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Factors Influencing Cross-Cultural Communication

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Kendra Werner

on 5 February 2013

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Transcript of Factors Influencing Cross-Cultural Communication

CROSS-CULTURAL COMMUNICATION PERCEPTION Culture is the "historically transmitted pattern of meanings embodied in symbols. A system of inherited conceptions expressed in symbolic forms by means of which men communicate, perpetuate, and develop their knowledge about, and their attitudes toward, life.”
-Clifford Geertz Implicit Bias Ethnocentrism 2 Key Components:
-Implicit: Unconscious thoughts that often occur unintentionally
-Biased: Reinforces an idea for or against something/someone often unfairly

-Can lead to but also results from
exposed/perpetuated stereotypes
and prejudices

-Effects of implicit racial attitudes/stereotypes are powerful and pervasive

*Implicit biases frequently differ from people's explicit racial attitudes. Therefore, people are often unaware of these biases/how they affect their judgements -View other cultures from the perspective of one's own Stereotypes
An idea about all of the members of a different group or culture. Often exaggerated. Popular media can perpetuate stereotypes.
Ex. Trading market-Capetown Racism
A mix of prejudice and power leading to exploitation of one group over another
-Difference, deviance, threat Prejudice
A state of mind at set of attitudes held by one person or group about another
-Xenophopia: Fear/hatred of foreigners Non Verbal Communication "Nonverbal signs for interpersonal attitudes are far more powerful than...verbal ones" --Michael Argyle 'Bodily Communications' Verbal Communication Five functions of Non Verbal Communications 1) expressing emotions
2) communicating interpersonal attitudes 3)accompanying and supporting speech
4) self presentation
5) rituals Major Forms of Identity "Identity is salient in defining antagonism in all forms of conflict since time immemorial."
-Syed Murshed Example:
Race & The Romans Nationality: Usually defined by shared languages, moral values, socio-political ideas, symbology, ideology, history of political integration. Surprisingly modern phenomenon.Race: A socially defined group of people usually originating from shared characteristics of physical appearance, comes to be regarded as a more meaningful distinction over time.Ethnicity: Less easily defined, sharing some aspects with nationality and race. Less broad then race, and more socially and less politically/historically based than nationality. Gist:
Nationality: Shared History
Race: Shared looks takes on more meaning
Ethnicity: Perceived Shared Origin Ideology: Both religions and other ideologies (Democracy, Marxism, Confucianism, etc) Shared ideas that may group together people otherwise very different in the other regards. Local: In pre-modern times, this was predominant, as people everywhere’s primary sense of loyalty lied with their immediate neighbors and local customs. Regional: Sub-national identities, often, but not always a source of conflict with national identities (US Civil War, Modern Day Indian Regionalism) Civilizational: Somewhat Controversial. Groups together national identities. Generally, national identities within a civilizational identity are more civil to each other than outsiders and prone to support “one their own” against an outsider
EXAMPLES: "Western" "Islamic" "Confucian-Influence" "Orthodox?" "Latin American?" Class: Groups of people, defined by their role within a larger society often have shared characteristics and identity. (Factory worker solidarity, cultural affinity between American rural people, tendency of geographically isolated classes like miners to be less tolerant of others than more integrated classes) Sex and Gender: Most evidence indicates that gender roles and expectations are highly, but not entirely socially created. Biological sex likely impacts behavior to some degree. Major academic disagreement remains over how much is biologically determined vs. socially defined Language Ideology "Language ideologies are cultural representations, whether explicit or implicit, of the intersection of language and human beings in a social world...underpin...significant social institutions and fundamental notions of person and community."

--Bambi B. Schieffelin in 'Language Ideologies' Levels of interactions between language & culture ( by Anthony Liddicoat) 1) Culture as context-- knowledge of how the world works
Example: Australian & American's understanding on the 'Sacred Site'.

2) Culture in text structure: how genre, text type, message is understood
Example: Zande speakers use 'spell' (genre) to communicate

3) Culture in Interactional Norms
Example: How Americans & Polish use 'Why don’t you close the window?' in different situations

4) Culture in Linguistic forms: how structural features can affect culture
Example: There're four ways of addressing someone in Japanese- emphasize hierachy; the meaning of 'keqi' (Chinese) or 'arr nar dal' (Burmese) cannot be directly translated to English Unequal Power Relations Cultural Differences Socioeconomic Status Dowry & Bride Burning in India Dowries are given to the grooms or husband-in- laws. In modern day India, dowries can range from money, gold, and other expensive things, and they are proudly displayed during the weddings. If the dowries do not suffice for the husbands, women can be abused or burned. In 2001, there were around 6,851 'bride burning' deaths (National Crimes Bureau, Home Ministry, India). Cultural relativism: View that individual beliefs and values systems are culturally relative. There is no absolute standard of right and wrong by which to compare and contrast morally contradictory cultural values.
-Ex. Human rights (are they universal?) -Large cultural discourse between South African traders and those from other parts of Africa. Keep in Mind...

-Perception is an aspect of human behavior and subject to many of the same influences.

-Each individual’s experience combine to determine his/her reaction to a given situation.

-Certain classes of experiences are more likely to occur in some cultures than in others yet

-Differences in behavior/perceptual tendencies across cultures are still great West African Proverb:
"The stranger sees only what he knows."
-We do not see things as they are, we see things as we are J. Levinson:

Racial Priming: The unconscious activation of stereotypes
-Simple visual cues prime a person's racial and ethnic stereotypes
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