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Principles of Intercultural Communication [2 ed.]
 0367373882, 9780367373887

Table of contents :
Cover
Half Title
Title Page
Copyright Page
Contents
Acknowledgments
Introduction
Organization of the Book: An Approach to Intercultural Communication
Goal of the Book: Developing Intercultural Communication Competence
1 Punctuation Principle: ‘What’s in a Line?’
Chapter Outline
1 Introducing the Problem Question
2 Defining Basic Terms
2.1 Culture
2.2 Communication
3 Identity as Group Membership
3.1 Cultural Identity as Reflective Self-Image
4 Introducing the Punctuation Principle
4.1 Boundary Lines as Conceptualizations
4.2 Constructive and Destructive Boundary Lines
4.3 Boundary Fit in Intercultural Communication
5 The Punctuation Principle Defined
6 Case Study: ‘Peace Walls’ in Northern Ireland
7 Side Trips
7.1 What Is a ‘Person of Color’?
7.2 Human Towers in Catalonia
7.3 Intangible Cultural Heritage List
2 Uncertainty Principle: ‘Let the Mystery Be!’
Chapter Outline
1 Introducing the Problem Question
2 From Ontology to Epistemology
2.1 Objective Stance
2.2 Subjective Stance
2.3 ‘Two Sides of the Same Coin’
3 Knowledge as Inherently Uncertain
4 Introducing the Uncertainty Principle
4.1 Uncertainty and Horizon of Knowledge
4.2 Uncertainty and Dis-closure
4.3 Certainty in Uncertainty
5 The Uncertainty Principle Defined
6 Case Study: ‘The Shock of the Other’
7 Side Trips
7.1 Uncertainty and Intercultural Crisis Communication
7.2 ‘A Person Who Has No Horizon’
7.3 ‘There Is Strangeness Hidden in the Familiar’
3 Performativity Principle: ‘The Deed Is Everything’
Chapter Outline
1 Introducing the Problem Question
2 Language as Representation
2.1 Verbal Language
2.2 Nonverbal Language
3 How to do Things with Words—and Nonverbals
3.1 Language Rules
4 Introducing the Performativity Principle
4.1 The Dramaturgy of Performativity: From Rules to Roles
4.2 Levels of Performance
4.3 Performativity as Reiterative Process
4.4 Hospitality
5 The Performativity Principle Defined
6 Case Study: ‘Translation zone(s): A stuttering’
7 Side Trips
7.1 Free Play of the Saw
7.2 Intercultural Travel Blogs
7.3 ‘Whiteness Workshops’
4 Positionality Principle: ‘It All Depends’
Chapter Outline
1 Introducing the Problem Question
2 From Beliefs about the World to the Worldview
3 Cultural Gaze: Looking Out, Looking In
3.1 Cultural Gaze and Ethnocentrism
4 Introducing the Positionality Principle
4.1 Positionality as Grounding
4.2 Positionality and Authority
4.3 Positionality as Engagement
5 The Positionality Principle Defined
6 Case Study: ‘The Kosher Phone’
7 Side Trips
7.1 Positive Cultural Appropriation?
7.2 Women’s Ability to Travel in Saudi Arabia
7.3 ‘An Introduction to Dating’ Course in South Korea
5 Commensurability Principle: ‘It Is Everybody’s World’
Chapter Outline
1 Introducing the Problem Question
2 Linguistic Relativity
2.1 Two Versions of Linguistic Relativity
3 Cultures as ‘Enclaves of Mutual Incomprehension’?
4 Introducing the Commensurability Principle
4.1 The Nature of Commensurability
4.2 The Forms and Levels of Commensurability
4.3 The Implications of Commensurability
5 The Commensurability Principle Defined
6 Case Study: ‘The Globalization of Chinese Medicine: The Case of Acupuncture’
7 Side Trips
7.1 Language and Money
7.2 Chinese and American Toddlers
7.3 Translate Mobile App
6 Continuum Principle: ‘Having It Both Ways’
Chapter Outline
1 Introducing the Problem Question
2 Global Cultural Dimensions: How Many?
3 Introducing the Continuum Principle
3.1 The Digital and the Analog
3.2 Continuum as Topological Space
3.3 Beyond Binary Thinking
4 The Continuum Principle Defined
5 Case Study: ‘The 1999 Coca-Cola Scare in Europe’
6 Side Trips
6.1 Cultural Dimensions and Investment Decisions
6.2 Gender and Our Brains
6.3 Intercultural Communication on Web Sites
7 Pendulum Principle: ‘Panta Rhei’
Chapter Outline
1 Introducing the Problem Question
2 Tensions in Intercultural Communication
2.1 Ethnolinguistic Vitality
3 ‘Voice’ in Intercultural Communication
4 Introducing the Pendulum Principle
4.1 The Contradictory Nature of Intercultural Communication
4.2 Intercultural Communication as Praxis
4.3 Intercultural Communication and Change
5 The Pendulum Principle Defined
6 Case Study: ‘Dialectics of Colonial Encounter: Interacting with the Kobon’
7 Side Trips
7.1 Speaking Spanish at a Border
7.2 Linguistic Landscapes and Cultural Transformations
7.3 In Montreal, a Berlin Wall of the Mind?
8 Transaction Principle: ‘More Than a Game’
Chapter Outline
1 Introducing the Problem Question
2 Approaching Conflict: Roots
2.1 Two Sides of Conflict
3 Approaching Conflict: Routes
4 Introducing the Transaction Principle
4.1 Intercultural Transaction: Perception and Reality
4.2 Intercultural Communication as Negotiation Zone
4.3 Back to the Future: From Positions to Interests
5 The Transaction Principle Defined
6 Case Study: ‘The Wall of Death’: A Conflict Between Japanese and Western Cultures
7 Side Trips
7.1 Spain and Catalonia in Conflict
7.2 Conflict over a Beauty Pageant
7.3 Managing Intractable Conflict
9 Synergy Principle: ‘2 + 2 = 5 (or More!)’
Chapter Outline
1 Introducing the Problem Question
2 Perception: ‘Seizing the World’
2.1 Stereotype: Are All Swans White?
2.2 Prejudice: The United States and ‘the Rest-of-the-World Soccer Cup’
3 Escaping Suspicion and Fear
4 Introducing the Synergy Principle
4.1 Intercultural Synergy and Non-Summativity
4.2 Toward Pareto Optimality
4.3 Intercultural Synergy and the Flow Dynamics
5 Synergy Principle Defined
6 Case Study: ‘The Case of AMD: Unleashing Intercultural Potential’
7 Side Trips
7.1 Stereotypes in Hollywood Movies
7.2 Can AI be Biased?
7.3 Addressing Prejudiced Statements
10 Sustainability Principle: ‘All for One, and One for All’
Chapter Outline
1 Introducing the Problem Question
2 Ethics and Intercultural Communication
2.1 Approaches to Ethics in Intercultural Communication
3 Introducing the Sustainability Principle
3.1 General Nature of Sustainability: Thinking about Forever
3.2 Strategies of Sustainability: Tolerance, Trust, Resistance
4 The Sustainability Principle Defined
5 Case Study: ‘An Ethics of Cultural Exchange’
6 Side Trips
6.1 Seesaws at the U.S.–Mexico Border
6.2 Cultures of Resistance Network
6.3 The Ship of Tolerance
Index

Citation preview

Principles of Intercultural Communication

Now in a second edition, this book guides students in developing Intercultural Communication Competence through its accessible style and unique theoretical framework of ten interconnected principles. Thoroughly revised and updated with new case studies, side trips, and examples and a sharper focus on practical application, the book engages students in active learning by showing them how these principles come to play in their intercultural journeys. It features detailed case studies that are accompanied by guiding questions that help students link theory to their daily lives.At the end of each chapter, the ‘Side Trips’ discussion prompts encourage students to think more critically about the issues as they are presented. Suitable for upper-level or graduate intercultural communication courses within communication and linguistics departments. Igor E. Klyukanov is Professor of Communication in the Department of Communication Studies at Eastern Washington University, U.S.A. He has authored numerous articles, book chapters, and books in communication theory, semiotics, translation studies, general linguistics, and intercultural communication.

“This is an enormously compelling next edition. Updated with recent work and international events, and continuing its unique feature of numerous invaluable images and posing really poignant questions, this reader-friendly volume is essential reading, across the entire spectrum of intercultural scholarship, for both students and seasoned scholars alike!” —Howie Giles, University of California, Santa Barbara, U.S.A. “This is, quite simply, the best intercultural text on the market. It ofers an insightful theoretical grounding of intercultural communication that deepens and enriches our overall understanding. Updated illustrations, key terms, case studies, and thoughtful ‘side-trips’ for students brilliantly reinforce and extend the book’s main themes and issues.” —Deborah Eicher-Catt,The Pennsylvania State University-York, U.S.A. “Igor Klyukanov’s book Principles of Intercultural Communication takes a unique approach to teaching a discipline that until today is in an essential search for its position in academia and society: A meanwhile considerable tradition of research today is confronted with urgent demands for critical thinking and refexivity – emerging from postcolonial and postmodern thought on cultural politics.This confrontation very often results in a passionate “eitheror” debate. Igor Klyukanov in his book takes one step back and turns these debates into constructive refection:Thinking about intercultural communication turns into a chance for reconsidering the ethical foundations of our overall social lives and for developing a deeper understanding of ethics in interculturality.” —Dominic Busch, Universität der Bundeswehr München, Germany “In an age when multiculturalism connotes a congealing of identity around ethnicity, gender, race, sexuality, nationality and other attributes, whereby groups seal themselves of and resist infuences of others, Igor Klyukanov’s Principles of Intercultural Communication introduces readers to the manifold ways that cultures connect and nurture new identities, forms and relationships. While depicting and respecting distinctive cultural traditions, histories and practices, Klyukanov elaborates ten essential principles that, when embodied in everyday life, ensure constructive and sustainable communication between diverse persons and groups. No other intercultural textbook comes close to this accomplishment.” —Andrew R. Smith, Edinboro University, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.

Principles of Intercultural Communication Second edition

Igor E. Klyukanov

Second edition published 2021 by Routledge 52 Vanderbilt Avenue, New York, NY 10017 and by Routledge 2 Park Square, Milton Park,Abingdon, Oxon, OX14 4RN Routledge is an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business © 2021 Taylor & Francis The right of Igor E. Klyukanov to be identifed as author of this work has been asserted by him in accordance with sections 77 and 78 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or utilised in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publishers. Trademark notice: Product or corporate names may be trademarks or registered trademarks, and are used only for identifcation and explanation without intent to infringe. First edition published by Addison Wesley Publishing Company 2007 Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Names: Klyukanov, Igor, author. Title: Principles of intercultural communication / Igor Klyukanov. Description: Second edition. | New York, NY : Routledge, 2020. | Includes bibliographical references and index. Identifers: LCCN 2020008456 (print) | LCCN 2020008457 (ebook) Subjects: LCSH: Intercultural communication. Classifcation: LCC HM1211 .K58 2020 (print) | LCC HM1211 (ebook) | DDC 303.48/2—dc23 LC record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2020008456 LC ebook record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2020008457 ISBN: 978-0-367-37388-7 (hbk) ISBN: 978-0-367-37387-0 (pbk) ISBN: 978-0-429-35347-5 (ebk) Typeset in Bembo by Apex CoVantage, LLC

Contents

Acknowledgments

x

Introduction

1

Organization of the Book:An Approach to Intercultural Communication 1 Goal of the Book: Developing Intercultural Communication Competence 3 1 Punctuation Principle: ‘What’s in a Line?’

6

Chapter Outline 6 1 Introducing the Problem Question 7 2 Defning Basic Terms 7 2.1 Culture 7 2.2 Communication 10 3 Identity as Group Membership 10 3.1 Cultural Identity as Refective Self-Image 16 4 Introducing the Punctuation Principle 19 4.1 Boundary Lines as Conceptualizations 19 4.2 Constructive and Destructive Boundary Lines 21 4.3 Boundary Fit in Intercultural Communication 22 5 The Punctuation Principle Defned 24 6 Case Study:‘Peace Walls’ in Northern Ireland 25 7 Side Trips 28 7.1 What Is a ‘Person of Color’? 28 7.2 Human Towers in Catalonia 28 7.3 Intangible Cultural Heritage List 28 2 Uncertainty Principle: ‘Let the Mystery Be!’ Chapter Outline 34 1 Introducing the Problem Question 35

34

vi

Contents 2

3 4

5 6 7

From Ontology to Epistemology 35 2.1 Objective Stance 35 2.2 Subjective Stance 36 2.3 ‘Two Sides of the Same Coin’ 38 Knowledge as Inherently Uncertain 39 Introducing the Uncertainty Principle 40 4.1 Uncertainty and Horizon of Knowledge 41 4.2 Uncertainty and Dis-closure 42 4.3 Certainty in Uncertainty 46 The Uncertainty Principle Defned 48 Case Study:‘The Shock of the Other’ 48 Side Trips 52 7.1 Uncertainty and Intercultural Crisis Communication 52 7.2 ‘A Person Who Has No Horizon’ 52 7.3 ‘There Is Strangeness Hidden in the Familiar’ 52

3 Performativity Principle: ‘The Deed Is Everything’

55

Chapter Outline 55 1 Introducing the Problem Question 56 2 Language as Representation 56 2.1 Verbal Language 56 2.2 Nonverbal Language 57 3 How to do Things with Words—and Nonverbals 60 3.1 Language Rules 62 4 Introducing the Performativity Principle 63 4.1 The Dramaturgy of Performativity: From Rules to Roles 64 4.2 Levels of Performance 65 4.3 Performativity as Reiterative Process 67 4.4 Hospitality 70 5 The Performativity Principle Defned 74 6 Case Study:‘Translation zone(s):A stuttering’ 74 7 Side Trips 78 7.1 Free Play of the Saw 78 7.2 Intercultural Travel Blogs 78 7.3 ‘Whiteness Workshops’ 79 4 Positionality Principle: ‘It All Depends’ Chapter Outline 84 1 Introducing the Problem Question 84 2 From Beliefs about the World to the Worldview 85 3 Cultural Gaze: Looking Out, Looking In 91 3.1 Cultural Gaze and Ethnocentrism 93

84

Contents 4

5 6 7

vii

Introducing the Positionality Principle 98 4.1 Positionality as Grounding 98 4.2 Positionality and Authority 100 4.3 Positionality as Engagement 102 The Positionality Principle Defned 105 Case Study:‘The Kosher Phone’ 105 Side Trips 108 7.1 Positive Cultural Appropriation? 108 7.2 Women’s Ability to Travel in Saudi Arabia 109 7.3 ‘An Introduction to Dating’ Course in South Korea 109

5 Commensurability Principle: ‘It Is Everybody’s World’

113

Chapter Outline 113 1 Introducing the Problem Question 113 2 Linguistic Relativity 114 2.1 Two Versions of Linguistic Relativity 116 3 Cultures as ‘Enclaves of Mutual Incomprehension’? 119 4 Introducing the Commensurability Principle 119 4.1 The Nature of Commensurability 119 4.2 The Forms and Levels of Commensurability 122 4.3 The Implications of Commensurability 123 5 The Commensurability Principle Defned 128 6 Case Study:‘The Globalization of Chinese Medicine: The Case of Acupuncture’ 129 7 Side Trips 132 7.1 Language and Money 132 7.2 Chinese and American Toddlers 132 7.3 Translate Mobile App 133 6 Continuum Principle: ‘Having It Both Ways’ Chapter Outline 136 1 Introducing the Problem Question 136 2 Global Cultural Dimensions: How Many? 137 3 Introducing the Continuum Principle 141 3.1 The Digital and the Analog 141 3.2 Continuum as Topological Space 144 3.3 Beyond Binary Thinking 146 4 The Continuum Principle Defned 150 5 Case Study:‘The 1999 Coca-Cola Scare in Europe’ 151 6 Side Trips 153 6.1 Cultural Dimensions and Investment Decisions 153 6.2 Gender and Our Brains 154 6.3 Intercultural Communication on Web Sites 154

136

viii

Contents

7 Pendulum Principle: ‘Panta Rhei’

157

Chapter Outline 157 1 Introducing the Problem Question 158 2 Tensions in Intercultural Communication 158 2.1 Ethnolinguistic Vitality 161 3 ‘Voice’ in Intercultural Communication 162 4 Introducing the Pendulum Principle 164 4.1 The Contradictory Nature of Intercultural Communication 164 4.2 Intercultural Communication as Praxis 169 4.3 Intercultural Communication and Change 170 5 The Pendulum Principle Defned 172 6 Case Study:‘Dialectics of Colonial Encounter: Interacting with the Kobon’ 173 7 Side Trips 176 7.1 Speaking Spanish at a Border 176 7.2 Linguistic Landscapes and Cultural Transformations 177 7.3 In Montreal, a Berlin Wall of the Mind? 177 8 Transaction Principle: ‘More Than a Game’

180

Chapter Outline 180 1 Introducing the Problem Question 181 2 Approaching Confict: Roots 181 2.1 Two Sides of Confict 184 3 Approaching Confict: Routes 186 4 Introducing the Transaction Principle 190 4.1 Intercultural Transaction: Perception and Reality 190 4.2 Intercultural Communication as Negotiation Zone 193 4.3 Back to the Future: From Positions to Interests 194 5 The Transaction Principle Defned 195 6 Case Study:‘The Wall of Death’:A Confict Between Japanese and Western Cultures 196 7 Side Trips 199 7.1 Spain and Catalonia in Confict 199 7.2 Confict over a Beauty Pageant 200 7.3 Managing Intractable Confict 200 9 Synergy Principle: ‘2 + 2 = 5 (or More!)’ Chapter Outline 203 1 Introducing the Problem Question 204

203

Contents 2

3 4

5 6 7

ix

Perception:‘Seizing the World’ 204 2.1 Stereotype: Are All Swans White? 204 2.2 Prejudice:The United States and ‘the Rest-of-theWorld Soccer Cup’ 210 Escaping Suspicion and Fear 213 Introducing the Synergy Principle 215 4.1 Intercultural Synergy and Non-Summativity 215 4.2 Toward Pareto Optimality 217 4.3 Intercultural Synergy and the Flow Dynamics 220 Synergy Principle Defned 222 Case Study:‘The Case of AMD: Unleashing Intercultural Potential’ 222 Side Trips 226 7.1 Stereotypes in Hollywood Movies 226 7.2 Can AI be Biased? 226 7.3 Addressing Prejudiced Statements 226

10 Sustainability Principle: ‘All for One, and One for All’

229

Chapter Outline 229 1 Introducing the Problem Question 229 2 Ethics and Intercultural Communication 230 2.1 Approaches to Ethics in Intercultural Communication 231 3 Introducing the Sustainability Principle 235 3.1 General Nature of Sustainability:Thinking about Forever 236 3.2 Strategies of Sustainability: Tolerance, Trust, Resistance 237 3.3 Formula for Intercultural Sustainability 243 4 The Sustainability Principle Defned 248 5 Case Study:‘An Ethics of Cultural Exchange’ 248 6 Side Trips 255 6.1 Seesaws at the U.S.–Mexico Border 255 6.2 Cultures of Resistance Network 256 6.3 The Ship of Tolerance 256 Index

258

Acknowledgments

The frst edition of this text stayed in print for over ten years and was adopted by over two dozen universities and colleges. I want to thank everyone who found my text useful for teaching and learning. I thank those who shared with me their positive experiences of using the text in the classroom and encouraged me to prepare a second edition: Philip Dalton (Hofstra University), Deborah Eicher-Catt (The Pennsylvania State University-York), Inci Ozum Sayrak (Duquesne University), Steve Stewart, Jessica Boyer, and Galina Sinekopova (Eastern Washington University), and Andrew R. Smith (Edinboro University). To Andrew R. Smith I owe special thanks for his expertise, time, and generosity. He read all the revised chapters and sent his comments, edits, and suggestions—always intelligent, insightful, and constructive. His extremely useful feedback helped me not only to improve this text but also to refne my overall understanding and appreciation of intercultural communication. I thank those whose comments and ideas—expressed in emails, casual conversations, or presentations at scholarly conferences—infuenced my thinking and found their way into this text: Ronald C.Arnett, Steven Beebe, Garnet Butchart, Isaac E. Catt, Richard L. Lanigan, Frank J. Macke,Thomas Pace, and Richard Thames. I am grateful to Howie Giles (University of California, Santa Barbara), Deborah Eicher-Catt (The Pennsylvania State University-York), Dominic Busch (Universität der Bundeswehr München, Germany), and Andrew R. Smith (Edinboro University) for their wonderful endorsements: I hope my text will live up to them. I thank Kiara Wiedman, a graduate student at Eastern Washington University, for her help editing the chapters, fgures, and tables as well as preparing the ALT-text for the images. I thank Felisa Salvago-Keyes, Grant Schatzman, and Jennifer Vennall at Routledge/Taylor & Francis Books for their editorial guidance and assistance. I also thank Gail Welsh for her thorough copy-editing. Finally, I want to thank all those who will read this revised edition and use it in their classrooms and their lives.

1

Introduction

The Introduction reviews (1) the approach to intercultural communication undertaken in the book, (2) how the text is organized, and (3) its main goal. 1. In this book, ten fundamental principles are formulated, based on the study of the most important concepts, propositions, and theories that exist in the feld of intercultural communication. These ten principles constitute the core of intercultural communication and must be viewed as the points of the compass essential for successful orientation in intercultural journeys. 2. Each chapter starts with a Problem Question, followed by the discussion of the existing scholarship on the topic. After that, a principle is briefy introduced, its main aspects then to be addressed in detail. Each chapter ends with a Case Study showing how a principle can be applied in a real situation of intercultural interaction, and Side Trip inviting the reader to explore the topic further. 3. The goal of the book is stated as helping the reader to develop Intercultural Communication Competence (ICC) is made up of three interconnected components—cognitive, afective, and behavioral.

Organization of the Book: An Approach to Intercultural Communication Concepts.The word ‘concept’ is derived from Latin ‘conceptus’ and means a thing conceived—an idea or a notion. For example, some important concepts in the feld of intercultural communication are the ideas of identity, ethnocentrism, culture shock, and prejudice. In most texts on intercultural communication, one fnds such concepts at the beginning of each chapter under such headings as ‘Key Terms’ or ‘Key Words’ and/or at the end of the book under such headings as ‘Index’ or ‘Glossary.’ Propositions. Diferent concepts relate to one another, forming propositions. The word ‘proposition’ comes from Latin ‘proponere’ and means ‘to put or set something forth, to declare something’. In the study of intercultural communication, certain statements are put forth about how concepts

2

Introduction

are interrelated. For example, one can come across such propositions (statements) as ‘Prejudice is never a productive part of intercultural communication’ or ‘Language plays a central role in establishing the identity of a particular culture.’ In most texts on intercultural communication, one fnds most important propositions in the summary at the end of each chapter or as a separate list of bullet statements under such headings as ‘Key Ideas’ or ‘Take-Aways.’ Theories. Diferent propositions relate to one another, forming theories. A theory is a system of interrelated concepts and propositions, explaining the nature of a certain object; in our case—intercultural communication. No single theory can explain a complex object in its entirety; that is why one fnds a number of theories of intercultural communication. Each intercultural communication theory brings together a number of concepts and a number of propositions into a coherent system of knowledge, explaining it from a certain perspective. For example, Stella Ting-Toomey has developed the Identity Negotiation theory (1999), with a number of important concepts, such as ‘identity,’ and propositions, such as ‘There are eight domains of identity that play a critical role in intercultural communication.’ There are many theories that address diferent aspects of intercultural communication, such as accommodation and adaptation, theories focusing on identity negotiation, theories focusing on communication networks, etc. Principles. In this book, we approach intercultural communication by proposing a number of fundamental principles.The word ‘principle’ is derived from the Latin ‘principium’ and means ‘frst’ or ‘basic’ (Morris, 1982, p. 1041). In the words of Hans-Georg Gadamer, a famous German philosopher,“the principium is that on whose basis everything else is structured” (Gadamer, 1998, p. 72).A principle is a starting point from which an object can be studied. For example, one of the principles (Positionality Principle) formulated in this text is stated as follows: Intercultural communication is a process whereby people from diferent groups engage in interaction and claim authority on their vision of the world. To use a metaphor, principles are like points of the compass that are required for successful orientation in the world. There are over a thousand various concepts in the feld of intercultural communication; there are hundreds of various statements about the nature of intercultural communication; and there are at least several dozen various theories explaining its nature. Because principles are basic or fundamental qualities of an object, they are fewer in number than theories, propositions, and, of course, concepts. In this book, ten fundamental principles are formulated, based on the study of the most important concepts, propositions, and theories that exist in the feld of intercultural communication.These ten principles constitute the core of intercultural communication and must be viewed as the points of the compass essential for your successful orientation in intercultural journeys. Before we start our intercultural journey, you should know how this text is organized.

Introduction

3

Problem Question. At the beginning of each chapter, you will fnd a problem question that frames the chapter and invites you into a discussion that follows. An example of such Problem Question can be, ‘What happens to cultural meanings as they are enacted?’ Discussion. Once a problem question is stated, it is then discussed in more detail. Such discussion draws upon the existing scholarship in the feld of intercultural communication including key concepts, propositions, and theories. As a problem question is discussed, the groundwork for introducing a principle is laid out. Introducing a principle. Here, a principle is labeled and briefy introduced, outlining the main aspects to be discussed. After that, the main aspects of each principle are discussed in detail. Formulating a principle. After the main aspects of a principle are discussed, they are brought together, and a principle is formulated in a nutshell. Case Study. After the summary, it is shown how a principle can be applied in a real situation of intercultural interaction. Before you read each case study, you are asked to identify and then discuss certain topics.After the case study, a detailed discussion of these topics is given. Side Trips. After the case study, you’re invited to take several side trips: several venues are presented for you to explore, which can be an article or a Web site related to the subject of the chapter. Prompt questions to guide you on your side trips are provided. With the help of the ten principles, this text is aimed at reaching its main goal—helping you to develop your Intercultural Communication Competence.

Goal of the Book: Developing Intercultural Communication Competence It is important to study intercultural communication for a number of reasons. Such reasons are sometimes called ‘imperatives.’ For example, the following six imperatives can be isolated (Martin & Nakayama, 2004): 1. Technological Imperative: New technologies are creating complex relationships between diferent cultures. 2. Demographic Imperative: Cultural diversity is a fact of life. 3. Economic Imperative: Having the ability to communicate with other cultures is good business. 4. Peace Imperative:The ability to communicate with other cultures brings peace and stimulates healthy relationships. 5. Self-Awareness Imperative: The better we communicate with people from other cultures, the better we understand ourselves as individuals. 6. Ethical Imperative: Intercultural communication forces us to think about the consequences (good and bad) of our actions and words.

4

Introduction

It is possible to view these imperatives as challenges that must be met. For instance, we must study intercultural communication if we want to build up good relationships with new immigrants (Demographic Imperative) or if we want to prevent violence (Peace Imperative). It is clear that to that end, we must develop ICC—a system of knowledge and skills enabling us to communicate successfully with people from other cultures (Deardorf & Arasaratnam-Smith, 2017; Chen & Starosta, 1996; Liebermana & Gamst, 2015;Wiseman, 2002).The ICC system is comprised of several components. Before we label these components, however, let us take a specifc example— a challenge, as it were—of having a successful vacation in Cyprus. You will frst need to do some research on the culture and history of Cyprus.Among many other things, you will fnd out that the northern part of the island has belonged, since 1974, to Turkey, and that Greek Cypriots consider that territory to be ‘a zone of occupation.’ Suppose you treat this issue with sensitivity; for example, you do not make a cultural faux pas asking your hosts to take you to the beautiful resort of Famagosta—the town that used to be a famous resort in Cyprus but now is part of the Turkish territory. This is a sore topic for Greek Cypriots. If you make this mistake, your request might be taken as a display of ignorance, at best, or an attempt to cause your hosts emotional pain, at worst. In either case, intercultural communication is hardly successful, failing to convey the meaning you want. Hopefully, you didn’t make any cultural mistakes in your interactions with your hosts.What enabled you to communicate successfully? First, you were able to learn an important fact about the present-day situation in Cyprus, which is a part of the cognitive component of ICC. This component is your knowledge base and can be represented by the expression, ‘I know . . . .’ When you learn new information about people from other cultures and how to interact with them, you fll in the blank, as it were, and the cognitive component of your ICC becomes more complex. For example,‘I know that the northern part of Cyprus now belongs to Turkey.’ Second, you were able to develop a certain attitude toward that fact; in this case—sensitivity. (It could be any other attitude, such as rejection, indifference, or anger). This attitude is an example of the afective component of ICC. The afective component includes various attitudes, feelings, and emotions arising in intercultural situations, and can be represented by the expression,‘I feel . . . .’ As we face new situations of intercultural nature, the blank is constantly flled out, e.g.,‘I feel angry that Greek Cypriots must suffer because of the loss of part of their island.’As a result, our attitudes change, and, hopefully, we become more open-minded, tolerant, and sensitive Third, in Cyprus you were able to discuss the delicate issue of the divided island with tact; you behaved as a good listener, asked the right questions, and never asked any wrong ones.All of these abilities are examples of the behavioral component of ICC. As the name suggests, this component includes all those things that you actually do or say (or do not do or say, for instance, by using silence when it is more appropriate).The behavioral component can

Introduction

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be represented by the expression,‘I do . . . .’ Our ICC grows as we interact with people from other cultures by listening, using gestures, paying compliments, etc. Thus, the ICC system is made up of three interconnected components— Cognitive,Afective, Behavioral.All these components are equally important: only taken together can they enable us to communicate successfully with people from other cultures. Our goal is to help you become more competent in intercultural communication by understanding and using ten fundamental principles discussed in this text.All ten principles are interconnected with each chapter being a step in your intercultural journey. Learning these ten principles should make your travel in today’s intercultural world more successful and rewarding. And now, let our journey begin . . .

References Chen, G. & Starosta, W. (1996). Intercultural communication competence: A synthesis. In B. Burleson (Ed.), Communication yearbook, 19 (pp. 353–383). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. Deardorf, D. & Arasaratnam-Smith, L. (Eds.) (2017). Intercultural competence in higher education: International approaches, assessment and application. London and New York: Routledge. Gadamer, H.-G. (1998). Beginning of philosophy. (R. Coltman, trans.). New York: Continuum. Liebermana, D. & Gamst, G. (2015). Intercultural communication competence revisited: Linking the intercultural and multicultural felds. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 48: 17–19. Martin, J. & Nakayama, T. (2004). Intercultural communication in contexts. Boston: The McGraw-Hill Companies. Morris, E. (Ed.) (1982). The American heritage dictionary of the English language. Boston: Houghton Mifin Company. Ting-Toomey, S. (1999). Communicating across cultures. New York: Guilford Press. Wiseman, R. (2002). Intercultural communication competence. In W. Gudykunst & B. Moody (Eds.), Handbook of international and intercultural communication (pp. 207–224). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

1

Punctuation Principle ‘What’s in a Line?’

Key Theme: Boundaries Problem Question: What is the process of cultural identifcation? Objective: To help you understand how and why cultural identities are formed Key Concepts: Barbaroi, border, boundary, boundary crossing, boundary ft, colonization, communication, cultural appropriation, culture, cultural erasure, ethnic identity, group, hard boundaries, Homo Faber, identity, identity confrmation, identity disconfrmation, in-group, intercultural communication, ‘looking-glass self,’ national identity, out-group, punctuation, racial identity, resource, role-taking, salience, soft boundaries, symbolic.

Chapter Outline 1 Introducing the Problem Question 7 2 Defning Basic Terms 7 2.1 Culture 7 2.2 Communication 10 3 Identity as Group Membership 10 3.1 Cultural Identity as Refective Self-Image 16 4 Introducing the Punctuation Principle 19 4.1 Boundary Lines as Conceptualizations 19 4.2 Constructive and Destructive Boundary Lines 21 4.3 Boundary Fit in Intercultural Communication 22 5 The Punctuation Principle Defned 24 6 Case Study:‘Peace Walls’ in Northern Ireland 25 7 Side Trips 28 7.1 What Is a ‘Person of Color’? 28 7.2 Human Towers in Catalonia 28 7.3 Intangible Cultural Heritage List 28

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7

Introducing the Problem Question

Leonard Pitts Jr., a well-known U.S. journalist, writes in his article entitled ‘Alas, what to call non-Caucasians?’: In a saner world, when somebody asked a non-Hispanic, black Native American Indian, what he preferred to be called, he wouldn’t have to give the currently acceptable term for his genus, his group or his type. He’d only have to give one thing. His name. (Pitts, 2003) Yes, everyone thinks of oneself as a unique individual and would prefer to live in the world where, as in the famous Boston bar in Cheers, the iconic U.S. sitcom of the 1980s, ‘everybody knows your name.’ However, that is not realistic as it would require for every person to get to know everyone else in the entire world in every interaction. In many situations, though, one is called by such names as “an American, a Buddhist, a Democrat, a Dane, a woman” (Adler, 2002). The list can be continued to include ‘a coach,’ ‘a doctor,’ ‘a pastor,’ ‘a teenager,’ ‘a student,’ etc.While a unique person, everyone is in some respects just like other people with whom we all share some characteristics because communication not only “separates, sets apart, ‘particularizes’ its members” but also “unites them and makes alike inside its own boundaries” (Bauman, 1993, p. 40). In this chapter, thus, we take up the following Problem Question: ‘What is the process of cultural identifcation?’

2

Defning Basic Terms

The subject of this book is intercultural communication so let’s begin by defning its two basic terms—culture and communication. 2.1

Culture

Culture is sometimes conceptualized as a ‘deposit,’ a ‘repository’ (Cress, 2012) or “a set of shared meanings, symbols, and norms” (Croucher et al., 2015, p. 73). This may create an impression of culture as a mechanical collection of things of the same kind arranged in a certain order that can be stored in some place and used when needed. We should remember, however, that the word ‘culture’ goes back to the Latin ‘cultura’ derived from ‘cultus’ and meaning ‘cultivation’ or ‘tillage’ (Morris, 1982, p. 321). Just as a crop is produced and cultivated by Nature, a group of people can produce and cultivate their own ‘crop’—a system of symbolic resources. So, it is more accurate to think of culture as a cultivated system of symbolic resources shared by a group of people. Let’s address briefy each main component of this defnition.

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Punctuation Principle

Culture is a cultivated system of symbolic resources shared by a group of people. Since a symbol is anything that represents meaning, “virtually anything shared (or assumed to be shared) among members of a historically recognizable group can rightfully be called culture” (Hall, 2014, p. 60). For example, for many Western companies, a feld with oil may mean the potential to create a lot of consumer goods and services. Or, in some Asian cultures, making sounds while eating (slurping) has the meaning of appreciation of the food and tribute to the chef.These meanings might seem natural to those who share them, and yet meanings are symbolic creations, produced and reproduced by people themselves, not by Nature. A feld with oil does not always mean consumer goods and services; for the U’wa Indians, oil is sacred as the blood of mother Earth and cannot be drilled.And in most Western cultures, slurping sounds have the meaning of lack of respect and bad manners. Culture is a cultivated system of symbolic resources shared by a group of people. A resource is anything that makes it possible for people to accomplish a task. Symbolic resources can be seen as the source to which people resort whenever needed; hence,‘re-source.’ Just like a natural crop, symbolic resources allow us to accomplish various tasks. For example, people use oil when they need to produce gas for our vehicles or when they need to connect to mother Earth. People resort to slurping when they want to show appreciation of the food or display lack of respect. Culture is a cultivated system of symbolic resources shared by a group of people. Symbolic resources “are shared with others and constructed jointly through interaction” (Littlejohn, 2002, p. 165). Symbolic resources are meaningful insofar as people from a certain group agree on what something means. For example, people from a certain culture may agree that slurping represents lack of respect and bad manners; if one does not share this meaning, one comes across as disrespectful or rude when making slurping sounds during a meal. Culture is a cultivated system of symbolic resources shared by a group of people. A system is an organized whole in which all parts are interrelated: “culture here is a system of concepts, structures, and relations that groups of people use to organize and interpret their experienced worlds” (Kronenfeld, 2018, p. 6). For example, culture is characterized by interactions between two or more individuals, and the outcome of each interaction is determined by their interactions and cannot be attributed to a single individual; also, a change in their interactional dynamics afects the entire system (cf. Kim, 1992). By the same token, cultural behaviors and practices are organized into a system, e.g., we understand the meaning of a handshake only insofar as it relates to other forms of greeting, such as a hug or a kiss, and as greetings relate to other forms of behavior, such as farewells. Finally, culture is a cultivated system of symbolic resources shared by a group of people. Culture is not simply a ‘deposit,’ a ‘repository,’ or a set of shared meanings, symbols, and norms; rather,“culture is the fabric of meaning in terms of which human beings interpret their action” (Geertz, 1973, p. 144). ‘Fabric’ is not limited to cloth produced by weaving or knitting

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textile fbers: culture is anything created by Homo Faber—‘Human the Maker’—that is symbolically joined together into some tangible texture regardless of material—from a poem to a painting to a city. Culture is the living fabric of meaning, which is created, recreated, and can be changed. Sometimes, culture can even be erased. Cultural erasure is a practice in which a dominant culture suppresses and removes the fabric of a subordinate culture. Such practices can take various forms, which are often part of colonization, i.e., establishing control over the indigenous people of an area (Figure 1.1). Culture can be erased through such radical acts as book burning (Williams, 2017) or other practices such as renaming places in Hawaii during its colonization using English or Anglicized words. Also, settlers targeted the everyday lives and artistic practices of Native Hawaiians by ‘emptying’ the visual spaces of Native peoples and flling them with their own visions of the American Dream (Kosasa, 2008; Tamaira, 2017). Another example in the U.S. cultural history is the ‘indigenous erasure’ by settlers of American Indian peoples and their culture; one practice of such erasure was to narrowly defne who might be an American Indian (Orr et al., 2018).

Figure 1.1 Spanish colonization of Mexico Source: Library of Congress

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Preserving culture, therefore, calls for constant care on the part of a group’s members to keep its fabric alive, as well as resistance to cultural domination, which will be discussed later in the text. 2.2

Communication

Cultural meanings and behaviors are constantly (re)created through communication. The word ‘communication’ goes back to the Latin ‘communicare’ derived from ‘communis’ and meaning ‘to make common’ (Morris, 1982, p. 269). The idea of making something common implies mixing or sharing something. In the process of communication, cultural meanings as symbolic resources are created and shared. Communication can be conceptualized as the practice of creating and sharing meanings or symbolic resources. Culture and communication are interconnected:“culture and communication are not separate entities or areas. Each is produced through a dynamic relationship with the other” (Shirato & Yell, 2000, p. 2). Communication practices make it possible for cultural meanings to be created and shared, while culture as a system of symbolic resources makes it possible for communication practices to continue. For instance, through the process of communication, people in many Asian cultures created the meaning of slurping during a meal as appreciation of the food.This cultural meaning, in its turn, makes it possible for people in those cultures to communicate with one another (resort to this practice again when needed) and also share this meaning (as a symbolic resource) with people from other cultures. Culture and communication as “resources and practices are tightly connected and cannot really be separated. Resources are constructed in practice, and practices are shaped by resources.This is the recursive loop of resources and practices” (Littlejohn, 2002, p. 165). Culture and communication, therefore, form a dynamic relationship. Based on this understanding of culture and communication, we can defne intercultural communication as a process of interaction between people who share diferent systems of symbolic resources.As you can see, in intercultural communication we deal with “the identifcation of communications of a shared system of symbolic verbal and nonverbal behavior that are meaningful to group members” (Fong, 2004a, p. 6). Let’s take a closer at the process of cultural identifcation—how and why people identify with one another and form cultures.

3

Identity as Group Membership

We form groups with other people “satisfying our need for membership afliation and belonging” (Ting-Toomey, 1999, p. 13). Our in-group belongingness is crucial because “it satisfes a primary emotional need for security and predictability” (Bonn, 2015). Simply put, people have a much

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better chance of survival in groups by sharing their experiences. In this sense, to quote John Dewey, a famous American philosopher and educator,“shared experience is the greatest of human good” (Dewey, 1994, p. 167). All people can be categorized “as members of our cultures or not members of our cultures” (Gudykunst & Kim, 2003, p. 189)—in-group and out-group, respectively (Tajfel, 1981). In technical terms, in-group refers to group members who identify and associate with each other. Members of the group see themselves and other members as part of their “in-group” . . . People who are kept at a physical and emotional distance are considered the out-group from the view of in-group members . . . For example, athletes and cheerleaders may consider themselves as the in-group at their school and see the student government leaders as the out-group. (Fong, 2004a, p. 8; original emphasis) The world appears natural and innately true when viewed inside an ingroup; when we engage in interactions with other groups, though, we fnd out that the same things can be represented diferently and have diferent meanings. For example, in parts of Tanzania and Uganda it is a form of courtesy to give a visitor roast cofee beans for chewing (Gamser et al., 1990) or as a symbol of acceptance into the community (Chinchen, 2000). Jan Blommaert, a Dutch researcher of languages and cultures, recalls a misunderstanding between himself and a Tanzanian colleague over a simple suggestion ‘to have a cofee’: for him, that meant drinking a cup of cofee, whereas for his colleague it meant chewing cofee beans (1991, p. 24). Often, such misunderstandings and distorted perceptions of out-groups lead to stereotyping and prejudice; we will discuss these barriers to successful intercultural communication in Chapter 9. Now, take a sheet of paper and divide it in two parts with a line in the middle. On the left, put any group of people sharing a system of meanings. You can list any groups of which you personally are a member.You can use words, e.g., ‘Spanish,’ ‘a marathon runner,’ ‘a student,’ or you can get more creative and use pictures that you think represent diferent groups, e.g., different religious symbols or symbols for diferent political groups. Next, put groups diferent from yours on the right side of the sheet of the paper.As an example, see Figure 1.2. As you can see, the process of cultural identifcation begins by drawing boundaries between an-group and an out-group. So, the key to answering our Problem Question is found on the sheet of paper in front of you: the process of cultural identifcation is based on boundaries drawn between diferent groups of people. Boundary lines play a crucial role in the process of construction of cultures.As a member of an in-group, one shares certain meanings or symbolic resources with other members. For example, a Muslim shares with other Muslims certain ideas about what it means to be a Muslim. In other words,

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Figure 1.2 Boundary line between cultural groups Source: Author

one identifes with certain meanings, such as serving Allah.When we draw a boundary line between ourselves and others, we identify with those similar to us and create our cultural identity.All people who identify with the same meanings or symbolic resources have a collective cultural identity. It’s important to note that ‘cultural identity,’ “as a maintenance of an inner solidarity with a group’s ideals,” is always “a persistent sharing of some kind of essential character with others” (Erikson, 1968, p. 109; emphasis added). The word ‘identity’ is derived from Latin ‘idem,’ meaning ‘the same (as above),’ from ‘id’—‘it, that one.’You may have come across the word ‘idem,’ commonly abbreviated as ‘id’ and used inside parentheses to denote the previously cited source, when reading scholarly books or articles. Here’s one example from a book on intercultural communication: “leaders can help shift individual members to align more closely with collective identity (idem)” (Dascalu, 2014, p. 81). It is this meaning of ‘sameness, state of being the same’ that is found in the concept of identity. Thus, cultural identity can be viewed as a group membership where all people share the same symbolic meanings. Cultural identities vary in terms of scope (the number of people who share an identity), salience (the importance of an identity), and intensity (the strength with which an identity is communicated to others) (Collier & Thomas, 1988).There are many “group identities such as nationality, race, ethnicity, age, sex and gender, sexuality, socioeconomic status, regional identity, ethnolinguistic identity, political afliation, and (dis)ability” (Chen & Lin, 2016). Let’s look at some types of cultural identity—racial, national, and ethnic identities.

