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Cultural Patterns


Cultural Patterns Intercultural Communication By Kiyoko Sueda April 28, 2009 Objectives To understand what cultural patterns are, and what do they do to our life. – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Cultural Patterns

Cultural Patterns
  • Intercultural Communication
  • By
  • Kiyoko Sueda
  • April 28, 2009

  • To understand what cultural patterns are, and
    what do they do to our life.
  • To understand the cultural patterns proposed by
    E. T. Hall and G. Hofstede. (One of the most
    frequently used taxonomies)
  • To reflect how your own culture fits into the
    patterns, and how you, as an individual, may or
    may not a representative of that culture.

1. Cultural patterns1.1 Nature of cultural
  • Members of a culture generally have a preferred
    set of responses to the world.
  • There are five major elements of cultural
    patterns activities, social relations, the self,
    the world, and the passage of time.

1.2 Five elements of cultural
patterns?Activity orientation
  • Cultures usually choose a point on the
    being-doing continuum.
  • Question 1Compare the class in Japan and that
    of another country.
  • Question2 Compare a couple of classes you
    took last semester.

?Social relations orientation
  • Social relations orientation describes how people
    in a given culture relate to one another.
  • Question1 Can social superiority be obtained
    through birth, age, good deeds, material
  • Question2 What obligations and
    responsibilities do people have to their
    families, neighbors, employers, employees, etc.?

? Self-Orientation
  • Self-orientation describes how peoples
    identities are formed.
  • Question1 Does the self reside in the
    individual or in the group to which the
    individual belongs?

? World Orientation
  • Cultural patterns tell people how to locate
    themselves in relation to the spiritual world,
    nature and other living things.
  • Question1 Are people in control of,
    subjugated by, or living in harmony with the
    forces of nature?

? Time Orientation
  • Cultural patterns concern how people
    conceptualize time.
  • Question1 How should time be valued and
  • Question2 Is time linear or cyclical?

2. E.T. Halls taxonomy (assigned reading p.
  • A Can I ask you a question?
  • B Yes, of course.
  • A Do you know what time it is?
  • B Yes, its two oclock.
  • A Might you have a little soup left in the pot?
  • B What? I dont understand.
  • A I will be on campus teaching until nine
    oclock tonight, a very long day for any person,
    let alone a hungry one!
  • B Would you like me to drive you to a restaurant
    off campus so you can have lunch?
  • A What a very good idea you have!

  • Cultures differ in the amount of information
    implied by the setting or context of
    communication regardless of the specific spoken
  • Culture ranges from high-context to low context.
  • HCC examples Japanese, African American,
    Mexican, Latino
  • LCC examples German, European American

2.1 Use of covert and overt messages
  • High context cultures (HCC) Meaning are
    internalized, and an emphasis is place on
    nonverbal codes.
  • e.g., communication in a long-term
  • Low context cultures (LCC) Meaning are plainly
    and explicitly coded.
  • e.g., communication via computers

2.2 Importance of ingroups and outgroups
  • HCC Who is a member and who is not is easy to
    see. Family obligations are strong and social
    relationships are long-lasting.
  • LCC Who is a member and who is not is not as
    easy as seen in HCC. Family obligations are not
    as strong as HCC and social relationships are
    rather short-term.

2.3 Orientation to time
  • HCC Time is open and more flexible, less
    structured, more responsive to the immediate
    needs to people.
  • LCC Time is highly organized.
  • Question1 What about Japan?

3. Hofstedes taxonomy
  • Software of the mind is developed during
    childhood and reinforced by culture.
  • 100,000 IBM employees in 71 countries
    participated in the survey.

3.1 Hofstedes 5 dimensions
  • 1. Power Distance
  • 2. Uncertainty Avoidance
  • 3. Individualism/Collectivism
  • 4. Masculinity/Femininity
  • 5. Long-term/Short-term Orientation to
    Time?Michael Bond

3. 1 Power Distance
  • Power Distance The degree to which a culture
    tolerates inequality in power distribution in
    relationships and organizations.
  • 1. High power distance cultures tend to be
    authoritarian and vertical in structure.
  • 2. Low power distance cultures tend to
    minimize differences in age, gender, generation
    and individual differences are encouraged.

  • High PDI countries Arab countries, Guatemala,
    Malaysia, the Philippines, etc.
  • Low PDI countries Austria, Denmark, Israel, New
    Zealand, etc.
  • Please see PDI in Table 5.2 in p. 118

Factors determining PDI
  • 1. Climate
  • The more severe climate a culture has, the
    more technological inventions to solve its
    threats are needed for survival.
  • 2. Population size
  • The larger the society is, the more
    centralized political power is necessary.
  • 3. Distribution of wealth
  • The more unequally wealth is distributed, the
    less tendency for people to question a large
    power distance.

