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Umi Pujiyanti & Fatkhunaimah Rhina Zuliani

CV. Hidayah




Penulis Umi Pujiyanti & Fatkhunaimah Rhina Zuliani Copyright@2014, Umi Pujiyanti & Fatkhunaimah Rhina Zuliani Hak Cipta dilindungi undang-undang. Dilarang mengutip, memperbanyak dan menerjemahkan sebagian atau seluruh isi buku ini tanpa izin tertulis dari penerbit. All right reserved

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Penerbit CV. Hidayah Jl. Nagan Lor no. 14 Yogyakarta 55133 Telp. 0274 584227, 7830011 Email : | Cetakan pertama, 2014 Dimensi buku A5, 21 x 15 ix, 166 halaman Softcover ISBN 978-602-1230-55-8


In teaching English as second language or foreign language, students are usually confronted with so many ideas of strange cultural items. This condition somehow also influences their motivations, their willingness and their interest in studying the language. We consider this condition as a drawback we should omit. As teachers, then, we compose this book as a means to help students understand western cultures. This book consists of eleven chapters. Chapter I discusses the relation between Language and Culture which is then followed by General American Values for the Chapter II. Stereotypes comes at Chapter III where we can find discussion about certain ‗label‘ given to certain people from certain country. Chapter IV shares Intercultural Communication and Non-Verbal Communication is for Chapter V. Culture Shock as the initial feelings we find when touching other cultures‘ environment. It is continued by Cultural Conflict as Chapter VI. Male and Female Relationship, Table Manner and Hotel Tour are the rest of the Chapters.

Regards, Umi Pujiyanti dan Fatkhunaimah Rhina







1. Definition of Culture


2. Cultural Universal


3. Types of Culture


4. Cultural Patterns of Behavior






The Relationship Between Language and Culture






A. Freedom


B. Individualism


C. Punctuality


D. Volunteerism


E. Equality


F. Informality


G. Idealizing what is practical


H. Mobility


I. Progress






A. Kinds of Stereotypes


1. Nationality stereotypes


2. Racial stereotypes


3. Political stereotypes


4. Gender stereotypes


B. Stereotypes in Media


C. Positive and Negative Side of Stereotype


D. Dealing with Stereotypes


1. Between


2. In the Media


3. In Education






A. Barriers to Intercultural Communication


1. Attitude


2. Perception


3. Stereotype


4. Interpretation


5. Culture Shock


6. Non-Verbal Behavior


B. Cultural Learning


C. Dealing with Difference


D. Improving Intercultural Communication


1. Break the Assumptions


2. Empathise


3. Involve


4. Discourage Herd Mentality


5. Avoid Insensitive Behavior






A. Body Language (Kinesics)


1. Body movement (gesture)


2. Body Position


3. Facial Expressions


4. Dress


B. Eye Contact (Oculistics)


C. Touch (Haptics)


D. Body Distance/Space (Proxemics)


E. Paralangue


F. Turn - taking






A. Cause of shock culture


B. The symptoms of shock culture



The Stages of Shock Culture



Coping shock culture






A. The Cause of Cultural Conflict


B. Dealing with Cultural Conflict






A. Stereotype about American Men and Women


B. Women and Gender Discrimination


C. Women Liberation



1. Women working and househusband


2. Single parent


D. Sexual Revolution









1. Starting to eat


2. Napkin


3. Fork



World Table Manner


1. United kingdom


2. India


3. China


4. South Korea











Figure 1.1


the Iceberg Analogy of Culture


Figure 3.1

: Levels of uniqueness


Figure 3.2

: How attitudes and belief are distributed


Figure 3.3

: Racial stereotypes


Figure 3.4

: Gender stereotypes


Figure 4.1

: Communication model


Figure 4.2

: Phases of cultural learning


Figure 5.1

: space pattern


Figure 6.1

: The Stages of Shock Culture

and Cultural Adjustment


Figure 10.1

: Dining setting


Figure 10.2

: Fork handling


Figure 10.3 : Continental fork signal


Figure 10.4 : American fork signal



Many people who go abroad encounter features in their host culture that they may find disturbing. Reaction to these alien aspects of the new culture can dampen the entire experience in the country, resulting in various kinds of negative reactions. Learning another culture, developing relationships with people you meet, communicating efficiently, and adapting to the environment is a complex task of cross-cultural understanding. Cross-cultural understanding is concerned with understanding people from different cultural backgrounds/culture of the people so we can construct our attitudes and world view, more tolerable and generous toward strange ways that may be shown by other citizen of another country. If a person from an alien culture misinterprets a complex pattern of culture, then cross cultural misunderstanding arise.

A. Culture

1. Definition of Culture Culture comes from Latin cultura, means cultivation. British anthropologist Edward Tylor first gave the definition of culture which is widely quoted: ―Culture is that complex whole which includes knowledge, beliefs,

arts, morals, law, custom and any other capacities and habits acquired by man as a member of society‖. Newmark describes culture as a way of life of a certain society which is expressed by certain language. Clifford Geertz stated that culture is a symbolic meaning system. It is semiotic system in which symbols function to communicate meaning from one mind to another. Cultural symbols encode a connection between a signifying form and a signaled meaning. Culture might also be defined as ideas, customs, skills, arts, and tools which characterize a given group of people in a period of time

Culture as described by Larson and Smalley is ―blue print‖. It guides the behavior of people in a community and is developed in family life and helps us to know what we can do as individuals and what our responsibilities as a member of a group. From the standpoint of contemporary cultural anthropologists, culture is characterized by the following four basic features:

1) Culture is a kind of social inheritance instead of biological heritage; 2) Culture is shared by the whole community, not belonging to any particular individual;

3) Culture is a symbolic meaning system in which language is one of the most important ones; 4) Culture is a unified system, the integral parts of which are closely related to one another. In general, culture can be divided into three categories:

- Material








- Social









- Ideological culture including people‘s belief and values. Culture itself is like an iceberg. The tip of the iceberg is the smallest part. Most of the iceberg is submerged.

is the smallest part. Most of the iceberg is submerged. (Figure 1.1: the Iceberg Analogy of

(Figure 1.1: the Iceberg Analogy of Culture)

The same is true for a culture. That which we can easily see, the external part of a culture including behavior, clothing, food, is the smallest part. Meanwhile the internal part, including beliefs, values, norms, and attitude, is beneath the water level of awareness. It is inside people‘s heads. In every society there is a set of cultural beliefs which in large measure defines the implicit culture of that society and set if off from another society. The belief system of a society includes all the cognition namely ideas, knowledge, superstitions, myths, and legend, shared by most members of society. Cultural norms are rules of standard behavior accepted by members of society. Norms are divided into folkways and mores. Norms are called folkways when conformity to them is not considered vital to the welfare of the group and when the means of enforcing conformity is not very clearly defined. In American folkways specifies that on formal occasion, a man should wears a tie. The punishment of this conformity is that he may be flowned upon,or talked about. Mores are norms which specify behavior of vital importance to the society and which embody its basic moral values. The example of a more is that a man must provide for his wife and children. When he fails to do so

can be a cause for a legal action. The mores are actively enforced by the members of the society either through legal action or through social sanction. Sanction is a penalty, or some coercive measure, intended to ensure compliance. Value is a collection of guiding principles; what one deems to be correct and desirable in life. Cultures have values that are largely shared by their members, which identify what should be judged as good or evil. Values tend to influence attitudes and behavior. For example, American values human equality. (Further discussion about American values will be in the next chapter).

2. Cultural Universal Cultural universals are elements common to all human cultures, regardless of historical moment, geography, or cultural origin. There is a tension in cultural

anthropology and cultural sociology between the claim that culture is a universal (the fact that all human societies have culture), and that it is also particular (culture takes a tremendous variety of forms around the world). Koentjoroningrat (1990) categorizes cultural universal into seven, namely:

1. Language

2. Knowledge system


Social organizations

4. Life tool system

5. Livelihood system

6. Religion system

7. Art

The idea of cultural universals itself runs contrary to cultural relativism. Cultural relativism is the idea that all norms, beliefs, and values are dependent on their cultural context, and should not be used in the study or description of another culture. The way to deal with our own assumptions is not to pretend that they don't exist but rather to acknowledge them, and then use the awareness that we are not neutral to inform our conclusions. Cultural relativism is, in part, a response to Western ethnocentrism. Ethnocentrism is the tendency to look at the world primarily from the perspective of one's own culture. judging another culture solely by the values and standards of one's own culture. Ethnocentrism may take obvious forms, in which one consciously believes that one people's arts are the most beautiful, values the most virtuous, and beliefs the most truthful.

3. Types of Culture The word ―culture‖ doesn‘t mean just national culture, but the whole range of different types of culture. These include:

1. Corporate culture (for example, the culture of Apple, Microsoft)

2. Professional culture (for example, the culture of doctors, lawyers)

3. Gender (different cultures of men and women)

4. Age ( the different cultures of young, middle-aged, and old-people)

5. Religious culture (for example, Catholicism, Islam, Budha)

6. Regional culture (for example, Western, Eastern)

7. Class culture (for example, working class, middle class, upper class)

4. Cultural Patterns of Behavior Cultures have widely characteristics, but such patterns for living according to some anthropologists have universal characteristics. George Peter Murdock in Tomasow (1986) mentions seven cultural patterns of behavior, namely:

1. They originate in the human mind.

2. They facilitate human and environmental interactions.


They satisfy human basic needs.

4. They are cumulative and adjust to changes in external and internal conditions.

5. They tend to form a consistent structure.

6. They are learned and shared by all members of the society.

7. They are transmitted to new generations.

B. Language According to Sapir (1921), ―language is a purely human and non-instinctive method of communicating ideas, emotions and desire by means of voluntarily produced symbols.‖ Language is a part of culture and a part of human behavior. It is often held that the function of language is to express thought and to communicate information. Language also fulfills many other tasks such as greeting people, conducting religious service, etc. Language and culture are intertwined because language is an outcome or result of a culture as a whole and also a vehicle by which the other aspects of culture are shaped and communicate. Three major functions of language are:

1. Language is the primary vehicle of communication;

2. Language reflects both the personality of the individual and the culture of his history. In turn, it helps shape both personality and culture; 3. Language makes possible the growth and transmission of culture, the continuity of societies, and the effective functioning and control of social group.

