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Language and Culture in Context - A Primer on Intercultural Communication, 2020a

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LANGUAGE AND<br />

CULTURE IN CONTEXT<br />

Robert Godw<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>-J<strong>on</strong>es<br />

Virg<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ia Comm<strong>on</strong>wealth University


Virg<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ia Comm<strong>on</strong>wealth University<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>Language</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>Culture</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>C<strong>on</strong>text</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

Robert Godw<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>-J<strong>on</strong>es


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This text was compiled <strong>on</strong> 07/29/2021


Preface<br />

In teach<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tercultural communicati<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the past, I have used a st<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g>ard North American textbook, Neuliep's <strong>Intercultural</strong><br />

Communicati<strong>on</strong>: A <str<strong>on</strong>g>C<strong>on</strong>text</str<strong>on</strong>g>ual Approach (2012). At that time, a recent comment <strong>on</strong> amaz<strong>on</strong>.com about this textbook was as<br />

follows:<br />

A Jesus stomp<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g good time!<br />

By Gigs<br />

I was look<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g for a book about stomp<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <strong>on</strong> Jesus, man this <strong>on</strong>e really fit the bill. Sure, there are other books about<br />

stomp<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <strong>on</strong> Jesus, but this is really the authority <strong>on</strong> the matter. I was a little disappo<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ted that there wasn't more<br />

coverage of stomp<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <strong>on</strong> Buddha, c<strong>on</strong>sider<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g that the title of this book is "<strong>Intercultural</strong> Communicati<strong>on</strong>" so it loses <strong>on</strong>e<br />

star for that.<br />

As a review of a commercial textbook, this is unusual; its t<strong>on</strong>e, however, rich with sarcasm, reflects frequent language use <strong>on</strong><br />

the Internet when a writer feels str<strong>on</strong>gly about a topic. This is, <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> fact, <strong>on</strong>e of many reviews posted <strong>on</strong> the textbook <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> resp<strong>on</strong>se<br />

to media reports about a professor <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> Florida carry<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g out a suggested class activity <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> which students were asked to write<br />

"Jesus" <strong>on</strong> a slip of paper, step <strong>on</strong> it, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> then discuss with classmates their reacti<strong>on</strong>s. The expectati<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> design<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g the activity<br />

is that most students will not step <strong>on</strong> the paper. What the exercise was <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tended to reveal to students was how central to many<br />

people's core values religi<strong>on</strong> is <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> what power there is <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> symbolic acti<strong>on</strong>s. The public reacti<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the US, as seen <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the<br />

Amaz<strong>on</strong> reviews was very different, namely that this was a denigrati<strong>on</strong> of Christianity. The episode is <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>formative <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> a couple<br />

of ways:<br />

It dramatizes how volatile <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> emoti<strong>on</strong>-laden issues related to religious beliefs or spiritual views can be, topics that<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>evitably arise <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> discuss<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g communicati<strong>on</strong> across cultures. There are often knee-jerk reacti<strong>on</strong>s to perceived slights to<br />

religious beliefs. This is by no means limited to Christians, as the virulent reacti<strong>on</strong> to Mohammed carto<strong>on</strong>s from Denmark<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> 2010 dem<strong>on</strong>strated. When we perceive our core values to be under attack, we d<strong>on</strong>'t reas<strong>on</strong> or look to see <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> what c<strong>on</strong>text<br />

the <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>cident occurred. This can quickly lead to misunderst<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g><str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>gs <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> c<strong>on</strong>flict, mak<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g any k<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>d of reas<strong>on</strong>ed<br />

communicati<strong>on</strong> unlikely.<br />

Flag burn<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g: A powerful symbolic act<br />

In the United States there has been at times quite a bit of c<strong>on</strong>troversy over whether it is okay to burn the U.S. American<br />

flag…Many of the problems related to this c<strong>on</strong>troversy are due to the symbolic nature of what is d<strong>on</strong>e when a flag is<br />

burned. The flag represents the United States <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> the pr<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ciples up<strong>on</strong> which the United States as a political entity is based.<br />

Thus, burn<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g the flag, whether it is <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the U.S. or <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> Iran, is not simply destroy<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g a piece of cloth. It is mak<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g a<br />

statement about a way of life. Some argue that the burn<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g itself is symbolic of the freedoms that exist <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the United<br />

States <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> others feel that the burn<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g represents an effort to destroy those freedoms. Thus, symbolic acts are open to<br />

great differences of <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>terpretati<strong>on</strong>.<br />

-Hall, Covarrubias & Kirschbaum, 2017, p.<br />

It dem<strong>on</strong>strates the power of symbols. The name of Jesus written <strong>on</strong> a slip of paper is not <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> itself a religious document or<br />

statement of faith – rather it evokes the beliefs associated with that name. Symbols can have profound cultural significance.<br />

Nati<strong>on</strong>al flags, for example, may carry str<strong>on</strong>g emoti<strong>on</strong>al power, so that defac<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g, burn<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g, or disrespect<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g a flag may be<br />

taken as a rejecti<strong>on</strong> of the values, beliefs, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> behaviors associated with that particular nati<strong>on</strong>al culture (see sidebar).<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>Language</str<strong>on</strong>g> itself is a system made up of symbols (words po<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>t to mean<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>gs) <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> is a central mechanism for c<strong>on</strong>vey<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g<br />

elements of a culture.<br />

It po<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ts to the mispercepti<strong>on</strong> that <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tercultural communicati<strong>on</strong> competence is about giv<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g up pers<strong>on</strong>al beliefs <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> values.<br />

This is absolutely not the case. In fact, the exercise described above was designed to make students aware of the emoti<strong>on</strong>al<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tensity of their own religious beliefs. This can help build self-awareness as well as an appreciati<strong>on</strong> of the fact that others'<br />

beliefs <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> values may be as crucially important <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> their lives. It can be safely assumed that <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ter-religious groups, the<br />

reacti<strong>on</strong> would be similar to the <strong>on</strong>e cited above if students were asked to write down the word they used to refer to the<br />

God they worshipped as compared to ‘Jesus’.<br />

Robert Godw<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>-J<strong>on</strong>es 6/24/2021 1 CC-BY-NC https://socialsci.libretexts.org/@go/page/43001


It illustrates how rapidly an event can go viral <strong>on</strong> the Internet. Almost all comments <strong>on</strong> the <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>cident echoed those of the<br />

commenter above. The k<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>d of groupth<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>k <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> evidence here is a comm<strong>on</strong> phenomen<strong>on</strong> <strong>on</strong> the Internet, which can<br />

sometimes functi<strong>on</strong> as a repeat<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g amplifier, with the tendency for many people to <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>terpret events or news <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> a way that<br />

c<strong>on</strong>firms already-held beliefs.<br />

The reacti<strong>on</strong> to the suggested “step <strong>on</strong> Jesus” exercise illustrates someth<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g else, the importance of c<strong>on</strong>text <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> underst<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g><str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>terpret<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g human acti<strong>on</strong>s <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> speech. The c<strong>on</strong>text <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> this case is a formal classroom envir<strong>on</strong>ment <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> which an academic<br />

experiment is be<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g carried out, designed as a learn<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> self-awareness experience. The Amaz<strong>on</strong> reviews ignored this<br />

c<strong>on</strong>text, <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>stead view<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g the <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>cident as a direct attack <strong>on</strong> Christianity. This po<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ts to the fact that the very same words used or<br />

identical behaviors performed can have very different mean<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>gs <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> outcomes depend<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <strong>on</strong> when, where, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> how they take<br />

place. Us<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g slang, for example, is f<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>e if am<strong>on</strong>g friends or family but may be unacceptable at work or <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the classroom.<br />

Propp<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <strong>on</strong>e’s feet up to relax may be comm<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the US but might result <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> a reprim<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> if d<strong>on</strong>e <strong>on</strong> a German tra<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> (author's<br />

pers<strong>on</strong>al experience), or even be perceived as a pers<strong>on</strong>al <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>sult <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> an Arab sett<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g, should the soles of the shoes be fac<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g out.<br />

This text takes a c<strong>on</strong>textual approach to <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tercultural communicati<strong>on</strong>, mean<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g that the envir<strong>on</strong>ments — physical, cultural,<br />

local, electr<strong>on</strong>ic, etc. — will be seen as key elements <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> c<strong>on</strong>sider<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g the dynamics <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> significance of human encounters. That<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>volves look<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> all its complexity at the <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tersecti<strong>on</strong> of the <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dividual(s) <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> the c<strong>on</strong>versati<strong>on</strong>al c<strong>on</strong>text. Rather than try<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g<br />

to underst<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> outcomes based <strong>on</strong> a pers<strong>on</strong>'s background or status, <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>teracti<strong>on</strong>s <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>stead will be analyzed to underst<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> their<br />

myriad dynamics. The goal is not to predict behaviors <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> outcomes but to describe <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> underst<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g>.<br />

Neuliep's textbook (latest versi<strong>on</strong> 2017) is representative of many used <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the US, <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> that it focuses <strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tercultural<br />

communicati<strong>on</strong> from the perspective of communicati<strong>on</strong> studies (see also J<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g>t, 2017; Samovar, Porter, McDaniel, & Roy,<br />

2015; T<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g-Toomey & Dorjee, 2018). Increas<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>gly <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> recent years – <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> particularly outside the US – <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>troductory textbooks<br />

tend to orient more towards applied l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>guistics with a greater emphasis <strong>on</strong> the role of language (Hua, 2014; Jacks<strong>on</strong>, 2014:<br />

Piller, 2017). That <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>cludes texts emphsaiz<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g c<strong>on</strong>versati<strong>on</strong> analysis (McC<strong>on</strong>achy, 2017) <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> critical discourse analysis<br />

(Scoll<strong>on</strong>, Scoll<strong>on</strong>, & J<strong>on</strong>es, 2011). We are also see<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g textbooks which embrace critical approaches to <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tercultural<br />

communicati<strong>on</strong> (Holliday, Hyde, & Kullman, 2017; Mart<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> & Nakayama, 2018), social c<strong>on</strong>structivist approaches (Kurylo,<br />

2012), peace-build<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g (Reml<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g>, J<strong>on</strong>es, Foeman, & Arévalo), <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> social justice (Sorrells, 2015). This textbook draws <strong>on</strong><br />

c<strong>on</strong>cepts from all these approaches, referenc<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g recent research <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the field as broadly as possible. Those c<strong>on</strong>cepts <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>clude:<br />

Complexity theory. Orig<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>at<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g from chaos theory <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> used <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>itially <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the natural sciences, complexity theory "sees the<br />

world as complex to the extent that it c<strong>on</strong>sists of always-chang<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g, unstable <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> dynamic systems" (Ang, 2011, p. 781). We<br />

shall see that it is particularly helpful <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> ga<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g><str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g hold of the slippery c<strong>on</strong>cept of "culture," given its variety of sources,<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>fluences, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> manifestati<strong>on</strong>s. It is also useful <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> untangl<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g the fluid <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> complex dynamics of pers<strong>on</strong>al identity<br />

formati<strong>on</strong> today (Godw<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>-J<strong>on</strong>es, 2018).<br />

Cultural <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>telligence, <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>itially developed with<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> Bus<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ess Management Studies (Earley & Ang, 2003). This c<strong>on</strong>cept can be<br />

helpful <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> underst<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g><str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g the complexity of our globalized world through "strategic simplificati<strong>on</strong>", break<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g down<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>teracti<strong>on</strong>al difficulties based <strong>on</strong> c<strong>on</strong>textual fram<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g.<br />

Critical realism. The "critical turn" <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> social science research has led researchers <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> critical discourse analysis to look at<br />

how power <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> privilege <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>form <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> shape c<strong>on</strong>versati<strong>on</strong>al dynamics (Gee, 2004; Van Dijk, 1993). The emergent outcomes,<br />

as they are affected by class, gender, place, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> wealth are central c<strong>on</strong>cerns with scholars – most associated with sociology<br />

– us<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g critical realism (Collier, 1994).<br />

Global citizenship. The c<strong>on</strong>cern with the social forces shap<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g discourses <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> the need not <strong>on</strong>ly to learn, but also to act<br />

po<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>t to the grow<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g recogniti<strong>on</strong> with<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the field of sec<strong>on</strong>d language acquisiti<strong>on</strong> that social justice needs to be an ultimate<br />

goal <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tercultural communicati<strong>on</strong>, lead<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g to a sense of global resp<strong>on</strong>sibility (Byram, Golubeva, Hui, & Wagner, 2017).<br />

Comm<strong>on</strong> to these approaches is the prom<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ence of c<strong>on</strong>text, lead<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g to a view of human <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>teracti<strong>on</strong>s as dynamic <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

changeable, given the complexity of language <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> culture, as human agents <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>teract with their envir<strong>on</strong>ments. This aligns with<br />

the pr<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>cipal approach used <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> this textbook, which is broadly ecological, look<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g at the multiple factors of <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dividuality <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

c<strong>on</strong>text (<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>clud<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g but not limited to nati<strong>on</strong>al orig<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>) that <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>fluence <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tercultural communicati<strong>on</strong>.<br />

There is an attempt throughout the text to <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>corporate views <strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tercultural communicati<strong>on</strong> from a geographically diverse<br />

array of scholars, supplement<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g the author's North American perspective. How <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tercultural communicati<strong>on</strong> is envisi<strong>on</strong>ed as a<br />

discipl<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>e varies c<strong>on</strong>siderably from country to country. In many cases, <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tercultural communicati<strong>on</strong> is associated with<br />

professi<strong>on</strong>al areas such as bus<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ess, educati<strong>on</strong>, healthcare, or hospitality services. These are all areas <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> which communicati<strong>on</strong><br />

with those who represent different cultures <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> languages is crucially important, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> where encounters between those<br />

Robert Godw<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>-J<strong>on</strong>es 6/24/2021 2 CC-BY-NC https://socialsci.libretexts.org/@go/page/43001


epresent<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g different cultures is <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>creas<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>gly the norm. While <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the US, <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tercultural communicati<strong>on</strong> is often associated with<br />

communicati<strong>on</strong> studies, <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> Europe <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> Australia, it is comm<strong>on</strong>ly seen as a field with<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> applied l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>guistics. This text strives to<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>corporate f<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>d<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>gs <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> perspectives from many different approaches, but c<strong>on</strong>siders language, broadly c<strong>on</strong>ceived, as central<br />

to <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tercultural communicati<strong>on</strong>, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> thus different dimensi<strong>on</strong>s of language use are woven <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>to each unit. This is <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> c<strong>on</strong>trast to<br />

most IC textbooks <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> which "language" is the topic <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> <strong>on</strong>e of 10 or 12 chapters. Piller (2007) po<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ts out that surpris<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g fact<br />

(from the perspective of l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>guists) "as if language <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> languages were a negligible or at best m<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>or aspect of communicati<strong>on</strong>"<br />

(p. 215).<br />

The text <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>troduces some of the key c<strong>on</strong>cepts <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tercultural communicati<strong>on</strong> as traditi<strong>on</strong>ally presented <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> (North American)<br />

courses <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> textbooks, namely the study of differences between cultures, as represented <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the works <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> theories of Edward<br />

Hall (1959) <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> Geert Hofstede (1980). The perspective presented here is that, despite changes brought <strong>on</strong> by globalizati<strong>on</strong>,<br />

demographic shifts, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> Internet communicati<strong>on</strong>, there still exist identifiable cultural characteristics associated with nati<strong>on</strong>states<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> particular social groups. However, the default norms <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> behaviors derived from be<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g part of a nati<strong>on</strong>al culture <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

no way determ<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>e an <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dividual's cultural <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> pers<strong>on</strong>al identity, which <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>creas<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>gly is complex, derived from many different<br />

sources. Moreover, <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dividuals may resist adopt<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g certa<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> values of the culture <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> which they were raised or they may be<br />

members of ethnic or regi<strong>on</strong>al groups which hold different values <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> exhibit c<strong>on</strong>trast<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g behaviors from the majority. While<br />

dist<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>cti<strong>on</strong>s such as <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dividualism versus collectivism can be helpful <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> some c<strong>on</strong>texts, they are less useful <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> describ<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g or<br />

predict<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dividual behavior. Nati<strong>on</strong>al (or ethnic) characteristics <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> comparis<strong>on</strong>s oversimplify the <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>creas<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>gly complex <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

fluid nature of identity formati<strong>on</strong> today.<br />

As the title of this text implies, the operat<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g assumpti<strong>on</strong> throughout is that language <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> culture are <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>separable <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> need to be<br />

understood c<strong>on</strong>textually. Traditi<strong>on</strong>ally, culture <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> language have been treated as m<strong>on</strong>olithic entities, comprised of discrete<br />

sets of knowledge <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> skills, which are enacted by an <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dividual. As <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> other fields with<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the humanities <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> social sciences,<br />

that view has changed significantly <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> recent decades, with the so-called "social turn" <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> a variety of discipl<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>es (Hawk<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>s,<br />

2013, pp. 1-2; Block, 2007, p. 31). <str<strong>on</strong>g>Culture</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> language are <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>creas<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>gly seen from socially situated perspectives. That<br />

emphasis is ma<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ta<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ed here, with an explorati<strong>on</strong> of how people use language (<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> other means) to create, ma<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ta<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

change identities. <str<strong>on</strong>g>Culture</str<strong>on</strong>g> is treated as socially c<strong>on</strong>structed, not as a set of fixed values <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> behaviors. Although some attenti<strong>on</strong><br />

is paid to the mechanics of language, the pr<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>cipal emphasis is <strong>on</strong> language use <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> social sett<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>gs. This <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>cludes areas of<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tersecti<strong>on</strong>s of language <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> culture such as speech communities, social language codes, c<strong>on</strong>versati<strong>on</strong>al analysis, speech acts,<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> cultural schemas.<br />

Another key c<strong>on</strong>cern is the role of technology today <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> communicati<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> identity formati<strong>on</strong>. The availability of networked<br />

communicati<strong>on</strong> tools <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> services has changed dramatically how humans communicate <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>teract with each other. While<br />

traditi<strong>on</strong>al Internet access is not universally available, mobile devices are becom<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g ubiquitous almost everywhere, supply<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g<br />

the means for electr<strong>on</strong>ic messag<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>formati<strong>on</strong> retrieval that affect all areas of human activity <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>clud<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g commerce,<br />

educati<strong>on</strong>, health care, journalism, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> social/political <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>stituti<strong>on</strong>s of all k<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ds. The ease of communicat<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g br<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>gs the<br />

possibility of c<strong>on</strong>nect<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g electr<strong>on</strong>ically with people <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> far-flung locati<strong>on</strong>s. This has enabled the rise of communities of <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>terest<br />

which span geographically <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> culturally diverse communities. The potential for cooperati<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> shared endeavors is<br />

tremendous, but, given different communicati<strong>on</strong> styles <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> strategies, so is the potential for misunderst<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g><str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> c<strong>on</strong>flict.<br />

This makes the need for <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tercultural communicati<strong>on</strong> competence all the more necessary.<br />

Each of the text units c<strong>on</strong>cludes with a set of practical recommendati<strong>on</strong>s for implement<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> pers<strong>on</strong>al use, both <strong>on</strong>l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>e <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

face-to-face encounters, some of the c<strong>on</strong>cepts <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> behaviors presented. The recommendati<strong>on</strong>s attempt to highlight useful<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>formati<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the three areas traditi<strong>on</strong>ally seen as c<strong>on</strong>stitut<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tercultural communicative competence, namely knowledge,<br />

skills, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> attitudes. Follow<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g the "<strong>Intercultural</strong> Knowledge <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> C<strong>on</strong>fidence Value Rubric," developed by the AACU,<br />

"knowledge" here references both cultural self-awareness <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> knowledge of other cultures, <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>clud<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g their "history, values,<br />

politics, communicati<strong>on</strong> styles, ec<strong>on</strong>omy, or beliefs <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> practices" (Rhodes, 2010). The positi<strong>on</strong> advocated <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> this text is that <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

fact <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tercultural learn<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g is also a journey of self-discovery, about <strong>on</strong>e's own cultural identity. The "skills" needed are first <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

the area of competence <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> proficiency <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> verbal <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> n<strong>on</strong>verbal communicati<strong>on</strong>. Speak<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g a sec<strong>on</strong>d language provides a<br />

necessary, but not sufficient, entry <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>to another culture. Bey<strong>on</strong>d the l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>guistic knowledge, an underst<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g><str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g of the cultural<br />

enactments of language use is needed, i.e., an underst<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g><str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g of language pragmatics - how language is used <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> real, everyday<br />

situati<strong>on</strong>s. This can be seen as "cultural literacy", a familiarity with the rules <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> c<strong>on</strong>venti<strong>on</strong>s of a culture <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> the ability to<br />

navigate am<strong>on</strong>g them appropriately.<br />

Robert Godw<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>-J<strong>on</strong>es 6/24/2021 3 CC-BY-NC https://socialsci.libretexts.org/@go/page/43001


An equally important skill is the ability to <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>terpret <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tercultural experiences from an empathetic <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> thoughtful perspective,<br />

go<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g bey<strong>on</strong>d superficial stereotyp<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> look<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g at people as <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dividuals, not types. This necessitates avoid<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g snap<br />

judgments <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> easy categorizati<strong>on</strong>s, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>stead, critically exam<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g><str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <strong>on</strong>e's own <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>st<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>cts <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> values. In terms of attitudes, a<br />

spirit of openness <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> curiosity is needed. Learn<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g to be <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>terculturally competent does not mean <strong>on</strong>e has to give up pers<strong>on</strong>al<br />

beliefs <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> values, but it does necessitate accept<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g that others have the right to their own str<strong>on</strong>gly-held perspectives <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

worldviews. Needed as well is a will<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>gness to seek out <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> explore those other perspectives. That process can lead to greater<br />

acceptance of difference, while develop<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g a sense of empathy <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> solidarity. In today’s world of extreme political<br />

partisanship <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> grow<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g nati<strong>on</strong>alism, however, it may be necessary to move bey<strong>on</strong>d an attitude of tolerance. In the face of<br />

dire threats to the envir<strong>on</strong>ment, mistreatment of m<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>orities, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> suspici<strong>on</strong> of democracy, <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tercultural competence should<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>clude today as well the need to engage actively (locally or globally) for social justice <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> for the health of our planet.<br />

The chapters of this text are by no means exhaustive treatises <strong>on</strong> the topics covered. They are short <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>troducti<strong>on</strong>s, with the<br />

hope that the student-reader will ga<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> enough <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>terest to follow up by seek<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g more <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>formati<strong>on</strong> <strong>on</strong> the topics. There are<br />

recommended l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ks <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>cluded <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> each chapter for that purpose. One source which is referenced repeatedly deserves a brief note<br />

of explanati<strong>on</strong>. A good number of TED talks are listed, as they often provide enterta<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g><str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>formative explorati<strong>on</strong>s or<br />

illustrati<strong>on</strong>s of the c<strong>on</strong>cepts discussed. Moreover, they represent stable, reliable resources, likely to c<strong>on</strong>t<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ue to be accessible<br />

(<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> c<strong>on</strong>trast to many hyperl<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ks). They feature transcripts <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> subtitles provided <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> multiple languages, as well as low b<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g>width<br />

versi<strong>on</strong>s. These are important c<strong>on</strong>siderati<strong>on</strong>s for a set of resources <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tended for use by students from a variety of<br />

countries. TED talks have been criticized for be<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g slickly produced "eduta<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ment", provid<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g a platform for "experts" who<br />

may exaggerate the significance of f<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>d<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>gs, sometimes qualify<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g as <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>novative breakthroughs, what has l<strong>on</strong>g been known or<br />

has been debunked by others. They are suggested here as resources, not because they represent the most up-to-date or accurate<br />

research <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> a given field, but rather because they can stimulate discussi<strong>on</strong>s, <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>clud<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g discoveries about alternative views to<br />

those presented.<br />

In any course <strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tercultural communicati<strong>on</strong>, critical recepti<strong>on</strong> of media <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> ideas about culture, language, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> technology<br />

(the c<strong>on</strong>tent of many of the TED talks) should be an essential comp<strong>on</strong>ent. Another rati<strong>on</strong>ale for <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>corporat<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g TED talks is the<br />

importance of storytell<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tercultural communicati<strong>on</strong>. Many of the talks focus <strong>on</strong> pers<strong>on</strong>al <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>sights or developments<br />

around an epiphany of some k<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>d. Al<strong>on</strong>g with other k<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ds of stories (for example, language autobiographies), the narratives<br />

presented <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> TED talks can be used to explore the nature of narrati<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> the dynamics of identity formati<strong>on</strong>.<br />

I need to c<strong>on</strong>clude this preface by thank<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g those who have c<strong>on</strong>tributed to this text. At the same time, the ultimate<br />

resp<strong>on</strong>sibility for the c<strong>on</strong>tent rests with me. Comments <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> correcti<strong>on</strong>s are very welcome, addressed to rgj<strong>on</strong>es@vcu.edu.<br />

Thanks go to Dorothy Chun, UC Barbara, for her encouragement, to the VCU Cabell Library for support, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> especially to a<br />

team of reviewers that <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>cludes Mayda Topoushian <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> Jill Bowman, both of VCU, Ant<strong>on</strong>ie Alm (University of Otago),<br />

Aradhna Malik (Indian Institute of Technology), <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> Wen-Chuan L<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> (Wenzao Ursul<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>e University of <str<strong>on</strong>g>Language</str<strong>on</strong>g>s).<br />

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Robert Godw<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>-J<strong>on</strong>es 6/24/2021 5 CC-BY-NC https://socialsci.libretexts.org/@go/page/43001


TABLE OF CONTENTS<br />

The text <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>troduces some of the key c<strong>on</strong>cepts <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tercultural communicati<strong>on</strong> as traditi<strong>on</strong>ally presented <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> (North American) courses <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

textbooks, namely the study of differences between cultures, as represented <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the works <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> theories of Edward Hall <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> Geert<br />

Hofstede. Comm<strong>on</strong> to these approaches is the prom<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ence of c<strong>on</strong>text, lead<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g to a view of human <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>teracti<strong>on</strong>s as dynamic <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

changeable, given the complexity of language <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> culture, as human agents <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>teract with their envir<strong>on</strong>ments.<br />

PREFACE<br />

1: BROADENING HORIZONS<br />

1.1: INTRODUCING INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION<br />

1.2: CULTURES UNDER STUDY AND IN THE MEDIA<br />

1.3: TECHNICALLY SPEAKING- INFORMATION LITERACY<br />

1.4: BROADENING HORIZONS (SUMMARY)<br />

2: BUILDING IDENTITIES<br />

2.1: HOW IDENTITIES ARE BUILT<br />

2.2: JUDGING AND TREATING OTHERS FAIRLY<br />

2.3: TECHNICALLY SPEAKING - ONLINE IDENTITIES<br />

2.4: HOW IDENTITIES ARE BUILT (SUMMARY)<br />

3: USING LANGUAGE<br />

3.1: LANGUAGE AND CULTURE<br />

3.2: SECOND LANGUAGE LEARNING<br />

3.3: TECHNICALLY SPEAKING - LANGUAGE LEARNING AND TECHNOLOGY<br />

3.4: LANGUAGE AND CULTURE (SUMMARY)<br />

4: CONVERSING AND RELATING<br />

4.1: COMMUNICATION IN PRACTICE<br />

4.2: LANGUAGE IN SOCIETY<br />

4.3: TECHNICALLY SPEAKING - CONVERSING AND RELATING ONLINE<br />

4.4: CONVERSING AND RELATING (SUMMARY)<br />

5: COMMUNICATING NONVERBALLY<br />

5.1: BODY LANGUAGE<br />

5.2: NONVERBAL MESSAGING<br />

5.3: TECHNICALLY SPEAKING - SEMIOTICS AND THE INTERNET<br />

5.4: COMMUNICATING NONVERBALLY (SUMMARY)<br />

6: CONTEXTUALIZING INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION<br />

6.1: ENVIRONMENTAL CONTEXTS<br />

6.2: PROFESSIONAL AND INSTITUTIONAL CONTEXTS<br />

6.3: TECHNICALLY SPEAKING - PROFESSIONAL DISCOURSE AND PRIVACY ONLINE<br />

6.4: CONTEXTUALIZING INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION (SUMMARY)<br />

7: ENCOUNTERING OTHER CULTURES<br />

7.1: COMMUNICATING ACROSS CULTURES<br />

7.2: MOVING AMONG CULTURES<br />

7.3: TECHNICALLY SPEAKING - REFLECTIVE WRITING<br />

7.4: ENCOUNTERING OTHER CULTURES (SUMMARY)<br />

BACK MATTER<br />

INDEX<br />

1 7/29/2021


INDEX<br />

GLOSSARY<br />

2 7/29/2021


TABLE OF CONTENTS<br />

The text <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>troduces some of the key c<strong>on</strong>cepts <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tercultural communicati<strong>on</strong> as traditi<strong>on</strong>ally presented <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> (North American) courses <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

textbooks, namely the study of differences between cultures, as represented <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the works <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> theories of Edward Hall <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> Geert<br />

Hofstede. Comm<strong>on</strong> to these approaches is the prom<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ence of c<strong>on</strong>text, lead<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g to a view of human <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>teracti<strong>on</strong>s as dynamic <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

changeable, given the complexity of language <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> culture, as human agents <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>teract with their envir<strong>on</strong>ments.<br />

PREFACE<br />

1: BROADENING HORIZONS<br />

1.1: INTRODUCING INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION<br />

1.2: CULTURES UNDER STUDY AND IN THE MEDIA<br />

1.3: TECHNICALLY SPEAKING- INFORMATION LITERACY<br />

1.4: BROADENING HORIZONS (SUMMARY)<br />

2: BUILDING IDENTITIES<br />

2.1: HOW IDENTITIES ARE BUILT<br />

2.2: JUDGING AND TREATING OTHERS FAIRLY<br />

2.3: TECHNICALLY SPEAKING - ONLINE IDENTITIES<br />

2.4: HOW IDENTITIES ARE BUILT (SUMMARY)<br />

3: USING LANGUAGE<br />

3.1: LANGUAGE AND CULTURE<br />

3.2: SECOND LANGUAGE LEARNING<br />

3.3: TECHNICALLY SPEAKING - LANGUAGE LEARNING AND TECHNOLOGY<br />

3.4: LANGUAGE AND CULTURE (SUMMARY)<br />

4: CONVERSING AND RELATING<br />

4.1: COMMUNICATION IN PRACTICE<br />

4.2: LANGUAGE IN SOCIETY<br />

4.3: TECHNICALLY SPEAKING - CONVERSING AND RELATING ONLINE<br />

4.4: CONVERSING AND RELATING (SUMMARY)<br />

5: COMMUNICATING NONVERBALLY<br />

5.1: BODY LANGUAGE<br />

5.2: NONVERBAL MESSAGING<br />

5.3: TECHNICALLY SPEAKING - SEMIOTICS AND THE INTERNET<br />

5.4: COMMUNICATING NONVERBALLY (SUMMARY)<br />

6: CONTEXTUALIZING INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION<br />

6.1: ENVIRONMENTAL CONTEXTS<br />

6.2: PROFESSIONAL AND INSTITUTIONAL CONTEXTS<br />

6.3: TECHNICALLY SPEAKING - PROFESSIONAL DISCOURSE AND PRIVACY ONLINE<br />

6.4: CONTEXTUALIZING INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION (SUMMARY)<br />

7: ENCOUNTERING OTHER CULTURES<br />

7.1: COMMUNICATING ACROSS CULTURES<br />

7.2: MOVING AMONG CULTURES<br />

7.3: TECHNICALLY SPEAKING - REFLECTIVE WRITING<br />

7.4: ENCOUNTERING OTHER CULTURES (SUMMARY)<br />

BACK MATTER<br />

INDEX<br />

1 7/29/2021


INDEX<br />

GLOSSARY<br />

2 7/29/2021


CHAPTER OVERVIEW<br />

1: BROADENING HORIZONS<br />

Learn<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g Objectives<br />

Successful <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>teracti<strong>on</strong> with this <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> associated course c<strong>on</strong>tent will enable students to…<br />

Recognize the need for IC competence <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> today's <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>creas<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>gly diverse communities<br />

Develop balanced <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>formed views <strong>on</strong> the c<strong>on</strong>cepts of culture <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> communicati<strong>on</strong><br />

Perceive patterns <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> cultural traditi<strong>on</strong>s/values but be alert to over-simplificati<strong>on</strong>s<br />

Recognize the ethnic issues <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> IC <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> the need for global citizenship<br />

Underst<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> the role of media <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> fram<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g cultural values<br />

In this <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>itial chapter we will be discuss<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g some of the fundamental aspects of <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tercultural<br />

communicati<strong>on</strong>, <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>clud<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g its importance <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> today’s world, its history as an academic discipl<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>e, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> the typical approaches to its<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>structi<strong>on</strong>. There will also be discussi<strong>on</strong> of the role of media <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tercultural communicati<strong>on</strong> as well as its relati<strong>on</strong>ship to ethics. This<br />

chapter, as do each <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> this text, c<strong>on</strong>cludes with a secti<strong>on</strong> related to technology; <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> this case, deal<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g with the importance of digital <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>formati<strong>on</strong> literacy for <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tercultural communicative competence.<br />

1.1: INTRODUCING INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION<br />

1.2: CULTURES UNDER STUDY AND IN THE MEDIA<br />

1.3: TECHNICALLY SPEAKING- INFORMATION LITERACY<br />

1.4: BROADENING HORIZONS (SUMMARY)<br />

1 7/29/2021


1.1: Introduc<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <strong>Intercultural</strong> Communicati<strong>on</strong><br />

What is <strong>Intercultural</strong> Communicati<strong>on</strong>?<br />

<strong>Intercultural</strong> communicati<strong>on</strong> refers to the process of <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>teract<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g with people who are different from <strong>on</strong>eself <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> fundamental<br />

ways related to appearance, language, worldviews, or a number of other categories. For many people this phenomen<strong>on</strong> is part<br />

of their everyday lives, for example, <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> multil<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>gual, multicultural communities or <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> culturally diverse families. The majority<br />

of human societies deal with multiple cultures <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> multiple languages. The USA has traditi<strong>on</strong>ally been <strong>on</strong>e of the few<br />

countries <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> which it is possible to be successful even if <strong>on</strong>e speaks <strong>on</strong>ly <strong>on</strong>e language, English (Nieto, 2010). The USA,<br />

however, is shift<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g demographically <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> ways that are likely to change dramatically attitudes towards language <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> culture. By<br />

the year 2042, demographers tell us, n<strong>on</strong>-Hispanic whites will be <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the m<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ority (Roberts, 2008).<br />

