Definition of Cross-Cultural Communication
Cross-cultural communication means the domestic communication between people and foreigners, but it also implies communication between the people which have different languages and cultural backgrounds. It is a field of study, which focusing on how people from different cultural context communication in similar and different ways, and how tough they endeavor to communicate across the different culture. 2. Barriers of effective cross-cultural communication
It makes the lack of attention and interest, adds distractions, or irrelevance to the receiver.
2) Personal barriers
The use of jargon. Highly complicated, unfamiliar and technical terms; Emotional barriers and taboos. Some people may find it is difficult to express their emotions and some topics may be completely ‘off-limits’ or taboo Difference in perceptions and viewpoints.
3) Physical barriers
Not being able to see the non-verbal cues, gestures, posture and general body language can make cross-cultural communication less effective; Physical disabilities like speech difficulties, hearing problems; Cultural differences. The standards of social interaction vary greatly among different cultures, as do the way how emotions are expressed. For instance, the concept of personal space varies among cultures and between different social circumstances. Proxemics
4) Semantic barriers
Semantics Language: difficulty and differences in understanding unfamiliar accents. Inference: Prejudices and expectations which may lead to false stereotyping or assumptions. People often hear the thing they expect to hear rather than what is said actually and jump into false conclusions.
3. How can they be surmounted
1Eliminate or reduce noises. Detect sources of the noise. If it’s possible to eliminate the noise, try to remove it. For example, the speakers can reduce outside noises by shutting down windows or moving toward an quiet inner area in the building. The speakers should determine the importance of the conversation in considering whether to terminate the noise. It may not be totally necessary to completely remove the sources of the annoying noise.
2Raise volume in speech. The speaker can raise her voice if she believes the listener cannot hear her well. If the listener has difficulty understanding the speaker due to noise, she can request the speaker talk louder. To overcome a noise barrier, increase the volume of the conversation so that the noise no longer significantly impedes the discussion.
3Listen actively. The listener should try attempt listen actively. It means paying undivided attention to all the speaker’s words .It does not means merely to hear what the speaker has to say, but to interpret it from the point of the speaker’s view as well. Frequently, noise is only just a subjective barrier to the conversation. The listeners are distracted by the noise, but the the noise is no longer a significant impediment to discussions. 4Use straightforward, clear language words. Use clear, straightforward language, you are to prevent unnecessary confusion and misunderstanding. Avoid using slang, idioms, and other language that may lead to misinterpret. It may be that lengthy statements with complex, multi-syllable words would be distorted by no. In cases where the noise is mild moderation to nuisance and not a real communication barrier to the communication, the speaker can be improved by using a clear, straightforward language to convey the information. Use familiar words in place of the unfamiliar. Use concrete words in place of the abstract. Use short words in place of long .single words in place of several. Theory One
Face negotiation theory
Face negotiation theory is a theory initially proposed by Stella Ting-Toomey in the year 1985 to understand exactly how different cultures throughout the world respond to conflicts. Our self-images, “face”, would be at risk in conflicts and our culture is associated to the way we do with this issue and the way we communicate. This theory has gone through numerous iterations since it was created, the most recent one was in 2005. In essence, this theory has been applied to conflict specifically, and it is based on identity management on individuals and a cultures.
The various aspects of individual and cultural identities can be described as faces. Faces are the images of individuals, or that of a group, that the whole society sees and evaluates based on cultural values and norms. Face can also be defined as “the claimed sense of favorable social self-worth and/or projected other-worth in a public situation” Conflict occurs when that group or individual has their face threatened by something. Faces can be saved ,lost, damage, or protected. The “Locus of Face” is well known as the degree of concern for oneself’s face and others’ faces.
It is necessary to take a look at the Locus of Face because it gives the frame work to study of face and face work and because it is a directly indicate how important it is to the individuals to maintain faces (for him or herself of the face of their cultures or groups) and in turn, that can affect the direction of the interaction directly. The Locus of Face is valuable also. Because it reflects both self -other concerns for face preservation, and other problems which are related to communicators navigating through negotiation or interaction. From collectivist cultures, avoiding or integrating conflicts style are usually taken because “mutual face” or face groups are most concerned about.
