
journey there.
6. Examples of end-state values include: happiness, salvation, prosperity, etc.
7. Experiential beliefs – those that come through direct experience.
8. Inferential beliefs – those which are formed on the basis of reflection.
9. Informational beliefs – those which are formed on the basis of information provided by an outside source we
choose to believe.
10. Instrumental values – acceptable ways of behaving. They moderate how we set and achieve our goals,
ensuring we do so only in ways which are socially acceptable.
Examples of instrumental values include: honesty, politeness, courage, etc.
11. Norms – a standard or pattern, especially of social behavior, that is typical or expected; provide rules for
behavior in specific situations.
12. Personal values – those one takes for oneself and which constitute a critical part of one’s values.
13. Political values – ideological beliefs about the best way to govern a country or organization.
14. Religious values – spiritual in nature and include beliefs in how we should behave, including worship of our deity
or deities.
15. Self-generated beliefs – those we create ourselves.
16. Social values – those which put the rights of wider groups of people first.
17. Values – the evaluative and judgmental facet of a culture's "orientation system," helping its members to determine
what is right or wrong, good or bad, desirable or undesirable.
18. Value system – a set of consistent personal and cultural values used for the purpose of ethical or ideological
integrity; a set of beliefs and attitudes that people share.
19. World view - an interrelated and interconnected system of beliefs. A world view is a set of beliefs, a model that
attempts to explain all of reality and not just some aspects of it.

Unit 6
1. Apartheid – historical (in South Africa) a policy or system of segregation or discrimination on grounds of race
2. Attribution means that we interpret the meaning of other’s behaviors based on our past experience or history.
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3. Cultural stereotype – one which is shared by the members of a culture.
4. Discrimination - the unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people, especially on the grounds of
race, age, ethnicity or sex.
5. Displaced person – someone who is forced to leave their home country because of war or persecution.
6. Emigration – the act of leaving one's own country in order to settle permanently in another.
7. Ethnic cleansing – the mass expulsion or killing of members of one ethnic or religious group in an area by those
of another.
8. Ethnopluralism – the situation where the majority group allows the minority group to live according to its cultural
values and traditions but separately and in a way that does not affect the majority group.
9. Expulsion – the action or process of forcing someone to leave a place.
10. Exoticism – an idealistic glorification of the foreign.
11. Extermination – mass assassination, genocide.
12. External attributions – explaining the behavior looking for situation or environment.
13. Fundamental attribution error – the tendency to over-value dispositional or personality-based explanations for
the observed behaviors of others and undervalue situational explanations for those behaviors.
14. Generalizations – general statements or concepts obtained by inference from specific cases
15. Genocide – the deliberate killing of a large group of people, especially those of a particular nation or ethnic
group.
16. Hate group – an organization that promotes hate or violence towards members of an entire class of people,
based on characteristics such as race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation.
17. Immigration – the action of coming to live permanently in a foreign country.
18. Indirect discrimination – happens when there is a rule or policy that is the same for everyone but has an unfair
effect on people of a particular race, color, descent, national or ethnic origin or immigrant status.
19. Internal attributions – explaining the behavior looking for enduring personality traits.
20. Intimidation – frightening or overawing (someone), esp. in order to make them do what one wants.
21. Lynching – killing someone for an alleged offence without a legal trial, especially by hanging
22. Massacre – an indiscriminate and brutal slaughter of many people.
23. Migrant – a person who moves from one place to another, especially in order to find work.
24. Perception – a process by which we make what we sense into a meaningful experience by selecting,
categorizing, and interpreting internal and external stimuli to form our view of the world.
25. Personal stereotypes – any individual’s beliefs about a group, regardless of whether that belief is shared by
others.
26. Pogrom – an organized persecution or extermination of an ethnic group, esp. of Jews.
27. Prejudice – the irrational suspicion or hatred of a particular cultural group, race, religion, or sexual orientation.
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28. Recession – a period of temporary economic decline during which trade and industrial activity are reduced.
29. Refugees – persons who have been forced to leave their country in order to escape war, persecution, or natural
disaster
30. Resettlement – the process of moving people to a different place to live, because they are no longer allowed to
stay in the area where they used to live.
31. Reverse discrimination (affirmative action) – a) discrimination against members of a dominant or majority
group; b) the provision of special opportunities in employment, training, etc. for a disadvantaged group, such as
women, ethnic minorities, etc
32. Segregation – the official practice of keeping people apart, usually people of different sexes, races, or religions.
33. Stereotype – an oversimplified image or idea of a particular a group of people or thing.
34. Xenocentrism – preferring ideas and things from other cultures over ideas and things from your own culture.
35. Xenophobia – distrust, unreasonable fear, or hatred of strangers, foreigners, or anything perceived as foreign or
different
36. Ultimate attribution error – a cognitive error committed by prejudiced people in which negative behaviors are
attributed to the personality of out-group members, and are extended to all of the members of that out-group.