The USA is by no means unique <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> undergo<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g this process. The means of communicati<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> transportati<strong>on</strong> available today<br />

result <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> more mix<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g of cultures than ever before. This co<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>cides with trends <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> commerce <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> trade <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> recent decades which<br />

have facilitated grow<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ternati<strong>on</strong>alizati<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> all areas of bus<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ess <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> ec<strong>on</strong>omic activity. This process of globalizati<strong>on</strong> is<br />

facilitated by social media activities of people around the world. Communicat<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g with others who are physically remote is<br />

possible through social networks such as Facebook or through <strong>on</strong>l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>e c<strong>on</strong>versati<strong>on</strong>s via Skype or chat programs such as<br />

WhatsApp. At the same time, political <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> ec<strong>on</strong>omic forces are caus<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g large numbers of people to become asylum-seekers or<br />

ec<strong>on</strong>omic refugees, creat<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g more diverse cities <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> countries throughout the world. This process can also create c<strong>on</strong>flict,<br />

sometimes due to c<strong>on</strong>cerns of foreigners tak<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g jobs away or chang<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g the character of a regi<strong>on</strong>, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> sometimes due to fear<br />

aris<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g from willful ignorance <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> xenophobia – the fear of foreigners.<br />

In fact, globalizati<strong>on</strong> is by no means, as often portrayed a benign process, benefit<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g humanity universally. While many <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

developed countries enjoy <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ternati<strong>on</strong>al travel, <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>creas<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g prosperity, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> safe communities, those <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> other parts of the world<br />

c<strong>on</strong>t<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ue to experience severe deprivati<strong>on</strong>s (food, water, hous<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g), mass unemployment, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> violent communities. These<br />

c<strong>on</strong>diti<strong>on</strong>s, al<strong>on</strong>g with unequal access to educati<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> healthcare, are often accompanied by corrupti<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> political<br />

powerlessness. This has led to mass migrati<strong>on</strong>s <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> social <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>stability. With<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> developed countries, there are sharp divisi<strong>on</strong>s<br />

based <strong>on</strong> geography, social class, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>come. These disparities, al<strong>on</strong>g with changes <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the global ec<strong>on</strong>omy, have propelled<br />

populist <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> nati<strong>on</strong>alistic leaders <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> many parts of the world to power.<br />

The Need for <strong>Intercultural</strong> Communicati<strong>on</strong> Today<br />

Given the demographical <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> globaliz<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g trends of recent decades, <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> today’s world <strong>on</strong>e is likely to have more encounters<br />

(<strong>on</strong>l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>e or <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> pers<strong>on</strong>) with people from different cultures. Technological advances have played a major role <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> br<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g people<br />

together. The Internet has reached the remotest corners of the world, as has satellite <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> <strong>on</strong>l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>e enterta<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ment. People are able<br />

to see <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> appreciate differences <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> culture, way of life, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> ways of <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>terpret<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g the world at the click of a butt<strong>on</strong>. To add to<br />

this is the <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>creas<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g ease of travel to different parts of the world for both work <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> pleasure (for the privileged). This has<br />

possibly resulted <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> a significant decrease <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> communicati<strong>on</strong> apprehensi<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> a visible <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>crease <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the need <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> desire to be<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>terculturally sensitive <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> competent. From that perspective, there is certa<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ly a pers<strong>on</strong>al <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>centive for be<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>terculturally<br />

sensitive. The openness <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> flexibility needed for successful cross-cultural exchanges offer benefits <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> pers<strong>on</strong>al <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

professi<strong>on</strong>al <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>teracti<strong>on</strong>s of all k<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ds. Becom<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g knowledgeable about other cultures is also <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>valuable <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> ga<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g><str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g deeper<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>sight <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>to <strong>on</strong>e's own culture. An experience liv<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g abroad or <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> close c<strong>on</strong>tact with those from another culture can lead to<br />

dramatically changed perspectives <strong>on</strong> the values <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> behavior patterns of <strong>on</strong>e's native country.<br />

Robert Godw<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>-J<strong>on</strong>es 7/15/2021 1.1.1 CC-BY-NC https://socialsci.libretexts.org/@go/page/48820


Figure : UK Internati<strong>on</strong>al Development Secretary, Just<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>e Green<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g, talk<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g with Syrian chil-dren <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the Zaatari <br />

refugee<br />

camp, Jordan<br />

There is <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> additi<strong>on</strong> a practical, utilitarian benefit, as companies are <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>creas<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>gly look<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g for employees who are flexible,<br />

tolerant, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> able to work with others different from themselves. In virtually every bus<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ess today, what happens <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> other<br />

countries can have a serious impact <strong>on</strong> its operati<strong>on</strong>s <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> viability. Communities <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> societies benefit as well, as underst<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g><str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> tolerance reduce animosity <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> c<strong>on</strong>flict. This is of <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>creas<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g importance today, as we see a rise <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> nati<strong>on</strong>alistic<br />

movements <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> many countries, often accompanied by grow<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g calls for political isolati<strong>on</strong>, ec<strong>on</strong>omic nati<strong>on</strong>alism, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> stricter<br />

immigrati<strong>on</strong> c<strong>on</strong>trols. In part, this is a resp<strong>on</strong>se to the fact that the forces of globalizati<strong>on</strong> have resulted <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> disadvantages for<br />

particular local populati<strong>on</strong>s <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> terms of job opportunities <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> ec<strong>on</strong>omic well-be<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g. These tendencies have unfortunate<br />

byproducts, namely the rise of prejudicial attitudes towards members of m<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ority groups <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> a clos<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g-off of m<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ds <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

feel<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>gs towards those who act or look different.<br />

It is of particular importance for future leaders to ga<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>sight <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> empathy <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>to other cultures. Nati<strong>on</strong>al or regi<strong>on</strong>al<br />

officeholders, heads of political parties, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> others <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the public eye (enterta<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ers, writers, activists) functi<strong>on</strong> as role models.<br />

Their views, op<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>i<strong>on</strong>s, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> behaviors can have a substantial public <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>fluence. Figures like Pope Francis, Malala Yousafzai, or<br />

Greta Thunberg have exerted positive <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>fluence, respectively, <strong>on</strong> views of m<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ority rights, educati<strong>on</strong>al opportunities for girls,<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> the need for immediate acti<strong>on</strong> <strong>on</strong> global warm<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g. Unfortunately, we have seen <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> recent years public figures advocat<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g<br />

for ideas <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> policies which divide <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>flame communities, such as white supremacy or rejecti<strong>on</strong> of equal rights for LBGTQ<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dividuals. Messages of this k<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>d — of hatred <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> bigotry— can fall <strong>on</strong> receptive ears, particularly if an <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dividual or a<br />

community has not often encountered <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dividuals different <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> ethnic background, religious belief, or language:<br />

Many societies are deeply divided: the anger of rural <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> de<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dustrialised<br />

communities cut adrift by neoliberal globalizati<strong>on</strong> is readily harnessed aga<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>st the<br />

more c<strong>on</strong>crete scapegoat of m<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>orities, particularly if people have little experience<br />

with diversity. Aga<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>st this c<strong>on</strong>text, opportunities for everyday mundane c<strong>on</strong>necti<strong>on</strong>s<br />

that allow people to engage bey<strong>on</strong>d the stereotypes can become a crucial means to<br />

overcom<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g divisi<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> exclusi<strong>on</strong> (Piller, 2017, p. 203).<br />

Studies have shown that the geographical regi<strong>on</strong>s with the lowest number of immigrants or members of a m<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ority tend to<br />

have the highest level of negative views of those groups. This is a clear <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dicati<strong>on</strong> that these views are not based <strong>on</strong> experience<br />

or evidence but <strong>on</strong> un<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>formed op<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>i<strong>on</strong>s based <strong>on</strong> slanted media or anecdotal <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>formati<strong>on</strong> from friends or family. Piller (2017)<br />

provides a hopeful example, namely Sudanese immigrants <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> a virtually all-white Australian community becom<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g socially<br />

accepted by <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dividuals <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> community leaders who reach out bey<strong>on</strong>d stereotypes <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> their <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>-group bubbles.<br />

<strong>Intercultural</strong> underst<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g><str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g is essential as well <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> ga<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g><str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g an <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>formed <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> balanced appreciati<strong>on</strong> of media, whether that be<br />

televisi<strong>on</strong> reports focus<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <strong>on</strong> other countries or blog posts from abroad. Today there is a vast amount of <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>formati<strong>on</strong> freely<br />

available, through media channels <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> the Internet. Underst<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g><str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g the perspective from which others view the world can be<br />

very helpful <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> becom<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>formed c<strong>on</strong>sumers of news stories <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> social media. Given the importance of this topic, it will<br />

form a thread through many of the discussi<strong>on</strong>s <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> this textbook.<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>Culture</str<strong>on</strong>g>: Central to our lives<br />

Embedded <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the term <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tercultural communicati<strong>on</strong> is the word culture. <str<strong>on</strong>g>Culture</str<strong>on</strong>g> is a slippery c<strong>on</strong>cept. In English, it has a<br />

number of different uses. Already <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the 1950’s, <strong>on</strong>e article cited over 150 def<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>iti<strong>on</strong>s of culture (Kluckhohn & Kroeber, 1952),<br />

Robert Godw<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>-J<strong>on</strong>es 7/15/2021 1.1.2 CC-BY-NC https://socialsci.libretexts.org/@go/page/48820


while a more recent study analyzed over 300 def<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>iti<strong>on</strong>s (Baldw<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> et al., 2006). One of those c<strong>on</strong>cepts is culture with a capital<br />

C, or high culture, namely literature <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> the arts. When we say <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> English that some<strong>on</strong>e is cultured, this is the k<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>d of culture<br />

we mean, some<strong>on</strong>e with a good educati<strong>on</strong>, who perhaps goes <strong>on</strong> a regular basis to the theater or c<strong>on</strong>certs, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> reads books. We<br />

w<strong>on</strong>'t be talk<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g much here about that k<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>d of culture. Rather what's important for <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tercultural communicati<strong>on</strong> is the c<strong>on</strong>cept<br />

of culture related to the everyday pattern of life. Neuliep def<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>es culture as "an accumulated pattern of values, beliefs, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

behaviors, shared by an identifiable group of people with a comm<strong>on</strong> history <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> verbal <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> n<strong>on</strong>verbal symbol systems" (2012,<br />

p. 19). We will use this as our <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>itial work<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g def<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>iti<strong>on</strong>, ref<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g><str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g it subsequently to embrace other c<strong>on</strong>cepts bey<strong>on</strong>d that of<br />

nati<strong>on</strong>al cultures, implied <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> this view. In this traditi<strong>on</strong>al descripti<strong>on</strong> of culture, several ideas emerge as be<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g of importance:<br />

An accumulated pattern of values, beliefs, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> behaviors…<br />

Individual cultural identities develop over time, with h<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g>ed-down c<strong>on</strong>cepts <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> acti<strong>on</strong>s be<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g re<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>forced through<br />

repetiti<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> a gradual socializati<strong>on</strong> process. <str<strong>on</strong>g>Culture</str<strong>on</strong>g> references a number of aspects of normal human existence, from<br />

weighty issues such as our worldview <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> ethical–moral st<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g>ards to more mundane matters such as how we greet each<br />

other or the k<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ds of food we like to eat.<br />

…shared by an identifiable group of people…<br />

These cultural norms represent fundamental, default values for <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dividuals identified with that cultural group. That<br />

group may be small or large, fixed <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> a s<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>gle locati<strong>on</strong> or dispersed am<strong>on</strong>g different diaspora communities<br />

(geographically separated). However, no matter where they may be, they share particular characteristics that make them<br />

a dist<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ct group.<br />

…with a comm<strong>on</strong> history…<br />

How important historical memory is to members of a culture may vary. In some cases, as with Native Americans, or for<br />

other groups hav<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g been displaced or suffered acute social <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>justice, their history is likely to be well known <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> to play<br />

a significant role <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> determ<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g><str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g cultural values as well as <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> shap<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>teracti<strong>on</strong>s with other groups. Accord<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g to<br />

Rogers <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> Ste<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>fatt (1999), "collective cultural c<strong>on</strong>sciousness," the embedded memories of historical events important<br />

to a particular cultural group, can act as a k<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>d of "message filter", affect<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g significantly communicati<strong>on</strong> dynamics (p.<br />

3).<br />

…<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> (comm<strong>on</strong>) verbal <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> n<strong>on</strong>verbal symbol systems.<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>Language</str<strong>on</strong>g> plays an oversized role <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> social cohesi<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> is the most important vehicle for transmissi<strong>on</strong> of cultural<br />

values. N<strong>on</strong>verbal communicati<strong>on</strong> patterns are also a prom<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ent c<strong>on</strong>stituent part of a group’s identity <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> an easily<br />

identifiable marker for group membership. Both systems are based <strong>on</strong> symbols. Some see the use of symbols as the<br />

essence of a culture. For anthropologist Clifford Geertz, culture is a complex set of symbols used to create order <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

sense <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> our lives. Accord<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g to Geertz, cultures "denote an historically transmitted pattern of mean<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g embodied <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

symbols" (Geertz, 1973, p. 89). As we saw from the example at the beg<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>n<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g of this chapter, while symbols may<br />

sometimes seem arbitrary (i.e., no <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>herent c<strong>on</strong>necti<strong>on</strong> to their mean<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g), they nevertheless can be powerful, embody<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g<br />

deeply-held values <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> beliefs.<br />

Figure : Sushma Swaraj, External Affairs M<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ister of India at an Indian Diaspora event <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> L<strong>on</strong>d<strong>on</strong>. Great Brita<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> is <br />

home<br />

to many families orig<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>at<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> India or Pakistan.<br />

Robert Godw<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>-J<strong>on</strong>es 7/15/2021 1.1.3 CC-BY-NC https://socialsci.libretexts.org/@go/page/48820


<str<strong>on</strong>g>Culture</str<strong>on</strong>g> is not someth<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g we are born with, but rather it is learned, start<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g with our families, then mov<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <strong>on</strong> to our school<br />

experiences <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> friends. We often are not aware of the cultural values we embrace, even though many of those values <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

behaviors determ<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>e important aspects of our lives. They may <strong>on</strong>ly come to the surface when we encounter people who come<br />

from different cultures. In that sense, culture is often described as hidden (Hall, 1966). <str<strong>on</strong>g>Culture</str<strong>on</strong>g> is not fixed <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> immutable;<br />

culture does not exist <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> a vacuum, but is <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>fluenced by historical, social, political, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> ec<strong>on</strong>omic c<strong>on</strong>diti<strong>on</strong>s. Cultural values<br />

are c<strong>on</strong>structed from social dynamics <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the countries or groups represented. Those values are not necessarily universally<br />

embraced.<br />

In everyday life, cultures are often associated with nati<strong>on</strong>-states, as assumed <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> Neuliep's def<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>iti<strong>on</strong>. This can be traced back to<br />

the work of early 19th-century German scholar Wilhelm v<strong>on</strong> Humboldt, who was <strong>on</strong>e of the first to equate nati<strong>on</strong>s with<br />

cultures (Rogers & Ste<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>fatt, 1999). We often hear about French culture or Ch<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ese culture. But with<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> political boundaries,<br />

cultures are rarely m<strong>on</strong>olithic. There tend to be many regi<strong>on</strong>al differences, as well as differences based <strong>on</strong> ethnicity, age,<br />

professi<strong>on</strong>, social class, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> other categories. Nati<strong>on</strong>al cultures change, whether it's a c<strong>on</strong>sequence of catastrophic events such<br />

as wars or natural disasters, or simply<br />

through c<strong>on</strong>tact with a foreign culture. One could po<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>t to the spread of U.S. culture, for example, through the popularity of<br />

American movies <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> music, as well as through military <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>terventi<strong>on</strong>s. In recent years we're seen South Korean popular<br />

culture develop a large follow<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g outside of Korea. K-pop, as it's called, has many fans worldwide, some of whom adapt<br />

aspects of the K-pop sub-culture such as dress, hair style, or mannerisms (Kim, 2013). The fact is that as <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dividuals we d<strong>on</strong>'t<br />

necessarily fit the mold of the nati<strong>on</strong>al culture <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> which we were raised. Some scholars speak of culture as someth<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g often<br />

c<strong>on</strong>tested (see Jacks<strong>on</strong>, 2010; Pillar, 2017). Hippies <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the 1960's, for example, saw themselves <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> oppositi<strong>on</strong> to the cultural<br />

ma<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>stream of many Western countries, <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> political views, <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> dress, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> attitudes towards work <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> leisure. In the end,<br />

culture is pers<strong>on</strong>al <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> fluid.<br />

Figure<br />

: Korean group Girls' Generati<strong>on</strong>, popular world-wide<br />

With these perspectives <strong>on</strong> culture, we can return to our <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>itial work<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g def<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>iti<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> add some qualifiers. This traditi<strong>on</strong>al<br />

view of culture implies a static state, not the flexibility described above. It also <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>cludes a comm<strong>on</strong> history, but a dynamic<br />

visi<strong>on</strong> of culture embraces the idea that cultures can be built <strong>on</strong> the fly, through <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dividuals com<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g together due to<br />

comm<strong>on</strong>alities of <strong>on</strong>e k<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>d or another, possibly even for a short durati<strong>on</strong> of time. F<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ally shar<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g values, behaviors <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

languages may be true <strong>on</strong>ly <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> a restricted sense. It is useful to have knowledge of the traditi<strong>on</strong>al c<strong>on</strong>cepti<strong>on</strong> of culture, but at<br />

the same time underst<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> new <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> different perspectives <strong>on</strong> what "culture" is. That is further explored <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the next secti<strong>on</strong>.<br />

<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>Culture</str<strong>on</strong>g> from the perspective of complexity theory<br />

We live <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> a world that has become <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>creas<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>gly complex, with a host of problems both global <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tractable:<br />

Ec<strong>on</strong>omic <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>stability, the widen<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g gap between rich <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> poor, climate change <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> the<br />

envir<strong>on</strong>mental crisis, the unstoppable transnati<strong>on</strong>al flow of refugees despite<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>creas<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>gly harsh regimes of border c<strong>on</strong>trol, the threat of terrorist movements, ris<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g<br />

geopolitical tensi<strong>on</strong>s as the hegem<strong>on</strong>y of the West decl<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>es, urban gridlock <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

c<strong>on</strong>flict <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> our hyper-diverse cities, the unsusta<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>able costs of health care <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> times of<br />

populati<strong>on</strong> age<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> the unsettl<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g impact of rapid technological change – these<br />

Robert Godw<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>-J<strong>on</strong>es 7/15/2021 1.1.4 CC-BY-NC https://socialsci.libretexts.org/@go/page/48820


are <strong>on</strong>ly a few of the large c<strong>on</strong>undrums fac<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g our globalized, <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>terc<strong>on</strong>nected world<br />

today (Ang, 2011, p. 779).<br />

One could easily add to the list a host of issues surround<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g the Internet, from cyber security to the loss of privacy <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

addicti<strong>on</strong> to social media. These problems are l<strong>on</strong>g-term <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> have a variety of causes. They have repercussi<strong>on</strong>s <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> human lives,<br />

both local <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> global. In recent years, the forces of globalizati<strong>on</strong>, mechanizati<strong>on</strong>, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> mass migrati<strong>on</strong> have led to social<br />

divisi<strong>on</strong>s <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> political upheaval. Ec<strong>on</strong>omic uncerta<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ty <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> resentment towards immigrants have led to the growth of<br />

ec<strong>on</strong>omic nati<strong>on</strong>alism, populism, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> isolati<strong>on</strong>ism across the globe. Comm<strong>on</strong> to these developments are ubiquity <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

complexity – the problems are <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>terwoven <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> local <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> global c<strong>on</strong>texts <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> ev<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ce multiple causes <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> unpredictable<br />

outcomes:<br />

In short, everywhere <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the world complexity is star<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g us <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the face; its<br />

overwhelm<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g impact – socially, ec<strong>on</strong>omically, ecologically – is <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>creas<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>gly<br />

undeniable <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>escapable. That the world is terribly complex is now a vital part of<br />

global cultural experience, a structure of feel<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g which has grown more pervasive <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

the twenty-first century (Ang, 2011, p. 779).<br />

One way of deal<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g with this <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>creas<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>gly complex world is to pretend the problems do not exist, to engage <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> willful<br />

ignorance, by, for example, disbeliev<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g scientific evidence. Another opti<strong>on</strong> is to ignore what happens bey<strong>on</strong>d <strong>on</strong>e's<br />

neighborhood. Yet <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the 21st-century it is virtually impossible <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> any part of the world to withdraw completely from<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>terc<strong>on</strong>necti<strong>on</strong>s <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>terdependencies which may be global <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> scale, but often local <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> effect. One path is to put forward<br />

short-term or partial measures. The danger <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> that approach is that it tends to lead to simplistic soluti<strong>on</strong>s, that may be popular,<br />

but <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> reality misrepresent both the issue <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> its complexity. Complex problems are not solved by s<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>gle, simple cause-<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g>effect<br />

explanati<strong>on</strong>s. There are typically multiple, chang<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g variables at play, so that any problem-solv<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g is likely to be both<br />

complicated <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> provisi<strong>on</strong>al. As c<strong>on</strong>diti<strong>on</strong>s change, problem-solv<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g approaches must adapt.<br />

The first step is to recognize <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> accept the complexity of a problem <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> seek to underst<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> its orig<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>s <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> developmental<br />

path. An approach that has ga<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ed currency <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> both natural <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> social sciences is complexity theory (CT), an ecological<br />

approach which stresses n<strong>on</strong>l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>earity, unpredictability, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> self-organizati<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> how systems work. An exp<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g>ed versi<strong>on</strong> of<br />

chaos theory, complexity theory looks to uncover a system's beg<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>n<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g (its “<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>itial c<strong>on</strong>diti<strong>on</strong>s”) <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> to trace development as<br />

variables <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> subsystems are added to comb<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>e <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> shape outcomes <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> ways that are unpredictable. Studies have shown the<br />

extent to which language <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> language learn<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g can be understood as complex systems, given the variability of language use<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> the multiple factors which affect learn<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g a sec<strong>on</strong>d language (Larsen-Freeman, 1997). That approach has recently been<br />

used as well to analyze the dynamics of <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>formal language learn<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g (Godw<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>-J<strong>on</strong>es, 2018). In chapters three <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> four we will<br />

look at that topic <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> more detail. Another area with<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tercultural communicati<strong>on</strong> that <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>vites a CT analysis is pers<strong>on</strong>al<br />

identity, a topic we will address <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the next chapter.<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>Culture</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tercultural communicati<strong>on</strong> competence from a CT perspective helps us underst<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> that reduc<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g culture to<br />

nati<strong>on</strong>al orig<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> is a simplistic misrepresentati<strong>on</strong> of the dynamics of identity formati<strong>on</strong> today, <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> which multiple <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>fluences – <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

pers<strong>on</strong>, <strong>on</strong>l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>e, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the media – comb<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>e <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> unique ways that are varied <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> unforeseeable. Holliday (1999) uses the term<br />

“networked <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dividual” to po<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>t to the myriad <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>fluences <strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dividuals <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> our time. <str<strong>on</strong>g>Culture</str<strong>on</strong>g> from this perspective is fluid <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

dynamic, impacted by diverse, <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tersect<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g factors <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> not reducible to a s<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>gle po<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>t of orig<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>. The complexity of culture can<br />

also lead us to realign the typical approach <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tercultural communicati<strong>on</strong> studies of focus<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <strong>on</strong> similarities or differences.<br />

There are too many variables <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> play for c<strong>on</strong>tact between cultures to be understood <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> such b<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ary terms. It is preferable to<br />

imag<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>e <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>stead a slid<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g scale, with both c<strong>on</strong>text <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dividual affect<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>teracti<strong>on</strong>s.<br />

Communicati<strong>on</strong>: A Human Necessity<br />

Communicati<strong>on</strong> occurs <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> many different c<strong>on</strong>texts, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> c<strong>on</strong>versati<strong>on</strong>s will have different characteristics depend<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <strong>on</strong> who is<br />

speak<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g, where the exchange takes place, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> what the purpose of the encounter is. Human c<strong>on</strong>versati<strong>on</strong> is highly c<strong>on</strong>textual<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>f<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>itely variable. The l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>guist Noam Chomsky has made us aware of the fact that virtually every sentence we speak is<br />

someth<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g br<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g>-new, comb<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g><str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g a basic set of elements <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>to endless comb<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ati<strong>on</strong>s, a phenomen<strong>on</strong> known as digital <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>f<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ity<br />

(Chomsky, 2005).<br />

Accord<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g to the popular c<strong>on</strong>cepti<strong>on</strong> of human speech, language is used primarily for the transmissi<strong>on</strong> of <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>formati<strong>on</strong>. This<br />

Robert Godw<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>-J<strong>on</strong>es 7/15/2021 1.1.5 CC-BY-NC https://socialsci.libretexts.org/@go/page/48820


familiar transmissi<strong>on</strong> model breaks communicati<strong>on</strong> down <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>to a transmitter <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> a receiver, whose roles may be reversed <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the<br />

course of a dialogue, but whose purpose <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> talk<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g is to send a message of some k<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>d. This is a c<strong>on</strong>cept derived from early<br />

work <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> electr<strong>on</strong>ic communicati<strong>on</strong>, such as that d<strong>on</strong>e by Bell Labs <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the US <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the 1040's <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> 1950s (see Shann<strong>on</strong>, 1948). In<br />

1960, Berlo exp<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g>ed the communicati<strong>on</strong> model to <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>clude factors such as the purpose <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> objectives of the message be<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g<br />

transmitted, as well as n<strong>on</strong>verbal communicati<strong>on</strong>. His "SMCR" model breaks down communicati<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>to the Sender, Message,<br />

Channel, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> Receiver, each of which is affected by a variety of factors. One of the important modificati<strong>on</strong>s <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the model is<br />

emphasis <strong>on</strong> the channel's <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>fluence <strong>on</strong> message transmissi<strong>on</strong>. This was later popularized <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the phrase, "the medium is the<br />

message," by Marshall McLuhan (1964), mean<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g that a message is tightly tied to the means of transmissi<strong>on</strong>. This is of<br />

particular relevance today, as digital media have provided multiple channels of communicati<strong>on</strong> — text<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g, email, Facebook<br />

messag<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g, tweets, Instagram posts, etc. – all of which have a shap<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>fluence <strong>on</strong> how a message is received.<br />

Figure<br />

: C<strong>on</strong>vers<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g is often less about <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>formati<strong>on</strong> transmissi<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> more about build<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g relati<strong>on</strong>ships<br />

In the traditi<strong>on</strong>al model of communicati<strong>on</strong>, the major emphasis is <strong>on</strong> how a message is transmitted. Yet l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>guists, from<br />

observ<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> study<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g actual c<strong>on</strong>versati<strong>on</strong>s, have learned that rarely does a c<strong>on</strong>versati<strong>on</strong> have <strong>on</strong>ly a semantic purpose, i.e.,<br />

used to c<strong>on</strong>vey mean<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g. Instead, talk<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g is often a social acti<strong>on</strong>, used to ma<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ta<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> relati<strong>on</strong>ships <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> c<strong>on</strong>vey feel<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>gs <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

emoti<strong>on</strong>s. Sometimes c<strong>on</strong>versati<strong>on</strong>s are shaped by social status <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> functi<strong>on</strong> as a way to affirm or c<strong>on</strong>test a hierarchical status<br />

quo (see Sorrells, 2013). Humans are social animals <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> the need to communicate is fundamental to our nature.<br />

Communicati<strong>on</strong> is what builds <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> ma<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ta<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>s communities. Historically, the worst k<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>d of human punishment has been<br />

exclusi<strong>on</strong> from a community <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> enforced verbal isolati<strong>on</strong> (see sidebar). Like culture, we take human communicati<strong>on</strong> for<br />

granted, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> feel its importance <strong>on</strong>ly when it is lost.<br />

The nature of human speech affects <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tercultural communicati<strong>on</strong>. If talk<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g is essentially a socializati<strong>on</strong> process, hold<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g<br />

c<strong>on</strong>versati<strong>on</strong>s has the potential to build relati<strong>on</strong>ships. But that also means that the language we need for engag<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> normal<br />

c<strong>on</strong>versati<strong>on</strong> is not simply vocabulary useful for express<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g mean<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g. We need, importantly, to know about the social<br />

dimensi<strong>on</strong>s of language, i.e. the appropriate way to greet others, how to express gratitude, or what topics are appropriate to<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>troduce <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> a c<strong>on</strong>versati<strong>on</strong>. Communicati<strong>on</strong> is fundamentally cultural. To be effective, c<strong>on</strong>versati<strong>on</strong> partners need to be<br />

sensitive to a range of factors bey<strong>on</strong>d verbal communicati<strong>on</strong>. That <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>cludes n<strong>on</strong>verbal acti<strong>on</strong>s, such as how close to st<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> to<br />

the other pers<strong>on</strong> or whether to ma<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ta<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> eye c<strong>on</strong>tact (see Hall, 1966).<br />

<br />

No communicati<strong>on</strong> = no community<br />

Throughout history, when societies wanted to severely punish some<strong>on</strong>e for a social transgressi<strong>on</strong>, the harshest punishment<br />

was excommunicati<strong>on</strong> — banishment from the community. In Catholicism this means to cast out some<strong>on</strong>e from the<br />

church. In ancient Rome the process was called ostracism, a ritual <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> which citizens used clay shards (ostraca) to vote for<br />

some<strong>on</strong>e to be sent away from the community for 10 years. In modern Amish communities the practice is called<br />

shunn<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g. The shunned pers<strong>on</strong> is allowed to physically rema<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the community but is prohibited from any social<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>teracti<strong>on</strong> with others<br />

Reml<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> et al,, 2014. p. 9<br />

Those k<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ds of c<strong>on</strong>siderati<strong>on</strong>s we need not th<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>k about if the c<strong>on</strong>versati<strong>on</strong> is with a pers<strong>on</strong> or a group with whom we are<br />

familiar (Hall, 1959). When we speak of <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tercultural communicati<strong>on</strong>, we are mov<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g away from that comfort z<strong>on</strong>e, engag<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> exchanges with people represent<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g different cultures, that is to say different sets of values, beliefs, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> behaviors; a<br />

different historical memory; quite possibly a different language (or dialect). The <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dividual may not, <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> fact, represent the<br />

Robert Godw<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>-J<strong>on</strong>es 7/15/2021 1.1.6 CC-BY-NC https://socialsci.libretexts.org/@go/page/48820


ma<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>stream culture. Thereby we c<strong>on</strong>struct <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> c<strong>on</strong>vey different mean<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>gs <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> unfamiliar c<strong>on</strong>texts. That type of communicati<strong>on</strong><br />

can be very different from encounters with those with whom we share a culture, <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> which the c<strong>on</strong>text is familiar. As a result,<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tra-cultural c<strong>on</strong>versati<strong>on</strong>s tend to be more comfortable <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> rout<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>e. Even so, depend<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <strong>on</strong> the situati<strong>on</strong> or c<strong>on</strong>text, we may<br />

experience c<strong>on</strong>flict or communicati<strong>on</strong> apprehensi<strong>on</strong>. Speak<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> fr<strong>on</strong>t of a group, for example, can produce anxiety for<br />

many people. C<strong>on</strong>vers<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g with strangers can br<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <strong>on</strong> even more apprehensi<strong>on</strong>. This comes <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> large part from uncerta<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ty. The<br />

less we know about the other pers<strong>on</strong>'s background <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tenti<strong>on</strong>s, the more uncerta<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> apprehensive we may be. We can<br />

combat these feel<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>gs through approach<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g encounters <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> a spirit of openness <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> discovery. That lessens the likelihood of<br />

misunderst<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g><str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> c<strong>on</strong>flict.<br />

Robert Godw<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>-J<strong>on</strong>es 7/15/2021 1.1.7 CC-BY-NC https://socialsci.libretexts.org/@go/page/48820


1.2: <str<strong>on</strong>g>Culture</str<strong>on</strong>g>s under study <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the media<br />

<strong>Intercultural</strong> Communicati<strong>on</strong> as an academic discipl<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>e<br />

There are a variety of approaches to study <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> research <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tercultural communicati<strong>on</strong> (see Leeds-Hurwitz, 2010; Rogers &<br />

Hart, 2002). As an academic discipl<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>e, it is often traced back to anthropologist Edward T. Hall <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> his book The Silent<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>Language</str<strong>on</strong>g> (1959). Hall was above all c<strong>on</strong>cerned with creat<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g greater cultural awareness am<strong>on</strong>g employees of the US<br />

Department of State. He was striv<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g to improve the ability of US technicians <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> diplomats to <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>teract effectively with their<br />

foreign counterparts. Given that perspective, his approach was underst<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g>ably more practical than theory-based. That<br />

pragmatism c<strong>on</strong>t<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ues to be important <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the field, as a central goal is to provide <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dividuals with practical <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>formati<strong>on</strong> that can<br />

be used <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> everyday encounters (Rogers & Ste<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>fatt, 1999).<br />

Much of the early development of <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tercultural communicati<strong>on</strong> occurred <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> North America, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> North American scholars<br />

represented the pr<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>cipal c<strong>on</strong>tributors to scholarly activity <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tercultural communicati<strong>on</strong> through most of the 20th century.<br />

However, beg<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>n<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the 1990s, the field became <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>creas<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>gly <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ternati<strong>on</strong>alized. European scholars have c<strong>on</strong>tributed<br />

important new <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>sights <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> approaches to <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tercultural communicati<strong>on</strong> (Byram, 1997; Holliday, 2010; Hua, 2013; Spencer-<br />

Oatey & Frankl<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>, 2009), as have Australian <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> New Zeal<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> scholars (Piller, 2017; Schirato & Yell, 2002). These scholars<br />

tend to focus more centrally <strong>on</strong> language issues than is the case for IC research <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> North America.<br />

Through the c<strong>on</strong>tributi<strong>on</strong>s of researchers from Africa, Ch<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>a, Lat<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> America, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> India, there has been a grow<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g recogniti<strong>on</strong><br />

that Western approaches to <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tercultural communicati<strong>on</strong> need to be supplemented – <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> some cases corrected – through the<br />

different life experiences, backgrounds, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> perspectives offered by n<strong>on</strong>-Western scholars. One example is the anthropocosmic<br />

perspective presented <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> a recent Ch<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ese textbook <strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tercultural communicati<strong>on</strong> (Jia & Li, 2019), which is based <strong>on</strong> the<br />

c<strong>on</strong>cepts of dao (, "the path", the way to enlightenment through cosmic harm<strong>on</strong>y) <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> ren (, "benevolence", empathy <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

resp<strong>on</strong>sibility for fellow humans). There have been <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> recent years more calls for <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>digenous perspectives <strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tercultural<br />

communicati<strong>on</strong> (Miike, 2007). Particularly welcome would be more <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>sights from African scholars (Miller, 2005). In the latter<br />

part of the 20th century, there has been c<strong>on</strong>siderable <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>terest <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> critical <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tercultural communicati<strong>on</strong>, which views<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tercultural communicati<strong>on</strong> with<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the c<strong>on</strong>text of power structures (see Jacks<strong>on</strong>, 2010; Piller, 2017). That perspective will<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>form much of the discussi<strong>on</strong> of IC <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> this textbook.<br />

