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COMM 300 (Fa '17) T07a - Social Power in Intercultural Communication

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Hartmut Scherer

on 8 October 2017

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Transcript of COMM 300 (Fa '17) T07a - Social Power in Intercultural Communication

Social Power in Intercultural Communication
Sources and Image Credit
Adopted key thoughts from our textbook
Effective Intercultural Communication
, chapter 12 and from Duane Elmers, Cross-Cultural Connections, 64ff.
Power Distance
Power Distance is the "extent to which the less powerful members of organizations and institutions accept and expect that power is distributed unequally."
Power Distance in the Workplace
Biblical Examples
Romans 13:1-7 -
- the difference between the extent to which a boss
can determine the behavior of the subordinate
Countries with large power distance:
Power distance is reflected in educational settings in ...
Mark 9:35 -
low power distance
Cross Cultural - Saudi Arabia - power distance
Cultural Dimension: low versus high power distance
Objectives for this lesson
At the end of this class time students will be able to
- see issues of power in their new home including how
much people value disparity in power;
- find out where control resides in their new home and
what types of social power relationships are
considered normal.
Gloria Holder, "Power Distance Index;" accessed September 30, 2015; http://hopeinterculturalcomm.weebly.com/power-distance.html.
Philippines, Mexico, Venezuela, India, Slovakia, Russia
Countries with small power distance:
Austria, Israel, Denmark, New Zealand, and Ireland
- idealize maintenance of power and clear distinctions
- value showing respect for the boss; boss should also
show respect to subordinates
Power distance affects:
- the amount of supervision expected by managers and
- the freedom of subordinates to challenge decisions
made by management,
- the amount of trust and cooperativeness among
- the relationship of teacher and student
- the amount of nonconformity allowed students
- the orientation of curriculum (teacher oriented or
student oriented)
- whether teachers are respected only in the class
or outside the class as well
Large power distance
Locus of Control
- the society’s perception of where the power to make choice
people value an internal locus of control
not within individuals:
people believe in an external locus of control
Cross-cultural worker must avoid even the appearance of sin from the local perspective
Economic Approach to Social Power
- distribution of social power is similar to monetary capital in a
patrons; power brokers (people with social power)
can control privileges
Patron-Client System
- typically seen in large power-distance cultures
- can take priority over family
- usually voluntary
protection, access to resources, gifts, favors
labor, income, politcial allegiance, support
Missionaries in Large Power Distance Societies
have significant social power
economic capital
access to
- often unaware of social power ideals of society
social capital
spiritual capital
- uncomfortable with their own social power
- being regarded as potential patrons
Class activity
Group #1:
prepare 2 skits; demonstrate
power distance in an everyday situations (work, school, neighborhood, office)
Group #2:
prepare 2 skits; demonstrate
power distance in an everyday situations (work, school, neighborhood, office)
Full transcript