Intercultural Communication, 4: Cultural Patterns
Terms in this set (31)
System of beliefs and values that work in combination to provide a coherent model for perceiving the world.
Cultural patterns are interrelated and do not operate in isolation.
To say that certain cultural patterns apply to all members of culture is unwise.
Cultural patterns change.
Cultural patterns are contradictory.
Dominate American Cultural Patterns
Science and Technology
Progress and Change
Work and Leisure
John Locke-the individual is: the basic unit of nature." The interests of the individual are and ought to be paramount, and that all rights and duties originate in the individual.
The "self" holds a pivotal position in social, ethical, sexual matters.
Individual achievement and sovereignty are celebrated.
Cultural role models: lone individual, fights the systems, goes it alone, thinking outside the box.
Form of government: one person, one vote
Individualism; Manifestation in American Cultural Values
Americans want to be treated as equals in social environment.
No formal aristocracy in American society.
No concern, no respect for rigid hierarchical social structures
Role of government is to protect equality to provide the level playing field.
All citizens have the right to participate and succeed or fail regardless of social status.
Americans consider being comfortable a fundamental right.
Judge people by their possessions; stuff=status
Stuff=Love (Valentines day)
Manifestations of materialism
Want variety of products have clothes for every occasion.
Comfortable home with labor saving gadgets.
Science and Technology
Hold science, scientist in awe
Nothing is impossible... scientist, engineers, inventors working on solutions to our problems.
Founded, has its basis in mechanistic world view... reality can be rationally ordered.
Rationalist tradition... reality has an inherently logical structure that can by studied, manipulated.
Value objectivity, empirical evidence; scientific method
Knowledge is something to be produced.
Progress and Change
Do not value status quo
We live in a "cult of progress"
Progress and Change; Manifestations
Receptivity to change, see all change as good.
Ultimate justification, reason, warrant... progress
Work and Leisure
In America, we value work
Voluntary idleness is seen as abnormal, threatening
Look askance at those people without formal employment.
Reward work with leisure play is something to be earned.
Competitive nature is encouraged from an early age
Graded, ranked, evaluated, assessed at virtually every point in our lives.
The big questions: Who is "I"?
If we lose and are not upset, there must be something wrong with us.
High ranking=success; low ranking=failure.
Diverse Cultural Patterns
Hofstede's value Dimensions
Individualism --------- Collectivism
Self orientation versus group orientation
Cultures differ on which of these they consider more critical
Individualism consider the basic unit of society.
Uniqueness is a paramount value (we are all snowflakes)
Personal Goals take precedence over group goals.
I consciousness (e.g. proverbs, narrative, artwork)
Competition, individuals initiative encouraged
Personal goals > Group Goals
Not emotionally attached to institutions organizations (in most instances changing membership not seen as monumental event).
Importance given to private property, private thoughts, personal opinions, personal space.
Characterized by a rigid social structure
"In group" (family, tribe, clan or organization)Personal identity is based on the social system
Emphasis on group membership (company teams, social clubs)
Trust group decisions: people will adjust, change their goals to meet group demands.
70% of world populations live in collective societies.
High Uncertainty Avoidance------Low Uncertainty Avoidance
High Uncertainty Avoidance
Formal rules for personal behavior in all social situations
Rules provide a level of stability for society, members
Low tolerance for behavior, ideas that deviate from the norm
Rigid social structure; Seniority=status
High level of personal anxiety and stress; the instability of life must be avoided.
Strong need for rules, planning, regulations, rituals, ceremonies, customs, hierarchies.
Low Uncertainty Avoidance
Example: United States
General Acceptance for the uncertainties of life; "go with the flow, bro"
General Acceptance for the unusual; not threatened by different behavior, ideas.
People encouraged to "color outside the lines" or "think outside the box"
Prize individual initiative, more willing to take risks, "strike out on your own," "be your own man/woman."
General dislike for rigid structure, social hierarchies
Generally less tense, more relaxed.
The extent to which less powerful people in a culture accept inequality in power and consider it normal.
The extent to which society prefers that power in relationships, instructions and organizations be distributed unequally.
High Power Distance
Power and authority are viewed as facts of life
People are NOT seen as equals
Everyone has a proper place in society and organizations
Hierarchy is the predominate form of organizations; inequality is institutionalized
Organizations have a greater centralization of power; rigid value system; large # of supervisors
Low Power Distance
Widespread belief that inequality should be minimized.
Culture is guided by laws, norms and everyday behaviors that make power distinctions as minimal as possible.
People in LPD culture believe they are close to power and should have access to power.
People in power (gov. officials) often interact with constituents and try to look less powerful then they are.
Business context decision-making shared, subordinates consulted, management relying on teams, status symbols kept a minimum.
The degree to which masculine and feminine traits are valued.
What is considered masculine and feminine is learned by cultural norms and traditions.
-Ex. Japan, Greece, Italy, Mexico
Dominated by male worldview
Men taught to be domineering, forceful
Women taught to be submissive
Clear division of labor - women's work and men's work
-Ex. Sweden, Denmark, Norway
Stress on caring, nurturing behaviors.
Promote sexual equality, interdependent, androgynous behavior encouraged.
Kluckhohn and Strodbeck's Value Orientation
Premise: every individuals is confronted with five universal questions.
Five Universal Questions
1. What is the character of human nature
2. What is the relationship of humankind to nature?
3. What is our orientation towards time?
4. What is the value placed on activity?
5. What is the relationship of people to each other?
What is the Character of human Nature?
-Humans are basically evil
Christian perspective:: can be saved, hard work, self control, discipline, education, training; improvement is always possible, "good" is outside of us and its something that we strive to be.
Muslim perspective:: people are evil and cannot be left on their own to decide; institutions (religious and political) need to monitor and manage behavior
-Humans are a mixture of good and evil
Good and evil reside in us
Taoism, "yin" and "yang"
People CANNOT eliminate evil, it is a natural and necessary part of the universe; strive for balance
-Humans are basically good
Born pure and innocent
Culture that corrupts us
Evil is outside of us
What is the relationship of humankind to nature?
-Humans are subject to nature
Natural world contains forces beyond our control
Must accept the fact that some things cannot be changed
Must accept fact that some things cannot be changed
-Humans are in harmony with nature
There is a "power" that links all living together
Humans are a part of a larger web of life
Must strive to live symbiotically (in harmony) w/ nature
-Humans must master nature
Nature is wild and must be tamed
Must be conquered, re-shaped, re-worked to suit our needs
Nature must serve humans/humankind (Old Testament)
What is our orientation towards time?
History, tradition, institutions are important
Believe in the significance of historical events
Look to the past for life lessons
Reality exists in the here and now
Find enjoyment in the present
Future is a better place
What is coming is better than what we have now
What is the value placed on activity?
Love of spontaneous activity
What is happening now is most important
Live in the moment
Value is placed on the spiritual life
Meditation, contemplation seen at necessary to purify oneself, grow
Main purpose in life is inner spiritual development
Thrive on physical activities
Activities must be measured by external standard
Admire people who make quick decisions; no patience for quiet reflection
What is the relationship of people to each other?
Some people are born to lead, the rest are born to follow
All people are NOT created equal
Willingness to submit to authority
Group affiliation takes precedents over individual goals
Decisions made in group setting
Willingness to submit to the will, needs of the group
All people have equal rights
Control over own destiny, responsibility for our actions
Decision making is personal, private activity
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