Relationship between culture and communication pdf file

relationship between culture and communication pdf file

cultural dimensions, the Lewis model of culture and GLOBE research were used to .. communication and thinking styles, and relationships can be defined as the filters erot_pdf Accessed on 22 September Theories of Culture and. Communication. This article examines and compares three perspectives on culture, communication, and the relationship between. Culture Talk: The Influence of Culture on Communication This study investigates how cultural values affect communication . Required, e.g., to show respect: Austria, Bolivia, China (2), Ethiopia, Germany, Hmong-American ( relationships &.

Obviously this, as all the other variables, refers to a predominant tendency within a culture and not to all the individuals within that culture. A high score, however, indicates that the tendency is for members of this culture to have higher levels of anxiety when faced with uncertainty.

They feel a greater need for absolute truth and are less tolerant of people or groups who deviate from the norm. This may affect their communication with strangers Hofstede, This male-female dichotomy especially affects communication within gender roles. Language is a huge proponent of communication, as well as a large representation of one's cultural background. Cultural miscommunication often stems from different and conflicting styles of speech and messages.

A perfectly normal intonation pattern for a native German speaker may seem angry and aggressive to a foreign listener. Connotations of words, as well as meanings of slang phrases vary greatly across cultural lines, and a lack of tolerance and understanding of this fact often results in misinterpretations.

Non-verbal communication greatly, greatly varies across cultural lines. One must take the time to study different cultures as to fully understand messages being transmitted. There are many aspects of non-verbal communication, such as gesture, facial expression and space, affect the way a message is construed. There are different modalities of culture, which affect communication in different ways: High-context or Low-context Cultures Every aspect of global communication is influenced by cultural differences.

Even the choice of medium used to communicate may have cultural overtones. For example, it has been noted that industrialized nations rely heavily on electronic technology and emphasize written messages over oral or face-to-face communication. But Japan, which has access to the latest technologies, still relies more on face-to-face communications than on the written mode.

relationship between culture and communication pdf file

The determining factor in medium preference may not be the degree of industrialization, but rather whether the country falls into a high-context or low-context culture. In some cultures, personal bonds and informal agreements are far more binding than any formal contract. In others, the meticulous wording of legal documents is viewed as paramount.

High- context cultures Mediterranean, Slav, Central European, Latin American, African, Arab, Asian, American-Indian leave much of the message unspecified — to be understood through context, nonverbal cues, and between-the-lines interpretation of what is actually said. By contrast, low- context cultures most of the Germanic and English-speaking countries expect messages to be explicit and specific. The former are looking for meaning and understanding in what is not said — in body language, in silences and pauses, and in relationships and empathy.

The latter place emphasis on sending and receiving accurate messages directly, and by being precise with spoken or written words www. In sequential cultures like North American, English, German, Swedish, and Dutchbusinesspeople give full attention to one agenda item after another.

relationship between culture and communication pdf file

In many other parts of the world, professionals regularly do several things at the same time. To her, it was all business as usual.

relationship between culture and communication pdf file

In synchronic cultures including South America, southern Europe and Asia the flow of time is viewed as a sort of circle — with the past, present, and future all inter-related. Synchronic cultures have an entirely different perspective. The past becomes a context in which to understand the present and prepare for the future. Any important relationship is a durable bond that goes back and forward in time, and it is often viewed as grossly disloyal not to favor friends and relatives in business dealings www.

We need to analyze this, not get sidetracked by emotional theatrics. In international business dealings, reason and emotion both play a role. Which of these dominates depends upon whether we are affective readily showing emotions or emotionally neutral in our approach. Members of neutral cultures do not telegraph their feelings, but keep them carefully controlled and subdued. In cultures with high affect, people show their feelings plainly by laughing, smiling, grimacing, scowling — and sometimes crying, shouting, or walking out of the room www.

In this part I will try to indicate that differences in communication between cultures may lead to miscommunication. Their model consists of two parts: I will not deal in detail with this part of the model. Non-verbal Communication This holds for both conscious and unconscious nonverbal communication. Conscious non-verbal communication is, for example, how to beckon people. In some parts of the world you do it with the palm of your hand upwards for example Western and Northern Europein others with the palm of the hand downwards Southern Europe.

In some cultures Ethiopia you use the first way of beckoning for animals and the second for human beings. This may lead to a great miscommunication when people with different manners of beckoning communicate with each other. Whereas one person means to beckon a human being, the other believes that he or she is treated as an animal. There are also many cultural differences in unconscious non-verbal communication. For example, the distance in normal face-to-face communication.

In the United States and Europe this is about 60 centimetres, in Asia about one meter and in South America about 45 centimetres. Whether or not you look at a person to whom you speak is also culturally determined. In most Northern European cultures it is very impolite to not look at people. When you do so people believe that you have to conceal something. In China and India on the other hand it is impolite to look at people, because then you do not show respect Gerritsen, The Interpretation of the External Environment When cultures largely differ in their basic values, for example the dimensions of Geert Hofstede, they will differ in their interpretation of words.