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The concept of racial identity refers to a group membership based on alleged biological and physical characteristics. Nature pushes us, as it were, to form racial group membership more readily, based on diferent facial features, skin pigmentation, or hair texture. However, our thoughts afect the process of racial identity construction. For example, in the 2000 Census count in the United States, almost half of all Hispanic respondents refused to identify themselves by any of the fve racial categories on the form: white, black, Asian, American Indian or Alaska native and a category that includes natives of Hawaii and the Pacifc Islands. Forty-two percent of all Latino respondents marked the box ‘some other race’ and wrote in such identities as Mayan,Tejano, and mestizo (Navarro, 2003). Recently, the Pew Research Center conducted a survey on race in the United States (Parker et al., 2015). According to the survey, America becomes more racially diverse; 60% of multiracial adults are proud of their mixed-race background (60%) and 59% feel their racial heritage has made them more open to other cultures.With the share of interracial marriages and multiracial babies on the rise, this growth is expected to continue: the Census Bureau projects that the multiracial population will triple by 2060.At the same time, shared multiracial backgrounds do not necessarily translate into shared identity: only 34% of all multiracial Americans think they have a lot in common with other adults who are the same racial mix that they are.Also, according to the survey, 21% of mixed-race Americans say they have felt pressure from friends, family, or society in general to identify as a single race. One more key fnding of the survey is that for multiracial adults, race is not the most important element of their personal identity: only 26% of multiracial adults say their racial background is ‘essential’ to their identity, compared to gender or religion (39%). So, even the skin color is a moving target, and the American construct of race is making room for new groups of people. Race is controversial because it is difcult to establish a true identity based only on physical marks. For instance, attempts to determine identity through DNA testing are usually met with resistance. Racial identity, which is grounded in the natural lines of descent, is further constructed to refect a hierarchy of symbolic meanings. Reliance on the body as the site of racial identity is inadequate because race is constructed through various communicative behaviors. For instance, the meaning of the ‘white race’ is enacted in a number of diferent verbal and nonverbal behaviors and cannot be identifed only with the skin color (Warren, 2001). A recent example is that of Rachel Dolezal, a former NAACP leader from Spokane, WA, who is white but claimed to be black since she identifed with that culture (Donezal, 2017; see also King, 2017). Unlike Dolezal’s controversial case, some behaviors can be qualifed more clearly as an act of cultural appropriation, usually understood as the act of adopting elements from other cultures without truly understanding or respecting the original context (Figure 1.3). Sometimes, attempts are made to appropriate an entire cultural identity. As elite colleges and universities in United States seek to be more diverse, the question of race becomes one of the most important and agonizing

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Figure 1.3 Example of cultural appropriation Source: highsnobiety.com

questions on a college application; some students declare the racial identity they feel could give them a leg up. For instance, Ed Dugger, the director of college counseling at Friends Academy, a private Quaker school on Long Island, New York, tells a story of a student whose family was Jewish and came from Europe checking Latino on his application. When Mr. Dugger asked him why, the boy said his family had taken a DNA test showing that he was 2% Sephardic.When asked if he felt connected to the Latino community, the student changed his answer to ‘white’ (Belkin, 2019). The concept of national identity refers to a group membership based on a historico-political formation with a specifc space and an administrative apparatus, e.g., French national identity. Usually, national identity refers to “a person’s legal status or citizenship in relation to a nation” (Fong, 2004b, p. 30); if one has dual citizenship, one has a dual national identity. National identities are usually marked by borders—on land, in the air, or in the water. National identities have an impact on how people from diferent cultures

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interact. For instance, on May 31, 1995, six Thai fshing boats were set upon by Vietnamese coastal-patrol vessels in waters claimed by both Thailand and Vietnam, prompting the Thai navy to intervene. For Thailand, the incident was a reminder of how serious the competition for resources in those waters had become, whereas for Vietnam, it was a worrisome signal that Thailand was willing to use force to uphold its interests.The Thais said that the incident occurred 213 kilometers east of the coastal town of Songkhla, which would place the incident area within Thailand’s exclusive economic zone. For their part, the Vietnamese said that the incident occurred within Vietnam’s southwestern territorial waters. The timing of the skirmish was particularly awkward, occurring just days before bilateral talks in Ho Chi Minh City on the disputed border of Thai and Vietnamese waters. Needless to say, the incident had an impact on the Thai and Vietnamese perceptions of each other and on their future intercultural interactions (Vatikiotis & Schwartz, 1995). The concept of ethnic identity refers to a group membership based more on common symbolic heritage—a sense of origin and history, marked by shared language, beliefs, and rituals; examples of ethnic groups include the Kurds in the Middle East or the Zulu in southern Africa. Ethnic identities are “sustained by shared objective characteristics (language, religion, etc.) or by more subjective contributions to the sense of ‘groupness’” (Edward, 1979, p. 10). For instance, since those who identify themselves as ‘Aboriginal’ can range from dark-skinned to broad-nosed to blonde-haired to blue-eyed people,Aboriginal people defne their identity not so much by skin color as by their relationships (Korf, 2019). Over the years, scholars have paid more attention to the saliency of national, racial, and ethnic identities in intercultural communication studies (Chen & Lin, 2016). Even today, when it is noted that “intercultural communication studies need to address . . . less-studied cultures,” calls are made for “studies done in the Middle Eastern, African, or Central Asian contexts” (Croucher et al., 2015, p. 80), i.e., those focusing on national, racial, and ethnic identities. It must be remembered, though, that intercultural communication involves interaction between people from any groups that use diferent systems of symbolic resources, including sports fans, neighborhood communities, gangs, sororities and fraternities, etc. It must also be remembered that “identities are contingent and unstable cultural creations with which we identify. They are not universal or absolute existent ‘things’” (Barker, 2000, p. 193). Cultural identities are dynamic because, as a result of the number of people who share an identity (and other factors), their salience constantly changes: some identities become more noticeable or important as they are more often enacted in various situations. As a result, cultural identities represent the dynamics of power structures. For instance, for a long time the salience of male gender identity was very high; until recently, the pronoun ‘he’ has been unmarked and used for both men and women.Today, as women’s status and visibility have increased, the

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salience of the female cultural identity is much higher, refected in the use of ‘he or she’ or ‘he/she.’ In spite of calls made for “unlearning gender” (LeMaster & Johnson, 2018), in addition to the traditional male and female identities, we now witness a number of emergent cultural identities such as ‘heterofexible,’ ‘bigender,’ ‘non-binary,’ ‘asexual,’ ‘sapiosexual,’ ‘demisexual,’ ‘ciswoman,’ and ‘transcurious’ (Cover, 2018; see also: Shi & Langman, 2012). In short, identities are contingent and dynamic creations. With more advanced information technologies, “communication of cultural identities in media platforms opens up new areas for the study of cultural identities” (Chen & Lin, 2016; Langmia & Tyree, 2016). Moreover, today’s advancements in technoculture and biotechnology call for “a rethinking of the integrities and identities of the human: not forgetting, either, those of its non-human others, many of them of humanity’s own making and remaking—gods, monsters, animals, machines, systems” (Callus & Herbrechter, 2012, p. 241).While in the present book we discuss various cultural identities of the human, it should be kept in mind that the non-human identity is now receiving more and more scholarly attention (Harrison-Buck & Hendon, 2018). 3.1

Cultural Identity as Refective Self-Image

As we saw earlier, cultural identity refers to our conceptualizations of Self that derive from memberships in groups. To put it simply, cultural identity is the way we see ourselves in group settings. For every culture, it can be said that “within our own cultural context, we have unconsciously built our ‘selfimage’” (Usunier, 1996, p. 386). For example, people from the United States may see themselves as hard-working, friendly, tolerant and freedom-loving (Stewart & Bennet, 2005). Our identity as an image of ourselves formed through interaction with other people; this idea is elaborated in many developmental theories of social interaction, e.g., in the works of Jean Piaget and Lev Vygotsky (see: Psaltis & Zapiti, 2014). Common to such theories is the premise that Self is but a refection of Other, captured well by Karl Popper, a famous British philosopher: It seems to me of considerable importance that we are not born as selves, but that we have to learn that we are selves; in fact we have to learn to be selves . . . How do we obtain self-knowledge? Not by self-observation, I suggest, but by becoming selves, and by developing theories about ourselves. Long before we attain consciousness and knowledge of ourselves, we have, normally, become aware of other persons . . . I suggest that a consciousness of self begins to develop through the medium of other persons: just as we learn to see ourselves in a mirror, so the child becomes conscious of himself by sensing his refection in the mirror of other people’s consciousness of himself. (Popper & Eccles, 1977, pp. 109–110)

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George Herbert Mead, a well-known American scholar who studied language and communication at the beginning of the last century, employed the term “the looking-glass self” (Mead, 1934) for this refection of ourselves.That term had earlier been introduced by Charles Horton Cooley, an American sociologist, who used the image of a mirror to show how a person imagines what he or she looks like to others, incorporating what they imagine into their own self-concept. Based on that idea, Mead showed that the achievement of identity involves mirroring: the individual “becomes a self in so far as he can take the attitude of others and act toward himself as others act” (Mead, 1934, p. 171). This can be achieved only through role-taking or imaginatively putting oneself in the place of someone else and assessing one’s own actions through the eyes of that person. It is an ongoing process that allows one to anticipate and adapt one’s behaviors depending on the expectations of other people’s reaction to them. Role-taking in itself is a refexive process since one continuously puts oneself in other people’s shoes and behaves accordingly. Oneself turns back upon oneself by refecting on one’s experiences; hence, self-refexivity—having an ongoing conversation with your whole self about what you are experiencing as you are experiencing it—is a crucial human attribute, especially for intercultural adaptation. In this light, our group identity is a result of interaction with other groups. It is important to note that an encounter of a cultural self and a cultural other occurs even when no explicit communication takes place. For instance, it is known that the Greek ‘barbaroi’ meant ‘all that are not Greek’; therefore, it was not worth engaging in communication with such groups (Boletsi, 2013). Since then, practically every group has assigned the status of ‘barbarians’ to groups that are diferent and whose language is foreign, strange and unintelligible (Figure 1.4). However, exclusionary naming and associated practices come to defne the culture that chooses to communicate with ‘barbarians’ by not interacting with them. Cultural identity, then, is not simply a group membership; it is an image of ourselves as a result of interaction with people from other groups, denoting “the refective self-image or self-conception that we each derive from our cultural group membership” (Ting-Toomey, 1999, p. 28; emphasis added). It is crucial to remember that every situation of “intercultural communication takes place in the confrontation of a cultural self and a cultural other” (Nöth, 2001, p. 240; emphasis added). As Mikhail Bakhtin, a famous Russian philosopher and literary critic, puts it, “it is only in the eyes of another culture that foreign culture reveals itself fully and profoundly . . . A meaning only reveals its depths once it has encountered and come into contact with another, foreign meaning” (Bakhtin, 1986, p. 7). As members of an in-group, we acquire our view of ourselves based on the view of us by people from other cultures. Americans may view themselves as hard-working, friendly, tolerant, and freedom-loving. However, there are often diferences between this self-construal and the refective self-image, i.e., how they may see themselves through the eyes of people from other cultures. For instance,

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Figure 1.4 Barbarians vs Romans Source: Plassenburg Zinnfguren Museum

the book Learning to hate Americans (DeFleur & DeFleur, 2003) presents the image teenagers around the world have of Americans. According to the surveys conducted in 12 countries, many people perceive Americans to be extremely violent and criminally inclined, and American women sexually immoral. The authors of the book note that they expected some diference in perceptions, but such image shocked them. Another book, recently published and raising the same questions, is entitled Why do they hate us? Making peace with the Muslim world (Slocum, 2019). Naturally,“confict may arise when there are sharp diferences between who we think we are and who others think we are” (Martin & Nakayama, 2000, p. 111). Intercultural communication, therefore, puts us in a hall of mirrors with multiple and ever-changing refections.We may not always like this refective self-image, but blaming the mirror is never helpful. It must be clear by now that people’s experiences of “interacting with a person from a diferent culture triggers an awareness of their own cultural identities” (Lustig & Koester, 2003, p. 145). In this respect, “culture provides the frame of reference to answer the most fundamental question of each being: Who am I?” (Ting-Toomey, 1999, p. 12). Overall, it is only by going outside of one’s own culture that one’s identity can be revealed most fully and profoundly. It is not surprising, then, that self-refexivity is considered a crucial skill because only by opening up towards diference can we become aware of who we truly are (Clark & Dervin, 2014). Edward T. Hall,

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an American anthropologist and one of the founders of the feld of intercultural communication, expressed this idea very well: If one is to prosper in this new world without being unexpectedly battered, one must transcend one’s own system. To do so, two things must be known: frst, that there is a system; and second, the nature of that system. What is more, the only way to master either is to seek out systems that are diferent from one’s own and, using oneself as a sensitive recording device, make note of every reaction or tendency to escalate.Ask yourself questions that will help defne the state you were in as well as the one you are escalating to. It is impossible to do this in the abstract, because there are too many possibilities; behavioral systems are too complex. The rules governing behavior and structure of one’s own cultural system can be discovered only in a specifc context or real life situation. (1976, p. 51; emphasis added) As you can see, to understand one’s own culture, one must go beyond it and remain consciously aware of one’s refection in the mirror of other people’s consciousnesses. Only this way, in real-life situations of interactions, can one’s own cultural identity be revealed and maintained. Thus, “collective identity is produced by the social construction of boundaries. These boundaries .  .  . establish a demarcation between inside and outside, strangers and familiars” (Eisenstadt, 1998, p. 139). Every cultural identity can be viewed as a group membership and as a refective self-image. We can defne ourselves as cultural beings only in the process of interaction with people from other cultures.Without boundary lines, there would be no Others and without Others—no us.

4

Introducing the Punctuation Principle

Let’s now formulate, based on the discussion above, the frst principle of intercultural communication—the Punctuation Principle. We will isolate three parts that make up this principle. Each part deals with intercultural communication as a process of drawing boundary lines between groups of people. First, we will present boundary lines in intercultural communication as conceptualizations; next, we will look at constructive and destructive boundary lines; fnally, we will discuss the goal of intercultural communication as looking for a boundary ft. We will discuss each part separately and then formulate the Punctuation Principle, as a whole. 4.1

Boundary Lines as Conceptualizations

The term ‘punctuation’ goes back to Latin ‘punctuare,’ meaning ‘to break, to mark with points or dots,’ which in turn goes back to Latin ‘pungere,’ meaning ‘to pierce.’This is exactly what traditional punctuation marks do— break the stream of writing by marking with points and dots its separate

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elements. Punctuation marks help us to understand the correct meaning; as we all know, a simple comma, put in the wrong place, can change meaning dramatically. However,‘punctuation’ is also used in a much broader sense; for instance, we read of “the punctuation of the city” (Lavrinec & Zaporozhets, 2009, p. 210), or even “punctuation of our lives” (Chambers, 1994, p. 24). Applied to communication,‘punctuation’ is usually understood as “a process of perception through which people organize their ongoing interactions into recognizable openings, closings, causes, and efects” (Anderson & Ross, 2002, p. 147). Based on this concept, a well-known axiom states that “the nature of a relationship is contingent upon the punctuation of the communicational sequences between the communicants” (Watzlawick et al., 1967, p. 59). This axiom can be extended beyond interpersonal interactions to intercultural communication because they share the same premise, i.e., reality “is diferently punctuated and categorized . . . by, or presented to the participants of diferent cultures” (Lee, 1950, p. 13). For instance, people may punctuate the difering triggering event that leads to intercultural confict (Ting-Toomey & Oetzel, 2001), which will be discussed in more detail in Chapter 9. Punctuation plays a crucial role in the process of cultural identifcation and intercultural communication because “collective identity is produced by the social construction of boundaries. These boundaries . . . establish a demarcation between inside and outside, strangers and familiars” (Eisenstadt, 1998, p. 139). Since ancient times, people have been drawing boundary lines between themselves and other groups viewed as unfamiliar, strange, or barbaric. But what is a boundary line? At frst glance, the question seems easy to answer: it is a visible mark such as a series of dots. If you were asked to give examples of boundary lines, you’d probably name land borders, sea lines, shared language, beliefs and values, etc. Notice, though: as we move from skin color to land borders to sea lines to shared beliefs and values, they become less and less tangible, and more and more difcult to detect.You can literally put your fnger on a land borderline, but how can you grasp lines in the universe of beliefs and values? What about people who have the same skin color and, yet, do not communicate at all, or may even be ready to kill one another? Where does the boundary line between those people lie? What is a boundary line, frst and foremost? If we look more carefully at the defnition of punctuation given earlier— ‘to mark with points or dots,’ we notice that the emphasis needs to be placed on the action of ‘marking’ itself. In other words, it should be emphasized that “boundary is not an entity or a point, but an event—a certain dynamic that moves us from inside the system outside” (Neuman, 2003, p. 143; emphasis added). A boundary, therefore, is not so much an entity (an exterior region) as it is an action of marking a limit (in our case—of a cultural identity). Let’s remember that “what we think of as our identity is dependent on what we think we are not” (Barker, 2000, p. 195; emphasis added).The word ‘think’ is the key to the origin of boundary lines: they are, above all, our thoughts, our perceptions and expectations. Boundary lines are born in people’s minds

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and later turn into borders, walls, lines in the water, language barricades, etc. It is people who create boundary lines, for better or for worse. A boundary line, frst and foremost, is an idea, a conceptualization.There is a wonderful short flm called Boundary Lines directed and written by Philip Stapp in 1946. In this flm, we see two friendly neighbors peacefully settling a dispute over a little fence. But we also see an arrow shot by a primordial hunter fying across time and turning into various types of weapons, eventually ending as an atomic bomb, ready to descend on a city.The flm makes a powerful statement about the conceptual nature of boundary lines. It is best phrased at the beginning of the flm:‘What is a line, anyway . . . Except what we make it?’ 4.2

Constructive and Destructive Boundary Lines

When people hear the words ‘boundary lines’ or ‘boundaries,’ their frst image is often that of separation and breakdown in communication. Unfortunately, this view is supported by numerous real-life examples. In fact, many intercultural encounters discussed in this book are examples of destructive boundary lines that lead to communication failures. Boundary lines are perceived as destructive if people use certain verbal and nonverbal behaviors that result in identity disconfrmation, i.e., people fail to defne themselves by constructing their cultural identities. Identity disconfrming messages may include avoiding others, racist language, etc. For instance, people “can sufer real damage, real distortion” if people from another culture “mirror back to them a confning, or contemptible picture of themselves” (Taylor, 1992, p. 25). Destructive boundary lines can take the physical form of a wall separating people, such as the Berlin Wall. People from diferent cultures can also be separated by language. For instance, in the Texas town of Amarillo, two women who were fuent in Spanish and English were fred from their jobs because they chatted in Spanish in their workplace.The owner of the company asked the women to speak only English while at work; the owner allegedly even demanded that they sign a pledge not to speak Spanish. Both women refused and lost their jobs (Verhovek, 1997). It is clear that this intercultural interaction the owner was perceived as overstepping his boundaries, while the two women were perceived as uncooperative and lacking fexibility. Let’s not forget, however, that without boundary lines there would be no cultures, so boundary lines cannot be all that bad! Besides, the Latin root of ‘punctuation’ refers simply to ‘marking with points,’ and the Latin root of ‘boundary’ refers to ‘a feld within limits.’ Nowhere do we fnd any evaluation: the meanings of ‘punctuation’ and ‘boundary’ are neutral. Yes, boundary lines could be perceived as negative and destructive, but and they could (and should!) be perceived as positive and constructive. Boundary lines are constructive when they make it possible for people to construct their cultural identities, successfully regulating interaction with others. If people can freely take the line they want by using certain verbal

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and nonverbal behaviors, their cultural identity is confrmed. In this case, boundary lines are perceived as constructive and positive because people achieve their goals. Positive response can be equated with ‘identity confrmation’ as the “process through which individuals are recognized, acknowledged, and endorsed” (Laing, 1961, p. 83). Identity confrming messages may include showing empathy toward others, using supportive language, etc. Take the example of St. Maarten, the smallest parcel of land in the world ruled by two sovereignties since the partition treaty was signed back in 1648 (see: Jermanok, 1999). Part French, part Dutch, the island even has two names—St. Martin and Sint Maarten. People from both cultures are said to have merged to create arguably the most cosmopolitan island in the Caribbean. The island’s inhabitants are proud of their peaceful coexistence for over 350 years.A boundary line here takes the form of a border running from Cupecoy Bay in the west to Cortalita Beach in the east apportioned 21 square miles to the French and 16 square miles to the Dutch. Legend has it that the two soldiers, one Dutch, one French, were chosen to divide the island in half. They started back to back and began walking. However, the Dutch soldier stopped to have a drink while the French soldier remained sober and continued his duty; hence, the diference in size. (More likely, though, the French received 21 square miles because of their superior naval presence in the region when the treaty was signed.) Today, one is free to cross sides without a passport.The boundary line between Dutch St. Maarten and French St. Martin is open and free, considered among the most peaceful the world has ever known (Banks, 2016). Therefore, the nature of boundary lines, as internalized conceptualizations, is two-fold.A boundary line can take the form of various barriers that cause disputes and even wars; it is then perceived as destructive and does not lead to successful intercultural interactions. A boundary line can also create peaceful borders; it is then perceived as constructive and leads to successful intercultural communication. Let’s emphasize one more time that the origin of boundary lines is in people’s minds, and it is people who make those boundary lines destructive (dysfunctional, negative) or constructive (functional, positive). 4.3

Boundary Fit in Intercultural Communication

Sometimes, people’s attitude to boundary lines is so negative that we hear calls to get rid of all boundaries or at least avoid them. For instance, the flm Boundary Lines is described as “a plea to eliminate the arbitrary boundary lines which divide people from each other as individuals and as nations: invisible boundary lines of color, origin, wealth, and religion” (International Film Foundation, 1951). Yet, as must be clear from our earlier discussion, boundary lines are crucial for the creation of cultural identity and for intercultural communication, overall.

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It could be that those whose attitude is so negative think of walls rather than boundary lines; as Robert Frost writes in one of his poems,“Something there is that doesn’t love a wall, That wants it down.” Indeed, in such cases communication is often prevented or undercut; one hits a wall, so to speak, because, just as much as walls keep peoples out, walls also keep peoples in. In this way, just as much walls distort the view of those on the outside, walls distort the view of those on the inside. In other words, in distorting our view of each other, walls ultimately distort our view of ourselves. (Rodriguez, 2008) We’re much better of thinking of intercultural communication in terms of “human nature as having permeable boundaries” (Abrams et al., 2003, p. 217). It is crucial to understand that boundaries are made to be crossed. In other words, boundaries not only allow but also call for various crossings, and so an essential skill—especially in today’s complex world—“is the ability to interact across cultural boundaries” (Tennekoon, 2015, p. 1). Every boundary crossing is an interactive, intersubjective experience. Only by crossing boundaries can new possibilities be created in intercultural communication and only at cultural intersections can new identities be forged (Chen & Lin, 2016; McConachy, 2018). So, instead of calling for the elimination of all boundaries or avoiding them, we should be ready for—and welcome—boundary crossings. In the process of intercultural communication, we must make sure that boundary lines are respected and agreed upon, perceived as constructive by people from all interacting cultures. People must strive for a boundary ft as an agreement on the nature of a boundary line between them; such “boundary wisdom helps interactants challenge their own core cultural values at the same time when facing the challenge from their culturally diferent counterpart” (Chen, 2013, p. 1). Boundary lines can be hard or soft, depending upon how difcult or easy it is for an out-group to communicate with an in-group. Soft boundaries are lines not as deeply engraved and easier to change and cross in the process of intercultural interactions. For instance, according to a recent article focused on the analysis of symbolic productions (Rigaud et al., 2018), there were complex interactions between Early Neolithic farming cultures in the western Mediterranean area.The circulation and exchange of pottery decorations and personal ornaments was made possible by fexible boundaries between these groups, refecting the high level of their mobility and rapid expansion in the area. A modern-day example is presented by Switzerland where peaceful stability is maintained as a result of well-defned boundaries between various cultural groups (Rutherford et al., 2014). Another example of a good boundary ft is interaction of the Amish people with the broader American

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culture that constantly undergoes boundary crossings. For instance, while their commitment to staying of the electricity grid used to be a given, now some Amish small businesses fnd it impractical; also, more Amish are now beginning to use the Internet and social media (Stuhldreher, 2016). At the same time, the boundaries are being crossed more often from the side of the broader American culture, as people engage with the Amish in discussions about life after death or participate in Bible readings with Amish families (Park, 2018). Hard boundaries are lines deeply engraved within a culture and more difcult to change and cross in the process of intercultural interaction. Sometimes, it seems that the boundary line is so negative and deeply engraved that it appears to be impermeable, with no boundary ft possible. However, boundary lines are, frst and foremost, ideas that take many diferent forms and undergo changes, sometimes quick and dramatic ones: think of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Or, take the example of a dramatic change in the boundary lines in the former Yugoslavia where people from the same communities saw themselves, all of a sudden, as members of diferent ethnic groups.The aggressive behavior of former neighbors, friends, and even spouses, which the international community often found difcult to understand, was the consequence of a changed boundary ft (Petronio et al., 1998). It is crucial to remember that even the hardest boundaries change because our conceptualizations change; it is said that nothing can stop an idea whose time has come. Boundary lines change because people can change their conceptualizations of themselves and others. In this respect, a boundary ft can be more or less successful (‘ftting’), and reaching a boundary ft can be more or less difcult, depending on the degree of permeability of the boundaries. In all cases, a boundary ft is work in progress as it requires constant intercultural interactions. Boundaries, therefore, are meant to be crossed. Boundary crossings form the essence of intercultural interactions even though they may not be easy because “boundaries abound. So do the ambiguities traversing them” (Connolly, 1995, p. 198). Cultural boundaries are not obstacles but permeable creations that allows us to understand and situate ourselves in relation to others. Intercultural interactions can be conceptualized by using the membrane metaphor as “spaces in which the other is close yet discrete, separated with permeable boundaries, like a membrane” (Martin, 2000, p. 86). This view captures the essence of intercultural interactions very well because “boundaries—like membranes—modify communication without shutting it down” (Cabranes-Grant, 2011). In this book, we’ll discuss from various perspectives how intercultural communication can be modifed yet continue.

5 The Punctuation Principle Defned Let’s give a concise formulation of the Punctuation Principle, based on the above discussion of its three parts.

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First, intercultural communication can be seen in terms of boundary lines, which originate in people’s minds marking distinctions between in-groups (Self) and out-groups (Other). Any boundary line is, fundamentally, an idea, a conceptualization. Second, boundary lines can be perceived as destructive or constructive, resulting in less successful or more successful communication, respectively. If boundary lines prevent people from realizing their goals and defning themselves, they are considered destructive; if they allow people from diferent cultures to defne themselves and realize their goals, they are considered constructive. And, third, people from diferent cultures have certain boundary demands. Successful intercultural communication requires that people from diferent cultures agree on a boundary ft between them. In a nutshell, the Punctuation Principle can be formulated as follows: Intercultural communication is a process whereby people from diferent groups defne their collective identities by drawing boundary lines between themselves, looking for a mutually acceptable boundary ft.

6

Case Study: ‘Peace Walls’ in Northern Ireland

The case study is based on the following materials (Burdeau, 2019; Hawley, 2018; McGrade, 2017). It is recommended that you read them in their entirety; below, you fnd a summary of the articles. Be ready to identify and then discuss the following topics: 1. The role played by the ‘peace walls’ in the process of cultural identifcation. 2. The ‘peace walls’ as conceptualizations. 3. Looking for a boundary ft. Past. Since the early 20th century, tensions have existed in Northern Ireland between most Catholics who wanted complete independence from Britain and most Protestants who wanted to retain political and economic ties with Britain. Often, the terms ‘Catholic’ and ‘Protestant’ are confated with ‘nationalist’ and ‘unionist,’ and ‘Irish’ and ‘British,’ respectively. In the late 1960s, violent riots broke out between these two groups, and British troops were brought in to restore order.The violence was so bad that the residents built the so-called ‘peace walls,’ or ‘peace lines,’ and thousands of Northern Irish families relocated behind those areas deemed safe. The ‘peace walls’ were established as a temporary measure to keep the two groups apart. ‘The Troubles,’ as several decades of violence came to be known, was brought to an ofcial end in 1998 with the Good Friday Agreement which opened up the border between the territories. Gates, sometimes stafed by police and many closed at night, began to appear in the walls

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allowing passage from one area to another. Since 1998, more than ten miles of walls have been added. Present. Today, many tourists visiting Northern Ireland are shocked to fnd dozens of ‘peace walls’ there. One of the most notorious is the concrete wall running between the Falls Road and Shankill Road in west Belfast that became to be referred to as ‘the Berlin Wall of west Belfast’.The walls are not limited to Belfast and stand across the country: if they were placed end-toend, they would stretch to over 34 kilometers (21.1 miles).The ‘peace walls’ exist in the so-called ‘interface areas’—those places where Catholics and Protestants live in close proximity. The walls are still up because they serve a purpose: many people feel they are needed to protect them from physical attack. Of course, as they function to protect people, the walls also have the efect of separating them. Also, tourists visiting Northern Ireland today may discover that many local residents can identify a person’s religion simply by his or her appearance. For instance, Chelsea Fuchs, an undergraduate in the Walsh School of Foreign Service, class of 2019, who spent several months in Belfast, reports interesting conversations with a Catholic boy and a Protestant boy. In the words of the Protestant boy, If he’s wearing O’Neill’s shorts, or a Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) shirt, he’s defnitely Catholic. Catholics are also the people who don’t come out on the Twelfth of July [which celebrates the victory of Protestant King William of Orange over Catholic King James II]. But my dad swears he can tell a Catholic just by looking into his eyes. In response, the Catholic boy asserted that “Prods usually have sallow skin and wear rugby stuf ” claiming that it “takes years of experience” to note the diference. Future. It remains to be seen whether Northern Ireland will remove the ‘peace walls’ by 2023, as promised by its government. There are a number of factors to be taken into consideration when speculating when, how, or if the walls will fnally come down. First, whereas the destruction of the Berlin Wall was viewed as necessary for the purpose of reintegrating the city’s population, Northern Ireland’s population, for the most part, has managed to reintegrate even with the walls intact. Second, it must be remembered that the ‘peace walls’ were built by the members of the local communities themselves, not imposed from outside; this makes it harder to bring them down. Third, although commonly associated with the confict between Catholics and Protestants, the ‘peace walls’ continue to exist as a result of the political identities (nationalist and unionist) that may become more salient than one’s religious identity.

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Fourth, the ‘peace walls’ have become part of the fabric of the so-called ‘Troubles tourism,’ providing employment to working-class communities and especially those living closest to the ‘interface areas.’ Slowly, people from the communities on both sides of the walls are being brought together. One cross-community efort aimed at taking down the ‘peace walls’ brings together about 200 Belfast children drawn from Catholic and Protestant neighborhoods divided by walls to play sports. Part of the PeacePlayers International project, it focuses on the common ground between diferent groups showing to young people what the future can be like. It is clear, though, that the process of dealing with the ‘peace walls’ will be gradual, and much work is yet to be done. ∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗ 1. The role played by the ‘peace walls’ in the process of cultural identifcation. As discussed in the chapter, people can be categorized as members of our cultures (an in-group) or not members of our cultures (an outgroup). Since collective identity is produced by the social construction of boundaries, the ‘peace walls’ (as a form of boundaries) make the distinction between an in-group and an out-group clear-cut: most Catholics who wanted complete independence from Britain self-identify as ‘nationalist’ whereas most ‘Protestant’ self-identify as ‘unionist.’ It is also clear that each group’s identity is a refective self-image derived from interactions with the other group: people from each group can anticipate and adapt their behaviors depending on the way they expect people from the other group to react to them. This way, people from each group can refect on their experiences and self-refexively plan their actions. 2. The ‘peace walls’ as conceptualizations. Although tangible in form, the ‘peace walls’ have a symbolic component: they started as a conceptual distinction between the ideas of those who desired complete independence from Britain and didn’t want to share its ideology, and those who desired to retain ties with Britain and so share its ideology.Also, it is an example of how conceptualizations can turn destructive and form quasi-national borders in the form of hard boundaries such as walls. The ‘peace walls’ as conceptualizations persist not only in a tangible form but also in cultural memory and narrative; consider the example of someone who can tell a Catholic just by ‘looking into their eyes,’ which ‘takes years of experience.’ Also, while they were established as a temporary measure to keep the Catholics and Protestants apart, the ‘peace walls’ are now conceptualized somewhat diferently since they’re now part of life in Northern Ireland.

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3. Looking for a boundary ft. The ‘peace walls’ are clearly an example of hard boundaries; yet, as noted earlier, even the hardest boundaries can change once our ideas change. It is unlikely that the ‘peace walls’ will undergo a quick and dramatic change similar to the fall of the Berlin Wall. However, we can see how cultural eforts to soften the hard boundaries are at work even in this long-standing confict of identities and loyalties: important cross-community eforts are being made by the people on both sides of the walls toward fnding a mutually acceptable boundary ft. In spite of many challenges, it must be remembered that all boundaries are meant to be crossed and that every boundary crossing is an interactive experience. It remains to be seen what forms a boundary ft in this case will take on; it may be that the ‘peace walls’ will be physically preserved, with cultural intersections creating new opportunities and identities.

7

Side Trips

7.1 What Is a ‘Person of Color’?

In his article, entitled ‘“People of color” came out of the blue,’ Jonathan Kolatch (2019) poses the question:“What is a ‘person of color’?” He says that to grade people by skin tone is silly, except to politicians, and that recurrent headlines in national newspapers, such as ‘Five essay collections by women of color,’ only perpetuate this distortion. He also argues that the expression ‘people of color’ is a purely American invention and must be stripped from the lexicon, or, at a minimum, needs better classifcation, suggesting such labels as ‘colorless,’ ‘colored,’ ‘bicolored,’ ‘tricolored,’ and ‘multicolored.’ ∗∗ Do you agree with Kotlach’s opinion and suggestion? 7.2

Human Towers in Catalonia

Human-towers (castells) is a dramatic display of Catalonian culture: people literally stack themselves on top of one another by climbing up backs and shoulders. The cultural practice was frst documented in 1801 and became a powerful metaphor for the Catalonian identity, symbolizing togetherness, the elimination of class diferences, and Catalonia’s welcoming atmosphere (Wolters, 2019). ∗∗ Can you think of other unusual forms of expression of cultural identity? 7.3

Intangible Cultural Heritage List

UNESCO established a list of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding, focusing on people whose identities are endangered and at risk of fading away. Intangible Cultural Heritage includes practices, representations,

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knowledge, and skills that defne a group, particularly focusing on oral traditions and expressions, rituals and festive events, performing arts, traditional craftsmanship, etc. For instance, in 2018 Jamaica applied to add reggae to this list, which was honored. The updated forms are available to be completed by states when nominating living heritage elements to the Representative List and Urgent Safeguarding List for the 2021 cycle along with 38 fles of elements considered as good examples by the Committee or the Evaluation Body (https://ich.unesco.org/). ∗∗ What would you propose to add to this list and why?

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King, A. (2017). Rachel Dolezal: ‘Race is a social construct’. CNN. www.cnn.com/ 2017/04/01/us/rachel-dolezal-race-social-construct-cnntv/index.html. Accessed July 24, 2019. Kolatch, J. (2019).‘People of color’ came out of the blue. Wall Street Journal, December 18. Korf, J. (2019). Aboriginal identity:Who is ‘Aboriginal’? Creative Spirits. www.creativespirits. info/aboriginalculture/people/aboriginal-identity-who-is-aboriginal. Accessed June 2, 2019. Kosasa, K. (2008). Sites of erasure:The representation of settler culture in Hawai’i. In C. Fujikane & J. Okamura (Eds.), Asian settler colonialism (pp. 195–208). Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press. Kronenfeld, D. (2018). Culture as a system: How we know the meaning and signifcance of what we do and say. New York: Routledge. Laing, D. (1961). The self and others. New York: Pantheon Books. Langmia, K. & Tyree,T. (Eds.) (2016). Social media: Culture and identity. Lanham: Lexington Books. Lavrinec, J. & Zaporozhets, O. (2009). The dramaturgy of urban fears in transitional places. In In transition: Cultural identities in the age of transnational and transcultural fux (pp. 198–211). International conference proceedings. Ekaterinburg, Russia. Lee, D. (1950). Lineal and nonlineal codifcations of reality. ETC: A Review of General Semantics, 8(1): 13–26. LeMaster, B. & Johnson,A. (2018). Unlearning gender:Toward a critical communication trans pedagogy. Communication Teacher, 33(3): 189–198. Littlejohn, S. (2002). Theories of human communication. Belmont, CA:Wadsworth. Lustig, M. & Koester, J. (2003). Intercultural competence: Interpersonal communication across cultures. Boston:Allyn & Bacon. Martin, A. (2000). Luce Irigaray and the question of the divine. London: Maney. Martin, J. & Nakayama, T. (2000). Intercultural communication in contexts. California City, CA: Mayfeld Publishing Company. McConachy, T. (2018). Editorial: Crossing boundaries and creating possibilities in intercultural communication education. Intercultural Communication Education, 1(1): 1–3. McGrade, N. (2017). The story behind Northern Ireland’s Peace Walls. Culture Trip. https://theculturetrip.com/europe/united-kingdom/northern-ireland/articles/thestory-behind-northern-irelands-peace-walls/.Accessed December 5, 2019. Mead, G. H. (1934). Mind, self, and society. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Morris, E. (Ed.) (1982). The American heritage dictionary of the English language. Boston: Houghton Mifin Company. Navarro, M. (2003). Going beyond black and white, Hispanics in census pick ‘other’. New York Times, November 9. Neuman,Y. (2003). Processes and boundaries of the mind: Extending the limit line. New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum. Nöth, W. (2001). Towards a semiotics of cultural other. The American Journal of Semiotics, 17(2): 239–251. Orr, R., Iqbal, M., & Sharratt, K. (2018).American Indian erasure and the logic of elimination: An experimental study of depiction and support for resources and rights for tribes. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 45(11): 2078–2099. Park, K. (2018). Interpreting non-Amish perceptions of the old order Amish using cultural relativism and human rights frameworks. Journal of Amish and Plain Anabaptist Studies, 6(1): 117–143. https://ideaexchange.uakron.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article =1100&context=amishstudies.Accessed July 12, 2019.

32 Punctuation Principle Parker, K., Horowitz, J. M., Morin, R., & Lopez, M. H. (2015). Multiracial in America: Proud, diverse and growing in numbers. Pew Research Center. www.pewsocialtrends. org/2015/06/11/multiracial-in-america/.Accessed November 14, 2019 Petronio, S., Ellemers, N., Giles, H., & Gallois, C. (1998). (Mis)communicating across boundaries: Interpersonal and intergroup considerations. Communication Research, 25(6): 571–595. Pitts, L. (2003).What to call a non-Caucasian. The Spokesman-Review, May 27. Popper, K. & J. Eccles (1977). The self and its brain. Berlin: Springer. Psaltis, C. & Zapiti,A. (2014). Cultural dynamics of social representation: Interaction, communication and development: Psychological development as a social process. Hove: Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group. Rigaud, S., Manan, C., & García-Martínez de Lagrán, I. (2018). Symbols in motion: Flexible cultural boundaries and the fast spread of the Neolithic in the western Mediterranean. PLoS ONE, 13(5): e0196488. Rodriguez, A. (2008). Walls, fences, and communication. Communication Currents, August 1. www.natcom.org/communication-currents/walls-fences-and-communication. Accessed June 23, 2019. Rutherford, A., et al. (2014). Good fences: The importance of setting boundaries for peaceful coexistence. PLOS, May 21. Shi, X. & Langman, J. (2012). Gender, language, identity, and intercultural communication. In J. Jackson (Ed.), The Routledge handbook of language and intercultural communication (pp. 167–180).Abingdon and New York: Routledge. Shirato,T. & Yell, S. (2000). Communication and culture. London: Sage Publications. Simmel, G. (1950). The stranger. In K. Wolf (Ed.), The sociology of George Simmel. New York: Free Press. Slocum, S. (2019). Why do they hate us? Making peace with the Muslim world.Vista, CA:Top Reads. Stewart, E. & M. Bennet (2005). American cultural patterns: A cross-cultural perspective. Yarmouth, ME: Intercultural Press. Stuhldreher, T. (2016). 21st-century pressures raise dilemmas, shift boundaries in Amish life. LancasterOnline. https://lancasteronline.com/news/local/st-century-pressuresraise-dilemmas-shift-boundaries-in-amish-life/article_4f9c23a0-2f75–11e6-be33– 3fb58b2ee62c.html.Accessed September 14, 2019 Tajfel, H. (1981). Human groups and social categories. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Tamaira, A. M. K. (2017). Walls of empowerment: Reading public murals in a Kanaka Maoli context. The Contemporary Pacifc, 29(1): 1–35. Taylor, C. (1992). Multiculturalism and ‘the politics of recognition’. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Tennekoon, S. (2015). Crossing the cultural boundaries: Developing intercultural competence of prospective teachers of English. International Journal of Scientifc and Research Publications, 5(4): 1–15. Ting-Toomey, S. (1999). Communicating across cultures. New York: Guilford Press. Ting-Toomey, S. & Oetzel, J. G. (2001). Intercultural confict: An introduction. In Managing intercultural confict efectively (pp. 1–26).Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. Usunier, J.-C. (1996). Marketing across cultures. London: Prentice Hall. Vatikiotis, M. & Schwartz,A. (1995). Crossed lines:Thailand and Vietnam clash over fshing rights. Far Eastern Economic Review, 158: 16. Verhovek, S. (1997). Clash of cultures tears Texas city. New York Times, September 30.

