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Lecture 2

INTC 1F90 Lecture 2: L2- Defining Communication

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Brock University
Intercultural Studies
Jeff Reichheld

Intercultural Studies Lecture 2 September 21 , 2016 Cultural Universals All cultures constitutes so many somewhat distinct answers to essentially the same questions posed by the generalities of the human situation…Every society’s pattern for living must provide approved and sanctioned ways for dealing with such universal circumstances as the existence of two sexes; the helplessness of infants; the need for satisfaction of the elementary biological requirements such as good, warmth and sex; the presence of individuals of different ages and of differing physical and other capacities. (Kluckholn, 1962, qtd. In Hofstede, 1991 p.20) Suderman (p.82-83): not so much “patterns of behaviour common to all cultures” as “structural universals that are responses to universal problems” Status; age; gender; food; sex; death “while cultures have developed patterns in each of these areas, they have not addressed them in the same way” Suderman (p.120)…way too make, but also limit generalizations Advantage- opportunity to recognize that groups are not absolutely different from each other Problem- needs to be aware of naïve or insulting generalization Culture Realms Major culture realms: East/west North America (European derived); Europe; Sub-Saharan Africa; the middle east; east Asia; north America native; Latin America According to Jandt (2016, p.19) communication: Are the means by which individuals learn appropriate behaviours and the means by which those behaviours are regulated It is impossible to have culture without communication; “culture is communication; communication is culture” Is the means by which individuals having one group identity interact with individuals with other group identities and on a more general level the means by which the group interact with one another as formal groups A Confucian perspective on communication would define it as an infinite interpretive process by which all parties are searching to develop and maintain social relationships (Jandt 2016, p.23) Language is something that is taught; it is something we put meaning to and take meaning out of Types of communication Verbal The linguistic code or language used to express complex thoughts/ideas, etc. Verbalizing one’s thoughts Non- verbal Extra-linguistic means of transferring information including (but limited to) behaviours such as “body language”, vocalics, proxemics, artifacts (clothing, status objects, etc.) Lustig & Kester (2013) define:- Communication As “a symbolic, interpretive, transactional, contextual process in which people create shared meanings” (p. 12) We are not communicating unless there is someone else communication back We are programmed to accept certain actions/emotions/things in certain places Communication is symbolic Symbolic “A symbol is a word, action or object that stands in for or represents a unit of meaning” (p.12) Linguistic symbol is arbitrary and conventional; meaning no logical connection, but agreed upon Why does a wedding ring symbolize commitment? This is something we have decide have meaning Interpretive People “must interpret the symbolic behaviours of others and assign significance to some of those behaviours in order to create meaningful account” (p.14) The closer the relationship between participants, the greater the similarity
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