S<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ce Hall’s time, a great variety of discipl<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>es have c<strong>on</strong>tributed to the field, <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>clud<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g applied l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>guistics, bus<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ess<br />

communicati<strong>on</strong>, social psychology, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ternati<strong>on</strong>al studies. In fact, <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tercultural communicati<strong>on</strong> is taught with<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> a variety of<br />

academic units. Given the practical usefulness of eas<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g communicati<strong>on</strong> am<strong>on</strong>g those represent<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g different cultures <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

languages, it is logical that <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tercultural communicati<strong>on</strong> figures prom<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ently <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> areas where such <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>teracti<strong>on</strong>s are comm<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

expected. In many countries, that will <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>clude tourism, medical care, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g>/or educati<strong>on</strong>. In the US, <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tercultural communicati<strong>on</strong><br />

is taught most comm<strong>on</strong>ly with<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> programs <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> communicati<strong>on</strong> studies, while <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> other Angloph<strong>on</strong>e countries, it is c<strong>on</strong>sidered a<br />

subdivisi<strong>on</strong> of applied l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>guistics. Professi<strong>on</strong>al organizati<strong>on</strong>s often br<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g together scholars from a variety of discipl<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>es.<br />

Indeed, that is <strong>on</strong>e of the enrich<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g characteristics of the field, that it draws <strong>on</strong> knowledge <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> experience represent<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g a great<br />

variety of academic fields. This textbook will <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>corporate aspects of research <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tercultural communicati<strong>on</strong> as represented <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

a variety of discipl<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>es. The discipl<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>es use different research methodologies, have differ<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g goals, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> address issues from a<br />

variety of perspectives. Some use primarily quantitative data, others are more qualitatively oriented. In the end, these different<br />

approaches complement each other <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> together provide a more complete picture then would reliance <strong>on</strong> a s<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>gle discipl<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>e<br />

(see Kotthoff & Spencer-Oatey, 2007).<br />

What it means to be a c<strong>on</strong>fident <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tercultural communicator differs depend<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <strong>on</strong> the discipl<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ary orientati<strong>on</strong>. However, as an<br />

overall set of comm<strong>on</strong> denom<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ators, we might break down the competencies <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the follow<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g categories, follow<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g the rubric<br />

<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tercultural knowledge <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> competence from the Associati<strong>on</strong> of American Colleges <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> Universities (Rhodes, 2010):<br />

Knowledge Skills Attitudes<br />

Cultural self-awareness Empathy Curiosity<br />

Knowledge of cultural worldview frameworks Verbal <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> n<strong>on</strong>verbal communicati<strong>on</strong> Openness<br />

The more knowledge we have about other cultures the more likely it is that we will base <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>itial judgments about representatives<br />

of those cultures <strong>on</strong> reliable <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>formati<strong>on</strong>, rather than <strong>on</strong> stereotypes gleaned through popular culture or media reports. That<br />

Robert Godw<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>-J<strong>on</strong>es 7/5/2021 1.2.1 CC-BY-NC https://socialsci.libretexts.org/@go/page/48821


knowledge may be <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> a variety of areas rang<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g from geography to religious beliefs. Hav<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>formed views of other cultures<br />

is likely to make encounters more successful. In learn<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g about other cultures we <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>evitably learn about ourselves, as we draw<br />

comparis<strong>on</strong>s between the values <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> behaviors of the target culture <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> our own.<br />

A primary enabler of <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>sights <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>to another culture is verbal language. <str<strong>on</strong>g>Language</str<strong>on</strong>g> enables us to underst<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> express<br />

phenomena we may have found unfamiliar <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> for which we may not have had the vocabulary. Learn<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g a new language <strong>on</strong><br />

the <strong>on</strong>e h<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g>, widens our worldview, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> <strong>on</strong> the other, opens a w<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dow of familiarity <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>to the worlds of others who may have<br />

seemed unfamiliar earlier, thereby afford<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g an opportunity for both to c<strong>on</strong>nect with each other. Depend<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <strong>on</strong> the c<strong>on</strong>text, the<br />

ability to c<strong>on</strong>verse <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> another language can be of central importance, determ<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g><str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g whether effective communicati<strong>on</strong> is possible.<br />

N<strong>on</strong>verbal clues – smil<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g, nodd<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g, bow<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g — can send important messages, but will <strong>on</strong>ly take a c<strong>on</strong>versati<strong>on</strong> so far. It's also<br />

the case that learn<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g a sec<strong>on</strong>d language provides deeper <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> more complete access to the other culture. <str<strong>on</strong>g>Language</str<strong>on</strong>g> takes you<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>to the heart of a culture, offer<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g an emic (from <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>side the group) perspective, rather than an etic view (from outside). The<br />

possibility of participati<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the target culture, rather than just observati<strong>on</strong>, is likely to lead to greater underst<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g><str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

appreciati<strong>on</strong> of its values <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> behaviors, result<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> greater empathy. That <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> turn is likely to lead to curiosity <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> a desire to<br />

learn more about that culture. For communicati<strong>on</strong> to be effective, both parties need to be motivated to communicate. If we go<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>to an encounter with pre-formed negative views of the group we assume the other pers<strong>on</strong> represents, it's not likely that there<br />

will be a positive outcome. On the other h<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g>, refra<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g><str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g from judgment <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> ma<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ta<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g><str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g a spirit of openness create a positive<br />

atmosphere, mak<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g effective communicati<strong>on</strong> much more likely.<br />

Some would argue that empathy, tolerance, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> openness are helpful <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> pers<strong>on</strong>al encounters, but that a further aspect of<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tercultural competence bey<strong>on</strong>d skills, knowledge, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> attitudes, should be added: civic acti<strong>on</strong>. Given the widen<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g<br />

socioec<strong>on</strong>omic <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>equities, the growth of nati<strong>on</strong>alism, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> the grow<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g mistrust <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> mistreatment of m<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>orities, collective<br />

acti<strong>on</strong> is needed bey<strong>on</strong>d the <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dividual. The c<strong>on</strong>cept of global citizenship po<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ts <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> that directi<strong>on</strong>. This c<strong>on</strong>cept entails a call<br />

for acti<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the form of active civil engagement <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> society, start<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g with local acti<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> service to the community (O'Dowd,<br />

2019). Another framework <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> accord with this visi<strong>on</strong> is critical cosmopolitanism, described as "a deep appreciati<strong>on</strong> for<br />

difference, the will<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>gness to engage with cultural Others <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> be transformed by such experiences, k<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dness towards strangers,<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> the labour of the imag<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ati<strong>on</strong> to envisi<strong>on</strong> a world that aspires towards peace, possibilities <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tercultural respect for<br />

those near <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> far" (Sobré-Dent<strong>on</strong> & Bardhan, 2013, p. 7). The c<strong>on</strong>cept of cosmopolitanism, orig<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>at<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the field of<br />

sociology, has emerged as complementary to the c<strong>on</strong>cept of <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tercultural competence (Kennedy, Díaz, & Dasli, 2017).<br />

Cultural tax<strong>on</strong>omies<br />

In the academic study of <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tercultural communicati<strong>on</strong>, cultures are often characterized as bel<strong>on</strong>g<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g to particular categories,<br />

often referred to as tax<strong>on</strong>omies (i.e., a type of classificati<strong>on</strong> scheme). Many of the characteristics used go back to work d<strong>on</strong>e<br />

by Geert Hofstede <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the 1970's, who studied the cultural dimensi<strong>on</strong>s of workers for IBM <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> a variety of countries (1980). The<br />

salient category often used to characterize <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> c<strong>on</strong>trast cultures is <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dividualism versus collectivism. <str<strong>on</strong>g>Culture</str<strong>on</strong>g>s labeled as<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dividualistic (most often Western countries <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>clud<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g those <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> North America <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> Northern Europe) are seen as emphasiz<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g<br />

the rights of the <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dividual to self-determ<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ati<strong>on</strong>, with children be<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g brought up to be assertive <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> dist<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ctive. In c<strong>on</strong>trast,<br />

collectivistic cultures (seen as prevalent <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> Africa, Asia, Lat<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> America, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> the Middle East) emphasize group identity <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

c<strong>on</strong>formity, with children expected to be obedient <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> respectful. While such dist<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>cti<strong>on</strong>s can be useful <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> describ<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g general<br />

cultural traditi<strong>on</strong>s <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> patterns of behavior, they are problematic when applied to <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dividuals. Individual identities <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> today's<br />

world tend to be complex, c<strong>on</strong>structed from a variety of sources. Individuals may bel<strong>on</strong>g to a ethnic group, whose worldview,<br />

values, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> behavior are quite different from those represented by the ma<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>stream culture. Political boundaries do not def<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>e<br />

who we are. One might c<strong>on</strong>sider <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> that regard groups which cross political boundaries, such as the Kurds, Romani, or<br />

Basques. In fact, <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> today's world the coherence of nati<strong>on</strong>-states is <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>creas<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>gly porous, given chang<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g demographics, widespread<br />

immigrati<strong>on</strong>, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> the growth of social media.<br />

Robert Godw<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>-J<strong>on</strong>es 7/5/2021 1.2.2 CC-BY-NC https://socialsci.libretexts.org/@go/page/48821


Figure<br />

: Representatives of the Yi M<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ority <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> Ch<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>a<br />

There are a number of other cultural dimensi<strong>on</strong>s often used <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the field of <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tercultural communicati<strong>on</strong>, most of which derive<br />

from the work of Hall <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> Hofstede. The c<strong>on</strong>cept of power distance describes the importance attributed to hierarchies <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> a<br />

given culture, the extent to which <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dividuals are grouped accord<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g to birth, status or positi<strong>on</strong> of power. This <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>volves as well<br />

the percepti<strong>on</strong> with<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> a culture regard<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g how easy <strong>on</strong>e feels it is to communicate with or approach a pers<strong>on</strong> higher <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

hierarchy. The higher the power distance, the less more reluctant <strong>on</strong>e may feel <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> approach<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g a pers<strong>on</strong> senior <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> hierarchy.<br />

Individualistic cultures are typically seen as hav<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g a small power distance, mean<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g that they strive for equality <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> society <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

with<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> families. In c<strong>on</strong>trast, <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> countries with a large power distance, <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>equality am<strong>on</strong>g people is seen as expected <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> desired.<br />

<br />

Time orientati<strong>on</strong> is another category often used. Polychr<strong>on</strong>ic ("P-time") cultures tend to be less c<strong>on</strong>cerned with be<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <strong>on</strong> time<br />

for events, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dividuals deal comfortably with more than <strong>on</strong>e task or pers<strong>on</strong> at a time. A m<strong>on</strong>ochr<strong>on</strong>ic orientati<strong>on</strong> ("Mtime"),<br />

<strong>on</strong> the other h<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g>, shows a preference for be<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g punctual <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> not hav<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g more than <strong>on</strong>e task or pers<strong>on</strong> to focus <strong>on</strong> at a<br />

time. A third c<strong>on</strong>cept is uncerta<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ty avoidance, the idea that some cultures are more comfortable with ambiguity <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

uncerta<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ty than others. Uncerta<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ty avoidance refers to the degree to which members of a particular culture feel threatened by<br />

uncerta<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> or unknown situati<strong>on</strong>s. Those with a str<strong>on</strong>g uncerta<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ty avoidance prefer predictability <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> tend to have clear rules of<br />

behavior.<br />

The Danger of Cultural Tax<strong>on</strong>omies<br />

C<strong>on</strong>temporary scholars of <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tercultural communicati<strong>on</strong> urge cauti<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> us<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g these categories, as they tend to "present people's<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dividual behavior as entirely def<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ed <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> c<strong>on</strong>stra<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ed by the culture <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> which they live so that the stereotype becomes the<br />

essence of who they are" (Holliday, 2010, p. 4). Critics like Holliday describe the use of Hofstede's categories as essentialism,<br />

that is, assum<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g that people <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> th<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>gs have 'natural' characteristics that are <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>herent <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> unchang<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g. That may translate <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>to<br />

def<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g><str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g the essence of <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dividuals <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> terms of their nati<strong>on</strong>al orig<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>s. If <strong>on</strong>e is from Mexico (a culture designated as<br />

polychr<strong>on</strong>ic), for example, an essentialist view would be to assume that pers<strong>on</strong> will be late for meet<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>gs all the time, no matter<br />

the c<strong>on</strong>text. Inherent <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> such an assumpti<strong>on</strong> is that <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dividuals are unable to adapt to others’ norms of behavior. The term<br />

reducti<strong>on</strong>ism is used <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> similar fashi<strong>on</strong>, referr<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g to the tendency to expla<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> an object by reduc<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g it to a different, usually<br />

simpler, level. When deal<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g with people this means that identities are be<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g reduced to a predeterm<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ed set of characteristics,<br />

associated with ethnic or cultural stereotypes. Def<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g><str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dividual characteristics through associati<strong>on</strong>s with nati<strong>on</strong>al cultures<br />

denies <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dividual free will. It assumes that we d<strong>on</strong>'t develop unique <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dividual pers<strong>on</strong>alities as we grow. Many people liv<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

a "m<strong>on</strong>ochr<strong>on</strong>ic" society are often habitually late. Entrepreneurs (<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> others) <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> Ch<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>a (a "high uncerta<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ty avoidance" culture)<br />

often take risks to make their bus<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>esses successful. No matter what k<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>d of culture we live <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>, we can probably all po<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>t to<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dividuals <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> our culture who have the characteristics of "<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dividualism" <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> others who tend towards "collectivism".<br />

Holliday <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> others have po<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ted out that most of the cultural categories used <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tercultural communicati<strong>on</strong> were created<br />

from a Western perspective <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> tend to skew accord<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>gly the values attached to the different labels (Holliday, 1999; Piller,<br />

2017). Individualism, for example, is seen as <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>herently positive, with attributes attributed to it which are valued <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> Western<br />

cultures, namely <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>itiative, assertiveness, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> ambiti<strong>on</strong>. Similarly, cultures with a large power distance are seen as<br />

undemocratic, hence <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ferior, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> those with high uncerta<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ty avoidance are regarded as adverse to risk-tak<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g>, therefore,<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>hospitable to creativity <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> pers<strong>on</strong>al <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>itiative. Holliday emphasizes the importance of allow<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g other cultures to def<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>e<br />

themselves, advocat<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g a decentered perspective. One should be aware of c<strong>on</strong>venti<strong>on</strong>al cultural descripti<strong>on</strong>s, but <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

encounter<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g some<strong>on</strong>e put them aside to the extent possible <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> focus <strong>on</strong> the other as an <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dividual, whose identity may be<br />

quite complex, derived from a variety of <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>fluences. He emphasizes "bracket<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g" away the cultural stereotypes, remov<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g a<br />

Robert Godw<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>-J<strong>on</strong>es 7/5/2021 1.2.3 CC-BY-NC https://socialsci.libretexts.org/@go/page/48821


priori assumpti<strong>on</strong>s, <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> order to be able to judge others <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dividually. Of course, this necessitates <strong>on</strong> the <strong>on</strong>e h<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g>, be<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g aware<br />

of <strong>on</strong>e's own prec<strong>on</strong>cepti<strong>on</strong>s. On the other h<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g>, it c<strong>on</strong>tradicts the basic human tendency of putt<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g unknowns <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>to familiar<br />

categories.<br />

Figure<br />

: Small cultures can arise from impromptu gather<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>gs, as groups coalesce around comm<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>terests or values<br />

Holliday advocates mov<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g away from the traditi<strong>on</strong>al c<strong>on</strong>cept of "culture", identified with largely homogeneous nati<strong>on</strong>-states<br />

to that of small cultures. He argues, as do others, that the comm<strong>on</strong>ly used characterizati<strong>on</strong>s of nati<strong>on</strong>al cultures are a product<br />

th<br />

of 19 century nati<strong>on</strong>alism; as such, the c<strong>on</strong>cept is associated with col<strong>on</strong>ialism <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> the devalu<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g of n<strong>on</strong>-European cultures<br />

(see Jacks<strong>on</strong>, 2010). Holiday also ma<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ta<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>s that the "large culture" paradigm makes less sense <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> a world that is "becom<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g an<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>creas<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>gly cosmopolitan, multi-cultural place where cultures are less likely to appear as large coherent geographical entities"<br />

(1999, p. 244). Instead of the fixed <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> timeless c<strong>on</strong>cept of culture related to nati<strong>on</strong>-states, small cultures are often formed <strong>on</strong><br />

the fly, by organized or impromptu social group<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>gs or work-related groups. They can easily cut across nati<strong>on</strong>al borders.<br />

<br />

In c<strong>on</strong>trast to large cultures which are often presented as behavior-def<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g><str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g, small cultures represent <strong>on</strong>ly <strong>on</strong>e aspect of an<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dividual's identity. People align themselves to different cultures at different times (see sidebar). The small culture c<strong>on</strong>cept is<br />

similar to the idea of "community of <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>terest" or "aff<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ity spaces". It is clear that if we envisi<strong>on</strong> culture from the perspective of<br />

small cultures, the k<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>d of broad-stroke comparis<strong>on</strong> of differences am<strong>on</strong>g cultures, as often emphasized <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> undergraduate<br />

courses <strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tercultural communicati<strong>on</strong>, is problematic.<br />

Small cultures form dynamically<br />

Small culture is thus a dynamic, <strong>on</strong>go<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g group process which operates <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> chang<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g circumstances to enable group<br />

members to make sense of <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> operate mean<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>gfully with<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> those circumstances. When a researcher looks at an<br />

unfamiliar social group<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g, it can be said to have a small culture when there is a discernible set of behaviours <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

underst<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g><str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>gs c<strong>on</strong>nected with group cohesi<strong>on</strong>. The dynamic aspect of small culture is central to its nature, hav<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g the<br />

capacity to exist, form <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> change as required.<br />

Kullman, Holliday & Hyde (2004), p. 64<br />

One of the reas<strong>on</strong>s identities are complex today is the pervasive <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>fluence of modern media, which crosses cultural <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>guistic boundaries. Participati<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> social media can be such a central aspect of <strong>on</strong>e's life as to have a determ<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g><str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g effect <strong>on</strong><br />

worldview, values, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> behaviors. Individuals can become members of <strong>on</strong>l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>e communities which acquire over time more<br />

importance than nati<strong>on</strong>al characteristics, religious affiliati<strong>on</strong>s, or even families. Such relati<strong>on</strong>ships may be virtual, but they are<br />

just as real – <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> can be just as str<strong>on</strong>g – as <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>-pers<strong>on</strong> relati<strong>on</strong>ships.<br />

Ethics <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tercultural communicati<strong>on</strong><br />

When we reference the widespread use of social media, we need to keep <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> m<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>d the very real nature of the digital divide<br />

between those (predom<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ately <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> developed countries) with easy access to Facebook <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> other <strong>on</strong>l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>e services <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> those<br />

(predom<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ately <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> develop<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g countries) who have no Internet c<strong>on</strong>nectivity, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> possibly even no access to electricity. In fact,<br />

for many of our co-denizens of the 21st-century, daily rout<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>es do not <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>volve read<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g tweets, post<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g Facebook updates, or<br />

check<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g Instagram, but rather seek<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g to fill basic human needs — food, water, shelter. About 50% of the world’s populati<strong>on</strong><br />

lives below the <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ternati<strong>on</strong>ally recognized poverty l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>e, liv<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <strong>on</strong> less than $2.50 a day. The forces of globalizati<strong>on</strong>, discussed<br />

at the beg<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>n<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g of this chapter, have <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>deed brought the world closer together <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> terms of communicati<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> commerce, but<br />

large numbers of people have been left out. That <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>cludes not <strong>on</strong>ly <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dividuals from countries <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> Africa, Lat<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> America or<br />

Robert Godw<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>-J<strong>on</strong>es 7/5/2021 1.2.4 CC-BY-NC https://socialsci.libretexts.org/@go/page/48821


Southeast Asia, but also factory workers <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> others hold<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g blue-collar jobs who have lost their livelihoods to outsourc<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g or<br />

to companies mov<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g factories to lower wage ec<strong>on</strong>omies. There has been <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> recent years a grow<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g recogniti<strong>on</strong> of the<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>equality <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the distributi<strong>on</strong> of wealth, lead<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g to phenomena such as the “Occupy” movement of 2011-2012, protest<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g<br />

aga<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>st the elite 1% of the populati<strong>on</strong>, or the electi<strong>on</strong> of D<strong>on</strong>ald Trump <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the United States <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> 2016, who was elected <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> large<br />

part due to votes from those who feel left out of the 21st-century US ec<strong>on</strong>omy.<br />

Figure : Oakl<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> (California) Occupy general strike <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> 2011<br />

To be truly <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>terculturally competent means not <strong>on</strong>ly be<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g resp<strong>on</strong>sible <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> empathetic <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> our pers<strong>on</strong>al encounters, but<br />

extend<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g that process more broadly. We need engaged global citizens, knowledgeable <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> car<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g about people <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> events<br />

outside our own backyards. Part of that process is be<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g cognizant of the privileged positi<strong>on</strong> many of us enjoy. Important <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

that process is a will<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>gness to break out of our regular rout<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>es of communicati<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>formati<strong>on</strong> retrieval, occasi<strong>on</strong>ally<br />

stepp<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g outside our social media bubble to encounter different voices <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> po<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ts of view. In that way, we are likely to be<br />

better <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>formed about the complexities <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> fragmentati<strong>on</strong>s of global communities. This can lead to an enhanced recogniti<strong>on</strong> of<br />

the need for social justice, i.e. the struggle to c<strong>on</strong>fr<strong>on</strong>t discrim<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ati<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> challenge <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>equities. We are both c<strong>on</strong>sumers <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

producers of culture <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> we all have a role <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> shap<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g the nature of the world <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> which we live. From that perspective, it is<br />

important not to th<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>k of culture as a fixed entity with a c<strong>on</strong>troll<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>fluence <strong>on</strong> our lives. <str<strong>on</strong>g>Culture</str<strong>on</strong>g>s, as are all human affairs,<br />

are not immutable, but rather subject to change through a variety of forces.<br />

There is a natural human tendency to want to be am<strong>on</strong>g those similar to ourselves, known as homophily. It takes some effort<br />

to overcome this normal human <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>st<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ct. Part of that phenomen<strong>on</strong> makes us leery of those who look different, bel<strong>on</strong>g to<br />

different ethnic groups, or profess other worldviews. Those who seem different become the "other", rejected for be<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g<br />

dissimilar <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> therefore c<strong>on</strong>sidered <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ferior (see Scoll<strong>on</strong>, Scoll<strong>on</strong> & J<strong>on</strong>es, 2011). This rejecti<strong>on</strong> of others who have different<br />

ethnic backgrounds or practice other religi<strong>on</strong>s has <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> human history led to multiple <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>stances of civil strife <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> war, <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>clud<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> recent times c<strong>on</strong>flicts <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> many parts of the world from Northern Irel<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> to South Sudan. In extreme cases, the result can be<br />

th<br />

ethnic cleans<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> genocide, as we have experienced <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the 20 century <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> Armenia, Germany, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> Rw<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g>a. That process of<br />

other<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g is <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tensified if we feel threatened <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> our livelihood or security by new arrivals. This has been <strong>on</strong>e of the unfortunate<br />

byproducts of the large wave of refugees beg<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>n<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> 2015, pr<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>cipally to Europe, from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> north<br />

Africa.<br />

<br />

Figure<br />

: Refugees from Syria <strong>on</strong> their way to Europe<br />

As the number of immigrants has <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>creased <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> countries like Great Brita<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>, France, Germany, some feel that not <strong>on</strong>ly are jobs<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> security at risk, but also the very existence of their cultures. This has led to the rise of a number of new movements <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

<br />

Robert Godw<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>-J<strong>on</strong>es 7/5/2021 1.2.5 CC-BY-NC https://socialsci.libretexts.org/@go/page/48821


political parties <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> Europe which promote xenophobia <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> ec<strong>on</strong>omic nati<strong>on</strong>alism. The vote <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> Great Brita<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> 2016 to leave<br />

the European Uni<strong>on</strong> was not just an asserti<strong>on</strong> of nati<strong>on</strong>al <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dependence, but also a rejecti<strong>on</strong> of the <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>flux of foreigners. We<br />

have witnessed similar shifts towards greater nati<strong>on</strong>alism <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> a variety of countries <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>clud<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g Turkey, Russia, India, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> the<br />

United States. Unfortunately, the patriotism evident <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> these developments often translates <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>to a k<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>d of free license to<br />

discrim<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ate aga<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>st m<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>orities, whether that be Muslims <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> India or Hispanics <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the US. Political leaders play a crucial role<br />

here <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> sett<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g the t<strong>on</strong>e, thereby <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>fluenc<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g followers <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> terms not <strong>on</strong>ly of attitudes but also of behavior. This is <strong>on</strong>e of the<br />

str<strong>on</strong>gest reas<strong>on</strong>s we need today worldwide more <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tercultural underst<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g><str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g, so that future leaders are acculturated to accept<br />

diversity <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> practice tolerance.<br />

Counter<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g the media echo chamber<br />

The popular image of the "the world is flat" (Friedman, 2005) is that modern communicati<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> transportati<strong>on</strong> are level<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g<br />

opportunities <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> br<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g people together, break<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g down barriers, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> creat<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g what Marshall McLuhan called the "global<br />

village" (McLuhan, 1962). The reality can be quite different. We may th<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>k that <strong>on</strong> the net we are all equal, but the major<br />

Internet companies – Facebook <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> Google, for <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>stance – d<strong>on</strong>'t just serve up <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>formati<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> a neutral way. Rather they use an<br />

algorithm – a procedure or formula – to filter <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>formati<strong>on</strong> or l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ks depend<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <strong>on</strong> what they know about us. What that can<br />

mean <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> practice is that we are served up <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>formati<strong>on</strong> that the algorithm has determ<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ed we want to have, based <strong>on</strong> the pers<strong>on</strong>al<br />

profile the system has built. That derives from the filter bubble created by what the system th<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ks our likes <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> preferences<br />

are. This is built <strong>on</strong> l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ks we tend to click <strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> search<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g with Google, the people we follow <strong>on</strong> Twitter, or the <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>terests<br />

represented by the friends we have <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> Facebook. The assumpti<strong>on</strong> is that we want <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>formati<strong>on</strong> <strong>on</strong>ly <strong>on</strong> our expressed <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>terests<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> established friends. That means we may have less opportunity to have c<strong>on</strong>tact with people outside our circle of friends <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

family. If we want to be competent <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tercultural communicators, we need to step outside of that comfort z<strong>on</strong>e.<br />

Figure<br />

: Chimam<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g>a Adichie<br />

We all have a pers<strong>on</strong>al narrative, a way we put the puzzle pieces of our lives together to make a coherent story out of the<br />

sometimes disparate elements <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> events. That narrative is built from our <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>terpretati<strong>on</strong>s of pers<strong>on</strong>al experiences <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>clud<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g<br />

family dynamics, religious practices, <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>teracti<strong>on</strong>s with friends, or major life events. When we encounter new ideas, new<br />

people, new situati<strong>on</strong>s, we try to fit them <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>to that narrative. Chimam<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g>a Adichie, the Nigerian novelist, talks about the<br />

power of the s<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>gle story. It's a natural human tendency to make order out of complexity by simplify<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g. We feel more<br />

comfortable if we can put people <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> ideas <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>to already established categories.<br />

<br />

In deal<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g with people, this can lead to stereotyp<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g. We may not have enough knowledge of a pers<strong>on</strong> or of that pers<strong>on</strong>'s<br />

culture to create an <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>formed picture. In such cases we fall back <strong>on</strong> the little <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>formati<strong>on</strong> we might have. If I've been to Africa<br />

or have learned about Africa, for example, I can dist<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>guish between Nigerians, Ivoirians, Kenyans, South Africans, etc. But if<br />

I d<strong>on</strong>'t have that knowledge, I fall back <strong>on</strong> clichés <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> stereotypes. If I am a US citizen, I may make associati<strong>on</strong>s with Ebola,<br />

HIV, hunger, or refugees. Where do these impressi<strong>on</strong>s come from? It may be from our friends or family, or from school, but<br />

most likely it's from media reports. In most of the Western world, news is reported from Africa <strong>on</strong>ly if there are natural<br />

disasters, wars, epidemics, or other catastrophic events. This is why it is so important to be critical c<strong>on</strong>sumers of media, to f<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>d<br />

ways to enlarge not shr<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>k our views. Traditi<strong>on</strong>al pr<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>t media such as the Ec<strong>on</strong>omist, the New York Times, or the Guardian (just<br />

to name a sampl<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g of English-speak<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g media) often run substantial stories <strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ternati<strong>on</strong>al events, <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> c<strong>on</strong>trast to most local<br />

televisi<strong>on</strong> stati<strong>on</strong>s <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> newspapers. Many alternative new sources have become available <strong>on</strong>l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>e <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> recent years, such as Global<br />

Voices or Vice News.<br />

Onl<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>e media can also be a great source of <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>formati<strong>on</strong>, but it doesn't come easily or automatically. Hear<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g directly from<br />

Africans, for example, has the potential for explod<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g our stereotypes <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> provid<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g varied perspectives. That can be<br />

Robert Godw<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>-J<strong>on</strong>es 7/5/2021 1.2.6 CC-BY-NC https://socialsci.libretexts.org/@go/page/48821


<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>valuable <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> ma<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ta<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g><str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g open <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> receptive attitudes. We can't become experts <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> all parts of the world, but we can take<br />

advantage of opportunities that may arrive to gather first-h<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> knowledge from natives. Onl<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>e media can supply those<br />

c<strong>on</strong>tacts. But it takes a will<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>gness to move outside our regular social circle, to rema<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> open <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> curious, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> to seek out<br />

opportunities to encounter people different from ourselves.<br />

One of the developments <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> recent years which has changed the media l<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g>scape has been the growth of citizen journalism.<br />

Individuals around the world are tak<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g advantage of the ease of post<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g stories <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> shar<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g media – photos <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> videos – to<br />

report <strong>on</strong> stories or issues important to them. These are not tra<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ed, professi<strong>on</strong>al journalists, but rather everyday citizens who<br />

use their cell ph<strong>on</strong>es <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> social media to report <strong>on</strong> stories traditi<strong>on</strong>al media outlets have ignored. That may be due to the<br />

absence of media corresp<strong>on</strong>dents <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> that locati<strong>on</strong> or because events have occurred suddenly. Citizen journalists have been<br />

particularly important <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> report<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g events from natural disorders, sites of political upheaval, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> war z<strong>on</strong>es. Examples of<br />

events for which citizen journalism through social media, especially Twitter, has been important <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> gett<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>formati<strong>on</strong> spread<br />

widely <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>clude the Cedar Revoluti<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> 2005 (Leban<strong>on</strong>), the Tunisian upris<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>gs <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> 2010-11, or the Arab Spr<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> 2011. As<br />

with all media c<strong>on</strong>sumpti<strong>on</strong>, it’s important to view citizen journalism also from a critical perspective. Citizen reporters may<br />

have a political agenda <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> their news accounts, lead<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g to slanted perspectives. There may as well be technical or l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>guistic<br />

issues which <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>terfere with this k<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>d of public report<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g. In some cases that has <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>volved those hold<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g political power shutt<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g<br />

down the <strong>on</strong>l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>e services used by citizen journalists.<br />

Figure<br />

: Citizen journalist Ryan Boyette, <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>terview<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g a Nuban refugee <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the Yida camp, South Sudan<br />

<br />

In report<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> writ<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g of all k<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ds, know<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g someth<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g about the writer <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> the purpose or c<strong>on</strong>text for the text can be<br />

important <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> be<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g able to evaluate trustworth<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ess <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> objectivity. That can be of particular importance for reports not<br />

associated with a trusted media source or news provider, especially relevant <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> report<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g about c<strong>on</strong>tentious social or political<br />

issues. One approach which aims to supply an objective analysis of both a prom<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ent social problem <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> an implemented<br />

resp<strong>on</strong>se is soluti<strong>on</strong>s journalism. Central to this type of report<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g is the use of credible evidence, backed by reliable data, to<br />

expla<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> an issue <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> profile a resp<strong>on</strong>se that is work<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g — or <strong>on</strong>e that been tried <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> has proven <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>effective. The Fixes column<br />

of the New York Times provides an example of this approach. Hav<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g carefully fact-checked stories about c<strong>on</strong>crete projects to<br />

solve important social issues (educati<strong>on</strong>, poverty, unemployment) provides renewed credibility to news media, while enabl<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>vestigative report<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g to c<strong>on</strong>tribute to the public good.<br />

Robert Godw<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>-J<strong>on</strong>es 7/5/2021 1.2.7 CC-BY-NC https://socialsci.libretexts.org/@go/page/48821


1.3: Technically speak<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g- Informati<strong>on</strong> literacy<br />

One of the prerequisites for effective communicati<strong>on</strong> is <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>formati<strong>on</strong> about our c<strong>on</strong>versant. The knowledge we br<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g to a<br />

c<strong>on</strong>versati<strong>on</strong> about the other pers<strong>on</strong>'s background <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> identity can be valuable <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> avoid<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g misplaced assumpti<strong>on</strong>s <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> false<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>formati<strong>on</strong>, lead<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g to possible miscommunicati<strong>on</strong> or potential c<strong>on</strong>flict. Knowledge about the other's religious beliefs or<br />

worldviews may provide practical <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>formati<strong>on</strong> about aspects of everyday life, such as greet<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g rituals, eat<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g habits, or<br />

cloth<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g choice. A Muslim woman, for example, may not choose to shake h<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g>s, may be skipp<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g lunch because of Ramadan,<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> may be wear<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g a headscarf due to social <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> religious customs. Knowledge about important historical events, m<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ority<br />

groups, social hierarchies, or the geo-political situati<strong>on</strong> of the other pers<strong>on</strong>'s home culture, all may be helpful <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> determ<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g><str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g<br />

appropriate <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>appropriate c<strong>on</strong>versati<strong>on</strong> topics.<br />

We can't be knowledgeable about all cultures, but we can <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>form ourselves about particular cultures or groups <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> which we<br />

have a special <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>terest or are likely to encounter. That might <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>clude countries <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> which the language spoken is <strong>on</strong>e we are<br />

learn<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g, or it might be cultures represented <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> <strong>on</strong>e's liv<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g community, work<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g envir<strong>on</strong>ment, or university. Most people today<br />

are likely to search <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> f<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>d <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>formati<strong>on</strong> <strong>on</strong> the Internet. That holds true as well for read<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g the news <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> keep<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g up with<br />

world affairs. As discussed <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> this chapter, <strong>on</strong>l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>e searches do not provide neutral, unbiased results. It's also not the case that all<br />

search results po<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>t to sites with accurate <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>formati<strong>on</strong>. With the glut of <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>formati<strong>on</strong> <strong>on</strong> the Internet today, it's more important<br />

than ever to be <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>formed c<strong>on</strong>sumers of technology tools <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> services.<br />

Be<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g an <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>formed c<strong>on</strong>sumer of Internet services<br />

