Communication between cultures



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COMMUNICATION BETWEEN CULTURES
Culture is learned:

+ As we interact with others, we come to understand the beliefs, values, norms, and language of our culture. Culture is learned in a variety of ways and from a host of sources.
+ First, learning cultural perceptions, rules, and behaviors usually takes place without your being aware of it. Second, the essential messages of a culture get reinforced and repeated. Third, you learn your culture from a large variety of sources, with family, schools, church, and community.
+ You can learn culture through proverbs. They will help you learn about other cultures’ worldviews, beliefs, values, and communication patterns.
+ You can also learn culture through folktales, legends, and myths. They they are found in every culture and deal with ideas that matter most to that culture - ideas about life, death, relationships, and nature.
+ You could learn culture through art as well. Through the cross-cultural study of art - myths, songs, dances, paintings, carvings, and so on - we may discover much about different worldviews and religious beliefs, as well as political ideas, social values, kinship structures, economic relations, and historical memory.
+ You could learn culture through mass media, too. As a means of presenting this “cultural life,” mass media transmit images and stories that contribute to a sense of cultural identity while at the same time shaping beliefs and values.

For a culture to endure it must make certain that its crucial messages and elements are not only shared, but are passed to future generations.

  • Culture is based on symbols:

The understandings people share about symbols and their meaning affect the patterns of behavior found in a culture.

  • Culture is dynamic:

+ Culture is subject to change.
+ Change takes place in response to such events as population growth, technological innovations, environmental crisis, the intrusion of outsiders, or modifications of behavior and values within the culture.
+ Popular culture, which includes consumer products - for example, music, food, hairstyles, clothing, recreational activities, and their equipment, styles of cars, and furnishings—constantly change[s]. But backstage culture—the values, attitudes, and cultural dimensions that have been learned from birth—change[s] very little and very, very slowly.

  • Culture is an integrated system:

You touch a culture in one place and everything else is affected.

  1. Function of culture

Cultures exist to serve the vital, practical requirements of human life—to structure a society so as to perpetuate the species, to pass on the hard-learned knowledge and experience of generations past and centuries past to the young and inexperienced in order to spare the next generation the costly and dangerous process of learning everything all over again from scratch through trial and error—including fatal errors.

  1. Characteristics of perception

  • Perception is selective - Because there are too many stimuli competing for the attention of your senses at the same time, you focus on selected information and filter out the rest.

  • Perception is learned - Life’s experiences teach you to see the world in certain ways.

  • Perception is culturally determined - Culture teaches you the meaning of most of your experiences.

  • Perception is consistent - Once you perceive something in a particular manner that interpretation does not usually change.

  • Perception is inaccurate - You view the world through a subjective lens influenced by culture, values, and personal experiences, which tends to make you see what you want to see.

  1. Values

  • Values inform members of a culture as to what is considered right and wrong, good and bad, correct and incorrect, appropriate and inappropriate, in almost every context.

  • Values are gained through a variety of sources (family, history, proverbs, media, school, church, etc.).

  1. Characteristics of cultural patterns
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