Cross Cultural Communication by pengxiang


									Cross Cultural Communication
      A theoretical approach
           What is culture?

-the attitudes and beliefs, ways of thinking,
  behaving and remembering shared by
  members of that community.” (Kramsch
            What is culture?
•   Anthropological Culture
    The ways that people of a certain group
    behave/live among themselves.
•   High culture
    The art, music, theater, literature created
    by culture
•   Popular culture
    Contemporary music/films/trends
              What is culture?
      Surface culture          Deep culture
•   Dress               •   Worldview
•   Clothing            •   Language
•   Gestures            •   Kinship systems
•   Music               •   Social organization
•   Art
•   Architecture
               Deep culture
• Worldview
  Orientation toward religion, humanity, nature,
  and the universe.
• Language
  Medium to transmit culture
• Kinship systems
  Importance of different family roles and the
  relationships between family members
• Social organization
  Importance of relationship among group
    The importance of Values
• Cultural values identify behavioral
  characteristics that members of the society
  consider important and valuable.
• Serve as a mechanism of social control
  by determining how members of a culture
  should behave.
• Core values vs. peripheral values
    The importance of values
• Talk to a partner and discuss following
• What are some important values in Thai
• What do you think are some important
  values in North American culture?
Dynamics of culture systems in one
          main culture
• Individual members of one culture may
  differ in the values and adopt several sub-
• Boundaries are only loosely defined
  Culture can be shared by people from
  different geographical locations.
• Values and systems can change over time
Four Fundamental Patterns of Cultural

What is different?

 1. Communication Styles
 2. Attitudes toward conflicts
 3. Decision making style
4. Social behavior

 What is hidden below the surface?

 1. Beliefs
 2. Values
 3. Expectations
 4. Attitudes
        Geert Hofstede’s cultural
• Dr. Geert Hofstede
  worked for IBM as Psychologist
  from 1967-73
  Geert Hofstede's dimensions
  analysis can assist the business
  person or traveler in better
  understanding the intercultural
  differences within regions and
  between counties.
   Individualism vs. Collectivism
Individualism (IDV) focuses on the degree the society
  reinforces individual or collective, achievement and
  interpersonal relationships. A High Individualism
  ranking indicates that individuality is of most importance
  within the society. Individuals in these societies may tend
  to form a larger number of looser relationships. A Low
  Individualism ranking typifies Collectivist societies with
  close ties between individuals. These cultures reinforce
  extended families and collectives where everyone takes
  responsibility for fellow members of their group.
  Individualism vs. Collectivism
Individualistic societies   Collectivist societies
• Australia                 • Costa Rica
• Canada                    • Guatemala
• UK                        • Mexico
• New Zealand               • Ecuador
• USA                       • Most Asian countries
• Netherlands
            Power Distance
Power Distance Index (PDI) focuses on the
 degree of equality between people in the
 country's society. A High Power Distance
 ranking indicates that inequalities of power and
 wealth are accepted in society. These societies
 are more likely to follow a caste system that
 does not allow significant upward mobility of its
 citizens. A Low Power Distance ranking
 indicates the society de-emphasizes the
 differences between citizen's power and wealth.
 In these societies equality and opportunity for
 everyone is stressed.
      Power Distance in Education
    Small Power Distance societies              Large Power Distance societies

•     Student-centered education            •    Teacher-centered education
•    Teacher expects students to            •    Students expect teacher to initiate
     initiate communication                      communication
•    Students may speak up in               •    Students speak up in class only
     spontaneously in class                      when invited by the teacher
•    Students allowed to contradict or      •    Teacher is never contradicted nor
     criticize teacher                           publicly criticized
•    Effectiveness of learning related to   •    Effectiveness of learning related to
     amount of two-way                           excellence of the teacher
     communication in class                 •    Respect for teachers is also
•    Outside class, teachers are                 shown outside class
     treated as equals                      •    Older teachers are more
•    Younger teachers are more liked             respected than younger teachers
     than older teachers