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Warren, J. (2001). Doing whiteness: On the performative dimensions of race in the classroom. Communication Education, 50(2): 91–108. Watzlawick, P., Beavin, J., & Jackson, D. (1967). Some tentative axioms of communication. In Pragmatics of human communication:A study of interactional patterns, pathologies, and paradoxes (pp. 48–71). New York:W.W. Norton & Company. Williams, M. (2017). Book burning:A sordid history of cultural erasure. CBLDF, September 7. http://cbldf.org/2017/09/book-burning-a-sordid-history-of-cultural-erasure/. Accessed December 12, 2019. Wolters, C. (2019). These death-defying human towers build on Catalan tradition. National Geographic, July 31. www.nationalgeographic.com/culture/2019/07/thesedeath-defying-human-towers-build-on-catalan-tradition/.Accessed November 23, 2019.

2

Uncertainty Principle ‘Let the Mystery Be!’

Key Theme: Problem Question: Objective:

Uncertainty How does the nature of knowledge afect intercultural communication? To help you understand and appreciate the inherent uncertainty of intercultural interactions

Key Concepts: Anxiety, care, closure, determinism, disclosure, dis-closure, epistemology, fusion of horizons, horizon, humanistic, intersubjectivity, the Johari Window, knowledge, the Observer’s Paradox, ontology, self-disclosure, scientifc, uncertainty, voluntarism,‘woonerf’.

Chapter Outline 1 Introducing the Problem Question 35 2 From Ontology to Epistemology 35 2.1 Objective Stance 35 2.2 Subjective Stance 36 2.3 ‘Two Sides of the Same Coin’ 38 3 Knowledge as Inherently Uncertain 39 4 Introducing the Uncertainty Principle 40 4.1 Uncertainty and Horizon of Knowledge 41 4.2 Uncertainty and Dis-closure 42 4.3 Certainty in Uncertainty 46 5 The Uncertainty Principle Defned 48 6 Case Study:‘The Shock of the Other’ 48 7 Side Trips 52 7.1 Uncertainty and Intercultural Crisis Communication 52 7.2 ‘A Person Who Has No Horizon’ 52 7.3 ‘There Is Strangeness Hidden in the Familiar’ 52

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1

35

Introducing the Problem Question

In the previous chapter, we emphasized the importance of recognizing and drawing boundary lines, with the success of communication determined by a boundary ft between people from diferent cultures in various situations of interaction. Successful intercultural communication requires important knowledge: people from each culture must know, frst, who they are (their self-image); second, what people from other cultures think of them (their refective self-image); and, third, who people from other culture are (Other’s cultural identity).The very nature of knowledge, though, is quite complex and has a profound impact on our ability to interact with other cultures. In this chapter, thus, we take up the following Problem Question: ‘How does the nature of knowledge afect intercultural communication?’

2

From Ontology to Epistemology

Chapter 1 had an ontological orientation. Ontology is a branch of philosophy that deals with the nature of being and aims to answer the question ‘what is or what exists in the world.’ Members of every culture assume that the world is what it is for them, including categories such as ‘rituals,’ ‘animals,’‘walls,’ etc. However, when they start interacting with out-groups, it turns out that their members see the world diferently. The fact is that what we know to ‘really exist’ (‘our world’) cannot be separated from how we know this. To put it another way, ontology goes hand-in-hand with epistemology—the branch of philosophy “that studies knowledge, or how people know what they claim to know” (Littlejohn, 2002, p. 26). Chapter 2 has an epistemological orientation to what is discussed, focusing on the nature of knowledge or how we know what we know. We usually take our own cultural world for granted because we know what it is: we don’t ask the question how we know this—we just know. When we start interacting with people from other cultures, though, understanding their (diferent) meanings becomes a problem and so our default mode of looking at the world falters: this is when epistemology comes to the foreground. Now we must gather knowledge about something new and be sure that our claims about this knowledge are reliable. This occurs in every intercultural encounter, no matter how mundane. Two main epistemological stances as ways of gaining knowledge are usually identifed. 2.1

Objective Stance

According to the objective stance, the world is viewed as an object external to people and independent of the human mind. In this light, the world is made up of many meaningful essences (‘things’) that can be discovered

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through careful observation and represented in language signs.The discovery of such knowledge allows us to see how the world functions “in patterned, predictable ways, often seen in terms of cause and efect (i.e., determinism)” (Baldwin et al., 2004, p. 26; original emphasis). This knowledge is seen as universally applicable because the essence of the object does not change regardless of who is studying the object: in other words, what is observed is not changed by the observer, nor is the observer infuenced by the observed. The objective observer “attempts to look at the world in such a way that all other observers . . . would see the same thing” (Littlejohn, 2002, p. 10).This way, laws can be formulated that are used to explain, predict, and control the behaviors observed. The objective stance is often called ‘scientifc’ because it usually underlies the approach to knowledge adopted by the natural sciences. However, it is also found in the study of human behavior and known as ‘the social science approach,’ aiming for “predictive certainty regarding strangers’ behavior” (Gudykunst & Kim, 2003, p. 33). Suppose you want to know how travelers adapt overseas.You start looking for variables and may fnd them in age. Now you can formulate laws based on your observations; for instance, if one is young(er), one fnds it easier to adapt overseas.You can then use this knowledge in your intercultural interactions and predict the results of intercultural encounters. Thus, according to the objective stance, the world exists objectively as reality external to people; a careful observer discovers and represents the knowledge of its variables in the form of universal meanings. Seen from this perspective, meanings are like butterfies—some more common, fying right in front of us, and some more rare, living in remote places. And yet, it is only a matter of time before they can all be discovered, explained, pinned down and exhibited in the ‘Museum of Meanings.’We can then take those meanings out of the museum when necessary and use that knowledge in interacting with people from other cultures. But, is it really the case that knowledge is simply found in the world by someone who, so to speak, walks with a net, observes ‘things’ and captures their meanings? If meaning were part of ‘things,’ how would we know where the ‘the meaning’ ends and ‘the thing’ begins? 2.2

Subjective Stance

The subjective stance is also known as ‘humanistic’ because it emphasizes the role of people as the subjects who actively gain knowledge. Not surprisingly, “humanists often are suspicious of the claim that there is an immutable world to be discovered, and they tend not to separate the knower from the known” (Littlejohn, 2002, p. 10).According to the subjective stance, we ourselves are part of this world interrelated with what we study, in spite of our best intentions to be completely objective. We want to observe the

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world objectively and to know what it is ‘really like’; this, however, cannot be done without our being a part of that same world—the situation known as the Observer’s Paradox. Max Bohr, a famous Danish physicist, describes it very well: We may compare the observer . . . with that of a football game where the act of watching, accompanied by applauding and hissing, has a marked infuence on the speed and concentration of the players, and thus on what is watched . . . It is the action of the experimentalist who designs the apparatus, which determines essential features of the observations. Hence there is no objectively existing situation, as was supposed to exist in classical science. (Bohr, 1956, p. 35) This is especially true in the social world where all knowledge is clearly produced through interaction between people who act as both the observers and the observed.Therefore, it is necessary “to engage with the intersubjectivity of the intercultural,” i.e., adopt the approach that “begins with the intersubjective relationship between the people being researched and the researcher and therefore opens up the ability to see the liquid nature of the intercultural that cuts across imagined solid culture boundaries” (Holliday & MacDonald, 2019; emphasis added). So, we cannot separate ourselves from the world we try to know objectively. The world is not something that exists as external and unchanged reality outside of people’s interactions and interpretations; all knowledge “can only be understood from the point of view of the individuals who are directly involved in the activities which are to be studied” (Burrel & Morgan, 1979, p. 5). Knowledge is constructed by people in various situations of interaction and so meanings are internal to people;“for example, love is not something external to us, with fve dimensions that cover all types of love in all cultures. Rather, each culture defnes love and dating in its own way” (Baldwin et al., 2004, p. 26). Moreover, since all observations are infuenced by the observer and the observer is infuenced by the observed, we can only know something as it relates to ourselves and other people. Because “people do not behave on impulse but rather make decisions on free will (voluntarism)” (Baldwin et al., 2004, p. 27), the goal of the subjective inquiry is to interpret people’s interactions; for this reason, the subjective stance is also known as ‘interpretative.’ According to the subjective stance, meanings, like butterfies, constantly change their shape and color, and, when you think you have pinned them down, they come to life at the contact and fy away. For instance, in the example of travelers adapting overseas, discussed earlier, you may learn that younger people fnd it easier to adapt overseas because they can process complex information much faster or, on the contrary, because they avoid complex information.

38 Uncertainty Principle 2.3 ‘Two Sides of the Same Coin’

These two epistemological stances can be summarized as follows (Table 2.1). According to the objective stance, (a) the world exists as objective reality separate from people; (b) meanings are essences that can be discovered through observation; (c) what is observed is not changed by the observer, nor is the observer infuenced by the observed; (d) the knowledge discovered is seen as universally applicable; and (e) universal laws can be formulated to explain, predict and control the behaviors observed. According to the subjective stance, (a) the world cannot be separated from people because they’re part of the world; (b) meanings are internal to people and produced through interaction; (c) what is observed is changed by the observer, and the observer is infuenced by the observed; (d) the knowledge produced is applicable to particular situations; and (e) this knowledge is used to understand and interpret the world. In short, objectivists . . . see a “real world” external to individuals, look for regularities in behavior, and see communication as “determined” by situations and environments. Subjectivists, in contrast, contend that there is no “real world” external to individuals, try to understand individual communicators’ perspectives, and view communication as a function of “free will.” (Gudykunst, 2002, p. 183) As a way to gain knowledge, ‘objectivists’ clearly favor observation, while ‘subjectivists’ emphasize interaction and participation. Neither stance alone can reveal the epistemological complexity of intercultural communication. On the one hand, if all knowledge could be discovered and formulated in the form of laws, all interactions would be pre-determined. On the other hand, if all knowledge were internal to people, every situation would be unique; intercultural encounter would then become chaotic, with no objective patterns to follow and amounting each time to a new experience. The two stances discussed above are really two sides of the same coin, focusing on two diferent sides of knowledge: the objective stance “focuses on the discovered world,” while the subjective stance “focuses on the discovering person” (Littlejohn, 2002, p. 11). Table 2.1 Two epistemological stances Characteristics

Objective

Subjective

View of Knowledge Basis of Behavior Goal of Inquiry Result of Inquiry

Knowledge is External Determinsm Explanation Laws of Interaction

Knowledge is Internal Free Will Understanding Interpretation of Interaction

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Overall, knowledge cannot be completely predicted or completely interpreted. We interact “in situations which lie between the two extremes . . . At one extreme, we are so confdent of our predictions that we no longer experience doubt at all [cf. ‘predetermined order’]; at the other, what will happen is so absolutely unpredictable it can only be treated fatalistically [cf. ‘chaos’]” (Marris, 1996, p. 18). It is crucial to remember that “between the two extremes, we have to deal with our uncertainties” (Gudykunst & Kim, 2003, p. 30; emphasis added). The complexity of intercultural communication can be revealed only if these two stances are brought together, emphasizing “the contradictory nature of intercultural communication, which encompasses many diferent kinds of intercultural knowledge” (Martin & Nakayama, 2004, p. 62). Overall, though, in the words of Emmanuel Levinas, a French philosopher,“communication is an adventure of subjectivity . . . it will involve uncertainty” (Levinas, 1981, p. 120).

3

Knowledge as Inherently Uncertain

Almost a hundred years ago, Werner Heisenberg, a German scientist who received the Nobel prize in physics, put forward his ideas about basic elements of matter having a dual nature—that of particles and waves. He argued that “in a stationary state of an atom its phase is in principle indeterminate” (Heisenberg, 1983, p. 66); these ideas became a basis for his famous Uncertainty Principle. According to this principle, it is impossible to determine simultaneously the exact location and momentum of small pieces of matter (their exact ‘meaning,’ as it were) independently of the observer’s viewpoint. When the observer tries to pinpoint their location and speed, they change: moreover, the more precisely the position of a particle is determined, the less its momentum can be known, and vice versa. As a result, we remain somewhat uncertain about the nature of reality. Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle made us realize that the observer afects the observed in the very act of observation and cannot be objectively separated from the process, as a whole.Although those ideas were originally developed to address our knowledge of the basic elements of the quantum world, uncertainty is always present and simply becomes signifcant—and easier to study—on microscopic scales. Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle has profound implications because it shows how: our knowledge structure, including valuations, is itself part of the real world . . .We fnd this now . . . in the physical sciences, and, of course, in the social sciences there are Heisenberg principles all over the place. One cannot give people a questionnaire without changing their opinions, as you may ask them questions they have never thought about before. (Boulding, 1991, p. 82)

40 Uncertainty Principle

This principle “has its equivalent in the social sciences where observer infuences are the rule, not the exception” (Krippendorf, 1989, p. 70).The example below, from the book Analyzing Cultures, makes this very clear: Let’s suppose that a scientist reared and trained in North America sees a physical event that she has never seen before. Curious about what it is, she takes out a notebook and writes down her observations in English. At the instant that our North American scientist observes the event, another scientist, reared and trained in the Philippines and speaking only the indigenous Tagalog language, also sees the same event. He similarly takes out a notebook and writes down his observations in Tagalog. Now, to what extent will the contents of the observations, as written in the two notebooks, coincide? The answer of course is that the two will not be identical.The reason for this discrepancy is clearly not due to the nature of the event, but rather to the fact that the observers were diferent, psychologically and culturally. So, as Heisenberg would have suggested, the true nature of the event is indeterminable. (Danesi & Perron, 1999, p. 64) In short, we approach every situation of intercultural interaction as if it consisted of ‘things’ and strive to discover their exact meanings; this view is found in the objective stance. However, every situation is dynamic as ‘things’ relate to other ‘things,’ and so the same situation appears to us as waves, afected by the gravitational pull of interactions with others; this view is  found in the subjective stance. When we pinpoint the objective meaning as if it were a particle of matter, we lose sight of meaning as it relates to people and other ‘things’ (including ourselves as observers), and so the wavelike nature of meaning is overlooked.When we look at meaning as if it were a wave, concentrating on its relational nature, we lose sight of its objective location, and so the particle-like nature of meaning is overlooked. We can, therefore, determine the meaning of something in any interaction only with a degree of certainty, which implies a degree of uncertainty, as well. Hence, we always have to deal with our uncertainties.

4

Introducing the Uncertainty Principle

Let’s now formulate, based on the discussion above, the second principle of intercultural communication—the Uncertainty Principle.We will isolate three parts that make up this principle. Each dealing with the nature of our knowledge in intercultural interactions. First, we will discuss uncertainty in terms of the horizon of knowledge; next, we will present intercultural communication as a process of disclosure; and, fnally, we will show how uncertainty is linked to order.We will discuss each part separately and then formulate the Uncertainty Principle, as a whole.

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4.1 Uncertainty and Horizon of Knowledge

We often experience uncertainty and anxiety when interacting with people from other cultures. Uncertainty is a cognitive response to reality due to a lack of knowledge.Two kinds of uncertainty are often isolated: predictive and explanatory—the inability to predict what someone will say or do, and the inability to explain why people behave as they do, respectively (Martin & Nakayama, 2000, p. 210). Anxiety is an afective equivalent of uncertainty and refers to the level of unease and discomfort caused by interacting with others (Neuliep, 2019). Members of all cultures experience uncertainty and feel anxious in unfamiliar situations, especially at initial stages of interaction. Uncertainty Avoidance—one of the global dimensions, often discussed in intercultural communication research—expresses the degree to which the members of a culture feel uncomfortable with uncertainty and ambiguity (we’ll discuss this dimension in more detail in Chapter 6). Two major theories—Uncertainty Management Theory and Uncertainty Reduction Theory—address uncertainty and anxiety during intercultural communication (Gudykunst, 1985; Gudykunst & Lee, 2002). According to these theories, the goal of intercultural communication is seeking information in order to increase predictability of our interactions with people from other cultures. For instance, it is noted that organizational leaders in the United States should advise recruiters to pay less attention to intercultural applicants’ nonverbal behavior: if an interviewee from another culture does not display an ‘appropriate’ amount of key nonverbals, as defned by the U.S. cultural norms, the interviewer should take into account other factors, such as the individual’s verbal behavior and previous work experience.Then, the U.S. organizations can use these factors to accurately predict how those individuals will behave in the future and hire the most qualifed applicants (Hebbani & Frey, 2007). It is tempting to think that we could approach intercultural communication as entirely detached from any preconceived ideas, observing it the way it ‘really’ occurs. But, as was shown earlier, we bring into every act of communication our own frame of reference. Meaning operates from a particular background of intelligibility: one’s horizon of knowledge is as far as one can see the world. Just as without the limitation of a horizon there would be no seeing, so without the starting point of one’s cultural tradition and unique perspective there would be no understanding. Hence, our understanding is always perspectival. It is crucial to emphasize the open and dynamic nature of horizons because “horizon is .  .  . something into which we move and that moves with us” (Gadamer, 2004, p. 303; emphasis added). Understanding requires that, as a result of a communication encounter, neither your own horizon nor that of the person(s) from another culture, is left intact: true understanding involved transformation or ‘the fusion of horizons’ (Vessey, 2009).We change with the horizon, becoming part of a new whole. We start with our own culture and search for new, diferent meanings. Understanding, therefore, is not

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reaching the horizon but reaching for the horizon; it is an active process of experiencing otherness and making that experience meaningful. Uncertainly, therefore, “is not any sort of practical limitation that can be overcome by buying better equipment or being more careful in the laboratory. It is a fundamental limit on what we can know about things around us” (Steiglitz, 2019, p. 49). Every situation of intercultural communication is characterized by a horizon of knowledge—diferent degrees and overall reach of the knowledge.As a horizon, knowledge in intercultural communication is never completely reached. Our interpretations of a seemingly static cultural reality are, in fact, dynamic by nature and open to new interpretation. 4.2

Uncertainty and Dis-closure

Let’s now look at intercultural communication using a modifcation of the Johari Window model (Luft, 1970) that consists of four areas of awareness or ‘window panes’ (Figure 2.1). The frst area—the Open Window—contains the information that others know about you and that you are aware of. The second area—the Closed Window—contains information that you know about yourself, but others do not know about you.The third area—the Blind Window—contains information that other people know about you, but that you do not know. And the fourth area—the Unknown Window—contains information that is not known to both you and others. All four ‘window panes’ are present in interactions between people from diferent cultures.They all share some information about one another (the Open Window).At the same time, people from one culture keep some information to themselves that people from another culture are not aware of (the Closed Window) and are unaware of some information that people from another culture might have about them (the Blind Window). Also, intercultural communication takes place against the backdrop of some information that is not known to people from both cultures (the Unknown Window). Let’s discuss the following situation as an example (Cohen, 1999, p. 224). Two persons—one from an Asian culture and the other from a Western culture—are engaged in business negotiations. At some point, it becomes

Known to others Not known to others

Known to self

Not known to self

Open

Blind

Closed

Unknown

Figure 2.1 The Johari Window of intercultural communication Source: Author

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obvious to both parties that the negotiations are headed nowhere; yet, the Asian party suggests a document be signed, presenting the negotiations as a success. The Western party might view this behavior as frustrating or even ethically questionable. The Western party may take ofense and withdraw from the negotiations or, on the contrary, vow not to go away and insist that the negotiations continue. That behavior, in turn, might be perceived by the Asian party as unnecessarily unpleasant and excessively persistent.To the Asian party, the substance of accord is essential to preserve appearances and maintain the impression that the negotiations conclude on the basis of mutual respect and equal standing. Besides, there is a hope that, in the future, things may change and turn out all right. In this situation, frst, these two people share some information about themselves.The Asian party suggests a document be signed, while the Western party objects to that; this part of the intercultural exchange forms its Open Window. Second, each person keeps some information that the other one is not aware of, i.e., the Asian party wants to preserve appearances, while the Western party wants to be straightforward; this part of the intercultural exchange forms its Closed Window.Third, both parties are unaware of some information that each one has about the other, i.e., that the Asian party across as lazy or unethical, while the Western party comes across as stubborn and inconsiderate; this part of the intercultural exchange forms its Blind Window. And, fourth, there is a possibility that this situation may change, taking on new twists.This exchange contains information that is not known to both persons (The Unknown Window). As discussed earlier, every situation of intercultural interaction appears before us like a horizon: it seems to stand still, but in reality it does not.We try to reach it by moving closer and closer—and it moves away.The picture we see is always somewhat diferent—and limited to our view. So, what we have in front of us is, in fact, a viewing window.We try to view more of what is behind the left edge—and we inevitably lose some information on the right. We try to view more of what is behind the right edge—and we inevitably lose some information on the left. Besides, something remains unknowable. The function of the unknown must be especially stressed because “concerned as we are with what we do, we cannot forget that we are all limited individuals, most interested in those facts relevant to the course of our lives, having to make decisions before we have all the information a pure seeker after knowledge would require” (Fleischacker, 1994, pp. 50–51). Ideally, it seems that uncertainty should be completely eliminated from intercultural interactions. However, since communication is inherently variable and subject to interpretation, we can never say that the way we have predicted or explained something excludes all other predictions or interpretations, made in the past or to be made in the future. The process of our sharing information about ourselves with people from other cultures and understanding their information about themselves can be presented as a process of dis-closure.

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Disclosure is usually defned as “regulation of information fow between the self and the outer world” (Ting-Toomey, 1999, p. 188); often, this process is labeled “self-disclosure” (Gudykunst & Kim, 2003, p  333). It is noted that “self-disclosure occurs among people of all cultures” (Lustig & Koester, 2003, p. 284) with diferences in the breadth, depth, valence, and targets of self-disclosure. Breadth refers to the range of topics of self-disclosure, such as interests, tastes, fnancial matters, physical condition. Depth refers to the level of information revealed in the process of self-disclosure, e.g., superfcial or intimate information about self.Valence refers to positive (favorable to Self) or negative (unfavorable to Self) information revealed in the process of self-disclosure. Target of self-disclosure refers to the person to whom information is given, such as same-sex friend, opposite-sex friend, spouse, acquaintance (for more information see: Gudykunst & Kim, 2003, pp. 333–334; Lustig & Koester, 2003, pp. 284–285). Such diference in self-disclosure afect the dynamics of intercultural communication. For instance, in online interactions, students from Malaysia and China exhibited greater self-disclosure and requests for personal information, compared to their U.S. counterparts; as a result, the Asian students interpreted their interactions as more formal and less friendly (Sandel et al., 2019). When people engage in the process of self-disclosure, they aim to open up their cultural identity, so to speak, and share it with people from other cultures. Through the Open Window, people share information about themselves in terms of its breadth, depth, valence, and targets. At the same time, people from one culture keep some information to themselves that people from another culture are not aware of (the Closed Window); also, there is some information that people from one culture are unaware of that people from another culture might have about them (the Blind Window); and, fnally, in every situation there is some information that is not known to people from each interacting culture (the Unknown Window). In all interactions, people from every interacting culture try to understand the information disclosed by the people from another culture. Here, three strategies are sometimes isolated—passive, active, and interactive: the passive strategy entails refective observations concerning the verbal and nonverbal performance of the individual whom you are interested in getting to know.The active strategy refers to seeking out information from a third person about the interests and hobbies of the individual of interest. Lastly, the interactive strategy refers to the direct interaction between yourself and that person. (Ting-Toomey, 1999, p. 189) By using these strategies, people try to understand the new information they receive, based on the previous knowledge they have.This way, people build

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a bridge between what they know and what they want to know: when a connection between the two is made, closure is reached. Closure is a process of flling in missing information—dealing with uncertainty when an incomplete stimulus is perceived to be complete (Bernstein et al., 1988). Of course, complete closure of meaning cannot be achieved: no matter how good one’s interpretation is, “it is always possible that someone could propose a better one” (Taylor, 2016, p. viii). Every culture, therefore, acts as both Self and Other, using disclosure and closure. Hence, intercultural communication can be presented as a process of dis-closure (Figure 2.2). In this process, people from diferent cultures together construct knowledge of one’s own and one another’s identity and how to interact with one another. This knowledge can be viewed like a giant dynamic puzzle, in which some pieces are missing. Since some information is missing, the knowledge constructed in the process of dis-closure always contains some uncertainty. It is tempting, on the one hand, to fght this view with full determination to fnd all missing pieces, aiming to complete the giant puzzle of intercultural communication; as we saw earlier, however, this extreme approach is unproductive as it leads to a predetermined order. On the other hand, it is tempting to give in to this view, allowing the giant puzzle of intercultural communication to break into countless pieces and deal with each piece individually; as we saw earlier, however, this extreme approach is also unproductive as it leads to chaos. So, how can we come to terms with uncertainty that is inherent in all intercultural interactions?

Dis-Closure

Culture 1

Culture 2

Figure 2.2 Intercultural communication as dis-closure Source: Author

46 Uncertainty Principle 4.3

Certainty in Uncertainty

You may be fnding the Uncertainty Principle somewhat disconcerting; after all, it basically tells us that “intercultural contact is characterized by uncertainty” (Smith, 2003, p. 122) and that, since “our beliefs are bets, uncertainty is everywhere” (Fleischacker, 1994, p. 35).And yet, this may be disconcerting only as a result of our craving for certainty. It is noted that “humans should recognize that the possibility of certainty or complete predictability is an illusion and that believing this possibility is a product of an erroneous Western attempt to control nature” (Bradac, 2001, p. 546). A negative view of uncertainty is found in simple, linear theories of communication, whereas more complex, relational theories treat uncertainty as something positive (Anderson, 1996).Therefore, we should change our attitude “learning to live with uncertainty” (Linstone & Zhu, 2000, p. 28). Even if we stop fnding uncertainty disconcerting, though, the Uncertainty Principle might still sound too scholarly and too impractical. It should be pointed out, however, that “the development of self requires a kind of ‘enlightened indeterminacy’—a willingness to embrace ambiguity and uncertainty as an integral part of everyday life” (Eisenberg, 2001, p. 534; emphasis added). First of all, we must not equate uncertainty with the impossibility of adequate intercultural communication. In fact, the opposite is true: order is created out of uncertainty, which is illustrated by a rich history of successful intercultural crossings. Recall the example of the North American and Tagalog scientists observing the same event and taking notes, quoted earlier.The quote continues as follows:“So, as Heisenberg would have suggested, the true nature of the event is indeterminable, although it can be investigated further, paradoxically, on the basis of the notes taken by these two scientists” (Danesi & Perron, 1999, p. 64; emphasis added). Not only can it, but it must, for that is the only way to communicate—by comparing our notes and looking at the world from our ‘viewing windows.’ Hence, knowledge, in spite of its unavoidable uncertainty, or rather thanks to it, must be seen as a basis for intercultural communication. Second, not only is order created out of uncertainty, but order is created out of uncertainty.We should remember that “indeterminate organisms possess expandable or ‘open’ boundaries that enable them to continue to grow and alter their patterns indefnitely” (Hofmeyer, 1999, p. 337). Uncertainty, therefore, constantly opens a free space for changes and evolution. Such ideas can enhance our learning potential and must “be promoted in order to emphasize the creative, productive side of the accompanying uncertainty” (Richardson, 2017, p. 12). Third, in today’s highly dynamic world, to be always certain may not be to your advantage.When you go beyond the boundary lines of your culture, sooner or later you will discover that the world cannot always be relied upon to meet your expectations. Being always certain often leads to intolerance, prejudice, and violence. Successful intercultural communication must “include the recognition and valorization of diference or alterity and the tolerance, or active embrace, of uncertainty” (Kirmayer, 2013, p. 369). To

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recognize the Uncertainty Principle means to act with humility and take responsibility for your actions. It is no exaggeration to say that one of the . . . messages of Werner Heisenberg . . . is one of modesty: the need for a certain reserve or caution in asserting the exactitude and meaning . . . for example, of units as volatile and complicated as exist within the minds of men and women. (Arlen, 1976, pp. 15–16) And, fourth, this principle teaches us to care for the world. Seemingly simple, “‘care’ is a disturbing word .  .  . it derives from the Old German ‘kara’, which means ‘lament’. Blended into its meaning are experiences of uncertainty, apprehension, and responsibility. ‘Care’ contains a suggestion of anxiety and watchful attention” (Scott, 2007, p. 150; emphasis added).Those who think they know everything often think only of themselves; to really care means to admit uncertainty into the entire situation of interaction and attend to it with watchful responsibility; this encourages tolerance, civility, cooperation, creativity, and growth. As you can see, uncertainty is an integral part of our everyday experiences and so we must welcome it into our life. You may have heard of the ‘woonerf’ concept, often translated into English as ‘living street,’‘living yard,’ or ‘home zone’ (Figure 2.3).

Figure 2.3 Dutch woonerf Source: Erauch at Dutch Wikipedia

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It denotes an area as a social space shared by cars and pedestrians rather than just a place for vehicular mobility.A ‘living street’ has few or no trafc lights, stop signs, road markings, or sidewalks. This way, uncertainty is introduced into the interactive experience. Creating a more ‘dangerous’ environment, though, actually makes the space safer because everyone has to slow down, stay alert, maintain eye contact, and show heightened awareness of what’s going on.A a result, counterintuitively, increased safety becomes a byproduct of uncertainty.The concept of ‘woonerf ’ calls for the acceptance of uncertainty in our daily life, which can be “a hard sell” (Kissell, 2018). However, it is popular in the Netherlands, Germany, and the United Kingdom, and has spread through Japan, Australia, Israel, and United States. Let’s hope it becomes more widespread everywhere for it teaches us to hide less and to be more open and aware of others, to be truly present in every situation of interaction.

5 The Uncertainty Principle Defned Let’s give a concise formulation of the Uncertainty Principle, based on the above discussion of its three parts. First, we cannot be absolutely confdent that our understanding of intercultural interactions is complete since it is inherently variable and subject to (re)interpretation.We can never say that the way we have predicted or interpreted something excludes all other predictions or interpretations, made in the past or to be made in the future.We must acknowledge uncertainty as an avoidable aspect of intercultural communication. Second, intercultural communication can be presented as a process of dis-closure or simultaneous opening up and closing down the ‘windows’ of awareness. In this process, people from diferent cultures together construct knowledge of one’s own and one another’s identities and thus how to interact with one another. And, third, diferent interpretations of the same experiences form the basis of intercultural communication because shared order is created out of uncertainty. In a nutshell, the Uncertainty Principle can be formulated as follows: Intercultural communication is a process whereby people from diferent groups constantly search for knowledge of how to interact with one another against the background of uncertainty.

6

Case Study: ‘The Shock of the Other’

The following case study is based on the video ‘The Shock of the Other,’ one of the programs in the series ‘Millennium:Tribal Wisdom and the Modern World,’ produced by Biniman Production Limited in 1992 and distributed

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by PBS Video. It is recommended that you watch the video in its entirety; below, you fnd a summary of the video. Be ready to identify and then discuss the following topics: 1. The nature of intercultural search. 2. Looking for closure. 3. Uncertainty as a basis for intercultural communication. The ‘Shock of the Other’ program follows its host, David Maybury-Lewis, the head of the Cultural Survival organization, and his crew on their journey into the Peruvian Amazon to learn about the Mashco-Piro tribe, hidden from the outside world. The video begins with David Maybury-Lewis visiting the chief of the Xavante tribe in Brazil, whom he had met 30 years ago and now considers his ‘brother.’ David Maybury-Lewis looks for his wisdom and encouragement before setting out on his journey to Peru. According to a custom of the Xavante tribe, he and his ‘brother’ lie and talk about their fears and hopes—“two mysteries to the Other,” as David Maybury-Lewis puts it, full of respect for each other. Another stop David Maybury-Lewis makes before setting out on his journey is the monastery in Spain where Christopher Columbus had planned his journey several hundred years before. David Maybury-Lewis cannot help noting the destruction of the Old World that Columbus’s discovery had brought, and also sees the ugly side of the New World—pollution, ground bereft of life. He faces this dilemma: whether he should set out on his own journey or stay home. He does not understand why, while we learn from the Other, we want the Other to be just like us. For him, the decision whether to travel to Peru is tied right in with solving this paradox. He remembers his Xavante ‘brother’ and decides to set out on his journey. Next we see him, accompanied by two Peruvians, traveling through the jungle. He sees this jungle, more than one half of which is impenetrable, and feels as if the forest were hiding from the main predators—people. On the boat taking him to his camp, he feels like a stranger to those Peruvians who accompany him, and to himself. But he has a noble goal—to save the Mashco-Piro tribe from extinction—the fate of so many other tribes.The only information he has of that tribe is the photo of three women, along with some stories told by the locals of their contact with the tribe. David Maybury-Lewis looks up and feels as if the whole jungle is watching him. He thinks he sees a distant fgure in the river, but then decides it must be just a dream. He makes a stop at the last settlement before the virgin jungle, known as the ‘Park.’This settlement has an appropriate name, he thinks, ‘Labirinto,’ which looks like a half-way house, a place in limbo, caught between the past and the present. He goes to a saloon; “Where else?” he wryly smiles to himself looking around and wondering how those

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people see him—“as a monster?” He looks out of the window and sees a funeral procession, finding it to be an omen. What, for those people is loss of a human life, for him is death of a culture, destruction of the web of life. At his camp, he fnds out that the authorities in Lima are reluctant to let them move on and photograph the tribe. Another decision needs to be made. David Maybury-Lewis and his crew talk about this on a cold night, and he feels uncertainty sneaking up on him.“It all used to be so simple,” he thinks. “When did certainty break?” He traces uncertainty back to the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century when Nietzsche announced there was no God, Freud and Darwin came up with their theories, and the physicists proved that truth was relative.Yet, David MayburyLewis hopes that it is possible to meet the Other and have pluralism of opinions.And so they journey on. The Peruvians accompanying the crew insist they go up the river.“I think they sensed the tribe’s closeness,” David Maybury-Lewis says. And they see several women from the Mashco-Piro tribe peering out of the jungle. One of the women seems to call someone.“The rest of the tribe?” wonders David Maybury-Lewis. Even at that distance, he feels, mystery comes across. “I stood at the edge of mystery,” he says. He takes a small boat and sails closer to the northern boundary of the Mashco-Piro territory. At the bank of the river, he sees their footprints, only hours old, and waits. Nobody comes out of the jungle, but he is sure they are watching him. He leaves some gifts for the tribe—pots and a knife. Leaving, he thinks: “Let the mystery be. Someday, we will meet, when we both are ready.And maybe, we will still be brothers, in a thousand years.” Now let us see how this case can be seen as an illustration of the Uncertainty Principle of intercultural communication. 1. The nature of intercultural search. This video shows well the very nature of our knowledge, i.e., what happens when we understand our experiences, or think that we do. The theme of intercultural contact as mysterious runs through the whole story. The tape begins with David Maybury-Lewis and his Xavante ‘brother’ lying and talking together—“two mysteries to the Other,” and it ends with David Maybury-Lewis leaving the Mashco-Piro territory, thinking: “Let the mystery be.” “I stood at the edge of the mystery,” he says, and this phrase is a good metaphor for intercultural communication, in general. Another good metaphor is that of impenetrable jungle. It suggests that there is always something unknowable about it, just like there is something unknowable about people from other cultures.We can view people from other cultures (and ourselves) only up to a point, and there is the Unknown Window present in all our interactions.

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David Maybury-Lewis also specifes when certainty broke, and the age of uncertainty was born.The discoveries of Nietzsche, Freud, Darwin, and physicists, seemingly unrelated, all proved that truth was elusive and our knowledge inherently uncertain. 2. Looking for closure. This video also shows well how people, in their search for knowledge tend to complete incomplete stimuli. Wherever he looks, David Maybury-Lewis tries to put pieces of a puzzle together. He looks at the jungle and sees (or thinks he does) a distant fgure. He looks at the funeral procession and sees destruction of the web of life. He looks at a candle and a mosquito net on a cold night and sees the age of uncertainty being born. The Peruvians who accompany David Maybury-Lewis and his crew, in their turn, sense the closeness of the Mashco-Piro tribe. All these perceptions are based on their previous knowledge; obviously, David Maybury-Lewis draws on his experiences as an anthropologist and the head of the Cultural Survival organization, while the Peruvians draw on their experiences of living in the jungle. Intercultural interactions shown in the video are difcult because the Mashco-Piro tribe’s self-disclosure is reduced to a minimum; for example, one of the women seems to peer out of the jungle, calling someone. As a result, David Maybury-Lewis and his crew must deal with a lot of missing information as they construct the knowledge of how to interact with the tribe. So, closure in this case is very difcult to achieve, making intercultural interactions very difcult. 3. Uncertainty as a basis for intercultural communication. This video shows that, in spite of inherent uncertainty of our knowledge, people from diferent cultures can still communicate and hope for a peaceful pluralism of opinions.The video begins and ends with David Maybury-Lewis visiting his Xavante ‘brother.’ They lie and talk, “two mysteries to the Other,” yet brothers full of respect for each other.This is the main goal of intercultural communication—to overcome the shock and meet the Other. Intercultural contact often brings negative consequences, and we see several such examples in the video—both from the New and the Old Worlds. But that should not stop people setting out on their intercultural journeys: they just should remember not to make the Other in their own image. It is just crucial, instead of bringing a destructive light, to make sure the web of life continues—for the Other and for yourself. In that sense, another metaphor in this story is that of the journey. Perhaps this metaphor is the most important one in the video. David Maybury-Lewis sails down in his boat, searching for the Mashco-Piro tribe and also for his own identity.

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7 7.1

Side Trips Uncertainty and Intercultural Crisis Communication

In their book Communication in times of trouble Matthew W. Seeger and Timothy L. Sellnow argue that “a best practice of crisis communication is to acknowledge the uncertainty and ambiguity inherent in a crisis situation” (2019, p. 101). This is echoed by Andrew S. Pyle in his article ‘Intercultural crisis communication: Examining the experiences of crisis sojourners’ (2018). ∗∗ Do you share this view? If not, why not? If yes, can you think of some examples to support this view? 7.2 ‘A Person Who Has No Horizon’

According to Hans-Georg Gadamer, “A person who has no horizon does not see far enough and hence overvalues what is nearest to him” (Gadamer, 2004, p. 301). ∗∗ Do you agree with that opinion? How can it be applied to intercultural communication? 7.3 ‘There Is Strangeness Hidden in the Familiar’

In her book, entitled Full circles, overlapping lives: Culture and generation in transition, Mary Bateson, an American cultural anthropologist, writes: We live with strangers.Those we love most, with whom we share a shelter, a table, a bed, remain mysterious. Wherever lives overlap and fow together, there are depths of unknowing. Parents and children, partners, siblings, and friends repeatedly surprise us, revealing the need to learn where we are most at home. We even surprise ourselves in our own becoming, moving through the cycles of our lives.There is strangeness hidden in the familiar. (2000, p. 27) ∗∗ Can you think of surprising yourself as a result of intercultural encounters?

References Anderson, J. (1996). Communication theory: Epistemological foundations. NewYork: Guilford Press. Arlen, M. (1976). The view from highway 1: Essays on television. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux. Baldwin, J. R., Perry, S. D., & Moftt, M.A. (2004). Communication theories for everyday life. Boston:Allyn & Bacon.

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Bateson, M. C. (2000). Full circles, overlapping lives: Culture and generation in transition. New York: Random House. Bernstein, D., Roy, E. J., Srull,T. K., & Wickens, C. D. (1988). Psychology. Dallas: Houghton Mifin. Bohr, M. (1956). Physics in my generation. London. Boulding, K. (1991).What do we know about knowledge? Issues in Integrative Studies, 9: 75–89. Bradac, J. (2001). Theory comparison: Uncertainty reduction, problematic integration, uncertainty management, and other curious constructs. Journal of Communication, 51(3): 456–476. Burrel, G. & Morgan, G. (1979). Sociological paradigms and organizational analysis. London: Heinemann. Cohen, R. (1999). Negotiating across cultures. Washington, DC: United States Institute of Peace Press. Danesi, M. & Perron, P. (1999). Analyzing cultures:An introduction and handbook. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. Eisenberg, E. (2001). Building a mystery: Toward a new theory of communication and identity. Journal of Communication, 51(3): 534–552. Fleischacker, S. (1994). The ethics of culture. Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press. Gadamer, H.-G. (2004). Truth and method. London and New York: Continuum. Gudykunst, W. (1985). A model of uncertainty reduction in intercultural encounters. Journal of Language and Social Psychology, 4: 79–98. Gudykunst,W. (2002). Intercultural communication theories. In W. Gudykunst & B. Moody (Eds.), Handbook of international and intercultural communication (pp. 183–205).Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. Gudykunst, W. & Kim,Y. (2003). Communicating with strangers: An approach to intercultural communication. Boston: McGraw-Hill. Gudykunst,W. & Lee, C. (2002). Cross-cultural communication theories. In W. Gudykunst & B. Mody (Eds.), Handbook of international and intercultural communication (pp. 25–50). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. Hebbani, A. & Frey, L. (2007). The intercultural hiring interview: Applying uncertainty reduction theory to the study of nonverbal behavior between U.S. interviewers and Indian applicants. Intercultural Communication Studies, 16(3): 36–52. Heisenberg,W. (1983).The physical content of quantum kinematics and mechanics. In J. A.Wheeler & W. H. Zurek (Eds.), Quantum theory and measurement (pp. 62–84). Princeton: Princeton University Press. Hofmeyer, J. (1999). Order out of indeterminacy. Semiotica, 127(1/4): 321–343. Holliday, A. & MacDonald, M. (2019). Researching the intercultural: Intersubjectivity and the problem with postpositivism. Applied Linguistics: 1–20. Kirmayer, L. (2013). Embracing uncertainty as a path to competence: Cultural safety, empathy, and alterity in clinical training. Culture, Medicine, and Psychiatry, 37(2): 365–372. Kissell, J. (2018). Living streets: Using uncertainty to calm trafc. Interesting Thing of the Day, May 17. https://itotd.com/articles/2873/living-streets/. Accessed November 14, 2019. Krippendorf, K. (1989). On the ethics of constructing communication. In B. Dervin, L. Grossberg, N. J. O’Keefe, & E.Wartella, (Eds.), Rethinking communication.Vol. 1: Paradigm issues (pp. 66–96). Newbury Park, CA: Sage. Levinas, E. (1981). Otherwise than being or beyond essence. The Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers.