Unit 7
1. Affective communication style – one which is characterized as receiver-oriented and process-oriented. In this
communication style the burden to get the message is on the receiver.
2. Code-switching – switching between two or more languages or language varieties, in the context of a single
conversation.
3. Contextual style – a role-centered style which is heavily based on a hierarchical social order. Language devices
are used to emphasize the "role" identity, i.e., the status of the interlocutors.
4. Direct communication style – one in which verbal messages reveal the speaker’s true intentions, needs, wants,
and desires
5. Elaborate communication style – one which is characterized by the use of rich, expressive language in
everyday conversation.
6. Exact communication style – one which emphasizes cooperative communication. The speaker is expected to
give neither more nor less information than is required.
7. Holistic approach – one which is characterized by the belief that the parts of something are intimately
interconnected and explicable only by reference to the whole.
8. Indirect communication style – one in which the verbal message is often designed to camouflage the speaker’s
true intentions, needs, wants, and desires.
9. Instrumental communication style – one which is characterized as sender-oriented and goal-oriented. In this
style the burden is on the sender to make the message clear.
10. Interruption – an act with a clearly negative and power-laden connotation because it is a violation of the turn
exchange system.
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11. Overlapping – a period of time in which two or more people speak together.
12. Personal communication style – an individual-centered style. Language devices are used to emphasize the "I"
identity.
13. Succinct communication style – one which values understatements, simple assertions, pauses and silence.
14. Turn-taking – the skill of knowing when to start and finish a turn in a conversation.

Unit 8
1. Ambiguous – open to more than one interpretation; not having one obvious meaning.
2. Assumption – a thing that is accepted as true or as certain to happen, without proof.
3. Communication break-off occurs when a speaker ends a conversation that is taking place.
4. Disparity – a great difference.
5. Illocutionary act indicates the speaker’s purpose in saying something, specifying in what way s/he is using the
locution.
6. Incomplete understanding occurs when at least one of the participants perceives that something has gone
wrong.
7. Indirect speech act – one in which the form and function do not coincide.
8. Inference – a conclusion reached on the basis of evidence and reasoning.
9. Locutionary act – an act of "saying something". It contains the speaker’s verbalized message.
10. Miscommunication – a mismatch between the speaker’s intention and the hearer’s interpretation.
11. Misunderstanding – a simple disparity between the speaker’s and hearer’s semantic analysis of a given
utterance. When misunderstanding occurs, the participants do not recognize that there is a problem.
12. Non-communication occurs when a speaker avoids communicating with the other person.
13. Non-engagement – not being involved.
14. Perlocutionary act produces sequential effects on the feelings, thoughts, or actions of hearers.
15. Pragmatics – the branch of linguistics dealing with language in use and the contexts in which it is used.
16. Pragmalinguistic errors – language specific errors that involve the pragmatic force of an utterance having
different meanings in two languages. They occur when speech act strategies are inappropriately transferred from
one language to another.
17. Sociopragmatic errors stem from cross-culturally different perception of what constitutes appropriate linguistic
behavior. These errors occur when the communicator does not perceive the situation or does not categorize the
other people involved in accordance with the cultural norms they are using.
18. Speech act – an utterance considered as an action, particularly with regard to its intention, purpose, or effect.

Unit 9
1. Acculturation – second-culture learning; assimilation to a different culture, typically the dominant one.
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2. Adaptation – the process by which one’s worldview is expanded to include behavior and values appropriate to
the host culture. The assumed end result of adaptation is becoming a bicultural or multicultural person.
3. Assimilation – the process of resocialization that seeks to replace one’s original worldview with that of the host
culture. The assumed end result of assimilation is becoming a "new person".
4. Culture shock - the feeling of disorientation experienced by someone when they are suddenly subjected to an
unfamiliar culture, way of life, or set of attitudes.
5. Cultural hybridity – the mode of adaptation when one desires economic assimilation in work, linguistic
integration (bilingualism) and social separation (socializing only with members of one’s own group).
6. Enculturation – the gradual acquisition of the characteristics and norms of a culture by a person; the process of
first-culture learning.
7. Immigrant – a person who comes to live permanently in a foreign country.
8. Integration – the mode of adaptation when the migrants have an interest in maintaining their original culture and
also in maintaining daily interactions with other groups.
9. Long-term refugee – a person who is forced to relocate permanently because of war, famine, and oppression.
10. Marginalization occurs when individuals express little interest in maintaining cultural ties with either their host or
their heritage culture.
11. Migrant – an individual who leaves the culture contexts in which he or she was raised and moves to a new
culture for an extended period of time.
12. Reverse culture shock – the feeling of disorientation experienced by migrants when they return home to their
original cultural contexts.
13. Segregation – separation which is initiated and enforced by the dominant society.
14. Separation – the state when migrants willingly choose to retain their original culture and at the same time avoid
interaction with other groups.
15. Short-term refugee – a person who is forced for a short period of time to move to a new culture.
16. Socialization – the process by which people, especially children, are made to behave in a way which is
acceptable in their culture or society.
17. Sojourner – a traveler who moves into new cultural contexts for a limited period of time and for a specific
purpose.
18. Transition – the process or a period of changing from one state or condition to another
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