Culture and Communication |

The meaning of the sentence "Go to the boss" is different in a culture with a high index for power distance than in one with a low index. The statement "You are the best at your school" is a real compliment of which one is proud in a masculine. There are different cultures and culture-models.

They affect interpersonal communication. In fact, cultures are ever changing—though the change is sometimes very slow and imperceptible. Many forces influence cultural change. As indicated above, cultures are created through communication, and it is also through communication between individuals that cultures change over time.

Each person involved in a communication encounter brings the sum of his or her own experiences from other past or present culture memberships. In one sense, any encounter between individuals in new relationships, groups, organizations, or societies is an intercultural communication event, and these varying cultural encounters influence the individual and the cultures over time. Travel and communication technologies greatly accelerate the movement of messages from one cultural context to another, and in small and large ways, cultures come to influence one another through communication.

relationship between culture and communication pdf file

Phrases such as "melting pot," "world community," and "global village" speak to the inevitability of intercultural influence and change. Cultures are largely invisible. Much of what characterizes cultures of relationships, groups, organizations, or societies is invisible to its members, much as the air is invisible to those who breathe it.

Language, of course, is visible, as are greeting conventions, special symbols, places, and spaces. However, the special and defining meanings that these symbols, greetings, places, and spaces have for individuals in a culture are far less visible. For example, one can observe individuals kissing when they greet, but unless one has a good deal more cultural knowledge, it is difficult to determine what the behavior means in the context of the culture of their relationship, group, organization, or society.

In other words, it is difficult to tell, without more cultural knowledge, if the kiss is a customary greeting among casual acquaintances or if such a greeting would be reserved for family members or lovers. As another example, beefsteak is thought of as an excellent food in some cultures. However, if one were a vegetarian or a member of a culture where the cow is sacred, that same steak would have an entirely different cultural meaning.

Glimpses of Culture For the reasons noted above, opportunities to "see" culture and the dynamic relationship that exists between culture and communication are few. Two such opportunities do occur when there are violations of cultural conventions or when there is cross-cultural contact.

relationship between culture and communication pdf file

When someone violates an accepted cultural convention, ritual, or custom—for example, by speaking in a foreign language, standing closer than usual while conversing, or discussing topics that are typically not discussed openly—the other members of the culture become aware that something inappropriate is occurring. When "normal" cultural practices are occurring, members of the culture think little of it, but when violations occur, the members are reminded—if only momentarily—of the pervasive role that culture has on daily life.

When visiting other groups, organizations, and, especially, other societies, people are often confronted by—and therefore become aware of— different customs, rituals, and conventions.

Culture and Communication Styles

These situations often are associated with some awkwardness, as the people strive to understand and sometimes to adapt to the characteristics of the new culture. In these circumstances, again, one gains a glimpse of "culture" and the processes by which people create and adapt to culture. The Role of Technology and Media All institutions within society facilitate communication, and in that way, they all contribute to the creation, spread, and evolution of culture.

However, communication media such as television, film, radio, newspapers, compact discs, magazines, computers, and the Internet play a particularly important role. Because media extend human capacities for creating, duplicating, transmitting, and storing messages, they also extend and amplify culture-building activities. By means of such communication technology, messages are transmitted across time and space, stored, and later retrieved and used. Television programs, films, websites, video games, and compact discs are created through human activity—and therefore reflect and further extend the cultural perspectives of their creators.

They come to take on a life of their own, quite distinct and separate from their creators, as they are transmitted and shared around the increasingly global community.

Issues and Areas of Study Understanding the nature of culture in relationship to communication is helpful in a number of ways. First, it helps to explain the origin of differences between the practices, beliefs, values, and customs of various groups and societies, and it provides a reminder of the communication process by which these differences came into being.


This knowledge can and should heighten people's tolerance for cultural differences. Second, it helps to explain the process that individuals go through in adapting to new relationships, groups, organizations, and societies and the cultures of each.

Third, it underscores the importance of communication as a bridge between cultures and as a force behind cultural change. A number of questions also concern researchers and policymakers in this area.

As communication increases between individuals, groups, and countries, does this mean that cultural differences and traditions will inevitably erode altogether?

Will the cultures of individuals from groups, organizations, and societies that have great access to and control of communication media overpower those in cultures that have fewer resources and less access and control? Can knowledge be used to help individuals more comfortably and effectively adapt to new relationships, groups, organizations, and societies? The importance of these issues makes this area an important one for continued examination by scholars and practitioners.

Bibliography Gudykunst, William B. An Approach to Inter-cultural Communication. Hunt, Todd, and Ruben, Brent D. Communication and Cross-Cultural Adaptation. Communication and Human Behavior, 3rd edition.