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Bridging Cultural Gaps

cultural variations of messages in North American and Arabic communication preferences

Norah Alkharashi

on 15 October 2012

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Transcript of Bridging Cultural Gaps

Cultural Variations of Messages
In American and Arabic
Communication Preferences Reaching the Shore, Bridging
Cultural Gaps What is what? Who is who? Cultural Variations View of Language Different Society Culture (See Sapir, 1964: 79­83) Language the production of the social meanings in a culture. A means of communication verbal, visual, written forms, body signs (Lyons, 1981: 267). Communication a method of exchanging knowledge and transfer information to bridge the gap between individuals and cultures of the world in either different regions, or in one country. (Fasold, 1984:1­3) Cross Cultural Communication This section will examine three important terms in connection with each other. We Study it to:
appreciate cultural differences rather than ethnocentrism
bridge communication gabs
avoid major misunderstandings or misinterpretations
enrich the human experiences

among the members of different cultural communities. a combination of different codes concerning the way of life, tradition, rituals, beliefs, values, morals, shared customs and all the habits that are practiced by a particular community using a particular language as means of expression. What to focus on ?! Cultural generalities or tendencies This section will define the North American & the Arabic culture Characteristics documented by intercultural scholars Still prevalent in the mass media and public communication campaigns (see, for example, Stewart 1972, 1989). The Arab Culture individual's idiosyncrasies or experience. Not Not randomly chosen Not Past or former Arab countries are Middle Eastern. not all Middle Eastern are Arab. 85-90% of the Arab population is Muslim, but only 20% of the world’s Muslims. Hall (1976) Low-context High-context - meaning in message
- details within message
- explicit
- speaker responsible for
message comprehension - meaning in context
- details in context
- implicit
- listener responsible for
understanding message The North American The Arab Levine (1985) Direct - indirect, circular
- ambiguous
-embellishments valued
- subjective
- deliberately use emotion The North American The Arab Kluckhohn & Strodtbeck
(1961) Activity/Doing Being & Becoming - emphasize measurable actions
- tie between word & deed - emphasis relationship
& social condition
- words for social effect The North American The Arab - direct, to the point
- clear
- simplicity valued
- objective
- emotionalism avoided Dodd (1982) Linear Non-linear - one theme
- organized with
beginning & end
- object-oriented - not necessary have one theme
- organization not stressed
- people & event-oriented The North American The Arab North America Arab Socio- Legal documentation
Historical Record preservation - stress accuracy - emotional neutrality, objective
- technical, concrete
- language used to transmit
information Poetry, Islam, Nationalism - reliance on symbols - emotional resonance
- abstract
- language used to create social experience North America Arab Literate Society Aural/Oral Society written word valued
singular experience
factual accuracy stressed
logic & coherence
speaker & audience detached
analytical reasoning aural experience valued
group experience
imagery and sounds stressed
emotional resonance
speaker & audience linked
intuitive reasoning CULTURAL PREFERENCES OF EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION Repetition versus Simplicity Imagery versus Accuracy Exaggeration versus Understatement Words versus Action Vague versus Specific when intercultural differences are not perceived as "different," they are perceived as right and wrong. Norman Daniels (1975) Conclusion Implications What can we do with this information? Public Relations Teaching Communication Analysis Translation Interpretation Making Friends We will look at how two cultures -- the Arab and the North American culture -- have two distinct preferences for effective communication While those two cultures have very different styles, most cultural differences tend to lie below the surface of one's awareness. What is this presentation about? Example: Example: Example: By: Norah Alkharashi
Carleton University
2012 Indirect Say what they mean in the message. What is not said is more important usually what has been said, pre-programmed information in the settings and in the receiver. Greetings "Say what your mean," "Don't beat around the bush," "Get to the point" Ambiguous style to express and evoke a wealth of affective responses. How are you doing? Example: How are you doing?" is literally "What is your condition?" "How are you doing?" = "What's happening?" Writing Style beginnings and ends of events, unitary themes, and empirical evidence. time orientation is less important than people and events, time is not segmented, multiple themes, high in imagery and metaphors. Coffee spell with freinds " I will see you tomorrow" " I will see you tomorrow" not literal could mean also in the future.
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