54 Uncertainty Principle Linstone, H. & Zhu, Z. (2000). Towards synergy in multiperspective management: An American-Chinese case. Human Systems Management, 19(1): 25–37. Littlejohn, S. (2002). Theories of human communication. Belmont, CA:Wadsworth/Thomson Learning. Luft, J. (1970). Group process:An introduction to group dynamics. Palo Alto, CA: Mayfeld. Lustig, M. & Koester, J. (2003). Interpersonal communication across cultures. Boston: Allyn & Bacon. Marris, P. (1996). The politics of uncertainty. London: Routledge. Martin, J. & Nakayama, T. (2000). Intercultural communication in contexts. London and Toronto: Mayfeld Publishing Company. Martin, J. & Nakayama, T. (2004). Intercultural communication in contexts. Boston: The McGraw-Hill Companies. Neuliep, J. (2019). Anxiety, uncertainty, and intercultural communication. Oxford Research Encyclopedias. https://oxfordre.com/communication/view/10.1093/acrefore/ 9780190228613.001.0001/acrefore-9780190228613-e-506. Accessed September 28, 2019. Pyle, A. (2018). Intercultural crisis communication: Examining the experiences of crisis sojourners. Journal of Applied Communication Research, 46(3): 388–407. Richardson, D. (2017). Beyond a tolerance of ambiguity: Symbolic competence as creative uncertainty and doubt. L2 Journal, 9(2). http://dx.doi.org/10.5070/L29232839. Accessed December 2, 2019. Sandel,T. L., Buttny, R., & Varghese, M. (2019). Online interaction across three contexts: an analysis of culture and technological afordances. Journal of Intercultural Communication Research, 48(1): 52–71. Scott, C. (2007). Living with indiference. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press. Seeger, M. & Sellnow, T. (2019). Communication in times of trouble. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons. Smith,A. (2003). Discord in intercultural negotiation:Toward an ethic of communicability. In W. Starosta & G.-M. Chen (Eds.), Ferment in the intercultural feld: Axiology/value/ praxis (pp. 91–130).Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. Steiglitz, K. (2019). The discrete charm of the machine. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Taylor, C. (2016). Preface to this edition. In J. B.Thompson & P. Ricoeur (Eds.), Hermeneutics and the human sciences (pp. vii–ix). New York: Cambridge University Press. Ting-Toomey, S. (1999). Communicating across cultures. New York:The Guilford Press. Vessey, D. (2009). Gadamer and the fusion of horizons. International Journal of Philosophical Studies, 17(4): 541–542.

3

Performativity Principle ‘The Deed Is Everything’

Key Theme: Action Problem Question: How do people deal with uncertainty in intercultural communication? Objective: To help you understand how intercultural communication is performed Key Concepts: Activity, action, artifact, axiology, chronemics, constitutive, culture shock, environment, ethnography,‘face,’‘facework,’ frame, haptics, hermeneutic circle, hospitality, hostipitality, katajjaq, kinesics, language,‘language game,’ monochronic, operation, paralanguage, pragmatic, proxemics, performativity, polychronic, representational, ritual, semantics, syntactics, ubuntu.

Chapter Outline 1 Introducing the Problem Question 56 2 Language as Representation 56 2.1 Verbal Language 56 2.2 Nonverbal Language 57 3 How to do Things with Words—and Nonverbals 60 3.1 Language Rules 62 4 Introducing the Performativity Principle 63 4.1 The Dramaturgy of Performativity: From Rules to Roles 64 4.2 Levels of Performance 65 4.3 Performativity as Reiterative Process 67 4.4 Hospitality 70 5 The Performativity Principle Defned 74 6 Case Study:‘Translation zone(s):A stuttering’ 74 7 Side Trips 78 7.1 Free Play of the Saw 78 7.2 Intercultural Travel Blogs 78 7.3 ‘Whiteness Workshops’ 79

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1

Introducing the Problem Question

In the previous chapter, we saw how our search for knowledge takes place against the background of uncertainty. At the same time, inherent uncertainty of communication makes it possible for people from diferent cultures to look for meaning. Now we need to discuss how people fnd their way out of uncertainty, creating a shared order. In this chapter, thus, we take up the following Problem Question: ‘How do people deal with uncertainty in intercultural communication?’

2

Language as Representation

Language is commonly defned as a means of communication; typically, it is identifed with verbal language, e.g., the English language. However, nonverbal means can also be viewed as language. So, when discussing intercultural interactions, we’ll take language to be both verbal and nonverbal. 2.1 Verbal Language

Verbal language can be spoken or written. The basic elements of spoken language are distinctive sounds or phonemes. In this respect, “knowing a language means knowing what sounds are in that language and what sounds are not” (Fromkin & Rodman, 1993, p.  4). For instance, for people from some cultures, such as Russian, the English phoneme ‘the’ (as in ‘thing’ or ‘this’) is not a distinct sound because they do not diferentiate between ‘th’ and ‘z’ pronouncing both ‘z’ or ‘th’ with an ‘s’ sound. As a result, such words as, for instance,‘thong’ and ‘song’ are pronounced by people from those cultures the same way, with the sound ‘s’; naturally, this may create problems in communication. Therefore, learning a foreign language as a step toward successful intercultural communication must begin with mastering the sound system of that language, i.e., learning to hear and pronounce new sounds. The basic elements of written language include distinct graphic characters. Just like sounds or phonemes, they help people to diferentiate between meanings; for example, the diference between ‘cat’ and ‘mat’ is only one written character.Written characters, like phonemes, are symbolic creations and can represent sounds as in phonetic writing, e.g., the English language, or ideas associated with objects as in ideographic writing, e.g., the Chinese and Japanese languages. Chinese and Japanese written characters might look strange to people whose language is English, posing a challenge to intercultural communication. These basic elements of language combine to form morphemes, which allow us to not only diferentiate between meanings but express meanings by themselves, e.g.,‘-ed’ has the meaning of past tense in ‘walked,’ while ‘-un’ has the negative meaning in ‘unsuccessful.’ Morphemes are used to form words that form the central element of language.Whenever we learn a new language, we learn new words. Even when two cultures seem to share the

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same language, though, diferent words can refer to the same object as in the U.S. and British variants of English, e.g.,‘French fries’ vs ‘chips.’ 2.2

Nonverbal Language

Nonverbal language is a “silent language” (Hall, 1959) and consists of elements other than verbal (spoken or written) signs. Paralanguage refers to all meaningful sound or graphic characteristics that are not phonemes or graphemes, such as rate, volume, pitch, color, or font; these nonverbal elements are used alongside language. For example, it is noted that “Middle Easterners speak loudly because they associate volume with strength and sincerity” while “Filipinos . . . speak softly: they associate speaking softly with education and good manners”(Martin & Chaney,2006,p.59).Such cultural differences in volume of speech may have an impact on intercultural interactions. Kinesics refers to body movements such as gestures and facial expressions. These nonverbal elements seem to be natural; yet, like any language, they are symbolic creations and vary from culture to culture. Based on the research done by Ray Birdwhistell (1970) and Paul Ekman (1957), such types of kinesics are identifed as emblems, illustrators, afective displays, regulators, and adaptors, covered in most intercultural communication texts (e.g. Dunn & Goodnight, 2020). For example, the emblem ring gesture (thumb and forefnger in a circle) to people in the United States is an OK gesture. However,“things certainly would not be ‘A-OK’ if the ring gesture were used in cultures that attached other meanings to it” (Knapp & Hall, 1997, p. 258). This gesture “indicates ‘you’re worth zero’ in France and Belgium; ‘money’ in Japan;‘asshole’ in parts of southern Italy; and in Greece and Turkey it is an insulting or vulgar sexual invitation” (Knapp & Hall, 1997, p. 258). Proxemics refers to the use of space in communication. The basic elements of proxemics are spatial zones—distances between people who communicate with one another. Usually, four main spatial zones are isolated: intimate, personal, social, and public (Hall, 1966). These distances vary in diferent cultures, with elaborate regularities of practice about how closely people may stand to one another in lines, in elevators, etc. When people from diferent cultures meet, their spatial zones often clash, for example, Arab men are more accustomed to close face-to-face contact than American men who may fnd closeness intimidating. A more uncommon, though interesting, example is one of the Amish and Anglo-Saxon cultures that have diferent ideas about how closely teenagers can stand to powerful equipment.The Anglo-Saxon lawmakers try to prohibit teenagers from working near dangerous machines, e.g., in sawmills or farming, while many Amish groups say that such laws threaten a cornerstone of their culture with its tradition of “learning by doing” (Jordan, 2003). Haptics refers to the use of touch in communication. Diferent cultures vary as far as who touches whom, where, when, and how. People in the United States, for example, are said to be touch-deprived, with one of the

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lowest rates of the use of touch in the world (Jandt, 2001, p. 117). When people from other cultures, e.g., Mediterranean, come to the United States, the way they use touch is sometimes perceived as inappropriate and may even lead to sexual harassment charges. There is a wonderful documentary flm entitled Mystery of Senses—Touch (1995) in which Diane Ackerman, a series host and naturalist, explores how touch contributes to our physical and psychological well-being. She also discusses cultural perspectives on touch in social taboos, hugging, and kissing. Chronemics refers to the use of time in communication.The basic elements of chronemics are periods or moments of time as conceptualized by people from diferent cultures. How long something lasts, when something takes place, the relative importance of past, present, or future—all these factors are part of chronemics. For example, many people (often, parents) in India decide on wedding dates after consulting Hindu priests who compare astrological readings and determine compatibility for the prospective bride and groom (Wang, 2003). This practice may pose a challenge to a couple where a bride is from India and a groom is from another culture or vice versa. Two main conceptualizations of time are usually isolated—monochronic and polychromic (Hall, 1959). Cultures with the monochronic time orientation emphasize “schedules, the compartmentalization and segmentation of measurable units of time,” while cultures with the polychronic orientation see “time as much less tangible” and stress “involvement of people and the completion of tasks” (Neuliep, 2000, p. 122). Environment refers to such natural elements of environment as physical landscape, temperature, or humidity that afect the way people communicate. People do not actually use the natural elements of environment; rather, people are afected by such elements, and one can only try and adjust to them. For example, a person born and raised in Hawaii may fnd it difcult adapting to a culture with a cold climate, e.g., Finland. As a result, s/he may fnd people there more cold and reserved, with a low level of self-disclosure. Artifacts refer to any objects created and used by people for a specifc purpose, such as clothing, vehicles, tools, or burial objects (Figure 3.1). As the name suggests, artifacts are artifcial creations with symbolic meaning. Obviously,“like any other kinds of nonverbal communication, artifacts’ meanings vary across cultures” (Wood, 2000, p. 103) and play an important role in intercultural interactions. For example, in Egypt, tensions between the Coptic minority and Muslim majority found their manifestation in two competing bumper stickers.Those who identifed with the Coptic identity used the fsh as a symbol of their Christianity; the Muslims responded with the shark (Michael, 2003). Both verbal and nonverbal languages can be conceptualized as codes— systems of signs that represent meaning. Codes “provide the rules which generate signs as concrete occurrences in communicative intercourse” (Eco, 1979, p. 49); in this light, a sign in any language cannot mean anything unless embedded in a recognized and commonly practiced code.

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Figure 3.1 Horse burials and artifacts of Kostromskaya, Russia Source: Public domain

When viewed as code, language is understood as representing a clear picture of reality. The representational view of language in the western European tradition goes back to Aristotle who stated: “the letters are signs of sounds, the sounds are signs of mental experiences, and these are signs of things” (De Interpretatione 1, 16a3–8).This view is manifested in the works of many linguists. For instance, Ferdinand de Saussure, a famous Swiss linguist, wrote that language “in its essential principle, is a nomenclature, that is, a list of terms corresponding to things” (Saussure, 1986, p. 65); here, by ‘terms’ we understand any signs—verbal and nonverbal, and by ‘things’—objects, events, situations, ideas, or states of afairs. It is such language that the members of the British Royal Society had in mind when they envisioned “a world where people would speak of things as they really were . . . in plain language as clear as glass—so many words for so many things” (Bizzell & Herzberg, 2001, p. 795). As code, spoken language at the basic level is made up of sounds; language of gestures is made up of elementary movements of various body parts; language of music is made up of notes, and so on.The list of such basic elements is fnite. However, we are able to create an infnite number of combinations

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of these basic elements, using them for various purposes: for instance, we can chat with our friends or write a poem, we can send a message of attraction with our eyes, or we can compose a symphony.We do this by putting words together into sentences, and sentences form texts and discourse: it is the ‘appositions’ of diferences between and among words in the sentence that are the primary drivers of expressed meaning. Communication, therefore, involves more than just language elements and what they stand for: we shouldn’t forget those who actually use such elements in various situations of interaction. For instance, the word ‘dog’ (that appears in other languages in the form of diferent sounds or written characters) designates “a domesticated carnivorous mammal, Canis familiaris, raised in a wide variety of breeds and probably originally derived from several wild species” (Morris, 1982, p. 388).When actually used by people from diferent cultures, though, the word ‘dog’ may be interpreted as a faithful companion (in most cultures) or as part of cuisine (in some cultures) or metaphorically in English as “you can’t teach and old dog new tricks” (age has its privileges), “the tail that wags the dog” (misplaced priorities), and so on. Such common metaphorical references are interesting and perhaps the most difcult to learn and appropriately apply when studying a foreign language. Language as a means of communication requires not only the knowledge of what elements designate and how they are combined, but also why they are used by people in particular contexts. Thus, whereas the view of language as representation is focused on semantics, or correspondences between language signs and what they stand for, and syntactics, or the formal arrangements of language signs, the view of language as game highlights its pragmatic aspect focusing on “how to do things with words” (Austin, 1975)—and nonverbals.

3

How to do Things with Words—and Nonverbals

We see, then, that we cannot fully understand the nature of language expressions if we only view them as supposedly objective pictures of reality. Language is not simply an abstract system of ‘terms’ that refer to ‘things,’ and meaning is not an objective property of language.The meaning of language (whether verbal or nonverbal) can never be limited to its fxed defnition, as if it were a picture refecting reality; language must be examined in a specifc context of use.We use language to engage in various practical activities with others. It is crucial to remember, therefore, that “language does not exist by itself in a static system of defnitions and syntax, but is intimately caught up in our activities and practices” (Blair, 2006, p. 8). It is in such activities that language comes alive and reveals its nature as a living organism. Ludwig Wittgenstein, an Austrian-born philosopher who is regarded by many as the greatest philosopher of the 20th century, called such activities ‘language games’ (1953). The concept of ‘language-game’ was introduced by Wittgenstein to explore the nature of language more fully by going beyond its representational view.

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Hence,“‘game’ is not a negative or trivializing term” (Anderson & Ross, 2002, p. 156); instead, language games need to be viewed as dynamic structures created by people for accomplishing various tasks. It is important to emphasize that a language game is not a contest in which one wins and another loses. We do not play language games against someone, we play them with someone. Wittgenstein emphasizes that innumerable activities can be considered language games, as long as the contexts of their use are similar, forming ‘family resemblances,’ such as reporting something, telling a story, making a joke, being ironic, criticizing, objecting, guessing, joking, or greeting.There is one crucial thing that language games have in common:“they are related to one another in many diferent ways. And it is because of this relationship, or these relationships, that we call them all ‘language’” (Wittgenstein, 1953, §65). Therefore, the nature of language is inherently relational: every language game is a result of relations between diferent people who use language in this or that context. Consider Wittgenstein’s description of a primitive language in which there are only four words and each represents a certain object: Let us imagine a language .  .  . meant to serve for communication between a builder A and an assistant B. A is building with building stones: there are blocks, pillars, slabs and beams. B has to pass the stones . . . in the order in which A needs them. For this purpose, they use a language consisting of the words “block”,“pillar”,“slab”,“beam”. A calls them out; B brings the stone which he has learned to bring at such and such a call. Conceive this as a complete primitive language. (Wittgenstein, 1953, §2) As we can see, this language game is based not only on each word referring to an object but, more importantly, on a relationship between a builder A and an assistant B, the latter doing something at the call of the former. In other words, language is not simply a unidirectional way in which ‘terms’ correspond to ‘things’ but also a bidirectional way in which one person calls another and that other person responds. While Wittgenstein focused on verbal language, his ideas apply as well to nonverbal language. Consider a simple example of how a student in class, John, might successfully communicate, by coughing, that he wants the attention of another student, Mary. First, he uses a distinct vocal (but not verbal) sign exhibiting rhythm and intonation . . . semanticised (i.e. the meaning of the cough in this instance) as a sociolinguistic norm (in John’s community, as is elsewhere, coughing is used to attract attention discretely). Moreover, he followed appropriate turn-taking rules (John waited until Mary had fnished taking notes to be sure she would hear). (Boylan, 2002, p. 169)

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We can also view dance as a language game: this form of nonverbal communication and social organization has existed since the times of Australopithecines (Hanna, 1987). Music, like dance, goes back in time and, like dance, due to its rhythmic nature, it provided the early humans with an evolutionary advantage (Mithen, 2006). A very interesting example is katajjaq—a traditional Inuit throat singing, when two women face each other and perform a duet that sounds like a musical battle.There is a fascinating short flm called Throat Singing Kangirsuk, screened at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, that shows this wonderful language game. 3.1

Language Rules

Whenever we engage in various language games, we do so according to cultural rules or norms that “allow us to organize and coordinate our lives. They create order out of chaos, uncertainty, and confusion. Football, firting, solitaire, business meetings, and even friendships are guided by diferent sets of formal or informal rules” (Anderson & Ross, 2002, p. 152). Language rules make it possible for people from one culture to interact “in ways that would be confusing to someone who is just learning the language, or just entering the culture” (Anderson & Ross, 2002, p. 153).The more we are able to act according to such rules, the more coordinated our language games are. All language rules are followable, prescriptive, and contextual. First, every rule is followable, i.e., understandable and accessible enough for people to adhere to it:“communication scholars associate rules with actions rather than motions, and actions and behaviors that one may choose to perform; hence a rule must be capable of being followed” (Shimanof, 1980, p. 39). Second, every rule is prescriptive, for it tells us what must be done to follow it or, by the same token, what will happen if you do not follow it. For instance, in Russian Orthodox churches a woman must cover her head with a scarf and everybody must remain standing during service; those who do not follow these prescribed rules may be looked upon with disapproval.Third, every rule is contextual because it can be interpreted only in a particular situation. For example, it is appropriate to tell jokes in certain contexts, e.g., at a party; at a funeral, however, joke-telling is not appropriate and interpreted as insensitive. People create meanings within certain constraints. For example, every language has a system of basic sounds at people’s disposal, and people engage in language games using those sounds only. People use certain gestures because of the basic shape and size of their body. At this basic level, language constraints seem fxed in place and not subject to any change. However, even these language elements may change if they fail to meet people’s needs. Nothing prevents people from using diferent sounds or gestures if they decide to play new games that can no longer be performed with the help of the old system of sounds or gestures. Nothing, in principle, prevents people from creating new rules as long as they are followable, prescriptive, and contextual. In this sense, language must be viewed as a constant process of creating and overcoming

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constraints or breaking rules creatively. All cultural meanings, therefore, are created based on rules; such “rules are called constitutive because they ‘constitute,’ or make up, people’s inner sense of meaning” (Anderson & Ross, 2002, p. 155).The constitutive view of language posits “that the elements of communication, rather than being fxed in advance, are refexively constituted within the act of communication itself ” (Craig, 2001, p.128). According to the constitutive view, language does not derive its signifcance from reporting information about an independent reality and conveying it from one person (encoding it) to another (decoding it). Rather, it is a social phenomenon, embedded in wider contexts of actions or lifeworld(s). Meaning, use, action, life cannot be separated if there is to be any communication and language . . . the content of speech can only be understood in terms of the action which the speech performs. Speech (and writing) are used to efect, produce, achieve, and mean things. (Ma, 2004, p. 103) Broadly speaking, communication is all about “how to do things with words” (Austin, 1975)—and nonverbals. It must now be clear that language is not only representational but also constitutive: “it is the way humans construct or bring-into-being the worlds that we inhabit” (Stewart, 1998, p. 34). In this sense, intercultural communication can be viewed as a process of carrying cultural meanings of our identity into efect. It is crucial to understand that “a performative position questions the position that a strategy represents in an already given reality. And instead argues the point that strategy as a concept only comes into existence through the doing of a strategy” (Mathiesen & Abdallah, 2016, p. 42). You may have noticed that we have discussed language in such terms as ‘game,’‘doing,’‘action,’ and ‘performance.’ Indeed, the overall process of using language is performance, and “performance is an important way of both knowing and being. In other words, performances are a means to knowing about experiences and they are also ways that we defne our personal, social, and cultural identities” (Wood, 2000, p. 122). It is through performing actions that people deal with uncertainty in intercultural communication.

4

Introducing the Performativity Principle

Let’s now formulate, based on the discussion above, the third principle of intercultural communication—the Performativity Principle. We will isolate three parts that make up this principle. Each deals with creating and enacting meaning in intercultural communication. First, we will discuss the dramaturgy of intercultural performativity, or how people move from rules to roles; next, we will present intercultural communication as a reiterative process; fnally, we will discuss the relationship between performativity and

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hospitality.We will discuss each part separately and then formulate the Performativity Principle, as a whole. 4.1 The Dramaturgy of Performativity: From Rules to Roles

Every act of communication is performance as people face one another— either literally or in a mediated fashion, e.g., via the phone or the Internet. This way, people present themselves—their very identities—to one another. The dramaturgical view of communication does not suggest that when they perform actions, people are insincere or deceitful.The premise of this view is that “people are not, originally and in some factlike way, ‘mothers,’ ‘surgeons,’ or ‘crazy.’ Instead, they are cast into these roles by themselves and by others” (Brown, 1977, p. 199). In other words, all such roles are created by people themselves in the process of communication. No matter how mundane a situation of interaction might be, such as a casual conversation with a friend, it is performance—a process of playing a certain role and presenting one’s ‘face’ to create a certain impression of oneself. The concept of ‘face’ refers to any aspects of our cultural identity presented to others:“insignia of ofce or rank; clothing; sex, age, and racial characteristics; size and looks; posture; speech patterns; facial expressions; bodily gestures; and the like” (Gofman, 1959, p. 13). Our cultural ‘face’ includes all meanings with which we identify and want to present it accordingly. Naturally, people from other cultures want to present their ‘face’ according to their goals. Hence, intercultural communication can be seen as ‘facework’ an elaborate process of people from diferent cultures presenting their identities to one another. Many iterations of facework strategies have been noted, “including: face-negotiating, face-constituting, face-compensating, facehonoring, face-saving, face-threatening, face-building, face-protecting, face-depreciating, face-giving, face-restoring, and face-neutral” (Fletcher, 2016; original emphasis). Through all these strategies, roles are enacted and impressions of identities managed. There is a special theory—Identity Management Theory—that discusses how cultural identities are revealed through the presentation of ‘face’ and how “intercultural communication competence involves successfully managing face” (Gudykunst & Kim, 2003, p. 120). For instance, when managing embarrassing situations, people from Hong Kong and Japan are more likely to use harmonious facework strategies, while people from the United States are more likely to use aggressive facework strategies (Merkin, 2006). Obviously, if an embarrassing situation involved people from Hong Kong and the United States, facework is likely to be more difcult and may be unsuccessful. It is important to note that every intercultural encounter is framed; a frame is a defnition or an interpretation of what a certain situation means (Gofman, 1974). For example, people from various cultures have their own frames for such interactions as a wedding, a job interview, a lecture, and so on. Naturally, an intercultural encounter cannot be successful unless the

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situation in which the encounter takes place is interpreted correctly by those engaged in the interaction. If one and the same situation is framed differently by people from diferent cultures, diferent rules will be followed and diferent language games played; a result, an intercultural interaction as performance will not be efective. For example, a person from Saudi Arabia may ofer you cofee and you may say “Thank you, but I have already had breakfast.”You interpret the ofer as a mere ofer of a beverage rather than as an expression of hospitality; the implicit rule in such a situation is to be gracious and say ‘yes’ (Neuliep, 1996, pp. 247–248). Sometimes, cultural frames may be difcult to understand. For instance, Keith Basso, an American cultural and linguistic anthropologist, in his ethnographic descriptions of the Western Apache culture, tells about a young Apache woman who, while attending a girl’s puberty ceremony, had her hair done in pink plastic curlers. Here is how Basso describes what happened to that girl at a birthday party two weeks later: When the meal was over casual conversation began to fow, and the young woman seated herself on the ground next to her younger sister.And then—quietly, deftly, and totally without warning—her grandmother narrated a version of the historical tale about the forgetful Apache policeman who behaved too much like a white man. Shortly after the story was fnished, the young woman stood up, turned away wordlessly, and walked of in the direction of her home. Uncertain of what had happened, I asked her grandmother why she had departed. Had the young woman suddenly become ill? “No,” her grandmother replied.“I shot her with an arrow.” (Basso, 1990, p. 122) Basso found out that the girl’s grandmother had told her a moralistic story (‘arrow’) to teach her a lesson and remind her that, at puberty ceremonies, the hair should be worn loose to show respect for the Apache customs; in the Western Apache culture, this is known as ‘stalking with stories.’ 4.2

Levels of Performance

In some situations, two people can be doing the same things . . . that is, they may be performing virtually the same physical motions and saying virtually the same things but performing diferent actions. One person may be performing it as a self-contained activity that is intrinsically valuable, the other as a process structured and motivated by external goals. (Rorty, 1980, p. 380) Clearly, these two people are performing actions at diferent levels. Let’s look at the levels of intercultural performance using the ideas of the Activity

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Theory developed in Russia in the 1920s and 1930s (for more information see: Leont’ev, 1978; Wertsch, 1998). A simple example will help us to understand how any activity is performed. Suppose you are visiting the United States, and your American friends invite you to attend a football game.Their friendship is important to you, and you are determined to show them you enjoy this entertainment experience as much as they do. Having formulated for yourself the cultural frame (‘sports entertainment’) and the motive (‘enjoying the game together with one’s friends’), you must successfully attain a variety of specifc goals. Some of the actions you must take to achieve those goals include purchasing your ticket, handing it to a gatekeeper, following the score, visiting concessions stands, etc. Suppose your friends are willing and even happy to introduce you to the game and teach you as much as possible about this popular American pastime. They do their best to explain the rules of the game, how to keep score, and provide a lot of other useful information about the overall performance.What impact will all this have on your future interactions in a similar intercultural situation? Obviously, you will feel much more comfortable performing all the necessary actions. Even more importantly, you will think less about how to, say, purchase a ticket or hand it to a gatekeeper. Thus, the activity of attending a football game will have fown through actions to operations; in other words, the activity will have become operationalized.As a result, you start performing this activity almost automatically. Performance, therefore, can be analyzed at three levels.At the level of activity, performance is driven by a certain motive. This level focuses on a certain culturally defned context; the activity in our example can be framed as ‘sports entertainment’ and the motive—as ‘enjoying the game together with one’s friends’ (someone else might have a diferent motive for performing this activity, e.g., attending the game out of obligation, to please a boyfriend/ spouse, while not really enjoying this type of entertainment). Every activity can be carried out only through actions—the second level of behavior. Actions are performances directed toward specifc goals. In our example, you must purchase your ticket, hand it to a gatekeeper, etc. Finally, every activity can be performed as diferent operations, routine processes that depend upon certain conditions and cause adjustments of actions. In our example, you may bring along an umbrella if it is a rainy day, or binoculars if your seats are too far. Overall, performance can be understood as an activity carried out through actions and resulting in the formations of operationalized skills (Figure 3.2). Successful communication as performance requires the knowledge of why an encounter takes place, what goals must be attained through what actions, and how it can be accomplished under specifc conditions. Every performance is seen, therefore, as an activity at the highest level; as a series of actions at the intermediate level; and as concrete operations at the lowest level. It is important to emphasize that these three levels can be isolated only for the sake of analysis; in real life, every intercultural encounter is one whole performance comprising all these levels at the same time.The fow of every performance is

Performativity Principle Activity Action handing your ticket to gatekeeper

Motive enjoying game with your friends Goal getting into ball park

Operation bringing umbrella

Conditions rainy day

attending baseball game

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Figure 3.2 Levels of performance Source: Author

from activity through actions to operations and back to activity. In this fow, roles of intercultural performance are constantly enacted and recreated. Why is it important for our performances to become operationalized? The simple answer is:‘So we could focus on more important things.’You can hardly enjoy a football game if you constantly think of how to keep score, how to purchase a beverage at a concession stand, etc. However, if we start performing our intercultural interactions only as operations, then we as actors become no diferent from robots, simply going through the motions. We must never forget about our other role—that of spectators.We must be able to evaluate our performance and, if we feel that we’re simply going through the motions, create new meanings that are more in line with our identity and motives. So, cultural meanings are enacted when our performance is operationalized. How long or how much efort it may take depends on the complexity of performance. If it is a simple greeting, such as saying Hi! to your fellow students, this meaning can be enacted fairly quickly. If, however, you need to play the role of a chief negotiator working with people from another culture on a joint business project, the enactment of a greeting in that role will take much more time and efort. Overall, though, intercultural communication is a process in which people present their identities and move from rules to roles, enacting mutually understood meanings. 4.3

Performativity as Reiterative Process

When we speak of performance in intercultural communication, we must remember that “performance is the manifestation of performativity. This is to say, performativity refers to the reiteration process of becoming, while performance refers to the materialization of that process—the individual acts by human players in the world” (Warren, 2001, p. 106; emphasis added). In other words, while appearing to be an individual act performed in a certain situation, it is part of a reiteration process within which meanings are enacted. Let’s look at this process in terms of ethnographic encounter and cultural shock.

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Ethnography is “a method of interpreting actions in a manner that generates understanding in the terms of those performing the actions” (Wood, 2000, p. 130). This method is said to have been developed by Westerners seeking to gain knowledge about foreign cultures, previously thought impenetrable to understanding.Traders, explorers, and missionaries collected data during their travels and then provided that information to scholars upon their return home who would analyze it and write it up. Later, the roles of feldworkers and theorists/writers were unifed into a single role of the ethnographer. Ethnographers “study the diversity and unity of cultural performance as a universal human resource for deepening and clarifying the meaningfulness of life” (Conquergood, 1985, p. 1). However, interpretation of diferent cultural experiences is not only the province of trained ethnographers; this is what we all do when meeting people from other cultures. With each step, you come closer to Other, moving from simply using your own frame of reference to passively looking at the situation to setting up a situation and validating your guess to asking questions.As a result of this ethnographic encounter, you gain important knowledge about other cultures. The same encounter can also be discussed in terms of culture shock. Kalervo Oberg, a Canadian anthropologist, generally credited with introducing the concept of culture shock, described it as “the anxiety that results from losing all of our familiar signs and symbols of social intercourse” (Oberg, 1960, p. 177). This defnition, though, focuses on but one aspect of culture shock, rather than viewing in the broader context of “transition shock”—a process in which one experiences “profound learning, selfunderstanding and change” (Adler, 1987, p. 29). This way, one undergoes acculturation, which refers to changes that take place as a result of contact with people from other cultural groups (Schwartz et al., 2010). Acculturation is a well-recognized and important area of intercultural communication study (Sam & Berry, 2010). Culture shock, therefore, is not just one state of anxiety due to a loss of familiar frame of reference; rather, it transitions from one stage to another. Usually, the following stages of culture shock are isolated: (a) preliminary stage of introspection and preparation; (b) ‘honeymoon’ stage, when everything about a diferent culture is new and exciting; (c) crisis stage, when one considers leaving due to lack of trust, isolation, and misunderstandings; (d) adaptation stage, which involves gradually adjusting to a new culture; and (e) return stage, when the formerly familiar about your own culture becomes strange. The last stage is also known as ‘reverse culture shock,’ understood not as the opposite of culture shock but as its inherent part, manifested in all situations of cultural re-entry—from student exchanges (van der Velden, 2012) to various international service-learning engagements (Frazier & Kasten, 2015) to war veterans returning to universities in their home country (Howe & Shpeer, 2019). What is common between viewing intercultural communication as an ethnographic encounter and culture shock? Both views show how Self

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constantly goes through certain stages in order to understand how to interact with Other. In both cases, Self moves closer and closer to understanding Other and then goes back to square one, i.e., one’s own frame of reference. In this complex process, Self operates between two extremes—identifying with Other and keeping distant from Other.This process of understanding meaning is sometimes described as a hermeneutic circle where distanceexperiences and near-experiences constantly change (Geertz, 1983). First, Self looks at Other from a distance (distance-experience). Then, Self gets closer to Other, trying to understand its meaning from within (nearexperiences).These meanings, however, can be understood only if Self steps back and checks how these new experiences ft one’s own frame of reference (distance-experiences). But then Self must again move back closer to Other (near-experiences), and so the cycle continues on;“intercultural competence therefore is performance, oscillating between feelings of closeness and remoteness” (Rohr, 2006, pp. 29–30). In this process, Self has to balance two roles—those of an insider and an outsider, or an actor and a spectator. If Self completely identifes with people from another culture, and becomes only an actor, Self stops seeing how one is diferent from Other and loses the framework from which to approach Other; as a result, Self can no longer be a spectator of the language game being played and no longer able to evaluate the intercultural experience, deciding what meanings should be enacted. Of course, if Self chooses to completely distance him/herself from the contact with Other, no intercultural communication takes place.Then, Self is merely a spectator, unable to act together with Other and gain knowledge of another system of meanings (Figure 3.3). The hermeneutic circle can be viewed as the stage where all intercultural performances take place. It is important to remember that, on that stage, people simultaneously are both actors and spectators. As actors, people produce and perform their script together, creating and recreating their world. As spectators, people watch the results of their creations. But, they still exist on the same stage, in the same world. Remember Shakespeare? ‘All the world’s a stage.’

s

or

tat

c pe

Near experience

Self

Distance experience Figure 3.3 Hermeneutic circle Source: Author

Other

tor

ac

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Overall, intercultural performances can be seen as a continuous journey through the hermeneutical circle. It is important to note that this “journey may imaginatively originate at any point on the hermeneutical circle” (Paparella, 2012, p. 11). It is also important to emphasize that one eventually comes back to where one started, making a full circle.True understanding is not simply going in circles; it is making full circles in space and time. When one goes in circles, nothing changes. When one makes a full circle, one makes a journey, completing a cycle of transition from one livedexperience to a diferent one. Or, putting it poetically, “we shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the frst time” (T. S. Eliot). In this process, both Self and Other change, afected by the interaction with each other. Intercultural communication is successful only when you start looking at the world with diferent eyes, learning something not only about Other but yourself, as well. Enactment of meanings that constitute cultural identity, therefore, is a reiterative process.We all want to belong to a certain culture; however, belonging is not simply a matter of be-ing, but longing, hence “be-longing” (Bell, 1999, p. 1). Belonging is an achievement—an efect performatively produced. Cultural identity can never be achieved once and for all; in this sense, we can never simply ‘be.’ We can only repeatedly work on the construction of cultural identities, i.e., we can only ‘long for’ cultural identities. In this sense, performativity denies, in some fundamental ways, the stability of identity, moving toward a notion of repetition as a way of understanding that those markers used to describe one’s identity (i.e., gender, class, race, sexuality) get constructed through the continual performance of those markers. (Warren, 2001, p. 95; emphasis added) The view of performativity as a reiterative process is not pessimistic at all; on the contrary, it is liberating. It suggests that any identity can be constructed as long as Self and Other keep going through the hermeneutic circle and enacting meanings. Earlier, we noted that the fow of intercultural communication as enactment of meaning goes from activity through actions to operations; however, we shouldn’t forget that this process at the same time goes back from operations to actions to activity. Intercultural communication as performance is a loop—a reiterative process of enactment of meaning. It is a journey that never ends. 4.4

Hospitality

Intercultural communication cannot be successful without hospitality— welcoming with goodwill people from other cultures because practices of hospitality intersect with those of performativity (Gürsoy, 2019).

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When institutionalized, hospitality is viewed as service. The so-called ‘hospitality studies’ (Lashley, 2017) that deal with strategic communication and efective organizational structure include intercultural studies of workplaces in the hospitality and tourism industry (Ng, 2017). The main goal of such studies is to identify culture-oriented practices that can be used “to create competitive advantages based on diferent people (employees) whose performance signifcantly infuences the guests’ hospitality experience” (Grobelna, 2015, p. 113). Hospitality, however, can also be conceptualized in less businesslike and managerial, and more theoretical and philosophical terms—as the absolute obligation to accept Other. It must be emphasized that without at least the thought of this pure and unconditional hospitality, of hospitality itself, we would have no concept of hospitality in general . . . Without this thought of pure hospitality . . . we would not even have the idea of the other, of the alterity of the other, that is, of someone who enters into our lives without having been invited.We would not even have the idea of love or of “living together (vivre ensemble)” with the other. (Borradori, 2003, p. 129) This conceptualization of hospitality has an axiological orientation, addressing the issues of value and value judgments. In the words of Jacques Derrida, a famous Algerian-born French philosopher, “what would an ‘ethics’ be without hospitality?” (Derrida, 2000, p. 129). As we move from ontology and epistemology (discussed in the previous chapters) to axiology (the study of values), we come to realize the importance of the ethical foundations of performativity in intercultural interactions. Hospitality, therefore, goes beyond the service standards and managerial practices established in a certain industrial area such as tourism. Authentic hospitality is human intersubjective experience when one is inherently open to interacting with Other, including anything that can be involved in such interactions. In this sense,“authentic hospitality is a performance constituted of risk-taking and vulnerability” (Shepherd, 2014, p. 80) (Figure 3.4). The nature of hospitality is complex and ambivalent. As pointed out by Émile Benveniste, a famous French structural linguist,‘hospitality’ and ‘hostility’ come from the same Indo-European root and can mean either ‘enemy’ or ‘friend,’ either ‘host’ or ‘guest’ (1969).With that in mind, Jacques Derrida coined the term ‘hostipitality’ (2000) because it can go either way (see: O’Rourke, 2018, p. 28). In this light, we can have a genuine and successful intercultural experience only if we take the risk of opening ourselves to the Other. The spirit of authentic hospitality can be best experienced in the situations where communication reveals its spiritual nature, for example, in religious communication. Here, one cannot really feel Other unless there is a sense of mutual involvement in some kind of language game, which often

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Figure 3.4 Hospitality of Barbarians to Pilgrims, by Gustave Doré (around 1883) Source: Harold B. Lee Library

has a mostly nonverbal character; this way, one can come closer to Other without really saying much or anything at all. For instance, Jan-Albert van den Berg and Arnold Smit (2006) discuss such intercultural experiences in their travel journal of pastoral involvement in a South African multi-faith community. They show how their approach to intercultural communication is guided by the proposition “‘I perform, therefore I am,’ rather than

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the rationalist stance: ‘I think, therefore I am’” (Aldridge, 2000, p. 13).They also emphasize why this approach is especially important in interacting with South African communities characterized “by a spiritual world and a communal awareness of co-humanity (ubuntu)” (Louw, 2004, p. 32). Hospitality, of course, is present not only in religious or spiritual communication but in any interactions, especially those that display their ritual nature.The ritual nature of communication goes back to the ancient times; for instance, in Homeric poetry, myths were activated and enacted through oral performance and from memory (Nagy, 1996). Rituals are not some obsolete and meaningless forms of simply going through the motions. Ritual is “a structured sequence of actions the correct performance of which pays homage to a sacred object” (Philipsen, 1993, p. 108). In other words, the repeated nature of rituals only emphasizes their importance. Since every ritual is considered sacred, the naturalness of its meanings is not questioned:“in any given cultural community, the sacred is whatever it treated as unquestionable, ‘beyond interdiction,’ as Durkheim puts it” (Rothenbuhler, 1998, p. 24). Every ritual is a liminal space where communication is performed and meaning constantly re-enacted. We open ourselves up to communication and welcome Other through “a variety of rituals, from simple rituals such as gift presentations to complex ones such as toasting” (Kotthof, 2007). It is important to remember that every ritual, no matter how seemingly mundane, is the most intimate and revered form of communication. For example, the tea ceremony in Japan is a ritual where homage is paid to such sacred objects as purity, reverence of nature, and uniqueness of every human encounter. Because rituals are so engrained in one’s culture’s fabric, it is easy for people from another culture to fail to carry out a certain sequence of actions correctly; if you, as a guest taking part in the tea ceremony, make a wrong movement or eye-contact, the interaction falters. Earlier, intercultural communication was discussed in terms of ‘facework.’ Indeed, “the main principle of the ritual order is .  .  . face .  .  . what will sustain for the moment . . . the interaction” (Gofman, 2005, p. 44). As was mentioned,‘face’ refers to any aspects of our cultural identity and cannot be equated with the literal face.This, however, does in no way mean that ‘face’ is completely detached from us as real living beings. In every intercultural encounter, people present themselves to others, either in a mediated fashion, such as in online interactions, or literally face-to-face. When it is carried out and theorized as performance, we should never forget that it is always interaction. Ultimately, communication is “the art of guiding one’s body into discourse . . . the struggle involved in the insertion of agency—wound and bow, death and life—into discourse” (Bhabha, 1994, p. 184). In this sense, although such terms as ‘face’ or ‘language game’ might suggest the meaning of something immaterial, intercultural communication must be conceptualized as something physical and corporeal—embodied performance including face as a part of the body and language as tangible symbols produced by the body. It is crucial to remember that the body must be “treated as a point

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of entry into Other cultures . . . because culture is manifest in embodied performance” (Cargile & Rich, 2017, p. 2).The body is especially manifest in many intercultural rituals associated with eating, drinking, birth, or death. In all such situations, while involved in elaborate ‘facework’ and playing complex language games, our very bodies are presented to one another as “the last frontier of authenticity” (Peters, 1999, p. 221). Only this way can intercultural communication be truly performed as authentic hospitality.

5 The Performativity Principle Defned Let’s give a concise formulation of the Performativity Principle, based on the above discussion of its three parts. First, intercultural communication is a process of playing out our identities and moving from rules to roles. In every intercultural encounter, people from one culture present a certain image of themselves and act in such ways that this image is understood by people from another culture. This is done by engaging in various language games (both verbal and nonverbal). The structure of intercultural communication as performance is as follows: from activity through actions to operations, and then back to activity. Second, intercultural communication as performance can be analyzed at three levels—activity (driven by a certain motive), actions (directed toward specifc goals), and operations (routine processes dependent upon certain conditions and causing adjustments of actions). Third, enactment of meaning that constitute cultural identity is a reiterative process. In this process, Self and Other go through the hermeneutic circle as many times as it is necessary for meaning to be enacted. And, fourth, intercultural communication can be viewed in terms of hospitality as the absolute obligation to welcome Other. Such authentic hospitality as performance involves risk-taking and vulnerability. In a nutshell, the Performativity Principle can be formulated as follows: Intercultural communication is a reiterative process whereby people from diferent groups enact meanings in order to accomplish their tasks. ∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗

6

Case Study: ‘Translation zone(s): A stuttering’

The case study is based on the article entitled ‘Translation zone(s): A stuttering:An experiential approach to linguistic hospitality’ (Connelly, 2018). It is recommended that you read the article in its entirety; below, you fnd its summary. Be ready to identify and then discuss the following topics: 1. Why did the researcher decide to use language stripped to its basic units as her empirical material? 2. Can translation zone(s) be viewed as the space of ‘hospitality’?

