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Communication and Culture. John A. Cagle. What is culture?. Sir Edward Tylor’s definition in 1871 (first use of this term): “that complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, custom, and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society”.

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What is culture?

  • Sir Edward Tylor’s definition in 1871 (first use of this term):“that complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, custom, and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society”


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  • Kroeber and Kluckhohn (1952) Culture consists of patterns, explicit and implicit, of and for behavior acquired and transmitted by symbols, constituting the distinctive achievement of human groups, including their embodiment in artifacts; the essential core of culture consists of traditional (i.e. historically derived and selected) ideas and especially their attached values; culture systems may, on the one hand, be considered as products of action, on the other as conditioning elements of further action.



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Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis

  • Sapir (1921): “Human beings do not live in the objective world alone, nor alone in the world of social activity as ordinarily understood, but are very much at the mercy of the particular language which has become the medium of expression in that society.”


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  • As a result of differences in language, people in different cultures will think about, perceive, and behave toward the world differently.

  • Reality itself is already embedded in language and therefore comes preformed.

  • Language determines, enabling and constraining, what is perceived and attended to in a culture, as well as the upper limits of knowledge.


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Freedom cultures will think about, perceive, and behave toward the world differently.

Independence

Self-reliance

Equality

Individualism

Competition

Efficiency

Time

Directness

Openness

Belonging

Group harmony

Collectiveness

Age/seniority

Group consciousness

Cooperation

Quality

Patience

Indirectness

Go-between

Cross-cultural Values

Americans

Japanese

Elashmawi & Harris 1993


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High-context cultures cultures will think about, perceive, and behave toward the world differently.

Long-lasting relationships

Exploiting context

Spoken agreements

Insiders and outsiders clearly distinguished

Cultural patterns ingrained, slow change

Low-context cultures

Shorter relationships

Less dependent on context

Written agreements

Insiders and outsiders less clearly distinguished

Cultural patterns change faster

Edward T. Hall's Model


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Cultural Classification--Hall cultures will think about, perceive, and behave toward the world differently.

  • Low-Context Cultures - What Is Said Is More Important Than How or Where It Is Said

    • U.S.

    • Germany

  • High-Context cultures - What Is Said and How or Where It is Said Are Significant

    • Asia

    • Latin America

    • Middle East


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Low-context in business cultures will think about, perceive, and behave toward the world differently.

  • Business before friendship

  • Credibility through expertise & performance

  • Agreements by legal contract

  • Negotiations efficient


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High-context in business cultures will think about, perceive, and behave toward the world differently.

  • No business without friendship

  • Credibility through relationships

  • Agreements founded on trust

  • Negotiations slow & ritualistic


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High and Low Context Cultures cultures will think about, perceive, and behave toward the world differently.

Factors /

Dimensions

Low

Context

High

Context

Lawyers

A person’s word

Responsibility fororganizational error

Negotiations

Examples:

Less important

Is his or her bond

Taken by top level

Lengthy

JapanMiddle East

Very important

Get it in writing

Pushed to lowest level

Proceed quickly

U.S.A.Northern Europe


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Basil Bernstein (1971) cultures will think about, perceive, and behave toward the world differently.

  • Bernstein was interested in social class and the ways in which the class system creates different types of language and is maintained by language.

  • Relationships in a social group affect the type of speech used by the group. The structure of speech makes different things relevant or significant.


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Language codes cultures will think about, perceive, and behave toward the world differently.

  • Elaborated codes provide a wide range of different ways to say something. These allow speakers to make their ideas and intentions explicit.

  • Restricted codes have a narrow range of options, and it is easier to predict what form they will take.


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Codes and Social Class cultures will think about, perceive, and behave toward the world differently.

  • Bernstein says members of the middle class use both types of code systems, whereas members of the working class are less likely to use elaborated codes.


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Frederick Williams: Poverty Cycle cultures will think about, perceive, and behave toward the world differently.

  • In dealing with the language of the poverty child, are we dealing with language which is deficient or with language that is different?

  • As the war on poverty has continued in the U.S., it has become highly evident that the boundaries of poverty are often subcultural ones.

  • Individuals in a poverty group can be identified by their common socioeconomic problems, and these in turn are typically associated with an equally common range of sociocultural features - ways of life, education, attitudes, desires, and above all, language and the ways of using it.

