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Cultural Patterns

Cultural Patterns. Intercultural Communication By Kiyoko Sueda April 28, 200 9. Objectives. To understand what cultural patterns are, and what do they do to our life. To understand the cultural patterns proposed by E. T. Hall and G. Hofstede. ( One of the most frequently used taxonomies )

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Cultural Patterns

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  1. Cultural Patterns Intercultural Communication By Kiyoko Sueda April 28, 2009

  2. Objectives • To understand what cultural patterns are, and what do they do to our life. • To understand the cultural patterns proposed by E. T. Hall and G. Hofstede. (One of the most frequently used taxonomies) • To reflect how your own culture fits into the patterns, and how you, as an individual, may or may not a “representative” of that culture.

  3. 1. Cultural patterns1.1 Nature of cultural patterns • Members of a culture generally have a preferred set of responses to the world. • There are five major elements of cultural patterns: activities, social relations, the self, the world, and the passage of time.

  4. 1.2 Five elements of cultural patterns①Activity orientation • Cultures usually choose a point on the being-doing continuum. Question 1:Compare the class in Japan and that of another country. Question2: Compare a couple of classes you took last semester.

  5. ②Social relations orientation • Social relations orientation describes how people in a given culture relate to one another. Question1: Can social superiority be obtained through birth, age, good deeds, material achievement? Question2: What obligations and responsibilities do people have to their families, neighbors, employers, employees, etc.?

  6. ③Self-Orientation • Self-orientation describes how people’s identities are formed. Question1: Does the self reside in the individual or in the group to which the individual belongs?

  7. ④World Orientation • Cultural patterns tell people how to locate themselves in relation to the spiritual world, nature and other living things. Question1: Are people in control of, subjugated by, or living in harmony with the forces of nature?

  8. ⑤Time Orientation • Cultural patterns concern how people conceptualize time. Question1: How should time be valued and understood? Question2: Is time linear or cyclical?

  9. 2. E.T. Hall’s taxonomy (assigned reading: p. 113) • A: Can I ask you a question? • B: Yes, of course. • A: Do you know what time it is? • B: Yes, it’s two o’clock. • A: Might you have a little soup left in the pot? • B: What? I don’t understand. • A: I will be on campus teaching until nine o’clock tonight, a very long day for any person, let alone a hungry one! • B: Would you like me to drive you to a restaurant off campus so you can have lunch? • A: What a very good idea you have!

  10. Cultures differ in the amount of information implied by the setting or context of communication regardless of the specific spoken words. • Culture ranges from high-context to low context. • HCC examples: Japanese, African American, Mexican, Latino • LCC examples: German, European American

  11. 2.1 Use of covert and overt messages • High context cultures (HCC): Meaning are internalized, and an emphasis is place on nonverbal codes. e.g., communication in a long-term relationship • Low context cultures (LCC): Meaning are plainly and explicitly coded. e.g., communication via computers

  12. 2.2 Importance of ingroups and outgroups • HCC: “Who is a member and who is not” is easy to see.Family obligations are strong and social relationships are long-lasting. • LCC: “Who is a member and who is not” is not as easy as seen in HCC. Family obligations are not as strong as HCC and social relationships are rather short-term.

  13. 2.3 Orientation to time • HCC: Time is open and more flexible, less structured, more responsive to the immediate needs to people. • LCC: Time is highly organized. Question1: What about Japan?

  14. 3. Hofstede’s taxonomy • “Software of the mind” is developed during childhood and reinforced by culture. • 100,000 IBM employees in 71 countries participated in the survey.

  15. 3.1 Hofstede’s 5 dimensions • 1. Power Distance • 2. Uncertainty Avoidance • 3. Individualism/Collectivism • 4. Masculinity/Femininity • 5. Long-term/Short-term Orientation to TimeMichael Bond

  16. 3. 1 Power Distance • Power Distance: The degree to which a culture tolerates inequality in power distribution in relationships and organizations. 1. High power distance cultures tend to be authoritarian and vertical in structure. 2. Low power distance cultures tend to minimize differences in age, gender, generation and individual differences are encouraged.

  17. High PDI countries: Arab countries, Guatemala, Malaysia, the Philippines, etc. • Low PDI countries: Austria, Denmark, Israel, New Zealand, etc. *Please see PDI in Table 5.2 in p. 118

  18. Factors determining PDI • 1. Climate The more severe climate a culture has, the more technological inventions to solve its threats are needed for survival. • 2. Population size The larger the society is, the more centralized political power is necessary. • 3. Distribution of wealth The more unequally wealth is distributed, the less tendency for people to question a large power distance.

  19. Consequences • Language-honorific form • Obedience to parents • Decision-making style • Superior-subordinate communication

  20. 3. 2 Uncertainty avoidance • Uncertainty avoidance is the degree to which a culture can tolerate uncertainty and ambiguous situations. • Members of high-uncertainty avoidance cultures tend 1) To reduce the level of ambiguity and uncertainty. 2)Not to tolerate deviant behaviors. 3) To ensure security and certainty through an extensive set of rules, regulations, and rituals. Examples: Greece, Guatemala, Portugal, and Uruguay

  21. Members of low-uncertainty avoidance cultures tend 1) To cope with the stress and anxiety that uncertainty causes. 2) To minimize the number of rules and rituals governing social conducts. 3) To tolerate socially deviant behaviors and try new things. Examples: Denmark, Jamaica, Ireland, Singapore * See Table 5.3 UAI in p. 121

  22. Factors determining UAI • Not easily known. • Tendency: The more society is advanced in the level of modernization, the lower its UAI score is.