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3. As performative and embodied activity, how can intercultural communication be seen as a mutually benefcial act? ‘Translation zone(s): A stuttering’ was a six-week research project conducted by Heather Connelly in 2016 at Birmingham City University. The premise for the project was that, when we rely on translated texts (mediated and already interpreted by someone else), we may miss out on nuances that exist in the original language. In that light, Connelly invited ten strangers from diferent linguistic communities to explore their relationships with language through performance. The researcher saw her own role as a host facilitating interactions. The participants were to play the role of a host to the language of Other that has been stripped to its basic units—letters, symbols, and sounds. Before the actual public performances, the participants were asked to refect on their alphabet and decide which sounds should be articulated to represent the peculiarities of each language system. Most participants explored in-depth the sound system of their language and their special relationships with it, including an emotional connection with the language they spoke. During the performance, the participants were asked to enunciate their own alphabets as well as to listen and attempt to reproduce unfamiliar sounds, rhythms and harmonies.The performance took place at the Library of Birmingham; one digital video still in Connelly’s article shows the participants standing in a circle in the rotunda performing the call and response activity (p. 167). Connelly experimented with individual units and various groups of sounds as well as diferent formations of the participants, such as duos and trios. The researcher observed how the sounds worked when performed by the participants; she noted how the participants used their bodies and voices in trying to work with one another, both in harmony and discord. Connelly writes that her project was designed to create ‘contact zones’ as sites that are in-translation and do not belong to any single individual, language, or medium of communication. In such contact zones, new conditions are created and new relations formed. She sees such zones as hospitable places, while not necessarily harmonious ones, where diferences are highlighted and alternative perspectives emerge. In this respect, the project was designed to destabilize the dominant English language by providing a space for other languages to be heard.As mentioned earlier, semantic content was (largely) absent in the use of language, which was limited to its basic building blocks in the form of letters and sounds. Such seemingly insignifcant practices, though, create points of determinacy and open up the possibility of new modes of thinking and being. We may consider such points to be moments of noise or call them glitches, but they free language from its signifying self.As Connelly puts it, the Othering of English, the movement between languages, of rearticulation and mispronunciation, make language stutter: they open it up and

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create new possibilities.The reduction of language(s) to a collection of sounds draws our attention to the grain of the voice, to the one who speaks. (p. 172) It must be emphasized that ‘Translation zone(s): A stuttering’ is not simply a public performance but also a research project. As such, it adopts an experimental approach to language and uses diferent theoretical frameworks, including epistemology that deals with ways of knowing.The project draws on Paul Ricoeur’s view of translation as both a linguistic paradigm (translation between languages) and also an ontological paradigm (translation between one human self and another). Ricoeur’s theoretical view of translation is embodied in his concept of ‘linguistic hospitality’, ‘contact zones’ created in the project being an example of such hospitality. Connelly also draws parallels between Ricoeur’s work and Emile Benveniste’s crosscultural etymological analysis as well as Jacques Derrida’s building on those ideas, the term ‘hospitality’ epitomizing the complex nature of intercultural encounters. Connelly argues that her project makes it clear that successful intercultural communication requires everyone to act as both host and guest. The participants kept shifting between these roles as they enunciated their own alphabets and tried to reproduce unfamiliar sounds.The researcher, too, admits that she felt somewhat vulnerable since she had to rely on the participants’ generosity and letting her carry out the research, in the frst place; as she says,“without the performers, there was no work, no project, no research output” (p. 168). In spite of, or rather because of, linguistic hospitality being a risky practice that requires both parties to move towards Other, Connelly sees the performance that takes place in the ‘translation zone’ as an ethical and mutually benefcial act. She notes the importance of considering the ethical valence of researching multilingualism. Lack of language is transformed into a beneft as it fosters attentiveness to nonverbal communication, including paying close attention to the shape of other people’s mouths and lips—an intimate practice usually common between lovers or close family. Overall, translation in the contact zone is seen as a transformative, performative, and embodied activity. ∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗ 1. Why did the researcher decide to use stripped to its basic units as her empirical material language? As you recall, the project’s premise was that we cannot rely only on translated texts because they have been already interpreted by someone else. If we don’t want to miss out on nuances, we must focus on how the language is actually performed. Most monolingual speakers, however,

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cannot speak another language and so can focus only on how it sounds. Hence, in the project, language was brought down to phonemes as its basic elements and such paralinguistic features as rhythm and harmony. It may appear as if such empirical material is quite trivial and may not shed much light on the nature of intercultural communication.After all, phonemes don’t mean anything the way words do; phonemes simply serve a distinctive function helping us to diferentiate them from other phonemes.And yet, learning a foreign language as a step toward successful intercultural communication must begin with mastering the sound system of that language—learning to hear and pronounce new sounds. More importantly, sounds provide a rupturing of representation by breaking our habit of ‘making sense.’ Since semantic content was bracketed out, the participants were able to immerse themselves in the experience of the material and sensuous qualities of the sounds, including their emotional connection with the language they speak. This amplifed the relational and afective nature of the intercultural encounters. With semantic content absent, such a seemingly insignifcant practice of focusing on the basic units of the language allowed the participants to pay attention to the grain of the voice and the one who speaks. Making language stutter, as it were, opened new possibilities for thinking and being. 2. Can translation zone(s) be viewed as the space of ‘hospitality’? As was shown in the chapter, the nature of hospitality is complex and ambivalent. Obviously, we need to open ourselves to Other; this, however, involves a risk and cultural shock, including self-shock. While observing the sounds performed by the participants, Connelly noted how they used their bodies and voices in trying to work with one another both in harmony and discord. In every ‘translation zone’ all participants, including the researcher, acted as both host and guest. The researcher invited the participants and gave them instructions at every stage of the performance. At the same time, she felt vulnerable having to rely on the generosity of the participants who let her carry out the research.The participants shifted between the roles of host and guest, as well: they both enunciated their own alphabets and tried to reproduce unfamiliar sounds. Therefore, in Connelly’s words, “to be truly hospitable each person must be willing to leave the safety and certainty of what they know in order to become open to the other—to be altered in this encounter” (p. 169). 3. As performative and embodied activity, how can intercultural communication be seen as a mutually benefcial act? Connelly shows how our being monolingual can be transformed into a beneft for all parties involved. Because we lack another language, we’re motivated to pay more attention to nonverbal communication,

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including the shape of other people’s mouths and lips. By engaging in such intimate practices that are usually reserved for lovers or close family, we’re able to learn something new about Other and ourselves. It must be recalled that the body is “the last frontier of authenticity” (Peters, 1999, p. 221). Only in the contact zone can intercultural communication be truly successful as a performative and embodied activity. The contact zone can be viewed as the hermeneutic circle within which all the participants kept going through distance-experiences and near-experiences, switching between the roles of spectators and actors. They even literally formed a circle when engaged in these interactions when they performed the call and response activity in the rotunda of the Library of Birmingham. It was only when each participant made the full circle that they were able to fully understand the intercultural experience.As noted in the chapter, genuine understanding occurs only when one comes back to where one started with new meanings and starts looking at the world with diferent eyes—the way the participants’ mother-tongues became estranged.All the participants have been transformed by the experience of this intercultural performance.

7 7.1

Side Trips Free Play of the Saw

Hans-Georg Gadamer (1977; see also Vilhaue, 2013) uses the example of playing a game as an illustration of reciprocity in communication.The participants adhere to its rules over which no one has any priority: the players relinquish themselves to the act of playing and thus to the game itself. Gadamer depicts this through an image of two men having free play of the saw. Both partners are equally engaged in this activity and neither constitutes its determining factor. This way, both partners feel fulflled by it, emerging enriched and transformed as a result of free play. ∗∗ Do you fnd this metaphor appropriate for capturing the essence of intercultural communication? Can you think of other metaphors that present intercultural communication in similar ways? 7.2

Intercultural Travel Blogs

Elizabeth Slattery and Rick Malleus’s paper ‘Personal travel blogs as texts for studying intercultural interactions: A pilot test case study of an American sojourner’s blogs from Zimbabwe’ (2014) presents the results of content analysis of an American woman’s travel blog written on a sojourn to Zimbabwe.The analysis was performed using four intercultural constructs: culture shock, intercultural communication challenges, cross-cultural comparison,

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and intercultural adaptation. The authors of the paper argue that personal travel blogs can be an important source for studying self-reports of face-toface intercultural interaction. ∗∗ Do you agree with their argument? Can you think of other sources that could be used for studying culture shock and intercultural adaptation in intercultural communication? 7.3 ‘Whiteness Workshops’

John T.Warren and Deanna L. Fassett—two communication scholars—used the so-called performative pedagogy in conducting their ‘Whiteness Workshops’ (see Paez, 2018;Warren & Fassett, 2004). Understanding identity as an accomplishment of reiterative performative practices, they placed students in a public setting where they engaged in critical exploration of whiteness. That way, the scholars aimed to overcome the tradition of textualism in a classroom that involves relying only on written assignments, activities, and tests. For them: performative pedagogy . . . can put fesh to the concept of whiteness. It can . . . ask those in positions of power (via sex, race, class, or sexuality) to question their own embodied experiences by demanding that they encounter the “Other,” through the mode of performance. (Warren & Fassett, 2004, p. 429). Indeed, many students found performance a better way of learning and reported that it had a profound efect on them. ∗∗ Do you fnd performative pedagogy an efective approach to teaching intercultural communication? Can you think of other activities that could be conducted using this approach?

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82 Performativity Principle Neuliep, J. (1996). Human communication theory: Applications and case studies. Boston: Allyn & Bacon. Neuliep, J. (2000). Intercultural communication:A contextual approach. Boston and New York: Houghton Mifin Company. Ng, R. (2017). Intercultural communication in the hospitality and tourism industry: A study of message design logic across two cultures [Electronic version]. Available from Cornell University, School of Hotel Administration site: http://scholarship.sha.cornell.edu/ honorstheses/5 Accessed November 10, 2019. Oberg, K. (1960). Cultural shock: Adjustment to new cultural environments. Practical Anthropology, 7: 177–182. O’Rourke, B. (2018). Intercultural encounters as hospitality: An interview with Richard Kearney. Journal of Virtual Exchange: 25–40. Paez, A. (2018). Performative pedagogy: Utilizing alternative methods in the classroom. University of the Pacifc, Thesis. https://scholarlycommons.pacifc.edu/uop_etds/2982. Accessed October 4, 2019. Paparella, E. (2012). Europa:An idea and a journey. Bloomington, IN: Xlibris Corporation. Peters, J. (1999). Speaking into the air: A history of the idea of communication. Chicago and London:The University of Chicago Press. Philipsen, G. (1993). Ritual as a heuristic device in studies of organizational discourse. In S. Deetz (Ed.), Communication yearbook 16 (pp. 104–111). New York and London: Routledge. Rohr, E. (2006). Intercultural competence. In H. Weiss (Ed.), Intercultural and inter-faith communication: Materials from the international seminar 2005 (pp. 26–28). Dusseldorf. www.sipcc.org/downloads/IPCC-013-txt.pdf.Accessed September 25, 2019. Rorty,A. (Ed.) (1980). Essays on Aristotle’s ethics. Berkeley, Los Angeles, and London: University of California Press. Rothenbuhler, E. (1998). Ritual communication: From everyday conversation to mediated ceremony.Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. Sam, D. & Berry, J. (2010). Acculturation:When individuals and groups of diferent cultural backgrounds meet. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 5(4): 472–481. Saussure, F. de (1986). Course in general linguistics. Ch. Ballye and A. Sechehaye (Eds.), (A. Riedlinger, trans.). LaSalle, IL: Open Court. Schwartz, S. J., Unger, J. B., Zamboanga, B. L., & Szapocznik, J. (2010). Rethinking the concept of acculturation: Implications for theory and research. The American Psychologist, 65(4): 237–251. Shepherd, A. (2014). The gift of the other: Levinas, Derrida, and a theology of hospitality. Eugene, OR: Pickwick Publications. Shimanof, S. (1980). Communication rules:Theory and research. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage. Slattery, E. & Malleus, R. (2014). Personal travel blogs as texts for studying intercultural interactions: A pilot test case study of an American sojourner’s blogs from Zimbabwe. SpringerPlus, 3: 211. Stewart, J. (1998). Historical frames of relational perspectives. In R. Conville & L. Rogers (Eds.), The meaning of ‘relationship’ in interpersonal communication (pp. 23–46). Westport, CT: Praeger. Van den Berg, J.-A. & Smit,A. (2006).A travel journal of pastoral involvement in a South African multi-faith community. In H.Weiss (Ed.), Intercultural and inter-faith communication: Materials from the international seminar 2005 (pp. 9–14). Dusseldorf. van der Velden, A. (2012). Reverse culture shock, fact or fction? A research study on the efects an international exchange or placement experience has on Dutch students upon returning to the Netherlands. Breda: NHTV Breda University of Applied Sciences.

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Vilhaue, M. (2013). Gadamer and the game of understanding: Dialogue play and opening to the other. In E. Ryall, W. Russell, & M. MacLean (Eds.), The philosophy of play (pp. 75–86). New York: Routledge. Wang, A. (2003). Thousands of weddings tie India in knots. The Spokesman-Review, November 28. Warren, J. (2001). Doing whiteness: On the performative dimensions of race in the classroom. Communication Education, 50(2): 91–108. Warren, J. & Fassett, D. (2004). Subverting whiteness: Pedagogy at the crossroads of performance, culture, and politics. Theatre Topics, 14(2): 411–430. Wertsch, J. (1998). Mind as action. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press. Wittgenstein, L. (1953). Philosophical investigations. Oxford: Basil Blackwell. Wood, J. (2000). Communication theories in action. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Thompson Learning.

4

Positionality Principle ‘It All Depends’

Key Theme: Specifcity Problem Question: What happens to cultural meanings as they are performed and enacted? Objective: To help you understand how every cultural system of knowledge can be seen as unique Key Concepts: Attitude, authority, belief, categorization, cultural appropriation, cultural gaze, cultural maps, engagement, ethnocentrism, ethnocentric reduction, ethnocentric negation, ethnocentric afrmation, folkways, grand narrative, grounding, laws, mores, narrative, norms, perception, values, worldview.  Chapter Outline 1 Introducing the Problem Question 84 2 From Beliefs about the World to the Worldview 85 3 Cultural Gaze: Looking Out, Looking In 91 3.1 Cultural Gaze and Ethnocentrism 93 4 Introducing the Positionality Principle 98 4.1 Positionality as Grounding 98 4.2 Positionality and Authority 100 4.3 Positionality as Engagement 102 5 The Positionality Principle Defned 105 6 Case Study:‘The Kosher Phone’ 105 7 Side Trips 108 7.1 Positive Cultural Appropriation? 108 7.2 Women’s Ability to Travel in Saudi Arabia 109 7.3 ‘An Introduction to Dating’ Course in South Korea 109

1

Introducing the Problem Question

In the previous chapter, we saw that intercultural communication is a joint efort—an activity performed by Self and Other. As a result, people from

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diferent cultures are able to navigate this world and interact with one another. Let’s look in more detail at what happens to cultural meanings as they are enacted. In this chapter, thus, we take up the following Problem Question: ‘What happens to cultural meanings as they are performed and enacted?’

2

From Beliefs about the World to the Worldview

Every day we interact with a great variety of people.All our interactions are infuenced by perception—“the process by which people select, organize, and interpret sensory stimulation into a meaningful and coherent picture of the world” (Berelson & Steiner, 1964, p. 88). First, our perceptions are selective. We cannot pay attention to every stimulus in our environment since sensations are too diverse and unlimited. Instead, we select only certain stimuli; for instance, we become aware of people’s skin color, their dress, or forms of greeting. Suppose you notice people’s dark skin color because it is diferent from yours: you pay no attention to the texture of their skin, the color of their hair, or their occupations—you select only their skin color. Second, our perceptions are organized into categories. Categorization makes it possible “to structure and give coherence to our general knowledge about people and the social world, providing typical patterns of behavior and the range of likely variation between types of people” (Cantor et al., 1982, p. 34). For example, one may organize all people with a skin color other than one’s own into a separate group, such as Chinese, African American, Hispanic, Italian, Irish, and so on. Third, our perceptions involve interpretation; we may interpret people with a diferent color skin as beautiful, athletic, arrogant, presumptuous, suspicious, violent, or friendly. Such interpretations infuence our interactions with them. For instance, Dutch police ofcers were found to perceive Surinamese people whose skin color is black as suspicious and tense, which afected their interrogation techniques (Vrij & Winkel, 1994). Through the process of perception, we become aware of what takes place around us, moving from sensing others in the world to making sense of them.As a result, we are able to navigate this world interacting with all kinds of diferent people by using ‘cultural maps’ that encompass our beliefs, attitudes, values, and norms. Beliefs. Let’s look at the Masai culture of Kenya as our frst example. They are a nomadic warrior tribe whose life centers around cattle herding. For the Masai, a cow is not simply a source of meat. They drink its milk, use every bit of the cow for clothing and decorations, and even use its dung in the construction of their huts. It is not surprising, therefore, that the Masai believe God entrusts cattle to them, measuring wealth in number of cattle. Also, they believe that blood from the cow, mixed with milk, makes them stronger.

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Now, let’s hit the Inca Trail, a 25-mile trek to Machu Picchu—the sacred city of the ancient Incas. During such a trip, it is common to leave three coca leaves as an ofering to Pachamama.Why? Because Pachamama in the Quechua language means ‘Mother Earth,’ which is thought to be the giver of life and a source of energy in Inca culture. Or, take the sandstone canyon southwest of Billings, Montana.To some business companies, this land can be a potential site for drilling oil.To the numerous Native American tribes, this place is known as the Valley of the Chiefs.These tribes believe this canyon serves as a living link to their collective past. More examples from other cultures could be given, but the main point is clear: whenever people perceive a connection between something and something else, these two things turn it into a meaningful mental construct. A belief, therefore, is the attribution of some characteristic to an object, idea or ideology, event or situation. It could be a connection between cow’s blood and wealth or strength, or a connection between a river and energy, or between land and a collective past.This way, most Western cultures believe illness is caused by the invasion into our body of malignant micro-organisms; Azande and Navajo people believe illness is caused by witchcraft. Beliefs structures can be quite complex and abstract, especially when the connection between things is perceived indirectly; for instance, how do you deal with beliefs about time, or beliefs about justice, which vary so much from culture to culture? The infuence of cultural beliefs on behavior is beyond any doubt. Obviously, you will treat illness diferently, depending on what beliefs you hold. For example, Anglo and Latino women may not share the same beliefs as to whether there is a connection between a regular Pap smear and cervical cancer risk; hence, they will treat visits to a doctor and screening tests diferently (Chavez et al., 2001). The practice of female circumcision, now outlawed in Africa but still practiced in secret by many tribes, including the Masai, is based on the belief that women’s reproductive activities are seen as a service to the whole tribe. In most other cultures, women believe they should control their own reproductive activities. Forming beliefs is the starting point of charting out a cultural map. What happens next? Let’s take another look at some of the cultures, mentioned above. The cow is the center of life for the Masai so it is not surprising that they cherish it, almost as much as their own children and plots of land. In fact, these are the three most cherished things the Masai can ofer as a gift. Following the September 11 attacks on the United States, the Masai held a special ceremony and blessed 14 cows, giving them to the people of the United States. During the ceremony, the Masai elders chanted in Maa, the local language, and walked in a circle around the group of cows (SpokesmanReview, June 3, 2002, p. A2).The signifcance of giving their sacred animals as a gift cannot be overestimated. The interaction over the canyon southwest of Billings, Montana ran a diferent course. For the Anschutz Exploration Corp., the canyon was

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designated as Federal Lease MTM-74615; should the company’s wells pan out, it could be worth millions of dollars.The Native American tribes revere the canyon for its ancient rock drawings of warriors, shields, and animals. Tribes from the Comanche to the Crow have long used the canyon as a place of worship; for them, the spot is holy and has no price. So when the company’s and tribes’ representatives met to discuss the fate of the canyon, their arguments were very diferent; the Anschutz executives invoked their legal rights, while an Arapahoe elder ofered a short prayer and invoked an argument around the place’s sacredness. At the end of the meeting, no agreement was reached (Kirn, 2001). In both examples of intercultural communication (one successful, the other not), two mental constructs stood out—attitudes and values. Attitudes. An attitude is a predisposition to respond positively, negatively, or neutrally to certain objects and practices.The Masai attitude toward cows is positive, and they may have a negative attitude to wild animals that pose a danger for the cows. Similarly, the attitude of the Native American tribes to the canyon is highly positive, while they may develop a negative attitude to the oil executives who want to destroy the holy grounds. Values.Attitudes are connected to values—shared ideas about what people consider to be important or desirable. Just as our attitudes are grounded in values, the expression of attitudes invokes and reinforces our values. What people from one culture consider important, people from another one may not; hence, cultures vary in salience or perceived importance of values. The Masai ofered as a gift their cows—one of their most valuable possessions.The gift was duly appreciated by the United States, even though a cow itself is not valued as highly by the American culture, and was appreciated as an extension of goodwill. (Because of the difculty of transportation of the cows, the United States asked that the beads from the Masai culture be sent as a gift, instead.) The interaction between the Native American tribes and the oil company was not as successful because they attached entirely diferent values to the same land: while for the oil company the canyon’s worth consisted in millions of dollars of proft, for the tribes the value of the canyon was sacred, connecting them to their past, and inestimable in monetary value. Successful intercultural communication requires that attitudes and values be taken into consideration. For instance, if your company wants to market a new commercial product internationally, it will be more successful by targeting such values as peacefulness (Japan), ruggedness (United States), or passion (Spain) (Aaker et al., 2001). Some cultural values are difcult to identify and even more difcult to understand. For example, a group of British tourists pursuing their hobby of plane-spotting, found themselves arrested and convicted in a Greek court on charges of obtaining national secrets (New York Times, April 28, 2002, p. A5).The British reacted to the charges with incredulity and outrage. This peculiar British pastime appears incomprehensible to people from most other cultures. In other words, most people do not understand what values lie in spending hours alongside landing-strip fences

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at major airports with binoculars and notebooks.The British, on the other hand, appreciate this pastime because it involves patience, precision, deliberation, and the occasional moment of jubilation. Sometimes, ignoring cultural diferences in attitudes and values can lead to tragic outcomes. For example, Amanda Rosenberg describes the silent shame of having a mental illness in a Chinese family. Although she grew up in a lively and tight-knit family unit, looking back she realized that the topic of mental health had been rarely discussed and, when it was, it was in a negative light. Having a mental disorder was deemed unacceptable.What later happened to her is summed up in the title of Rosenberg’s article:‘Hiding my mental illness from my Asian family almost killed me’ (2018). It is important to emphasize the recursive nature of the relationships between beliefs, attitudes, and values, which afect, and are afected by, one another in the process of socialization and communication.Also, due to their malleability, they can, and do, change, especially in the process of intercultural communication. What is the next step in charting out a cultural map? The answer should be obvious: if you value certain things and practices more than others, you should try and preserve them. Now the main cultural task is protecting certain meanings; this, of course, is accomplished with the help of cultural norms. Norms. A cultural norm can be defned as a shared standard for accepted and expected behaviors. If you violate a cultural norm, you are subject to some form of sanction. Cultural norms are often divided into three categories— folkways, mores, and laws (Sumner, 1940; Gudykunst & Kim, 1992, pp. 58–59). Folkways are everyday cultural practices that are widely accepted.They include such activities as the way people dress, eat, drive, or keep up their dwellings. For example, to protect their cattle and maintain their huts, the Masai men are responsible for tying the fence branches together, while the women are expected to milk the cows and fetch water. Mores are cultural practices that carry moral connotations and impose more strict constraints on people’s behavior than folkways. For instance, the sexual practices of the Masai are quite complex, but they obey a strict morality.The warrior takes a lover who is a prepubescent girl, but he cannot marry until he has served his tribe. When the girl reaches puberty and is able to conceive, she is returned to her mother until she can marry. Before her marriage she will be circumcised.The Masai boys, too, have their coming-of-age ceremony when they reach the age of 15.They make headdresses of ostrich plumes and eagle feathers, shave their heads, are circumcised and become Morani or young warriors.Traditionally, in order to pass into manhood, they are expected to hunt a lion with only a spear. Obviously, the violations of these mores, which may be deemed as cowardly, defant, or reluctant to serve one’s tribe, may bring about more severe sanctions, such as ostracism. Laws are cultural practices that are codifed and usually written down. They serve to protect the most cherished values, e.g., freedom, and their violation brings about legal sanctions.

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When people from diferent cultures come into contact, their norms are tested and redefned. For instance, the Masai nowadays boost their income by performing ceremonies and selling beads to tourists. These practices do not appear to afect their folkways; in fact, they often set up separate huts with their cows and traditional dancing, dedicated strictly to tourism, while their real settlements are miles away.At the same time, the exposure to other cultures, and especially the Western values of individuality and human rights, must have an impact on the Masai norms.Today, the practice of female circumcision known in the West as female genital mutilation, is outlawed in Africa. Similarly, the initiation ceremony where the Masai boys are to hunt a lion with a spear has been made illegal by the government of Kenya.These activities, still practiced in secret, show the struggle between cultural mores and laws. Numerous difculties arise in intercultural communication due to diferent norms. For instance, Brigitte Bardot, the French flm star and animal-rights activist, has publicly condemned the custom of eating dogs in South Korea. She is quoted to have said, “Eating dogs is not culture, it is grotesque. Culture is composing music like Mozart.”As a result, she has reportedly received 7,000 death threats (Spokesman-Review, Monday, June 3, 2002, p. B2). Another example of intercultural confict is a letter to the Northwest Airlines from the Council on American-Islamic relations, demanding that the Minnesota-based carrier apologize for allegedly forcing a Muslim high school student to remove her head scarf at an airport security check-point. According to the letter, for a Muslim woman to be forced to take of her head scarf in public is a violation of rights. For some Muslim women, covering their hair in public—essential to being modest—is a mandate from God. Recently, a young Swedish woman boarded a bus in Malmo wearing shorts and a top with a bow on the front, which she deemed appropriate on a very hot day. In Malmo, where Muslims make up a signifcant percentage of the population, the driver stopped the woman when she was scanning her ticket and told her that she was ‘showing way too much’ and couldn’t get on the bus dressed like that (Cofey, 2019). These examples not only illustrate a crucial role played by norms in intercultural communication; they also show how norms are connected with beliefs, attitudes, and values. In one example, we see how diferent beliefs (‘dogs can be seen as source of food’ vs ‘dogs are living beings, not food’) help to develop attitudes (positive vs negative toward eating dogs), which are linked to certain values (‘eating dogs is an important part of culture’ vs ‘eating dogs should not be valued as something cultural’). And values, in their turn, are protected by cultural norms (‘it is OK to eat dogs’ vs ‘it is wrong to eat dogs’). In the other two examples, diferent beliefs (‘some Muslim women believe covering up their hair in public is a mandate from God’ vs covering up hair may be perceived as potential danger) give rise to certain attitudes (positive vs negative toward wearing head scarf), which form the foundation for certain values (modesty vs security) that turn into norms

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(mores for the Muslim side—women should wear a head scarf, experiencing shame if they do not or are made to take it of; laws for the U.S. air carrier— head scarves must be checked, otherwise there may be a breach of security and calls for appropriate punishment). Worldview. Now the picture of how people from diferent cultures construct their systems of meanings is almost complete.We must add only one more mental construct, the most complex and abstract—the worldview. Originating from the German word ‘Weltanschauung’ (‘world perception’ or ‘worldview’), it is the fundamental cognitive orientation of a culture (Dodd, 2017; Osmera, 2015). It includes such basic collectively developed constructs as “the interrelated assumptions and beliefs about the nature of reality, the organization of the universe, the purposes of human life, God, and other philosophical issues that are concerned with the concept of being” (Jain & Kussman, 1997, p. 79).The worldview ultimately “helps us locate our place . . . in the universe” (Samovar & Porter, 1991, p. 16). The worldview is the overall way people from a certain culture view themselves in relation to everything else, including other cultures. It is not by chance that, in many languages, one of the meanings of the word ‘to see’ is ‘to know.’ In this sense, the worldview is our overall knowledge of the world and our place in this world. Naturally, this knowledge is broader than beliefs, attitudes, values, and norms taken separately. In fact, the worldview combines all these mental constructs and transforms them into a number of fundamental ideas. For example, the Indian worldview, grounded in Hinduism, is said to be comprised of the following four fundamental ideas: (1) the law of karma which binds person to the universe and necessitates the round of transmigration; (2) the concept of maya which means that the experienced cosmos is illusionary; (3) the idea of the absolute or pure being which lies behind the world of experience is viewed as the atman (the self or soul), the Brahman (the absolute objectively understood), or nirvana (the highest good, peace); and (4) the means or techniques of gaining liberation called Yoga (Hesselgrave, 1978, p. 162). As another example, the Muslim worldview consists of such assumptions that shape reality and therefore infuence individual behavior as the belief that a person can cause physical or mental misfortune by placing a curse on another person as a result of envy, often referred to as Nazar or the evil eye; beliefs in jinns—beings made from ‘smokeless’ fre that can possess humans and cause symptoms of physical and psychological illness; the concept of Qadr indicating Divine will for followers of Islam; the collectivist notion of izzat, i.e., shameful or honorable actions by an individual are refected in the reputation of their family and larger community (Bagasra, 2020).These aspects of the worldview can have important implications as they relate to health, illness and help-seeking behaviors by some Muslims living in Western society. In the same vein, social work services cannot be successfully provided to the African-American communities without understanding their worldview (Graham, 1999), while successful Christian missionary work

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in India requires the knowledge of that culture’s worldview (Hesselgrave, 1978). It is critical, therefore, that people pay attention to the worldviews when communicating interculturally. Now we know how every culture develops ideas about the world and its place in it.These ideas may take the form of a simple perceived connection between two things (beliefs), or grand ideas, underlying cultures in their totality (worldviews). It must be emphasized that all these ideas are interconnected. As people establish what they perceive to be true about the world (beliefs), decisions are made as to what is important and what is not (values); they tend to respond to these perceived facts positively or negatively (attitudes); standards for behavior (norms) are developed in order to keep what is of more worth and guard against what is undesirable; fnally, all ideas are transformed into a worldview, which underpins the culture, in its entirety.

3

Cultural Gaze: Looking Out, Looking In

Every culture develops an understanding of itself and its place in the world by charting out a map of meanings. Such cultural maps allow “us to structure and give coherence to our general knowledge about people and the social world, providing expectations about typical patterns of behavior and the range of likely variation between types of people and their characteristic actions and attributes” (Cantor et al., 1982, p. 34). People from every culture develop their own gaze—a projection beam looking outward into the world. This gaze, of course, is not limited to the visual aspect of our perception; as mentioned earlier, perception is a multi-sensory and full-bodied experience. Looking out (gazing) is the way we establish our orientation in the world. In various intercultural situations, the visibility of our cultural gaze can be quite diferent; sometimes, we can see more clearly, and sometimes, our gaze is quite hazy.The meanings we bring back home after our intercultural encounters can be very complex or quite simple, accurate or not. Today, certain interactions are specifcally set up for cultural gaze. For example, ethnic tourism is a special practice when people are invited to experience other cultures (Figure 4.1). Ethnic tourism brings together: (1) the tourist, who travels to seek an experience that cannot be duplicated in ordinary life; (2) the touree, the performer who modifes his or her behavior to suit the tastes of the tourists for gain; and (3) the middleman, who mediates the two groups and profts by their interaction. (Hiwasaki, 2000, p. 395) This way, for instance, one can gaze at the Ainu tourist villages scattered across Hokkaido, Japan, or visit the Tana Torajia culture in Indonesia (McGregor, 2000). In such cases, tourists are exposed to carefully chosen and presented cultural sites; their cultural experience is commodifed, and cultural gaze

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Figure 4.1 Example of ethnic tourism Source: Shutterstock

structured.Yet, such an experience can still be an important step in the quest for understanding others who are signifcantly diferent from us. We all engage in this quest whenever we come into contact with people from other cultures.We may not think of ourselves as tourists, in the strict sense of the word, but the experience is essentially the same—just less structured.We gaze out at people from diferent cultures, trying to conceptualize the results of our interactions as fully and correctly as possible.We hope that these meanings are authentic and refect other cultures accurately. When every culture looks out at the world, the gaze is refected back in the form of various meanings: one’s cultural gaze, therefore, looks both out and in.The meanings generated by a cultural gaze form a mental space showing what place one’s culture occupies in the world. People also create their view of the world (map themselves) literally—with maps. Every map is a cultural artifact—a kind of nonverbal language. Like all languages, maps are mental constructs and serve the same main function of cultural self-identifcation. Unlike a verbal language, though, which is extremely complex and can hardly be grasped at a glance, most maps reveal a fascinating tendency—cultures tend to map themselves as world-centered, with all others as relatively peripheral.There are many examples of such maps proving that geography is often a function of culture. For instance, an American map centers its east–west axis on the United States, resulting in land-area distortions based on distance from the equator.A map made in Switzerland centers its east–west axis on Western Europe, with a visible diference from the American map in the representation of relative landmasses. A Russian

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map centers on Moscow, and a map from the People’s Republic of China centers on the Western Pacifc, showing a peripheral position of Western Europe and the U.S. Maps, therefore, tend to “share an arbitrariness that refects their historical emergence in one particular cultural setting at one particular time” (Blair, 2000, p. 32). In other words, what such maps make visible is “the ethnocentrism enjoyed by every culture in the world” (Blair, 2000, p. 24). 3.1

Cultural Gaze and Ethnocentrism

Two main views of ethnocentrism can be isolated—one negative and much more widespread, and the other positive and much less common. According to the frst view, ethnocentrism is presented as a perceptual prism through which people from one culture, with an attitude of superiority, evaluate all other cultures, whose practices are judged as inferior or simply wrong. It is noted, for instance, that people “have a tendency to assume that their own cultural beliefs are the best or the right way to be; this is known as ethnocentrism” (Gandy, 2019, p. 118). Ethnocentrism is understood as the “belief in the superiority of one’s own culture” (Jandt, 2001, p. 53) and, by the same token, as “the inability to believe that other cultures ofer viable alternatives for organizing reality” (Klopf, 1998, p. 130). In this light, ethnocentrism is presented as “our defensive attitudinal tendency to view the values and norms of our culture as superior to other cultures, and we perceive our cultural ways of living as the most reasonable and proper ways to conduct our lives” (Ting-Toomey, 1999, p. 157).There are numerous examples of such ethnocentric attitudes. One is the story about Brigitte Bardot, the French flm star and animal-rights activist, who had publicly condemned the custom of eating dogs in South Korea. At the same time, many Hindus in India may fnd it shocking that in some cultures, especially in the West, people eat cows. Examples of ethnocentrism as a cultural bias and its impact on communication range from more or less mundane behaviors (‘People shouldn’t make slurping sounds while eating’) to geopolitical conficts between countries (‘We must fght and die for what we feel is right’). Of course, wars where both sides feel they are right an extreme manifestation of ethnocentrism. According to the second view, ethnocentrism is a positive attitude that helps every culture to maintain its integrity, surviving threats of external forces more successfully and taking pride in what your culture represents. Ethnocentrism is here functional, satisfying the needs of people in a certain culture and making it more cohesive (Gudykunst & Kim, 1992, pp. 86–97). Also,“if people view their own group as central to their lives and as possessing proper standards of behavior, they are likely to come to the aid of other group members when they are in trouble” (Brislin, 1993, p. 39). The two views just discussed share the same approach to ethnocentrism— they put evaluative judgments in their interpretation of this concept

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(one negative, the other positive). But what does the term itself mean? It is derived from the two Greek words—‘ethnos’ (‘a multitude of people living together’) and ‘kentron’ (‘center of a circle’). The term ‘ethnocentrism,’ therefore, simply means something like ‘a group of people in the center.’ In a similar fashion, William Graham Sumner, who was one of the frst to start using this term in the study of culture and group relations (see Bizumic, 2014), defned it as “the technical name for the view of things in which one’s own group is the center of everything, and all others are scaled and rated with reference to it” (Sumner, 1940, p. 13). Notice that the etymology of the word, as well as Sumner’s defnition, are devoid of any evaluative component: they simply state that people from every culture put themselves in the center and, from that position, view all other cultures. So, it is important to remember that “culture is of its nature ethnocentric” (Chen & Starosta, 1998, p. 296). From that central position, every culture makes judgments about all other cultures. Can it be otherwise, though?! It is from within our own culture—from the ‘center’— that our cultural gaze is projected out into the world and it is to our own culture that it comes back. While interpreting ethnocentrism as a danger to be avoided at great cost (negative view) or as a celebrated standpoint (positive view), we need to think of ethnocentrism, frst and foremost, in neutral terms—as an inherent human condition, a necessity dictated by human diversity. Ethnocentrism is a point of reference that every culture needs in order to understand the world and itself. To put it simply, we perceive the world from where we are—a particular location and time period. An interesting example is found in in the goodwill messages in the disc left by Apollo 11 astronauts on the moon.The disc, about the size of a half-dollar, contains messages from four American presidents and the leaders of 73 countries.Today, we can see very clearly how these messages, often eloquent and inspiring, but also self-serving, bombastic, shortsighted and outdated, remind us how difcult it is to disentangle the messy present from the aspirational future, to separate the realization of the potential of the human spirit from the need to appease less noble motivations. (Liu, 2019) In other words, we can never separate ourselves from ‘the messy present’ of where we are, we cannot not be ethnocentric. Thus, ethnocentrism is an inherent human condition; it can actually exist only in a series of concrete manifestations. Like explorers, we travel and come into contact with people from other cultures, setting our gaze on their practices and representing them in a meaningful way, with the hope that these meanings are accurate and authentic. Each time we come across a new intercultural experience, we judge it against our point of reference. If

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it is something we like, we may borrow it; if it is something we think Other lacks and should have, we may share it; if it is something we feel we do not need, we may bypass it; and if something gets in our way or presents a danger, we may take fight or fght. In each case, we make a decision as to how new experiences measure against our point of reference—and respond accordingly.With each decision, our frame of reference changes yet remains central (ethnocentric). We try to respond adequately to our intercultural experiences, making sure that our cultural gaze is clear and our travels rewarding. We need to make sure that ethnocentrism serves us—and people from other cultures—well. In doing this, there are two main dangers awaiting us— ethnocentric reduction and ethnocentric negation. Ethnocentric reduction. One such danger was mentioned earlier—the ‘we-are-right-they-are-wrong-so-let’s-force-them-to-be-like-us’ attitude. It is dangerous because one culture imposes its system of meanings on another culture, reducing it to a shadow of Self. Ethnocentric reduction takes place when people from one culture look at another culture, make a judgment about the way things are done there and force people from that culture to change and start doing things according to their own frame of reference. This negative ethnocentric attitude fnds its extreme manifestation in such horrors as ethnic cleansing, discrimination, and wars.The danger of ethnocentric reduction can be presented graphically as follows (Figure 4.2). Ethnocentric negation. The other danger is less obvious and perhaps less signifcant, but nevertheless it cannot be overlooked. Let’s look at the example of the ‘Drunken Indian and the Kidney Machine,’ discussed by Cliford Geertz, a well-known American anthropologist, in his paper ‘The uses of diversity’ (1986).This story is about a Native American alcoholic who got onto a kidney dialysis machine but refused to stop drinking. His doctors became angry because they felt another patient could make better use of the machine.They did not take him of the machine, however, and the man continued drinking until he died. Geertz argues that no side in this story made any attempt to make sense of the other’s position and, as a result, to question

Ethnocentric Reduction : Other = Self Imposing upon SELF OTHER Culture A Culture B Result: Culture A is imposed upon Culture B. Culture B is reduced to Culture A. Figure 4.2 Ethnocentric reduction Source: Author

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its own position.The two parties failed to understand “what it was to be on the other (side), and thus what it was to be on (their) own (side)” (Geertz, 1986, p. 117). Each side was blinded by its own ethnocentrism, and no real engagement with Other took place.This danger, therefore, is the opposite of ethnocentric reduction; one culture does not reduce another culture to Self, but disregards it as simply not self, as negation of Self. Examples of such an ethnocentric attitude are more common than one might think. For instance, Abdel-Nour has this to say in his article ‘Liberalism and ethnocentrism’: When European travelers and scholars “produced” and exoticized the “Other,” . . . their ethnocentric lack of engagement with the alienness of the other led them to see others as simply not self, and Arabs and Muslims in particular became imprisoned in Western images of themselves as either “exotic” or “dangerous,” simply not us. (Abdel-Nour, 2000, p. 22) The portrayal of Arabs and Muslims as ‘dangerous’ has a special signifcance today when intercultural engagement with them is very challenging. Another example of ethnocentric negation can be found within the interactions between natives and foreign aid workers in troubled areas of the world. In times of crisis, international citizens, mostly representing the United Nations, may be tasked with the duty of helping a newly established country create its social order. For instance, when the Indonesians pulled out of East Timor, after more than 20 years under brutal rule, the United Nations sent in its administrators, consultants, and policemen. In turn, the Timorese placed all those people in the category of ‘internationals’—a large culture of new colonialists whose very lifestyle “walls them of from the people they serve” (Lee, 2002, p. 35).With expensive cars, air-conditioning, and bottled water, most of the internationals are secluded from the actual environment which “afects the way internationals talk.The locals quickly become they. A foreign visitor hears that they can’t drive. They can’t fx a computer. They can’t organize a press conference or march in a parade” (Lee, 2002, p. 36). Because internationals do not stay in such spots long, they do not feel any need to engage in real interaction with the culture they are helping; it is as if they live in a parallel universe. A most recent example is the town of St. Marys, not far from Topeka, Kansas, which is home to a chapter of the Society of St. Pius X, or SSPX—a conservative-Catholic community. While St. Marys is not completely cut of from modern life, its SSPX members feel that it is not possible for them to live according to their beliefs and continue to participate in mainstream American life, at the same time. It is noted that what they have elected to undertake what might be termed cultural secession. Katherine Dugan, an assistant professor of religion at Springfeld College, in Massachusetts, who studies Catholicism in the U.S., describes

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the desire for protected, set-apart communities as “a natural American response to not liking what the cultural context is.” (Green, 2019) The danger of ethnocentric negation can be presented graphically as follows (Figure 4.3). Ethnocentric Negation : Other = Not Self Ignoring SELF Culture A Result: Culture A ignores Culture B. Culture B is negated by Culture A.