The people from individualistic cultures led to take the conflict style, because their primary concern is to maintain the self face, because they have a “face” independent in group There are numerous different strategies and how different cultures manage the identities affected by factors. Ting Toomey believes in collectivist cultures the face of population the most important among any individual to face the group. In individualist cultures, individual faces is much more important than the face of the group. Additionally, power distances do play an important role in the way cultures see and manage conflict. Power distance reflects status affects society. It will generally believe that power is to be worked for and earned and equality is natural if a culture has a small power distance. Narrow power distance characteristically is seen in individualistic places.
If a culture has a much further power distance acknowledge inequality and people are born into power. Large power distances can be seen in collectivistic places usually. The people who characterizes self-face concern used a face-restoration strategy. Face-restoration is “the self-concerned face-work strategy used to preserve autonomy and defend against loss of personal freedom.” In an individualistic culture, when there are threats to one’s image, to fight back or justify their actions in order to repair the damages is common. Also, in the collectivistic culture using face-giving strategy in conflict situations is common. This is defined as, “the other-concerned facework strategy used to support and defend another person’s need for inclusion”. In these threatening situations, a person demonstrating face-giving strategy might, “proactively deflect face threats for the other party, and perhaps for themselves as well. These are other-face and mutual-face maintenance moves”.
When it has been considered of what type of, face-concern or face-maintenance a person has, that becomes the biggest indicator of conflict style. “Conflict style refers to general tendencies or modes of patterned responses to conflict in a variety of antagonistic interactive situations” The five most basic styles of conflict management identified by most Western writers are as follows: avoiding ,obliging, , compromising, integrating, and dominating. PROS &CONS Summary
Ting-Toomey’s face-negotiation theory can be seen as a reasonable theory. However, it is important to put any other theory to the test, as did Karen K. Myer,John Oetzel, s, Estefana Lara, and Mary Meares. The conducted an experiment to test the assumption “… that face concerns are predictive of conflict management styles.”In their experiment, they included 184 managers and employees and asked them to complete a self-report questionnaire. This questionnaire asks them to describe their reaction to typical conflicts they have with other person of different status. During the process of this experiment, they were able to figure out that, “Self-face concern was associated positively with dominating and emotionally expressive styles, other-face concern was associated positively with integrating, obliging, and compromising styles, and mutual-face concern was associated positively with
integrating, obliging, and compromising styles.” They also received more positive evidence in favor for Ting-Toomey’s theory.These findings provide direct empirical support of the face-negotiation theory. CONS
However, the theory is that there are some deficiencies.
For example. The theoretical study the important aspect of differences between culture and collective individualism Cultures ‘face work conflict handling style and, but this theory does not fully explain or interpret this Cultural differences. Furthermore, Ting-Toomey Face-Negotiation theory is based on the Brown and Levinson the foundation of principle of politeness. Some scholars believe Brown and Levinson some elements of the theory is too abstract, not very clearly explained some specific issues. In this regard, Ting-Toomey also agrees, she thinks Brown and Levinson can only be initial reference to Face-Negotiation. Overall, Face–Negotiation theory provides a new perspective for us to better understand cross-cultural communication. Provides us an opportunity to think about how to solve a communication barriers between different cultures. Theory 2
Conversational Constraints Theory
It developed in Min-Sun Kim, attempts to explain how and why certain conversational strategies differ across various cultures and the effects of these differences. There are five universal conversational constraints: 1) clarity, 2) minimizing imposition, 3) consideration for the other’s feelings, 4) risking negative evaluation by the receiver, and 5) effectiveness. These five constraints pivot on the notion of if a culture is more social relational (collectivistic cultures), or task oriented (individualistic cultures). The social relational approach focuses on having more concern for the receiver’s feelings, holding more importance upon saving face for the other person than being concise. When constructing messages, the social relational approach takes into account how their words and actions will affect the listener’s feelings. The task oriented approach emphasizes concern for clarity over feelings. It places higher value on the degree to which the message is communicated explicitly in its truest form. Cultures have specific manners and behaviors that pertain to conversational style. These behaviors can be preferred by some cultures, and offensive to
others. Conversational Constraints Theory seeks to explain why these certain tactics work in some cultures but not in others. It is influenced by the customs, rules, and norms of that culture. The central focus of Conversational Constraints Theory is not necessarily what is said, but how it is said. Kim discusses the need for approval, need for dominance, and gender roles to analyze conversational constraints. The more approval a person needs, thus more feminine, the more they view minimizing imposition and being concerned with the hearer’s feelings as being important. The more dominant, thus more masculine, the more they view message clarity and directness as being important. Effectiveness