  • Much of the attention given to sociocultural aspects of poverty can be seen in the kinds of cause and cures for poverty which are often linked as part of an overall poverty cycle.


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Everett Rogers (1962): cultures will think about, perceive, and behave toward the world differently.Diffusion of Innovations

  • Rogers began developing a practical theory to increase the rate of diffusion and acceptance of agricultural innovations in underdeveloped countries.

  • Diffusion of Innovations was first published in 1962.

  • Rogers’ theory is now widely accepted and used in many contexts—business, government, technology, family planning, medicine, etc.


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Diffusion in “Real World” cultures will think about, perceive, and behave toward the world differently.

Joseph P. Bailey, “The Retail Sector and the Internet Economy,” http://e-conomy.berkeley.edu/conferences/9-2000/EC-conference2000_papers/bailey.pdf


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Innovations cultures will think about, perceive, and behave toward the world differently.

  • Diffusion is the process by which an innovation is communicated through certain channels over time among the members of a social system.

  • This definition establishes that diffusion consists of four main elements: (1) the innovation (2) the communication channels (3) time and (4) the social system.


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  • The stages through which a technological innovation passes are:

    • knowledge (exposure to its existence, and understanding of its functions);

    • persuasion (the forming of a favourable attitude to it);

    • decision (commitment to its adoption);

    • implementation (putting it to use); and

    • confirmation (reinforcement based on positive outcomes from it).


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  • Important characteristics of an innovation include: are:

    • relative advantage (the degree to which it is perceived to be better than what it supersedes);

    • compatibility (consistency with existing values, past experiences and needs);

    • complexity (difficulty of understanding and use);

    • trialability (the degree to which itcan be experimented with on a limited basis);

    • observability (the visibility of its results).


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Early are:

Adopters

13.5%

Late

Majority

34%

Laggards

16%

Consumer

Innovators

2.5%

Early

Majority

34%


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100% are:

Innovation 1

Innovation 2

Innovation 3

Laggards

Percent

of

adoption

Late majority

Early majority

Early adopters

Innovators

0 %

Time


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Del Hymes (1966) are:

1. What are the communicative events, and their components, in a community?

2. What are the relationships among them?

3. What capabilities and states do they have, in general, and in particular events?

4. How do they work?


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The concept of a message is taken as implying the sharing (real or imputed) of a code (or codes) in terms of which a message is intelligible to participants, minimally an addressor and addressee, in an event constituted by transmission of the message, and characterized by a channel, a setting or context, a definite form or shape in the message, and a topic or comment.


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The purposes, conscious and unconscious, the functions, intended and unintended, perceived and unperceived, of communicative events for their participants are here treated as questions of the states in which they engage in them, and of the norms by which they judge them.

FOCUS ON THE ADDRESSOR entails such expressive or emotive functions as identification of the source, expression of attitude toward one or another component or the situation as a whole, thinking aloud, etc.

FOCUS ON THE ADDRESSEE entails such directive or conative functions as identification of the destination, and the ways in which the events and message may be governed by anticipation of the attitude of the destination. RHETORIC, PERSUASION, APPEAL, and DIRECTION enter here.


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FOCUS ON CHANNELS intended and unintended, perceived and unperceived, of communicative events for their participants are here treated as questions of the states in which they engage in them, and of the norms by which they judge them. entails such phatic functions as have to do with the maintenance of contact and control of noise, both physical and psychological.

FOCUS ON CODES entails such functions as are involved in learning, analysis, devising of writing systems, checking code in conversation, etc.

FOCUS ON SETTINGS entails all that is considered contextual, apart from the event itself, verbal and nonverbal, etc.

FOCUS ON MESSAGE-FORM entails such functions as proof-reading, mimicry, poetic and stylistic concerns, etc.


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FOCUS ON TOPIC intended and unintended, perceived and unperceived, of communicative events for their participants are here treated as questions of the states in which they engage in them, and of the norms by which they judge them. entails such functions as having to do with reference to objects in the world, to people, to events, to ideas, etc.--all we usually associate with content.

FOCUS ON THE EVENT ITSELF entails whatever is comprised under metacommunicative types of function.


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