C. The Relationship Between Language and Culture It is obvious that language plays a paramount role in developing, elaborating and transmitting culture and language, enabling us to store meanings and experience to facilitate communication. The function of language is so important in communication that it is even exaggerated by some scholars. The most famous one is the hypothesis concerning the relationship between language and culture, which Nida and Taber (1982) regards as misconceptions constituting serious difficulties for cross-cultural understanding. Each culture has its own peculiarities and throws special influence on the language system. For example, referring to the same common domestic animal ―dog‖. A great deal of cross-cultural misunderstanding occurs when the ―meanings‖ of words in two languages are assumed to be the same, but actually reflect different cultural patterns. Some are humorous as when a Turkish visitor to the U.S. refused to

eat a ―hot dog‖ because it was against his beliefs to eat dog meat. We can summarize the relationship between culture and language as the following:

- language is a key component of culture. It is the primary medium for transmitting much of culture. Without language, culture would not be possible.

- Children learning their native language are learning their own culture; learning a second language also involves learning a second culture to varying degrees.

- Language is influenced and shaped by culture. It reflects culture.

- Cultural differences are the most serious areas causing misunderstanding, unpleasantness and even conflict in cross-cultural communication.


1. What is culture according to:

a. Larson & Smalley

b. Condon

c. Edward Taylor


What is meant by:

a. Norms

b. Values

c. beliefs

3. What is cross cultural understanding?

4. How can cross cultural misunderstanding arise?

5. Mention the cultural patterns of behavior!

6. Mention types of culture!

7. What is:

a. Cultural relativism

b. Cultural universals

c. Ethnocentrism

8. What is language?

9. Language and culture are intertwined. Explain!

10. Give an example on how language can cause cross cultural misunderstanding!


To understand the political, economic, social and even personal behavior of any group of people, we must first know the dominant values of their culture which are passed down from one generation to another through learning. American culture has been enriched by the values and belief systems of virtually every part of the world. Consequently, it is impossible to be comprehensive. Nevertheless, a few selected values are at the core of the American value system.

A. Freedom Americans commonly regard their society as the freest and best in the world. Americans‘ understanding of freedom is shaped by the Founding Fathers‘ belief that all people are equal and that the role of the government is to protect each person‘s basic ―inalienable‖ rights. The U.S. Constitution‘s Bill of Rights assures individual rights, including provisions for freedom of speech, press and religion. No one single church dominates or controls in the US, there is a religious diversity.

B. Individualism Americans‘ notion of freedom focuses on the individual, and individualism has strong philosophical roots in America. Thomas Jefferson believed that a free individual‘s identity should be held sacred and that his or her dignity and integrity should not be violated. Individualism, understood not only as self-reliance but also as economic self-sufficiency, has been a central theme in American history. Frontiers heroes who braved the wilderness alone, farmers whose success depended on their ability to confront the hardships of land and resourcefulness, the celebration of the small businessman who became a financial success on his own; individual proprietorship in business is still extolled as the ideal.

C. Punctuality Punctuality is the characteristic of being able to complete a required task or fulfill an obligation before or at a previously designated time. "Punctual" is often used synonymously with "on time." It is a common misconception that punctual can also, when talking about grammar, mean "to be accurate." According to each culture, there is often an understanding about what is considered an acceptable degree of punctuality. Usually, a small amount of lateness is acceptable; this is commonly about ten or fifteen minutes in Western cultures,

but this is not the case in such instances as doctor's appointments or school lessons. In some cultures, such as Japanese society, or in the military there basically is no allowance. Some cultures have an unspoken understanding that actual deadlines are different from stated deadlines; for example, it may be understood in a particular culture that people will turn up an hour later than advertised. In this case, since everyone understands that a 9 am meeting will actually start around 10 am, no one is inconvenienced when everyone turns up at 10 am. In cultures which value punctuality, being late is tantamount to showing disrespect for other's time and may be considered insulting. In such cases, punctuality may be enforced by social penalties, for example by excluding low- status latecomers from meetings entirely. Such considerations can lead on to considering the value of punctuality in econometrics and to considering the effects of non-punctuality on others in queueing theory.

D. Volunteerism Volunteering is generally considered an altruistic activity, and is intended to promote good or improve human quality of life, which in return produces a feeling of self-worth and respect, but no financial gain. Volunteering is also famous for

skill development, socialization and fun. It is also intended to make contacts for possible employment or for a variety of other reasons. Volunteers are highly motivated people, workers who organize themselves and others to solve a particular community problem or meet an immediate social need, rather then waiting for someone else usually the govt- to do it. The willingness to participate in such groups is so widespread that six out of ten Americans are members of a volunteer organization. Volunteerism reflects Americans‘ optimistic pride in their ability to work out practical solutions themselves. Americans like to form associations of different kind . Many volunteers are specifically trained in the areas they work, such as medicine, education, or emergency rescue. Others serve on an as-needed basis, such as in response to a natural disaster.

E. Equality The Declaration of Independence states that "all men are created equal". In many ways people believe this; we can see equality in such common practices as "waiting in line". When we go to the bank, to the post office, or to immigration, we will be asked to take a number and wait. Regardless of how important or trivial our need is, we will be treated like everyone else; first come, first served.

We can also see equality in the classroom. All students are the same in the eyes of professors, and many professors view students (particularly graduate students) as their equals. Professors may ask students to call them by their first names.

F. Informality Although equality is ignored in some parts of life, it is followed closely in others. For example, people treat one another very informally, even in the presence of great differences in age or social status. This is not a "lack of respect," this is the custom in the United States. Informality is right understood as idealism in practice, or democracy in action, the right of the individual balanced by his responsibilities, in the basic unit is the family. The American visiting Indonesia on the other hand might be surprised to see that in Indonesia, the parent-children relationship is rather formal, where children have to respect their parents, parents still have the authority, and there is no ‗equality‘ at home.

G.Idealizing what is practical Many historians believe that most of the beliefs and values which are characteristically American emerged within the context of the frontier experience. Survival in the wilderness was best achieved to robust individualists. Survival

experiences also explain the American tendency to idealize whatever is practical. In America what works is what counts. Inventiveness was necessary for survival. This ―can-do‖ spirit is something Americans are proud of today. They like to think they are natural-born do-it-yourselfers.

H. Mobility As a nation of immigrants, Americans have shared from the beginning the assumption that the practical solution to a problem is to move elsewhere and make a fresh start. Mobility in America is not a sign of aimlessness but optimism. Moving about from place to place is such a common and accepted practice that most Americans take it for granted that they may live in four or fife cities during their lifetime. Americans hate to feel that buying a house might immobilize them forever.

I. Progress It is associated with the idea of freedom is the ideal of progress. The nation‘s progress has been measured by the taming of the frontier and industrial expansion. The desire to progress by making use of opportunities is important to Americans. In this immigrant society, progress is personally measured as family progress over generations. Many Americans can boast that with each succeeding generation since their first ancestors arrived, the family‘s status has

improved. The classic American family saga is all about progress. The great-grandparents work hard and suffer poverty and alienation so that they can provide a good education for their children. The second generation, motivated by the same vision of the future and willingness to work hard and make sacrifices, pass these values to their children. The attainment of the vision of one‘s grandparents is part of the AmericannDream.

EXERCISE 1 Read this following conversation. Chintya Phelly, an African exchange student, is visiting a radio station in Minneapolis. Analyze and discuss the American values implied in the conversation. Erica : Welcome to America Chintya. How‘s it going? I‘m Erica Kay. Chintya : How do you do, madam Erica. Thank you for showing me your station. Im studying radio broadcasting at the University of Minnesota. I look forward to meet your staff. Erica : Just call me Erica… (A man enters a room) Erica : Hi Fred! How‘s it going! Glad you‘re back from vacation. We missed you here.


(He slaps Erica’s open palm with his palm)

: Hi Erica. How are you doing girl?


: Bad boy! You‘ve been late for 15 minutes in your


first day! : Terribly sorry for that. I had a very bad jet lag.


: oh Fred…meet Chintya…she‘s from Senegal.


: What‘s happening girl?


: I‘m visiting your station, Sir.


Discuss a Western movie you’ve watched before and find the American values, belief, and norms on it!



A stereotype is generalizations of people groups based on past experiences, which are deep-rooted in the psyche of the people. In another definition, it is said that stereotype is a fixed idea or image that many people have a particular type of person, thing, or event, but sometimes it is not true in reality. Cultural stereotypes mean applying both evidence and our existing beliefs about the members of that cultural group. Stereotypes are called idiosyncratic, if only an individual uses them, or they are social, or collective if they are widely shared by a group of people. In everyday use, the concept of the stereotype is used in various contexts: usually the word stereotype is used to refer to members of some kind of collective: firemen are courageous, blondes are less intelligent, Italians are noisy, and so forth. The term stereotype itself, as allegedly used for the first time by Walter Lippman in 1922, is used today to mean a readily available image of a given social group, usually based on rough, often negative generalizations. Although stereotypes can be positive as well as negative, they are, in everyday usage, most often understood as irrationally based negative attitudes about certain social groups and their members. The concept of the 'stereotype' itself was borrowed from old raised printing

technology, where copies of a composed type were made by using papier mache as molds for new printing plates, identical to the original, and used to produce the same image over and over again.

In intercultural communication, in particular, it is vital to distinguish between what is part of a person‘s cultural background and what is part of their personality. In Figure 4.1, Hofstede uses the model of the pyramid to illustrate three levels of uniqueness in human mental programming. Every person is in some way like other people, some, or none.

