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Sociological Factors, Chapter 7 of H. Douglass Brown

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Elizabeth Tebb

on 11 March 2013

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Transcript of Sociological Factors, Chapter 7 of H. Douglass Brown

"In the bias of our own culture-bound worldview, we too often picture other cultures in an oversimplified manner, lumping cultural differences into exaggerated categories, and then view every person in a culture as possessing stereotypical traits" - Brown (2007, p. 190) Obstacle 1:
Subjective Perception Obstacle 2:
Culture Schock Obstacle 3:
Social Distance Questions Start Culture Is A Way Of Life Stage 1: A period of excitement and euphoria over the newness of the surroundings

Stage 2: Culture Shock emerges as individuals feel the intrusion of more and more cultural differences into their own images of self and security

Stage 3: Gradual, and at first tentative and vacillating, recovery. General progress is made while "culture stress" remains prevalent

Stage 4: Near or full recovery, either assimilation or adaption, acceptance of a new culture Social Distance refers to the cognitive and affective proximity of two cultures that come into contact within an individual Brown, Chapter 7 Sociocultural Factors WHICH MEANS... Biased Worldview Successive Stages of Culture Acquisition John Schumann (1976, p.136) describes social distance as consisting of the following parameters:

1. Dominance- In relation to the target language group, is the L2 group politically, culturally, technically, or economically dominant, nondominant, or subordinate?

2. Integration- Is the integration pattern of the L2 group assimilation, acculturation, or preservation? What is the L2 group's degree of enclosure- its identity separate from other contiguous groups?

3. Cohesiveness- Is the L2 group cohesive? What is the size of the L2 group?

4. Congruence- Are the cultures of the two groups congruent- similar in their value and belief systems? What is the attitude of the two groups toward each other?

5. Permanence- What is the L2 group's intended length of residence in the target language area? Refers to phenomena ranging from mild irritability to deep psychological panic and crisis...Persons undergoing culture shock view their new world out of resentment and alternate between self-pity and anger at other for not understanding them"
- Brown (2007, p. 194) This Can Be Caused By... "Culture is a dynamic system of rules, explicit and implicit, established by groups in order to ensure their survival, involving attitudes, values, beliefs, norms, and behaviors, shared by a group but harbored differently by each specific unit within the group, communicated across generations, relatively stable but with the potential to change across time"

-Matsumoto (200, p.24) "It governs our behavior in groups, makes us sensitive to matters of status, and helps us to know what others expect of us and what will happen if we do not live up to those expectations."
- Brown (2007, p. 188) It is "a blueprint of people in a community and is incubated in family life."
- Larson and Smalley (1972, p. 39) Hey! I'm
just an Average
Joe! I could be
you! Generalization- Oversimplification of cultural differences

Stereotype- reality is perceived through one's own cultural pattern, and a differing perception is seen as either false or "strange"; blanket assumptions
Results from a close-minded view of such differences
May be accurate for "typical" member of a culture, but not so the individual
Can be downright false
Can devalue people from other cultures Anomie- Feelings of social uncertainty or dissatisfaction associated with the relationship between language learning and the foreign culture Obstacle 4:
Cultural Norms
Mismatch Individualism- as a characteristic of a culture opposes collectivism Power distance- as a characteristic of culture defines the extent to which the less powerful persons in a society accept inequality Uncertainty avoidance- as a characteristic of a culture defines the extent to which people within a culture are made nervous by situations they perceive as unstructured, unclear, or unpredictable Masculinity- as a characteristic of a culture opposes femininity. Language and culture are interrelated! Acquisition of second language = Acquisition of second culture UNLESS Or... Bad:
When both language groups view themselves as dominant.
The groups have negative attitudes towards each other.
No assimilation for the L2 groups desired. Good:
Two cultures are congruent.
Assimilation, or at least acculturation for the L2 group, is desired.
Positive attitudes towards each other.
Intended length of stay is long. 1. Introduce socio-cultural strategies:
Initiating contact
Anticipating cultural misunderstandings
Using diplomacy in discussion
2. Role-play to overcome cultural “fatigue”
3. Diffuse cultural stereotypes Teaching Intercultural Competence
Our Main Goal: Acculturation- The acquisition of a second identity; culture learning

"A reorientation of thinking and feeling, not to mention communication, is necessary"
- Brown (2007, p. 194) 1. Think back on the time you had to adjust to a different culture. Did your personal experiences correspond to the description and timeline of the different stages, and if so, what helped you "recover"? What can we do to help our students deal with culture shock in our ESL classroom?

2. Learning a second language is inseparable from learning a second culture, yet the process of acquiring a second language identity is not a “magic carpet ride” that happens automatically and effortlessly in a foreign language classroom. Neither can culture be learned as a list of facts. How can we then assist our students in theirquest to acquire their new language identity? What specific activities can you suggestfor the ESL classroom? Hey look!
Our language
acquisition pot o' gold! Acculturation Treasure Dynamic system of rules (explicit and implicit) Establishes a context of cognitive and affective behavior "Teachers who are charged with educating students whole cultural backgrounds differ from their own must of course attend to such factors as those that Hofstede has brought to our attention"
- Brown, (2007, p. 202) Geert Hofstede (1986) identified 4 conceptual categories to study cultural norms... Experiential Model (Robinson-Stuart & Nocon, 1996: Turn culture learning using the above strategies in the classroom to increase cultural- and self-awareness
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