         Where do you think MUIC fits in?
         Uncertainty avoidance
Uncertainty Avoidance Index (UAI) level of tolerance for
  uncertainty and ambiguity within the society - i.e.
  unstructured situations. High Uncertainty Avoidance
  ranking indicates country has a low tolerance for
  uncertainty and ambiguity. This creates a rule-oriented
  society that institutes laws, rules, regulations, and
  controls in order to reduce the amount of uncertainty. A
  Low Uncertainty Avoidance ranking indicates the
  country has less concern about ambiguity and
  uncertainty and has more tolerance for a variety of
  opinions. This is reflected in a society that is less rule-
  oriented, more readily accepts change, and takes more
  and greater risks.
Uncertainty avoidance in Education
                                            Strong Uncertainty Avoidance
    Weak Uncertainty Avoidance                         Societies
                                        •   Students feel comfortable in
•   Students feel comfortable in            structured learning situations:
    unstructured learning situations:       precise objectives, strict timetables
    vague objectives, broad
    assignments, no timetables
•   Teachers are allowed to say "I      •   Teachers are expected to have all
    don't know"                             the answers
•   A good teacher uses plain           •   A good teacher uses academic
    language                                language
•   Students are rewarded for           •   Students are rewarded for accuracy
    innovative approaches to problem        in problem-solving
•   Teacher are allowed to behave       •   Teachers are expected to suppress
    emotionally                             emotions (and so are students)
•   Teachers interpret intellectual     •   Teachers interpret intellectual
    disagreement as a stimulating           disagreement as personal disloyalty
•   Teachers seek students' ideas       •   Teachers consider themselves
                                            experts who cannot learn anything
                                            from students - and students agree
• Masculinity/femininity (MAS) focuses on degree the
  society reinforces the traditional masculine work role
  model of male achievement, control, and power. A High
  Masculinity ranking indicates country experiences a
  high degree of gender differentiation. In these cultures,
  males dominate a significant portion of the society and
  power structure, with females being controlled by male
  domination. A Low Masculinity ranking indicates the
  country has a low level of differentiation and
  discrimination between genders. Females are treated
  equally to males in all aspects of the society.
                 MAS in Education
        Feminine Societies                       Masculine Societies
•   Teachers avoid openly              •   Teachers openly praise good
    praising students                      students
•   Teachers use average student       •   Teachers use best students as the
    as the norm
                                       •   System rewards students'
•   System rewards students'               academic performance
    social adaptation                  •   A student's failure at school is a
•   A student's failure at school is       severe blow to his/her self-image
    a relatively minor accident        •   Students admire brilliance in
•   Students admire friendliness in        teachers
    teachers                           •   Students compete with each other
•   Students practice mutual               in class
    solidarity                         •   Students chose academic
                                           subjects in view of career
•   Students chose academic                opportunities
    subjects in view of intrinsic
        Long-Term Orientation
Long-Term Orientation (LTO) focuses on the degree the society
  embraces, or does not embrace, long-term devotion to traditional,
  forward thinking values. High Long-Term Orientation ranking
  indicates the country prescribes to the values of long-term
  commitments and respect for tradition. This is thought to support a
  strong work ethic where long-term rewards are expected as a result
  of today's hard work. However, business may take longer to develop
  in this society, particularly for an "outsider". A Low Long-Term
  Orientation ranking indicates the country does not reinforce the
  concept of long-term, traditional orientation. In this culture, change
  can occur more rapidly as long-term traditions and commitments do
  not become impediments to change
Thailand compared to the USA

     Drawbacks of applying the
         Hofstede Model
• To general:
  model has proven to be quite often correct when
  applied to the general population, but not all
  individuals or even regions with subcultures fit
  into one category.
• How accurate is the data? The data has been
  collected through questionnaires, which have
• Is the data up to date? How much does the
  culture of a country change over time, either by
  internal or external influences?
Cross Cultural Communication
        Practical implications
    How we see other cultures
• Influence of our own culture
  using our own cultural framework for
• Result
  - a biased view which is may cause
         Dictionary definition of
•   “A fixed general image, characteristic,
    etc. that a lot of people believe to
    represent a particular type of person or
    (Collins Cobuild Dictionary)
•     Exploring our own stereotypes:
    Look at following pictures and write down
    a few things that come to mind when you
    think about these people. Don’t worry
    about writing negative/offensive things.