Personality Culture Human nature Figure 3.1: Levels of uniqueness
Human nature
Figure 3.1: Levels of uniqueness

We do and think some things because we are humans: for instance, we want to sleep, eat, and survive. These are universal and inherited characteristics. We also do and think some things because of our culture, this might determine. For instance: when we eat and sleep, and how far we try to survive. These are characteristics which are specific to a particular group of people, and are learnt. We also do and think some things because of our individual personality. These characteristic are specific to us as individuals, and are both inherited and learnt. When trying to understand the behavior of a person it is important to consider all of these three levels. Within a culture there will be a range of attitudes, beliefs, values, and behavior. It is possible to generalize about culture, but care should be taken in applying those generalizations to individual. When we meet an individual, we cant tell where they are on the range. (see Figure 3.2)

No. of people most people some individuals some individuals
No. of people
most people
some individuals
some individuals

Figure 3.2. How attitudes and belief are distributed

When a person makes inferences about a new person or about some social event, they use their existing knowledge to reduce the uncertainty in the situation. The less one knows about the object, the more one uses stereotypical generalizations. In an intercultural setting, one of the goals of the participant is getting to know the attitudes and personality of the communication partner. Often, stereotypes are understood to be detrimental to intercultural communication and the elimination of stereotypes was believed to be a prerequisite for any successful intercultural exchange.

Many people see stereotypes as rigid generalities that members of society impose on others with whom they are unfamiliar or do not understand. The less we know about the other, the more we hang on stereotypes. If the stereotype is well- grounded and justifiable it may help to orient oneself in a certain situation, but if it is unjust and loaded with negative emotions, it will harm the interaction without question. A number of phenomena make the interpretation of cultural/national stereotypes enigmatic: cultural stereotypes are at the same time enduring and changing, strong and insignificant. Cultural/national stereotypes are both descriptive and prescriptive in nature: they are perceivers' shared beliefs about the characteristics of the target group and at the same time they also function as social expectations. In initial interactions and in solitary intercultural contacts people's national or cultural stereotypes may be used as a source of expectation about the other party, and as a reference applied to the judgement of the other party's behavior. Some of the constituents of a stereotype may be very old and remain the same for centuries, while some of the labels given to a country or cultural group may change within a short period of time. Also, the salience of the constituents of cultural stereotype may change in time and context. Some particular features may be enacted with different intensities in different contexts, yet in another context these features may have no relevance at all.

A. Kinds of Stereotypes

1. Nationality stereotypes Generalizations about cultures or nationalities can be a source of pride, anger or simply bad jokes. Some people say that in all stereotype there is some basis in reality, as they don‘t develop in vacuum. Nationality stereotype is a system of culture-specific beliefs connected with the nationality of a person. This system includes beliefs concerning those properties of human beings that may vary across nations, such as appearance, language, food, habits, psychological traits, attitudes, values etc.‖ Here are some national stereotypes famous in the


- American : arrogant; assertive; open-minded; materialistic; ambitious; progressive; efficient; straight-forward; alert; practical; US-centered world view; egoistic; anxious; fast food eaters.

- Arabs : intelligent; modest; insecure; anxious; impulsive; billionaires, bombers and belly dancers, men wear beards and are womanizers; have subservient and repressed women who wear burka or headscarf; ―play & pray‖ attitude; love celebrations and ceremonies; tea and shisha are important.

- Argentinians : disagreeable; megalomaniac; warm and friendly people; can be vain & arrogant; beautiful women; cultured society; lazy.

- Australians : nature lovers; surf all day drink all night; open-minded; free spirited; men are useless dads; uncultured; sports lovers; meat eaters.

- Belgians : make good beer; poor personal hygiene; dishonest in money matters; make bad lovers; distrust of authority; tax evaders; eat only french & fries.

- Brazilians : impulsive; incestuous; megalomaniac; most women are super-models, most men are gay or machos; always late; soccer lover; active; inventive and constructive people; always trying to outwit government and regulations; impossibly favor- oriented; family- and community-oriented.

- British (UK) : lousy food; bad teeth and hygiene; rude; thin; smoke cigar or pipe; heavy drinkers; swear all day long; artistic; deep thinkers; intelligent and articulate; boastful; anti-American; ride bikes.

- Chinese : stingy and noisy spitters; fast-learners; open-minded; ambitious; progressive; efficient; materialistic; do kung fu and other material arts; great at mathematics; terrible drivers; arrogant; assertive;

wear glasses; cheap labor; drink green tea; business- oriented; money rules the world.

- French good lovers; best cuisine in the world; chaotic; irresponsible; introverted; selfish; cultured; social ―players‖; do not like to work – prefer to strike; always surrender in war; don‘t speak English; rude to tourists; anti-American; don‘t use soap; don‘t respect religious freedom.

- Germans : mechanical; organized; boring; no sense of humor; drink beer all day; have never been late for anything in their lives, pedophiliac.

- Greek : are big and overweight; lazy; can‘t drive; disorganized; live the easy life; corrupt; impossible planners; cultured, inefficient; have beautiful women, as long they are young men are mainly homosexual or sexual predators.

- Indians : unconventional; adaptive; open-minded; agreeable; manipulative; hardworking; politically inactive; studious; intelligent; productive; inoffensive; poor personal hygiene; meditation lover, spiritual, generally poor; snake charmers; legendary bureaucrats; huge families.

- Indonesians : extroverted; warm and friendly people; lazy; religious; family-oriented; supportive; rarely on

time; corrupt; superstitious; slow; inferior; polite; lacking discipline; use feeling not logic; do not follow rules; hypocritical; tolerant; low profile; unwilling to confront or give ‗bad news‘; silent in meetings.

- Italians : Gigolos; live with their Mamas; possessive; passionate; pizza/pasta freaks; manipulative; dishonest; fashion-addicted; Casanovas; mafia or gang members.

- Israelis : arrogant; religious; strong family relations; well-traveled; noisy; rude; ruin things if not satisfied; argue over the price of anything; party all night; fancy and fashionable women.

- Jamaicans : lazy; grass-smokers; reggae and rasta maniacs; loud; boisterous and aggressive; strong sense of self and their culture; innovative musician; live in trees; walk barefoot and live generally very primitive; all Jamaican men are uncircumcised; all they care are weed, beach, women and rum.

- Japanese : disciplined; organized; technology-lover; extroverted; competent; short; workaholics; perverted; raw-fish eaters; suicidal.

- South Korean : ‗kimchi‘ is the only food; open- minded; ambitious; progressive; efficient; materialistic; arrogant; assertive; plastic-surgery

lovers; Jae-ju is the most famous place; serial-drama makers.

- Malaysians : manipulative; survive by cronyism and nepotism; introverted; arrogant; have speed traps everywhere; ultra-religious, but sell porn everywhere; boring; have great varieties of food; embrace multi- culturalism; every long-term visitor is expected to convert to Islam; have mistresses; women traditional but with modern thinking.

- Mexicans : heavy tequila drinkers; impulsive; wear huge sombreros; religious; family-oriented; great food (enchiladas, tortillas, burritos) and cheap cost-of- living; human traffickers into the US

- Nigerians : good in sport; violent; neurotic; open- minded; modest; manipulative; corrupt; love money.

- Pakistani : hardworking; politically inactive; studious; intelligent; productive; inoffensive; low- paid; do dirty jobs; militaristic; religious; hate Indians.

- Russians : aggressive; rude; open-minded; organized crime (the Russian Mafia) is everywhere.

- Singaporeans : adaptive; super-efficient; rich; selfish; money-oriented; hard-working; clean; stylish; organized; disciplined; tolerant; introverted; career-

and certificate-oriented; multi-cultural; fashionable; against chewing gum and smoking.

2. Racial stereotypes There are examples of racial stereotypes too. For instance, the Asians are stereotyped to be good at mathematics; the blacks are stereotyped to be good at athletics and dancing. These can be regarded as positive stereotypes. Other stereotype like "All Muslims are terrorists" is a negative stereotype, and many more.

are terrorists" is a negative stereotype, and many more. Figure 3.3: Racial stereotypes Cross Cultural Understanding

Figure 3.3: Racial stereotypes

3. Political stereotypes There are also examples of political stereotypes. These stereotypes have been deep rooted in the mindset of the general public, because of the general interpretation of the policies of a political party. Political stereotypes include: All democrats are liberals, All Republicans are racists, Religion-based party are hypocrite, All Democrats are Stupid, and All Republicans are against the "working man".

4. Gender stereotypes The depiction of men in media strongly suggests that they are strong, adventurous and active paving way for them to be stereotyped in that manner. On the other hand, the depiction of women suggests that they are good at performing household chores and taking care of their appearances and they are eventually stereotyped by these traits. Examples of gender stereotypes are ‗Men are masculine‖, ―Women are good cooks‖, ―Men are strong, adventurous and brave‖, ―Women are in charge of the house and Men are in charge of finances‖ etc.

Figure 3.4: Gender stereotypes B. Stereotypes in Media Many films, advertisements and television programs show

Figure 3.4: Gender stereotypes

B. Stereotypes in Media Many films, advertisements and television programs show men engaged in physically demanding pursuits such as sport, rock-climbing, and beach surfing or canoeing. They also show young boys playing with action toys such as trucks, robots and super-hero figures. On the other hand, the same media shows young girls putting on make-up, brushing their hair and generally worrying about their overall appearance.

Some other advertisements show mothers serving meals to their families. The depiction of women in such roles suggests that they are good at performing household chores and taking care of their appearances and they are eventually stereotyped by these traits. In literature and art, stereotypes are clichéd or predictable characters or situations. Related to this, Violet H. Harada (James, 1996) conducted a research about stereotypes and biases in recent Asian American fiction for adolescents. Several generalizations emerged from this study. The prevailing image of Asians American as a member of a model minority appeared in over half of the fiction. To a lesser extent, Asian American characters were described as Asian in physical but strived to be American on the inside. Inaccurate or restricted mention of cultural details also occurred. References to Japanese culture were limited to discussion on Ikebana-the art of flower arrangement-, and Zen. The only aspect of culture shared by the Chinese was references to eating rice and drinking tea. Fictions in particular, can be a powerful and natural vehicle providing a thoughtful reflection of the values and beliefs of a culture. All writers must accept the challenge and responsibility of a weaving authentic details and accurate cultural information into quality works for the readers.