In assess<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g search results, there are a few important c<strong>on</strong>siderati<strong>on</strong>s. Typically, the sites l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ked first <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> a search (us<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g Google)<br />

are "sp<strong>on</strong>sored l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ks", sites that have paid to have their l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ks first <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>e. The next hits listed are those which Google's<br />

algorithm has determ<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ed are the most popular related to the topic searched. These sites, however, may be l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ked higher not<br />

due to real popularity – or to the usefulness of their <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>formati<strong>on</strong> – but because of the effectiveness of their search eng<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>e<br />

optimizati<strong>on</strong> (SEO). SEO <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>volves modify<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g a site's HTML code (Hypertext Markup <str<strong>on</strong>g>Language</str<strong>on</strong>g> – the underly<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g code of<br />

web pages) <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> order to <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>clude terms most likely to be used <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> particular searches. In some cases dummy websites are set up<br />

with back l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ks to the ma<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> page to try to enhance the <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dex<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g process used by Google <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> other search eng<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>es. It's important<br />

for sites to be ranked high <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> search results, as <strong>on</strong>l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>e advertis<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>come is based <strong>on</strong> the number of visitors to that site. Socalled<br />

"clickbait" sites are set up to generate advertis<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g revenue by rely<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <strong>on</strong> sensati<strong>on</strong>alist headl<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>es to attract clickthroughs.<br />

Often, the dest<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ati<strong>on</strong> site will have m<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>imal <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>formati<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> will require additi<strong>on</strong>al click-throughs to try to f<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>d the<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>formati<strong>on</strong> advertised.<br />

In such an envir<strong>on</strong>ment, it's important to be able to evaluate search results, to ascerta<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the likely reliability of the <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>formati<strong>on</strong><br />

provided. One <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dicati<strong>on</strong> is the nature of the website. Instituti<strong>on</strong>al sites associated with a university, research <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>stitute,<br />

professi<strong>on</strong>al organizati<strong>on</strong>, or <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>stituti<strong>on</strong> of some k<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>d (such as a museum) are likely to be more objective than pers<strong>on</strong>al sites or<br />

blogs. Most countries have government websites provid<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g a wealth of <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>formati<strong>on</strong>; sites for government agencies can be<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>formative as well. Of particular trustworth<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ess are sites with resources which are curated, peer-reviewed, or annotated.<br />

Merlot, for example, is a curated collecti<strong>on</strong> of free <strong>on</strong>l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>e learn<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> teach<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g materials. Crowd-sourced sites such as<br />

Wikipedia can be good start<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g po<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ts for <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>formati<strong>on</strong> gather<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g, particularly as they po<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>t to further resources <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

authoritative sources. The same cauti<strong>on</strong>s recommended here for written resources hold as well for video sites such as YouTube.<br />

Digital literacy also means becom<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g an <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>formed user of other k<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ds of <strong>on</strong>l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>e tools <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> services. There are, for example, a<br />

great number of opti<strong>on</strong>s available today for work<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> other languages. That <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>cludes a variety of dual-language dicti<strong>on</strong>aries,<br />

thesauri, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> spellcheckers. There are also a number of services which offer <strong>on</strong>l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>e mach<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>e translati<strong>on</strong>. Most of those, such as<br />

Google Translate, rely pr<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>cipally <strong>on</strong> dual-language corpora – collecti<strong>on</strong>s of translated texts. This means that they are most<br />

accurate when there is a large number of texts available, as there are between English <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> other major European languages. It's<br />

likely that there are far fewer texts for other language comb<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ati<strong>on</strong>s, say Arabic to Est<strong>on</strong>ian, forc<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g the translati<strong>on</strong> eng<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>e to<br />

rely <strong>on</strong> built-<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> grammar/language models. It's always good practice to back-translate mach<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>e translati<strong>on</strong>s, particularly us<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g a<br />

different translati<strong>on</strong> service. Such tools are especially useful for decipher<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g websites or other texts but less so for writ<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g, as<br />

they do not have the flexibility to adjust for language register (i.e., degree of formality) or t<strong>on</strong>e.<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>Culture</str<strong>on</strong>g>s-of-use<br />

7/1/2021 1.3.1 https://socialsci.libretexts.org/@go/page/49115


In participat<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> <strong>on</strong>l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>e discussi<strong>on</strong>s, it's important to be aware of netiquette practices – that is, the social c<strong>on</strong>venti<strong>on</strong>s<br />

attached to the use of particular forms of electr<strong>on</strong>ic communicati<strong>on</strong>. One should, for example, avoid writ<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> all capital<br />

letters, as that is perceived as shout<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g. In writ<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g text messages <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> other short form electr<strong>on</strong>ic messag<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g, the c<strong>on</strong>venti<strong>on</strong> is<br />

to ignore spell<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> grammar rules, <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>clud<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g capitalizati<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> punctuati<strong>on</strong>, while mak<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g rich use of abbreviati<strong>on</strong>s. The<br />

potential for miscommunicati<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> written <strong>on</strong>l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>e communicati<strong>on</strong> is <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>creased by the absence of facial expressi<strong>on</strong>s, t<strong>on</strong>e of<br />

voice, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> body language, c<strong>on</strong>stra<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g><str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>terpretati<strong>on</strong> of communicative <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tent exclusively to the written language. Depend<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g<br />

<strong>on</strong> the particular medium of communicati<strong>on</strong>, there may be as well a particular "culture-of-use", that is, a set of historically<br />

developed, socially accepted norms <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> behavior for participati<strong>on</strong>. Steve Thorne discusses, as an example, French language<br />

learners participat<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> an Internet discussi<strong>on</strong> forum for readers of the French newspaper Le M<strong>on</strong>de – see sidebar. Not be<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g<br />

aware of localized cultures of use, such as exist <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> this case, can lead to miscommunicati<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> frustrati<strong>on</strong> <strong>on</strong> all sides.<br />

Develop<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g an awareness of the appropriate genres of language use <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> styles of communicati<strong>on</strong> can enable full engagement<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> multicultural <strong>on</strong>l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>e activities.<br />

A practical less<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> cultures-of-use<br />

In a recent study exam<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g><str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g foreign language learn<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> open Internet envir<strong>on</strong>ments, Hanna <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> de Nooy reported <strong>on</strong> the<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>teracti<strong>on</strong>al <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> identity related activity of four students of French who participated <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> public Internet discussi<strong>on</strong> fora<br />

associated with the Parisian newspaper Le M<strong>on</strong>de. Hanna <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> de Nooy’s rati<strong>on</strong>ale for opt<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g to use a public discussi<strong>on</strong><br />

forum was to move students entirely outside of the relative safety of explicitly educati<strong>on</strong>al <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>teracti<strong>on</strong>s where participants<br />

occupy the <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>stituti<strong>on</strong>ally bounded subject positi<strong>on</strong> of student or learner. Le M<strong>on</strong>de discussi<strong>on</strong> fora, by c<strong>on</strong>trast, exist to<br />

support argumentati<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> debate about mostly c<strong>on</strong>temporary political <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> cultural issues. Hanna <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> de Nooy followed<br />

four students, two of whom opened with st<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g>-al<strong>on</strong>e messages that requested help to improve their French. They received<br />

a few cordial as well as abrupt replies, each of which suggested the need to take a positi<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the <strong>on</strong>go<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g discussi<strong>on</strong>.<br />

Neither did <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> both disappeared from the forum. In c<strong>on</strong>trast, the other two students opened with a resp<strong>on</strong>se to an exist<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g<br />

message, directly enter<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g the <strong>on</strong>go<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g debates. One student primarily used English <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> his posts but still engaged members<br />

of the forum <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> garnered numerous resp<strong>on</strong>ses to his c<strong>on</strong>tributi<strong>on</strong>s. With coach<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> support from other participants, he<br />

was able to fully participate <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the discussi<strong>on</strong>s, suggest<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g that "neither politeness nor l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>guistic accuracy is the measure<br />

of <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tercultural competence here" (Hanna <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> de Nooy 2003, p. 78). Rather, <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the circumstances of this Le M<strong>on</strong>de<br />

discussi<strong>on</strong> forum participati<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the genre of debate was the m<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>imum threshold for c<strong>on</strong>t<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ued participati<strong>on</strong>.<br />

Thorne, 2013, pp. 200-201<br />

Such c<strong>on</strong>venti<strong>on</strong>s as illustrated here exist for most forms of Internet-based social activities such as multiplayer gam<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g. Many<br />

of these activities are likely to be global, with participati<strong>on</strong> from users represent<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g a variety of cultures <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> languages. New<br />

modes of <strong>on</strong>l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>e communicati<strong>on</strong> will <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>evitably develop new cultures-of-use. These will be learned <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>formally, <strong>on</strong> the fly,<br />

through participat<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> observ<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g. As <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> most areas of culture, here too we are socialized <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>to acceptable norms <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

behaviors. Given the pace of development of services <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> activities <strong>on</strong> the Internet, this k<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>d of socializati<strong>on</strong> is not likely to<br />

take place <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>stituti<strong>on</strong>al sett<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>gs, as John Seely Brown comments: "The unrelent<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g velocity of change means that many of<br />

our skills have a shorter shelf life, suggest<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g that much of our learn<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g will need to take place outside of traditi<strong>on</strong>al school<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> university envir<strong>on</strong>ments." (2008, p. xi). This translates <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>to both a need for <strong>on</strong>go<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g digital literacy <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g>, as well, a high<br />

degree of learner aut<strong>on</strong>omy, to be able to ga<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the necessary skills <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> knowledge <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> a self-directed envir<strong>on</strong>ment.<br />

For Discussi<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> Reflecti<strong>on</strong>...<br />

1. Us<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g the def<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>iti<strong>on</strong> of culture presented <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> this unit, how would you describe your culture? Why are so many people afraid<br />

to communicate with people from cultures different from their own? Do you agree with the greater need for <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tercultural<br />

communicati<strong>on</strong> competence today? Why or why not?<br />

2. To what extent have you experienced the media echo chamber <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> the filter bubble? What methods can help overcome the<br />

restricti<strong>on</strong>s <strong>on</strong> c<strong>on</strong>nect<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g with others? How can greater digital literacy help?<br />

3. After watch<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g the Chimam<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g>a Adichie TED talk (“The dangers of a s<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>gle story”): What does she mean by a "s<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>gle<br />

story"? What would be other ways to describe this phenomen<strong>on</strong>? Have you had pers<strong>on</strong>al experiences that parallel those of<br />

Adichie?<br />

7/1/2021 1.3.2 https://socialsci.libretexts.org/@go/page/49115


4. After watch<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g the Alisa Miller TED talk (“How the news distorts our worldview”): Imag<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>e a map which would represent<br />

the geographical areas that you read, hear,<br />

7/1/2021 1.3.3 https://socialsci.libretexts.org/@go/page/49115


1.4: Broaden<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g Horiz<strong>on</strong>s (Summary)<br />

From theory to practice…<br />

Strive to encounter others <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> an attitude of openness <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> a spirit of curiosity. Seek to underst<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> rather than to predict. To<br />

the extent possible, suspend judgment for as l<strong>on</strong>g as you can, form<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g an image of the other pers<strong>on</strong> gradually through<br />

c<strong>on</strong>vers<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g. Active listen<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g helps, i.e., focus<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tently <strong>on</strong> the words <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> body language of the other pers<strong>on</strong>.<br />

D<strong>on</strong>'t apply culturally differentiat<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g labels to <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dividuals. Generalizati<strong>on</strong>s about norms of behavior are misplaced when<br />

we are deal<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <strong>on</strong>e-<strong>on</strong>-<strong>on</strong>e with an <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dividual. Because they are widespread, it's good to know about the categories (i.e.<br />

“<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dividualism” vs. “collectivism”) used to differentiate nati<strong>on</strong>al cultures, but it's important to keep <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> m<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>d that they<br />

represent broadstroke generalizati<strong>on</strong>s, which can <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> no way be applicable to every <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dividual from that culture.<br />

Beware of unexam<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ed assumpti<strong>on</strong>s. You are likely to have gleaned <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>formati<strong>on</strong> about different cultures from local new<br />

sources or from friends or family or from what you may have learned <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> school. You should be cautious with such<br />

"received wisdom", which may rely <strong>on</strong> stereotypes <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> outdated <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>formati<strong>on</strong>. It's important to learn what sources to trust –<br />

both <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> pers<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> <strong>on</strong>l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>e. Equally important is a will<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>gness to be open to different po<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ts of view.<br />

Be alert to your pers<strong>on</strong>al filter bubble. You should not assume that you are receiv<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g neutral results from search requests or<br />

gett<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g balanced views from <strong>on</strong>l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>e news providers. They may be feed<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g you what they assume you want, namely more of<br />

the same. Try us<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g a different web browser or logg<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g out of your Google or other accounts, to see if suggested l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ks<br />

change.<br />

Key C<strong>on</strong>cepts<br />

Active listen<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g: A communicati<strong>on</strong> technique that requires that the listener fully c<strong>on</strong>centrate, underst<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g>, resp<strong>on</strong>d <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> then<br />

remember what is be<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g said.<br />

Algorithm: A process or set of rules to be followed <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> calculati<strong>on</strong>s or other problem-solv<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g operati<strong>on</strong>s, especially by a<br />

computer<br />

Citizen journalism: Ord<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ary citizens report<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g through the Internet <strong>on</strong> events or issues of local importance, often us<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g<br />

social media<br />

Collectivism: Cultural orientati<strong>on</strong> where the group is the primary unit of culture; group goals take precedence over<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dividual goals<br />

Communicati<strong>on</strong> apprehensi<strong>on</strong>: The fear or anxiety associated with either real or anticipated communicati<strong>on</strong> with another<br />

pers<strong>on</strong> or group of pers<strong>on</strong>s<br />

Complexity theory: Also known as complex dynamic systems; a framework for underst<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g><str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g phenomena that are<br />

composed of many variables <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> subsystems<br />

Cosmopolitanism: Moral view of the <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dividual as hav<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g an allegiances <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> pers<strong>on</strong>al resp<strong>on</strong>sibility to the world<br />

Critical <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tercultural communicati<strong>on</strong>: Approach to the field that focuses <strong>on</strong> issues of power, c<strong>on</strong>text, socio-ec<strong>on</strong>omic<br />

relati<strong>on</strong>s <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> historical/structural forces as they play out <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> culture <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tercultural communicati<strong>on</strong> encounters,<br />

relati<strong>on</strong>ships, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> c<strong>on</strong>texts<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>Culture</str<strong>on</strong>g>: An accumulated pattern of values, beliefs, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> behaviors shared by an identifiable group of people with a<br />

comm<strong>on</strong> history <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> verbal <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> n<strong>on</strong>verbal symbol system (from Jim Neuliep)<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>Culture</str<strong>on</strong>g>-of-use: A set of historically developed, socially accepted norms <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> behavior for participati<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> speech<br />

communities such as <strong>on</strong>l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>e discussi<strong>on</strong> forums (from Steve Thorne)<br />

Decentered: Shift<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g from an established center or focus; especially to disc<strong>on</strong>nect from practical or theoretical<br />

assumpti<strong>on</strong>s of orig<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>, priority, or essence<br />

Digital divide: Inequalities related to the access <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> use of <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>formati<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> communicati<strong>on</strong> technologies<br />

Digital <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>f<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ity: The idea that all human languages follow a simple logical pr<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ciple, accord<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g to which a limited set of<br />

elements are comb<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ed to produce an <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>f<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ite range of potentially mean<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>gful expressi<strong>on</strong>s.<br />

Diaspora: A scattered populati<strong>on</strong> whose orig<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> lies is <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> a smaller geographic area<br />

Echo chamber: In media, an echo chamber is a situati<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> which <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>formati<strong>on</strong>, ideas, or beliefs are amplified or re<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>forced<br />

by transmissi<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> repetiti<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>side an 'enclosed' system, where different or compet<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g views are censored, disallowed or<br />

otherwise underrepresented<br />

Robert Godw<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>-J<strong>on</strong>es 7/8/2021 1.4.1 CC-BY-NC https://socialsci.libretexts.org/@go/page/42960


Emic/Etic: In anthropology <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> other social sciences, emic refers to characteristics derived from <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>side a social group<br />

(from the perspective of the subject) <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> etic from outside (from the perspective of the observer)<br />

Empathy: The imag<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ary participati<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> another pers<strong>on</strong>’s experience, <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>clud<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g emoti<strong>on</strong>al <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tellectual dimensi<strong>on</strong>s, by<br />

imag<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g><str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g his or her perspective (James Bennett)<br />

Essentialism: A belief that th<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>gs have a set of characteristics that make them what they are; <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tercultural<br />

communicati<strong>on</strong>, characteriz<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g cultures by a set of c<strong>on</strong>trast<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g features, such as <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dividualism versus collectivism<br />

Filter bubble: Describes a pers<strong>on</strong>alized search <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> which a website algorithm selectively guesses what <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>formati<strong>on</strong> a user<br />

would like to see based <strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>formati<strong>on</strong> about the user<br />

Global citizenship: the idea that all people have rights <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> civic resp<strong>on</strong>sibilities that come with be<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g a member of the<br />

world<br />

Globalizati<strong>on</strong>: A process of <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>teracti<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tegrati<strong>on</strong> am<strong>on</strong>g the people, companies, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> governments of different<br />

nati<strong>on</strong>s, a process driven by <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ternati<strong>on</strong>al trade <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>vestment <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> aided by <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>formati<strong>on</strong> technology<br />

Groupth<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>k: When group members try to m<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>imize c<strong>on</strong>flict <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> reach a c<strong>on</strong>sensus decisi<strong>on</strong> without critical evaluati<strong>on</strong> of<br />

alternative viewpo<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ts by actively suppress<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g dissent<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g viewpo<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ts, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> by isolat<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g themselves from outside <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>fluences<br />

Homophily: i.e., "love of the same", is the tendency of <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dividuals to associate <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> b<strong>on</strong>d with similar others<br />

Individualism: Cultural orientati<strong>on</strong> where the <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dividual is unique <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dividual goals are emphasized over group goals<br />

<strong>Intercultural</strong> communicati<strong>on</strong>: Two pers<strong>on</strong>s from different cultures or co-cultures exchang<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g verbal <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> n<strong>on</strong>verbal<br />

messages<br />

Netiquette: A set of social c<strong>on</strong>venti<strong>on</strong>s that facilitate <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>teracti<strong>on</strong> over networks<br />

Other: Identify<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> exclud<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g a pers<strong>on</strong> from a social group, plac<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g him or her at the marg<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>s of society, where social<br />

norms do not apply<br />

Other<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g: Describes the reductive acti<strong>on</strong> of label<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g a pers<strong>on</strong> as some<strong>on</strong>e who bel<strong>on</strong>gs to a subord<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ate social category<br />

Power distance: The extent to which members of a culture expect <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> accept that power is unequally distributed<br />

Reducti<strong>on</strong>ism: The practice of analyz<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> describ<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g a complex phenomen<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> terms of phenomena that are held to<br />

represent a simpler or more fundamental level; <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tercultural communicati<strong>on</strong>, refers to reduc<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dividual identities to<br />

perceived nati<strong>on</strong>al characteristics<br />

Search eng<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>e optimizati<strong>on</strong>: The process of maximiz<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g the number of visitors to a particular website by ensur<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g that the<br />

site appears high <strong>on</strong> the list of results returned by a search eng<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>e<br />

Semantic: Perta<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g><str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g to mean<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g<br />

Small cultures: Small social group<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>gs or activities wherever there are cohesive behavior patterns <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> practice (from<br />

Adrian Holliday)<br />

Social justice: The equitable distributi<strong>on</strong> of wealth, opportunities, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> privileges with<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> a society<br />

Soluti<strong>on</strong>s journalism: An approach to news report<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g that focuses <strong>on</strong> the resp<strong>on</strong>ses to social issues as well as the problems<br />

themselves<br />

Symbol: An arbitrarily selected <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> learned stimulus represent<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g someth<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g else<br />

Tax<strong>on</strong>omy: The practice <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> science of classificati<strong>on</strong> of th<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>gs or c<strong>on</strong>cepts<br />

Uncerta<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ty avoidance: The degree to which members of a particular culture feel threatened by unpredictable, uncerta<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>,<br />

or unknown situati<strong>on</strong>s<br />

Worldview: The cognitive <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> affective lens through which people c<strong>on</strong>strue their experiences <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> make sense of the world<br />

around them (AACU)<br />

Xenophobia: Intense or irrati<strong>on</strong>al dislike or fear of people from other countries<br />

Recommended Resources<br />

Books<br />

Edward T. Hall, The Silent <str<strong>on</strong>g>Language</str<strong>on</strong>g> (1959), a classic, which many seen as the beg<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>n<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g of the field of <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tercultural<br />

communicati<strong>on</strong><br />

Geert Hofstede, <str<strong>on</strong>g>Culture</str<strong>on</strong>g>s <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> Organizati<strong>on</strong>s: Software of the M<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>d (1991), st<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g>ard <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the field by <strong>on</strong>e of the major<br />

scholars<br />

Adrian Holliday, <strong>Intercultural</strong> communicati<strong>on</strong> & ideology (2011), looks at <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tercultural communicati<strong>on</strong> aga<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>st the<br />

backdrop of an unequal global politics <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> which ideology plays a major role<br />

Edward Said (1979). Orientalism. 1978. New York: V<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tage, 1994.<br />

Robert Godw<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>-J<strong>on</strong>es 7/8/2021 1.4.2 CC-BY-NC https://socialsci.libretexts.org/@go/page/42960


Kathryn Sorrells, <strong>Intercultural</strong> Communicati<strong>on</strong>: Globalizati<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> Social Justice (2015)<br />

ONLINE RESOURCES<br />

Globalizati<strong>on</strong><br />

· Why the World Is Flat<br />

Article from Wired about Thomas Friedman's well-known book <strong>on</strong> globalizati<strong>on</strong><br />

· Pankaj Ghemawat: Actually, the world isn't flat<br />

Ghemawat offers counter-arguments to the c<strong>on</strong>venti<strong>on</strong>al wisdom about globalizati<strong>on</strong>, the c<strong>on</strong>cept that, as Tom Friedman put it,<br />

the "world is flat". In particular he has <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>terest<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g comments about Facebook.<br />

TED descripti<strong>on</strong>: "It may seem that we're liv<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> a borderless world where ideas, goods <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> people flow freely from nati<strong>on</strong><br />

to nati<strong>on</strong>. We're not even close, says Pankaj Ghemawat. With great data (<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> an eye-open<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g survey), he argues that there's a<br />

delta between percepti<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> reality <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> a world that's maybe not so hyperc<strong>on</strong>nected after all."<br />

· Global Policy Forum: Globalizati<strong>on</strong><br />

From Global Policy Forum, with extensive l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ks<br />

Statistics <strong>on</strong> world demographics<br />

· World Demographics Profile<br />

From Index Mundi, <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>cludes demographic <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>formati<strong>on</strong> <strong>on</strong> all countries<br />

· Hari K<strong>on</strong>dabolu - 2042 & the White M<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ority<br />

Humorous take <strong>on</strong> the demographic changes com<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g to the USA<br />

Cultural dimensi<strong>on</strong>s <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> history of <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tercultural communicati<strong>on</strong><br />

· Edward T. Hall <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> The History of <strong>Intercultural</strong> Communicati<strong>on</strong>: The United States <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> Japan<br />

Article trac<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g the role of anthropologist Edward T. Hall <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> found<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g the field of <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tercultural communicati<strong>on</strong><br />

· Geert Hofstede cultural dimensi<strong>on</strong>s<br />

From Clearly Cultural<br />

On broaden<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g horiz<strong>on</strong>s <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> media<br />

· Chimam<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g>a Ngozi Adichie: The danger of a s<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>gle story<br />

Nigerian novelist speak<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g about her experiences grow<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g up <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> Nigeria <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> study<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the USA<br />

TED descripti<strong>on</strong>: "Our lives, our cultures, are composed of many overlapp<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g stories. Novelist Chimam<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g>a Adichie tells the<br />

story of how she found her authentic cultural voice — <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> warns that if we hear <strong>on</strong>ly a s<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>gle story about another pers<strong>on</strong> or<br />

country, we risk a critical misunderst<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g><str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g."<br />

· Leslie Dods<strong>on</strong>: D<strong>on</strong>'t misrepresent Africa<br />

TED descripti<strong>on</strong>: "Real narratives are complicated: Africa isn’t a country, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> it's not a disaster z<strong>on</strong>e, says reporter <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

researcher Leslie Dods<strong>on</strong>. In her talk, she calls for journalists, researchers <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> NGOs to stop represent<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g entire c<strong>on</strong>t<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ents as<br />

<strong>on</strong>e big tragedy."<br />

· Alisa Miller: How the news distorts our worldview<br />

World map dramatically illustrates the US media's report<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <strong>on</strong> world events (very limited)<br />

TED descripti<strong>on</strong>: "Alisa Miller, head of Public Radio Internati<strong>on</strong>al, talks about why — though we want to know more about<br />

the world than ever — the media is actually show<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g us less. Eye-open<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g stats <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> graphs."<br />

Technology <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> the filter bubble<br />

· Technology is creat<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g a world without strangers<br />

On the shar<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g ec<strong>on</strong>omy<br />

· How to Burst the "Filter Bubble" that Protects Us from Oppos<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g Views<br />

From the MIT Technology Review<br />

· Eli Pariser: Beware <strong>on</strong>l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>e "filter bubbles"<br />

Robert Godw<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>-J<strong>on</strong>es 7/8/2021 1.4.3 CC-BY-NC https://socialsci.libretexts.org/@go/page/42960


Pariser's classic TED talk expla<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>s the c<strong>on</strong>cepts of echo chamber <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> filter bubble.<br />

TED descripti<strong>on</strong>: "As web companies strive to tailor their services (<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>clud<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g news <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> search results) to our pers<strong>on</strong>al tastes,<br />

there's a dangerous un<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tended c<strong>on</strong>sequence: We get trapped <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> a 'filter bubble' <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> d<strong>on</strong>'t get exposed to <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>formati<strong>on</strong> that could<br />

challenge or broaden our worldview. Eli Pariser argues powerfully that this will ultimately prove to be bad for us <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> bad for<br />

democracy."<br />

· Ethan Zuckerman: Listen<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g to global voices<br />

Interest<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g comments <strong>on</strong> how to be more aware of what's happen<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the rest of the world, such as "eng<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>eer serendipity"<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> "cultivate xenophiles". Discussi<strong>on</strong> of Twitter from an <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ternati<strong>on</strong>al perspective.<br />

TED descripti<strong>on</strong>: "Sure, the web c<strong>on</strong>nects the globe, but most of us end up hear<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g ma<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ly from people just like ourselves.<br />

Blogger <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> technologist Ethan Zuckerman wants to help share the stories of the whole wide world. He talks about clever<br />

strategies to open up your Twitter world <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> read the news <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> languages you d<strong>on</strong>'t even know."<br />

References<br />

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Credits<br />

Photos: Unless otherwise noted, the images used are from open sources<br />

Horiz<strong>on</strong>: Pixabay; pixabay.com/p-768759<br />

Chimam<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g>a Adichie: Slowk<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g, GFDL 1.,; https://comm<strong>on</strong>s.wikimedia.org/w/<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dex.php?curid=28638718<br />

Sushma Swaraj: UK Foreign <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> Comm<strong>on</strong>wealth Office; https://www.flickr.com/photos/foreignoffice/14937796423<br />

Girls’ Generati<strong>on</strong>: Korea KPOP World Festival: https://www.flickr.com/photos/42438955@N05/11039813825/<br />

Just<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>e Green<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g: Peter Millett/British Embassy Jordan:<br />

https://comm<strong>on</strong>s.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Just<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>e_Green<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g_talk<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g_with_Syrian_children_at_a_UKfunded_cl<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ic_<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>_the_Zaatari_refugee_camp,_Jordan_(9712014008).jpg<br />

Ryan Boyette: Enough Project: https://www.flickr.com/photos/enoughproject/6939045049<br />

Yi ethic group: Bernd Gross; https://comm<strong>on</strong>s.wikimedia.org/wiki/F...i-M<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ority.JPG<br />

Small discussi<strong>on</strong> group: <str<strong>on</strong>g>Culture</str<strong>on</strong>g> Republic; https://www.flickr.com/photos/getambiti<strong>on</strong>/4700594335<br />

Oakl<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> Occupy: Brian Sims;https://comm<strong>on</strong>s.wikimedia.org/wiki/F...cent_signs.jpg<br />

Active listen<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g: CCCE Teach-In-18, University of Wash<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>gt<strong>on</strong> Communicati<strong>on</strong> Department;<br />

https://www.flickr.com/photos/uwcomm/26826519792/<br />

Robert Godw<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>-J<strong>on</strong>es 7/8/2021 1.4.5 CC-BY-NC https://socialsci.libretexts.org/@go/page/42960


CHAPTER OVERVIEW<br />

2: BUILDING IDENTITIES<br />

Learn<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g Objectives<br />

Successful <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>teracti<strong>on</strong> with this <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> associated course c<strong>on</strong>tent will enable students to…<br />

Discuss the dynamics of identity formati<strong>on</strong> today<br />

Compare/c<strong>on</strong>trast different k<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ds of groups <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> roles<br />

Def<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>e <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> discuss different k<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ds of stereotyp<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g<br />

Be able to discuss ways to overcome prejudicial views <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> acti<strong>on</strong>s<br />

2.1: HOW IDENTITIES ARE BUILT<br />

2.2: JUDGING AND TREATING OTHERS FAIRLY<br />

2.3: TECHNICALLY SPEAKING - ONLINE IDENTITIES<br />

2.4: HOW IDENTITIES ARE BUILT (SUMMARY)<br />

1 7/29/2021


2.1: How Identities are Built<br />

The same factors that make <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tercultural communicati<strong>on</strong> competence today so relevant – <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>creased human mobility <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> open,<br />

worldwide communicati<strong>on</strong> networks – also have led to the formati<strong>on</strong> of pers<strong>on</strong>al identities that are more varied <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> dynamic<br />

than ever before. It is of course always been the case that as we grow, we evolve. From the narrow start<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g po<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>t of the family,<br />

we enter <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>to ever wider social circles, as we attend school, make friends, start work<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> f<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>d a partner. Added to this<br />

traditi<strong>on</strong>al model now is the <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>creas<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g likelihood of exposure to <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dividuals from different cultures. This modifies how we<br />

th<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>k, how we view the world, how we react to different situati<strong>on</strong>s, which, <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> turn, adds a variety of flavors to how others see<br />

us <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> how we see ourselves, i.e. our identity. Today, part of that process may well happen virtually, through <strong>on</strong>l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>e social<br />

networks <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> media. More exposure to different k<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ds of people does not necessarily mean acceptance of grow<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g social<br />

diversity. Unfortunately, the result can be <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>creased prejudice <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tolerance. In this unit we will be look<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g at identity<br />

formati<strong>on</strong>, the roles of ethnic <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> social groups, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> issues surround<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g stereotyp<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g.<br />

La<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>a Dawes: Identity assumpti<strong>on</strong>s sometimes go astray<br />

La<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>a's identity comes from many different sources, grow<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g up <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> a rural part of Canada where there were few if any<br />

other blacks, be<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g adopted <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>to a white family, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> be<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g a woman <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> love with heavy metal music. Her situati<strong>on</strong><br />

dem<strong>on</strong>strates that pers<strong>on</strong>al identity doesn't necessarily match expectati<strong>on</strong>s based <strong>on</strong> stereotypes, for example, that all<br />

black people prefer hip-hop.<br />

Audio / Transcript of NPR story about La<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>a<br />

Cultural identity<br />

Our identities are formed <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> a variety of ways. As we grow, we develop characteristics <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> pers<strong>on</strong>ality traits that set us apart as<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dividuals. Some of those are biological, such as sk<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> color, height, hair color, etc. We may be shy or outgo<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g, enjoy play<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g<br />

sports or prefer computer games. Each of us has a pers<strong>on</strong>al identity which develops <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> changes over time. Some of our<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dividual characteristics we develop <strong>on</strong> our own, but many aspects of our pers<strong>on</strong>ality <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> preferences develop through c<strong>on</strong>tact<br />

with others. The start<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g po<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>t is the family <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>to which we are born. Our family typically supplies our <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>itial cultural identity<br />

– the values, beliefs, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> behaviors <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>herited from bel<strong>on</strong>g<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g to a particular culture or ethnic group. Cultural identities provide<br />

a default framework for how we <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>teract with others. That doesn't mean that we c<strong>on</strong>t<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ue to have this perspective throughout<br />

our lives.<br />

Cultural identities are dynamic <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> can change with <strong>on</strong>e's <strong>on</strong>go<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g life experiences. This may be an <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dividualized change or<br />

could reflect changes <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> views embraced by <strong>on</strong>e of the cultural groups to which we bel<strong>on</strong>g. In the US, for example, a<br />

significant shift <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> attitudes towards Muslims occurred after the 9/11 terrorist attacks <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> 2001. Many US citizens developed a<br />

new, often negative op<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>i<strong>on</strong> of any<strong>on</strong>e perceived to be Muslim or from an Arab country. Major shifts have occurred <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> recent<br />

years <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> many countries <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> regard to same-sex marriage. It is certa<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ly not the case that all citizens of those countries have<br />

changed their attitudes; after all, <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dividuals have free will <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> the ability to adopt differ<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g views.<br />

It may be also that <strong>on</strong>e's views may differ from those of the cultural ma<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>stream through the l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>k <strong>on</strong>e has to a particular<br />

subculture. This might be a traditi<strong>on</strong>ally identified m<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ority group – based <strong>on</strong> ethnic, racial, or language characteristics – or<br />

might be a group we bel<strong>on</strong>g to out of pers<strong>on</strong>al <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>terest or through other relati<strong>on</strong>ships such as employment. M<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ority groups –<br />

or microcultures – are traditi<strong>on</strong>ally characterized as be<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g dist<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ct <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> several different ways (Neuliep, 2012). There may be<br />

dist<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ctive physical characteristics, such as sk<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> color or dress. Sometimes, microcultures practice <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>-group marriage, known<br />

as endogamy (as opposed to exogamy – marry<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g outside your group). Often microcultures receive unequal treatment <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

face discrim<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ati<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> a variety of areas, <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>clud<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g hous<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> employment. The social status <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> rights of microcultures vary<br />

Robert Godw<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>-J<strong>on</strong>es 7/5/2021 2.1.1 CC-BY-NC https://socialsci.libretexts.org/@go/page/42968


c<strong>on</strong>siderably depend<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <strong>on</strong> time <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> place. At <strong>on</strong>e time <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the US, Irish immigrants were discrim<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ated aga<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>st, but they (<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

other European immigrants) have l<strong>on</strong>g s<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ce become part of the ma<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>stream white culture <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the US.<br />

To <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dicate that subgroups exist with<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> must <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>teract with the majority cultures, some use the term co-culture (Orbe &<br />

