Relationship of communication and culture

relationship of communication and culture

Relationships between communication and culture. The relationship between communication and culture is a very complex and intimate one. First, cultures are created through communication;. They discuss the critical role of language usage through communication to assert and meanings of language and communication in relationship to culture.

If the group continues to interact, a set of distinguishing history, patterns, customs, and rituals will evolve. New members would in turn influence the group culture in small, and sometimes large, ways as they become a part of it. In a reciprocal fashion, this reshaped culture shapes the communication practices of current and future group members. This is true with any culture; communication shapes culture, and culture shapes communication.

relationship of communication and culture

Characteristics of Culture Cultures are complex and multifaceted. The cultures of relationships or groups are relatively simple compared to those of organizations and, especially, societies.

Edward Hallis one of the most significant contributors to the general understanding of the complexity of culture and the importance of communication to understanding and dealing with cultural differences at the societal level. It follows that if other cultures—whether of relationships, groups, organizations, or societies—look different, those differences are often considered to be negative, illogical, and sometimes nonsensical.

If, for example, an individual happens to be in a romantic relationship that is characterized by public displays of affection, that person might think that the behaviors of other people who have more reserved relational cultures may seem strange, even inappropriate.

The person might wonder why a romantic couple would not be more open in displaying affection to one another in public. This phenomenon is true in a variety of situations. People who are used to informal meetings of a group might think that adherence to formal meeting rules is strange and stilted. Employees in an organization where suits are worn every day may react with cynicism and questioning when they enter an organization where casual attire is standard practice.

Someone from a culture that permits one man to have only one wife may find it quite inappropriate that another culture allows one man to have multiple wives.

Cultures change over time. 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.

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.

Two such opportunities do occur when there are violations of cultural conventions or when there is cross-cultural contact. 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 visiting other groups, organizations, and, especially, other societies, people are often confronted by—and therefore become aware of— different customs, rituals, and conventions. 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. 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.

Communication & Culture | Media Studies

Because media extend human capacities for creating, duplicating, transmitting, and storing messages, they also extend and amplify culture-building activities. 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.

Communication & Culture

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.

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.

relationship of communication and culture

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 of communication and culture

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

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.

Culture and Communication

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. High-context and low-context communication styles. Fachhochschul-Studiengang Informationsberufe, Burgenland 1.

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