MGMT 642 was taught by Dr. O. Her guidance for the comp exam was to concentrate on cultural dimensions, verbal communication, and non-verbal communication theories and concepts.

Please post any study guide material you wish to share for this section of the comp exam here.
Dr. O material added by Holly
Ch 3 Culture

Intercultural communication is communication between and among individuals and groups whose cultural backgrounds differ

Culture is defined as the shared, personal, and learned life experience of a group of individuals who have a common set of values, norms, and traditions.

Culture is learned:
-enculturation is when a person learns to identify with a particular cultures thinking, ways of relating, and world view
-acculturation is when you become accustomed to and embrace the appropriate behaviors and rules of the host culture

Culture creates community:
-community is the common understanding among people who are committed to co-existing together
-co-cultures are cultures within cultures
-culture clash is when there is conflict over cultural expectations
-culture is multileveled

Intercultural contact is pervasive in the US
It affects:
Family structure
Religious institutions

Why study communication?
-technological imperative-technology has facilitated the understanding of many diverse cultures around the world ex email among cultures
-demographic imperative-the influx of immigrants has changed the workforce in the US
-economic imperative-the global marketplace has made intercultural understanding necessary for most all business transactions, negotiation practices
-peace imperative-the resolving of world conflicts requires cultural understanding
-self awareness imperative-understanding our own world view aids in cultural awareness-self reflection
-ethical imperative-we are obligated to appreciated cultural variations in values, dating, marriage, and intimacy-cultural values

*Cultural Dimensions
Cultural Variability Theory by Geert Hofstede
A theory that describes the four dimensions that offer information regarding the value differences in a particular culture

Uncertainty avoidance
Cultures high in uncertainty avoidance desire predictability ex Greece, Japan
Cultures low in uncertainty avoidance are unthreatened by change ex US, GB

Distribution of power
Cultures high in power distance show respect for status ex Mexico, India
Cultures low in power distance have the belief that power should be equally divided among people ex US, Israel

Masculine cultures value competitiveness, material success, and assertiveness ex Italy Austria
Feminine cultures value quality of life, affection, and caring for the less fortunate ex Sweden, Denmark

Individualistic cultures value individual accomplishments ex US, Australia
Collectivist cultures value group collaboration ex Chile, Columbia

Challenges of intercultural communication
-Ethnocentrism-judging other cultures by your own cultural standards
-Anxiety and uncertainty –being uncomfortable around people who are different from us
-In groups-groups of people we feel we belong to
-Out groups-groups of people we don’t feel we belong to
-misinterpretation of nonverbal and verbal behaviors
-assumption of similarity or difference

High context culture-a culture in which there is a high degree of similarity among members and in which meaning of a message is drawn primarily from its context, such as one’s surroundings, rather than from words

Low Context culture-a culture in which there is a high degree of difference among members and in which the meaning of a message must be explicitly related, usually in works
Choices for Intercultural communication
-know your biases and stereotypes
-tolerate the unknown
Practice cultural respect
-cultural empathy-understanding other perspectives and relating to them
-cultural relativity-observers should never condemn a practice of a culture that they do not belong to
-educate yourself
-be prepared for consequences
-relate to the individual, not the culture
-re-evaluate and eliminate your prejudices

Cultural imperialism-the process whereby individuals, companies, and/or the media impose their way of thinking and behaving upon another culture

Verbal Communication

Language-a system of symbols that allows us to convey meaning
Grammar-a set of rules dictating how words can be combined
Encoding-forming messages to be sent
Decoding-applying meaning to the message or code

Attributes of verbal symbols
Words are symbolic, language evolves, words are powerful
Referent-the thing a verbal symbol represents
Meaning of words can be denotative or connotative
Denotative is literal, agreed on meaning of a symbol (dictionary definition)
Connotative is personal meaning based on past and subjective experiences
Words vary in abstraction from concrete to abstract-ladder of abstraction
Concrete-able to be seen, touched, or heard
Abstract-not able to be seen smelled, tasted, touched, or heard
The process of abstraction is the ability to move up and down the ladder of abstraction from specific to general and vice versa

Framing theory-a theory that argues that when we compare two unlike things in a figure of speech we are unconsciously influenced by this decision

Strategic ambiguity-leaving out cues in a message on purpose to encourage multiple interpretations by others

