Chapter 1 Essay

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INTB 311 Diversity & Intercultural
Communication

Chapter 1: Culture

B AC K S TAG E , O N S TAG E , C U LT U R E S H O C K , R E V E R S E
C U LT U R E S H O C K , G E N E RA L I Z AT I O N S , S T E R E O T Y P E S ,
BIAS, PREJUDICE, ETHNOCENTRISM, ASSUMPTION OF
SUPERIORITY, ASSUMPTION OF UNIVERSALITY, SELFR E F E R E N C E C R I T E R I A , C U LT U RA L I N T E L L I G E N C E .

INTB 311 Diversity & Intercultural
Communication

Culture &
Communication
Why is understanding culture important?
Diversity & Business

◦ To make sense of the world around us.
◦ Increased diversity
◦ People are different
◦ Prevent mistakes

Responses to difference
◦ Hostility
◦ Curiosity
◦ Denial
◦ Cooperation
CHAPTER 1: CULTURE

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INTB 311 Diversity & Intercultural
Communication

Culture &
Communication
Responses to cultural differences:


Assumption of Superiority: my culture is best



Ethnocentrism: my culture is the norm



Assumption of Universality: everyone is the same CHAPTER 1: CULTURE

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INTB 311 Diversity & Intercultural
Communication

Culture &
Communication
A definition of Culture:
Culture is the coherent, learned, shared view of a group of people about life’s concerns, expressed in symbols and activities that, ranks what is important, furnishes attitudes about what things are appropriate, and dictates behaviour
(Varner & Beamer, 2010, p. 10).

CHAPTER 1: CULTURE

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INTB 311 Diversity & Intercultural
Communication

Culture &
Communication
Coherent

◦ Fits well together
◦ Complete
◦ It makes sense to those within it
◦ Thus it leads to ethnocentrism.

Learned

◦ Via Socialization
◦ Thus learnable

CHAPTER 1: CULTURE

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INTB 311 Diversity & Intercultural
Communication

Culture &
Communication
View of a group of people
◦ Shared view
◦ Shared language
◦ Shared Symbols

Ranks cultural priorities

◦ Learned responses (youth vs elders)
◦ Attitudes, based on beliefs and belief systems (eg.
Religion)
◦ Behaviours, based on attitudes
◦ Dynamic, yet resistant to change

CHAPTER 1: CULTURE

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INTB 311 Diversity & Intercultural
Communication

Culture &
Communication
Behaviour

◦ A result of values -> attitude (see table 1.1, pg 15)

Honesty -> Never lying -> Being truthful
Harmony -> Disruption creates disunity -> collectivism
CHAPTER 1: CULTURE

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INTB 311 Diversity & Intercultural
Communication

Culture &
Communication
Onstage elements

◦ Displayed behaviour

Backstage elements
◦ Values
◦ Underlies onstage elements ◦ The ‘why’ of culture

CHAPTER 1: CULTURE

Onstage element – bow
Backstage element - Bowing is a gesture of respect. Different bows are used for apologies and gratitude, to express various emotions such as humility, sincerity, remorse, or deference, and in various traditional arts and religious ceremonies. 8

INTB 311 Diversity & Intercultural
Communication

Culture &
Communication
Transactional culture

◦ …‘exists when interactants respond to cultural clues and modify their own behaviour, creating – or co-creating – a new, temporary culture’ (Varner & Beamer, 2010, p. 16).
◦ Amount of adjustment depends on knowledge of culture, willingness to experiment, and previous experience.

CHAPTER 1: CULTURE

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INTB 311 Diversity & Intercultural
Communication

Culture &
Communication
Adopting a culture

◦ Function as members of the culture

Culture Shock

◦ ‘the sense of dislocation and the problems – psychological and even physical – that result from the stress of trying to make the hundreds of adjustments necessary for living in a foreign culture’ (Varner & Beamer, 2010, p. 17).

CHAPTER 1: CULTURE

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INTB 311 Diversity & Intercultural
Communication

Culture &
Communication
Four Stages of culture shock
1.

Euphoria – it’s all great! Usually lasts no longer then 2 weeks. 2. Disillusionment and frustration – finding out what you do not know. Homesickness, depression, angers easily, bad behaviour. Can last months.
3. Adjustment – occurs through learning the backstage elements. More likely to lead to successful business…