  23. Consequences • The lower the society’s UAI score is, the more open to change (s) it is, and the more risks its members take.

  24. 3.3 Individualism/Collectivism • Individualism-Collectivism dimension concerns the degree to which a culture relies on and is loyal to the self or the group. • Individualistic cultures: Independence, autonomy, privacy and self are important. Personal goals supersede those of groups. 1. Horizontal individualism: the self is valued, and the individual is equal to others in status. 2. Vertical individualism: the self is valued, but is different from others in status.

  25. Examples on individualistic cultures: Australia, Belgium, the Netherlands, the USA * See table 5.4 <Individualism index (IDV)> in p. 125.

  26. Collectivistic cultures: Needs and desires of the group supersede those of the individual. 1. Horizontal collectivism: The self is viewed as a part of an in-group member who is similar to others in status. 2. Vertical collectivism: The self is viewed as a part of an in-group who is different from others in status.

  27. Examples of collectivistic cultures: Guatemala, Indonesia, Pakistan, West Africa

  28. Factors determining IDV • 1. PDI: High PDI cultures tend to be collectivistic while low PDI cultures tend to be individualistic. • 2. Economical development: Highly developed society tend to be individualistic while developing society tend to be collectivistic.

  29. Consequences • Members of collectivistic cultures have a clear demarcation between ingroup and outgroup members while those of individualistic cultures do nota have such a clear demarcation between the two. • In resolving conflicts, members of individualistic cultures are encouraged to speak out while those of collectivistic cultures use avoidance, the third party intermediaries, and face-saving strategies.

  30. 3.4 Masculinity/Femininity • Masculinity/Femininity dimension is: 1) the degree to which gender roles are differentiated. 2) the extent to which members prefer “achievement and assertiveness” or “nurturance and social support.”

  31. Masculine cultures: People prefer achievement, assertiveness, and believe in manliness. There is a clear cut difference in gender roles. Examples: Austria, Italy, Japan, Mexico, etc. • Feminine cultures: People prefer nurturance and social support. Gender roles are more equal. • Examples: Chile, Portugal, Sweden, Thailand, etc. *MAS in Table 5.5 in p. 129.

  32. A factor determining masculinity index • Masculine cultures tend to live in warmer climates near the equator while feminine cultures tend to live in colder climates. • Cold climate More technology needed for survivalNeed for education and equality.

  33. Consequences • Masculine cultures: Men are expected to be assertive and women are expected to be nurturing. • Feminine cultures: Gender roles are flexible and gender equality is the norm.

  34. 4. Confucian cultural values • Confucius (孔子) -Chinese civil servant -B.C. 551-479 -Not a religious leader but philosopher as Socrates -Taught a set of practical principles and ethical rules for everyday life

  35. 4.1 Four principles of Confucian teaching • 1. Social order and stability are based on unequal relationships between people. 5 basic kinds of relationship *leader-follower (justice & loyalty) *father-son (love & closeness) *husband-wife (initiative & obedience) *older brother & younger brother (friendliness & reverence) *friends (mutual faithfulness)

  36. 2. The family is the prototype for all social relationships. *The virtues learned in the family are the core part for interacting with others in the society. *Harmony is sustained through maintaining “face”, or a sense of dignity, self-esteem, and prestige.

  37. 3. Proper social behavior consists of not treating others as you would not like to be treated yourself. • 4. People should be skilled, educated, hardworking, thrifty, patient and persevering.Helping promote a world at peace, where no one needs to govern or be governed.

  38. The influence of Confucian teaching in the east Asia • 瀬地山角(Kaku Sechiyama) (1996). 『東アジアの家父長制:ジェンダーの比較社会学』勁草書房。

  39. Discussion • 1. Which of the patterns discussed coincide with your own experience in intercultural communication? Explain. • Describe how each of Hofstede’s dimensions of cultural patterns is displayed in your own culture.

  40. Conclusion • It is important to analyze critically how your own culture fits into the patterns. • We should avoid “consuming” these patterns as suggested by Yoshino (1995).

  41. References • Hall, E.T. (1977). Beyond culture. New York: Anchor Books. • Hofstede, G. (2001). Culture’s consequences: Comparing values, behaviors, institutions, and organizations across nations (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. • Lustig, M. W., Koester, J. (2003). Cultural patterns and communication:Taxonomies. In M.W. Lusting & J. Koester (Eds,) Intercultural competence: Interpersonal communication across cultures, (pp. 110-138). Boston: Pearson Education. • 瀬地山角(Kaku Sechiyama) (1996). 『東アジアの家父長制:ジェンダーの比較社会学』勁草書房. • Yoshino, K. (1995) “Cultural nationalism in contemporary Japan: A sociological enquiry.” London: Routledge.

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