C. Positive and Negative Side of Stereotype Stereotypes are useful for the human brain because they operate as a heuristic or a cognitive mechanism to quickly gather, process, and synthesize information. As social

animals, we seek to gather information about those around us. However, there is too much information to process in its entirety. Therefore, we have heuristics to make the process more efficient. In applying a stereotype, one is able to quickly "know" something about an individual. For example,

if the only thing you know about s girl is that she belongs to

a band, you are able to guess that she likes music. People use stereotypes as shortcuts to make sense of their social

contexts; this makes the task of understanding one's world less cognitively demanding. Other positive sides of stereotypes are:

People rely on stereotypes everyday to help them function in society.

To allow people to quickly process new information about an event or person.

To organize people‘s past experiences.

To meaningfully assess differences between individuals and groups.

To make predictions about other people‘s behavior. Given the social and cognitive necessities of heuristics, the problem with stereotyping is not the existence of the

cognitive function. The problem lies in the assumption that all people of a groupa group with which they might not even identifyare the same. For example, it is a common stereotype that people who wear glasses are smart. Certainly, there are some glasses-wearing, intelligent people. But it is poor logic to think that everyone who sports glasses is intelligent. Stereotyping can lead to prejudice, or negative perceived judgements about a group of people. The application of prejudice to a given individual can cause personal and social damage. Other negative sides of stereotypes are :

Oversimplified generalization

Breeding ground for errant generalizations.

Serve as a major source of disinformation about others.

May easily conceal or feed into prejudice, racism, sexism, and other forms of bigotry.

D. Dealing with Stereotypes The key to reversing negative stereotypes is to contradict them, in direct interactions between people, in the media, and through education.

1. Between Individuals. Once people get to know a person from "the other side," they often will determine that the other is not

nearly as bad as they originally had assumed. More often, however, people really are much more reasonable than their stereotypes would suggest. In that case, getting to know people personally helps to break down negative images. This is especially true when people determine that they actually have things in common with people from the other side. Such things can range from enjoying the same music, hobbies, or sports, to having the same worries about children or aging parents. Even when people learn that they share fear or sadness, they can begin to understand each other more. When they come to understand that the other is afraid of being hurt, or losing a loved one in war, just as they are, that brings people together. Such shared emotions make people seem human, while stereotypes typically "dehumanize" people. Likewise, shared emotions make empathy possible, which opens the door to new forms of interaction and trust building, at least among the individuals involved. Depending on the context and other interactions, the image of the group as a whole may become more positive as well. (At other times, people rationalize that their one new acquaintance is "not like the others.") But even learning that one person can deviate from the stereotype is a start. The challenge then is to expand such

transformative experiences beyond the individuals involved to larger groups, communities, and eventually whole societies. Developing such mutual understanding is the goal of many intervention efforts in war-torn areas, and in places rocked by social unrest. Dialogue groups and problem- solving workshops are two common ways of doing this. So are joint projects such as war-reconstruction efforts, children's programs, recreational programs, medical programs -- any kind of program that brings individuals from opposing groups together in a cooperative venture. Although they have additional goals beyond the breaking of stereotypes, working together cooperatively can do much to break down negative images people hold of the "enemy."

2. In the Media The media also plays an important role in both perpetuating and in breaking down stereotypes. If they characterize particular groups of people in certain ways, their viewers (or readers) are likely to do the same. So if a movie -- or the motion picture industry in general -- characterizes a group of people negatively, they are likely to be perpetuating negative stereotypes and making conflicts worse. If they emphasize the positive aspects of

groups that contradict prevalent stereotypes, they can have a significant role in building mutual understanding.

3. In Education Educational institutions and teaching materials also have the opportunity to affect stereotypes, and hence influence inter-group relations. Efforts to teach about different cultures, and the history of different racial or ethnic groups can help build inter-group understanding if it is done in an effective and sympathetic way. Educational system (teachers, schools, textbooks) needs to also try to paint a fair and accurate picture of the conflict and the different people involved, being aware that different sides of a conflict will view what is happening very differently. Through stories, discussions, and exercises, teachers can help students (of all ages and levels) understand the complexity of the conflicts that surround them, and develop age- and situation- appropriate responses to the current conflicts in their homes, communities, and nations. To the extent that classrooms contain students from both sides of the conflict, teachers can help students learn to understand and appreciate each other better, while protecting the safety (physical and emotional) of those on both sides. If the classroom only contains one group, reaching such

intergroup understandings is harder, but still worth the effort through books and articles, discussions, TV and movies, and when available, online exercices. In addition, we can deal with stereotype by:

Presenting more balanced pictures of minority life in media.

By reporting forms of human right abuses

By portraiting all groups fairly

Keep on talking and communicating fairly with each other (otherwise these problems are going to get much worse). Generalization and categories are necessary, but when they are too rigid they can be a barrier to the effective interpretation of a situation. However, eliminating stereotypes is not possible, or, if it were done, it would be detrimental to human cognition. Stereotypes, as such, are cognitive schemata, typical of the human cognitive system, which assigns a set of characteristics to all members of a given social group, and serves as a reference when assigning significance to observations and experiences in social interactions. They are mental structures, which simplify the complex stimuli from one's environment and facilitate their comprehension. There is nothing wrong with stereotypes if they are embedded in reality and promote the understanding of social and

historical processes. Western, multi-ethnic, pluralistic civilization celebrates diversity and the uniqueness and distinctiveness of its components. Stereotypes merely acknowledge this variety.


What do you think is happening here? Debbie : You’re more than just brother and sister, aren’t you?


: Yes, we’re twins. I was born first, my brother came few


minutes later. My mom says it’s because I’m a girl, and girls should go first. : I let her go first. Italian boys are always polite.

Debbie : Ok


I have a riddle for you both to solve.

Mario : I love riddles! Debbie : A boy and his father were badly injured in an accident. The child needed an immediate operation. He was wheeled into the operating room. The surgeon entered and said, “ Sorry, I cant operate this child. He is my son”. So, who is the surgeon? Maria : How can that be? Didn’t you say that the father also badly injured? Debbie : Yes. Badly injured. Mario : Maybe the surgeon was his step father. Debbie : Nice try, but that’s not it.

Mario : Well, I give up.


: What are you both assuming that is keeping you from solving this riddle?

Discuss it!

1. What are the examples of stereotype in the dialogue?

2. What is Mario and Maria assuming related to the story?

3. What is the answer of the riddle?


In a group of 4, choose a novel or a movie. Enlist and explain the samples of stereotype in it. It can be gender, race, nationality, and other kinds of stereotypes!


Communication has always been an important need of all societies. Since the time of our cave-dweller ancestors, people have been communicating in different ways. Neanderthals drew pictures on cave walls, American Indians communicated using drumbeat and smoke. In wars, soldiers used doves to communicate top secrets. Letters and the telephone were the next step in communication. Finally, in the present century most of communication process is done through the Internet. Communication can be defined as the exchange of meaning. This involves the sending and receiving of information between a sender and a receiver. This happens not only through the use of words, but also through non verbal factors, such as gestures and facial expression. The message received can be very different from the message was sent. The common model for communication is shown in figure below :


C O N Source-> Encoding-> Message-> Channel -> Receiver -> Decoding -> Receiver Response T
Source-> Encoding-> Message-> Channel -> Receiver -> Decoding -> Receiver Response








Figure 4. 1: Communication model


Source: The source is the person with an idea he or she desires to communicate.

2. Encoding. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately), humans are not able to share thoughts directly. Your communication is in the form of a symbol representing the idea you desire to communicate. Encoding is the process of putting an idea into a symbol. The symbols into which you encode your thoughts vary. You can encode your thoughts into words, and you can also encode thoughts into nonspoken symbols.

3. Message. The term message identifies the encoded thought. Encoding is the process, the verb; the message is the resulting object.

4. Channel. The term channel is used technically to refer to the means by which the encoded message is transmitted. Today it is called media.

5. Noise. The term noise technically refers to anything that distorts the message the source encodes. Noise can be of many forms:

- External noise can be the sights, sounds, and other stimuli that draw your attention away from the message.

- Internal noise refers to your thoughts and feelings that can interfere with the message.

- Semantic noise refers to how alternative meanings of the source‘s symbols can be distracting

7. Receiver. The receiver is the person who attends to the message. Receivers may be intentional; that is, they may be the people the source desired to communicate with, or they may be any person who comes upon and attends to the message.

8. Decoding. Decoding is the opposite process of encoding and just as much an active process. The receiver is actively involved in the communication process by assigning meaning to the symbols received.

9. Receiver response. It refers to anything the receiver does after attended to and decoded the message. That response can range from doing nothing to taking action or actions that may or may not be the action desired by the source.

10. Feedback: It refers to that portion of the receiver response of which the source has knowledge and to which the source attends and assigns meaning.

11. Context. Generally context can be defined as the environment in which the communication takes place and which helps define the communication. If you know the physical context, you can predict with a high degree of accuracy much of the communication.