  • Language-honorific form
  • Obedience to parents
  • Decision-making style
  • Superior-subordinate communication

3. 2 Uncertainty avoidance
  • Uncertainty avoidance is the degree to which a
    culture can tolerate uncertainty and ambiguous
  • Members of high-uncertainty avoidance cultures
  • 1) To reduce the level of ambiguity and
  • 2)Not to tolerate deviant behaviors.
  • 3) To ensure security and certainty through
    an extensive set of rules, regulations, and
  • Examples Greece, Guatemala, Portugal, and

  • Members of low-uncertainty avoidance cultures
  • 1) To cope with the stress and anxiety that
    uncertainty causes.
  • 2) To minimize the number of rules and rituals
    governing social conducts.
  • 3) To tolerate socially deviant behaviors and
    try new things.
  • Examples Denmark, Jamaica, Ireland, Singapore
  • See Table 5.3 UAI in p. 121

Factors determining UAI
  • Not easily known.
  • Tendency The more society is advanced in the
    level of modernization, the lower its UAI score

  • The lower the societys UAI score is, the more
    open to change (s) it is, and the more risks its
    members take.

3.3 Individualism/Collectivism
  • Individualism-Collectivism dimension concerns the
    degree to which a culture relies on and is loyal
    to the self or the group.
  • Individualistic cultures Independence, autonomy,
    privacy and self are important. Personal goals
    supersede those of groups.
  • 1. Horizontal individualism the self is
    valued, and the individual is equal to others in
  • 2. Vertical individualism the self is valued,
    but is different from others in status.

  • Examples on individualistic cultures Australia,
    Belgium, the Netherlands, the USA
  • See table 5.4 ltIndividualism index (IDV)gt in p.

  • Collectivistic cultures Needs and desires of the
    group supersede those of the individual.
  • 1. Horizontal collectivism The self is viewed
    as a part of an in-group member who is similar to
    others in status.
  • 2. Vertical collectivism The self is viewed as
    a part of an in-group who is different from
    others in status.

  • Examples of collectivistic cultures Guatemala,
    Indonesia, Pakistan, West Africa

Factors determining IDV
  • 1. PDI High PDI cultures tend to be
    collectivistic while low PDI cultures tend to be
  • 2. Economical development Highly developed
    society tend to be individualistic while
    developing society tend to be collectivistic.

  • Members of collectivistic cultures have a clear
    demarcation between ingroup and outgroup members
    while those of individualistic cultures do nota
    have such a clear demarcation between the two.
  • In resolving conflicts, members of
    individualistic cultures are encouraged to speak
    out while those of collectivistic cultures use
    avoidance, the third party intermediaries, and
    face-saving strategies.

3.4 Masculinity/Femininity
  • Masculinity/Femininity dimension is 1) the
    degree to which gender roles are differentiated.
  • 2) the extent to which members prefer
    achievement and assertiveness or nurturance
    and social support.

  • Masculine cultures People prefer achievement,
    assertiveness, and believe in manliness. There
    is a clear cut difference in gender roles.
  • Examples Austria, Italy, Japan, Mexico, etc.
  • Feminine cultures People prefer nurturance and
    social support. Gender roles are more equal.
  • Examples Chile, Portugal, Sweden, Thailand, etc.
  • MAS in Table 5.5 in p. 129.

A factor determining masculinity index
  • Masculine cultures tend to live in warmer
    climates near the equator while feminine cultures
    tend to live in colder climates.
  • Cold climate? More technology needed for
    survival?Need for education and equality.

  • Masculine cultures Men are expected to be
    assertive and women are expected to be nurturing.
  • Feminine cultures Gender roles are flexible and
    gender equality is the norm.

4. Confucian cultural values
  • Confucius (??)
  • -Chinese civil servant
  • -B.C. 551-479
  • -Not a religious leader but philosopher as
  • -Taught a set of practical principles and
    ethical rules for everyday life

4.1 Four principles of Confucian teaching
  • 1. Social order and stability are based on
    unequal relationships between people.?
  • 5 basic kinds of relationship
  • leader-follower (justice loyalty)
  • father-son (love closeness)
  • husband-wife (initiative obedience)
  • older brother younger brother (friendliness
  • friends (mutual faithfulness)

  • 2. The family is the prototype for all social
  • The virtues learned in the family are the core
    part for interacting with others in the society.
  • Harmony is sustained through maintaining
    face, or a sense of dignity, self-esteem, and

  • 3. Proper social behavior consists of not
    treating others as you would not like to be
    treated yourself.
  • 4. People should be skilled, educated,
    hardworking, thrifty, patient and
    persevering.?Helping promote a world at peace,
    where no one needs to govern or be governed.

The influence of Confucian teaching in the east
  • ????(Kaku Sechiyama) (1996).
  • ???????????????????????????

  • 1. Which of the patterns discussed coincide with
    your own experience in intercultural
    communication? Explain.
  • Describe how each of Hofstedes dimensions of
    cultural patterns is displayed in your own

  • It is important to analyze critically how your
    own culture fits into the patterns.
  • We should avoid consuming these patterns as
    suggested by Yoshino (1995).

  • Hall, E.T. (1977). Beyond culture. New York
    Anchor Books.
  • Hofstede, G. (2001). Cultures consequences
    Comparing values, behaviors, institutions, and
    organizations across nations (2nd ed.). Thousand
    Oaks, CA Sage.
  • Lustig, M. W., Koester, J. (2003). Cultural
    patterns and communicationTaxonomies. In M.W.
    Lusting J. Koester (Eds,) Intercultural
    competence Interpersonal communication across
    cultures, (pp. 110-138). Boston Pearson
  • ????(Kaku Sechiyama) (1996).
  • ??????????????????????????.
  • Yoshino, K. (1995) Cultural nationalism in
    contemporary Japan A sociological enquiry.
    London Routledge.