X

OTHER Culture B

Figure 4.3 Ethnocentric negation Source: Author

Ethnocentric afrmation. The two dangers of ethnocentrism identifed above are negative because they are the extreme manifestations of our cultural gaze. In both cases, one culture’s gaze is distorted with regard to another culture. People from both cultures sufer: one culture is either reduced or ignored, while the other culture deprives itself of external diversity.As a result, both cultures have less or no chance to realize their symbolic resources freely and fully. It is only by avoiding these two dangers of ethnocentrism that intercultural interactions can be made successful. Ethnocentric afrmation can be represented as follows (Figure 4.4). With ethnocentric afrmation, both cultures have equal power to make decisions on what should happen to their frames of reference as a result of an intercultural encounter.They each defend their positions and afrm each other, e.g., by acknowledging diferent religious holidays celebrated by other cultures (Oppenheimer, 2019). Such a cultural gaze makes it possible for them to maintain their positions. Ethnocentric Affirmation : Other = Self/Not Self Affirming

SELF OTHER Culture A Culture B Result: Culture A affirms itself and Culture B. Culture B affirms itself and Culture A. Figure 4.4 Ethnocentric afrmation Source: Author

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4

Introducing the Positionality Principle

Let’s now formulate, based on the discussion above, the fourth principle of intercultural communication—the Positionality Principle.We will isolate three parts that make up this principle. Each part deals with the nature of positioning in intercultural interactions. First, we will discuss the Positionality Principle in terms of grounding; next, we will show the relationship between grounding and authority; fnally, we will present grounding as a process of intercultural engagement.We will discuss each part separately and then formulate the Positionality Principle, as a whole. 4.1

Positionality as Grounding

When we speak about meanings as our cultural maps, we must remember that our cultural knowledge is situated, i.e., generated in specifc situations. These situations are concrete in the sense that they provide physical settings for constructing a cultural mental framework. Based on these settings, every culture defnes itself and the world from a certain point of view. Every culture looks outward from its own point of view; refected back, this look becomes its cultural gaze. Cultural gaze is a projector beam, as it were, which allows people from every culture to navigate the world.With the help of this gaze, every culture looks both inward to its own identity and outward to its relation with other cultures.The better the ‘cultural visibility,’ the more successful the intercultural encounters. It must be noted that “the idea of positionality is closely related to standpoint theory” (Sorrells, 2016, p. 13).The overall premise of Standpoint Theory is that our cultural background infuences the way we perceive the world: this way, diferent ways of knowing and being are produced, including different power relations (Allen, 2017). People can respond very diferently to one and the same message, depending on their cultural standpoint. We fnd a very interesting example of this in how students reacted to the flm Crash. Etsuko Kinefuchi and Mark Orbe analyzed these reactions through Standpoint Theory and context-positionality frame. They showed how students’ reactions can be examined in terms of their racial situatedness— “positionality  .  .  . attached or detached—with which students viewed, interacted with, and ultimately processed the flm” (2008). For instance, the reactions by European American students was of a more detached nature, while African Americans, Latino Americans, Asian Americans, and biracial/ multiracial U.S. Americans expressed a more attached positionality as they strongly related to the flm. So, intercultural communication is a matter of positionality. As cultures occupy diferent positions and interact, their cultural gaze makes it possible for them to see the world and their own place in it. In this process, cultural meanings are generated and each culture is grounded. Everything that we experience as a result of intercultural encounters and fnd meaningful

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is framed and becomes part of our culture—our ‘common ground.’ These cultural frames are constructed as a product of our perception and can be presented in terms of ‘fgure/ground’ efects. You may be familiar with these terms from Gestalt psychology (Koehler, 1969) where the distinction between fgure and ground is usually illustrated by a visual example. For instance (Koch, 2001, p. 203), one and the same fgure below can be perceived either as four black squares (=fgure) on a white surface (=ground), or as a white cross (=fgure) on a black surface (=ground) (Figure 4.5). The fgure/ground distinction is not limited only to the visual realm; one can experience this efect using any other senses. Whatever senses people use, the nature of the fgure/ground distinction is the same: experiences are grouped together and form either a foundation or stand out as a fgure. Ground is a culturally accepted system of meanings, which is shared and seems so natural it is often taken for granted. Its signifcance, however, cannot be overestimated; it is highlighted as soon as it comes under threat; just think of such expressions as ‘To stand one’s ground’ or ‘To defend one’s ground’ (both fguratively and literally!). Ground is what holds cultures together; being ethnocentric means being grounded. Grounding, therefore, is a process of establishing a cultural system of meanings.What meanings? Recall the main cultural constructs we discussed at the beginning of the chapter. Grounding of meanings begins with a perceived connection between two things—this way, cultural beliefs are developed. Then, cultural ground becomes more complex and takes the form of attitudes, values, norms, and worldview. As a result of developing these dispositions, people from diferent cultures position themselves. In intercultural encounters, one and the same experience can be categorized as ground or fgure, depending on cultural positions. If an experience is perceived as diferent from your own cultural system of meaning, it is a fgure that “stands against everything else (ground)” (Roth, 2001, p. 31). For example, the sight of someone riding a motorcycle in the day with the headlights

Figure 4.5 Figure/ground distinction Source: Author

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on is interpreted diferently in Australia and Laos (Enfeld, 2000, p. 40). In Australia, this sighting is part of cultural ground because its trafc authorities recommend that motor cyclists put their headlights on at all times for reasons of safety. In Laos, this sighting is part of cultural fgure because headlights are to be put on only in emergency situations when the right of way is needed. It is easy to foresee how an Australian biker might be stopped by Laotian trafc authorities and fned when riding with headlights on because of the diference in fgure/ground perception. In this example, grounding takes the form of diferent values (safety vs emergency) and norms (folkways vs laws). In another example, grounding fnds its manifestation in cultural attitudes. As reported by Mitchell and Wood (1998), the state authorities in Brazil have a negative attitude toward Afro-Brazilians who are perceived as potentially more criminal and so more likely to be assaulted by police.Afro-Brazilians suffer discrimination because they stand out, as fgure, mostly due to their color. All new experiences appear to us as a fgure; if accepted, they become part of our cultural ground. Intercultural communication can be seen as a process of trying to fgure (sic!) out new experiences. It must be emphasized that, even though cultural meanings arise and are grounded in concrete situations, they are never set in concrete.What is perceived by a certain culture at a certain point in time as fgure may become part of its ground, and vice versa. For instance, in the previous two examples, people in Laos might decide to make it a norm that headlights be put on by motorists at all times, or the state authorities in Brazil might change their attitude toward Afro-Brazilians and stop their discrimination, treating them like all other citizens.The negative attitude toward Afro-Brazilians might be more difcult, yet more necessary, to change: no one likes to be discriminated against, and so Afro-Brazilians will fght for these practices to stop. In the case of headlights, changing a cultural position may be less pressing; it is possible to imagine, though, how safety might become a priority and the trafc regulation could change accordingly. In all cases, people from every culture must establish their position on this or that issue. If people feel that they are unable to establish a desirable position, it will make an efort to bring about a change, whether it is a trafc rule or a new policy in the criminal justice system. Grounding, therefore, is a dynamic process; it is driven by relationships between cultures and their constant search for authority. This brings us to the second aspect of the Positionality Principle, which deals with the issues of power and control. 4.2

Positionality and Authority

Every culture tries to establish its own position in the world, or grounds itself, claiming authority upon its vision of the world. Authority can be equated with the ability to lay claims that are accepted. In this sense,“authority is ultimately a matter of power” (Fleischacker, 1994, p. 84)—the ability to make decisions as to what a cultural position should be. In the example of East Timor, discussed earlier, the ‘internationals’ basically create a new order;

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their power, or their authority, compared to that of the Timorese people, is much greater. These administrators, consultants, policemen, and soldiers made most decisions and had a huge impact on what the culture of East Timor shall be in the future. Positionality, therefore, is not simply a matter of cultures establishing their specifc positions, but also a matter of power relationships between these positions, cf.: “self-other relations are matters of power and rhetoric rather than of essence” (Cliford, 1988, p. 14). In other words, cultures are not stable categories (essences), but shifting positions, determined by complex relations of power and enacted by verbal and nonverbal means (matters of rhetoric). Every culture claims authority over its vision of the world by using its cultural map in order to create stories or narratives. A narrative “refers to a recounting of a sequence of events that is told from a particular point of view” (Hall, 2002, p. 71), i.e., from a particular position. In a way, every culture tells its own story of the world or creates its own narratives.Take the example of an excerpt from a guided tour of one of the so-called ‘heritage museums’ in Israel: I’ll tell you a story, do you remember the story about the Patriarch Abraham? Oh, he was quite a man! Phee (Wow), he had lots of cows and sheep and lots of people working for him, and he used to wander from place to place, and he lived in the desert. He was the frst Bedouin, the Bedouins weren’t there yet, but he was there already. He was sitting in a tent, what was his wife’s name? Sara, Sara sat with him in the tent, and three angels are coming, they are going around in the desert, and they see some old man sitting with a young and beautiful woman, so they say: “Let’s go visit them,” so they come, and Abraham says to them:“Tefadalu, please, come in and be our guests,” so he says, what does he say to Sara? He whispers a loud whisper in her ear:“Go get three measures of four (seot kemah).” Here are the measures (pointing to the wall), from the Bible straight here on this wall.You see, this is what they used to measure in, imagine, the Patriarch Abraham in his time. How many years already? Oh, it is impossible, I wasn’t there, you weren’t there, your parents weren’t there, and he was already using this to measure with this. (Katriel, 1994, p. 14) The cultural authorities clash as a certain segment of the world is narrated from two very diferent positions. To Jewish audiences, this kind of story sounds like a playful elaboration of a well-known biblical tale, while to Arab audience the strategy of re-naming Abraham as the frst Bedouin and endowing a familiar agricultural object with a biblical career is an act of cultural appropriation. There are diferent ways to understand the main functions of narratives. For instance, four teaching functions of narratives in intercultural communication are identifed:“narratives function to teach us how the world works, our place in the world, how to act in the world, and how to evaluate what goes on in the world” (Hall, 2002, p. 73). Also, there are diferent ways to

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categorize narratives—from everyday conversations with friends to grand narratives—“stories that can give us certain knowledge of the direction, meaning and moral path of human ‘development’” (Barker, 2000, p. 21). In a way, every cultural worldview can be seen as a grand narrative; for example, Jewish culture “is incomprehensible without the supernatural history in which it is embedded, while Christianity (perhaps Buddhism as well) is virtually all story” (Fleischacker, 1994, p. 71). Regardless of how narratives are categorized and how their functions are understood, two criteria for narratives can be isolated—coherence and fdelity (Fisher, 1987). First, for cultural stories to be meaningful, all parts of a narrative must ft together; then, a narrative meets the criterion of coherence. And, second, a narrative must resonate with people’s beliefs, attitudes, values, norms, and worldviews; then, a narrative meets the criterion of fdelity.When both criteria are met, a narrative turns “into a tradition, something passed down from one generation to another” (Fleischacker, 1994, p. 80), meeting the needs of, and making sense to, people from that culture. For instance, the Danish TV programs are very popular at home and abroad, their success determined to a large degree by their talent for storytelling. Louise Vesth, a well-known Danish flm producer, notes that the success of telling stories about people and relationships goes all the way back to Nordic mythology. At the same time, as Adam Price, a well-known Danish writer, notes, it is important to write the story that is based on your own locally based existence. “If you aim for too big an audience,” he says, “you might fnd yourself with no audience at all” (Abend, 2019). As we can see,“authority is a position” (Fleischacker, 1994, p. 82). Every culture claims its authority in the vision of the world by projecting its gaze, charting out a cultural map and creating narratives. Every culture claims authority over its understanding of the world by creating narratives; for people from all cultures their own stories are authentic. Every culture collectively claims, so to speak, that the world is thus and so. In this sense, all cultures can be viewed as ‘just so stories.’ Overall, the story of the world is told in many tongues. For people from any culture, their cultural maps and their narratives appear true, authentic, and natural (central). It might seem that people from every culture have the best knowledge of their own position, speaking with authority about the world and their place in it. This ethnocentric view, though, is constantly tested in intercultural encounters. When a culture’s gaze is blind to other cultures, that culture fails to understand what its real position is, and how much authority (power) it really has.Therefore, the best way for cultures to determine their positions and power dynamics is through interaction. 4.3

Positionality as Engagement

The ‘cartographic metaphor’ (Munshi & McKie, 2001) sees the world as a number of cultural maps occupying diferent positions.These cultural maps are dynamic, though, and so the essence of intercultural communication

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can be better represented by the ‘kaleidoscope metaphor’ that sees cultural positions constantly changing through the process of engagement; in this process, people from diferent cultures present their narratives as claims of the true vision of the world. People can defne themselves—in the form of cultural or geographical maps—only by interacting with one another. Only this way can every culture check the accuracy and power of its narratives. In this sense, intercultural communication can be viewed as a process of “continual awareness of the necessity to check the map against the territory” (Rapoport, 1973, p. 35), i.e., checking how adequately reality (‘the territory’) is manifested in its symbolic abstractions (‘the map’). Cultural positions are situated (grounded), not given; they are developed through intercultural communication as complex dynamics of authority or power relations. When people from diferent cultures come into contact, their positions are engaged. For instance, the U.S. position on its role in winning the Second World War is seen diferently when the British or Russian perspectives are engaged.The United States might see its position shift, as if in a kaleidoscope, from playing a crucial role to being a minor player in the last phase of the war. In intercultural interactions, culture’s authority as a position of power depends on being accepted or rejected by other cultures. What a culture presents as its authoritative knowledge of the world depends on acknowledgement by people from other cultures. Hence, the more they accept a culture’s system of meanings, the more authority the culture has—the more ground it covers, so to speak. As a result, its position becomes more powerful. People from a certain culture may not accept another culture’s position, denying its authority on something.They may feel that their core values are undermined by foreign infuence, such as advertising. As a result, resistance may become one of their main rhetorical strategies. The strategy of resistance comes into play when a culture feels that its authority is threatened or weakened by other cultures.A culture starts losing its ground, as it were, to other cultures whose position may now become central, establishing new ground. An interesting example of this is found in the practice of self-labeling when people from a certain culture are asked to identify themselves through various verbal labels. For instance, one study revealed resistance of white Americans to self-labels (Martin et al., 1996). The most common were such ambiguous labels, such as ‘White’ and ‘Caucasian.’ Many subjects mocked the survey, and a high number of unusable responses was generated.These results illustrate that white Americans occupy a privileged (central) position, which for them is situated as ‘natural.’ They have more power as they make more decisions about how things should be done. They resist looking at themselves from another (peripheral) position because that suggests other cultures might see them diferently, which would challenge their central position. In other words, white Americans do not consider, or refuse to consider, that their whiteness (as ground) may lose its

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central place and may be replaced by another color (another culture). Hence, resistance as a strategy of keeping undesirable cultural positions at bay and reinforcing one’s own cultural position. (We will discuss the nature of resistance as a strategy of intercultural communication in more detail in the last chapter of the book.) Earlier, we showed how every culture aims to establish its authority on the vision of the world by creating narratives. It is now clear that diferent cultures engage in interaction with one other to claim their own visions of the world. Overall, “no one narrative can capture every possible aspect of a series of events, so what is told and how it is told inescapably express a point of view” (Hall, 2002, p. 71). It is not surprising to fnd any grand narrative claiming universal truth to be attacked or deconstructed by exposing its hidden internal contradictions and subverting its claims (Young, 1996). It must be clear by now that “positionality is thus determined by where one stands in relation to ‘the other’” (Merriam et al., 2001, p. 411). It is impossible for a culture to determine its real position without engaging other cultures’ perspectives. Of course, it is easier to deal with positionality as engagement when intercultural encounters are successful, and people from all interacting cultures feel good about themselves. It is more difcult, yet more important, to engage other perspectives when relationships between cultures are very asymmetrical. For example, Richard Rorty, a well-known American philosopher, reminds Americans how important it is for their national pride to remember the horrors of the past, such as slavery, massacres, segregation, discrimination, and wars, also found in many nations’ histories. He advocates that Americans should never engage in such behaviors again (Rorty, 1998). However, this laudable approach must be taken further; in addition to promising never to do it again, the United States should engage the perspectives of other cultures, e.g., the descendants of the enslaved and the massacred tribes or the survivors of Vietnam because “without the help of the face of the other (the victim) . . . the latter’s perspective cannot begin to comprehend the enormity of the act” (Abdel-Nour, 2000, p. 223). In other words, people from diferent cultures must engage one another’s perspectives if they truly want to understand their real positions. Speaking of engagement, an analogy can be drawn between learning to communicate interculturally and learning foreign languages. It is noted (Blair, 2000, p. 33) that a second language is easier to learn than the frst one, and the reason for that may have less to do with the structure of a particular language and more with a change in our relation to the native language.We come to realize that our native language is only one way of looking at the world, and not ‘the key’ to reality. It turns out there are other views of the world, refected in other languages. Once we come to terms with this fact, it becomes easier to learn and appreciate other languages. The same goes for interacting with people from other cultures. Intercultural communication is a matter of multiple positions, and ours, no matter how natural and authoritative it may seem to us, is just one of many. If we want to learn

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more about the world (and ourselves), we need to engage in intercultural communication. The Positionality Principle is important because it highlights the nature of ethnocentrism as an inherent human condition, while also revealing its dangers for intercultural communication. The Positionality Principle helps us to look at intercultural communication in a more relational way. It is important to understand that our cultural knowledge is specifc and relative to a particular point of view; in a way, in intercultural communication ‘it all depends!’ So, now we know what happens to cultural meanings as they are performed and enacted: they are grounded, helping cultures to position themselves in the world.

5 The Positionality Principle Defned Let’s now give a more concise formulation of the Positionality Principle, based on the above discussion of its three parts. First, our cultural knowledge is situated, and people from every culture look at the world and their place in it from a particular point of view.The process of establishing a specifc cultural position is called grounding. Second, positionality is not simply a matter of cultures establishing their specifc positions; it is a matter of power relations between these positions. When cultures establish their positions (ground themselves), they claim authority on their vision of the world.What a culture presents as its authoritative knowledge, depends on being accepted or rejected by other cultures. Third, it is impossible for a culture to determine its real position without engaging other cultures’ perspectives. When people from diferent cultures come into contact, their positions are activated, and changes in their systems of meanings take place. In a nutshell, the Positionality Principle can be formulated as follows: Intercultural communication is a process of engagement whereby people from different groups claim authority on their vision of the world.

6

Case Study: ‘The Kosher Phone’

This case study is based on the article entitled ‘What hath God wrought? Considering how religious communities culture (or kosher) the cell phone’ (Campbell, 2007).As usual, it is recommended that you read the article in its entirety; below, you fnd its summary. Be ready to identify and then discuss the following topics: 1. Can you identify and discuss two cultural maps in this intercultural situation? 2. Do you fnd the result of intercultural engagement successful?

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3. What are your thoughts on cultural (religious) beliefs guiding the evolution of technology? In 2005, the launch of a phone designed for the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community in Israel was announced by MIRS Communication, a wireless company. The ultra-Orthodox community of Israel has been described as a ‘culture of the enclave’ because of its strict religious rules and an isolated lifestyle. Before the launch of the kosher (approved or acceptable under rabbinical, religious law) phone, a special committee was formed, made up of religious authorities and rabbis, to discuss the cell phone in light of economic aspects of the community’s life and its cultural practices.The committee consulted various technology experts to make sure the use of the kosher phone can avoid certain dangers while serving as a symbol of communal afliation. In other words, the community wanted access to communication capabilities of the cell phone, but, at the same time, they wanted to make sure they could still live a kosher life, including religious study and prayer, the wearing of the dress and head coverings of their ancestors of 18th-century Europe, etc. It was important to keep the phone in line with the beliefs of the ultraOrthodox community that were clearly challenged.Without any modifcations, the phone was seen as a conduit of unacceptable content into the community. In some discussions, the cell phone was described as a ‘dangerous weapon’ with the potential to undermine the morality of the community. Characterized by its rejection of the values of modernity, the ultra-Orthodox Jews associated those values with secular media-entertainment culture and saw cell phone providers as purveyors of corrupting infuences. With their concern for personal purity, they desired to keep clear boundaries between the sacred and the profane. Some community members saw the battle for kosher communication as an existential battle for the soul of their culture. For the ultra-Orthodox Jews, it was a moral imperative to make sure the cell phone is modifed to provide a protected channel of communication. The concern for the soul of their culture and personal purity was the subject of strict guidelines and lawmaking. The article cites a Jewish phrase— ‘Setting a fence around Torah’—that describes the setting of strict limits in relation to innovations making sure they do not violate Torah law until fully understood. In this light, the committee evaluated the kosher phone and issued ofcial regulations for its design. It is important to note that such regulations served to tighten the boundaries not only around the technology but also the community itself. Through discussing and evaluating the cell phone technology, the ultra-Orthodox community reafrmed its beliefs, values, and standards of practice.As a result, the kosher phone came to indicate religious commitment, its ownership seen as a way to afrm community afliation. MIRS was the only company in Israel that met all the needs of the ultraOrthodox community. The initial kosher phones were frst-generation

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Motorola handsets modifed to disable Internet access, SMS text messaging and video and voice mail application. MIRS agreed to create a distinct community network and provide the community phones stripped of all content services, set a block on numbers for phone sex, dating services, and other dubious secular oferings.The phones were marked with a stamp signifying approval by rabbinical authorities and would begin with the same dialing code and prefx. The creation of the kosher phone is similar to the Amish engagement with the phone and are two examples of the interaction of religious groups with technology, what is sometimes called ‘cultured technology.’They show that religious communities, like other groups, evaluate and monitor their members’ use of technology. Also, they highlight how religious culture can serve as an important factor in technological innovation, prompting new features, designs, or forms of use. So, the case of the kosher phone can be seen as a story of culturing a technology, i.e., reshaping it in line with the needs of the group. ∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗ 1. Can you identify and discuss two cultural maps in this intercultural situation? The two groups discussed in the article are the ultra-Orthodox community of Israel and the secular media-entertainment culture, each with its own ‘cultural map.’ The latter culture, only briefy mentioned, is associated with the values of modernity that usually include scientifc rationalism and liberalism, human equality, secularization, free market capitalism, technology as the main driver of change, etc. The article dwells on the cultural map of the ultra-Orthodox community as a ‘culture of the enclave.’ Its members believe that the cell phone is a conduit of unacceptable content into the community and a ‘dangerous weapon’ that can undermine the morality of the community.Their attitude toward the cell phone is mostly negative, although they do want to gain access to its communication capabilities. Such beliefs and attitudes go hand-in-hand with their sacred values, such as religious commitment to live a kosher life of personal purity.These cultural beliefs and values fnd their manifestation in norms as shared standard for accepted and expected behaviors.They can be codifed into strict norms in line with the Torah law with clear punishment for behaviors of crossing boundaries between the sacred and the profane. 2. Do you fnd the result of intercultural engagement successful? There was clearly a process of engagement between the ultra-Orthodox community of Israel and the secular media-entertainment culture represented by the wireless company MIRS Communication. The

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ultra-Orthodox community committee consulted various technology experts to make sure communication capabilities of the cell phone are accessed, while their kosher life style is not negatively afected. MIRS met all the needs of the ultra-Orthodox community, such as creating a distinct community network, setting a block on numbers for phone sex, and dating services and other dubious secular oferings.Also, the phones were marked with a stamp signifying approval by rabbinical authorities to indicate religious commitment. At the same time, MIRS became the frst company in Israel to launch the kosher phone. Intercultural engagement in this case, therefore, can be seen as successful. 3. What are your thoughts on ‘cultured technology’? ‘Cultured technology’ is a positive trend in several respects. It allows cultural groups to examine and reafrm their beliefs, values, and standards of practice. This way, cultural boundaries can be seen more clearly. For instance, the kosher phone came to be seen as a way to afrm the cultural afliation of the ultra-Orthodox community.At the same time, how various cultures see and evaluate technology can prompt its innovation in terms of features, designs, and forms of use. In this light,‘cultured technology’ is a positive factor in the evolution of both culture and technology. ∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗

7 7.1

Side Trips Positive Cultural Appropriation?

The term ‘cultural appropriation’ is usually understood as the act of adopting elements from other cultures without truly understanding or respecting the original context.At the same time, we read that “in the 21st century, cultural appropriation—like globalization—isn’t just inevitable; it’s potentially positive” (Avins, 2015). It is argued that, were it not for cultural appropriation, some cultural products would fade away (Scafdi, 2005).Also, by adopting aesthetics from other cultures, people are “fnding beauty in cultural appropriation” (Wang, 2019). In this sense, cultural appropriation is seen as an exchange of ideas, styles, and traditions in today’s multicultural world. Some authors, though, note that cultural exchange suggests you give something in return for having taken something; also, exchange is about teasing out points of confict, while “appropriation suggests a signifcant amount of self-satisfaction and a desire to show of ” (Galchen & Holmes, 2017, p. 27). ∗∗ Do you think that cultural appropriation is/can be something positive? Is it the same as cultural exchange? When addressing these questions, should we consider such things as power, credit, authenticity, and respectfulness?

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7.2 Women’s Ability to Travel in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia is planning to loosen restrictions on women’s ability to travel without a male guardian’s permission (Said, 2019). The plan would allow women over 18 years old to leave the country and travel internationally without the consent of a designated male family member.At the same time, the laws requiring a guardian’s consent for women to marry, leave prison, or exit a shelter for abuse victims will be left in place. The plan continues the eforts undertaken by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to modernize his kingdom. Earlier, a ban on women driving had been lifted, and women no longer need to wear traditional neck-to-toe dresses called abayas.The plan follows the complaints by a number of young Saudi women who fed the country and sought asylum because the customs made them slaves to male relatives.There was an outcry of human-rights groups saying the guardianship laws turn women into second-class citizens and deprive them of basic human rights. ∗∗ What else do you think needs to be done to improve interactions between people from Saudi Arabia and people from other cultures? 7.3 ‘An Introduction to Dating’ Course in South Korea

In South Korea, college-level dating classes are proliferating (Ryu, 2019); one example is the course ‘An Introduction to Dating’ ofered at Dongguk University. These are regular academic courses, down to professors, grades, and college credits.According to Lee Myung-gil, a dating coach who charges $275 for an hour’s consultation, “It is no surprise those kids have no sense at all about dating when they go to college.”After taking a number of initial lessons, students are assigned to go on fake dates with classmates, paired up by lottery or similar interests. Students can funk such courses through low test scores, not turning in papers describing their fake dates, or missing too many classes. ∗∗What are your thoughts on this form of communication engagement?

References Aaker, J., Benet-Martinez,V., & Garolera, J. (2001). Consumption symbols as carriers of culture:A study of Japanese and Spanish brand personality constructs. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 81(3): 492–508. Abdel-Nour, F. (2000). Liberalism and ethnocentrism. Journal of Political Philosophy, 8(2): 207–226. Abend, L. (2019).The world wants more Danish TV than Denmark can handle. New York Times, December 14. Allen, B. (2017). Standpoint theory. In Y.Kim (Ed.), The international encyclopedia of intercultural communication. https://doi.org/10.1002/9781118783665.ieicc0234. Accessed November 12, 2019.

110 Positionality Principle Avins, J. (2015).The dos and don’ts of cultural appropriation.The Atlantic, October 20. Barker, C. (2000). Cultural studies:Theory and practice. London: Sage Publications. Berelson, B. & Steiner, G. (1964). Human behavior. New York: Harcourt, Brace and World. Bizumic, B. (2014). Who coined the concept of ethnocentrism? A brief report. Journal of Social and Political Psychology, 2(1). https://jspp.psychopen.eu/article/view/264/ html.Accessed September 24, 2019. Blair, J. (2000). Thinking through binaries: Conceptual strategies for interdependence. American Studies International, 38(2): 23–38. Brislin, R. (1993). Understanding culture’s infuence on behavior. Fort Worth,TX: Harcourt Brace. Campbell, H. (2007). What hath God wrought? Considering how religious communities culture (or Kosher) the cell phone. Continuum. Journal of Media & Cultural Studies, 21(2): 191–203. Cantor, N., Mischel,W., & Schwartz, J. (1982). Social knowledge. In A. Isen & A. Hastorf (Eds.), Cognitive social psychology. New York: Elsevier North-Holland. Chavez, L., McMullin, J. M., Mishra, S. I., & Hubbell, F.A. (2001). Belief matter: Cultural beliefs and the use of cervical cancer-screening tests. American Anthropologist, 103(4): 1114–1129. Chen, G.-M. & Starosta,W. (1998). Foundations of intercultural communication. Boston:Allyn & Bacon. Cliford, J. (1988). The predicament of culture. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Cofey, H. (2019). Swedish woman in shorts kicked of bus for ‘showing way too much’. Independent, July 31. Dodd, C. (2017).Worldview in intercultural communication. In Y. Kim (Ed.), The international encyclopedia of intercultural communication.https://doi.org/10.1002/9781118783665. ieicc0077.Accessed November 11, 2019. Enfeld, N. (2000). The theory of cultural logic: How individuals combine social intelligence with semiotics to create and maintain cultural meaning. Cultural Dynamics, 12(1): 35–64. Fisher,W. R. (1987). Human communication as a narration:Toward a philosophy of reason, value, and action. Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press. Fleischacker, S. (1994). The ethics of culture. Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press. Galchen, R. & Holmes, A. (2017). What distinguishes cultural exchange from cultural appropriation? New York Times, June 8. Gandy, J. (2019). Manual of dietetic practice. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons. Geertz, C. (1986).The uses of diversity. Michigan Quarterly Review, 25: 105–123. Graham, M. (1999).The African-centered wordview:Toward a paradigm for social Work. Journal of Black Studies, 30(1): 103–122. Green, E. (2019).The Christian withdrawal experiment. The Atlantic, January/February. Gudykunst, W. & Kim,Y. (1992). Communicating with strangers: An approach to intercultural communication. New York: McGraw-Hill. Hall, B. (2002). Among cultures:The challenge of communication. Belmont, CA: Thompson/ Wadsworth. Hesselgrave, D. (1978). Communicating Christ cross-culturally. Grand Rapids, MI:The Lockman Foundation. Hiwasaki, L. (2000). Ethnic tourism in Hokkaido and the shaping of Ainu identity. Pacifc Afairs, 73(3): 393–412. Jain, N. & Kussman, D. (1997). Dominant cultural patterns of Hindus in India. In L. Samovar & R. Porter (Eds.), Intercultural communication: A reader (pp. 89–97). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

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Jandt, F. (2001). Intercultural communication: An introduction. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. Katriel,T. (1994). Sites of memory: Discourses of the past in Israeli pioneering settlement museums. Quarterly Journal of Speech, 80(1): 1–20. Kinefuchi, E. & Orbe, M. P. (2008). Situating oneself in racialized world: Understanding student reactions to Crash through standpoint theory and context-positionality frame. Journal of International and Intercultural Communication, 1(1): 70–90. Kirn,W. (2001). Crossing the divide. Time, July 16. Klopf, D. (1998). Intercultural encounters: The fundamentals of intercultural communication. Englewood, CO: Morton Publishing Company. Koch,P.(2001).Metonymy:Unity in diversity.Journal of Historical Pragmatics,2(2):201–244. Koehler, W. (1969). The task of Gestalt psychology. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Lee, M. (2002).The internationals. The Atlantic Monthly, July/August. Liu, K. (2019). Messages on the moon from a world turned upside down. New York Times, July 14. McGregor, A. (2000). Dynamic texts and tourist gaze: Death, bones, and bufalo. Annals of Tourism Research, 27(1): 27–50. Martin, J. N., Krizek, R. L., Nakayama,T. K., & Bradford, L. (1996). Exploring whiteness: A study of self labels for white Americans. Communication Quarterly, 44(2): 125–144. Merriam, S. B., Johnson-Bailey, J., Lee, M.-Y., Kee, Y., Ntseane, G., & Muhamad, M. (2001). Power and positionality: Negotiating insider/outsider status within and across cultures. International Journal of Lifelong Education, 20(5): 405–416. Mitchell, M. & Wood, Ch. (1998). Ironies of citizenship: Skin color, police brutality, and the challenge to democracy in Brazil. Social Forces, 77(3): 1001–1020. Munshi, D. & McKie, D. (2001). Toward a new cartography of intercultural communication: Mapping bias, business, and diversity. Business Communication Quarterly, 64(3): 9–22. Oppenheimer, M. (2019). I’m Jewish. Please wish me a Merry Christmas. Wall Street Journal, December 5. Osmera, M. (2015).Worldview. In J. Bennett (Ed.), The SAGE encyclopedia of intercultural competence (pp. 877–880).Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications. Rapoport,A. (1973). Man, the symbol user. In L.Thayer (Ed.), Communication: Ethical and moral issues (pp. 21–48). London, New York, and Paris: Gordon and Breach Science Publishers. Rorty, R. (1998). Achieving our country: Leftist thought in twentieth-century America. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Rosenberg, A. (2018). Hiding my mental illness from my Asian family almost killed me. Vox, July 18. Roth, W.-M. (2001). Situated cognition. The Journal of the Learning Sciences, 10(1&2): 27–62. Ryu, M. (2019). Failing at love? Maybe it’s time for classes. Wall Street Journal, February 15. Said, S. (2019). Saudis plan to ease travel restrictions on women. Wall Street Journal, July 11. Samovar, L. & Porter, R. (Eds.) (1991). Intercultural communication: A reader. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. Scafdi, S. (2005). Who owns culture? Appropriation and authenticity in American law. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press. Sorrells, K. (2016). Intercultural communication: Globalization and social justice. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.

112 Positionality Principle Sumner, G. (1940). Folkways. Boston: Ginn. Ting-Toomey, S. (1999). Communication across cultures. New York and London:The Guilford Press. Vrij, A. & Winkel, F. (1994). Perceptual distortions in cross-cultural interrogations: The impact of skin color, accent, speech style, and spoken fuency on impression formation. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 25(2): 284–295. Wang, C. (2019). Finding the beauty in cultural appropriation. New York Times, April 21. Young, R. (1996). Intercultural communication: Pragmatics, genealogy, deconstruction. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.

5

Commensurability Principle ‘It Is Everybody’s World’

Key Theme: Generality Problem Question: What are the standards that make intercultural communication possible? Objective: To help you realize the inherent common nature of people from diferent cultures Key Concepts: Cognitive, concept, corporeal, fygskam, ‘grammar,’ imageschema, lacuna, linguistic relativity, Manifested, Manifesting, semiotic,‘Standard Average European’ (SAE), strong version of linguistic relativity, shibui, sign, speech community, weak version of linguistic relativity.

Chapter Outline 1 Introducing the Problem Question 113 2 Linguistic Relativity 114 2.1 Two Versions of Linguistic Relativity 116 3 Cultures as ‘Enclaves of Mutual Incomprehension’? 119 4 Introducing the Commensurability Principle 119 4.1 The Nature of Commensurability 119 4.2 The Forms and Levels of Commensurability 122 4.3 The Implications of Commensurability 123 5 The Commensurability Principle Defned 128 6 Case Study: ‘The Globalization of Chinese Medicine: The Case of Acupuncture’ 129 7 Side Trips 132 7.1 Language and Money 132 7.2 Chinese and American Toddlers 132 7.3 Translate Mobile App 133

1

Introducing the Problem Question

In the previous chapter, we saw how all cultural knowledge is situated because it is generated in specifc situations. This way, people create diferent cultural maps that structure their knowledge and guide their

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behaviors. Now you might be thinking: if everything is a matter of a specifc point of view, how is intercultural communication possible at all? There must be some common ground that people from all cultures can relate to. In this chapter, thus, we take up the following question: ‘What are the standards that make intercultural communication possible?’

2

Linguistic Relativity

It is only natural that people from the same cultural world can communicate with one other without much problem since they share the same or similar references and meanings. In this sense, people from a certain cultural world form the so-called ‘speech community’, defned primarily not in terms of geographic boundaries but shared patterns of language use (Milburn, 2015). Outside of our speech community, though, we fnd ourselves on unfamiliar ground. As the famous French anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss writes, “cultures are like trains moving each on its own track, at its own speed, and in its own direction.” Sometimes there are trains, he says, that are “rolling alongside ours” so that “through the windows of our compartments, we can observe at our leisure the various kinds of cars, the faces and gestures of the passengers.” But if “a train passes in the other direction, we perceive only a vague, feeting, barely identifable image” (Lévi-Strauss, 1985, p. 10).We cannot but wonder if cultures are commensurable.The concept of commensurability is based on a common measure; in fact, the word ‘commensurability’ goes back to Latin ‘mensura,’ meaning ‘a measuring, a measurement; thing to measure by’—from the Proto-Indo-European root ∗me-, meaning ‘to measure’ (Figure 5.1). Indeed, we are often so overwhelmed by the diversity of the world’s cultures that it is only fair to wonder whether they share any common measure; if everything is a matter of a specifc point of view, is intercultural communication possible at all? Such questions have been raised since early antiquity through the Renaissance up to the present day. Most often, these ideas are associated with Edward Sapir and Benjamin Lee Whorf—American scholars who argued that the conceptualization of the world and behaviors by people within a certain speech community are all relative and depend on the specifc characteristics of that group’s language; hence, the development of ‘Sapir-Whorf hypothesis’ or ‘linguistic relativity.’ Sapir and Whorf studied Aztec, Maya, and Hopi languages—very diferent from what Whorf called ‘Standard Average European’ language (SAE). They had discovered that those languages, through their vocabulary and grammatical structure, provide diferent segmentations of experience. As a result, they argued that, based on diferent language segmentation, people in diferent cultures have diferent views of the world and so think and act diferently.

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Figure 5.1 Mensura from Proposopographia, by Philips Galle (around 1585) Source: Metropolitan Museum of Art

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In Sapir’s words, human beings do not live in the objective world alone . . . but are very much at the mercy of the particular language which has become the medium of expression for their society . . .The fact of the matter is that the “real world” is to a large extent unconsciously built up on the language habits of the group . . .We see and hear and otherwise experience very largely as we do because the language habits of our community predispose certain choices of interpretation. (Sapir, 1956, p. 134) Whorf echoes these ideas about language: We cut nature up, organize it into concepts, and ascribe signifcances as we do, largely because we are parties to an agreement to organize it in this way—an agreement that holds throughout our speech community and is codifed in the patterns of our language. (Whorf, 1956, pp. 213–214) He goes on to note that such patterns of language “are specifc for each language and constitute the formalized side of language, or its ‘grammar’,” adding: “From this fact proceeds what I have called the ‘linguistic relativity principle,’ which means, in informal terms, that users of markedly diferent grammars are pointed by their grammars toward . . . somewhat diferent views of the world” (Whorf, 1956, p. 221). ‘Grammar’ here is a broad term, covering not only traditional grammatical structures, such as tense, agreement, or mood, but lexical structure, as well (words and expressions). Whorf ’s famous example of a diferent ‘grammatical’ segmentation of the world comes from the Hopi language where there exists no comparable grammatical structure referring to what Europeans would call ‘time’ (Whorf, 1956, p. 58). 2.1 Two Versions of Linguistic Relativity

The term ‘linguistic relativity’ is easy to understand. It is ‘linguistic’ because it is focused on the most noticeable and important component of culture—its linguistic signs (language). ‘Relativity’ implies that the ways in which people of a certain culture think and act are relative to (dependent on) its language. Let’s take a simple example and see what conclusions can be drawn if we follow this strand of thought all the way through.The meaning of the word ‘snow’ in the U.S. culture is as follows: “solid precipitation in the form of white or translucent ice crystals of various shapes originating in the upper atmosphere as frozen particles of water vapor” (Morris, 1982, pp. 1223–1224). Everybody views this particular object the same way and uses that understanding

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accordingly; for instance, people enjoy the song ‘Let it snow,’ they know that snow is cold, that you can make snowballs with it, or that you can ski when there is enough snow. In this case, there is a complete agreement over the meaning of the word. Now let’s see how this simple sign can be interpreted by people from other cultures. If we look at what Whorf labeled ‘Standard Average European’ (SAE) language, we fnd, for example, very similar signs with very similar meaning in German and French, People in these cultures understand snow in signifcantly the same way and act accordingly. So, people from the United States and these SAE cultures fnd this particular meaning easy to agree on. In the language of Eskimos, however, we fnd a large number of other signs for snow; for instance, words for falling snow, snow on the ground, snow packed hard like ice, or slushy snow.As Whorf wrote, we have the same word for falling snow, snow on the ground, snow packed hard like ice, slushy snow, wind-driven fying snow—whatever the situation may be. To an Eskimo, this all-inclusive word would be almost unthinkable; he would say that falling snow, slushy snow, and so on, are sensuously and operationally diferent, diferent things to contend with; he uses diferent words for them and for other kinds of snow. (Whorf, 1956, p. 216) We feel the discrepancy between the meanings of snow in the Eskimo culture vs the U.S. and SAE cultures is more signifcant.We must admit that the Eskimos view the world diferently—at least as far as snow is concerned. In this case, then, the worldviews are signifcantly diferent. Let’s take this strand of thought even further. Suppose a speech community X is discovered that has no word for snow. Such empty spaces or missing parts in a language system are called ‘lacunas.’ One might say that there is a lexical (word) lacuna for ‘snow’ that does not exist in the language of culture X. Its members have no knowledge of the sign ‘snow’; for example, they cannot enjoy the song ‘Let it snow,’ they do not know how to make snowballs, have never made a snowman or a snow woman.They cannot create any metaphors with the word ‘snow.’There seems to be an insurmountable gap between their view of the world and that of the people from regions with snow; since the word for snow does not exist in their language. Its members will not understand what people from the United States mean when they use ‘snow’ in diferent situations of interaction.There is no overlap between these two cultures and so there is nothing to (dis)agree on. This view of the relationship between language and cultural knowledge is usually labeled the ‘strong version’ of linguistic relativity, also called ‘linguistic determinism’ (Wolf & Holmes, 2011).According to this version, linguistic structure is said to determine the way people think and act. If people from diferent cultures use diferent signs, they think and act in the world

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diferently.These ideas can be taken to mean that the segmentation of experience, refected in one system of signs, is incommensurable with the systems of signs of other cultures.A misguided assumption may result that some cultures are more superior due to their highly developed system of signs, and also that intercultural communication may be impossible altogether. The role of symbols cannot be completely disregarded.The consideration of the connection between language signs and our perception of reality is usually labeled the ‘weak version’ of linguistic relativity (Wolf & Holmes, 2011) (Figure 5.2). As an example, let’s look at two broad perceptions of time—monochromic and polychromic, mentioned in Chapter 3.As you remember, monochromic time orientation emphasizes “schedules, the compartmentalization and segmentation of measurable units of time,” while the polychronic orientation sees “time as much less tangible” and stresses “involvement of people and the completion of tasks” (Neuliep, 2000, p. 122).To a degree, these two conceptualizations of time are grounded in language signs. The frst worldview is based on perceiving time as a separate entity, which is ‘fgured out’ as part of culture, cf. traditional European cultures. Here, time is perceived as ‘fgure,’ which is carved out of the world, as it were, in such language signs as ‘time,’ ‘clock,’ or ’5 p.m.’ Not surprisingly, most of these language signs are nouns and their expression cannot but infuence the way the world is perceived by people from those cultures. It becomes possible for them ‘to do things with time,’ so to speak, creating schedules, planning activities, or meeting deadlines.This gives people a sense of power over the world: they think that they make time move, controlling the world. The second worldview is based on perceiving time as part of the world rather than a ‘fgure’ separate from this world. What moves, in this case, is not the hands on the clock, but the sun or the clouds or any human activity—whatever is chosen to measure and represent time. This conceptualization of time fnds its language manifestation accordingly—mostly in verbs, which also infuence the way the world is perceived. People do not think that time moves because of them; it moves with the world, exercising its control over people, emerging naturally as if from the environing world. In that sense, people live naturally because their actions are based on the movement of this world, not the movement of the clock.The frst worldview, of course, also seems natural to those who share it; those people are used to the clock, measuring time in accordance with their own language segmentation.