Spellers, 2005). The term is frequently used <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the c<strong>on</strong>text of the power discrepancy between co-cultures <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> the dom<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ant<br />

culture, highlight<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g the marg<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>alizati<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> disenfranchisement of many m<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ority groups. In us<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g the terms majority <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

m<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ority, we are referenc<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g a group's relative <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>fluence <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> power with<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> a society, rather than numerical superiority. In some<br />

societies, such as <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> col<strong>on</strong>ized countries, the largest number of <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>habitants may not hold the levers of power, which may be <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

the h<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g>s of a smaller, elite group. In apartheid South Africa (before 1994), for example, the overwhelm<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g majority of<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>habitants were black, but the government, ec<strong>on</strong>omic <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>stituti<strong>on</strong>s, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> school systems were all under the c<strong>on</strong>trol of the<br />

m<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ority white South Africans. One could po<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>t as well to similar discrepancies between numerical superiority <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> access to<br />

political, social, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> ec<strong>on</strong>omic power <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> Saddam Hussa<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>‘s Iraq (Sunni versus Shi’a) or the Bashar al-Assad regime <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> Syria<br />

(Alawi versus Sunni).<br />

Cultural identities tend to be c<strong>on</strong>structed differently depend<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <strong>on</strong> whether an <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dividual is a member of a co-culture or a<br />

representative of the ma<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>stream. Often, those <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the majority populati<strong>on</strong> lack the social c<strong>on</strong>sciousness that typically<br />

accompanies be<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g part of a m<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ority. Members of the dom<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ant culture typically will be happy with the social status quo.<br />

They are likely never to have been led or forced to exam<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>e their positi<strong>on</strong> or role <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> society, see<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g themselves as "normal" or<br />

"regular" citizens. In the documentary film, the Color of Fear (Wah, 1994), the white US Americans identify themselves as<br />

"Americans", while those represent<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g m<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ority groups use hyphenated terms such as African-American, Mexican-American,<br />

or Ch<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ese-American; those men have much more to say than their white counterparts about their cultural backgrounds. This is<br />

typical of the ma<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>stream <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the US: "People who are white know that they are white, but this is often translated as be<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g just<br />

American. They do not have any experience underst<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g><str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g race <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> how it shapes our lives. They typically d<strong>on</strong>’t th<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>k about<br />

their whiteness, nor do they th<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>k about the privilege bestowed <strong>on</strong> them because of their race" (Sisneros, Stakeman, Joyner &<br />

Schmitz, 2008, p. 29). In fact, white Americans may be reluctant to acknowledge that "white privilege" exists. Peggy<br />

McIntosh has put together a compell<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g list of examples of white privilege <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the US (see sidebar). Unearned social <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

ec<strong>on</strong>omic privilege is not unique to European-Americans; that phenomen<strong>on</strong> has parallels <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> many other countries, <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> which<br />

elite classes enjoy rights <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> advantages not available to all members of the society. Migrant workers <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> many countries are<br />

denied many of the benefits (educati<strong>on</strong>, hous<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g, employment) afforded other sectors of society.<br />

White Privilege: Unpack<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g the <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>visible knapsack<br />

I have chosen those c<strong>on</strong>diti<strong>on</strong>s that I th<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>k <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> my case attach somewhat more to sk<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>-color privilege than to class, religi<strong>on</strong>,<br />

ethnic status, or geographic locati<strong>on</strong>, though of course all these other factors are <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tricately <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tertw<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ed. As far as I can<br />

tell, my African American coworkers, friends, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> acqua<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tances with whom I come <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>to daily or frequent c<strong>on</strong>tact <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> this<br />

particular time, place <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> time of work cannot count <strong>on</strong> most of these c<strong>on</strong>diti<strong>on</strong>s.<br />

1. I can if I wish arrange to be <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the company of people of my race most of the time.<br />

2. I can avoid spend<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g time with people whom I was tra<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ed to mistrust <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> who have learned to mistrust my k<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>d or<br />

me.<br />

3. If I should need to move, I can be pretty sure of rent<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g or purchas<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g hous<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> an area which I can afford <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

which I would want to live.<br />

4. I can be pretty sure that my neighbors <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> such a locati<strong>on</strong> will be neutral or pleasant to me.<br />

5. I can go shopp<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g al<strong>on</strong>e most of the time, pretty well assured that I will not be followed or harassed.<br />

[Note: the full text c<strong>on</strong>ta<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>s 50 items]<br />

Members of a majority group may be unaware of the reality of life for m<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>orities <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> their society. On the other h<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g>, members<br />

of m<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ority groups cannot ignore the dom<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ant culture — they typically encounter aspects of that culture <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> its<br />

representatives <strong>on</strong> an everyday basis, as they go about their daily lives. The societal apparatus — educati<strong>on</strong>, hous<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g, media,<br />

government, employment – is c<strong>on</strong>trolled by the ma<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>stream populati<strong>on</strong>. Members of a m<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ority are well aware of the situati<strong>on</strong><br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> must adjust accord<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>gly. It is likely, for <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>stance, that <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> African-American families today, parents talk to their children<br />

(especially the boys) about how to <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>teract with police officers. That is not likely to be a necessary c<strong>on</strong>versati<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> white<br />

households. Members of a m<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ority need to balance issues of adaptati<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> assimilati<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>to the dom<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ant culture with the<br />

need to reta<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> identificati<strong>on</strong> with their own communities.<br />

Robert Godw<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>-J<strong>on</strong>es 7/5/2021 2.1.2 CC-BY-NC https://socialsci.libretexts.org/@go/page/42968


One of the issues with which microcultures often have to c<strong>on</strong>tend is language. The major <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>stituti<strong>on</strong>s of a country – schools,<br />

government, <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dustry – use predom<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>antly or exclusively the language of the dom<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ant culture. This means that members of a<br />

microculture who either speak a different language or use a dialectical variety of the st<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g>ard language may be at a<br />

disadvantage. In fact, "muted group theory" suggests that those with less power <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> a society often have difficulty<br />

communicat<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g effectively, as they must re-encode their thoughts to make them understood (Ardener, 1975). One resp<strong>on</strong>se to<br />

this phenomen<strong>on</strong> is the creati<strong>on</strong> of a unique language. African American Vernacular English, or Eb<strong>on</strong>ics, is an example of that<br />

(Perry & Delpit, 1998). Spanglish – code-switch<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g between English <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> Spanish – is characteristic of many Lat<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>os <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the<br />

US (Stavans, 2004). In Germany Kiezdeutsch (also "kanaksprach") is a versi<strong>on</strong> of German that <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tegrates Turkish terms<br />

(Freywald et al, 2011). Similar language hybrid phenomena can be observed <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> other cultures. We will be explor<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g issues<br />

around m<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ority language use <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> chapter three.<br />

Integrati<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> Marg<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>alizati<strong>on</strong><br />

To what extent microcultures rema<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> separate or become <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tegrated <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> eventually <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>separable from the ma<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>stream culture<br />

varies c<strong>on</strong>siderably. The metaphor popularly used for many years <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the US was that of the melt<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g pot, with the implicati<strong>on</strong><br />

be<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g that immigrant communities were to assimilate, or give up their cultural identities (<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> language) <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> adopt the<br />

ma<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>stream European-American culture. In the US today there is <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>creas<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g recogniti<strong>on</strong> of the right of m<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ority groups to<br />

ma<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ta<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> aspects of their cultures of orig<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> (Alba & Nee, 2009). This embrace of pluralism – with a more appropriate<br />

metaphor for the US be<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g a garden salad or a mixed stew – is by no means universal. That is the case <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> other countries as<br />

well.<br />

In the US, sec<strong>on</strong>d <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> third generati<strong>on</strong> immigrant families often have a quite different attitude toward their ethnic heritage than<br />

was the case for their parents or gr<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g>parents (Rumbaut & Portes, 2001). They may express c<strong>on</strong>siderable <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>terest <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> pride <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

that heritage, its customs, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> language. The degree to which descendants of immigrant families or representatives of<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>digenous m<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>orities are able to blend successfully their family/ethnic backgrounds <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>to the dom<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ant culture depends <strong>on</strong> the<br />

extent of social acceptance. Some groups have been systematically marg<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>alized, that is, denied the same basic rights <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

privileges as granted to other populati<strong>on</strong>s. They may face discrim<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ati<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> areas such as hous<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g, access to educati<strong>on</strong>, or<br />

employment opportunities. Examples are the <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>digenous populati<strong>on</strong>s of North America or Australia, the Romani <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> Europe, the<br />

Palest<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ians <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the Middle East, or the "Untouchables" (Lower Castes or Dalit) <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> India. There are as well counter-examples of<br />

societies, such as Canada, which have embraced multiculturalism, enabl<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g newcomers to ma<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ta<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> their orig<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>al cultural<br />

identities, as they adjust to the new Canadian envir<strong>on</strong>ment (Peach, 2005).<br />

Countries vary c<strong>on</strong>siderably <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> ethnic diversity. Japan <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> the Koreas, for example, are ethnically homogeneous, with small<br />

m<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ority populati<strong>on</strong>s. That is characteristic as well of isl<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> nati<strong>on</strong>s, for underst<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g>able reas<strong>on</strong>s. One of the ma<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

methodologies used to measure diversity is l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>guistic variati<strong>on</strong> (Fear<strong>on</strong>, 2003). From that perspective, Papua New Gu<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ea <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

South Africa rank particularly high <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> cultural diversity. That is the case as well for India, with 22 different languages <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> over<br />

1500 officially recognized dialects. The cultural fabric of India (language, food habits, cloth<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g, colors of houses, architecture,<br />

etc.) can vary tremendously from <strong>on</strong>e regi<strong>on</strong> to another. The modern state of India, with its variety of cultures <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tegrated <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>to<br />

<strong>on</strong>e political entity, is a byproduct of British col<strong>on</strong>ialism. It was not uncomm<strong>on</strong> for occupy<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g col<strong>on</strong>ial powers to c<strong>on</strong>struct<br />

arbitrary boundaries, determ<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ed by political <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> ec<strong>on</strong>omic hegem<strong>on</strong>ic <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>terests rather than accord<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g to languages spoken or<br />

al<strong>on</strong>g traditi<strong>on</strong>al ethnic or tribal l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>es. This k<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>d of forced political <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tegrati<strong>on</strong> has led to c<strong>on</strong>flict, as compet<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g tribes or ethnic<br />

groups struggle for power, for example <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> Rw<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g>a (1990-1994), Sudan (1955 to 1972), <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> Nigeria (1967-1970). Ethnic<br />

c<strong>on</strong>flict is by no means limited to Africa. Tribal affiliati<strong>on</strong>s <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> religious differences have led to many c<strong>on</strong>flicts <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the Middle<br />

East <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> elsewhere.<br />

Robert Godw<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>-J<strong>on</strong>es 7/5/2021 2.1.3 CC-BY-NC https://socialsci.libretexts.org/@go/page/42968


Figure<br />

: Women <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> Japan: a largely homogeneous country<br />

Although European countries have tended to be largely homogeneous, there are excepti<strong>on</strong>s such as Switzerl<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> or Belgium.<br />

While the Swiss have managed to create a comm<strong>on</strong> nati<strong>on</strong>al identity, which has largely shielded the country from strife am<strong>on</strong>g<br />

the l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>guistically <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> culturally diverse cant<strong>on</strong>s, Belgium has not been so successful <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> nati<strong>on</strong>al <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tegrati<strong>on</strong>. The Flemish <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

French parts of the country have had c<strong>on</strong>siderable trouble cooperat<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g politically <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> ec<strong>on</strong>omically. C<strong>on</strong>flict has arisen as well<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> Lat<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> America, with struggles of <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>digenous populati<strong>on</strong>s <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> Guatemala, Mexico, Columbia, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> other countries for equal<br />

rights. In some cases, ethnic strife has led to countries break<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g apart <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>to separate entities, such as happened <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> Yugoslavia <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

the early 1990s or <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> Sudan <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> 2011. Separatist movements have arisen <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> a number of countries, such as Catal<strong>on</strong>ia <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> Spa<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> or<br />

Scotl<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the UK.<br />

Just because a country is ethnically homogeneous, it does not mean that it will rema<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> that way. Germany, for example, has<br />

traditi<strong>on</strong>ally been relatively homogeneous, but has seen several large waves of immigrati<strong>on</strong> which have made the populati<strong>on</strong><br />

much more diverse. So-called "guest workers" (Gastarbeiter) were recruited <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the 1950s <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> 1960s from Italy, Greece,<br />

Yugoslavia, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> Turkey to supply manpower for the grow<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g post-war German ec<strong>on</strong>omy (Herbert, 1990). Many of those<br />

workers <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> their families elected to resettle permanently <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> Germany. The large number of Turkish Germans has had a<br />

significant <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>fluence <strong>on</strong> German culture, with Germans of Turkish descent play<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g significant roles <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> politics, sports,<br />

enterta<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ment <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> other areas. In 2015–2016, large numbers of refugees arrived <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> Germany, flee<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g war, civil strife, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

poverty <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> Northern Africa. The substantial numbers of new arrivals placed stress <strong>on</strong> the ability<br />

of government agencies, churches, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> citizen groups to provide sufficient services, such as hous<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> language tra<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g><str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g. As<br />

migrants are dispersed am<strong>on</strong>g different urban <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> rural areas <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> Germany, efforts to reach the different groups with <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>formati<strong>on</strong><br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> tra<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g><str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g has been a challenge. One of the more successful methods that has been used is mobile technology (see sidebar).<br />

Not all Germans have welcomed the arrival of large numbers of refugees. Some refugee centers have been burned to the<br />

ground. Anti-immigrant movements such as PEGIDA (Patriotic Europeans aga<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>st the Islamificati<strong>on</strong> of the West) have<br />

attracted popular support am<strong>on</strong>g some parts of the German populati<strong>on</strong> (Vorländer, Herold, & Schäller, 2015). As is the case <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

neighbor<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g countries, that has also lead to political changes, with a new anti-immigrant <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> anti-EU party, the Alternative for<br />

Germany (AFD), which <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> 2018 entered the German parliament. In France, the Nati<strong>on</strong>al Fr<strong>on</strong>t has attracted large numbers of<br />

French voters unhappy with ec<strong>on</strong>omic stagnati<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> with the perceived cultural changes <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> French society through the large<br />

numbers of immigrants from Northern Africa.<br />

Smartph<strong>on</strong>es <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> refugees<br />

<br />

In Germany, the hoped-for dest<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ati<strong>on</strong> of many refugees, a number of apps have been created tar-get<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g the immigrant<br />

populati<strong>on</strong>. The Goethe Insti-tute, al<strong>on</strong>g with federal agencies deal<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g with im-migrati<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> employment, have created<br />

Ankommen (Arrival), available <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> Arabic, English, Farsi, French, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> German. As do other such apps, it is designed with<br />

m<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>imal technical requirements, so as to be usable <strong>on</strong> older ph<strong>on</strong>es. It features three branched areas: German language<br />

study, German asylum procedures, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> tips <strong>on</strong> liv<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> Germany. Integreat offers a similar service for refugees <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

Germany. It is available <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> five languages <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> fea-tures <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>formati<strong>on</strong> specific to <strong>on</strong>e of the 80 German cities targeted.<br />

Daheim (At Home) offers a meet<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g platform for new arrivals <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> German natives, designed for language learn<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tercultural exchange.<br />

Godw<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>-J<strong>on</strong>es, 2017, p. 11<br />

Robert Godw<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>-J<strong>on</strong>es 7/5/2021 2.1.4 CC-BY-NC https://socialsci.libretexts.org/@go/page/42968


The extent to which members of microcultures <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tegrate <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>to the ma<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>stream culture may depend <strong>on</strong> how that particular group<br />

arrived <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the new country. This may have happened <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> a number of different ways: forced repatriati<strong>on</strong> – as <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the case of<br />

slavery –, voluntary immigrati<strong>on</strong>, for <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>stance those seek<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g better job opportunities, or through refugee status, seek<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g<br />

protecti<strong>on</strong> from political persecuti<strong>on</strong> or dangerous liv<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g c<strong>on</strong>diti<strong>on</strong>s. The <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tegrati<strong>on</strong> process also depends <strong>on</strong> the nature of the<br />

group, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> how similar or dissimilar its customs, language, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> worldviews are to the ma<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>stream culture. One of the central<br />

issues affect<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g the recepti<strong>on</strong> of recent migrants to Europe is that most are Muslims, while European countries are majority<br />

Christian. The difference <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> religi<strong>on</strong> affects not <strong>on</strong>ly worship practices <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> religious doctr<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>es but also social views, such as<br />

the role of women <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> society. Visibly different sk<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> color or dress are likely to make <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tegrati<strong>on</strong>, or even acceptance, <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>to the<br />

ma<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>stream culture potentially problematic. Diaspora communities tend to keep many customs <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> rituals from their places of<br />

orig<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>. Indian families who migrated to Southern Africa, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> from there to the UK, the USA, or Canada, may have never<br />

visited India, but still marry accord<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g to Indian customs. Yet, they also <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tegrate Western customs, such as hold<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g speeches at<br />

the wedd<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g recepti<strong>on</strong> (A. Malik, pers<strong>on</strong>al communicati<strong>on</strong>, June 25, 2017).<br />

Figure<br />

: PEGIDA dem<strong>on</strong>strati<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> Dresden, Germany<br />

The degree to which particular groups ma<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ta<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> cultural ties to their family places of orig<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> differs significantly accord<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g to<br />

both the group <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> the nature of the dest<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ati<strong>on</strong> culture. In the US, for example, many people of European ancestry have<br />

largely <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tegrated culturally <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>to the ma<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>stream, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> have lost most of their associati<strong>on</strong> with their ancestral homel<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> may<br />

not even be aware of their family backgrounds. They may not know about the stigma which used to be attached to immigrants<br />

to the US from countries such as Irel<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g>, Italy, or Germany. Some white US Americans may have a symbolic ethnicity, a<br />

largely voluntary affiliati<strong>on</strong> with a particular ethnic group which <strong>on</strong>ly surfaces <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> particular c<strong>on</strong>texts, as <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the celebrati<strong>on</strong> of a<br />

holiday such as St. Patrick's Day or Oktoberfest. While many microcultures become segregated due to prejudicial treatment by<br />

the ma<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>stream culture, as has historically been the case with African-Americans, some microcultures choose to rema<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> apart.<br />

The Amish community <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the US live apart from the n<strong>on</strong>-Amish, with their religious beliefs lead<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g them to reject many<br />

aspects of c<strong>on</strong>temporary US culture. They dress differently, speak a German dialect, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> shun modern technology. Because<br />

liv<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> an Amish community isolates <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dividuals so completely from ma<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>stream US culture, young people are given an<br />

opportunity to experience the "English", i.e. n<strong>on</strong>-Amish, world through a traditi<strong>on</strong> called rumspr<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ga.<br />

<br />

Rumspr<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ga: Amish youth explor<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g the world<br />

In many communities, Rumspr<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ga is a period when some Amish youth, boys more than girls, experience greater<br />

freedom. They are no l<strong>on</strong>ger under the c<strong>on</strong>trol of their parents <strong>on</strong> weekends <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g>, because they are not baptized, they are<br />

not yet under the authority of the church. Dur<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g this time, many Amish youth adhere to traditi<strong>on</strong>al Amish behavior.<br />

Others experiment with “worldly” activities—buy<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g a car, go<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g to movies, wear<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g n<strong>on</strong>-Amish clothes, buy<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g a<br />

televisi<strong>on</strong>.<br />

Kraybill, 2016<br />

Robert Godw<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>-J<strong>on</strong>es 7/5/2021 2.1.5 CC-BY-NC https://socialsci.libretexts.org/@go/page/42968


Figure<br />

: Amish family <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> New York farm<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g<br />

<br />

Social Identity<br />

While our nati<strong>on</strong>al orig<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> ethnic background typically c<strong>on</strong>tribute substantially towards form<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g our <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dividual identities,<br />

they al<strong>on</strong>e do not play a determ<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g><str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g role <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> shap<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g who we are. There are likely to be a variety of groups we bel<strong>on</strong>g to,<br />

c<strong>on</strong>struct<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g what is comm<strong>on</strong>ly called our social identity. Some of these are <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>voluntary, such as age, race, or family. Others<br />

are groups we choose to jo<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>, such as a club, church, or political party. There may be groups we do not bel<strong>on</strong>g to but with<br />

which we identify <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> some way, for example, a professi<strong>on</strong>al group we hope to jo<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> <strong>on</strong>e day (i.e., physicians, lawyers,<br />

astr<strong>on</strong>auts) or political acti<strong>on</strong> groups with whose views we agree. These are known as reference groups (Shibutani, 1955).<br />

There may be as well any number of impromptu, ad-hoc groups with which we identify, forg<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g a variety of shift<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g small<br />

cultures <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> aff<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ity groups. At least some of those are likely to be mostly or exclusively <strong>on</strong>l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>e, such as our Facebook friends<br />

or those we follow or who follow us <strong>on</strong> Twitter or through other social media.<br />

How we communicate with others may be str<strong>on</strong>gly <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>fluenced by our group memberships. Some groups dist<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>guish sharply<br />

between who is <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> who is out. Members of the <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>-group may feel prejudiced aga<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>st those <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> out-groups. Extreme<br />

nati<strong>on</strong>alists, for example, may discrim<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ate aga<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>st or even harass immigrant communities. One way <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> which groups tend to<br />

shape <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dividual behavior is through a phenomen<strong>on</strong> known as <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>-group bias, <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> which we as members of an <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>-group<br />

automatically favor other members of our group (Brewer, 1979). This is <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> c<strong>on</strong>trast to out-group negativity <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> which we<br />

attribute automatically negative characteristics to those outside our group (Sherif et al., 1961). The same observed behavior<br />

might be judged quite differently depend<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <strong>on</strong> whether the other pers<strong>on</strong> bel<strong>on</strong>gs to our group.<br />

Interacti<strong>on</strong>s <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> communicati<strong>on</strong> am<strong>on</strong>g group members may also be <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>fluenced by <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dividuals’ roles with<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> groups. In some<br />

groups, roles may be formal <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> well-def<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ed, with a strict hierarchy <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> place. This is the case <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> many work<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g envir<strong>on</strong>ments.<br />

In such cases, how we communicate is determ<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ed by our place <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the hierarchy, with those at the top accorded a high measure<br />

of respect <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> be<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g addressed <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> deferential language. Different cultures may see group roles quite differently, even with<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

similar groups or organizati<strong>on</strong>s. In most university communities <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the US, for example, there is a fairly relaxed, relatively<br />

egalitarian relati<strong>on</strong>ship between students <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> professors, with the language used <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>formal <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> colloquial. In other countries,<br />

such as South Korea, the relati<strong>on</strong>ship is likely to be more hierarchical, with an accompany<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g shift <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the language to a much<br />

more formal register.<br />

An <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>creas<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>gly prevalent approach to address<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g the nature of social identity is the "communicati<strong>on</strong> theory of identity",<br />

developed orig<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ally by communicati<strong>on</strong> scholar Michael Hecht (1998). The theory provides a model for describ<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g how<br />

groups create an identity through communicati<strong>on</strong>. The idea is that identity is negotiated <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> particular c<strong>on</strong>texts, either between<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dividuals of the same identity groups or <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dividuals of different groups. In this view, social identities are c<strong>on</strong>structed <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

fluid. We express our identities through such th<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>gs as choice of language, n<strong>on</strong>verbals like cloth<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g or body language, or the<br />

degree to which we emphasize our group membership. Depend<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <strong>on</strong> the situati<strong>on</strong>, we may express our identity <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> different<br />

ways. The theory is helpful <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> break<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g down <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>to separate categories how our communicati<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> behavior as members of a<br />

group affects our sense of identity <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> particular c<strong>on</strong>texts. Identity comp<strong>on</strong>ents <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>clude the follow<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g:<br />

Scope (how many people hold the identity)<br />

Salience (how important the identity is to a pers<strong>on</strong> at a given po<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>t <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> time)<br />

Centrality (how important the identity is usually to a pers<strong>on</strong>’s self-esteem)<br />

Intensity (how vocal or expressive <strong>on</strong>e is about an identity)<br />

Changeability (some aspects of identities change <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> others do not)<br />

How this works <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> practice is dem<strong>on</strong>strated <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the example of women <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the Sahara (see the sidebar).<br />

Robert Godw<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>-J<strong>on</strong>es 7/5/2021 2.1.6 CC-BY-NC https://socialsci.libretexts.org/@go/page/42968


In additi<strong>on</strong>, the theory proposes that identities have both a c<strong>on</strong>tent comp<strong>on</strong>ent – norms of behavior associated with an identity<br />

– <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> a relati<strong>on</strong>ship comp<strong>on</strong>ent, i.e., how we feel about an identity. The c<strong>on</strong>tent may be acti<strong>on</strong>s, behaviors, or language<br />

expected or accepted <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> particular c<strong>on</strong>texts such as us<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g formal language when address<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g a superior. The relati<strong>on</strong>ship<br />

comp<strong>on</strong>ent (sometimes referred to as "regard") refers to different views <strong>on</strong> particular behaviors or attitudes associated with an<br />

identity, which may be seen differently depend<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <strong>on</strong> the <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dividual. Baldw<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> (2013) provides this example, "Two people<br />

might see themselves as 'geeks.' Both may agree what the identity means as far as characteristics (c<strong>on</strong>tent), but <strong>on</strong>e might<br />

embrace the identity (positive regard) <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> the other might dislike the identity (negative regard)". This approach treats identity<br />

as c<strong>on</strong>text-dependent <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> emergent, rather than static <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> fixed. This is <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> accord with views <strong>on</strong> identify formati<strong>on</strong> current <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

the social sciences generally <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> has been of particular <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>terest <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> applied l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>guistics <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> sec<strong>on</strong>d language acquisiti<strong>on</strong>. In this<br />

view, we negotiate our identities <strong>on</strong> the fly, through our use of language <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> other identity markers such as body language or<br />

dress. The dynamics of that k<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>d of identify asserti<strong>on</strong> are dependent <strong>on</strong> the envir<strong>on</strong>ment <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> <strong>on</strong> the background <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> behavior<br />

of those with whom we are communicat<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g.<br />

Women <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the Sahara<br />

If we th<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>k of the identity of gender <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the Sahara, we can state that:<br />

Scope: Sex has a much broader scope than, say, Jewish people<br />

Salience: A woman might be a professi<strong>on</strong>al, a student, a researcher, or a Muslim. In some c<strong>on</strong>texts, <strong>on</strong>e identity will<br />

be more relevant or <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the fr<strong>on</strong>t of her m<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>d than others.<br />

Centrality: Because of the emphasis <strong>on</strong> gender <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the Sahara, this identity is probably “salient” all or most of the time<br />

—thus, it has more centrality.<br />

Intensity: Women may express their identity either more or less vocally. By wear<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g a head-cover<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g, especially<br />

when such is opti<strong>on</strong>al, as it is <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> some countries, the women is express<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g identity more explicitly. She is “out” about<br />

her religious identity.<br />

Changeability: Clearly, as expressed <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the photo above, gender identity <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> parts of the Saharan regi<strong>on</strong> is chang<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g—<br />

but likely <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> other ways stay<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g the same.<br />

Baldw<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> (2013)<br />

Worldviews <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> Religi<strong>on</strong>s<br />

One of the groups many bel<strong>on</strong>g to is a religious community. The religi<strong>on</strong> to which we adhere may have a substantial impact <strong>on</strong><br />

how we communicate with others:<br />

Religious differences have tremendous implicati<strong>on</strong>s for <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tercultural communicati<strong>on</strong>.<br />

Religi<strong>on</strong> is a powerful force <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> mark<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g cultural differences, which can lead to both<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tercultural c<strong>on</strong>flict <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tercultural cooperati<strong>on</strong>. Even when not explicitly noted,<br />

religi<strong>on</strong> may <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>fluence our attitudes about right <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> wr<strong>on</strong>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> may <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>fluence our<br />

own behavior. (Nakayama & Mart<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>, 2002, p. 21).<br />

Robert Godw<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>-J<strong>on</strong>es 7/5/2021 2.1.7 CC-BY-NC https://socialsci.libretexts.org/@go/page/42968


Religious beliefs often play a central role <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> a pers<strong>on</strong>'s worldview, i.e., the set of values <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> beliefs about acceptable human<br />

behavior <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> about mank<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>d's relati<strong>on</strong>ship to a supreme be<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> to the natural world. In some cases, religi<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> worldview<br />

are tightly c<strong>on</strong>nected. This is the case <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> what are deemed "sacred cultures", where there is a religious doctr<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>e that plays a<br />

determ<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g><str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g role <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> expected pers<strong>on</strong>al behavior, fundamental values, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> appearance (Dodd, 1998). In some cultures, such as<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> Saudi Arabia, there may be a state religi<strong>on</strong> which exerts this k<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>d of c<strong>on</strong>troll<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>fluence. In other cases, the c<strong>on</strong>necti<strong>on</strong><br />

between religi<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> worldview is not as clear-cut, as <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the case of the Puritan <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>fluence <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the US (see sidebar). Secular<br />

societies, such as the US, draw a sharp dist<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>cti<strong>on</strong> between church <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> state. France has a l<strong>on</strong>g traditi<strong>on</strong> of "laïcité" (secularity)<br />

which has been the expressed reas<strong>on</strong> for c<strong>on</strong>troversial measures such as the bann<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g of women wear<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g veils or headscarves <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

public schools (Car<strong>on</strong>, 2007). On the other h<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g>, India, also a secular culture, has not banned religious symbols (Burchardt,<br />

Wohlrab-Sahr & Wegert, 2013).<br />

Pervasive Puritanism<br />

The <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>fluence of the Puritan settlers <strong>on</strong> US society can be seen <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the fact that US Americans have rather c<strong>on</strong>servative<br />

views about alcohol <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> nudity — someth<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g that many Europeans f<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>d rather prudish. This dem<strong>on</strong>strates the implicit<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>fluence of religi<strong>on</strong> <strong>on</strong> worldview <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> percepti<strong>on</strong> — people <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the United States who may not subscribe to Puritan or<br />

even Christian beliefs may still be <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>fluenced by that historical traditi<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> worldview.<br />

Nakayama & Mart<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>, 2002, p. 22<br />

Kluckhohn & Strodtbeck (1961) developed a set of "value orientati<strong>on</strong>s" to dist<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>guish worldviews. The values tax<strong>on</strong>omy<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dicates what <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>structi<strong>on</strong>s are implicitly provided by a culture as guidel<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>es for liv<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>teract<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g with others. They<br />

address the questi<strong>on</strong>s of man's place <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the cosmos, namely:<br />

Character of human nature (basically good – a mixture of good <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> evil – basically evil)<br />

Relati<strong>on</strong> of humans to nature (humans dom<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ate–harm<strong>on</strong>y of the two–nature dom<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ates)<br />

Time orientati<strong>on</strong> (future-oriented - present-oriented - past-oriented)<br />

Activity orientati<strong>on</strong> ("do<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g"/acti<strong>on</strong> – "grow<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g"/spiritual growth – "be<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g"/who you are)<br />

Relati<strong>on</strong>ships between people (<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dividual - group-oriented – collateral)<br />

If applied to ma<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>stream US culture, the human–nature orientati<strong>on</strong> is that mank<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>d is essentially good, with humans<br />

c<strong>on</strong>sidered to be rati<strong>on</strong>al be<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>gs who have c<strong>on</strong>trol of their own dest<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ies (the much vaunted but elusive US "equality of<br />

opportunity"). The mutable nature of human character <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the US view is dem<strong>on</strong>strated by the popularity of self-help groups,<br />

self-improvement sem<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ars, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> "life coaches". US culture sees mank<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>d as empowered to rule over nature, with faith <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

science to solve problems. In terms of activity orientati<strong>on</strong>, the US tends to value pragmatism <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> efficiency; that applies to<br />

time as well, which tends to be future-oriented. In their relati<strong>on</strong>ships with others, US Americans are seen as <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dividualistic,<br />

with few b<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>d<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g group memberships. They are more likely to be will<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g to relocate to entirely new regi<strong>on</strong>s for educati<strong>on</strong> or<br />

employment.<br />

India offers a dramatically different profile. In this life, humans must accept restra<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ts <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> limitati<strong>on</strong>s, but need to work<br />

towards enlightenment <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> perfecti<strong>on</strong>, but that may occur over successive lives. The human-nature relati<strong>on</strong>ship is seen quite<br />

differently, with an emphasis <strong>on</strong> harm<strong>on</strong>y, not c<strong>on</strong>trol, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> a c<strong>on</strong>cern for the "welfare of all th<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>gs" tak<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g precedence over<br />

human c<strong>on</strong>cerns (Roa & Thombre, 2015, p. 67). Spiritual growth is highly valued <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> that may occur over successive<br />

re<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>carnati<strong>on</strong>s, so that both the past <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> the future are important <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> are not seen as dist<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ctly different entities. From an Indian<br />

perspective, time is not l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ear but circular. Indians are "highly collectivistic <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> their local group, but are <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dividualistic <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

deal<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g with outsiders" (Rao & Thombre, 2015, p. 81). Starkly different regi<strong>on</strong>al characteristics <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> language <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> customs tend<br />

to lead Indians to feel most comfortable liv<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> their home regi<strong>on</strong>s, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> less likely than North Americans to accept mov<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g<br />

far from home for educati<strong>on</strong> or employment (Rao & Thombre, 2015).<br />

As is always the case with such generalizati<strong>on</strong>s, these value orientati<strong>on</strong>s need to be seen as just that — generalities which may<br />

be useful as default categories but do not hold for all members of a culture. In the case of the characteristics for US culture, for<br />

example, there are significant differences am<strong>on</strong>g different co-cultures, for <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>stance <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> Native Americans' view of the<br />

relati<strong>on</strong>ship to nature or <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the importance of family relati<strong>on</strong>s <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the African-American household. A similar variety of values<br />

orientati<strong>on</strong>s are evident <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> India, as <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> many other countries. There are shift<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g views <strong>on</strong> man's relati<strong>on</strong>ship to nature, which<br />

derive <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> part from global warm<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> other natural phenomena. In India, for example, the c<strong>on</strong>cept of dharma (loosely, the<br />

Robert Godw<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>-J<strong>on</strong>es 7/5/2021 2.1.8 CC-BY-NC https://socialsci.libretexts.org/@go/page/42968


ight way of liv<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g) leads to envir<strong>on</strong>mentalism be<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g built <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>to Indian culture, while envir<strong>on</strong>mental polluti<strong>on</strong> is viewed as an<br />

expressi<strong>on</strong> of karma (just retributi<strong>on</strong>; Roa & Thombre, 2015). There are likely generati<strong>on</strong>al differences too, for example, <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

time orientati<strong>on</strong>, with younger North Americans or Indians be<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g more present-oriented, with greater <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>terest <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> quality-of-life<br />

c<strong>on</strong>cerns. Look<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g at the value orientati<strong>on</strong>s of other cultures is likely to show similar results, that is, some comm<strong>on</strong> default<br />

values, with many discrepancies depend<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <strong>on</strong> group memberships.<br />