Equivocation-a type of ambiguity that involves choosing our words carefully to give a listener a false impression without lying

Euphemisms-a milder or less direct word substituted for another word that is more blunt or negative
Factors affecting verbal symbols
Culture and ethnicity
Idiom-a word or a phrase that has an understood meaning within a culture but whose meaning is not derived by exact translation
Phatic Communication-consisting of words and phrases that are used for interpersonal contact only and are not meant to be translated verbatim
Speech communities

Symbolic interactionism theory-the theory that our understanding of ourselves and of the world is shared by our interactions with those around us

Linguistic determinism-a theory that argues that our language determines our ability to perceive and think about things. If we don’t have a word for something in our language, this theory predicts we wont think about it or notice it.

Linguistic relativity-states that our language influences our thinking but does not determine it. Thus, if we don’t have a word for something in our language, this theory predicts it will be difficult, but no impossible to think about it or notice it.

Sapir-Whorf hypothesis-a theory that points to connections among culture, language, and thought. In its strong form this theory is known as linguistic determinism in its weak form it is know and linguistic relativity.

Codeabilty-the ease with which a language can express a thought

Sex and gender
Two culture theory-belief that being male or being female constitutes different cultures with different rules, norms, and language patterns
Generation-age cohorts distinguish themselves from the generation before them
Context setting or situation in which the transaction occurs

The dark side of verbal symbols
-static evaluation is when we use language in such a way as to imply that things don’t change
-polarization is using language in extremes or an either r-or fashion
-rectification is when we respond to the word or label instead of the things themselves
-muting is language use that lets some ideas and experiences go unnamed
-sexist language is use generic “he”-man linked words
-racist language
-homophobic language

The bright side of verbal codes
-Confirmation-use language in such a way as to validate and support another person
-Disconfirmation-use language in such a way as to ignore and disregard another person

Choices for improving verbal communication
-perspective taking-cultivating a respect for others and their viewpoints
-owning of our thoughts and feelings
I messages instead of you messages
-understanding the ladder of abstraction
-indexing-avoiding generalizations by acknowledging the time frame in which we judge other sand ourselves
-probe the middle ground

Non Verbal Communication

Non verbal communication refers to all behaviors other than the spoken word that communicate messages and have shared meaning between communicators
-excludes electronic communication
-culturally shared meaning
-verbal and nonverbal communication works together to create meaning

Interaction adaptation theory-individuals simultaneously adapt their communication behaviors to each other

Principles of nonverbal communication
-nonverbal communication is often ambiguous
-nonverbal communication regulates conversations
-turn taking
-non verbal communication is more believable than verbal communication
-nonverbal communication may conflict with verbal communication
-mixed messages

Non verbal communication codes
-visual-auditory codes
-kinesecs-body movement
-delivery gestures signal shared understanding
-citing gestures acknowledge another’s feedback
-seeking gestures request agreement or clarification
-turn gestures
-body orientation-the extent we turn our legs, shoulders, and head toward or away from a communication

-physical appearance
-physical characteristics
-body artifacts-clothing, piercing, tattoo, jewel

-facial communication
-eye contact
-paralanguage-vocal qualities
-contact codes
-touch (Haptics)
-used for positive affect
-playful function
-control or direct behavior
-ritualistic or every day touch
-task functions
-hybrid touch-both greeting and show affection
-some touch is accidental
-space proxemics is the study of how people use distance or space
-personal space is the distance we put between ourselves and others

Expectance violations theory states that we expect individuals to maintain a certain distance from us when communicating

Edward T Hall’s 4 types of personal distance
-intimate distance (0-18”) reserved for intimate relationships
-personal distance (18”-4’) reserved for normal conversation
-social distance (4’-12’) reserved for professional or formal interactions
-public distance (12’-25’+) reserved for public audiences

Proximity and territoriality
-personal space is the bubble we carry around from interaction to interaction
-territoriality is when we claim and defend space as our own
-territory markers-items or objects that humans use to mark territory
Place and time codes
The environment
-color, lighting, room design
Chronomecs (time communication)
-technical time, formal time, informal time
Cultural variations in nonverbal communication
-facial expressions
Choices for increasing non verbal effectiveness
-recall the nonverbal-verbal relationship
-be tentative when interpreting nonverbal behavior
-monitor your non verbal behavior
-ask others for their impressions
-avoid nonverbal distractions
-place nonverbal communication in a context