Intercultural communication, sometimes used synonymously

with cross-cultural communication, is a form of communication that aims to share information across different cultures and social groups. It is used to describe the wide range of communication processes and problems that naturally appear within an organization made up of individuals from different religious,

social, ethnic, and educational backgrounds

to understand how people from different countries and cultures act, communicate and perceive the world around them. Many people argue that culture determines how individuals encode messages, what medium they choose for transmitting them, and the way messages are interpreted. As a separate notion, it studies situations where people from different cultural backgrounds interact. Aside from language, intercultural communication focuses on social attributes, thought patterns, and the cultures of different groups of people. It also involves understanding the different cultures, languages and customs of people from other countries. Intercultural communication plays a role in social sciences such as anthropology, cultural studies, linguistics, psychology and communication studies. Intercultural communication is also referred to as the base for international businesses. Generally, in communication, we seek to reduce uncertainty. Communication with strangers involves relatively greater degrees of uncertainty, due to the difficulty in predicting a stranger's

In this sense it seeks

responses. We experience uncertainty with regard to the stranger's attitudes, feelings and beliefs. We are also uncertain of how to explain the stranger's behavior. Motivation to reduce this uncertainty is more acute when we expect to have further interactions with the stranger, or when they are a potential source of benefit. We may reduce our uncertainty and increase the accuracy of our predictions by gaining more information about the stranger. The increased uncertainty in interactions with strangers is accompanied by higher levels of anxiety, as we anticipate a wider array of possible negative outcomes. We may worry about damage to our self-esteem from feeling confused and out of control. We may fear the possibility of being incompetent, or being exploited. We may worry about being perceived negatively by the stranger. And we may worry that interacting with a stranger will bring disapproval from members of our own group. Generally these anxieties can be reduced by paying more conscious attention to the communication process, and by gathering more information on the stranger. The authors add a further caution. Generally, individuals tend to explain their own behavior by reference to the situation. Observers tend to attribute an individual's behavior to elements of that individual's character. When interacting with strangers we are especially likely to attribute their behavior to their character, and then to view their character as typical of their culture (or race, etc.). That is, we are

especially likely to interpret a stranger's behavior in light of our stereotypes about what "those kind of people" are like. The problems in intercultural communication usually come from problems in message transmission. In communication between people of the same culture, the person who receives the message interprets it based on values, beliefs, and expectations for behavior similar to those of the person who sent the message. When this happens, the way the message is interpreted by the receiver is likely to be fairly similar to what the speaker intended. However, when the receiver of the message is a person from a different culture, the receiver uses information from his or her culture to interpret the message. The message that the receiver interprets may be very different from what the speaker intended.

A. Barriers to Intercultural Communication



Sample cases :

a. Globalization means that there is now one business culture everywhere in the world.

b. If they want to do business with me, then they‘ll have to adapt to my culture.

c. ―When in Indonesia, do as the Indonesians do‖

d. It‘s impossible to generalize cultures- there are many differences.

e. Today I work with Indonesians, tomorrow I‘ll meet

my American partners. I cant possibly learn all I need to know about all the cultures I have to deal with.

f. What I need when I go aboard is a list of dos and don‘ts.

g. Intercultural training just confirms stereotype.


a. People do share certain beliefs and values, especially business people. However, it is misleading to believe that they are always stronger than other types of cultures. One of the examples : Western franchise brands, such as KFC , which tries to standardize its products has to adapt to local taste. The pressure of globalization can also lead to the strengthening of local identity. The idea that people from different cultures can be fused together is at the heart of the concept of the ―melting pot‖.

b. It is an ethnocentric approach and is unlikely to success in business or other relationships.

c. This is commonly used phrase, and is useful in that it stresses the importance of considering the culture of the host. In practice, culture is so deeply rooted that it is not possible to change one‘s original culture and take on a new one.

d. Care should be taken with generalizations, but at times they are necessary, and they can be useful as long as allowance is made for individual differences.

e. Intercultural training can sensitize you to the sorts of factors that may be influencing communication.

f. Simple list of dos and don‘ts are of rather limited help in making communication successful. While they are appealing to the busy business person, effective intercultural communication requires more than a knowledge of a few basic facts.

g. Good training will avoids stereotyping, and encourage people to change their view in the light of what they observe.

2. Perception The fact that people perceive the same thing in different ways is particularly important in intercultural communication. The way we perceive is culturally determined, and the general lack of awareness of this is another barrier to intercultural communication.

3. Stereotype A stereotype is a fixed idea or image that many people have a particular type of person, thing, or event, but sometimes it is not true in reality. Generalization and

categories are necessary, but when they are too rigid they can be a barrier to the effective interpretation of a situation. In intercultural communication, it is vital to distinguish between what is part of a person‘s cultural background and what is part of their personality.


Interpretation What is the problem in this situation?

A Japanese businessman is negotiating with an Australian partner. Chan : The deal will be very difficult…


Chan : …. This is the case of misinterpretation, in which two people have interpreted the same statement in completely different ways. For the Japanese (Chan), the message was quite clear. For him, the statement that it would be very difficult means there would be no deal. He expresses this INDIRECTLY, to be polite, and to avoid ‗loss of face‖. The Australian, not being aware of this, thought that there were some problems that could be resolved. Gudykunst (in Gibson, 2000) suggests three ways of checking our interpretation of other people‘s behavior:

: Well, what can I help to solve the problems, Chan?

1. Perception checking The aim of perception checking is to ensure that our interpretation of the other person‘s behavior is what he or she meant it to be. First we have to describe what we thought the other person‘s meant, before asking if this interpretation is correct. Even this process is culturally determined, and for people from some cultures could be too direct. If you are an individualist communicating with a collectivist, it is important to keep in mind that collectivist may not feel comfortable answering direct questions. In this case you may have to ask your perception checking questions more indirectly.

2. Listening effectively It is important to distinguish between hearing (the physical process) and listening which involves much more attention, and includes absorbing new information, checking it with what you already know, categorizing it, selecting ideas, and predicting what is coming next. Active listening involves showing the speaker that we are involved in the conversation, trying to understand them better(by asking questions, for instance, or restarting what they have said).


Giving feedback

This is the verbal or non-verbal response to others.

Again, the ways feedback is given vary widely across cultures, but it often useful to follow the following guidelines:

Be specific

Be specific

Separate the feedback from the person

Separate the feedback from the person

Present the problem as a mutual one

Present the problem as a mutual one

Mix negative with positive feedback


negative with positive feedback

Provide feedback at an appropriate time

Provide feedback at an appropriate time

Use ―I‖ statement whenever possible

Use ―I‖ statement whenever possible

5. Culture Shock Culture shock is precipitated by the anxiety that result from losing all our familiar signs and symbols of social intercourse. These signs are cues include the thousand and one ways in which we orient ourselves to the situations of daily life. Further discussion about culture shock will be in the next chapter.

6. Non-Verbal Behavior








communication, nonverbal behavior also communicates. Nonverbal patterns include gestures, facial expression,

eye contact, body movement, touching, and the use of space and time. Gestures are an obvious source of misunderstanding, because they may have different meanings. However, other forms of nonverbal communication may cause particular difficulty, partly because we do not think about them much. Therefore, we may not be able to figure out what is causing the misunderstanding or why we feel uncomfortable. For example, patterns of touching vary a great deal in different cultures. In some cultures, people frequently touch, kiss, and hold hands in public. In other countries, this is not acceptable. In some cultures, people stand very close together when they talk, but in other cultures, they stand relatively far apart. In some cultures, a person who looks down while talking appears dishonest, while in other cultures, looking down shows respect. In some cultures, you are expected to be on time for an appointment, but in other cultures, you are expected to be late. All of these differences have the potential to cause problems.

B. Cultural Learning Figure 4.2 shows different phases of cultural learning:

Figure 4.2 shows different phases of cultural learning: Deftness (Making it happen) Selection (I know what


(Making it happen)

phases of cultural learning: Deftness (Making it happen) Selection (I know what will work) Synthesis (I’m
Selection (I know what will work) Synthesis (I’m finding some good combination) Understanding (I’m studying
(I know what will work)
(I’m finding some good combination)
(I’m studying the difference)
(they are different from us)
Ignorance (people are alike)
Local experts
To urist
Curios sojourner
Bicultural Expert

Figure 4.2: Phases of cultural learning

At the lowest level is the belief that all people are alike. Then comes a recognition that there are differences, an acceptance of the differences, seeing ways of synthesizing the different ways, selecting, and making things run smoothly. The process of cultural learning can be helped along by experience, reflection and training. Intercultural

training not only provides information but also develops skills, and encourages attitudes to enable people to progress along the cultural learning curve.

C. Dealing with Difference Use the following statements to reflect on how well suited you are to be an international student/employee. How many are true you?

1. I am a sociable person and have a lot of friends.

2. I enjoy travel, and learning about new culture.

3. I have always been good at learning languages.

4. I enjoy dealing with ambiguous situation.

5. I am tolerant of people who disagree with me.

6. I am prepared to change plans according to what happens.

7. I am a good listener.

8. I can cope with stress.

9. I have experience working abroad.

10. I have partner/family who is/are also keen in living abroad.

11. I am patient when things don‘t work out as I want them too.

12. I prefer to work in a team rather than on my own.

The more of those statements you ca honestly agree with, the more suitable you are for work in a n international context.

Based on a research, Marx (in Gibson, 2000) enlists - in

- what personal manager in German




companies looked for in international manager:

1. Social competence

2. Openness to other ways of thinking

3. Cultural adaptation

4. Professional excellence

5. Language skills

6. Flexibility

7. Ability to manage/ work in a team

8. Adaptability of the family

9. Patience

10. Sensitivity

Note that on the list, professional excellence doesn‘t come at the top of the list. If technical skill is the only criterion for working aboard, the result will be rarely successful. Where aggression, speed, and competitiveness may be important in a monocultural environment, they could be dangerous ii an intercultural one, where qualities, such as adaptability, and high tolerance for ambiguity are more important.

D. Improving Intercultural Communication It is essential that people research the cultures and communication conventions of those whom they propose to meet. This will minimize the risk of making the elementary

mistakes. It is also prudent to set a clear agenda so that everyone understands the nature and purpose of the interaction. In interactions with people from foreign cultures, a person who is interculturally competent understands the culture- specific concepts of perception, thinking, feeling, and acting. The basic requirements for intercultural competence are:

1. Break the Assumptions

Everyone makes or has assumptions about others. Assumptions are beliefs rather than objective truth and are usually influenced by a number of subjective factors.