The forces of globalizati<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> mass immigrati<strong>on</strong> which have <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>creas<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>gly mixed cultures together have also brought together<br />

different worldviews <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> religi<strong>on</strong>s. This can lead to greater religious diversity. This phenomen<strong>on</strong> is seen by some as a<br />

weaken<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g or diluti<strong>on</strong> of religious beliefs. In resp<strong>on</strong>se, fundamentalist religious movements have arisen <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> different parts of the<br />

world, which strive to set boundaries <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> adhere to a perceived "pure" versi<strong>on</strong> of a religi<strong>on</strong>. Often, this is also a reacti<strong>on</strong><br />

aga<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>st particular social changes, such as equality between men <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> women or equal rights for LGBTQ communities<br />

(Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questi<strong>on</strong><str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g). Religi<strong>on</strong> is often deeply tied to people's cultural identity <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> a<br />

disregard or perceived disrespect for a pers<strong>on</strong>'s religious beliefs or rituals is seen as a pers<strong>on</strong>al attack. In such cases,<br />

communicati<strong>on</strong> may be shut down completely.<br />

<strong>Intercultural</strong> Communicati<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> Ideology<br />

When we talk about worldviews, another term that frequently comes <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>to play is ideology. Ideology is similar to worldview <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

that it references our c<strong>on</strong>cepti<strong>on</strong> of the order of the world <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> humans' role <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> society, but it places additi<strong>on</strong>al emphasis <strong>on</strong><br />

what <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> an ideal world human relati<strong>on</strong>ships <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> behavior should be. This often <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>volves political <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> socio-ec<strong>on</strong>omic<br />

c<strong>on</strong>siderati<strong>on</strong>s, with a central c<strong>on</strong>cern be<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g the <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dividual or groups who exercise power <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> c<strong>on</strong>trol. From that perspective,<br />

the questi<strong>on</strong> arises as to who c<strong>on</strong>trols culture – that is where do our values <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> mores come from. Italian theorist, Ant<strong>on</strong>io<br />

Gramsci (1971, orig<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ally 1935), uses the c<strong>on</strong>cept of cultural hegem<strong>on</strong>y to describe how those <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> power manipulate the value<br />

system of a society so as to co-op <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> c<strong>on</strong>trol beliefs <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> behaviors am<strong>on</strong>g the populati<strong>on</strong> at large. In this way, the rul<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g class<br />

worldview becomes the accepted cultural norm <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> establishes <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> justifies a social, political, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> ec<strong>on</strong>omic status quo.<br />

Adrian Holliday (2010) sees the c<strong>on</strong>cept of culture itself as a form of ideology. Under the guise of culture, we (especially <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

the West) tend to establish <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> perpetuate static images of particular groups. Edward Said (1978) has shown, for example, how<br />

the West exoticized images of people from the East, creat<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g a stereotype of "Orientals", which helped promote Western<br />

superiority <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> hence justify col<strong>on</strong>ialism <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> subjugati<strong>on</strong>. Holliday has shown that the terms of cultural differentiati<strong>on</strong> often<br />

used <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tercultural communicati<strong>on</strong> such as collectivism <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dividualism often <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> subtle ways denigrate particular cultures<br />

or peoples. For Holliday, the c<strong>on</strong>cept of culture, as usually understood, leads "easily <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> sometimes <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>nocently to the reducti<strong>on</strong><br />

of the foreign Other as culturally deficient" (Holliday, 2010, ix).<br />

Figure<br />

: Snake Charmer, example of image <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the West of "Orientals"<br />

<br />

If, <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> fact, as Holliday states, the world is governed by "unequal global politics <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> which ideology plays a major role" (2010,<br />

ix), that holds c<strong>on</strong>sequences for <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tercultural <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>teracti<strong>on</strong>s. It makes it important to recognize our own ideological framework,<br />

both as <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dividuals <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> groups. That <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>cludes a c<strong>on</strong>siderati<strong>on</strong> of how our gender, socioec<strong>on</strong>omic class, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> ethnic background<br />

affect our views of the world <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> of others. This critical self-awareness can enable us to view others <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> their cultural values<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> behaviors with a clearer appreciati<strong>on</strong> of how forces bey<strong>on</strong>d an <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dividual's c<strong>on</strong>trol c<strong>on</strong>tribute to identity formati<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

particular worldviews. Develop<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g a knowledge of the <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>teracti<strong>on</strong> between culture <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> political <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>stituti<strong>on</strong>s can help <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> f<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>d<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g<br />

avenues for change that are feasible, given societal c<strong>on</strong>stra<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ts. We may see <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>justices which, given our own backgrounds,<br />

Robert Godw<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>-J<strong>on</strong>es 7/5/2021 2.1.9 CC-BY-NC https://socialsci.libretexts.org/@go/page/42968


seem to be evidence of "backwards" beliefs or of a corrupt political culture. Rather than judge harshly an <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dividual engaged <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

what we see as negative behavior, it is better to underst<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> the c<strong>on</strong>stra<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ts at work. Individuals do not always have the freedom<br />

to change aspects of behavior that are c<strong>on</strong>trolled by <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>stituti<strong>on</strong>al forces. It is also the case, that as outsiders, we are not likely to<br />

have a full underst<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g><str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g of what may be a quite complex <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>terplay of factors which determ<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>e <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dividual behavior.<br />

Robert Godw<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>-J<strong>on</strong>es 7/5/2021 2.1.10 CC-BY-NC https://socialsci.libretexts.org/@go/page/42968


2.2: Judg<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> Treat<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g Others Fairly<br />

Categorizati<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> stereotyp<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g<br />

When we encounter some<strong>on</strong>e for the first time, we may not be aware of their cultural or social identities. If we do not have any<br />

prior knowledge, we tend to assign <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dividuals to categories based <strong>on</strong> appearance, age, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> the c<strong>on</strong>text <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> which the encounter<br />

takes place. This is normal human behavior, as we make sense of the world by putt<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g objects <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> people <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>to categories. We<br />

tend to categorize based <strong>on</strong> perceived similarities <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> differences. Obviously, our ability to make viable choices depends <strong>on</strong><br />

our own degree of experience <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> knowledge. The less knowledge we have, the more likely we are to fall back <strong>on</strong> general<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>formati<strong>on</strong> we may have acquired <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>formally from friends, family, or media reports. Our m<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>d tries to c<strong>on</strong>nect the dots <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

order to create a complete picture based <strong>on</strong> the <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>formati<strong>on</strong> it already has, which may be scant or faulty. This can provide a<br />

very limited, narrowly focused, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> potentially distorted impressi<strong>on</strong> of the other.<br />

Rely<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <strong>on</strong> faulty <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>formati<strong>on</strong> leads us to make generalizati<strong>on</strong>s that may be far removed from reality. We can overcome the<br />

distorti<strong>on</strong> of the "s<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>gle story", as Nigerian novelist Chimam<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g>a Adichie puts it, <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> a number of ways (Adichie, 2009). The<br />

most effective antidote is to ga<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> greater real knowledge of other cultures through direct c<strong>on</strong>tact. That can come from travel,<br />

study abroad, service learn<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g, <strong>on</strong>l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>e exchanges, or <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>formal means of mak<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g c<strong>on</strong>tact. Follow<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g news reports <strong>on</strong> what's<br />

happen<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g outside our immediate area can also be valuable, particularly if we seek out reliable, objective report<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g. What can<br />

be helpful <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> that regard is to try to f<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>d multiple sources of <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>formati<strong>on</strong>. Another way to ga<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>sight <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>to other cultures is<br />

through stories, told <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> novels, autobiographies, or movies. The more perspectives we have <strong>on</strong> a given culture, the less likely it<br />

is that we will extrapolate from a s<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>gle experience to make generalizati<strong>on</strong>s about an entire group.<br />

In additi<strong>on</strong> to seek<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g out opportunities for ga<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g><str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g knowledge about other cultures, what is also needed is to engage with<br />

others <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> a spirit of openness <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> curiosity. An unwill<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>gness to view others as <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dividuals whose real identity is yet to be<br />

discovered, means that we are assum<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g that every<strong>on</strong>e <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> that perceived category is the same, with identical characteristics<br />

shared by all. Stereotyp<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g can be positive or negative. There may be, for example, a percepti<strong>on</strong> that all members of a given<br />

community are smart <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> hard-work<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g, as is sometimes said of Asian-American students. Indian immigrants to the US are<br />

often seen <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> that light, as a "model m<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ority" (Lee, 2015). More comm<strong>on</strong> are negative stereotypes; <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the US race <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> gender<br />

groups are often stereotyped. In other cultures, stereotypes may be attached to those from certa<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> regi<strong>on</strong>s or who follow<br />

particular religi<strong>on</strong>s. Even positive stereotypes can be problematic, as they lead us to depers<strong>on</strong>alize people, treat<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g them as<br />

members of a group, rather than as unique <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dividuals. Stereotyp<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g can lead to communicati<strong>on</strong> breakdowns, if <strong>on</strong>es<br />

stereotyp<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g of a group is different from the view the group has of itself. We can dist<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>guish between ascribed identities <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

avowed identities. The ascribed identity is <strong>on</strong>e that we give to either people or groups. Ones avowed identity is the identity<br />

we claim as our own. Effective communicati<strong>on</strong> occurs when there is a match between the identity we ascribe to others <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> the<br />

identity they avow. Otherwise misunderst<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g><str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> c<strong>on</strong>flict can arise.<br />

Stereotyp<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> turn can lead to ethnocentric attitudes. Ethnocentrism is the tendency to place our own group above all others,<br />

while see<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g out-groups negatively. Ethnocentrism can have positive effects, namely c<strong>on</strong>tribut<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g toward solidarity <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

cooperati<strong>on</strong> with<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> a community <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> help<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g to build pride <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> patriotism. On the other h<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g>, ethnocentrism can lead to<br />

prejudice <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> discrim<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ati<strong>on</strong>. In the most extreme cases, it can result <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> racism, which claims a biologically-based superiority<br />

for the <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>-group. While ethnocentrism is a universal <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>nate human behavior, racism is social <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> learned. We are more<br />

likely to see racism <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> difficult ec<strong>on</strong>omic times, when out-groups such as immigrants become scapegoats. Modern science has<br />

shown that there is no biological basis for racial categories, as the genetic make-up am<strong>on</strong>g humans differs very little (Smedley<br />

& Smedley, 2005).<br />

Robert Godw<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>-J<strong>on</strong>es 6/16/2021 2.2.1 CC-BY-NC https://socialsci.libretexts.org/@go/page/42969


Figure<br />

: Protest aga<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>st racism <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the UK<br />

Related to racism is xenophobia, the fear of strangers. Some scholars say that xenophobia is universal <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> biological. Others<br />

po<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>t to the fact that xenophobia is often racialized – it can be a fear of <strong>on</strong>ly those strangers with a particular racial profile. In<br />

German-speak<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g countries, the German equivalent of xenophobia, Ausländerfe<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dlichkeit, is used to the exclusi<strong>on</strong> of the term<br />

racism (Rassismus). That is likely tied to the Nazi-era appropriati<strong>on</strong> of the latter term. Teun van Dijk's research <strong>on</strong> racism <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

Europe po<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ts to the fact that although Europeans do admit there is xenophobia <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> their countries, they see it as a general<br />

reacti<strong>on</strong> aga<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>st foreigners (1987). In practice the xenophobia mostly arises for selected foreigners, namely those with different<br />

sk<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> color <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> religi<strong>on</strong>s. The relati<strong>on</strong>s am<strong>on</strong>g different groups that give rise to prejudice <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> animosity often have historical<br />

causes. The <strong>on</strong>go<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g c<strong>on</strong>flicts <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the Middle East, for example, have roots <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> tribalism <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> col<strong>on</strong>ialism (see sidebar).<br />

Tribalism <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the Middle East<br />

<br />

The same north Arabian Bedou<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> tribes that accepted Islam <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> spread it by the sword also <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>fused the regi<strong>on</strong> with a<br />

deeply tribal culture, impact<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g everyth<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g from family relati<strong>on</strong>s to governance <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> c<strong>on</strong>flict. Tribal affiliati<strong>on</strong> is based <strong>on</strong><br />

descent from a comm<strong>on</strong> male ancestor; all descendants are deemed to share comm<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>terests <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> to have obligati<strong>on</strong>s of<br />

solidarity with <strong>on</strong>e another. Descendants of other ancestors are deemed to have different <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>terests <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> are seen to be<br />

opp<strong>on</strong>ents, sometimes enemies. The ma<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> pr<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ciple of tribal life is absolute loyalty to <strong>on</strong>e's l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>eage group vis à vis other<br />

groups of the same order <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> scope: clan vs. clan, tribe vs. tribe, c<strong>on</strong>federati<strong>on</strong> vs. c<strong>on</strong>federati<strong>on</strong>, sect vs. sect, Muslim vs.<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>fidels...Oppositi<strong>on</strong>, rivalry, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> c<strong>on</strong>flict are thus seen to be <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the nature of social life. Success, power, wealth, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g>,<br />

above all, h<strong>on</strong>our derives from triumph<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g over oppositi<strong>on</strong> groups. Failure to triumph means the loss of power, wealth,<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g>, above all, h<strong>on</strong>our.The pervasive <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> c<strong>on</strong>t<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>uous c<strong>on</strong>flict <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the Middle East–between clans, tribes, sects, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

religi<strong>on</strong>s–is a manifestati<strong>on</strong> of this culture.<br />

Salzman, 2016<br />

Address<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g prejudice <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tolerance<br />

Prejudice "<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>volves mak<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g a prejudgment based <strong>on</strong> membership <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> a social category. While prejudice can be positive or<br />

negative, there is a tendency for most of us to th<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>k of it as negative" (Gudykunst, 2004, p. 134). We can be prejudiced <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> favor<br />

of a group or aga<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>st. Prejudice is tied to group identificati<strong>on</strong>. We all tend to th<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>k of ourselves <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> terms of our group<br />

memberships, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> it is natural to judge our own groups positively. The fact that prejudice is comm<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>born is of course<br />

an explanati<strong>on</strong> but not a justificati<strong>on</strong>. Prejudice can lead to <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tolerance, an active unwill<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>gness to accept views or behavior<br />

different from <strong>on</strong>e's own. Prejudice can take different forms. There is <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dividual prejudice but also <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>stituti<strong>on</strong>al prejudice, i.e.<br />

prejudice embedded <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> social policies or <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>stituti<strong>on</strong>s. Today <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the US we see less "overt prejudice", namely <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dividuals<br />

express<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g publically str<strong>on</strong>g op<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>i<strong>on</strong>s aga<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>st particular groups, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> more "subtle prejudice", hidden <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> symbolic language, as<br />

when talk<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g about gangs or welfare to really make racial comments. Hid<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g racism beh<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>d symbols or political attitudes is<br />

known as symbolic racism (Sears, 1988). Racism may be reflected <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the language used by those <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> power, as <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the<br />

Robert Godw<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>-J<strong>on</strong>es 6/16/2021 2.2.2 CC-BY-NC https://socialsci.libretexts.org/@go/page/42969


epressi<strong>on</strong> of <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>digenous languages by col<strong>on</strong>ial powers, for example, Arabic be<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g suppressed <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> favor of French <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> Leban<strong>on</strong><br />

or <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> North Africa.<br />

In recent years, there has also been attenti<strong>on</strong> paid to behaviors which may be un<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tended examples of prejudicial treatment,<br />

sometimes labeled micro-aggressi<strong>on</strong>s (Sue, 2010). Examples <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the US c<strong>on</strong>text might <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>clude such questi<strong>on</strong>s as "Where are<br />

you from or where were you born?” or “You speak English very well.” Yet, <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> different cultural c<strong>on</strong>texts, a questi<strong>on</strong> as to the<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>terlocutor's orig<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>s or aff<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ities may be seen as normal <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>offensive. In a community-oriented culture, such as that of<br />

India, such questi<strong>on</strong>s may <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dicate rapport build<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g or a search for comm<strong>on</strong> ground <strong>on</strong> which to base future communicati<strong>on</strong><br />

(Malik, 2017). The appropriateness of orig<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>s questi<strong>on</strong>s depends <strong>on</strong> c<strong>on</strong>text <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dividuals. It may be evident through<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>t<strong>on</strong>ati<strong>on</strong> or body language that the questi<strong>on</strong> is well-<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tenti<strong>on</strong>ed <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> is be<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g asked <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> a spirit of openness, curiosity, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> good<br />

will.<br />

Where are you from? Sometimes not easy to answer<br />

“Where are you from?” As some<strong>on</strong>e who was born <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> grew up <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> Ch<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>a, who has spent the last 15 years work<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

British higher educati<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> lived <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> Newcastle <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> L<strong>on</strong>d<strong>on</strong>, I often found it difficult to answer the above questi<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

small talk. I can never get it right. If I say that I’m from L<strong>on</strong>d<strong>on</strong>, I can guarantee that the next questi<strong>on</strong> would be ‘But<br />

where are you really from?’. People expect to hear that I am from Ch<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>a or somewhere <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> Asia. But I feel that I am<br />

mislead<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g them if I just give them what they want to hear. I am Ch<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ese, but that is not all. I am a Ch<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ese liv<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

L<strong>on</strong>d<strong>on</strong>, a professor <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> a British university <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> have two children of school age who were born <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> grew up <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> Engl<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g>.<br />

Zhu, 2014<br />

Racism can be seen as an <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dividual trait or as <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>stituti<strong>on</strong>al <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> societal. How we frame the issue can be important <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> f<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>d<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g<br />

ways to address it. If racism is seen as <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dividual, that tends to absolve the <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dividual from pers<strong>on</strong>al resp<strong>on</strong>sibility <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> do<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g<br />

anyth<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g about it, such as encourag<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g societal changes (reallocati<strong>on</strong> of resources, chang<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g laws). If racism is seen <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> social<br />

terms, that makes society as a whole resp<strong>on</strong>sible, <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>clud<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g ourselves. Many of the efforts used to address prejudice <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tolerance <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>volve educati<strong>on</strong>, that is, <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>creas<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tercultural awareness or sensitiz<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dividuals to difference. However,<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tolerance is complex, <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>volv<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g not <strong>on</strong>ly a cognitive side, but also affective (emoti<strong>on</strong>al), behavioral, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> structural/political<br />

comp<strong>on</strong>ents. One approach for address<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tolerance is c<strong>on</strong>tact theory, orig<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ally the "c<strong>on</strong>tact hypothesis," as developed by<br />

US psychologist Gord<strong>on</strong> Allport (1979). Allport suggested that direct c<strong>on</strong>tact between members of different groups – under<br />

certa<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> c<strong>on</strong>diti<strong>on</strong>s – could lead to reduc<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g prejudice <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> c<strong>on</strong>flict. The c<strong>on</strong>diti<strong>on</strong>s for success he laid out, are that 1) there be<br />

equal status between the groups, 2) both groups have comm<strong>on</strong> goals for the encounter, 3) both groups focus <strong>on</strong> cooperati<strong>on</strong><br />

rather than competiti<strong>on</strong>, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> f<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ally 4) the process be supported by an authority of some k<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>d, such as a government agency.<br />

This approach has been used effectively <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> such c<strong>on</strong>flicts as the relati<strong>on</strong>ship between Catholics <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> Protestants <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> Northern<br />

Irel<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the rec<strong>on</strong>ciliati<strong>on</strong> talks between whites <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> blacks <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> post-apartheid South Africa. It is the underly<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g<br />

assumpti<strong>on</strong> for the benefits derived from school exchanges.<br />

Research by Allport <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> others has shown that br<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g groups together <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>to c<strong>on</strong>tact with <strong>on</strong>e another does not <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> itself provide<br />

a guarantee of improved attitudes or enlightened views vis-à-vis the other group. Allport’s c<strong>on</strong>tact theory shows that the<br />

c<strong>on</strong>text <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> c<strong>on</strong>diti<strong>on</strong>s of the encounter will shape success or failure. Even encounters when c<strong>on</strong>ducted under ideal <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

carefully supervised c<strong>on</strong>diti<strong>on</strong>s may still have mixed results. That might <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>clude benefits for some students <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> adverse<br />

reacti<strong>on</strong>s from others, <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>clud<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g reacti<strong>on</strong>s border<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <strong>on</strong> culture shock. A story <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the public radio show This American Life<br />

reports <strong>on</strong> just such an experience, <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> which students from an <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ner-city New York City school, with predom<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>antly Hispanic<br />

students from low-<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>come families, visit an elite private school located nearby (see sidebar).<br />

Three miles away <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> worlds apart<br />

There’s a program that br<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>gs together kids from two schools. One school is public <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the country’s poorest<br />

c<strong>on</strong>gressi<strong>on</strong>al district. The other is private <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> costs $43,000/year...These two schools were three miles from each other,<br />

but the students basically needed a foreign exchange program to meet each other...Lisa, the public school teacher, says the<br />

moment her kids got off the bus at Fieldst<strong>on</strong>, the private school, they had a dramatic reacti<strong>on</strong> to what they saw: "They<br />

couldn't believe the campus. They felt like every<strong>on</strong>e was look<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g at them. And <strong>on</strong>e of the students started scream<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

cry<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g. Like, this is unfair. This is-- I d<strong>on</strong>'t want to be here. I'm leav<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g. I'm leav<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g right now. I'm go<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g home."<br />

Robert Godw<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>-J<strong>on</strong>es 6/16/2021 2.2.3 CC-BY-NC https://socialsci.libretexts.org/@go/page/42969


Melanie [the upset student]: "I know I looked at it <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> I said, well, I know that we're <strong>on</strong>ly be<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g taught to flip burgers <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

Burger K<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g or McD<strong>on</strong>ald's or to hold doors for students like them that will probably live <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> those build<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>gs <strong>on</strong> Madis<strong>on</strong><br />

Avenue. And we'll be wear<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g the uniform servic<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g these people."<br />

So that's what she found so upsett<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g. It seemed that the people around her must believe that this was the natural order of<br />

th<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>gs. Melanie knew there was no <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>nate difference between her <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> a kid born <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>to wealth. She could see that this<br />

divisi<strong>on</strong> we're all so <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ured to was not a reflecti<strong>on</strong> of her <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ferior worth or ability..<br />

Glass, 2015<br />

One of the ways that as <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dividuals we can c<strong>on</strong>tribute to underst<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g><str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> tolerance towards other cultures is to engage <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

critical reflectivity, (Prayer, 1993), a practice often used <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> educati<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> workplace sett<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>gs. The idea is to leverage the<br />

knowledge of <strong>on</strong>e's own value system to build a secure sense of identity, enabl<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g greater will<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>gness to accept others. The<br />

first step is to exam<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>e the norms <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> behaviors ris<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g from her own racial/ethnic background, gender, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> socio-ec<strong>on</strong>omic<br />

status:<br />

The process highlights areas <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> which assumpti<strong>on</strong>s <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>teracti<strong>on</strong>s between <strong>on</strong>eself <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> others result <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> behaviors that<br />

perpetuate the marg<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>alizati<strong>on</strong> of people who have been oppressed. This process reveals how power <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> privilege are<br />

understood or misunderstood, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> how assumpti<strong>on</strong>s make a difference <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> determ<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g><str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g whether <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>teracti<strong>on</strong>s are productive,<br />

hurtful, or destructive (Sisneros, Stakeman, Joyner & Schmitz, 2008, p. 24).<br />

A self-narrative <strong>on</strong> whiteness<br />

The most <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>fluential, factor <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> my lack of process for self-exam<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ati<strong>on</strong> regard<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g my whiteness was what I now call the<br />

“luxury of whiteness.” Because I have never been subject to discrim<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ati<strong>on</strong> <strong>on</strong> the basis of my race, I have the luxury of<br />

be<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g able to easily disengage or distance myself from a discussi<strong>on</strong> <strong>on</strong> race or racism. The logic of luxury was clear –<br />

because I had no race, I did not have to do the self-exam<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g><str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g work <strong>on</strong> my racial identity. That is the ultimate luxury of<br />

whiteness: the ability to see myself as neutral <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> thus excuse myself from any resp<strong>on</strong>sibility for address<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g racial issues<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> educati<strong>on</strong>, society <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> general, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> most importantly, myself.<br />

Gorski, 2000<br />

Develop<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g a str<strong>on</strong>g sense of self allows us to approach others with more underst<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g><str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> empathy. This is especially<br />

important for those with a privileged status <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> a society.<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>Language</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> Identity<br />

One of the ways we can have more underst<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g><str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> appreciati<strong>on</strong> of those with different cultures is to learn their language.<br />

This provides a view "from <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>side" that is difficult to achieve without knowledge of the language. In recent years, there has<br />

been substantial scholarly work <strong>on</strong> the relati<strong>on</strong>ship between language – especially sec<strong>on</strong>d language or L2 – <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> identity. The<br />

comm<strong>on</strong> percepti<strong>on</strong> is that be<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g proficient <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> another language can add a new pers<strong>on</strong>al identity which <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>herits traits from the<br />

culture <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> which the language is spoken. We may acquire, al<strong>on</strong>g with l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>guistic skills, n<strong>on</strong>verbal behaviors (i.e. learn<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g how to<br />

bow <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> learn<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g Japanese), cultural preferences <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> areas such as food or music, as well as a fundamental worldview shared by<br />

native speakers of the language. However, we should be aware of the complex relati<strong>on</strong>ship between language <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> culture,<br />

which is not the same for all languages. Learn<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g English, for example, a language which encompasses many different<br />

cultures, is quite different culturally from learn<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g Japanese, closely associated with just <strong>on</strong>e country.<br />

Modern theories of language <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> identity have moved away from the focus <strong>on</strong> the <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dividual psychological effect of sec<strong>on</strong>d<br />

language acquisiti<strong>on</strong> to a greater c<strong>on</strong>cern with sociological <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> cultural dimensi<strong>on</strong>s. C<strong>on</strong>temporary scholars study how<br />

language learners c<strong>on</strong>struct identity depend<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <strong>on</strong> the time <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> place <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> which they are us<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g the L2. David Block, <strong>on</strong>e of the<br />

lead<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g scholars <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the area of language <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> identity, po<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ts out that issues of self-identity arise often when <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dividuals move<br />

across socio-cultural <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> language borders. In this sense, says Block, identity can be seen as "c<strong>on</strong>tested <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> nature as the new<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> varied <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>put provided to the <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dividual serves to disturb taken-for-granted po<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ts of reference" (Block, 2007, p. 20). Block<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> Camer<strong>on</strong> (2002) used the term "critical experience" to refer to such periods <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> <strong>on</strong>e's life:<br />

Robert Godw<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>-J<strong>on</strong>es 6/16/2021 2.2.4 CC-BY-NC https://socialsci.libretexts.org/@go/page/42969


By critical experiences, I mean periods of time dur<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g which prol<strong>on</strong>ged c<strong>on</strong>tact with<br />

an L2 <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> a new <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> different cultural sett<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g causes irreversible destabilizati<strong>on</strong> of<br />

the <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dividual sense of self. There is, <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> a sense, an element of before <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> after <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

critical experiences as the <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dividual's socio-historical, cultural <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>guistic<br />

envir<strong>on</strong>ment, <strong>on</strong>ce well def<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ed <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> delimited, becomes relatively ill-def<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ed <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

open-ended (Block & Camer<strong>on</strong>, 2002, p. 4).<br />

In such cases, argues Block, it's not a questi<strong>on</strong> of discard<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <strong>on</strong>e's identity <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> substitut<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g someth<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g new. Rather the result is<br />

what has come to be known as "hybrid" or "third place" identities. This hybrid identity creates a subject positi<strong>on</strong> that provides<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>sights <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>to different l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>guistic <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> cultural worlds. However, it can also lead to feel<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>gs of uncerta<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ty <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> ambivalence, <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

particular for migrants, who strive to keep aspects of their home culture while learn<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g a new language <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> adapt<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g to a new<br />

way of life. In order to c<strong>on</strong>struct a coherent life narrative, we seek to resolve <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ternal c<strong>on</strong>flict <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> assuage feel<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>gs of<br />

ambivalence. In that sense, there is a recogniti<strong>on</strong> that as <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dividuals we can make choices <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> terms of self-identity (see<br />

sidebar). We tend to take <strong>on</strong> different available identities depend<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <strong>on</strong> need <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> c<strong>on</strong>text. Block po<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ts out, however, that <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

c<strong>on</strong>trast to the open choice of products <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> a supermarket, we are c<strong>on</strong>stra<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ed <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> our choice of identity by factors such as social<br />

hierarchies, educati<strong>on</strong>al systems, or government policies. The language choices we make are <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>fluenced by a variety of factors.<br />

Socio-ec<strong>on</strong>omic <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> historical c<strong>on</strong>texts may play significant roles. In formally col<strong>on</strong>ized nati<strong>on</strong>s, the language of the col<strong>on</strong>izer<br />

acquired a hegem<strong>on</strong>y over the local languages, which c<strong>on</strong>t<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ued even after the col<strong>on</strong>izer had left. This <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> turn left a significant<br />

impact <strong>on</strong> the identity that the speakers of the language of the col<strong>on</strong>izer assumed or were attributed. The speakers of the<br />

language of the col<strong>on</strong>izer were c<strong>on</strong>sidered to be socially superior or higher up <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> society than speakers of the local language.<br />

Shopp<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g for identities at the "cultural supermarket"<br />

The cultural anthropologist, Gord<strong>on</strong> Matthews, argues that identities are not entities <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>to which <strong>on</strong>e is "raised"; rather, <strong>on</strong>e<br />

"assumes" an identity <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> then works <strong>on</strong> it. Identity is thus seen to develop <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> what Matthews calls the cultural<br />

supermarket: just as the modern supermarket offers foods from all over the world, <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> all shapes <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> sizes, so the<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ternati<strong>on</strong>al media <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> advanced technology together make available to <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dividuals around the world a range of identities<br />

to be assumed.<br />

Block, 2007, pp. 21-22<br />

The dynamics of identity formati<strong>on</strong> has led to an <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>terest with<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> applied l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>guistics <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> what is called the imag<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ed community<br />

that language learners may aspire to jo<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> when they learn a new language (see Anders<strong>on</strong>, 1991). The imag<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ed community<br />

may be a rec<strong>on</strong>structi<strong>on</strong> of a past culture or a c<strong>on</strong>struct of the imag<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ati<strong>on</strong>, a desired community that offers a range of possible<br />

identities for the future. Often language learners are motivated by such imag<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ed futures <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> may develop extensive ficti<strong>on</strong>al<br />

pers<strong>on</strong>ae around these possible future selves: "An imag<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ed community presupposes an imag<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ed identity—<strong>on</strong>e that offers an<br />

enhanced range of possibilities for the future" (Pavlenko & Nort<strong>on</strong>, 2007, p. 598). Learners of French might envisi<strong>on</strong> a future<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> which they live <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> Paris <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> are fluent enough <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> French to c<strong>on</strong>verse <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> cafés <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> to read French poetry <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the orig<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>al. The<br />

"imag<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ed self" available through a sec<strong>on</strong>d language might <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>volve pers<strong>on</strong>al growth (Dörnyei, 2009). Pavlenko & Nort<strong>on</strong><br />

(2007) cite research that has shown that "many young Japanese women c<strong>on</strong>sider English to be <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tr<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>sically l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ked to fem<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ism<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> thus are motivated to learn it as a language of empowerment" (p. 597). In fact, <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> many parts of the world English has<br />

become the language which represents opportunities for pers<strong>on</strong>al growth <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> professi<strong>on</strong>al advancement (see L<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> & Byram,<br />

2016). At the same time, English may be seen as an <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>strument of col<strong>on</strong>ialism <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> imperialism <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> as a repressive force <strong>on</strong> the<br />

development of <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>digenous cultures. The ambiguous attitude towards the social role of English is particularly evident <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> former<br />

col<strong>on</strong>ial countries <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> Africa (see Miller, 1996).<br />

Another <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tersecti<strong>on</strong> of language, place, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> identity is represented <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the c<strong>on</strong>cept of l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>guistic l<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g>scapes, the often<br />

multil<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>gual urban signage now encountered <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> cities throughout the world (see Shohamy & Gorter, 2008). An analysis of<br />

signs <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> particular neighborhoods can reveal the dynamics of different language <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> ethnic communities. Exam<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g><str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g the<br />

changes over time, as Dutch scholar Jan Blommaert has d<strong>on</strong>e for his neighborhood <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> Amsterdam, can show not <strong>on</strong>ly how<br />

neighborhoods change but also how they identify themselves l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>guistically (2013). This <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>terest <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> signs is a branch of<br />

semiotics, the science of signs <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> their significance. Increas<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>gly l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>guists are look<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g bey<strong>on</strong>d traditi<strong>on</strong>al uses of language to<br />

Robert Godw<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>-J<strong>on</strong>es 6/16/2021 2.2.5 CC-BY-NC https://socialsci.libretexts.org/@go/page/42969


"multimodal" underst<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g><str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g of how communicati<strong>on</strong> takes place <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> how identities are created through language use <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> c<strong>on</strong>text<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> comb<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ati<strong>on</strong> with other modes of communicati<strong>on</strong>.<br />

Figure<br />

: Ch<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ese sign <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> "Ch<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>glish" translati<strong>on</strong><br />

<br />

Food <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>Culture</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>Language</str<strong>on</strong>g> offers an avenue for <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>volvement <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> another culture. There are many other opportunities we have to ga<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>sight <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>to<br />

other cultures through observati<strong>on</strong> or participati<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> cultural activities, artifacts, or practices comm<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> these cultures. We<br />

might ga<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>terest <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> learn<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g more about Brazilian or Portuguese cultures, for example, by be<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g fans of famous soccer<br />

(football) players such as Pele or R<strong>on</strong>aldo. We might be led to want to learn Korean if we are immersed <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the world of<br />

competitive video gam<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g. Listen<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g to music from countries with rich musical traditi<strong>on</strong>s such as Mali or Argent<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>a might be<br />

the path through which we become curious about other aspects of culture <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> those countries.<br />

One of the th<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>gs all cultures have <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> comm<strong>on</strong> is food. Eat<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g has an important social functi<strong>on</strong>: "Food, like language, exists as<br />

a vehicle for express<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g culture. It has the power of be<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g both a biological necessity as well as a deeply symbolic cultural<br />

artifact, <strong>on</strong>e that c<strong>on</strong>nects us to <strong>on</strong>e another <strong>on</strong> several levels...Food is a mechanism for express<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g identity that also has a<br />

social purpose" (Food & Identity, 2014). Our food choices are tied to our pers<strong>on</strong>al identities <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> our life trajectories: "The food<br />

choices made by people, either as <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dividuals or as a group, can reveal views, passi<strong>on</strong>s, background knowledge, assumpti<strong>on</strong>s<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> pers<strong>on</strong>alities. Food choices tell stories of families, migrati<strong>on</strong>s, assimilati<strong>on</strong>, resistance, changes over times, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> pers<strong>on</strong>al as<br />

well as group identity. "(Almerico, 2014). Food studies is an emerg<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>terdiscipl<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ary field of study which exam<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>es the<br />

relati<strong>on</strong>ship am<strong>on</strong>g food, culture, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> society from a variety of discipl<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ary perspectives (Hauck-Laws<strong>on</strong>, 2004).<br />