• When someone claims that members of
  another culture all share the same, often
  inferior or offensive characteristics.
• Israelis are rude.
• Chinese are dirty.
• Black people are uneducated,
  trouble makers, criminals etc.
• Americans are fat
          Types of stereotypes
• racial e.g. African people or people with dark skin
  are criminals
• gender e.g. women are bad drivers
• age e.g. old people are said to be very forgetful
• religion e.g. Muslims are violent/agressive
• profession e.g. all lawyers are greedy
         Where do stereotypes come from?
•   Parents and family
•   The media
•   Friends
•   Education (school, university)
•   Travel
•   Laziness
•   Fear
•   Envy
•   A sense of superiority
•   Lack of experience of people, etc.
       How we see other cultures
Person who is culturally more…   …can perceive behavior of foreigners
                                   from other cultures as…

Collectivists                    Insulting, stressed, heartless, rude
Individualist                    Dishonest, corrupt
Large Power Distance oriented    Disrespectful, improper, rude
Small Power Distance oriented    Bossy, arrogant (high status person)
                                 Cowardly (low status person)

Feminine                         Aggressive, selfish
Masculine                        Weak (of men); unfeminine (of
Strong Uncertainty avoiding      Unprincipled, not moral
Weak Uncertainty avoiding        paranoid
 Cross-cultural Communication
• Cross-cultural Communication is the process of
  sending and receiving messages between people
  whose cultural background could lead them to
  interpret verbal and non-verbal signs differently.
            Why is Cross-Cultural
          Communication important ?
Globalization: Cross border movement of people, goods and
data brings more and more cultures into contact with one
another and increases the potential of cross culture

             ◦ Business Opportunities
             ◦ Job Opportunities
             ◦ Improves the contribution of employees in a diverse
             ◦ Sharing of views and ideas
             ◦ Talent improvisation
             ◦ An understanding of diverse market
      High Context and Low Context
High Context Culture:- Cultures that rely heavily on non-
verbal and subtle situational cues in communication.

Low Context Culture:- Cultures that rely heavily on words
to convey meaning in communication.

Edward Hall
              High Context and Low Context
                               High-context culture                                 Low-context culture
                   Many covert and implicit messages, with use of      Many overt and explicit messages that are simple
 Overtness of        metaphor and reading between the lines.                             and clear.

                          Much nonverbal communication                 More focus on verbal communication than body
  Use of non-                                                                            language

Expression of               Reserved, inward reactions                        Visible, external, outward reaction
                  Strong distinction between ingroup and outgroup.     Flexible and open grouping patterns, changing as
Cohesion and                    Strong sense of family.                                    needed
separation of

                  Strong people bonds with affiliation to family and   Fragile bonds between people with little sense of
People bonds                        community                                               loyalty.
                    High commitment to long-term relationships.           Low commitment to relationship. Task more
    Level of           Relationship more important than task.                    important than relationships.
commitment to

 Flexibility of
     time                   Time is open and flexible.                           Time is highly organized.
                      Process is more important than product               Product is more important than process
          Body Language
• 80% of our communication is non-verbal.
• Gestures:
            Culture Shock
Culture shock refers to the anxiety and
 feelings (of surprise, disorientation,
 uncertainty, confusion, etc.) felt when
 people have to operate within an entirely
 different cultural or social environment,
 such as a foreign country.

                                    Source: Wikipedia
      Stages of culture shock
• Honeymoon Phase
  -differences between the old and new
  culture are seen in a positive light,
  wonderful and new. For example, an
  individual might love the new foods, the
  pace of the life, the people's habits, the
  architecture and so on.
      Stages of culture shock
• Irritation and Hostility
  After the initial excitement is over, more
  and more dissimilarities are noticed
  between the foreign country and home.
  The initial curiosity and enthusiasm turn
  into irritation, frustration, anger, and
  depression. Minor inconveniences can
  lead to serious distress
      Stages of culture shock
• Gradual Adjustment
  gradual adaptation to the new culture over
  time. Persons begin to orient themselves
  and are able to interpret some of the
  subtle cultural clues and cues. Culture
  seems more familiar and more
  comfortable. They will feel less isolated,
  and their self-confidence will return.
       Stages of culture shock
• Adaptation or Bi-Culturalism
  Full recovery has occurred. Ability to function in
  two cultures with confidence. persons will find
  they enjoy some of the very customs, ways of
  doing and saying things, and personal attitudes
  that bothered them so much in phase two.
  persons may not realize how well they have
  adjusted to the new culture until returning home,
  at which point they may well experience reverse
  culture shock.
          Overcoming cross cultural
           communication barriers
           Tips for improving cross cultural communication
•   Observe but don’t interpret according to your own culture –don’t
    form stereotypes
•   Don’t assume you understand non-verbal signals
•   Don’t take behavior personally even if it’s insulting in your culture
•   Develop an awareness of your own non-verbal signals and how they
    might be offensive
•    Understand your own stereotypes and learn about other cultures
    with openness.
•   Don’t evaluate behavior as good or bad
•   Accept the fact that cross cultural communication causes stress

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