For intercultural communication to truly work, people need to assess their assumptions and ask themselves why they hold those ideas or beliefs. By doing so and even openly examining them with others, the initial barrier to intercultural communication is overcome.

2. Empathise

In order to come to appreciate and understand people from different cultures, empathy is vital. Through putting yourself in someone else's shoes you come to see or appreciate their point of view.


Involving others in tasks or decision making empowers and builds strong relationships. Using intercultural diversity is in essence a more creative approach to problem solving as it incorporates different points of view.

4. Discourage Herd Mentality

Herd mentality refers to a closed and one dimensional approach. Such a way of thinking curbs creativity, innovation and advancement as people are restricted in how to think, approach and engage with people or challenges. Intercultural communication can only flourish and

therefore contribute if people are encouraged to think as individuals, bring their cultural influences to the table and share ideas that may be outside the box.

5. Avoid Insensitive Behavior

People can and do behave in culturally insensitive ways. By attacking someone's person, you attack their culture and therefore their dignity. This can only be divisive. Effective communication depends on the informal understandings among the parties involved that are based on the trust developed between them. When trust exists, there is implicit understanding within communication, cultural

differences may be overlooked, and problems can be dealt with

more easily. The meaning of trust and how it is developed and communicated vary across societies. Similarly, some cultures have a greater propensity to be trusting than others. The development of intercultural competence itself is mostly based on the individual's experiences while he or she is communicating with different cultures. When interacting with people from other cultures, the individual experiences certain obstacles that are caused by differences in cultural understanding between two people from different cultures. Such experiences may motivate the individual to acquire skills that can help him to communicate his point of view to an audience belonging to a different cultural ethnicity and background. As an example, International students face this issue: they have a choice of modifying their cultural boundaries and adapting to the culture around them or holding on to their native culture and surrounding themselves with people. The students who decide to hold on to their native culture are those who experience the most problems in their university life and who encounter frequent culture shocks. But international students who adapt themselves to the culture surrounding them (and who interact more with domestic students) will increase their knowledge of the domestic culture, which may help them to "blend in" more. Such individuals may be said to have adopted bicultural identities.


True/False Questions :

1. Japanese are coming into contact with people from other countries more often these days.

2. Intercultural communication only involves communication between people from different countries.

3. A study about what techniques Americans use to persuade and what techniques Japanese use to persuade would involve intercultural communication.

4. International communication is communication between individuals from different nations.

5. A program preparing Japanese workers to go to their company's office in England would be taking a culture- specific approach.

6. When the sender and receiver are from the same culture, the receiver is likely to interpret the message the way the sender intends, because they share similar values, beliefs, expectations, etc.

7. When cultures are very different, there is a greater likelihood that a message will be misinterpreted.

8. Because their language, religion, philosophy, and social attitudes are so different, and American farmer and a Chinese farmer would not have anything in common.


Perceptions of beauty are the same in all cultures.

10. Though beliefs and values vary within a culture, certain beliefs and values are held in common in one culture.

11. When there are different expectations for behavior, there can be difficulties between people of different cultures.

12. Families in the United States and Japan are very different in the way they communicate.

13. The family and the school are both important social institutions for passing along culture.

14. Language is not an obvious cultural barrier.

15. Language is not a barrier to communication for people with the same native language.

16. We











17. One way to improve communication with people of a different culture is to learn about both that culture and your own culture.


Read this dialogue. Han, a Chinesse student, has been in L.A high school for two weeks.

: Hi, Han! Remember me? I‘m in your math class…

Han : (blushing) Sure. You sit in the second row.



Han : thanks…


: I think you are really good with numbers.

: BTW, a bunch of our friends are getting together at Dana‘s house this evening. Want to come along? We are all meeting in my house at 7pm. We will walk over to Dana‘s together.

Han : I‘d love to. (later in the class, Han is talking to James)

Han : Hey James… I have a date tonight. James : Really?Who is the lucky girl?

Han : Linda. Discuss it!

1. What is the case of stereotype in intercultural communication above?

2. What is the misunderstanding here? Explain!

3. How to cope with that kind of misunderstanding above?


Communication is the transfer of information from one person to another. In other words we can say communication as the exchange of ideas, information, etc. between two or more people. Most of us spend about 75 percent of our waking hours communicating our knowledge, thoughts, and ideas to others. There are three major types of communication, namely visual, verbal or dialog, and von-verbal communication Visual communication, as the name suggests, is communication through visual aids. It is the transmission of ideas and information in forms that can be read or looked upon. Dialog or verbal communication is a conversation between two or more entities in which they use their speech organs to convey a message Non-verbal communication is the process of communicating through sending and receiving wordless messages. Non-verbal communication can be divided into 4 parts namely body language (kinesics), eye contact (oculistics), touch (haptics), body distance (proxemics), paralangue, and turn taking.

A. Body Language (Kinesics) Body language is a significant aspect of modern communications and relationships. Body language can be

defined as the conscious and unconscious movements and postures by which attitudes and feelings are communicated. It goes both ways:

Your own body language reveals your feelings and meanings to others.attitudes and feelings are communicated. It goes both ways: Other people's body language reveals their feelings

Other people's body language reveals their feelings and meanings to you. Body language, and more technically the study of body language, is also known as kinesics, which is derived from the Greek word kinesis , meaning motion. This includes body movement, body position, facial expression, as well as kinesis, meaning motion. This includes body movement, body position, facial expression, as well as dress.

1. Body movement (gesture) Body languages allow individuals to communicate a variety of feelings and thoughts, from contempt and hostility to approval and affection, often together with body language in addition to spoken words. The most familiar categories of body language are the so-called emblems or quotable gestures. These are conventional, culture-specific body language that can be used as replacement for words, such as the handwave used in the U.S. for "hello" and "goodbye". Body languages are a crucial part of everyday conversation such as chatting, describing a route, or negotiating prices on a market etc.

One of the most frequently observed, but least understood cue is a hand movement. Most people use hand movements regularly when talking. It can indicate a particular meaning, feeling or intention. The same gestures can mean different things to people from different cultures. Nodding head means ―ýes‖ or understanding in many countries. In other places such as Genovia, nodding head means ‗no‖. In some Australian Aboriginal cultures, it is disrespectful to look an elder, superior, in the eyes. It is a sign of respect to drop the eyes, (whereas in Western culture not meeting somebody's gaze is commonly considered to be a negative sign, indicating deceit, lying, lack of attention, lack of confidence, etc). One of the most frequently observed, but least understood cue is a hand movement. Most people use hand movements regularly when talking. It can indicate a particular meaning, feeling or intention. This category includes:

Salute: The salute is a formal greeting where the open hand is brought up to the forehead. It is often used in the military in a strictly prescribed manner and in specific situations. Bowing: Bowing is another formal greeting and can be as extreme as a full 90 degree bend from the waist to even

complete prostration on the floor. The greeter averts the eyes (I dare not look at your majesty) and exposes the head (You can kill me if you wish). The female variant on the bow is the curtsey, which again can be a full sinking to the floor or a slight bob. Bowing and its variants place the person into a lower rank than the person who receives the greeting and into a position of greater vulnerability. Waving: Waving can be done from a distance. This allows for greeting when you first spot another person. Waves call attention and a big, overhead wave can attract a person's attention from some distance. This also makes others look at you and is not likely from a timid person. A stationary palm, held up and facing out is far less obvious and may be flashed for a short period, particularly if the other person is looking at you (all you need is that he or she sees the greeting). Another familiar body language are using fingers. Same as body movement, fingers communicate many things. Here are some of the gestures:

O.K Gesture: When you put your index finger on your thumb, in America and England
O.K Gesture: When you put your index finger on your thumb, in America and England
O.K Gesture: When you put your index finger on your thumb, in America and England

O.K Gesture: When you put your index finger on your thumb, in America and England it means everything is well or good. In Latin America, Germany, Middle East, and France, it is a sign of insult.

Thumbs Up: In America or Europe, it's a sign of approval or hitchhiking. In America when a person stands near the road and uses this sign, it means s/he wants to take a free ride in your car, so you will stop and pick up the person. But in Iran police advises people not to pay attention to signs like this. In Asia and Islamic countries, it is considered rude.

Thumbs down: It generally indicates that something is bad or not accepted. "It received the thumbs down" has entered the English language as an expression to indicate that something has failed.

V-gesture: With the palm facing forward this gesture is seen as positive and meaning victory.
V-gesture: With the palm facing forward this gesture is seen as positive and meaning victory.
V-gesture: With the palm facing forward this gesture is seen as positive and meaning victory.

V-gesture: With the palm facing forward this gesture is seen as positive and meaning victory. During the 1960's and early 1970's it became a symbolic gesture of the "alternative" and "anti war" hippie movement and became to mean "peace".

With the palm facing inward this gesture in Japan is seen as negative or insulting.

Twisting Fingers: Generally this means "wishing for good luck or fortune". Another interpretation could be seen as "here's hoping". As such, folklore believes that crossing the fingers when telling a lie somehow offsets the evil of the lie. Some historians believe that crossing your fingers is a hidden or secret way of making the Christian sign of the cross - a sure-fire way of defeating demons. As a gesture it is has both positive and negative . symbolism, luck or lies.

Crooked Finger: In today's (Western) society, the "crooked finger" is seen as a somewhat impolite hand gesture. Almost exclusively a superior-to-subordinate (senior-junior, parent-to-child) hand gesture, it has arrogance about it. It is also used for summoning a waiter and, in some countries; it is used exclusively for calling-over a prostitute (Philippines).


Body Position What do you think is happening here?

Sales representative, Franz Bauer, from Germany and Jim Banks from Britain are in a difficult negotiation. Things are getting tense. Franz sits upright and is disturbed as Jim relaxes on his chair. Franz feels that Jim is not taking the negotiation seriously. Jim feels that Franz is getting more and more aggressive.