Comm<strong>on</strong> cul<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ary traditi<strong>on</strong>s can be an essential comp<strong>on</strong>ent of nati<strong>on</strong>al or regi<strong>on</strong>al cultures. Familiar meals or dishes that <strong>on</strong>e<br />

cannot f<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>d when abroad can be a major c<strong>on</strong>tributor to homesickness. On the other h<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g>, adapt<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g to the eat<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g habits <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> food<br />

choices of the host country can also be stressful. Individuals vary of course <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> some people are more accept<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

adventurous than others <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> try<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g new dishes. The extent to which food represents someth<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g more than necessary human<br />

sustenance varies am<strong>on</strong>g cultures. In the rest of the world, US eat<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g habits are seen as centered <strong>on</strong> fast food, such as<br />

hamburgers at McD<strong>on</strong>ald's. In fact, home cook<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the US is varied <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> regi<strong>on</strong>al specialties abound, such as North Carol<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>a<br />

barbecue, Ma<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>e lobster, or New Engl<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> clam chowder. Well-known is the regi<strong>on</strong>al richness of cul<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ary traditi<strong>on</strong>s <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

countries such as Ch<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>a, India, France, or Italy. In some cultures, cul<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ary practices are so highly valued, that they even make<br />

their way <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>to <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>stituti<strong>on</strong>al sett<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>gs such as school cafeterias. School lunches, for example, tend to be rather simple <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> basic.<br />

In France, school lunches are different: "The variety <strong>on</strong> the menus is ast<strong>on</strong>ish<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g: no s<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>gle meal is repeated over the 32 school<br />

days <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the period, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> every meal <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>cludes an hors d’oeuvre, salad, ma<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> course, cheese plate <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> dessert." (Walt, 2010). In<br />

France, as <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> other cultures, meals have a particular structure al<strong>on</strong>g with must-have comp<strong>on</strong>ents. In additi<strong>on</strong>, there may be<br />

certa<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> ritualistic behaviors expected. In Japanese tea cerem<strong>on</strong>ies, for example, there are expected acti<strong>on</strong>s for both host <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

guests.<br />

Robert Godw<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>-J<strong>on</strong>es 6/16/2021 2.2.6 CC-BY-NC https://socialsci.libretexts.org/@go/page/42969


Figure<br />

: McD<strong>on</strong>alds, a frequent st<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g>-<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> for US culture <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> food<br />

In many parts of the world modern transportati<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> distributi<strong>on</strong> have significantly changed the availability of foods. It used<br />

to be that fresh foods had limited distributi<strong>on</strong>, restricted to particular times of the year or regi<strong>on</strong>s. It is not the case, however,<br />

that all have sufficient access to food even <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> prosperous countries. In the US <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> the UK, for example, "food deserts" exist <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

ec<strong>on</strong>omically disadvantaged urban communities (<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> sometimes <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> isolated rural areas as well), where there is <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>sufficient<br />

access to affordable <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> nutritious food sources (Walker, Keane & Burke, 2010). This tends to be <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> m<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ority or immigrant<br />

communities <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> often leads to health <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> l<strong>on</strong>gevity issues, as <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>habitants resort to unhealthy c<strong>on</strong>venience foods or fast food<br />

meals. The TED talk by Mari Gallagher discusses the situati<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the c<strong>on</strong>text of discrim<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ati<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> social justice. The nutriti<strong>on</strong><br />

situati<strong>on</strong> can be even more severe <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> areas of the world where drought or civil strife have led to significant <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>creases <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

malnutriti<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> fam<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>e.<br />

<br />

In many cultures, there are hybrid food dishes that are popular, created out of domestic remix<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g of a foreign dish or cul<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ary<br />

traditi<strong>on</strong>s. In the US <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> India, for example, "Ch<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ese" food is very popular, but differs markedly from what is found <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> Ch<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>a.<br />

The TED talk by Jennifer Lee, the Hunt for General Tso, recounts how Ch<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ese food made its way <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>to the US <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> how<br />

American <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>venti<strong>on</strong>s such as General Tso's chicken or fortune cookies are seen <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the US as qu<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tessentially Ch<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ese. Another<br />

example is the popularity of Indian food <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the UK. Then UK foreign m<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ister Rob<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> Cook extolled <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> a speech the<br />

multicultural significance of the Brit<strong>on</strong>s' f<strong>on</strong>dness for chicken tikka massala (see sidebar). In Germany, the orig<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ally Turkish<br />

dish d<strong>on</strong>er kebab has become <strong>on</strong>e of the most popular street foods. Food can represent the k<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>d of successful merg<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g of<br />

cultures <strong>on</strong>e hopes develop <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> communities as well.<br />

"Chicken Tikka Massala is now a true British nati<strong>on</strong>al dish"<br />

It isn't just our ec<strong>on</strong>omy that has been enriched by the arrival of new communities. Our lifestyles <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> cultural horiz<strong>on</strong>s<br />

have also been broadened <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the process. This po<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>t is perhaps more readily understood by young Brit<strong>on</strong>s, who are more<br />

open to new <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>fluences <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> more likely to have been educated <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> a multi-ethnic envir<strong>on</strong>ment. But it reaches <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>to every<br />

aspect of our nati<strong>on</strong>al life. Chicken Tikka Massala is now a true British nati<strong>on</strong>al dish, not <strong>on</strong>ly because it is the most<br />

popular, but because it is a perfect illustrati<strong>on</strong> of the way Brita<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> absorbs <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> adapts external <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>fluences. Chicken Tikka is<br />

an Indian dish. The Massala sauce was added to satisfy the desire of British people to have their meat served <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> gravy.<br />

Com<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g to terms with multiculturalism as a positive force for our ec<strong>on</strong>omy <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> society will have significant implicati<strong>on</strong>s<br />

for our underst<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g><str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g of Britishness.<br />

Muir (2013).<br />

Robert Godw<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>-J<strong>on</strong>es 6/16/2021 2.2.7 CC-BY-NC https://socialsci.libretexts.org/@go/page/42969


2.3: Technically Speak<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g - Onl<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>e identities<br />

One of the pr<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>cipal factors mak<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g pers<strong>on</strong>al identities complex today is the participati<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> <strong>on</strong>l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>e communities. For many<br />

people <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> developed ec<strong>on</strong>omies, this is likely to be of substantial importance <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> their lives, with extensive time spent <strong>on</strong>l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>e,<br />

us<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g computers or mobile devices, communicat<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g with others. The mode of communicati<strong>on</strong> depends <strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dividual<br />

preferences but also <strong>on</strong> the device used, the purpose of the message, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> its length. Our group memberships <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> group roles<br />

will be determ<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g><str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g factors as well. It is quite likely that an <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dividual will bel<strong>on</strong>g to multiple real-life (RL) groups, each of<br />

which may be represented <strong>on</strong>l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>e through a particular service, website, or communicati<strong>on</strong> tool. For example, a university<br />

student may use teleph<strong>on</strong>e calls <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> email with her parents, text messag<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> Facebook with her friends, text messag<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

university-supplied services with classmates, email with professors, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> letters to her gr<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g>parents. That last communicati<strong>on</strong><br />

opti<strong>on</strong> may be questi<strong>on</strong>able, as electr<strong>on</strong>ic communicati<strong>on</strong> becomes ubiquitous regardless of age.<br />

With each of these relati<strong>on</strong>ships, the student is likely to use different communicati<strong>on</strong> tools or services, but also somewhat<br />

different language <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> terms of t<strong>on</strong>e, grammar <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> vocabulary, be<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g more <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>formal <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> playful with friends, family, or<br />

classmates, while us<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g more formal language with professors. The ability <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> appropriateness of mix<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g languages <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>formally<br />

also vary with the c<strong>on</strong>text <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dividual. It is comm<strong>on</strong> today, to see code-switch<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>formal exchanges am<strong>on</strong>g friends. In<br />

India, it is comm<strong>on</strong> practice to use English script to c<strong>on</strong>verse <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the local language <strong>on</strong>l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>e, as is us<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g hybrid languages, e.g.<br />

Kiddi sohni w<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>d blowndi hai? [Punjabi - How beautifully the w<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>d is blow<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g]. The word 'blow' is comb<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ed with the Punjabi<br />

'di' to make it a Punjabi-English hybrid word c<strong>on</strong>not<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g 'blow<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g' (A. Malik, pers<strong>on</strong>al communicati<strong>on</strong>, August 1, 2017. In<br />

Ch<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>a, P<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>y<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> is widely used <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> digital communicati<strong>on</strong>s <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> many shorth<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> expressi<strong>on</strong>s have been <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>vented such as 88<br />

(p<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>y<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>: bābā) represent<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g "bye bye" (English).<br />

If the student is th<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>k<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g about future employment, she may have a L<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>kedIn account, a popular service for jobseekers <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

employers. Her profile <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>teracti<strong>on</strong>s through L<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>kedIn will highlight her professi<strong>on</strong>al side, namely her academic<br />

preparati<strong>on</strong>, work history, significant achievements, etc. In c<strong>on</strong>trast, her Facebook profile <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>teracti<strong>on</strong>s will emphasize her<br />

pers<strong>on</strong>al <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>terests <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> circle of friends/family <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> will likely <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>clude a rich exchange of photos <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> videos. In the process, she<br />

is c<strong>on</strong>struct<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g different identities corresp<strong>on</strong>d<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g with the different c<strong>on</strong>texts.<br />

For both Facebook <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> L<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>kedIn, there is likely to be a RL c<strong>on</strong>necti<strong>on</strong>, that is, the student will be us<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g her real name <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

authentic aspects of her pers<strong>on</strong>al life <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> history. If she also participates <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> an <strong>on</strong>l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>e dat<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g service, that is likely to be the case<br />

as well. That might not be true, however, <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> other <strong>on</strong>l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>e communities <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> which she participates. She may, for example, be a<br />

regular player <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> multiplayer <strong>on</strong>l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>e games, such as World of Warcraft. In that envir<strong>on</strong>ment she may have created a game<br />

pers<strong>on</strong>a as well as an avatar, perhaps represent<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g her RL identity, or perhaps an imag<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ed or desired self. This could be the<br />

case <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> a virtual worlds envir<strong>on</strong>ment such as Sec<strong>on</strong>d Life or <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> fantasy-related <strong>on</strong>l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>e envir<strong>on</strong>ments. The identities assumed are<br />

likely to have an impact <strong>on</strong> the communicati<strong>on</strong> style <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> language use. They might also have a determ<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g><str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g effect <strong>on</strong> social<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>teracti<strong>on</strong>s with<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the <strong>on</strong>l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>e envir<strong>on</strong>ment, determ<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g><str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g with whom she associates <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> how she presents herself <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> terms of<br />

values <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> behaviors.<br />

Identity repertoires <strong>on</strong>l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>e: Opportunities & c<strong>on</strong>stra<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ts<br />

Hav<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g to write <strong>on</strong>eself <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>to be<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g means that <strong>on</strong> many forums, <strong>on</strong>e can start from scratch, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> write <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>to be<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g the k<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>d<br />

of be<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <strong>on</strong>e wants to be. Here we of course encounter differences between an<strong>on</strong>ymous <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> n<strong>on</strong>ymous sites for identity<br />

c<strong>on</strong>structi<strong>on</strong> for <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>stance a social network site such as Facebook is a n<strong>on</strong>ymous site; users present themselves there, <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

many if not most cases, with their real name, with a picture of themselves attached to that name to further authenticate<br />

their ‘real’ identity. On an<strong>on</strong>ymous sites we perhaps see more room for manoeuvr<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> identity play – we are for<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>stance able to present ourselves with a self-<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>vented user name.<br />

Varis, Wang & Du, 2011, p. 268)<br />

One of the situati<strong>on</strong>s <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> which the subject positi<strong>on</strong> is likely to be quite different from the normal RL self is <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> participati<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

<strong>on</strong>l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>e communities <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> a sec<strong>on</strong>d language. To what extent this is the case will depend <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> part <strong>on</strong> the mode of communicati<strong>on</strong>–<br />

whether written or audio/video–<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> <strong>on</strong> the level of language proficiency. In any case, there are likely to be restricti<strong>on</strong>s <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

possible topics of c<strong>on</strong>versati<strong>on</strong>, depend<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <strong>on</strong> the c<strong>on</strong>text, cultural sensitivity, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> available vocabulary. The likely l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>guistic<br />

Robert Godw<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>-J<strong>on</strong>es 6/16/2021 2.3.1 CC-BY-NC https://socialsci.libretexts.org/@go/page/48839


h<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g>icaps <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> cultural differences may change how she presents herself, possibly lead<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g to some tentativeness or timidity <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

areas such as suggest<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g topic changes or assert<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g op<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>i<strong>on</strong>s.<br />

The opportunities afforded by the Internet for language learn<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> pers<strong>on</strong>al development have been a subject of c<strong>on</strong>siderable<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>terest <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> applied l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>guistics <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> recent years. There have been a number of studies, for example, <strong>on</strong> language <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> culture<br />

learn<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g through students' participati<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> <strong>on</strong>l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>e exchanges, often as part of class-to-class activities (Belz & Thorne, 2006).<br />

There is grow<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>terest <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> activities which occur outside of <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>stituti<strong>on</strong>al sett<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>gs, as that is <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>creas<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>gly the case for many<br />

young people today. Eva Lam (2004), for example, studied the experiences of several immigrant youth participat<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> <strong>on</strong>l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>e<br />

discussi<strong>on</strong> forums <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> creat<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g webpages <strong>on</strong> Japanese anime, to provide out of class language learn<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g opportunities. These<br />

experiences were particularly valued by the students, as <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> school they were stigmatized as immigrants <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> poor language<br />

learners.Another study focused <strong>on</strong> the writ<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g of "fanficti<strong>on</strong>" – orig<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>al works of ficti<strong>on</strong> based <strong>on</strong> popular media such as<br />

televisi<strong>on</strong>, movies, or books. Rebecca Black (2006) describes the complex language <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> cultural situati<strong>on</strong> of <strong>on</strong>e young<br />

woman of Japanese descent ("Nanako") whose family settled <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> Canada. She became a successful fanficti<strong>on</strong> writer <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> English<br />

(see sidebar). The multil<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>gual <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> multicultural dimensi<strong>on</strong>s of her experience with writ<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g fanficti<strong>on</strong> is representative of<br />

many <strong>on</strong>l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>e Internet activities today. In this way, a sec<strong>on</strong>d language enables more than just l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>guistic competence, as Ema<br />

Ushioda comments:<br />

A foreign language is not simply someth<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g to add to our repertoire of skills, but a<br />

pers<strong>on</strong>alized tool that enables us to exp<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> express our identity or sense of self <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

new <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>terest<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g ways <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> with new k<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ds of people; to participate <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> a more<br />

diverse range of c<strong>on</strong>texts <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> communities <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> so broaden our experiences <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

horiz<strong>on</strong>s; <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> to access <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> share new <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> alternative sources of <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>formati<strong>on</strong>,<br />

enterta<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ment or material that we need, value or enjoy. (2011, p. 204).<br />

Proficiency <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> a sec<strong>on</strong>d language is not just an added skill. By broaden<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g the range of activities <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> which we engage <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> the<br />

people with whom we <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>teract, a new pers<strong>on</strong>al identity is created.<br />

Active F<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g>om: Writ<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g, re-mix<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> learn<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g<br />

[Her] identity was negotiated, not <strong>on</strong>ly through English, but also through Nanako’s pan-Asian l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>guistic <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> cultural<br />

knowledge <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> affiliati<strong>on</strong>s. Additi<strong>on</strong>ally, for Nanako’s writ<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <strong>on</strong> Fanficti<strong>on</strong>.net she draws <strong>on</strong> a range of pop cultural<br />

resources from different countries, such as Japanese animati<strong>on</strong>, music from the United K<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>gdom, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> novels <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> moti<strong>on</strong><br />

pictures from the United States, to assist her <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> compos<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> English...these dialogic resources shifted over time as<br />

Nanako’s facility with English as well as her comfort level <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the <strong>on</strong>l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>e community <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>creased...Nanako’s participati<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

this <strong>on</strong>l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>e space helped her to develop c<strong>on</strong>fidence <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> motivati<strong>on</strong> for c<strong>on</strong>t<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ued writ<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> language learn<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> English;<br />

however, it also provided her with a sense of pride <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> a renewed emphasis <strong>on</strong> her l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>guistic background <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> ethnic<br />

identity as an Asian.<br />

Black, 2006, p. 174<br />

Robert Godw<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>-J<strong>on</strong>es 6/16/2021 2.3.2 CC-BY-NC https://socialsci.libretexts.org/@go/page/48839


2.4: How identities are Built (Summary)<br />

From theory to practice...<br />

Explore your own cultural identity. An awareness of your cultural heritage can help make you aware of the sources of the<br />

values <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> behaviors you may take for granted. Be<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g able to articulate our own views – <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> their orig<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>s – can be helpful<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tercultural encounters.<br />

C<strong>on</strong>sider the nature of your social identity. Th<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>k about how the different groups you may bel<strong>on</strong>g to help c<strong>on</strong>stitute who<br />

you are – what you believe, how you behave, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> how you <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>teract with others.<br />

Evaluate your pers<strong>on</strong>al identity. To what extent do your <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dividual tastes <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> preferences lead you <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> directi<strong>on</strong>s away from<br />

your family background, ethnic heritage, or group affiliati<strong>on</strong>s? C<strong>on</strong>sider how you envisi<strong>on</strong> your future self.<br />

For discussi<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> reflecti<strong>on</strong>...<br />

1. C<strong>on</strong>sider the number of groups to which you bel<strong>on</strong>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> the roles you play <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> each. How do the groups affect the way you<br />

th<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>k, feel, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> act? By virtue of your membership <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> these groups, how are you treated by others? What are some of the<br />

groups to which you would like to bel<strong>on</strong>g but do not?<br />

2. After read<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g the article by Peggy McIntosh, White Privilege: Unpack<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g the Invisible Knapsack, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> watch<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g the<br />

selecti<strong>on</strong> from the documentary "Color of Fear":<br />

What's your reacti<strong>on</strong> to McIntosh's essay <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> the excerpt from Color of Fear? To what extent do the views expressed reflect<br />

your own experiences? Is this type of c<strong>on</strong>versati<strong>on</strong> represented by the documentary useful? To what extent was the<br />

c<strong>on</strong>versati<strong>on</strong> affected by not <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>clud<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g any women?<br />

3. After watch<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g the TED talks <strong>on</strong> women <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> identity by Liza D<strong>on</strong>nelly, Carol<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>e Casey <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> Lizzie Velasquez...<br />

How do you def<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>e who you are? What role does appearance have? Where do the rules for appearance <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> behavior come<br />

from? Are these rules universal? For women everywhere? Do you agree <strong>on</strong> the power of carto<strong>on</strong>s <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> humor?<br />

4. After watch<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g the TED talk by Pico Iyer <strong>on</strong> multicultural identities:<br />

How typical do you th<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>k his pers<strong>on</strong>al experience with identity is? To what extent are we all "a work <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> progress"?<br />

5. After watch<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g the TED talk <strong>on</strong> prejudice by Paul Bloom:<br />

Do you agree that our <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>itial judgments about people tend to be accurate? What is your take <strong>on</strong> his recommendati<strong>on</strong>s for<br />

overcom<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g "bad" prejudice? Are there other approaches that might work?<br />

6.. Get together <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> groups of two or three. Spend about two to three m<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ues describ<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g yourself to your group members. Now<br />

resp<strong>on</strong>d to the questi<strong>on</strong>: "Who am I?" Also resp<strong>on</strong>d to the questi<strong>on</strong> "Who is 'A' or 'B' where 'A' <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> 'B' <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> so <strong>on</strong> represent<br />

each of your group members. Compare your notes. The exercise may be modified for a discussi<strong>on</strong> <strong>on</strong> biases <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> prejudices.<br />

Key C<strong>on</strong>cepts<br />

Ascribed identity: Identity given to a pers<strong>on</strong> by others<br />

Assimilati<strong>on</strong>: Used here <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the sense of cultural assimilati<strong>on</strong> - the process by which a pers<strong>on</strong> or a group's language <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g>/or<br />

culture come to resemble those of another group.<br />

Avowed identity: How a pers<strong>on</strong> perceives his or her own self<br />

Categorizati<strong>on</strong>: Classify<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g or sort<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g of perceived <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>formati<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>to dist<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ct groups<br />

Co-culture: A group of people that are not part of the dom<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ant structure of society; use of the term emphasizes the lack of<br />

power <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> c<strong>on</strong>trol <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> comparis<strong>on</strong> to the ma<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>stream culture<br />

Code-switch<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g: Alternat<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g between two or more languages or varieties of language <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> c<strong>on</strong>versati<strong>on</strong><br />

Communicati<strong>on</strong> theory of identity: Theory developed by Michael Hecht that identities are c<strong>on</strong>structed through social<br />

situati<strong>on</strong>s <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> communicati<strong>on</strong><br />

C<strong>on</strong>tact theory: Theory by Gord<strong>on</strong> Allport that under appropriate c<strong>on</strong>diti<strong>on</strong>s <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>terpers<strong>on</strong>al c<strong>on</strong>tact is <strong>on</strong>e of the most<br />

effective ways to reduce prejudice between majority <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> m<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ority group members<br />

Robert Godw<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>-J<strong>on</strong>es 7/29/2021 2.4.1 CC-BY-NC https://socialsci.libretexts.org/@go/page/48838


Critical reflectivity: Will<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>gness to exam<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>e <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> a serious way <strong>on</strong>es values <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> beliefs so as to be able to deal fairly <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

equitably with the values <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> beliefs of others<br />

Cultural identity: Identity based <strong>on</strong> cultural membership; <strong>on</strong>e's identificati<strong>on</strong> with <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> perceived acceptance <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>to a larger<br />

culture group<br />

Eb<strong>on</strong>ics: Dist<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ctive variety of English spoken by African Americans, which most l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>guists refer to as African American<br />

Vernacular English<br />

Endogamy: The practice of marry<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <strong>on</strong>ly with<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> <strong>on</strong>e's local community, clan, or tribe<br />

Ethnicity: classificati<strong>on</strong> of people based <strong>on</strong> comb<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ati<strong>on</strong>s of shared characteristics such as nati<strong>on</strong>ality, geographic orig<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>,<br />

language, religi<strong>on</strong>, ancestral customs, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> traditi<strong>on</strong><br />

Ethnocentrism: Favor<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g the ethnic group you bel<strong>on</strong>g to over all others<br />

Exogamy: The practice of marry<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g outside of <strong>on</strong>e's group or community<br />

Hegem<strong>on</strong>y: Dom<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ance, especially by <strong>on</strong>e country or social group over others<br />

Ideology: A system of ideas <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> ideals, especially <strong>on</strong>e that forms the basis of ec<strong>on</strong>omic or political theory <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> policy<br />

Imag<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ed community: C<strong>on</strong>cept co<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ed by Benedict Anders<strong>on</strong> referr<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g to a community not based <strong>on</strong> face-to-face<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>teracti<strong>on</strong>s; for example, Anders<strong>on</strong> believes that a nati<strong>on</strong> is a socially c<strong>on</strong>structed community, imag<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ed by the people<br />

who perceive themselves as part of that group<br />

In-group: A group to which we bel<strong>on</strong>g<br />

In-group bias: A pattern of favor<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g members of <strong>on</strong>e's <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>-group over out-group members<br />

Intolerance: Unwill<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>gness to accept views, beliefs, or behavior that differ from <strong>on</strong>e's own.<br />

LGBTQ Acr<strong>on</strong>ym that st<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g>s for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer; sometimes LGBT+ is used to encompass<br />

spectrums of sexuality <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> gender<br />

L<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>guistic l<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g>scape: The visibility <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> salience of languages <strong>on</strong> public <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> commercial signs <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> a given territory or<br />

regi<strong>on</strong><br />

Marg<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>alizati<strong>on</strong>: The treatment of a pers<strong>on</strong>, group, or c<strong>on</strong>cept as <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>significant or peripheral<br />

Microculture: An identifiable group of people who share a set of values, beliefs, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> behaviors <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> who possess a<br />

comm<strong>on</strong> history <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> a verbal <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> n<strong>on</strong>verbal symbol system that is similar to but systematically varies from the larger, often<br />

dom<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ant cultural milieu<br />

M<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ority group: A subord<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ate group whose members have significantly less power <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> c<strong>on</strong>trol over their own lives than<br />

do members of the dom<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ant or majority group<br />

Model m<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ority: A m<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ority group whose members are perceived to achieve a higher degree of socioec<strong>on</strong>omic success<br />

than the populati<strong>on</strong> average<br />

Muted groups: Microcultures whose members are forced to express themselves (e.g., speak, write) with<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the dom<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ant<br />

mode of expressi<strong>on</strong><br />

Out-group: A group to which we do not bel<strong>on</strong>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> which we often treat differently from those <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> our <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>-group Pluralism:<br />

Used here <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the sense of Cultural pluralism is a term used when smaller groups with<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> a larger society ma<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ta<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> their<br />

unique cultural identities, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> their values <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> practices are accepted by the wider culture<br />

Out-group negativity: Attribut<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g negative characteristics to people not <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> your <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>-group<br />

Pluralism: Cultural pluralism refers to small groups with<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> a larger society ma<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ta<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g><str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g their unique cultural identities <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

hav<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g that accepted widely<br />

Prejudice: A rigid attitude based <strong>on</strong> group membership; <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>volves mak<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g a prejudgment based <strong>on</strong> membership <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> a social<br />

category<br />

Racism: The belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, especially so as to<br />

dist<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>guish it as <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ferior to another race<br />

Reference group: A group to which we look for mean<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>gs <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> identity<br />

Sec<strong>on</strong>d language acquisiti<strong>on</strong>: The process by which people learn a sec<strong>on</strong>d language, often abbreviated to SLA; also refers<br />

to the scientific discipl<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>e devoted to study<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g that process<br />

Social identity: The total comb<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ati<strong>on</strong> of <strong>on</strong>e's group roles; a part of the <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dividual's self-c<strong>on</strong>cept that is derived from the<br />

pers<strong>on</strong>'s membership <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> groups<br />

Spanglish: A hybrid language comb<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g><str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g words <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> idioms from both Spanish <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> English, especially Spanish speech that<br />

uses many English words <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> expressi<strong>on</strong>s.<br />

Stereotype: A set of characteristics that a group or <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dividuals <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> that group are assumed to have; a generalizati<strong>on</strong> about<br />

what people are like; an exaggerated image of their characteristics, without regard to <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dividual attributes<br />

Robert Godw<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>-J<strong>on</strong>es 7/29/2021 2.4.2 CC-BY-NC https://socialsci.libretexts.org/@go/page/48838


Symbolic racism: Subtle <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>direct form of racism, often expressed <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> US towards Blacks<br />

White privilege: Societal privileges that benefit white people <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> western countries bey<strong>on</strong>d what is comm<strong>on</strong>ly experienced<br />

by n<strong>on</strong>-white people under the same social, political, or ec<strong>on</strong>omic circumstances<br />

Learn more…<br />

Books<br />

Adichie, C. (2013). Americanah. Novel exam<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g><str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g blackness <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> America, Nigeria <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> Brita<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

Blee, K. (2002). Inside Organized Racism: Women <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the Hate Movement: Self-identities of women c<strong>on</strong>nect to the US<br />

racist organizati<strong>on</strong>, the Ku Klux Klan<br />

Friend, T. (2010). Cheerful M<strong>on</strong>ey: Me, My Family, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> the Last Days of Wasp Splendor: Provocative assessment of the<br />

role of WASP (White Anglo-Sax<strong>on</strong> Protestant) white privilege <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> US society<br />

Lubrano, A. (2005). Limbo: Blue-Collar Roots, White-Collar Dreams: Pers<strong>on</strong>al account of grow<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g up <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> a work<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g-class,<br />

Italian-American community <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> work<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g his way <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>to the middle class<br />

Said, E. (1978). Orientalism. Classic study discuss<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g cultural representati<strong>on</strong>s that are the bases of "Orientalism", def<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ed<br />

as the West's patr<strong>on</strong>iz<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g representati<strong>on</strong>s of "The East"<br />

Shaprio, J. (1994). No Pity: People with Disabilities Forg<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g a New Civil Rights Movement. Classic account <strong>on</strong> the rights<br />

of the disabled<br />

Films<br />

Afro-Punk (2003): Documentary film explor<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g the roles of African-Americans with<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> what was then a white punk scene<br />

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fanQHFAxXH0<br />

Babette's Feast (1987, Danish title: Babettes gæstebud) celebrati<strong>on</strong> of the French cul<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ary traditi<strong>on</strong><br />

Bend It Like Beckham (2002). Story of an Indian girl <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the UK who challenges norms <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> traditi<strong>on</strong>s of the Indian<br />

community to play soccer (football)<br />

Chocolat (2000): French film illustrat<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g the power of food to change identities<br />

The Color of Fear (1994). Documentary film show<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g eight North American men from different ethnic backgrounds,<br />

gathered for a dialog <strong>on</strong> race relati<strong>on</strong>s<br />

Crash (2004): Feature film featur<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g racial <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> social tensi<strong>on</strong>s <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> Los Angeles, explor<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g a verity of stereotypes<br />

Witness (1985). Crime thriller which features members of the Amish community<br />

Onl<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>e resources<br />

- Ethnicity <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> microcultures<br />

Tiger Mom: Some cultural groups are superior<br />

C<strong>on</strong>troversial take <strong>on</strong> why some m<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ority groups succeed <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the US, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> others d<strong>on</strong>'t<br />

The Slants Fr<strong>on</strong>tman Fights Government To Register His B<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g>'s Name<br />

What would you th<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>k of a b<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> called "The Slants" or "The Ch<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ks"? What if the members of the b<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> are all Asian?<br />

Trevor Noah Is A Quarter Jewish. Does That Make His Anti-Semitic Jokes OK?<br />

This is the South African comedian replac<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g J<strong>on</strong> Stewart<br />

- C<strong>on</strong>versati<strong>on</strong>s <strong>on</strong> race <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> prejudice<br />

Color of Fear - What it Means to be American<br />

Excerpt from the documentary<br />

White Privilege: Unpack<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g the Invisible Knapsack<br />

Influential essay by Peggy McIntosh<br />

A C<strong>on</strong>versati<strong>on</strong> With White People <strong>on</strong> Race<br />

Short documentary featur<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>terviews with white people <strong>on</strong> the challenges of talk<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g about race (NY Times)<br />

Is It An 'Upris<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g' Or A 'Riot'? Depends On Who's Watch<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g<br />

Is it symbolic racism, or just objective report<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g? The language used can be crucial. The reference is to the death of Freddie<br />

Gray <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> Baltimore <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> 2015<br />

Questi<strong>on</strong><str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g The Black Male Experience In America<br />

How would you like to be remembered, <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> a word or two? That questi<strong>on</strong> was posed by a black man <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> answered by other<br />

Robert Godw<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>-J<strong>on</strong>es 7/29/2021 2.4.3 CC-BY-NC https://socialsci.libretexts.org/@go/page/48838


lack men <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> a multimedia art project called "Questi<strong>on</strong> Bridge: Black Males."<br />

Paul Bloom: Can prejudice ever be a good th<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g?<br />

About categorizati<strong>on</strong>, ethnocentrism <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> the dynamics of <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>-groups <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> out-groups<br />

TED descripti<strong>on</strong>: "We often th<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>k of bias <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> prejudice as rooted <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> ignorance. But as psychologist Paul Bloom seeks to<br />

show, prejudice is often natural, rati<strong>on</strong>al ... even moral. The key, says Bloom, is to underst<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> how our own biases work —<br />

so we can take c<strong>on</strong>trol when they go wr<strong>on</strong>g."<br />

Vernā Myers: How to overcome our biases? Walk boldly toward them<br />

TED descripti<strong>on</strong>: “Our biases can be dangerous, even deadly — as we've seen <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the cases of Michael Brown <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> Fergus<strong>on</strong>,<br />

Missouri, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> Eric Garner, <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> Staten Isl<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g>, New York. Diversity advocate Vernā Myers looks closely at some of the<br />

subc<strong>on</strong>scious attitudes we hold toward out-groups. She makes a plea to all people: Acknowledge your biases. Then move<br />

toward, not away from, the groups that make you uncomfortable. In a funny, impassi<strong>on</strong>ed, important talk, she shows us<br />

how.”<br />

- TED talks <strong>on</strong> identity: Know<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g yourself before judg<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g others<br />

Liza D<strong>on</strong>nelly: Draw<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <strong>on</strong> humor for change<br />

Interest<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g perspective <strong>on</strong> identity creati<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> appearance for women; humor as a powerful tool for self-actualizati<strong>on</strong><br />

TED descripti<strong>on</strong>: "New Yorker carto<strong>on</strong>ist Liza D<strong>on</strong>nelly shares a portfolio of her wise <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> funny carto<strong>on</strong>s about modern<br />

life — <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> talks about how humor can empower women to change the rules."<br />

Carol<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>e Casey: Look<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g past limits<br />

On the importance of "be<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g true to yourself" <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> overcom<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g what seem like unsurmountable barriers<br />

TED descripti<strong>on</strong>: "Activist Carol<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>e Casey tells the story of her extraord<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ary life, start<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g with a revelati<strong>on</strong> (no spoilers).<br />

In a talk that challenges percepti<strong>on</strong>s, Casey asks us all to move bey<strong>on</strong>d the limits we may th<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>k we have."<br />

Lizzie Velasquez: How do you def<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>e yourself?<br />

TED descripti<strong>on</strong>: "In a time when beauty is def<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ed by supermodels, success is def<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ed by wealth, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> fame is deified by<br />

how many followers you have <strong>on</strong> social media, Lizzie Velasquez asks the questi<strong>on</strong> how do you def<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>e yourself? Once<br />

labeled, 'The Worlds Ugliest Woman,' Lizzie decided to turn th<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>gs around <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> create her own def<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>iti<strong>on</strong>s of what she<br />

def<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>es as beauty <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> happ<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ess."<br />

Pico Iyer: Where is home?<br />

On the multicultural identities today <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> how we all are a "work <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> progress"<br />

TED descripti<strong>on</strong>: "More <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> more people worldwide are liv<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> countries not c<strong>on</strong>sidered their own. Writer Pico Iyer —<br />

who himself has three or four 'orig<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>s' — meditates <strong>on</strong> the mean<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g of home, the joy of travel<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> the serenity of<br />

st<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g><str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g still."<br />

- Humorous takes <strong>on</strong> issues of race, ethnicity, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> nati<strong>on</strong>ality<br />

