Dominant u s cultural patterns
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Dominant U.S. Cultural Patterns. Value Orientation Theory Chapter 8. What Can You Learn?. Additional categories to describe cultural patterns. Use of the categories to describe dominant U.S. cultural patterns. How U.S. cultural patterns can affect intercultural communication.

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Dominant U.S. Cultural Patterns

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Dominant u s cultural patterns

Dominant U.S. Cultural Patterns

Value Orientation Theory

Chapter 8


What can you learn

What Can You Learn?

  • Additional categories to describe cultural patterns.

  • Use of the categories to describe dominant U.S. cultural patterns.

  • How U.S. cultural patterns can affect intercultural communication


Dominant u s cultural patterns

Intercultural Communication Competence requires understanding dominant cultural values and understanding how our own cultural values affect the way we perceive ourselves and others.


Studying cultural values helps us understand behavior

Studying cultural values helps us understand behavior

  • Values are central beliefs that shape our goals and motivate our actions.

  • Attitudes reflect our values but are more easily changed.

  • Emic knowledge is gained from being “inside” a culture.

  • Etic knowledge is gained from being “outside” a culture.


United states cultural patterns

United States Cultural Patterns

  • The area of land now known as North America has a long heritage of diversity of people and cultures before the arrival of Europeans.

  • The dominant U.S. culture has drawn its social values from the Europeans that colonized the land.

    • These influences are with us today in our language, system of government, law, and emphasis on the notion of liberty.

  • Regional Differences: New England, The Midlands, the Middle West, the South, and the West.


Communication markers

Communication Markers

  • Certain elements make each region psychologically and behaviorally distinct.

  • Frederick Jackson Turner claims that having a “frontier” has influenced U.S. culture.

  • Three elements were identified here:

    1. Verbal Control and Dominance

    2. Affiliativeness and immediacy

    3.Arousal or activation


Antecedents of dominant culture

Antecedents of Dominant Culture

  • Critical events in U.S. history (see page 190).

  • Patterns may overlap but the culture that controls society is the dominant culture.

  • U.S. has different values from those of other countries.

  • Keep in mind these are generalizations.

  • There are inter-relationships among elements in culture.


Value orientation theory

Value Orientation Theory

  • Kluckhohn and Strodtbeck claim that cultures develop unique positions relative to five value orientations:

    1.What is a human being’s relation to nature? (man-nature orientation)

    2.What is the modality of human activity? (activity orientation)

    • 3. What is the temporal focus of human activity ( time orientation)


Kluckhohn and strodtbeck cont d

Kluckhohn and Strodtbeck cont’d

4.What is the character of innate human nature? (human-nature orientation)

5. What is the relationship of the individual to others? (relational)

  • We will review these values individually and see how we can apply these patterns and other categories to the dominant U.S. culture.


Man nature orientation

Man-Nature Orientation

  • Worldview deals with a culture’s most fundamental beliefs about its place in the cosmos, beliefs about God, and beliefs about the nature of humanity and nature.

  • Samovar identified 3 parts to worldview:

    1) the individual and nature relationship;

    2) science and technology, and

    3) materialism.


Man nature continued

Man-Nature continued

  • Individual and Nature - what do we value? We distinguish btwn nature and human life – “dominion over nature.”

  • Science and technology-- People in the U.S. have strong faith in science and our ability to solve problems using technology.

  • Materialism - our belief that possessions are important in life. Drives our economic system - capitalism.


What is the modality of human activity activity orientation

What is the Modality of Human Activity? Activity Orientation

  • Activity and Work- How do we feel about our jobs? Is work taken seriously? Why or why not?

  • Efficiency and Practicality? We want practical solutions that cause the least amount of effort/time. Short term emphasis.

  • Progress and Change – Future oriented -change is basically good - we adapt to new goods - social beliefs.


What is the temporal focus of human life

What is the temporal focus of human life?

Time Orientation (remember Chronemics?).

How do we characterize time? Time is a commodity (something useful that can be turned to advantage). What are the repercussions of this view? Activity Orientation - Are we doers or are we passive in our approach to life?

Do you live the future in the present?

  • Emphasis on activity and work.

  • Efficiency and practicality (short-term goals).


Innate human nature

Innate Human Nature?

  • This pattern looks at the innate nature of humans. Answers to the questions such as “What is human nature?” “What are human rights and responsibilities?” and “What does it mean to be human?”

  • Goodness- Are we born evil? Good? Both?

  • Rationality - We use reasoning to arrive at conclusions about good and evil.

  • Mutability – is human nature subject to change by society? Education, prisons.


Relational orientation

Relational Orientation

  • Individualism - This is often used as the main way we identify who we are. Individuality influences our understanding of history, love & marriage, family, self.

  • Self-motivation - In the U.S. individualism is evidenced through accomplishment and a need for achievement.

    -We are expected to set goals and pursue them independently.

    -We have the power to control our own destiny.

    -Individual responsibility for decision making


Social organization

Social Organization

  • Equality and Freedom: According to our text, this is an important cultural myth in the U.S.

  • See Table 8.6 on page 207

  • Conformity

  • People in the US conform to modern norms.

  • People believe in national institutions– schools, military, judiciary and are patriotic.


Forces stimulating development of regional cultures

Forces stimulating development of regional cultures

  • Changes in the landscape brought about by economic and cultural shifts.

  • Integration

  • Immigration

  • National Media

  • International air transportation

  • End of the Cold War


The new regions

The New Regions

  • Can you identify different regions within the U.S.?

  • Atlanta, 2) Charlotte, 3) Miami, 4)Houston, 5) Los Angeles, 6) San Francisco’s Bay Area, 7) Seattle.

    What makes these regions distinct from one another? Are there others you can add?


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