The situation above shows how two people can misinterpret each other‘s behavior, and so the situation escalates. The German‘s upright position indicates the seriousness; meanwhile the Britain‘s relaxing posture in the chair indicates his wish to defuse the situation. In some cultures travelers should be careful to avoid exposing certain parts of their body. In Arab cultures, for example, the sole of the foot is considered dirty, and should never be shown, so anyone can adopt the local custom of sitting on the floor, for instance, has to take care to avoid doing this.

3. Facial Expressions Facial expressions usually communicate emotions. The expressions tell the attitudes of the communicator. It

is now generally accepted that certain basic facial expressions of human emotion are recognized around the world - and that the use and recognition of these expressions is genetically inherited rather than socially conditioned or learned. Researchers have discovered that certain facial areas reveal our emotional state better than others. This means that, as the receiver of a message, we can rely heavily on the facial expressions of the sender because his expressions are a better indicator of the meaning behind the message than his words. Facial expressions continually change during interaction and are monitored constantly by the recipient. The meaning of these expressions may be similar across cultures, such as:

a. Eyes




Detailed Explanation

looking right







Creating here is basically making things up and saying them. Depending on context this can indicate lying, but in other circumstances, for example, storytelling to a child, this would be perfectly normal. Looking right and down indicates accessing feelings, which again can be a perfectly genuine response or not, depending on the context, and to an extent the person.






Detailed Explanation




Recalling and and then stating 'facts' from memory in appropriate context often equates to telling the truth. Whether the 'facts' (memories) are correct is another matter. Left downward looking indicates silent self-conversation or self-talk, typically in trying to arrive at a view or decision.



retrieving 'facts'

looking right



Related to imagination and creative (right-side) parts of the brain, this upwards right eye-movement can be a warning sign of fabrication if a person is supposed to be recalling and stating facts.

and up

fabrication, lying

looking right

imagining sounds

Sideways eye movements are believed to indicate imagining (right) or recalling (left) sounds, which can include for example a person imagining or fabricating what another person has said or could say.


looking right

accessing feelings

This is a creative signal but not a fabrication - it can signal that the person is self- questioning their feelings about something. Context particularly- and other signals - are important for interpreting more specific meaning about this signal.

and down





Related to accessing memory in the brain, rather than creating or imagining. A reassuring sign if signalled

and up







Detailed Explanation


when the person is recalling and stating facts.





Looking sideways suggests sounds; looking left suggests recalling or remembering - not fabricating or imagining. This therefore could indicate recalling what has been said by another person.







Thinking things through by self-talk - concerning an outward view, rather than the inward feelings view indicated by downward right looking.





honesty - or faked honesty

Direct eye contact is generally regarded as a sign of truthfulness, however practised liars know this and will fake the signal.








Eyes which stay focused on the speakers eyes, tend to indicate focused interested attention too, which is normally a sign of attraction to the person and/or the subject.


interest, attraction






Widening the eyes generally signals interest in something or someone, and often invites positive response. Widened eyes with raised eyebrows can otherwise be due to shock, but aside from this, widening eyes represents an opening and welcoming expression. In women especially widened eyes tend








Detailed Explanation


to increase attractiveness, which is believed by some body language experts to relate to the eye/face proportions of babies, and the associated signals of attraction and prompting urges to protect and offer love and care, etc.






Rubbing eyes or one eye can indicate disbelief, as if checking the vision, or upset, in which the action relates to crying, or tiredness, which can be due boredom, not necessarily a need for sleep. If the signal is accompanied by a long pronounced blink, this tends to support the tiredness interpretation.

or eyes


eye shrug



An upward roll of the eyes signals frustration or exasperation, as if looking to the heavens for help.


attraction, desire


The pupil is the black centre of the eye which opens or closes to let in more or less light. Darkness causes pupils to dilate. So too, for some reason does seeing something appealing or attractive. The cause of the attraction depends on the situation. In the case of sexual attraction the effect can be mutual - dilated pupils tend to be more appealing sexually that contracted ones, perhaps because of an instinctive










Detailed Explanation


association with darkness, night-time, bedtime, etc., although the origins of this effect are unproven. Resist the temptation to imagine that everyone you see with dilated pupils is sexually attracted to you.



Normal human blink rate is considered to be between six and twenty times a minute, depending on the expert.

Significantly more than this is




sign of excitement or

pressure. Blink rate can increase to up to a hundred

times a minute. Blink rate is


a reliable sign of lying.



Infrequent blink rate can mean different things and so offers no single clue unless combined with other signals. An infrequent blink rate is probably due to boredom if the eyes are not focused, or can be the opposite - concentration - if accompanied with a strongly focused gaze. Infrequent blink rate can also be accompanied by signals of hostility or negativity, and is therefore not the most revealing of body language signals.




Quickly raising and lowering the eyebrows is called an 'eyebrow flash'. It is a common signal of greeting









Detailed Explanation

and acknowledgement, and is perhaps genetically influenced since it is prevalent in monkeys (body language study does not sit entirely happily alongside creationism). Fear and surprise are also signalled by the eyebrow flash, in which case the eyebrows normally remain raised for longer, until the initial shock subsides.





sharing a secret or joke)


Much fuss was made in May 2007 when George W Bush winked at the Queen. The fuss was made because a wink is quite an intimate signal, directed exclusively from one person to another, and is associated with male flirting. It is strange that a non-contact wink can carry more personal implications than a physical handshake, and in many situations more than a kiss on the cheek. Additionally - and this was partly the sense in which Bush used it - a wink can signal a shared joke or secret.


Mouth The mouth can be touched or obscured by a person's own hands or fingers, and is a tremendously flexible and expressive part of the body too, performing a central role in facial expressions.







Detailed Explanation


faked smile


pasted smile is one which appears


quickly, is fixed for longer than a

natural smile, and seems not to extend to the eyes. This typically indicates suppressed displeasure or forced agreement of some sort.



Shows opposite emotions on each side of the face.







faked smile

More of a practised fake smile than an instinctive one. The jaw is dropped lower than in a natural smile, the act of which creates a smile.

jaw smile

smile - head tilted, looking up


Head tilted sideways and downwards so as to part hide the face, from which the smile is directed via the eyes at the intended target.

teasing, coy



Laughter deserves a section in its own right because its such an interesting area. In terms of body language genuine laughter is a sign of relaxation and feeling at ease. Natural laughter can extend to all the upper body or whole body. The physiology of laughter is significant. Endorphins are released. Pain and stress reduces. Also vulnerabilities show and can become more visible because people's guard drops when laughing.



Unnatural laughter is often a signal




nervousness or stress, as an effort

to dispel tension or change the atmosphere. Artificial laughter is a signal of cooperation and a wish to maintain empathy.

biting lip


One of many signals suggesting tension or stress, which can be due to high concentration, but more likely to be anxiousness.



Often an unconscious gesture of self- regulation - stopping speech for reasons of shock, embarrassment, or for more tactical reasons. The gesture is reminiscent of the 'speak no evil' wise monkey. The action can be observed very clearly in young children when they witness something 'unspeakably' naughty or shocking. Extreme versions of the same effect would involve both hands.



over mouth

back, shock


Head The head is very significant in body language. The head tends to lead and determine general body direction, but it is also vital and vulnerable being where our brain is, so the head is used a lot in directional (likes and dislikes) body language, and in defensive (self-protection) body language too.




Detailed Explanation

head nodding


Head nodding can occur when invited for a response, or voluntarily while listening. Nodding is confusingly and rather daftly also referred to as 'head shaking up and down'. Head nodding when talking face-to-face one-to-







Detailed Explanation


one is easy to see, but do you always detect tiny head nods when addressing or observing a group?



attentive listening

This can be a faked signal. As


with all body language signals you must look for clusters of signals rather than relying on one alone. Look at the focus


eyes to check the validity

of slow head nodding.






Vigorous head nodding signifies that the listener feels the speaker has made their point or taken sufficient time. Fast head nodding is rather like the 'wind-up' hand gesture given off-camera or off-stage by a producer to a performer, indicating 'time's


- get off'.












jutting chin.




head tilted to one side



signal of interest, and/or


vulnerability, which in turn suggests a level of trust. Head tilting is thought by some to relate to 'sizing up'

something, since tilting the head changes the perspective offered by the eyes, and a different view is seen of the other person or subject. Exposing the neck is also a sign of trust.



head forward,



Head forward in the direction




a person or other subject






Detailed Explanation


indicates interest. The rule also applies to a forward leaning upper body, commonly sitting, but also standing, where the movement can be a distinct and significant advancement into a closer personal space zone of the other person. Head forward and upright is different to head tilted downward.






















usually from


position of authority.


head shaking


Sideways shaking of the head generally indicates disagreement, but can also signal feelings of disbelief, frustration or exasperation. Obvious of course, but often ignored or missed where the movement is small, especially in groups seemingly reacting in silent acceptance.

head down (in response to a speaker or proposition)


Head down


generally a







someone's ideas etc), unless












supporting notes,

etc. Head





criticism is a signal of failure,

vulnerability (hence










Detailed Explanation



performing an



defeat, tiredness

Lowering the head is a sign of loss, defeat, shame, etc. Hence the expressions such as 'don't let your head drop', and 'don't let your head go down', especially in sports and competitive activities. Head down also tends to cause shoulders and upper back to to slump, increasing the signs of weakness at that moment.

chin up




Very similar to the 'head held high' signal. Holding the chin up naturally alters the angle of the head backwards, exposing the neck, which is a signal of strength, resilience, pride, resistance, etc. A pronounced raised chin does other interesting things to the body too - it tends to lift the sternum (breast-bone), which draws in air, puffing out the chest, and it widens the shoulders. These combined effects make the person stand bigger. An exposed neck is also a sign of confidence. 'Chin up' is for these reasons a long-standing expression used to encourage someone to be brave.


Arms Arms act as defensive barriers when across the body, and conversely indicate feelings of openness

and security when in open positions, especially combined with open palms.