What Is A 'Good Muslim' Anyway? A Podcast Disrupts The Narrative<br />

Zahra Noorbakhsh <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> Tanzila "Taz" Ahmed host the podcast #GoodMuslimBadMuslim.<br />

Louis CK: I enjoy be<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g white<br />

Different take <strong>on</strong> white privilege<br />

How to tell if you're American<br />

From zompist.com; <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>cludes humorous profiles of other nati<strong>on</strong>alities as well<br />

- Food <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> cultural identity<br />

Amy Choi: What Americans can learn from other food cultures<br />

On different roles of food, <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>clud<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g "food as identity"<br />

Jennifer 8. Lee: The hunt for General Tso<br />

TED descripti<strong>on</strong>: "Reporter Jennifer 8. Lee talks about her hunt for the orig<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>s of familiar Ch<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ese-American dishes”<br />

explor<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g the hidden spots where these two cultures have (so tastily) comb<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ed to form a new cuis<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>e."<br />

Who owns Chicken Tikka Masala?<br />

Is it British or Indian?<br />

Rob<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> Cook's chicken tikka masala speech<br />

Robert Godw<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>-J<strong>on</strong>es 7/29/2021 2.4.4 CC-BY-NC https://socialsci.libretexts.org/@go/page/48838


Extracts from a speech by the foreign secretary to the Social Market Foundati<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> L<strong>on</strong>d<strong>on</strong>: "Chicken Tikka Massala is now a<br />

true British nati<strong>on</strong>al dish"<br />

Reg<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>a Bernard-Carreno: The underly<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g racism of America's food system<br />

TED descripti<strong>on</strong>: "Dr. Bernard-Carreno has been actively research<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> writ<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g about the cultural performance of food, food<br />

access <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> food racism <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> low <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>come neighborhoods <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> New York City <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> abroad. Al<strong>on</strong>g with research<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> writ<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g, Dr.<br />

Bernard-Carreno has been design<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g scholarly projects <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> community products based <strong>on</strong> food access <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> poor NYC areas."<br />

References<br />

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69. Walker, R. E., Keane, C. R., & Burke, J. G. (2010). Disparities <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> access to healthy food <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the United States: A review of<br />

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Credits<br />

Amish women: By Pasteur (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia<br />

Comm<strong>on</strong>s https://comm<strong>on</strong>s.wikimedia.org/wiki/F...mmes-Amish.jpg<br />

Refugees from Western Sahara: Danielle Van Brunt Smith<br />

www.forcedmigrati<strong>on</strong>.org/podcasts-videos-photos/photos/westernsahara<br />

La<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>a Dawes: George Kelly<br />

https://www.flickr.com/photos/allaboutgeorge/416291403/<br />

Syrian refugees <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> Vienna <strong>on</strong> way to Germany: Josh Zakary<br />

https://www.flickr.com/photos/joshzakary/21197311260<br />

Romani <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> Urkra<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>e<br />

https://comm<strong>on</strong>s.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Romani_people_Lviv_Ukra<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>e.jpg<br />

Amish family: Ernest Mettendorf<br />

https://comm<strong>on</strong>s.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Amish_family,_Lyndenville,_New_York.jpg<br />

Native Americans: Derek Bridges<br />

https://comm<strong>on</strong>s.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:JF100423_DSB_Fais_Do_Do_Native_American_Stage_2.jpg<br />

Anti-racism: Robert Thivierge<br />

comm<strong>on</strong>s.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Protest_Racism_<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>_the_Kens<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>gt<strong>on</strong>_community_of_Calgary_Alberta_2007.jpg<br />

Ch<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ese sign<br />

comm<strong>on</strong>s.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Guil<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>Ch<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>glish2007.jpg<br />

Snake charmer by Jean-Lé<strong>on</strong> Gérôme, The Clark Art Institute<br />

comm<strong>on</strong>s.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Jean-L%C3%A9<strong>on</strong>_G%C3%A9r%C3%B4me_-_Le_charmeur_de_serpents.jpg<br />

McD<strong>on</strong>alds Times Square: Jim Lambert<br />

http://www.flickriver.com/photos/jim-<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>-times-square/tags/restaurants/<br />

Robert Godw<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>-J<strong>on</strong>es 7/29/2021 2.4.7 CC-BY-NC https://socialsci.libretexts.org/@go/page/48838


CHAPTER OVERVIEW<br />

3: USING LANGUAGE<br />

Learn<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g Objectives<br />

Successful <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>teracti<strong>on</strong> with this <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> associated course c<strong>on</strong>tent will enable students to…<br />

Underst<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> the complexity of how language relates to culture<br />

Appreciate how language use is embedded <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> social c<strong>on</strong>texts<br />

Be able to discuss how languages are structured <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> how they vary<br />

Be knowledgable about approaches to language learn<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g<br />

3.1: LANGUAGE AND CULTURE<br />

3.2: SECOND LANGUAGE LEARNING<br />

3.3: TECHNICALLY SPEAKING - LANGUAGE LEARNING AND TECHNOLOGY<br />

3.4: LANGUAGE AND CULTURE (SUMMARY)<br />

1 7/29/2021


3.1: <str<strong>on</strong>g>Language</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>Culture</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

In 1915, Edm<strong>on</strong>d Laforest, a prom<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ent Haitian writer, stood up<strong>on</strong> a bridge, tied a<br />

French Larousse dicti<strong>on</strong>ary around his neck <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> leapt to his death. This symbolic, if<br />

fatal, gr<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> gesture, dramatizes the relati<strong>on</strong> of language <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> cultural identity (p. 65)<br />

The story of Laforest's death is told by Claire Kramsch <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> her l<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g>mark study of <str<strong>on</strong>g>Language</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>Culture</str<strong>on</strong>g> (1998). Writers have<br />

an <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tense <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>timate relati<strong>on</strong>ship to language; it is the essential tool of their trade. But we all have a very real c<strong>on</strong>necti<strong>on</strong><br />

between the language we speak <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> how we see the world. It is likely that the importance of language <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> c<strong>on</strong>stitut<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g essential<br />

parts of our selves <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> our worldviews is someth<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g most people have not c<strong>on</strong>sidered. That is particularly the case for<br />

m<strong>on</strong>ol<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>guals, those who know <strong>on</strong>ly <strong>on</strong>e language. Like culture, language is all around us <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> we may take it for granted, just<br />

as we do the values, beliefs, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> behaviors that make up our cultural identity. This may be more the case for native speakers of<br />

English, a language whose worldwide prom<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ence may lead to the sense that English is the default, neutral way of see<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

describ<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g reality. Many people who have not thought about the nature of language are likely to assume there is a k<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>d of<br />

natural <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> logical c<strong>on</strong>necti<strong>on</strong> between the word "tree" <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> the big leafy object <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> their local park. But languages, <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>clud<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g<br />

English, d<strong>on</strong>'t work that way – they are not an objective, culturally neutral way to describe the world. "Tree" is an arbitrary<br />

symbol, not c<strong>on</strong>nected logically <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> any way to the object it describes. In this unit we will be exam<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g><str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g the nature of language<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> the crucial role it plays <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tercultural communicati<strong>on</strong>. That will entail a discussi<strong>on</strong> of the <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tersecti<strong>on</strong>s of language <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

culture; the dist<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>cti<strong>on</strong>s am<strong>on</strong>g world languages; the nature of language learn<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g; <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> the role of English <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> today's world. We<br />

will c<strong>on</strong>t<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ue our exam<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ati<strong>on</strong> of language <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the next chapter as well, look<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g at language usage <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> c<strong>on</strong>text.<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>Language</str<strong>on</strong>g>: How we process the world around us<br />

The Haitian writer Edm<strong>on</strong>d Laforest, who drowned with a French dicti<strong>on</strong>ary around his neck, was mak<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g a symbolic gesture<br />

of his <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>denture to the French language, that is to say his dependence <strong>on</strong> that language for his writ<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g. French was the language<br />

of the col<strong>on</strong>izers <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> oppressors, who had brought African slaves to the isl<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g>, from whom Laforest was descended. There<br />

was for Laforest a tragic disc<strong>on</strong>nect between the language he used to describe the world <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> to embody his literary<br />

imag<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ati<strong>on</strong> <strong>on</strong> the <strong>on</strong>e h<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> the social <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> racial reality of Haiti <strong>on</strong> the other. Laforest's l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>guistic identity was further<br />

complicated by the fact that his first language was not st<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g>ard French, but Haitian Creole, a language based largely <strong>on</strong> 18thcentury<br />

French with <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>fluence from Portuguese, Spanish, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> West African languages.<br />

Figure<br />

: Edm<strong>on</strong>d Laforest<br />

<br />

The existence of a hybrid language such as Haitian Creole is <strong>on</strong>e <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dicati<strong>on</strong> of the significant l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>k between language <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

culture. <str<strong>on</strong>g>Language</str<strong>on</strong>g>s are rarely used <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> their "pure", st<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g>ard form. Speakers adapt l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>guistically to others around them. If we<br />

come often enough <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>to c<strong>on</strong>tact <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> our everyday lives with groups of speakers of other languages, that is likely to have an<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>fluence <strong>on</strong> our own use of language. That may manifest itself <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> vocabulary. The English language has such a rich<br />

vocabulary because it has borrowed <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>corporated words from many different languages over the centuries. In Germany<br />

today, the large number of Turkish immigrants has led to the comm<strong>on</strong> use of particular Turkish expressi<strong>on</strong>s such as lan for<br />

mate/man or valla for h<strong>on</strong>estly <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> everyday speech <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> German. Creoles develop when there are significant numbers of<br />

speakers of different languages who <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>teract <strong>on</strong> a regular basis. In the US state of Louisiana, the mix of different nati<strong>on</strong>alities<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> ethnic backgrounds created Louisiana Creole (Kréyo La Lwizyàn), a versi<strong>on</strong> of French mixed with elements of Spanish,<br />

African, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> Native American languages.<br />

Robert Godw<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>-J<strong>on</strong>es 6/17/2021 3.1.1 CC-BY-NC https://socialsci.libretexts.org/@go/page/42973


Figure : Three Creole Girls, Louisiana, 1935<br />

Such language hybrids have often developed through the process of col<strong>on</strong>ializati<strong>on</strong>, with the power <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>herent <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the use of the<br />

col<strong>on</strong>izers' language lead<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g to the <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>digenous populati<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tegrat<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g elements of that language <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>to their own speech.<br />

Evangelizati<strong>on</strong> has had a similar impact. In Nagal<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g>, <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> Northeastern India, the spread of Christianity led to the development<br />

of a comm<strong>on</strong> Nagamese creole (also "Naga Pidg<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>") am<strong>on</strong>g the different 16 <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>digenous tribes. Creoles can be full-fledged<br />

languages, functi<strong>on</strong><str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g as a mother t<strong>on</strong>gue. Pidg<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>s, <strong>on</strong> the other h<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g>, are simplified versi<strong>on</strong>s of a language, used for special<br />

purposes, such as <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> trade. The existence of hybrid languages <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> many parts of the world provides evidence of how language<br />

use reflects cultural c<strong>on</strong>texts, adapt<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g as needed to accommodate the communicati<strong>on</strong> needs of everyday life.<br />

L<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>guists <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> cultural anthropologists emphasize the importance of our native language <strong>on</strong> our view of the world. The l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>k<br />

between language <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> culture was famously described <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the work of Benjam<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> Whorf <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> Edward Sapir. The Sapir-Whorf<br />

hypothesis postulates that your native language has a profound <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>fluence <strong>on</strong> how you see the world, that you perceive reality<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the c<strong>on</strong>text of the language you have available to describe it. Accord<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g to Sapir (1929), "The 'real world' is to a large extent<br />

unc<strong>on</strong>sciously built up <strong>on</strong> the language habits of the group. The world <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> which different societies live are dist<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ct worlds, not<br />

merely the same world with different labels attached" (p. 162). From this perspective, all language use – from the words we<br />

use to describe objects to the way sentences are structured – is tied closely to the culture <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> which it is spoken. In 1940, Whorf<br />

wrote:<br />

<br />

The background l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>guistic system (<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> other words, the grammar) of each language is<br />

not merely a reproduc<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>strument for voic<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g ideas but rather is itself the shaper of<br />

ideas, the program <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> guide for people's mental activity, for their analysis of<br />

impressi<strong>on</strong>s, for their synthesis of their mental stock <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> trade. Formulati<strong>on</strong> of ideas is<br />

not an <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dependent process, strictly rati<strong>on</strong>al <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the old sense, but is part of a<br />

particular grammar <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> differs, from slightly to greatly, am<strong>on</strong>g different<br />

grammars...We dissect nature al<strong>on</strong>g l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>es laid down by our native languages (p. 231).<br />

Whorf studied native American languages such as Hopi <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> was struck by differences to English which po<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ted to different<br />

ways of view<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g the world, for example, <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> how time is expressed. Taken to its extreme, this k<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>d of l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>guistic determ<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ism<br />

would prevent native speakers of different languages from hav<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g the same thoughts or shar<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g a worldview. They would be,<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> a sense, captives of their native language, unable to ga<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> different perspectives <strong>on</strong> reality. More widely accepted today is the<br />

c<strong>on</strong>cept of l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>guistic relativity, mean<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g that language shapes our views of the world but is not an absolute determ<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>er of how<br />

or what we th<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>k. After all, translati<strong>on</strong> is <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> fact possible, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> bil<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>gualism exists, both of which phenomena should be<br />

problematic <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> a strict <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>terpretati<strong>on</strong> of the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis. It is also the case that many cultures are multil<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>gual, with<br />

children grow<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g up exposed to multiple languages without suffer<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g culture shock when mov<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g am<strong>on</strong>g languages.<br />

L<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>guistic determ<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ism: language c<strong>on</strong>trols thought <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> cul-ture.<br />

L<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>guistic relativity: language <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>fluences thought <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> worldviews, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> therefore differences am<strong>on</strong>g languages cause<br />

differences <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the thoughts of their speakers.<br />

Hua (2014), p. 176<br />

- L<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>guistic relativity: language <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>fluences thought <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> worldviews, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> therefore differences am<strong>on</strong>g languages cause<br />

differences <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the thoughts of their speakersL<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>guist Steven P<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ker's (2007) research has shown that <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> fact language is not the<br />

Robert Godw<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>-J<strong>on</strong>es 6/17/2021 3.1.2 CC-BY-NC https://socialsci.libretexts.org/@go/page/42973


<strong>on</strong>ly exist<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g means of thought. It is possible for us to picture reality through mental images or shapes. In recent years, there<br />

have been a number of studies <strong>on</strong> the percepti<strong>on</strong> of colors related to available color words. <str<strong>on</strong>g>Language</str<strong>on</strong>g>s differ <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> this area.<br />

Some, for example, do not have separate words for blue <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> green. In the Tarahumara <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>digenous language of Mexico, <strong>on</strong>e<br />

s<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>gle word, siy<strong>on</strong>ame, is used for both colors (Kay & Kempt<strong>on</strong>, 1984). Such studies, as well as similar exam<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ati<strong>on</strong>s of<br />

c<strong>on</strong>cepts such as numbers, shapes, generally have shown that "language has some effect <strong>on</strong> percepti<strong>on</strong>, but it does not def<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>e<br />

percepti<strong>on</strong>." (Hua, 2014, p. 178). In fact, experiments have shown that <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> some cases, where specific terms for colors do not<br />

exist, that does not prevent color recogniti<strong>on</strong>: "although the Dani, a New Gu<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ea tribe, use <strong>on</strong>ly two colour terms . . . it was<br />

found that they could recognize <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> dist<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>guish between subtle shades of colours that their language had no names for (e.g.<br />

pale blue vs. turquoise)" (Holmes, 2001, p. 324). This is <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>e with current l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>guistic thought that there is a more complex,<br />

reciprocal relati<strong>on</strong>ship between language <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> culture.<br />

Figure<br />

: Tarahumara women, Mexico<br />

One of the reas<strong>on</strong>s l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>guists have moved away from a str<strong>on</strong>gly causal relati<strong>on</strong>ship between language <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> culture is due to the<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>fluence of Noam Chomsky's c<strong>on</strong>cept of universal grammar. Chomsky argued that there is a universality to human thought<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> that language is <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>nate <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> biologically determ<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ed. Accord<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g to Chomsky, every human is born with a "language<br />

acquisiti<strong>on</strong> device" <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the bra<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>, which enables us to c<strong>on</strong>struct the grammar of a language (Chomsky, 1965). Chomsky argued<br />

that children acquire l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>guistic generalizati<strong>on</strong>s that experience al<strong>on</strong>e, i.e. c<strong>on</strong>tact with the language, could not teach them. The<br />

c<strong>on</strong>cept of generative grammar, as developed by Chomsky <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> others, states that from a basic set of rules (mostly deal<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g<br />

with word order) <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> a f<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ite set of elements, a language can c<strong>on</strong>struct an <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>f<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ite number of new sentences. Chomsky's ideas<br />

have been hugely <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>fluential <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>guistics. However, <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> recent decades there has been renewed <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>terest <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the social aspects of<br />

language. While Chomsky downplayed envir<strong>on</strong>mental factors, "neo-Whorfian" l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>guists, <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>fluenced by new studies <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

psychology <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>guistics – especially <strong>on</strong> multil<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>gualism – have taken a fresh look at language use <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> social <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

envir<strong>on</strong>mental c<strong>on</strong>texts. Daniel Everett, for example, studied the culture <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> language of the Pirahã people <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> Brazil (2009,<br />

2012) <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> argued that language is a tool that evolves out of the human need to solve problems.<br />

Another development that has changed l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>guists’ views <strong>on</strong> the nature of human language has come through work exam<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g><str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g<br />

actual language use, as recorded <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> transcribed. This has enabled the collecti<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> analysis of large bodies of texts, both<br />

written <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> spoken, called a language corpus (Godw<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>-J<strong>on</strong>es, 2017b). Usage-based views of language have developed out of<br />

that research that show that language is based less <strong>on</strong> rules than it is <strong>on</strong> patterns – word group<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>gs or set comb<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ati<strong>on</strong>s of<br />

vocabulary <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> grammar (Tomasello, 2000).<br />

<br />

How language reflects culture<br />

No matter what l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>guistic theory <strong>on</strong>e may hold to be valid, there is little argument that the vocabulary of a language does <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

fact reflect important aspects of everyday life. L<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>guist Anna Wierzbicka (2013) provides <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>terest<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g examples of expressi<strong>on</strong>s<br />

from the Australian aborig<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>al language of Warlpiri:<br />

japi — "entrance to sugar ant’s nest"<br />

laja — "hole or burrow of lizard"<br />

kuyu — "meat; meated animal" [<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>clud<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g edible birds, but not other birds]<br />

karnpi — "fat under the sk<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> of emu"<br />

papapapa-ma — "to make the sound of a male emu call<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g to its chicks"<br />

yulu — "limp, relaxed—of sla<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> kangaroo whose h<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>dleg have been broken (<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> preparati<strong>on</strong> for cook<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g)"<br />

From a Warlpiri speaker’s po<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>t of view, these s<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>gle words po<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>t to important features of the envir<strong>on</strong>ment, as potential<br />

sources of shelter <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> food, but there are no corresp<strong>on</strong>d<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g words <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> European languages or <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> most other languages.<br />

Robert Godw<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>-J<strong>on</strong>es 6/17/2021 3.1.3 CC-BY-NC https://socialsci.libretexts.org/@go/page/42973


Wierzbicka comments:<br />

As these examples illustrate, the words of a language reflect the speakers’ special<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>terests. For the speakers of a particular language, their words "fit the world" as<br />

they see it—but how they see it depends, to some extent, <strong>on</strong> what they want to see <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

what they pay attenti<strong>on</strong> to. This is true also of European languages, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> English is no<br />

excepti<strong>on</strong>, either. The c<strong>on</strong>victi<strong>on</strong> that the words of our native language fit the world as<br />

it really is, is deeply rooted <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the th<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>k<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g of many people, particularly those who<br />

have never been forced to move, existentially, from <strong>on</strong>e language <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>to another <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> to<br />

leave the certa<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ties of their home language (p. 6).<br />

Learn<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g a sec<strong>on</strong>d language leads <strong>on</strong>e early <strong>on</strong> to appreciate the fact that there may not be a <strong>on</strong>e-to-<strong>on</strong>e corresp<strong>on</strong>dence<br />

between words <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> <strong>on</strong>e language <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> those <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> another. While the dicti<strong>on</strong>ary def<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>iti<strong>on</strong>s (denotati<strong>on</strong>) may be the same, the<br />

actual usage <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> any given c<strong>on</strong>text (c<strong>on</strong>notati<strong>on</strong>) may be quite different. The word amigo <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> Spanish is the equivalent of the<br />

word friend <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> English, but the relati<strong>on</strong>ships described by that word can be quite different. Even <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> English, a Facebook<br />

"friend" is quite different from a childhood "friend". The German word Bier, refers as does the English "beer", to an alcoholic<br />

dr<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>k made from barley, hops, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> water. In a German c<strong>on</strong>text, the word is used to describe an everyday dr<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>k comm<strong>on</strong>ly<br />

c<strong>on</strong>sumed with meals or <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> other social situati<strong>on</strong>s. In the American English c<strong>on</strong>text, usage of the word, "beer," immediately<br />

br<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>gs to the fore its status as alcohol, thus a beverage that is strictly regulated <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> its c<strong>on</strong>sumpti<strong>on</strong> restricted.<br />

Figure<br />

: Beer <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> Germany: a dr<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>k like any other<br />

Differences <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> available words to describe everyday phenomena is immediately evident when <strong>on</strong>e compares languages or<br />

exam<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>es vocabulary used <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> particular situati<strong>on</strong>s. That might <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>clude a specific small culture, such as dog lovers or sail<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g<br />

enthusiasts, for example, who use a much more extensive vocabulary to describe, respectively, dog breeds or parts of a ship,<br />

than would be familiar to most people, no matter whether they are native speakers of the language or not. Sometimes, a special<br />

language is developed by a group, sometimes labeled a jarg<strong>on</strong>, which often references a specialized technical language. A<br />

related term is an argot, a k<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>d of secret language designed to exclude outsiders, such as the language used by crim<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>al gangs.<br />

<br />

Less immediately evident than vocabulary differences <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> compar<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g languages are differences <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> grammatical structures. Some<br />

languages, for example, have no clear verb tense for the future. A TED talk by Keith Chen expla<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>s how that feature might be<br />

tied to social behavior by speakers of "futureless" languages. Another example expla<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>s what the absence of subjunctive verb<br />

forms <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> a language might mean <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> terms of human behavior <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>teracti<strong>on</strong>s (see resource list for more examples). Cauti<strong>on</strong> is<br />

called for <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> accept<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g without questi<strong>on</strong> the validity of such claims. Piller (2017) po<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ts out, for example, how some textbooks<br />

simplify the relati<strong>on</strong>ship between language <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> culture through draw<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g mislead<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g c<strong>on</strong>necti<strong>on</strong>s between grammar <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

nati<strong>on</strong>al characteristics such as communicati<strong>on</strong> styles. She cites an example from a textbook <strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tercultural bus<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ess<br />

communicati<strong>on</strong> (Chaney & Mart<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>, 2013); "In the German language, the verb often comes at the end of the sentence. In oral<br />

communicati<strong>on</strong>, Germans do not immediately get to the po<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>t" (cited <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> Piller, 2017, p. 45). This is <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>correct <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> terms of<br />

grammar (the placement of the verb depends <strong>on</strong> the sentence structure) <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> makes the false assumpti<strong>on</strong> that the "po<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>t" of a<br />

sentence necessarily comes through word order (not through <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>t<strong>on</strong>ati<strong>on</strong> or other means).<br />

Robert Godw<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>-J<strong>on</strong>es 6/17/2021 3.1.4 CC-BY-NC https://socialsci.libretexts.org/@go/page/42973


In any case, if we learn to speak a sec<strong>on</strong>d language, it provides unique <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>sights <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>to what it is that is valued <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> that culture.<br />

Students of Korean, for example, learn early <strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> their studies that there is not just a dist<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>cti<strong>on</strong> between familiar <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> formal<br />

"you", as exists <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> many languages, but that the code of respect <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> politeness of Korean culture dictates different vocabulary,<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>t<strong>on</strong>ati<strong>on</strong>, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> speech patterns depend<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <strong>on</strong> <strong>on</strong>e's relati<strong>on</strong>ship to the addressee. This can extend to n<strong>on</strong>verbal c<strong>on</strong>venti<strong>on</strong>s as<br />

well, such as bow<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g or exp<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g><str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g pers<strong>on</strong>al space.<br />

Sociol<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>guistics: Study<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>Language</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> Use<br />

From the beg<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>n<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g of the process, sec<strong>on</strong>d language students learn that the target language likely has different verbal (<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

n<strong>on</strong>verbal) c<strong>on</strong>venti<strong>on</strong>s for participat<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> aspects of everyday life such as greet<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>gs, leave-tak<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g, apologiz<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g, or mak<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g<br />

requests. Such speech acts were described <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> studied by John Searle <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> John Aust<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the 1960’s <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> 1970's (Aust<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>, 1973;<br />

Searle, 1969). These are uses of language to perform acti<strong>on</strong>s or to generate specific activities, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> they can vary substantially<br />

from language to language. The field of sociol<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>guistics deals with speech acts, as well as with other aspects of how language<br />

is used <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> social c<strong>on</strong>texts. An important aspect of this field of study is the exam<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ati<strong>on</strong> of variati<strong>on</strong>s <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> languages, such as<br />

dialects <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> regi<strong>on</strong>al differences. This can <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>volve clear cultural dist<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>cti<strong>on</strong>s such as the existence of high prestige <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> low<br />

prestige versi<strong>on</strong>s of a language. High prestige language varieties are those that ma<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>stream societies c<strong>on</strong>sider correct <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

st<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g>ard. Typically, dialects are seen as low prestige. The relative status of a language is determ<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ed by c<strong>on</strong>text, namely the<br />

audience <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> the situati<strong>on</strong> (Eckert & Rickford, 2002). L<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>guists also study language variati<strong>on</strong> related to age, gender, or<br />

occupati<strong>on</strong>. C<strong>on</strong>tact between cultures is another important area studied by sociol<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>guists. Such c<strong>on</strong>tact can br<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g about change,<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>clud<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g new variati<strong>on</strong>s of a language, or even new languages, such as creoles. L<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>guists today do not believe that any<br />

language or language variety is more pure or superior to any other (Fasold & C<strong>on</strong>nor-L<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>t<strong>on</strong>, 2006).<br />

Today, there is c<strong>on</strong>siderable <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>terest <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> study<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g how language is used <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> adapted to <strong>on</strong>l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>e envir<strong>on</strong>ments, such as<br />

microblogg<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g (Twitter), text messag<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> social networks. Ph<strong>on</strong>e-based messag<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g, for example, has been shown to be<br />

more like spoken than written language (see l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>guist John McWhorter's TED talk). Sociol<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>guists emphasize the chang<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g<br />

nature of language, as it comes <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>to c<strong>on</strong>tact with social reality <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> with new ways of communicat<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g. As new language<br />

c<strong>on</strong>venti<strong>on</strong>s <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> vocabulary become established, there are <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>evitably voices which decry language <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>novati<strong>on</strong>s as corrupti<strong>on</strong>s.<br />

Some speakers of a language might object to neologisms (newly co<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ed words), different uses of exist<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g words, or deviati<strong>on</strong>s<br />

from st<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g>ard grammar. This is known as l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>guistic prescripti<strong>on</strong> or prescripti<strong>on</strong>ism. L<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>guists, <strong>on</strong> the other h<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g>, engage <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> a<br />

descriptive approach to language, observ<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> record<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g how language is actually used. <str<strong>on</strong>g>Language</str<strong>on</strong>g>s develop organically <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> defiance of official rules. While there may be governmental or private group efforts to ma<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ta<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> a "pure" versi<strong>on</strong> of a<br />

language, it is not proven possible to restrict the natural evoluti<strong>on</strong> of language through rules or regulati<strong>on</strong>s.<br />

The textbooks used <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> foreign language <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>structi<strong>on</strong> rarely c<strong>on</strong>vey to students the dynamic character of language. Textbooks<br />

present st<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g>ard language <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> do not often <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>troduce variati<strong>on</strong>s <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> language patterns that reflect different social, regi<strong>on</strong>al, or<br />

situati<strong>on</strong>al c<strong>on</strong>texts. This is d<strong>on</strong>e for practical, pedagogical reas<strong>on</strong>s, with the goal of hav<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g students learn basic vocabulary<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> essential structural elements. Dialogues <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> textbooks typically present the speech of educated, well-behaved native<br />

speakers, who wait till their c<strong>on</strong>versati<strong>on</strong> partners are f<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ished before speak<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g. These are idealized native speakers, <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tent <strong>on</strong><br />

be<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g agreeable, c<strong>on</strong>vers<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> order to exchange <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>formati<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> to f<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>d c<strong>on</strong>sensus. L<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>guists know how far removed such<br />

exchanges are from real life. Actual dialogs are full of <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>terrupti<strong>on</strong>s, false starts, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> repetiti<strong>on</strong>s. C<strong>on</strong>versati<strong>on</strong>s rarely focus <strong>on</strong><br />

transmitt<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>formati<strong>on</strong>. Interacti<strong>on</strong>s may be c<strong>on</strong>tentious, with open c<strong>on</strong>flict <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> raw emoti<strong>on</strong>s <strong>on</strong> display. In any case, the<br />

language used will likely not resemble the nicely cooperative <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> grammatically correct sentences <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> a textbook. The use of<br />

discourse analysis <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>guistics – transcrib<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> analyz<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g record<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>gs of real c<strong>on</strong>versati<strong>on</strong>s – has shown how varied <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

sp<strong>on</strong>taneous human speech really is (see Gee, 2014). A TED talk by Elizabeth Stokoe provides examples of how c<strong>on</strong>versati<strong>on</strong><br />

analysis reveals not <strong>on</strong>ly how people actually talk, but also the significance of such frequent speech phenomena as hesitati<strong>on</strong>s,<br />

repetiti<strong>on</strong>s, or brief silences.<br />

In many c<strong>on</strong>texts today, another characteristic of real language use often emerges – code-switch<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g, or the mix<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g of<br />

languages together with<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> a c<strong>on</strong>versati<strong>on</strong>. This can be simply substitut<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g an occasi<strong>on</strong>al word of another language or, <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> other<br />

cases, it can <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>volve a back <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> forth between languages for the entire c<strong>on</strong>versati<strong>on</strong>. As globalizati<strong>on</strong> has <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>creased<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ternati<strong>on</strong>al c<strong>on</strong>tact, more frequent travel has taken more people <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>to unfamiliar cultures, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> the explosi<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the use of<br />

social networks has exp<str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g>ed exposure to multiple languages, code-switch<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g is a phenomen<strong>on</strong> that <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>creas<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g numbers of<br />

people are likely to experience. Claire Kramsch describes this phenomen<strong>on</strong> as ‘language cross<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>gs’ (1998). She provides<br />

examples which highlight complex manifestati<strong>on</strong>s of identity enactment; the sample c<strong>on</strong>versati<strong>on</strong>s she analyzes show how<br />

choice of language with<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> c<strong>on</strong>versati<strong>on</strong>s can be clear markers of group membership or social distanc<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g. Code switch<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g can<br />

Robert Godw<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>-J<strong>on</strong>es 6/17/2021 3.1.5 CC-BY-NC https://socialsci.libretexts.org/@go/page/42973


e used <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> a playful way or to express social solidarity. In some sett<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>gs, language cross<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g may be used to c<strong>on</strong>test or resist<br />

authority (see sidebar). Such language cross<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>gs are not limited to bil<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>gual groups, but are particularly evident <strong>on</strong> the Internet,<br />

where discussi<strong>on</strong> forums <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> social media frequently mix <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> match languages. The extensive <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> frequent mix<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g of<br />

languages <strong>on</strong>l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>e has led to the use of the term "translanguag<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g" to describe the fluid transiti<strong>on</strong> of languages <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> <strong>on</strong>l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>e use<br />

(García & Wei, 2014).<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>Language</str<strong>on</strong>g> as resistance<br />

English by Pakistani youngsters, native speakers of English, as a strategy to resist the authority of their Anglo teacher<br />

(BR) <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> a British school.<br />

BR: attenti<strong>on</strong> gents<br />

Asif: yeh alright<br />

Alan: alright<br />

Asif: yeh<br />

In the typical language learn<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g envir<strong>on</strong>ment, it is not possible to expose learners to all the varieties of language use they<br />

might encounter. However, it certa<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ly is possible to <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>crease learners’ awareness of socio-cultural issues. One of those is the<br />

existence of language registers, the idea that we adjust the language we use – <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> terms of formality, t<strong>on</strong>e, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> even vocabulary<br />

– <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> resp<strong>on</strong>se to the c<strong>on</strong>text <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> which we f<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>d ourselves. Learners need to be aware of how language use could be adjusted <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

formal face-to-face sett<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>gs, as <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> a work envir<strong>on</strong>ment, to highly <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>formal, <strong>on</strong>l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>e sett<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>gs, such as Facebook post<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>gs. This<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>volves look<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g bey<strong>on</strong>d grammatical correctness to language <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> use. Pragmatics, another field of <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>terest <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> sociol<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>guistics,<br />

deals with the nature of language as it occurs <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> actual social use. The mean<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g of what is said <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> c<strong>on</strong>versati<strong>on</strong> may be quite<br />

different from the literal mean<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g of the words used. A statement made <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> an ir<strong>on</strong>ic, sarcastic, or humorous t<strong>on</strong>e may, <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> fact,<br />

have a mean<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g diametrically opposed to its surface mean<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g. Answer<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g "oh, sure" <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> American English to a statement or<br />

questi<strong>on</strong> can be a positive affirmati<strong>on</strong> or be <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tended to ridicule what the <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>terlocutor has said. Such nuances are important for<br />

be<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g able to functi<strong>on</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> the target culture. This k<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>d of sociocultural competence is not easy to acquire, as pragmatics does not<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>volve learn<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g a fixed set of rules. Rather, <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>ference <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tuiti<strong>on</strong> play a major role, as can emoti<strong>on</strong>s as well. Be<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g aware of<br />

the dynamics of language use <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> c<strong>on</strong>versati<strong>on</strong> can help <strong>on</strong>e be a better <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>formed <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> literate speaker of any language.<br />

Pragmatic competence is particularly important <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> <strong>on</strong>l<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>e exchanges, <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> which the n<strong>on</strong>-verbal cues signal<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>tent <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

attitude are not available.<br />

In recent years there has been a grow<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g recogniti<strong>on</strong> that culture <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> language cannot be separated, <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> that culture permeates<br />

all aspects of language. (Godw<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>-J<strong>on</strong>es, 2016). If, for example, a language has different pers<strong>on</strong>al pr<strong>on</strong>ouns for direct address,<br />

such as the <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>formal tu <str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g> French <str<strong>on</strong>g>and</str<strong>on</strong>g> the formal vous, both mean<str<strong>on</strong>g>in</str<strong>on</strong>g>g ‘