Sign

Language

Mind

Representation of experience

Figure 5.2 ‘Weak version’ of linguistic relativity Source: Author

World

View of reality

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119

Cultures as ‘Enclaves of Mutual Incomprehension’?

If diferent languages don’t simply infuence our perception of reality, but segment and represent our experiences in diferent ways, those representations may lead to radically divergent views of the world. If we accept that language, as a system of signs, shapes our mind and creates a unique worldview, we must admit that communication between people from diferent cultures is doomed to failure, since some signs present in one language may be missing in another. In this light, cultures appear to be arranged into formally complete yet incommensurable systems (Sapir, 1964). When talking about incommensurability, we need to mention the concept of paradigms as discussed by Thomas Kuhn—a well-known American philosopher of science—in his infuential book The structure of scientifc revolutions (Kuhn, 1962). For Kuhn, a paradigm is an intellectual framework of shared ideas that guide the experts within a given scientifc feld, such as social sciences and natural sciences. Each paradigm exists in a certain context where meaning is socially constructed and is unavoidably linked to the language describing it. Diferent paradigms are incommensurable if they involve diferent scientifc languages. It is only natural to draw parallels between Kuhn’s ideas and the problem of understanding in intercultural communication. We cannot help wondering if this view “applies to cultures, with the implication that an insurmountable divide separates cultures as much as scientifc paradigms . . . precluding the possibility of meaningful and productive intercultural communication?” (Healy, 2013, p. 269). In this light, it is tempting to view diferent cultures as “enclaves of mutual incomprehension” (Fay, 1996, pp. 81–82).Yes, we seem to deal with “an impressive image of the incommensurability of cultures which renders communication between them impossible. But does this image really describe what is going on between cultures?” (Bredella, 1994, p. 295). Now is a good time to introduce the Commensurability Principle—the ffth principle underlying intercultural communication.

4

Introducing the Commensurability Principle

Let’s now formulate, based on the discussion above, the ffth principle of intercultural communication—the Commensurability Principle. We will isolate three parts that make up this principle. First, we will discuss the dynamic nature of commensurability; next, we will identify its main forms and levels; fnally, we will discuss the implications of commensurability.We will discuss each part separately and then formulate the Commensurability Principle, as a whole. 4.1 The Nature of Commensurability

The possibility of intercultural communication cannot be adequately discussed without understating what meaning is.You may have noticed that the term ‘meaning’ has been used quite often in our preceding discussion, revolving

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around three things—our language (or signs, in general), our thought (or the mind), and the world in which we live. Let’s look at each of these separately. People from every culture use a large number of signs, i.e., meaningful representations of something. For example, as noted earlier, the English sign ‘snow’ refers to white or translucent ice crystals of various shapes originating in the upper atmosphere as frozen particles of water vapor. Any system of signs can be viewed as a language, such as spoken or written language, language of music, etc.All such systems are somewhat diferent since people from diferent cultures use diferent signs; if, in one language system there is no correspondence to the sign of another system, we deal with lacunas, as mentioned earlier. Language is crucial for intercultural communication because “without language our sharing of perceptual experience would be confned to shared environments and shared biology: a mechanical sharing without intersubjectivity” (Majid & Levinson, 2011, p. 9). People from every culture also use various mental processes to make sense of their experiences; in this respect, all “the raw, unorganized information that comes from seeing, hearing, and the other senses is organized into useful concepts” (Sebeok & Danesi, 2000, p. 7). When we fnd similarities in our experiences, we group them together into such categories as ‘food,’ ‘game,’ or ‘furniture.’ Diferent cultures are characterized by diferent segmentations of experiences, resulting in diferent conceptual representations; for instance, “what is categorized as ‘food’ is to a large extent culturally constructed” (Sharifan, 2013, p. 64). Sometimes, people from a certain culture come up with a unique concept for their experiences. For example, the Japanese concept of shibui, for which “there is no equivalent term in English,” has been described as “not showy or gaudy but serene, self-possessed, with presence of mind, austere, understated” (Jandt, 2001, p. 187). A recent example is the Swiss word fygskam or ‘fight shame’: as a concept, “fygskam” originated in Sweden, and refers both to the guilt that individuals may feel when using a means of transportation estimated to contribute between 2 and 3% of total atmospheric carbon and to the shaming they may face should they persist in fying. (Abend, 2019) One may fnd it tempting to believe that intercultural communication, like any ethnographic exploration, “begins and ends in concepts” (Tyler, 1986, p. 137). However, conception, as a way of abstracting from concrete experiences which is said to be a uniquely human characteristic, is diferent from perception, which is a process of giving coherence to sensory input and which is something we share with other species (Reber & Reber, 2001). Overall, perception can be understood as a process of interaction between people and the world, beginning with the body; this is how we become conscious of the world.Yes, what we all share is the body. Just think about it, everybody has the same experience as a warm-blooded creature that is three-dimensional,

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laterally-symmetrical, front-back asymmetrical, and moving on this planet according to the law of gravity. In other words,“to perceive we must take up a bodily relation to what we perceive” (Crossley, 2012, p. 132). Perception, therefore, is not simply a passive response to stimuli: it is a new experience of the body as it senses and organizes its interactions with the world. Hence, experience “is informed and organized in accordance with my body.That is, it is literally organ-ized” (Haas, 2008, p. 36). In other words, meaning arises in the body through our interactions with the environment, and our conceptual system is “structured by various recurring patterns of our perceptual interactions, bodily orientations, movements and manipulations of objects” (Johnson, 1987, p. xiv). In this light, we cannot understand anything other than by experiencing the world through living in it.We must interact with the world—through our body—for our existence to become meaningful. So, what is meaning? First, we looked at meaning as encapsulated in language signs; we saw that diferent cultures have diferent systems of signs and so people can create entirely diferent messages. And yet, people can grasp any meaning in spite of the lack of signs for that meaning in their language. Therefore, there is more to meaning than what is encapsulated in language signs. Second, we looked at meanings as what is encapsulated in the mind, and saw that people from diferent cultures have diferent conceptualizations of experience. And yet, people can still grasp any new meaning in spite of the lack of concept in their culture. Therefore, there is more to meaning than what is encapsulated in the mind. Third, we looked at meanings as encapsulated in the body, and we saw that diferent cultures occupy diferent positions in this world. To put it simply, one cannot be everybody—in all places at all time. And yet, people can still understand any new meaning. Therefore, there must be more to meaning than what is encapsulated in our generic (genetic) body. These three components seem to play a game with us, so to speak.When we are ready to pinpoint meaning, each component refers us to the other two, as if saying: ‘Search for meaning there.’The fact is that none of these three components, taken separately, can present us with the key to meaning. It is through their interrelations that meaning in communication is formed, which is usually presented in the form of the semantic triangle that brings together ‘things,’ ‘thoughts,’ and ‘sign’ (Ogden & Richards, 1938; Suto, 2012) or ‘the human mind,’ ‘the world,’ and ‘language’ (Riemer, 2010).Therefore, for meaning to exist, these three components—thoughts (the mind), signs (language), and things (the world)—must be brought together in the process of communication. In other words, meaning exists only insofar as it is simultaneously perceived (cf. things in the world), conceived (cf. the mind), and expressed (cf. signs). Meaning is a process—not something that some cultures have and other cultures do not or cannot have. It is common to identify something that “appears under the same form in each and every culture” (Pinxten, 1976, p. 122) with housing, tools, gender

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roles, etc.; such lists can be very long. However, what is truly common to people from all cultures is the general capacity to bring the human mind, the world, and language together in meaningful ways. All humans have the capacity to conceptualize abstract categories and express them on the basis of their experiences. It is this capacity that should be taken as a standard measure for people from diferent cultures to rely upon when communicating with one another. It is here that the nature of commensurability lies. 4.2 The Forms and Levels of Commensurability

You may have noticed that we began our discussion of the nature of commensurability by looking at signs. Signs are studied by the discipline of semiotics, which is derived from Greek ‘semeion’ (‘sign’). Semiotically speaking, any system of signs—verbal or non-verbal—can be viewed as a language, and every culture has its own system of signs. Next, we looked at how people from every culture use cognitive processes to make sense of their experiences; naturally, diferent segmentations of experiences lead to diferent conceptual representations in people’s minds. Finally, we noted that, for centuries, meaning was thought to be encapsulated in the human mind. Because they could think, people were thought to be human. Remember René Descartes with his famous phrase ‘Cogito ergo sum’—‘I think therefore I am?’Toward the middle of the 20th century, however, a new perspective on meaning—the embodiment perspective— took hold in Western philosophy of communication. The corporeal look at meaning is grounded in sensory experiences of the body.The word ‘corporeal’ comes from Latin ‘corporeus’ (‘of the body’) and means “pertaining to, or characteristic of the body; of a material nature, tangible” (Morris, 1982, p. 298). As mentioned earlier, we can understand something only by experiencing the world through our body (Lakof & Johnson, 1999). It is crucial to remember that “our corporeality is part of the corporeality of the world” (Lakof & Johnson, 1999, p. 565). Simply put, we don’t exist apart from this world because each one of us is its part. Meaning, therefore, goes beyond signs and the mind as it is grounded in the body. So, it is possible to reverse René Descartes’ maxim and state:‘Sum ergo cogito’—‘I am therefore I think.’ Both our language and thought are structured by the recurring patterns of our embodied interactions with the world; such patterns that arise from our bodily experience, bodily movements, manipulation of objects, and experience of force are known as ‘image-schemas’ that “constitute a preverbal and pre-refective emergent level of meaning” (Johnson & Rohrer, 2007, p. 31). Image-schemas are derived from our sensorimotor experience; for example, the orientational image-schemas such as ‘verticality’ and ‘impediment’ are derived from our bodily experiences of orientation (‘up,’ ‘down,’ ‘front,’ ‘back’), while the ontological image-schemas such as ‘containment’ and ‘movement’ are derived from our experiences associated with substances and entities. Since they’re derived from sensorimotor experiences, imageschemas in theory could be very diferent if our body drastically changed

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Level Semiotic Cognitive Corporeal

Figure 5.3 Forms and levels of commensurability Source: Author

due to some sort of change in the world—for example, if we started to walk on our hands. Based on the discussion above, the following three forms and levels of commensurability can be isolated as standard measures of meaning that make intercultural communication possible: the semiotic level taking the form of signs, the cognitive level taking the form of concepts, and the corporeal level taking the form of image-schemas (Figure 5.3). All these levels are interconnected, all converging in the creation and understanding of meaning: it is possible to dissect meaning and present them separately (the way we do in this chapter) only for the purpose of analysis. At the semiotic level of signs, meanings are very diverse and more culture-specifc; at the cognitive level of concepts, meanings are less diverse and more general; and at the corporeal level of image-schemas, meanings are most universal.There is a somewhat limited number of image-schemas, a larger number of concepts, and practically an unlimited number of signs. In this sense, meaning grows out of the world and up, as it were. And, paradoxically, in learning about and eventually adapting to another cultural world, we move in the opposite direction—frst by learning the language, then gaining access to how others think, then inserting ourselves bodily in relation to others in the new and diferent cultural world, which in turn changes how we think (cognitively) and communicate (semiotically). 4.3 The Implications of Commensurability

As noted earlier, words in one language may have no corresponding words within the system of another language.The existence of such lacunas seems to suggest radically diferent views of the world and hence the impossibility of intercultural communication. And yet, as we all know, this is not the case. Here’s one example of an intercultural encounter provided by Michael Agar who tells this story about his anthropological work in a village in South India: In that kinship system, the father is called baap. Only the actual biological father is called baap . . . Let’s say the father’s brother ambles by, and Nate Notebook, as I referred to myself then, asks what he is called. Motobaap, they say . . .Another brother stops in, and the anthropologist,

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chest swelling with pride, points at him and calls him motobaap. The group members laugh, do the South Indian village equivalent of slapping their knees, and once again prove that the only reason Nate was ever tolerated was because of his entertainment value . . . No, they say, he is called kaaka . . . Now, since a wedding is brewing, the mother’s brothers show up from another village. Confused and perplexed, Nate tries motobaap and kaaka and gets that look like he just stepped out of a fying saucer. No, they are called masi. All of them are masi. There are three types of uncles, motobaap, kaaka, and masi . . . Motobaap labels the older brothers of the father, and kaaka labels his younger brother. Masi labels the brothers of the mother. (Agar, 1994, pp. 52–53) In this example, our anthropologist was able to understand the conceptual system of kinship of that village in South India even though the language signs were new to him.As he himself puts it,“Nate fgured it out—give him credit for that” (Agar, 1994, p. 53). Similarly, we can fgure out the meanings of new (to us) signs such as ‘shibui’ and ‘fygskam,’ discussed earlier.The fact is that a lack of a sign, which expresses a certain concept, does not mean people are unable to understand that concept. Let’s take a hypothetical—and radical—example of John, a businessman from Australia visiting Culture X whose language has no word for ‘clock time.’ People from that culture have never seen a watch or a clock. Before he leaves, John hands his friends from Culture X a box with the words:‘Please take this watch as a gift.’ Now the question is:‘Will they be able to understand him?’ If a sign or a concept is absent in one culture and present in another culture, communication between people from these two cultures is still possible because of the commensurability of meaning, which is a dynamic construct; hence, it can be constructed and expressed with the help of diferent signs. How is the new experience of opening the box and seeing a strange object (watch) handled in our example? This experience is certainly unfamiliar to the people from Culture X—it is not part of their culture.The meaning of this object can be understood, though, in terms of something familiar, which is found in real-life experiences, represented in the form of the ‘movement image-schema’ (path-goal-destination). It may take a while (and a lot of creativity) for John or someone else to explain how a watch resembles the movement of the sun. Other semiotic systems of signs may have to be used, such as pictures or gestures, but, sooner or later, the members of Culture X will fgure out what this strange object does and understand its meaning.They will then fnd signs in their language or create new signs for this object.This, too, may take a while (and a lot of creativity); for example, what is called ‘a watch’ in English may be called ‘a little sun’ or ‘moving hands’ in the language of Culture X. Eventually, the people from Culture X will start using these signs in creating new messages and communicating among themselves and with others.

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The point is that it is possible, in principle, for successful intercultural communication to take place no matter the lack of common signs or objects. Meaning is understood by mapping from one domain (John’s culture) onto another domain (Culture X). Now communication between people from these two cultures should run more smoothly because both their language systems have the signs to denote the object (watch). Later, Culture X may develop a very diferent view of this segment of the world as the sign ‘moving hands’ takes on diferent meanings. For instance, the watch given by John as a sincere gift may ruin the traditional fabric of Culture X, causing conficts and the deterioration of relationships.What in the Western culture is an indispensable object, in culture X may become an object of contention. In other words, the symbolic meanings of this object in these two cultures might become quite diferent; nonetheless, people from both cultures could still communicate with one another by relating to the object at the basic corporeal level. As we can see, although diferent cultures have diferent systems of signs, communication between people from those cultures is still possible conceptually and in relationship to one another corporeally. In this light, we can talk about ‘untranslatable words’ only in quotes (Pullum, 2011) because, in presenting them as supposedly untranslatable and so outside of comprehension, such words are in fact explained with the help of another language. For instance,“wanting to demonstrate that Hopi incorporates a metaphysics so alien to ours, that Hopi and English cannot, as he puts it,‘be calibrated,’” he at the same time “uses English to convey the contents of sample Hopi sentences” (Davidson, 1991, p. 184). Similarly, “to tell us that Galileo had ‘incommensurable’ notions and then go on to describe them at length is totally incoherent” (Putnam, 1981, p. 115). It is important to remember that every language is not just an abstract system of signs but a form of life. Ultimately, we interact with the world not just by using diferent languages, but through the same bodily movements, manipulation of objects and experience of force (Figure 5.4). As a result, if we can experience something, we can understand it; and, if we can understand it, we can express it. In the words of Roman Jakobson— one of the greatest linguists of the 20th century—“all cognitive experience and its classifcation is conveyable in any existing language”; to assume otherwise, i.e., to think of some data as supposedly untranslatable “would be a contradiction in terms” (Jakobson, 1959, p. 236). We saw earlier how every new concept, for instance, that of time, can be understood based on our common experiences, e.g., those of movement and change, and how such understanding can be expressed, e.g., by using descriptive phrases, loanwords, or neologisms.While all languages are diferent, they difer “essentially in what they must convey and not in what they may convey” (Jakobson, 1959, p. 234).To put it another way, anything can be expressed in any language; the only diference is that in some languages it can be done more easily and in others with more difculty.

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Figure 5.4 Odin and His Brothers Create the World, by Lorenz Frølich (around 1845) Source: Project Gutenberg

Coming back to the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, we can see that language does infuence our perception of the world; if a certain language is organized in such a way that, based on people’s experiences, it must convey a lot of diferent kinds of snow, it predisposes its speakers to see the world in such terms and express themselves more readily. Simply put, if snow is an important part of a certain culture, this fact is refected in a large number of words pertaining to snow, which infuences how the people from that culture perceive the world and communication among themselves. That is why the weak version of the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis is usually accepted by scholars.At the same time, signs do not determine the way we think and

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act: “there is no evidence for the strong version of the hypothesis—that language imposes upon its speakers a particular way of thinking about the world” (Johnson-Laird & Wason, 1977, p. 442). Anything that can be experienced can be thought of (cognized) and expressed. Any meaning can be conceived and potentially understood by people from other cultures even though they might lack (yet) the practices or lived experiences associated with it, and, consequently, the precise sign (or system of signs) to express it. People from every culture try to fgure out and represent new experiences; once fgured out and represented, these experiences become a part of that culture. It is possible to draw a parallel between the fgure/ground distinction, discussed in the previous chapter, and the two broad categories introduced by Whorf—the Manifested and the Manifesting. The Manifested category comprises all that has been accessible to senses and represented by a certain culture by its language.The Manifesting category can be described as “the striving of purposeful desire, intelligent in character, toward manifestation—a manifestation which is much resisted and delayed, but in some form or other is inevitable” (Whorf, 1956, p. 60). The Manifested can be said to comprise all the established meanings (Ground), while the Manifesting can be said to comprise the meanings that appear in intercultural communication in the form of new experiences (Figure). Coming back to the example of John and his new friends from Culture X, the meaning of a watch is part of the Manifested 1/Ground 1 of John’s culture. For his new friends, the watch appears as a new experience, manifesting itself as a fgure (Manifesting/Figure). Once understood, this meaning is translated (mapped out) to Culture X and becomes part of its worldview, also (Manifested 2/Ground 2), even though it may have a diferent signifcance; still, despite the diferences in interpretation or use, their common intersubjective ground is formed (Figure 5.5).

Manifested1/ Ground1

Manifested2/ Manifesting/ Figure

Ground2

(Common Ground)

CULTURE 1 (John’s Culture)

CULTURE 2 (Culture X)

Figure 5.5 The Manifested and the Manifesting Source: Author

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Intercultural communication, therefore, can be seen as a process of trying to fgure out a new experience (a certain fgure), in our case—a watch. In this process, meanings are manifested, i.e., translated from one culture to another. In this broad sense, “translation is not simply a matter of matching sentences in the abstract, but of learning to live another form of life and to speak another kind of language” (Asad, 1986, p. 149). Each culture structures itself in a manner commensurate with the needs of its people. No culture can be seen as inferior to all others because every cultural worldview is valid, for it sustains the lifestyle of its people.At the same time, we need to allow the other culture to challenge our existing presuppositions, recognizing that it is likely to embody ways of viewing the world and of thinking and reasoning about it previously unfamiliar to us but from which we could proftably stand to learn. (Healy, 2013, p. 273) As such, communication between people from diferent cultures is not only possible, but also necessary; through communication, people fnd out how they stand in relation to one another.This way, each culture does not simply learn about other worldviews; it gains a better understanding of its own view of the world, as well. It was Whorf ’s hope that “a full awareness of linguistic relativity might lead to humbler attitudes about the supposed superiority of standard average European languages and to a greater disposition to accept a ‘brotherhood of thought’ among men” (Zhifang, 2002, p. 164). Similarly, one of the main implications of the Commensurability Principle is that diferent cultures not only can, but must, be compared with one another through communication. As a result, every culture is supposed to learn about other ways of seeing the world, to borrow what it needs and to reject what it does not, while also sharing its own meanings with people from other cultures. This way, people from all cultures learn what it means to be human. We now know that there are three main forms and levels of meaning that make intercultural communication not only possible, but necessary.We understand that intercultural communication can and must be measured according to some general standards. Of course, cultures constantly develop, new meanings appear, and intercultural communication continues. In the next two chapters, we will have more to say about what drives intercultural communication. And now, let’s defne the Commensurability Principle.

5 The Commensurability Principle Defned Let’s now give a more concise formulation of the Commensurability Principle, based on the above discussion of its three parts. First, the nature of commensurability is dynamic; at its core is the general human ability of bringing the world, culture, and the mind together in meaningful ways.

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Second, commensurability operates at three levels of meaning representation.At the corporeal, most concrete level meaning is manifested in the form of image-schemas; at the cognitive, intermediate level meaning is manifested in the form of concepts; and at the semiotic, most abstract level meaning is manifested in the form of signs. Third, intercultural communication can be seen as a spiral process of diferent people comparing their cultural maps. In this process, meanings are manifested and cultural lacunas flled in. This way, cultures measure up against one another and understand better other worldviews and their own worldview. Finally, both the possibility and necessity of intercultural communication must be emphasized. In a nutshell, the Commensurability Principle can be formulated as follows: Intercultural communication is a process whereby people from diferent groups compare their cultural maps and search for common ground, using the similar forms and levels of meaning representation.

6

Case Study: ‘The Globalization of Chinese Medicine: The Case of Acupuncture’

This case study is based on the article entitled ‘Intercultural incommensurability and the globalization of Chinese medicine: The case of acupuncture’ (St. Clair et al., 2006) As usual, it is recommended that you read the article in its entirety; below, you fnd a summary of the article. Be ready to identify and then discuss the following topics: 1. Diferences between the Chinese and Western medical systems. 2. How the intercultural incommensurability is resolved. 3. The implications of this resolution. The article focuses on how intercultural incommensurability can be resolved between diferent medical systems—the practice of acupuncture within Chinese medicine and Western modern medicine.The authors refer to the incommensurability thesis as formulated by Thomas Kuhn and show how conficts between supposedly incompatible medical frameworks can be addressed. The article starts by reviewing how Western medicine defnes illness and how this difers from the traditions of Chinese medicine. The earliest conceptualization of disease in the West, which goes back to Hippocrates (460 bc to 330 bc), started to change in the 16th century with the contagion theory of Fracastoro, and was scientifcally framed within the context of germ theory based on Louis Pasteur’s studies of fermentation in the 19th century that presented evidence for germs in the form of bacteria

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to be the cause of infectious disease. Hence, diseases are classifed by modern Western science in terms of causal networks, represented by relations among the symptoms, the causes, and the treatment of a disease. In this light, a disease is due to a specifc etiology (a cause or set of causes), develops over time, and is characterized by symptoms as its observable manifestations. The disease is treated by afecting the symptoms and the causal factors that produced those symptoms. The foundations of Chinese medicine are based on observations of natural phenomena by Daoist masters over 3,000 years ago. According to the principles of the Dao, usually translated as ‘The Path’ or ‘The Way,’ all things exist in relation to other things. Human life is embodied and depends on its environment, having evolved on earth under the same primal forces that constitute the Five Element Theory of Chinese medicine (Fire, Earth, Metal, Water, and Wood). This system of checks and balances is sophisticated and contains acupuncture points throughout the body, aligned as Ying–Yang oppositions and pathways that connect them known as ‘meridians.’ The energy that fows within these meridians is known as Qi; when there is a lack of energy fow in the body, there is stagnation, resulting in disease. The germ theory of Western medicine and the Five Element Theory of Chinese medicine appear to be incompatible. Western medical science is quantitative and grounded in reductionism, linearity, and causality.The scientifc approach to disease calls for formulating hypotheses and conducting experiments to (dis)prove them. This way, causes are revealed and laws are established; based on such laws, diseases are treated. In its turn, Chinese medical science is qualitative and sees everything as interconnected, concurrent, and holistic. Disease is treated by a balancing of Yin and Yang as two complementary forces that interact to form a dynamic system of homeostasis. It may appear as if these two medical approaches to disease are incommensurable. And yet, a common measure between them can be found in the feld of bio electromagnetism (BEM) or the study of how the biological cells and biological processes are sensitive to infnite small electromagnetic felds and fuctuations. Unlike medical treatments based on drug therapies and surgical interventions, BEM is still a scientifc approach as it is based on the investigations of the interrelationships between high-frequency electromagnetic felds within the body. At the same time, the ancient Chinese description of Qi and its pathways and accumulations in the body closely correlate with research in BEM. In this light, disease is viewed as the oscillatory disequilibrium of cells originating from external causes. Since the body is capable of producing magnetic felds and exchanging such energies with other life forms, disease can be treated through harmonious electromagnetic communication.The units of such energies are known as biophotons—light particles generated within the body that could be measured as they emanate from the skin: they regulate such physiological processes as growth, maturation, cell diferentiation, enzymatic activity, and immune system functions.

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Thus, although the languages and the medical practices involved in this case were diferent, traditional Chinese medicine and modern medical science were found to be commensurable when viewed from the perspective of BEM research. Moreover, Western scholars understood the signifcance of the Chinese tradition and its implications while Chinese scholars were able to beneft from the scientifc achievements of Western medicine, each side having adjusted its views of disease. As a result, modern medicine within the context of the globalization has incorporated these views into what is now known as medical acupuncture—a model consistent with the tenets of both Western and Chinese scientifc thought. 1. Diferences between the Chinese and Western medical systems. As was discussed in the chapter, people from diferent cultures organize all stimuli into concepts and label them diferently. This is very clear when turning to how Western medicine and Chinese medicine defne illness.The former sees it in the form of bacteria causing infections, the medical vocabulary including such terms as ‘etiology,’ ‘symptoms,’ and ‘causal networks,’ while the latter relates it to the action of primal forces leading to a lack of energy fow in the body, with the vocabulary including such terms as ‘the Dao,’ ‘Ying and Yang,’ and ‘Qi.’ The diferences between the Chinese and Western medical systems appear to be diametrically opposed: quantitative vs qualitative; reductionistic vs holistic; and experimental vs experiential. 2. How the intercultural incommensurability is resolved. It must be remembered that intercultural communication doesn’t begin and end in signs and concepts only; after all, we constantly interact with one another and the world around us through our body. As noted earlier, we interact with the world through the similar bodily movements, manipulation of objects and experience of force.And it is in the biological processes within our bodies, which are sensitive to infnitely small electromagnetic fuctuations, that a common measure is found between the Chinese and Western medical approaches to disease. One of the image schemas, derived from our bodily experience, is the ‘force’ schema that is experienced through interaction, involves a directionality and is characterized by degrees of intensity (Evans & Green, 2006; Slingerland, 2008). It is on the basis of magnetic felds and an exchange of such forces with other life forms that disease can be treated through harmonious electromagnetic communication. When the idea of resonance is discussed in communication theory, it is usually taken metaphorically—as a ft between a message and an audience’s worldviews (McDonnell et al., 2017). And yet, this idea can, and must, be taken literally—as an electromagnetic ft between people and the Earth since we are all part of this world because of the shared corporeality.

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3. The implications of this resolution. This case shows that every cultural worldview is valid to the extent that it sustains the lifestyle of its people. At the same time, it demonstrates how two cultural worldviews that seem to be incompatible can be brought together on the basis of a common measure. As noted in the chapter, any meaning can be conceived and potentially understood by people from other cultures. Moreover, this case shows that not only is intercultural communication possible, in spite of seemingly unsurmountable diferences, but it is necessary, as well. Only this way can people fnd out how they stand in relation to one another, and only this way do we gain a better understanding of what it means to be human.

7 7.1

Side Trips Language and Money

In his TED Talk, entitled ‘Could your language afect your ability to save money?’, Keith Chen (see also Roberts et al., 2015) argues that our money spending habits depend on the language we speak. English, for instance, is a ‘futured’ language and so English-speakers are forced to draw distinctions between the past, present, and future. That is not the case, however, in some other languages, such as Chinese, where there is no clear distinction between times. Because in ‘future’ cultures there is a clear distinction between the present and the future, their people have a tough time imagining and therefore preparing for that future. For people in ‘futureless’ cultures, their language makes it easier to plan for their future. ∗∗ Do you agree with Chen’s argument that the language we speak afects our fnancial decisions? How could this have an impact on intercultural interactions? 7.2

Chinese and American Toddlers

A new study (Gopnik, 2019) shows that very young Chinese and American toddlers start out thinking about the world in similar ways; for example, the Chinese toddlers, like the toddlers in the United States, were really good at learning the relationships; but so were the three-year-olds. However, by the time they are three years old, they were already showing diferences based on their cultures; for instance, unlike the American children, the Chinese toddlers hadn’t developed a bias toward objects.When they saw an ambiguous pattern, which could either be due to something about the individual objects or something about the relationships between them, the Chinese

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toddlers preferred to focus on the relationships, whereas the American children focused on the objects. ∗∗ In this light, can you think of some possible problems in interaction between American and Chinese children when they grow up? 7.3 Translate Mobile App

Today, there are many translation devices that make talking to people in other countries easier. For instance, during the FIFA World Cup in Russia, Google reported a 30% rise in the use of its Translate mobile app from the country, with searches for ‘World Cup,’ ‘stadium,’ and ‘beer’ increasing by 200%, 135%, and 65% respectively.While many people believe that translation devices bring cultures together, some think that automated translation leads to a diferent social interaction from a human attempt, because we cannot really understand one another (Ward, 2018). ∗∗ How do you see the role of such technology for the future of intercultural interactions?

References Abend, L. (2019). In Europe, the movement to give up air travel is taking of. Could the U.S. be next? Time, August 6. Agar, M. (1994). Language shock: Understanding the culture of conversation. New York:William Morrow & Co. Asad, T. (1986). The concept of cultural translation in British social anthropology. In J. Clifford & G. Marcus (Eds.), Writing culture:The poetics and politics of ethnography (pp. 141–164). Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press. Bredella, L. (1994). Intercultural understanding between relativism, ethnocentrism and universalism: Preliminary considerations for a theory of intercultural understanding. In G. Blaicher & B. Glaser (Eds.), Anglistentag 1993 Eichstatt: Proceedings (pp. 287–306). Tübingen: Niemeyer. Chaika, E. (1982). Language:The social mirror. Rowley, MA: Newbury House. Crossley, N. (2012). Phenomenology and the body. In B.Turner (Ed.), The Routledge handbook of the body (pp. 130–143).Abingdon and New York: Routledge. Davidson, D. (1991). Inquiries into truth and interpretation. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Evans,V. & Green, M. (2006). Cognitive linguistics:An introduction. New York: Routledge. Fay, B. (1996). Contemporary philosophy of social science. Oxford: Blackwell. Gopnik,A. (2019). How early do cultural diferences start? Wall Street Journal, July 11. Haas, L. (2008). Merleau-Ponty’s philosophy. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. Healy, P. (2013). Overcoming incommensurability through intercultural dialogue. Cosmos and History:The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy, 9(1): 265–281. Jakobson, R. (1959). On linguistic aspects of translation. In R. Brower (Ed.), On translation (pp. 232–239). New York: Oxford University Press, Jandt, F. (2001). Intercultural communication: An introduction. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

134 Commensurability Principle Johnson, M. (1987). The body in the mind:The bodily basis of meaning, imagination, and reason. Chicago: Chicago University Press. Johnson, M. & Rohrer,T. (2007).We are live creatures: Embodiment, American pragmatism, and the cognitive organism. In T. Ziemke, J. Zlatev, & R. M. Frank (Eds.), Body, language, and mind,Vol. 1: Embodiment (pp. 17–54). Berlin: Mouton De Gruyter. Johnson-Laird, P. N. & Wason, P. C. (Eds.) (1977) Thinking: Readings in cognitive science. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Kuhn, T. (1962). The structure of scientifc revolutions. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Lakof, G. & Johnson, M. (1999). Philosophy in the fesh:The embodied mind and its challenge to Western thought. New York: Basic. Lévi-Strauss, C. (1985). The view from afar. Oxford: Blackwell. Littlejohn, S. (2002). Theories of human communication. Belmont, CA:Wadsworth/Thomson. McDonnell,T. E., Bail, C., & Tavory, I. (2017). A theory of resonance. Sociological Theory, 35(1): 1–14. Majid,A. & Levinson, S. (2011).The senses in language and culture. Senses & Society, 6(1): 5–18. Milburn, T. (2015). Speech community. In K. Tracy (Ed.), The international encyclopedia of language and social interaction (pp. 1428–1432). Chichester and Malden, MA: Wiley Blackwell. Morris, E. (Ed.) (1982). The American heritage dictionary of the English language. Boston: Houghton Mifin Company. Neuliep. J. (2000). Intercultural communication:A contextual approach. Boston and New York: Houghton Mifin Company. Ogden, C. & Richards, I. (1938). The meaning of meaning:A study of the infuence of language upon thought and of the science of symbolism. New York: Harcourt, Brace. Pinxten, R. (1976). Epistemic universals: A contribution to cognitive anthropology. In R. Pinxten (Ed.), Universalism versus relativism in language and thought: Proceedings of a colloquium on the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis (pp. 117–176).The Hague: Mouton. Pullum, G. (2011).A thanksgiving for Susie. The Chronicle of Higher Education, November 21. Putnam, H. (1981). Reason, truth and history. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Reber, A. S. & Reber, E. S. (2001). The Penguin dictionary of psychology. London: Penguin Books. Riemer, N. (2010). Introducing semantics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Roberts, S. G.,Winters, J., & Chen, K. (2015) Future tense and economic decisions: Controlling for cultural evolution. PLoS ONE, 10(7): e0132145. https://doi.org/10.1371/ journal.pone.0132145 Accessed November 3, 2019. Sapir, E. (1956). Culture, language and personality: Selected essays. Berkeley, Los Angeles, and London: University of California Press. Sapir, E. (1964). Conceptual categories in primitive languages. In D. Hymes (Ed.), Language in culture and society:A reader in linguistics and anthropology. New York: Harper & Row. Sebeok,T. & Danesi, M. (2000). The forms of meaning: Modeling systems theory and semiotic analysis. Berlin and New York: Mouton de Greytor. Sharifan, F. (2013). Cultural linguistics and intercultural communication. In F. Sharifan & M. Jamarani (Eds.), Language and intercultural communication in the new era (pp. 60–82). New York and London: Routledge. Slingerland, E. (2008). What science ofers the humanities: Integrating body and culture. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press St. Clair, R. N., Rodríguez, W. E., Roberts, A. M., & Joshua, I. G. (2006). Intercultural incommensurability and the globalization of Chinese medicine:The case of acupuncture. The Journal of Comparative Asian Development, 5(1): 199–211.

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Suto, T. (2012). Boethius on mind, grammar and logic: A study of Boethius’ commentaries on Peri Hermeneias. Leiden: Brill. Tyler, S. (1986). Postmodern ethnography: From the document of the occult to occult document. In J. Cliford & G. E. Marcus (Eds.), Writing culture:The poetics and politics of ethnography (pp. 122–140). Berkeley: University of California Press. Ward, P. (2018). Are translation devices a bridge or a barrier between cultures? Culture Trips, July 13. Whorf, B. (1956). Language, thought and reality: Selected writings of Benjamin Lee Whorf. J. B. Carroll (Ed.). Cambridge, MA:The Technology Press of MIT/New York:Wiley. Wolf, P. & Holmes, K. (2011). Linguistic relativity. WIREs Cognitive Science, 2: 253–265. Zhifang, Z. (2002). Linguistic relativity and cultural communication. Educational Philosophy and Theory, 34(2): 161–170.

6

Continuum Principle ‘Having It Both Ways’

Key Theme: Problem Question: Objective:

Distance How can we demonstrate that intercultural communication combines both specifc and general meaning? To help you understand how people from diferent cultures form one continuous space

Key Concepts: Analog, binary, compactness, connectedness, digital, global cultural dimensions, femininity, high–low context communication, individualism–collectivism, masculinity, ‘O(organic)-type organizations,’ masculinity–femininity, ‘M(mechanistic)-type organizations,’ power distance, uncertainty avoidance, topology.  Chapter Outline 1 2 3

Introducing the Problem Question 136 Global Cultural Dimensions: How Many? 137 Introducing the Continuum Principle 141 3.1 The Digital and the Analog 141 3.2 Continuum as Topological Space 144 3.3 Beyond Binary Thinking 146 4 The Continuum Principle Defned 150 5 Case Study:‘The 1999 Coca-Cola Scare in Europe’ 151 6 Side Trips 153 6.1 Cultural Dimensions and Investment Decisions 153 6.2 Gender and Our Brains 154 6.3 Intercultural Communication on Web Sites 154

1

Introducing the Problem Question

In the previous chapter, the levels and forms of commensurability were identifed. Now we know that intercultural communication can, and must, be measured according to some general standards.You might be somewhat confused, though. On the one hand, cultural knowledge is situated, every culture

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looking at the world from a specifc point of view; hence all cultural knowledge is diferent. On the other hand, cultural knowledge comes down to some general standards; hence, it is the same. Is there a contradiction here? In this chapter, thus, we take up the following Problem Question: ‘How can we demonstrate that intercultural communication combines both specifc and general meaning?’

2

Global Cultural Dimensions: How Many?

The word ‘dimension’ shares the same Proto-Indo-European root ∗me-, meaning ‘to measure,’ with the word ‘commensurability.’ So let’s take a closer look at the dimensions used for measuring diferent cultures. Such dimensions are often labeled ‘global cultural dimensions’ because they apply to all existing cultures. For instance, Emiko Kashima and Yoshihisa Kashima (1998) discuss the following dimensions: Individualism–Collectivism; Power Distance; Uncertainty Avoidance;Masculinity–Femininity;Integration; Confucian Work Dynamism; Human Heartedness; Moral Discipline; Conservatism; Afective Autonomy; Intellectual Autonomy; Hierarchy; Egalitarian Commitment; Mastery; Harmony;Achievement; Universalism; Paternalism; and Involvement. Charles Hampden-Turner and Fons Trompenaars (2000) isolate the following dimensions of cultural variability: Universalism–Particularism; Individualism–Communitarianism; Specifcity–Difusion; Achieved Status– Ascribed Status; Inner Direction–Outer Direction; and Sequential Time– Synchronous Time. The so-called ‘Big Five’ dimensions, linking personality and culture, include the variables of Neuroticism, Extraversion, Openness,Agreeableness, and Conscientiousness (Marsella et al., 2000). In other research (Keating et al., 2002), yet more dimensions are proposed, such as Performance Orientation (do cultures reward achievement of excellence?) and Future Orientation (do cultures encourage future-oriented behaviors, like planning or investing?). All these dimensions are concerned with how people solve diferent tasks; for example, how they deal with time (Future Orientation), with work (Confucian Work Dynamism), with inequality (Hierarchy, Power Distance), and with groups (Individualism–Collectivism). Below, we briefy discuss the main cultural dimensions based on the research conducted by Geert Hofstede, a well-known Dutch social psychologist.While Hofstede’s research is sometimes criticized for being developed within an organizational setting and for its Western or Eurocentric orientation (Calori, 1994; Degabriele, 2000), we should admit that “the importance of Hofstede’s work cannot be overestimated” (Gannon, 2001, p. 51) and that his “large scale empirical study in 40 countries retains benchmark status” (Keating et al., 2002, p. 634). Overall, “Hofstede’s work on culture is the most widely cited in existence” (Jones, 2007).