Detailed Explanation


crossed arms


Crossed arms represent a protective or separating barrier. This can be due to various causes, ranging from severe animosity or concern to mild boredom or being too tired to be interested and attentive. Crossed arms is a commonly exhibited signal by subordinates feeling threatened by bosses and figures of authority. People also cross arms when they are feeling cold, so be careful not to misread this signal.

(folded arms)


crossed arms





with clenched


stubbornness, aggression









crossed arms.


one arm across body clasping other arm by side (female)











a 'barrier'








arms held


As demonstrated by members of the royal family, armed forces officers, teachers, policemen, etc.

behind body


with hands



holding papers


Another 'barrier' protective signal, especially when arm is across chest.

across chest

adjusting cuff, watchstrap, tie, etc., using an arm across the body


Another 'barrier' protective signal.

seated, holding


One arm rests on the table across




Detailed Explanation

drink on one side with hand from other side

the body, holding a drink (or pen, etc). Another 'barrier' protective signal.

touching or


shoulder using

arm across



Another 'barrier' protective signal.


Hands Hands contain many more nerve connections (to the brain) than most if not all other body parts. They are extremely expressive and flexible tools, so it is natural for hands to be used a lot in signalling consciously - as with emphasizing gestures - or unconsciously - as in a wide range of unintentional movements which indicate otherwise hidden feelings and thoughts. Hand is used for various purposes, notably:




Detailed Explanation

palm(s) up or open


truthful, honesty,


Said to evolve from when open upward palms showed no weapon was held. A common gesture with various meanings around a main theme of openness. Can also mean "I don't have the answer," or an appeal. In some situations this can indicate confidence (such as to enable openness), or






Detailed Explanation


trust/trustworthiness. An easily faked gesture to convey innocence. Outward open forearms or whole arms are more extreme versions of the signal.

palm(s) up,

defensive, instruction to stop

Relaxed hands are more likely to be defensive as if offered up in protection; rigid fingers indicates a more authoritative instruction or request to stop whatever behaviour is promoting the reaction.


pointing up


palm up and moving up and down as if weighing

striving for or seeking an answer






figuratively holds a problem or











of 'weighing'




hand(s) on heart (left side of chest)

seeking to be believed

Although easy to fake, the underlying meaning is one of wanting to be believed, whether being truthful or not. Hand on heart can be proactive, as when a salesman tries to convince a buyer, or reactive, as when claiming innocence or shock. Whatever, the sender of this signal typically feels the need to emphasise their position as if mortally threatened, which is rarely the case.

finger pointing (at a person)


Pointing at a person is very confrontational and dictatorial. Commonly adults do this to young people. Adult to adult it is generally unacceptable and tends to indicate a lack of social awareness or self-control aside

threat, emphasis






Detailed Explanation


from arrogance on the part of the finger pointer. The finger is thought to represent a gun, or pointed weapon. Strongly associated with anger, directed at another person.

finger point


The subtle use of a winked eye with a pointed finger changes the finger point into a different signal, that of acknowledging something, often a contribution or remark made by someone, in which case the finger and wink are directed at the person concerned, and can be a signal of positive appreciation, as if to say, "You got it," or "You understand it, well done".

and wink

or confirmation


warning, refusal

Rather like the waving of a pistol as a threat. Stop it/do as you are told, or else

wagging (side

to side)

hand chop

emphasis - especially the last word on a matter

















One or two clenched fists can indicate different feelings - defensive, offensive, positive or negative, depending on context and other signals. Logically a clenched fist prepares the hand (and mind and body) for battle of one sort or another, but in isolation the signal is impossible to interpret more precisely than a basic feeling of resolve.




hand stroking


The stroking of a beard is a similar signal, although rare among women.







Detailed Explanation



Usually the forearm is vertical from the supporting elbow on a table. People who display this signal are commonly assessing or evaluating next actions, options, or reactions to something or someone. If the resting is heavier and more prolonged, and the gaze is unfocused or averted, then tiredness or boredom is a more likely cause. A lighter resting contact is more likely to be evaluation, as is lightly resting the chin on the knuckles.

tiredness or

supporting chin or side of face


hand(s) on


The person is emphasizing their presence and readiness for action. Observable in various situations, notably sport, and less pronounced poses in social and work situations. In social and flirting context it is said that the hands are drawing attention to the genital area.




hands in


The obvious signal is one of inaction, and not being ready for action. Those who stand with hands in pockets - in situations where there is an expectation for people to be enthusiastic and ready for action - demonstrate apathy and lack of interest for the situation.





Since the time of our cave-dweller ancestors, people paid great deal of attention to clothes. They made clothes out of tree leaves, animals' hides, and now we have excellent apparel industries that use artificial materials to manufacture clothing. Our clothing is a part of our cultural identity. Even the way people dress for business differs widely across cultures. Wearing formal clothes in all over the world means person is going to an interview, workplace, celebration, or a place where some high- ranking people are present. Wearing informal clothes in all over the world means that the person is going to a friendly party, BBQ or an informal place. What do you think is happening here? Businessman from continental Europe, wearing a sport jacket and a tie, arriving for a meeting in London with his British counterpart wearing a suit, to be greeted with the words, “Did the airline lose your luggage?”. To the British partner, his Europe partner‘s choice of a sport jacket suggested inappropriate informality. As always, it is not only national cultural differences that are important, corporate culture can differ widely too, even within the same industry.

When we understand body language we become better able to refine and improve what our body says about us, which generates a positive improvement in the way we feel, the way we perform, and what we achieve.

B. Eye Contact (Oculistics) Eye contact is the meeting of the eyes between two individuals. In humans, eye contact is a form of nonverbal communication and has a large influence on social behavior. The study of eye contact is sometimes known as Oculistics. Eye contact provides a way in which one can study social interactions, as it provides indications of social and emotional information. People, perhaps without consciously doing so, probe each other's eyes and faces for signs of positive or negative mood. In some contexts, the meeting of eyes arouses strong emotions. Eye contact can establish a sense of intimacy between two individuals, such as the gazes of lovers or the eye contact involved in flirting. Alternatively, avoiding eye contact can establish distance between people. When in crowds, people tend to avoid eye contact in order to maintain privacy. Eye contact develops in a cultural context and different gazes have different meanings all over the world. The customs and significance of eye contact vary widely between cultures, with religious and social differences often altering its meaning greatly. According to the tenets of the Islamic faith, Muslims

ought to lower their gazes and try not to focus on the features of the opposite sex, except for the hands and face. Japanese children are taught to direct their gaze at the region of their teacher's Adam's apple or tie knot. As adults, Japanese tend to lower their eyes when speaking to a superior as a gesture of respect. In Eastern Africa, it is respectful not to look the dominant person in the eye, whereas such avoidance of eye contact is negatively interpreted in Western cultures. As with all forms of social interaction that impart social significance, eye contact is culturally determined.

What do you think is happening here?

1. A British expatriate living in Germany complains about being stared at the underground train, “They stare me straight in the face as if I’ve come from another planet”.

2. A US manager reports problems with Japanese staff. “I asked them how the project was going and of course, not much has been done. I was suspicious when they didn’t even look me in the eye”.

The length of time that is acceptable to look directly in the eye can also differ from one country to another. In some cultures, looking someone in the eye is taken as the sign of interest and honesty. in others, however this can be seen as a sign of disrespect. Visitors gradually learnt not to look too directly at the person they are talking too, in case they are thought to be staring intrusively.

C. Touch (Haptics) Question: Why do we touch, where do we touch, and what meanings do we assign when someone else touches us? What do you think is happening here? An African-American male goes into a convenience store recently taken over by new Korean immigrants. He gives a $20 bill for his purchase to Mrs. Cho who is cashier and waits for his change. He is upset when his change is put down on the counter in front of him. What is the problem? Traditional Korean (and many other Asian countries) don‘t touch strangers., especially between members of the opposite sex. But the African- American sees this as another example of discrimination (not touching him because he is black). Touch is culturally determine, but each culture has a clear concept of what parts of the body one may not touch. Basic message of touch is to affect or control protect, support, disapprove (i.e. hug, kiss, hit, kick). Here are some examples:

In USA, handshake is common (even for strangers), hugs, kisses for those of opposite gender or of family (usually) on an increasingly more intimate basis. Most African Americans touch on greeting but are annoyed if touched on the head (good boy, good girl overtones).(i.e. hug, kiss, hit, kick). Here are some examples: Islamic and Hindu: typically don‘t touch with

Islamic and Hindu: typically don‘t touch with the left hand. To do so is a social insult. Left hand is for toilet hand. To do so is a social insult. Left hand is for toilet

functions. Mannerly in India to break your bread only with your right hand. Islamic cultures generally don‘t approve of any touching between genders (even hand shakes). But consider such touching (including hand holding, hugs) between same-sex to be appropriate.

Many Asians don‘t touch the head (Head houses the soul and a touch puts it in jeopardy). What do you think is happening here? A European manager who came to work in the US of an insurance company was pleased to find that he had an excellent secretary. After she had completed another piece of work long before the deadline, he went up to her, tapped her on the shoulder and said, “Thanks again. It really is such a help that you are here”. Her response was to complain to the boss. The situation above show that where, how, and how often people touch each other varies widely across cultures. In the USA, the actions of some male employees touching female employees, whether innocently or otherwise, has given rise to law suits for sexual harassment. When and how often people shake hands varies widely too. A group of British investment bankers felt that their German colleagues shook hands excessively. In other cultures, hugging or kissing are more appropriate forms of greeting, even in a business context.

or kissing are more appropriate forms of greeting, even in a business context. 92 | Cross

D. Body Distance/Space (Proxemics) Proxemics or personal space is defined as (the study of) the amount of space that people find comfortable between themselves and others. People are usually more comfortable standing closer to family members than to strangers. The study of the way that people use physical space to convey messages is called Proxemics. Look at figure below:

convey messages is called Proxemics. Look at figure below: Figure 5.1: space pattern Zone Distance For

Figure 5.1: space pattern









Usually reserved for intimate relationships such as lover, but also applies during