Concern for effectiveness is a constraint that is universally important amongst most all cultures. It is focused on the influence that the message has on the receiver and to what extent. Effectiveness explains the capability of how well the content of the message is conveyed to the listener, and if the style of verbal deliverance is soft or punctual. Effectiveness pertains to the potency of the message, if it is strong or weak, powerful or ineffective, weighty or superficial. Collectivistic cultures tend to use effectiveness within their conversations as more diffused and watered-down so as to lessen negativity and offense. This aspect of effectiveness has more ease and cushion in how the message is spoken, and is structured in a way that will minimize dissonance at all costs. On the other hand, individualistic cultures maximize the punctuality of effectiveness in delivering the message. The tone of their message focuses on directness, frankness, and being straightforward with their listener, and intend on being bluntly honest in order to be effective. Individualistic cultures are not generally concerned with the listener’s fee Clarity
“Clarity is defined as the likelihood of an utterance making one’s intention clear and explicit.” Clarity is an important part of conversation because in order for a conversation to flow properly, the communication needs to be clear and precise. A person trying to communicate a specific message explicitly uses direct imperatives to ensure that the proper message is carried to the hearer. If a person is attempting to use the hint strategy,
the message will be less clear because the intent is not communicated explicitly, therefore is not derivable from the literal meaning of the utterances. Kim proposes that task-oriented constraints emphasize a concern for clarity. When compare collectivistic cultures to individualistic cultures, the members of individualistic cultures consider clarity as more significant than members of collectivistic when aspiring goals. Further, members of individualistic cultures have thresholds and exploit more attention for clarity than members of collectivistic cultures. Individuals who display independent and interdependent self-construals present different views on the importance of clarity. Also, the importance on clarity is exhibited through to need to be more masculine. These different displays of clarity provide evidence for Kim’s conversational constraints. Consideration for Others’ Feelings
When communicating with another person, individuals take into account the listener’s feelings. People acknowledge how their intended action is going to affect the feelings of the other person. The concern the speaker displays for the hearer relates to what the speaker feels is necessary in order to help the hearer maintain positive self-images. Positive face, identity goals, and “concern with support” are three labels that help determine the degree to which a strategy shows consideration for the hearer’s feelings. When a person requests an explicit action, it possesses a higher chance of hurting the listener’s feelings. On the other hand, communicating with a hint sends a more implicit message, thus, delivering the message successfully. Compared to task-oriented constraints, social relational constraints stress concern for others by withdrawing from injuring the hearer’s feelings. Minimizing Imposition
An element that is an essential component within the Conversational Constraints Theory emphasizes the role of minimizing imposition. The theory discusses cross-cultural differences that have been observed when studying communicative strategies in different cultures. For instance, members within collectivistic cultures view face-supporting behavior. One way this is done is through minimizing imposition as an important component when a member is in pursuit of a goal. There is ample reason to believe that individualistic
cultures, on the other hand, do not consider face-supporting behaviors to be as important to goal oriented behavior. Conversational Constraints Theory suggests that feminine individuals place more value on minimizing their imposition. In contrast, individuals that are masculine tend to place less value on minimizing their imposition. In addition, the theory also reports that the more an individual requires approval within a given context, the higher the amount of importance they will place on minimizing their imposition. Avoiding Negative Evaluation by the Hearer
There have been concerns found in recent studies about conversational constraints across different cultures. Current research suggests that the concern for avoiding negative evaluation by the hearer is only one of the three concerns that were observed in research studies. In most instances, this particular conversational constraint occurs when a speaker within a conversation makes an attempt to avoid negative evaluation from the individual that is hearing the speaker’s message. The concern for avoiding negative evaluation by the hearer in a conversation explains a plausible reason that explains why individuals attempt to conduct their behavior in ways that will avoid devaluation from others within a conversation. PROS&CONS SUMMARY
Kim’s remarks Theory of Constraints for intercultural communication research has made tremendous contributions, he effectively absorb and learn from the previous point, forming a unique perspective. He combines Pragmatics and Intercultural Communication, provides innovative research perspective. In particular, he combines the process of regulating the same communicative cultural variability and individual level factors. In his subsequent studies, he supported the cultural level, the individual level, and comparative the effect on two levels.
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