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Although sometimes Hofstede identifes six dimensions (Hofstede, 2011), we focus on the fve that are most often discussed in intercultural communication texts: Individualism–Collectivism, Power Distance, Masculinity– Femininity, Uncertainty Avoidance, and High–Low Context Communication. These dimensions are concerned with the following tasks that all people face: how to respond to the group, how to respond to authority, how to respond to the other gender, how to respond to ambiguity, and how to respond to message, as such. Individualism–Collectivism. The concepts of Individualism and Collectivism describe the degree to which people are integrated into groups. In individualistic cultures, “the ties between individuals are loose: everyone is expected to look after himself or herself and the immediate family” (Hofstede & Bond, 2001, p. 37). In collectivistic cultures, on the other hand, “people from birth onward are integrated into strong, cohesive in-groups; often their extended families (with uncles, aunts, and grandparents) continue protecting them in exchange for unquestioning loyalty” (Hofstede & Bond, 2001, p. 37). Based on Hofstede’s research, such countries as the United States and France are usually included in the category of individualistic cultures, while such countries as Brazil and Mexico are usually included in the category of collectivistic cultures. In individualistic cultures, behaviors are aimed at self-realization, while in collectivistic cultures, on the other hand, people have an emotional dependence on institutions and organizations, for they provide security and reward loyalty; in such cultures, behaviors aimed at self-realization may be considered selfsh. Subtle clashes between people from individualistic and collectivistic cultures are revealed, for instance, in interviews for entry-level positions in Anglo-American multinational corporations. Chinese applicants from Singapore, for example, tend to focus on the group or family (Wong, 2000). Unless interviewers are aware of this tendency, they may not hire a strong candidate, failing to diferentiate between cultural background and potential to perform work duties successfully. Power Distance. The concept of Power Distance describes the degree to which people accept and expect that power is distributed unequally. In every culture, inequality exists between people as far as social status, prestige, wealth, etc. Hence, high power distance and low power distance cultures are identifed. For instance, such countries as India and Brazil are usually included in the category of high power distance, while such countries as Finland and Israel are usually included in the category of low power distance cultures. In high power distance cultures, people tend to accept a hierarchical order with an established authority that needs little justifcation. In low power distance, on the other hand, people tend to search equality and question authority, demanding justifcation for any existing inequalities. In high power distance cultures, for instance, conspicuous consumption is often used to display power and status, while in low power distance cultures, individuals who occupy positions of authority try to minimize inequalities between themselves and less powerful individuals, avoiding conspicuous

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display of wealth. For example, the success of the empowering practices by the U.S. based corporations in other countries depends on the degree of power distance in those cultures since empowerment implies the sharing of authority. It was found out (Marchese, 2001) that the empowerment practices by a U.S. based company were quite successful in Poland, while the Indian employees had negative reaction to such practices.Therefore, if the company decides to continue with such practices, these practices may cause more harm than good. Masculinity–Femininity. The concepts of Masculinity–Femininity describe the degree to which individuals’ gender roles are emphasized. Such countries as Japan and Mexico are usually included in the category of masculine cultures, while such countries as Taiwan and Brazil in the category of feminine cultures. In masculine cultures, people tend to emphasize such traditional roles as assertiveness, achievement, ambition, performance, and competitiveness. In feminine cultures, people tend to emphasize such traditional roles as modesty, nurturing, and caring. For instance, people from feminine cultures, such as Sweden, Denmark, and Norway, would expect more government policies that ease the burden of leaving one’s job to bear a child and returning to work. If such policies and services are not sufcient or altogether absent in the masculine culture of their spouse, this may put pressure on the intercultural relationship. Uncertainty Avoidance. The concept of Uncertainty Avoidance describes the degree to which people feel uncomfortable in ambiguous, unstructured situations “defned as novel, unknown, surprising, or diferent from usual” (Hofstede & Bond, 2001, p. 38). People in uncertainty-avoiding cultures are intolerant of such unstructured situations and try to control ambiguity at all costs because “uncertainty-avoiding cultures try to minimize the possibility of such situations by adhering to strict laws and rules, safety and security measures” (Hofstede & Bond, 2001, p. 38). People in uncertainty-accepting cultures, on the other hand, are tolerant of ambiguity and often welcome it. In other words, uncertainty-accepting cultures are more tolerant of behavior and opinions that difer from their own; they try to have as few rules as possible, and on the philosophical and religious level they are relativist, allowing many currents to fow side by side. (Hofstede & Bond, 2001, p. 38) Such countries as Japan and France are usually included in the category of uncertainty-avoiding cultures, while such countries as the United States and Finland are in the category of uncertainty-accepting cultures. People in uncertainty-accepting cultures, for instance, are more tolerant of foreigners. High–Low Context Communication. The concept of High–Low Context, based on Hall’s ideas (1976), refers to how people construct messages. Every message is made up of information, called ‘text,’ vested in a

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language code, and everything else that surrounds the message, called ‘context,’ that includes physical surrounding, but also social, political, economic, and other factors.The concept of High–Low Context describes the degree to which information in a message is contextualized, and how. In this sense, a high-context (HC) communication or message is one in which most of the information is either in the physical context or internalized in the person, while very little is in the coded, explicit, transmitted part of the message. A low-context (LC) communication is just the opposite; i.e., the mass of the information is vested in the explicit code. (Hall, 1976, p. 91) People in high-context cultures do not emphasize the use of written or oral forms of expression, relying more on context, such as knowledge of relationships, and so they expect more from their interlocutors who must put all the pieces of the interaction in place. Such countries as the United States and Germany are usually included in the category of low-context communication cultures, while such countries as Japan and China are typically in the category of high-context communication cultures. These two types of communication are illustrated very well in the training video Crosstalk: Performance Appraising Across Cultures, featuring a series of goal-setting performance-appraisal interviews between individuals from low-context and high-context cultures. In this video, individuals from lowcontext cultures start their interview with a conclusion: I did well during this past year, and here are the actions justifying this self-appraisal. In contrast, the high-context subordinates refuse to ofer an initial conclusion and merely describe the situation during the past year and the activities they undertook in response to it; this description should be so accurate that the conclusion naturally emerges, and it is the responsibility of the superior to decide whether the performance warrants a salary increase based on this description and other facts know to him or her. (Gannon, 2001, p. 28) It is important to understand all these global dimensions for successful intercultural communication. For instance, if you work as a fnancial consultant, you should remember that these dimensions are a factor in cultures’ risk of international stock exchanges; for example, cultures where “people accept a hierarchical order in which everybody has a place that needs no justifcation, are expected to take care of themselves and their immediate family, and are tolerant of ambiguity, have strong conditions for high systematic risk” (Riahi-Belkaoui, 1998, p. 107). Similarly, if you work for an international advertising agency, the knowledge of the main cultural dimensions will help you to use the right rhetorical appeal in your message. For instance,

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in tailoring your message for uncertainty-accepting cultures, you may stress adventure, while for high-power distance cultures, you may stress the ornamental and status character of the product (Albers-Miller & Gelb, 1996). Recently, implications of these cultural dimensions have been discussed for global work-family research (Shockley et al., 2018) and for diferent kinds of leadership in education (Bissessar, 2018). Now that we’ve briefy looked at these cultural dimensions, let’s try and answer the question posed earlier: ‘how many’? If we simply count all the diferent terms, the answer then will be ten dimensions: (1) Individualism; (2) Collectivism; (3) High Power Distance; (4) Low Power Distance; (5)  Masculinity; (6) Femininity; (7) Uncertainty-Avoiding; (8) Uncertainty-Accepting; (9) High-Context Communication; (10) Low-Context Communication. However, each dimension is made up of two terms, and so the answer then is fve dimensions: (1) Individualism–Collectivism; (2) High Power Distance– Low Power Distance; (3) Masculinity–Femininity; (4) Uncertainty-Avoiding– Uncertainty-Accepting; (5) High-Context Communication–Low-Context Communication. An important clue was provided earlier when it was mentioned that the global cultural dimensions are concerned with how people solve fve specifc tasks: (1) how people respond to the group (Individualism– Collectivism dimension); (2) how people respond to authority (High Power Distance–Low Power Distance dimension); (3) how people respond to the other gender (Masculinity–Femininity dimension); (4) how people respond to ambiguity (Uncertainty-Avoiding–Uncertainty-Accepting dimension); and (5) how people respond to a message, as such (High-Context Communication–Low-Context Communication dimension).Another clue was the use of such expressions as ‘on the one hand’ and ‘on the other hand,’ suggesting that one concept, e.g., Masculinity, cannot exist without the other, e.g., Femininity. And now is the time to introduce Continuum Principle of intercultural communication.

3

Introducing the Continuum Principle

Let’s now formulate, based on the discussion above, the sixth principle of intercultural communication—the Continuum Principle. We will isolate three parts that make up this principle. Each part deals with the shared and continuous nature of intercultural interactions. First, we will discuss why it is important to overcome binary thinking; next, we will present intercultural continuum as a form of digital communication; fnally, we will present intercultural continuum as a form of analogic communication. We will discuss each part separately and then formulate the Continuum Principle, as a whole. 3.1 The Digital and the Analog

Let’s start by noting that human communication messages “can either be represented by a likeness, such as a drawing, or they can be referred to by

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a name . . . These two types of communication . . . are . . . equivalent to the concepts of the analogic and the digital respectively” (Watzlawick et al., 1967, pp. 61–62).The concept of continuum cannot be understood without knowing and understanding these two concepts. The word ‘digital’ goes back to Latin ‘digitus,’ meaning ‘fnger’; it refers to something distinct or discrete, e.g., “separated, like the scattered pebbles on a beach or the leaves on a tree” (Bell, 2005, p. 13). The digital deals in abstract representation: each digit can be viewed as a ‘name’ representing a certain meaning. In this sense, “words are similar to digits; they have specifc beginning and ending points and arbitrarily represent something else” (Neuliep, 1996, p. 296).As we all know, the digital is often found in the displays of clocks or watches; here, the fow of time is broken into discrete and fnite elements, presented as a row of numbers coded from 0 to 9, making it possible for us to mark and predict time. The word ‘analog’ goes back to Greek ‘analogos,’ meaning ‘proportionate, according to proportion’; it suggests comparison and thus ratio. The analog can be equated with constructs that are similar to something else; in this sense, meaning is represented by a likeness to something else. Whereas the digital deals in abstract representation, the analog deals in physical correspondence; meaning is presented as continuous patterns resembling reality.The analog is based on likeness, emphasizing such meanings of the word ‘like’ as ‘having the same characteristics or qualities as; similar to’, and ‘feeling attraction toward or taking pleasure in,’ e.g.,‘liking’ something or someone on Facebook.The analog is found in the displays of clocks or watches indicating the time with hands that point to hours and minutes. Here, the time is read by observing the positions and relationship of the hands, which approximate an experience of time’s continuous movement, such as the sun’s movement. Figure 6.1 shows two stop watches—one digital and one analog.

Figure 6.1 Example of digital and analog Source: Author

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The digital and the analog are parallel to the two conceptualizations of time—monochromic and polychromic, respectively. As mentioned earlier, people from cultures with the monochromic time orientation emphasize the compartmentalization and segmentation of measurable units of time, while people from cultures with the polychronic orientation stress involvement of people, focusing on the tasks at hand. In this light, “time in many non-Western societies has been described as analog rather than digital” (Punnett, 2018, p. 195). Unlike polychronic time, which focuses more on the interpersonal relations and less on pre-set schedules or clocks, monochronic time can be measured in regulated units. It was the mechanical clock that “dissociated time from human events and helped create the belief in an independent world of mathematically measurable sequences” (Mumford, 2010, p. 15).As a result, in many industrial societies abstract time became the new medium of existence. Organic functions themselves were regulated by it: one ate, not upon feeling hungry, but when prompted by the clock; one slept, not when one was tired, but when the clock sanctioned it. (Mumford, 2010, p. 17) The digital and the analog can also be seen operating within the two kinds of organizations—‘O (organic)-type organizations’ and ‘M (mechanistic)-type organizations.’ People in the former focus more on paying attention to all surrounding information in an analog manner, reminiscent of high-context communication, while people in the latter perceive information in a digital manner similar to those operating in low-context cultures might.We can see “that analogue and digital mindsets are strongly infuenced by culture and are fundamental to the way people understand and perceive the world as well as communicate with one another” (Noma & Crossman, 2012, p. 124). Several points need to be emphasized in the discussion of the digital and the analog. First, “it is important to realize that the analog and the digital do not originate as properties of technological objects such as the computers” (Buckley, 2014, p. 8).As noted earlier, these terms go back to the ancient Greek; it was only in the middle of the previous century that they began to be used in the computing sense. Second, these two concepts do not refer to some random phenomena; rather,“the analog and the digital are processes immanent to relationships within and between bodies and things and are important for debating human conduct and life” (Buckley, 2014, p. 8). In other words, the analog and the digital cannot be separated from communication, for they are inherent to our existence.And, third, when we hear today about new digital technologies or digital media, it is necessary to remember that “the digital does not take over and nullify the analog . . . on the contrary, the analog and the digital overlap continuously” (Buckley, 2014, p. 9).Although it may appear perfect, without the analog communication the digital communication is in fact lifeless and devoid of change.

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The digital and the analog highlight two sides of communication: the former places emphasis on discreteness, abstraction, and efciency, while the latter—on resemblance, relations, and continuity. 3.2

Continuum as Topological Space

You must have heard the word ‘continuum’ used in expressions such as ‘it must be viewed on a continuum’ or ‘it is only one side of the continuum.’ But have you really thought about what ‘continuum’ means? The concept of continuum is extremely useful for our understanding of intercultural communication. Continuum can be understood as a topological space that has certain characteristics. Topology is defned as “the study of the properties of geometric confgurations invariant under transformation by continuous mapping” (Morris, 1982, p. 1355). Don’t let this defnition scare you; when we speak of something as a topological space, we simply mean that something remains stable and identical to itself (invariant) under change, i.e., it is continuously transformed yet remains the same.To understand continuum better, let’s briefy discuss its two main characteristics—connectedness and compactness. First of all, a continuum is a connected space.To put it simply, continuum is but a number of parts all connected with one another. And, second, this space must be compact or bounded. Compactness means that a continuum is a closed space; for instance, a straight line is an example of a continuum that is connected, but not closed (compact). Thus, a continuum is a connected and compact space—“a continuous extent, succession, or whole, no part of which can be distinguished from neighboring parts except by arbitrary division” (Morris, 1982, p. 289).You may be familiar with the Likert scale, which is a good example of continuum.The scale was invented by Rensis Likert, a renowned social scientist, who designed it to measure attitudes or opinions ranging from ‘Strongly disagree’ to ‘Strongly agree.’ There can be any number of options between these two extremes. While the Likert scale is one of the main tools used in public opinion research, we can construct a continuum showing our attitudes to the Other, often found in the feld of intercultural communication. In the process of intercultural communication, we all respond to the Other’s actions, developing certain attitudes.The two main parts of the ‘Attitudes to Other’ continuum are easy to identify: the most negative on one side that can be labeled ‘Discrimination,’ and the most positive on the other side that can be labeled ‘Empathy’ (see Figure 6.2). Discrimination refers to a biased action when people from a diferent culture are treated disadvantageously; unfortunately, we know too many examples of discrimination such as racism, sexism, and ageism. A less negative point is represented by disparagement, derogating, or discrediting the Other. People who have such negative attitudes often do not want to admit this even to themselves let alone others.As a result, they engage

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– Discrimination

+ Disparagement

Avoidance

Sensitivity

Acceptance

Empathy

Figure 6.2 Example of ‘Attitudes to Other’ continuum Source: Author

in relatively efortless behaviors such as donating a small amount of money to persuade others (and themselves) that their attitude is not that negative. Such behaviors are considered to be a form of tokenism (Brislin, 1993); usually, they fail to conceal the fact that the attitude toward the Other is still negative. Finally, a third negative point is represented by avoidance, which is simply staying away from the Other.This attitude is still negative because it does not reduce the distance between one’s culture and another culture. Often, such an attitude is manifested in the so-called “arm’s-length prejudice” (Brislin, 1993, p. 191). This term speaks for itself: one draws a negative line between one’s culture and another culture, holding it at arm’s length. The frst positive point on this continuum is represented by sensitivity where one is already susceptible to the circumstances of the Other.This is a very positive step: one is now capable of admitting the Other into one’s world.Another positive point on the continuum is represented by the attitude of acceptance, which can be identifed with reception of the Other and its approval. There is an important diference between sensitivity and acceptance; one may be sensitive to another culture, while not approving of some of its practices. However, if one’s attitude is that of sensitivity, intercultural interaction has a much better chance of success because differences are discussed openly and not avoided; they do not cause animosity or discrimination. Finally, the most positive point on the continuum is represented by empathy—“understanding so intimate that feelings, thoughts, and motives of one are readily comprehended by another” (Morris, 1982, p. 428). At this point, one is not simply sensitive to and accepting the Other, but fully relates to that culture.This point, of course, is never completely reached because it is only one end of the continuum and cannot exist without the other end. It is necessary to emphasize that all these attitudes—discrimination, disparagement, avoidance, sensitivity, acceptance, and empathy—are names that can be seen as digits along the same continuum. We isolated six names—discrimination, disparagement, avoidance, sensitivity, acceptance, and empathy—that form the ‘Attitude to Other’ continuum. In other research, you may fnd a diferent continuum; for example, Milton Bennet (1986) isolates the following stages: denial, defense, minimization, acceptance, adaptation, and integration.This continuum, though, can be represented by fewer or more names, including, e.g., animosity, awareness, etc. No matter how complex, the continuum is never complete because new names can be created; a continuum is a topological space that is infnitely

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divisible into parts. In other words, “a continuum consists of a continuous succession of components” (Bondi, 1964, p. 49)—distinct and separate parts all related to one another and each representing a certain degree of the same meaning. 3.3

Beyond Binary Thinking

The simplest form of digital distinction is a binary opposition, which divides everything into two separate entities. The binary view goes back to the logic of Aristotle who formulated the Law of Excluded Middle, which states that every truth value is either true or false; e.g., the expression ‘tertium non datur,’ meaning ‘no third possibility is given.’ We’re all familiar with such binary oppositions as ‘all/nothing,’ ‘either/or,’ and ‘on/of,’ which are ubiquitous and seem natural. Indeed, this binary thinking pattern has a lot to do with how the brain works. Any stimulus that enters our central nervous system is immediately relayed in two directions towards the cerebral cortex for higher thinking process, and the amygdala—our fear detective device.The interesting thing is that, despite being activated at the same time, the amygdala decides whether the object/or the person is safe or threatening before the cortex has even managed to fgure out what the object/or who the person actually is. This “quick and dirty” assessment helps humans beings survive based on snap judgment, but it also means that evolution has created a neural support for binary reaction of “good or bad.” (Nguyen-Phuong-Mai, 2017) As you can see, the binary view is grounded in neurology and helps people to reduce complexity.We like seeing things as either black or white since such a view is so clear: the world is made up of either friends or enemies, cultures are seen as either modern (‘good’) or primitive (‘bad’), etc. No surprisingly, it is not easy for us to come to terms with the idea of two concepts existing together. You may remember from the previous chapter, though, that the body and the mind cannot be separated since both contribute to constructing and interpreting meaning. Similarly, even though we can talk separately about the right or left hemispheres of the brain, in reality both are needed for us to function normally; their joint activity (communication, in a way) allows us to be creative and solve various tasks. And, of course, we can speak separately of diferent cultures, yet every culture can understand itself only through the eyes of another culture, as we discussed in the frst chapter. We should avoid seeing the world only in terms of two separate entities, whether they are the brain hemispheres, global cultural dimensions, or cultures themselves. We should start seeing the world in a more complex way—in terms of ‘both/and.’ It must be emphasized that there is nothing

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inherently wrong with binary oppositions, as such.This tradition of binary thinking forms a structural foundation for all cultures.Therefore, it is more appropriate to speak about going beyond binary oppositions rather than calling for overcoming or defeating them.The foundation of binary oppositions stays in place, but the view of the world becomes more complex as it comes to include a variety of the grey zones. The Continuum Principle builds upon the ideas expressed by the Commensurability Principle, showing that intercultural communication is literally commensurable, i.e., measurable in terms of distances between diferent parts. For example, based on Hofstede’s research, it is possible to look at a representative number of similar behaviors and calculate a collective cultural score. Hofstede used the data from multiple questionnaires on people’s basic values and beliefs and included such questions as “How important are each of the following to you in an ideal job?” followed by a list of 14 job characteristics such as earnings, job security, challenge, freedom, cooperation, and so forth. In addition . . . judgments were asked about general issues at work, such as “Competition among employees usually does more harm than good.” Employees were asked to rate their responses from “strongly agree” to “strongly disagree.” (Hofstede & Bond, 2001, p. 36) Average scores were calculated for 53 countries for the meanings of the cultural dimensions, discussed earlier; for instance, France’s individualism score is 71, while Brazil’s individualism score is 38. It is possible to place these (and other) cultures along the Individualism–Collectivism continuum in accordance with their scores. France’s position, for example, is characterized by the score of 71 on Individualism (and, respectively, 29 on Collectivism), while Brazil’s position is characterized by the score of 38 on Individualism (and, respectively, 62 on Collectivism). In other words, France is a more individualistic culture, while Brazil is a more collectivistic culture.While this global cultural dimension is initially divided into two parts—‘individualistic’ and ‘collectivistic,’ the line dividing these two parts is itself a point where both parts intersect and so part of the whole meaningful space of ‘individualism– collectivism.’The concept of continuum, therefore, allows us to stop seeing the world only in terms of two separate entities, providing us with a more complex vision that sees both individualistic and collectivistic sides of the picture, at the same time. When we look at a continuum as a topological space consisting of parts, each of which contains other parts, it is tempting to argue that, because no part can be distinguished from neighboring parts except by arbitrary division, there is little diference between various parts along a continuum. This argument is sometimes called ‘The Bald Man Fallacy.’ For example, advocates for the legalization of drugs may argue that many drugs, such as

148 Continuum Principle A

X

B

Either (Individualistic) Or (Collectivistic) (A/B) Both Individualistic And Collectivistic

Figure 6.3 Both/and nature of continuum Source: Author

cafeine and alcohol, are already legally consumed so it must be absolutely arbitrary to legalize some drugs but not others.The fallacy behind this argument (Ramey, 2002) is that, although it may be impossible to fnd the exact dividing line between legitimate and illegitimate drug usage, it does not mean that there is no diference between drinking cofee and using LSD. Similarly, we cannot specify exactly when a man is bald or not bald, but we can tell the diference between a bald and non-bald man. Applied to intercultural communication, we avoid falling into the trap of this fallacy because we can tell the diference between cultures or between such cultural behaviors as, e.g.,‘sticking one’s neck out for nobody’ and ‘going an extra mile for people.’ The frst behavior is defnitely closer to the individualistic part of the continuum, while the second behavior is closer to its collectivistic part. It must be emphasized that each of these behaviors, as new points X and Y on a continuum, contains both parts—A and B (Individualism and Collectivism) (Figure 6.3). These two behaviors are unique only as diferent positions along the same continuum in the Individualism–Collectivism dichotomy of global meaning. It is more appropriate, therefore, to discuss any cultural behavior not so much in terms of ‘either/or’—either individualistic (‘sticking one’s neck out for nobody’) or collectivistic (‘going an extra mile for people’), but in terms of ‘both/and’ or ‘more/less.’ For instance, ‘sticking one’s neck out for nobody’ is more individualistic and less collectivistic, while ‘going an extra mile for people’ is more collectivistic and less individualistic. Notice that each behavior contains both individualistic and collectivistic features; the diference between them is just a matter of degree. Similarly, it is more accurate to say that, for instance, compared to each other, France is a more individualistic (and so less collectivistic) culture, while Brazil is a more collectivistic (and so less individualistic) culture. If we want, for example, to show interactions between people from France and Brazil along the Individualism–Collectivism continuum, we need to address both these concepts. First, France must be shown as a more individualistic culture, and Brazil as a less individualistic culture.This picture still misses the other half—the Collectivism part. So, second, Brazil must be shown as a more collectivistic culture, and France as a less collectivistic culture.The complete picture of interactions between people from France and Brazil along the Individualism–Collectivism continuum must contain both these parts; think of the famous symbol for the Taoist Yin and Yang dynamic, showing two diferent sides as they change over to each other and share the same qualities (Figure 6.4).

Continuum Principle

France

Brazil

Individualism Collectivism

Collectivism Individualism

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Figure 6.4 Example of Individualism–Collectivism continuum Source: Author

Continuum, therefore, is a topological space made up of diferent parts representing the same meaning; all these meanings, in other words, are related, i.e., they are, to a degree, like one another.These parts “are discernible . . . by their distance from each other or by the fact that they have diferent neighborhoods” (Johanson, 2001, p. 3).The concept of neighborhood, even though it comes from the feld of topology, has a special ring when applied to intercultural communication. Just think about it: we tend to treat those whose meanings are closer to ours as our neighbors, and our communication with them is usually more successful. Of course, some points may be so close that they merge in our perception. In technical terms,“the two points merge if they cannot be distinguished by their neighborhood” (Johanson, 2001, p. 4). For instance, many South and East Asian countries are sometimes treated in the West as one ‘Asian’ culture. This misperception can be an obstacle for successful communication because the cultural spaces of about 4.5 billion people are presented as a single entity (cf. Emmerson, 1995). Instead, diferent Asian cultures must be positioned on a continuum as parts discernible by their distance from one another and from Western cultures that interact with them. It is more difcult to treat as our neighbors those people whose meanings are further away from ours because they are unlike us. In fact, when another culture is not perceived as a neighbor, it is tempting to ignore the Other or to reduce it to our own culture.These attitudes and actions are not constructive. In Chapter 4, we discussed two such ethnocentric dangers— ethnocentric reduction (reducing the Other to our culture) and ethnographic negation (ignoring the Other altogether). We must learn to treat the Other as our neighbor no matter how far its meanings may be placed as long as they are still positioned on the same continuum.We may not always bond together, but we are still parts of the same intercultural space because we are all connected and bounded; while diferent, in some way we all are also like one another. Naturally, when the distance between our culture and the Other is large, intercultural communication requires a large amount of efort. After all, intercultural communication as a journey is no diferent from any other journey; you go from point A to point B, covering a certain

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distance. The larger the distance, the more challenging the journey, yet— quite often—the more rewarding! The Continuum Principle is important because it teaches us to go beyond binary thinking and treat intercultural communication as a more complex process.This view is more complex because it shows how people from different cultures construct a shared and continuous universe while keeping their diferent positions. At the beginning of the chapter, we discussed the following contradiction: on the one hand, cultural meanings are presented as unique and relative to a cultural position, and, on the other hand, common cultural meanings are presented as ensuring commensurability of intercultural communication.The Continuum Principle solves this seeming contradiction by showing that intercultural communication is a topological space where meanings exist as diferent positions along the same continua. In the previous two chapters, we looked at intercultural communication from two perspectives. In Chapter 4, we presented intercultural communication in more digital terms—as a number of diferent and specifc positions in the world. In Chapter 5, we presented intercultural communication in more analogic terms, showing how people from diferent cultures are all alike (commensurable). Now we know that these two views coexist because discreteness means plurality while continuity means unity. Intercultural communication, therefore, is a topological space shared by all interacting cultures, its parts discernible only by distances from one another. Not only does it remain invariant under change, but intercultural communication requires change to remain invariant. In the remaining chapters, we’ll have more to say about the dynamic nature of intercultural communication. Right now, let’s defne the Continuum Principle, as a whole.

4 The Continuum Principle Defned Let’s now give a more concise formulation of the Continuum Principle, based on the above discussion of its three parts. First, intercultural communication combines two sides—the digital and the analog: the former highlights discreteness, abstraction, and efciency, while the latter highlights resemblance, relations, and continuity. Second, intercultural communication must be seen as a continuum—a connected and compact space. Hence, meaning in intercultural communication is viewed as a continuous succession of parts or one whole meaning. Third, it is important to go beyond the binary vision of intercultural communication (‘either/or’) and treat every act of intercultural communication in terms of ‘both/and’ and ‘more/less.’ In a nutshell, the Continuum Principle can be formulated as follows: Intercultural communication is a process whereby people from diferent groups continuously construct a shared space where meanings are discernible through their distance from one another.

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Case Study: ‘The 1999 Coca-Cola Scare in Europe’

This case study is based on the article entitled ‘Cultural variability as a challenge to global public relations: A case study of the Coca-Cola scare in Europe’ (Taylor, 2000).As usual, it is recommended that you read the article in its entirety; below, you fnd a summary of the article. Be ready to identify and then discuss the following topics: 1. Intercultural communication as a shared space. 2. Reasons for diferent cultural responses to the crisis. 3. Continuous nature of intercultural communication. The article discusses the so-called ‘Coca-Cola tainting crisis’ that occurred in Western Europe during the summer of 1999. This crisis was considered the worst health scare in Coke’s 113-year history and a public relations disaster. The crisis broke out in June 1999, when school children in Belgium reported feeling ill after drinking Coca-Cola soft drinks.The Belgian government ordered that Coca-Cola immediately recall all its products in the country. The company complied but maintained that independent laboratory tests did not show any harmful substances in its products.The next day, France and Spain accused the company of selling tainted products. CocaCola pulled all its products from the shelves in those two countries, as well. Other European nations such as Sweden, Norway, and Denmark reacted diferently to the tainting scare and did not recall the Coca-Cola products. The Coca-Cola company did not accept any responsibility for the incident, suggesting that it was a case of a mass hysteria and that tainting might have been caused by other factors, such as the low-quality levels of carbon dioxide in the ‘fzz’ of the bottles made at the Coca-Cola Belgium factory. Not until nine days later did M. Douglas Ivester, CEO of the organization, acknowledge the problem and fy over to the region to deal with the crisis. On June 22, 1999, he apologized to the Belgian people in an open letter published in 15 Flemish and French papers out of Belgium. The article documents in more detail the diferent responses of six West European countries involved in the scare, including the Coca-Cola communication strategy during and after the incident. Belgian, French, and Spanish consumers not only stopped drinking traditional Coke products but also stopped buying related Coca-Cola products, such as Fanta and Nestea. In France, the Dunkirk plant manufacturing Coca-Cola products was closed down. In Spain, where most of the Coca-Cola products are manufactured by Coca-Cola Espana, the Health Ministry pulled all imported bottles of CocaCola, regardless of place of origin. In Sweden, Denmark, and Norway, however, no actions, such as banning or boycotts, were taken against Coca-Cola. Their governments seemed to be less worried that tainting would endanger their populations.

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Following the incident, the relations between the organization and its western European publics were visibly damaged. On December 7, 1999, CEO M. Douglas Ivester, who had been widely criticized for his perceived arrogance after school children in Belgium became sick, announced his resignation. He was to be replaced by Douglas Draft, an Australian with an extensive intercultural expertise. A new ‘Coke’s Back’ advertising campaign was carried out in the region. Coca-Cola began to implement a new marketing strategy, trying to better understand cultural diferences around the world.The company learned that the ‘one market, one strategy’ approach did not work. On January 29, 2000, Coca-Cola issued a news release, describing its new realignment strategy. Among other things, it said: ‘Our success depends on our ability to make billions of individual connections each day in every community around the world.’ ∗∗∗∗∗∗∗ Now let’s see how this case study can be an illustration of the Continuum Principle of intercultural communication. 1. Intercultural communication as a shared space. The interactions between Coca-Cola and a number of European cultures are defnitely an example of a continuum. There would be no interaction between them if they were not connected. Here, these continua can be represented by such global cultural dimensions as Power Distance and Uncertainty Avoidance. Intercultural communication between Coca-Cola and the six European cultures can be seen as a shared space formed by (at least) two continua—High-Power Distance/ Low Power Distance and Uncertainty Avoidance/Uncertainty Acceptance.These dimensions apply to all interacting cultures, e.g., American Coca-Cola and Belgium. In other words, intercultural communication must be viewed as a process of constructing a shared space. This process, as described in the article, was not successful in some cases, and more successful in others. Why was that? Why did the West European cultures react to the crisis diferently? 2. Reasons for diferent cultural responses to the crisis. Now that we have identifed the global cultural dimensions forming a continuum, we can take a closer look at the positions that diferent cultures occupy along this continuum. Not surprisingly, the countries that showed a lower tolerance for the crisis (Belgium, France, and Spain) have higher scores on both the Uncertainty Avoidance index and the Power Distance index.According to Hofstede’s research, the Uncertainty Avoidance scores are as follows: United States 46, France/Spain 86, Belgium

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94.The Power Distance scores are as follows: United States 40, Spain 57, Belgium 65, France 68.These scores explain why those three countries were so displeased with Coca-Cola. On the one hand, those countries have a low tolerance for uncertainty, e.g., they dislike the entry of any global product into their cultures. It might be said that the Coca-Cola company was condemned not so much for the tainting situation, as such, but was criticized because the company remained silent for over a week after the frst illnesses. Also, those countries were not happy with CocaCola’s response to the crisis because Coca-Cola’s claims that its products were safe challenged their authority. Besides, no formal apologies were made to the French public, ignoring a large distance between the lowpower United States (40) and high-power France (68). The scores of the three Scandinavian nations were more similar to those of the United States on the two continua described above. According to Hofstede’s research, the Uncertainty Avoidance scores are as follows: United States 46, Denmark 23, Sweden 29, and Norway 50. The Power Distance scores are as follows: United States 40, Denmark 18, Sweden 31, and Norway 31. Hence, more successful communication between Coca-Cola and these cultures may be attributed to their similar attitudes toward risk and authority. 3. Continuous nature of intercultural communication. In this case, communication can continue only because of the distances between Coca-Cola and the European cultures, described in the article. In fact, the article captures their interactions as they took place during the summer of 1999, trying to stop the (analogic) fow of communication and present it as a snapshot. Coca-Cola, of course, failed to perceive the distances between the countries and draw the distinctions in various continua that formed the intercultural space.As a result, the company had to drop its ‘one market, one strategy’ approach and vowed to pay more attention to cultural diferences in order to connect with various communities around the world.To its credit, Coca-Cola chose to expand intercultural horizons. In order to maintain its continuity as one of the leading American companies, Coca-Cola had to change. Appointing a new CEO with extensive intercultural expertise was one of the frst steps in that direction.

6 6.1

Side Trips Cultural Dimensions and Investment Decisions

In their article entitled ‘The relationship between psychic distance and foreign direct investment decisions:A Korean study,’ Jai-Beom Kim and Dongkee Rhee (2001) argue that the greater the distance between the home and

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the host cultures, the greater the probability companies will choose a joint venture over acquisitions. ∗∗ Do you agree with this argument? What cultural dimensions do you think might afect such business decisions? What culture, and in what form, would you choose to do business with? 6.2

Gender and Our Brains

Interviewed by TIME (Kluger, 2019), the British cognitive researcher Gina Rippon talks about why male and female brains aren’t so diferent, explored in her book Gender and our brains. She also mentions that she’s been contacted by transgender males or females who ask,“Can you put me in a scanner and prove my brain is male or female?” Her reply is,“I’m sorry, there isn’t any such thing. I can’t say your brain is all pinks or blues. In fact, I wanted to call my book Fifty Shades of Gray Matter.” ∗∗ How does this pertain to the continuum concept? How can such fndings afect human interaction? 6.3

Intercultural Communication on Web Sites

Given that the Internet is a largely low-context medium, Elizabeth Würtz in her research of intercultural communication on Web sites (2006) explores how people from high-context cultures might make the most of the potentials ofered by the Internet generation of today. Using the high- and lowcontext dimension framework and analyzing McDonald’s Web sites, she identifes fve strategies by which visual communication is used to support high-context communication traits. ∗∗ Can you think what such strategies may be?

References Albers-Miller, N. & Gelb, B. (1996). Business advertising appeals as a mirror of cultural dimensions:A study of eleven countries. Journal of Advertising, 25(4): 57–71. Bell, J. (2005). Oppositions and paradoxes: Philosophical perplexities in science and mathematics. Peterborough, Ontario: Broadview Press. Bennet, M. (1986). A developmental approach to training for intercultural sensitivity. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 10(2): 179–196. Bissessar, Ch. (2018). An application of Hofstede’s cultural dimension among female educational leaders. Educ. Sci., 8(2). www.mdpi.com/2227-7102/8/2/77. Accessed October 21, 2019. Brislin, R.W. (1993). Understanding culture’s infuence on behavior. Fort Worth, TX: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich College Publishers. Bondi, H. (1964). Relativity & common sense. Garden City, NY:Anchor Books.

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Buckley, J. (2014). Analog versus digital. In M.-L. Ryan, L. Emerson, & B. J. Robertson (Eds.), The Johns Hopkins guide to digital media (pp. 7–10). Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press. Calori, R. (1994).The diversity of management systems. In R. Calori & P. de Woot (Eds.), A European management model: Beyond diversity (pp. 11–30). New York: Prentice-Hall. Degabriele, M. (2000). Business as usual: How business studies thinks culture. M/C: A Journal of Media and Culture, 3(2). http://journal.media-culture.org.au/0005/business. php.Accessed October 21, 2019. Emmerson, D. (1995). Singapore and the ‘Asian values’ debate. Journal of Democracy, 6: 95–105. Gannon, M. (Ed.) (2001). Cultural metaphors: Readings, research translations, and commentary. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. Hall, E. (1976). Beyond culture. New York: Doubleday. Hampden-Turner, C. & Trompenaars, F. (2000). Building cross-cultural competence: How to create wealth from conficting values. New Haven and London:Yale University Press. Hofstede, G. (2011). Dimensionalizing cultures:The Hofstede model in context. Online Readings in Psychology and Culture, 2(1). https://doi.org/10.9707/2307-0919.1014. Accessed September 12, 2019. Hofstede, G., & Bond, M. (2001).The Confucius connection: From cultural roots to econ omic growth. In M. Gannon (Ed.), Cultural metaphors: Readings, research translations, and commentary (pp. 31–50).Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. Johanson, A. (2001). Modern topology and Peirce’s theory of continuum. Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society, 37(1): 1–12. Jones, M. (2007). Hofstede: Culturally questionable? Oxford Business & Economics Conference. Oxford, UK, June 24–26, 2007. https://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?a rticle=1389&context=commpapers.Accessed September 21, 2019. Kashima, E. S. & Kashima,Y. (1998). Culture and language:The case of cultural Dimensions. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 29(3): 461–486. Keating, M. A., Szabo, E., & Martin, G. (2002). Do managers and students share the same perceptions of societal culture? International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 26: 633–652. Kim, J.-B. & Rhee, D. (2001). The relationship between psychic distance and foreign direct investment decisions: A Korean study. International Journal of Management, 18(3): 286–293. Kluger, J. (2019). A cognitive researcher explains how male and female brains aren’t so diferent. TIME, September 5. Marchese, M. (2001). Matching management practices to national culture in India, Mexico, Poland, and the U.S. The Academy of Management Executive, 15(2): 130–132. Marsella, A. J., Dubanoski, J., Hamada, W. C., & Morse, H. (2000). The measurement of personality across cultures. American Behavioral Scientist, 44(1): 41–62. Morris, E. (Ed.) (1982). The American heritage dictionary of the English language. Boston: Houghton Mifin. Mumford, L. (2010). Technics and civilization. Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press. Neuliep. J. (1996). Human communication theory: Applications and case studies. Needham Heights, MA:Allyn & Bacon. Nguyen-Phuong-Mai, M. (2017). Intercultural communication: An interdisciplinary approach: When neurons, genes and evolution joined the discourse. Keynote address at SIETAR EUROPA Congress, May 23–28, 2017, Dublin. www.culturemove.com Accessed November 23, 2019.

156 Continuum Principle Noma, H. & Crossman, J. (2012). Analogue and digital mindsets: Some implications for intercultural communication between Western and Eastern organizations. Asian Academy of Management Journal, 17(1): 115–129. Punnett, B. (2018). Managing in developing countries. In C. Wankel (Ed.), 21st century management:A reference handbook (pp. 190–199). New York and Abingdon: Routledge. Ramey, B. (2002).The continuum argument for evolution: A critique. http://ourworld. compuserve.com/homepages/billramey/continuum.htm. Accessed August 11, 2019. Riahi-Belkaoui, A. (1998). Cultural determinism and systematic risk of global stock exchanges. International Journal of Commerce & Management, 8(3/4): 102–108. Shockley, K., Shen, W., & Johnson, R. C. (Eds.) (2018). The Cambridge handbook of the global work–family interface. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Taylor, M. (2000). Cultural variance as a challenge to global public relations:A case study of the Coca-Cola scare in Europe. Public Relations Review, 26(3): 277–293. Watzlawick, P., Bavelas, J. B., & Jackson, D. D. (1967). Pragmatics of human communication:A study of interactional patterns, pathologies, and paradoxes. New York: Norton. Wong, I. (2000). Chinese cultural values and performance at job interviews:A Singapore perspective. Business Communication Quarterly, 63(1): 9–22. Würtz, E. (2006). Intercultural communication on Web sites: A cross-cultural analysis of Web sites from high-context cultures and low-context cultures. Journal of ComputerMediated Communication, 11(1): 274–299.

7

Pendulum Principle ‘Panta Rhei’

Key Theme: Tension Problem Question: If change is the driving force behind intercultural communication, what drives the change itself? Objective: To help you understand the contradictory nature of intercultural communication Key Concepts: Bilingual education, change, colonialism, contradiction, convergence, dialectics, divergence, needs, ethnolinguistic vitality, ‘linguistic imperialism,’ ‘linguistic landscape,’ motivation, objective ethnolinguistic vitality, polyphony, praxis, phronesis, subjective ethnolinguistic vitality, ‘voice.’

Chapter Outline 1 Introducing the Problem Question 158 2 Tensions in Intercultural Communication 158 2.1 Ethnolinguistic Vitality 161 3 ‘Voice’ in Intercultural Communication 162 4 Introducing the Pendulum Principle 164 4.1 The Contradictory Nature of Intercultural Communication 164 4.2 Intercultural Communication as Praxis 169 4.3 Intercultural Communication and Change 170 5 The Pendulum Principle Defned 172 6 Case Study:‘Dialectics of Colonial Encounter: Interacting with the Kobon’ 173 7 Side Trips 176 7.1 Speaking Spanish at a Border 176 7.2 Linguistic Landscapes and Cultural Transformations 177 7.3 In Montreal, a Berlin Wall of the Mind? 177

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Introducing the Problem Question

In the previous chapter, we saw how people from diferent cultures create a shared space that constantly changes yet remains stable. It is possible to say that intercultural communication is driven by change. But, why exactly do cultures change? In this chapter, thus, we take up the following Problem Question: ‘If change is the driving force behind of intercultural communication, what drives the change itself?’

2 Tensions in Intercultural Communication The expression in the subtitle of the chapter—Panta Rhei—belongs to Heraclitus (500 bc) and means ‘All things are in constant fux.’This chapter, more than any other, is about the dynamic nature of intercultural interactions. In this chapter, you may be especially tempted to reach for frm ground—only to discover that the way to keep it under your feet is to keep moving. We begin by looking at three examples of intercultural interactions. As you read the descriptions below, try to think what these situations have in common. The frst example presents the following situation of a Thai manager working in an American subsidiary in Thailand: At New Year’s, Thais give presents to customers, but this organization can’t.They say it is illegal. If they do give things, they buy one thing in bulk and give it to everybody. In Thai culture, the gifts need to refect the relationship or the amount of business. (Mattson & Stage, 2001) How should this manager with a traditional Thai background interact with his American co-workers who expect gifts to be given in bulk and his clients who expect specialized gifts? The next example describes what happened between the white inhabitants of Snow Low, AZ, and the members of the White Mountain Apache tribe living in the same area (see: ‘Fire arrest increases race tensions,’ 2002). One of the members of the Apache tribe was arrested and charged with starting a fre that grew into the largest fre in Arizona’s history. As a result, the Native Americans began to keep to themselves, fearing retribution, while among the white communities the feeling of resentment was high. Should the Apaches stop going to their favorite bars and dancing halls, and should members of the white communities stop welcoming those of the White Mountain Apache tribe? The last example is the interactions between two main ethnic cultures in Fiji—the indigenous Fijians and Indo-Fijians (de Vries, 2002). Fiji is a South Pacifc country split into two main cultural groups—the native population and those of Indian descent. These two ethnic groups have diferent

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positions on most issues, such as the land.The indigenous Fijians own most of the land and feel a strong attachment to it, while most of the economic activity is carried out by the Indo-Fijians.At the same time, many long-term land leases for Indo-Fijians are expiring. It is no surprise that the land issue is a very emotionally charged one on the country’s agenda. How can the issue of the land proprietorship and use be handled? These three scenarios have at least three things in common. First, in each situation, a certain tension exists between the interacting cultures. In the frst case, the situation is only somewhat tenuous, putting the manager between the expectations of the organizational and host cultures. In the second case, the tensions between the white communities and the Apache are quite high and may easily turn into violence. And, in the third case, the situation is truly explosive; the tensions between the indigenous Fijians and the Indo-Fijians may result in a coup and overthrowing the government—something that has already happened in the past. Second, as a result of tensions, the people from all interacting cultures face a choice.You may have noticed that we ended the description of each scenario with a question; these questions present the choices that must be made. In the frst case, does the manager go with the bulk gifts, possibly losing some clients, or with the specialized gifts, possibly alienating himself in the organization? And, how should the company deal with this manager? In the second case, should the members of the Apache culture stop going to their favorite bars and dancing halls, and should the white communities lash back at them? In the third case, should the Indigenous Fijians allow the Indo-Fijians to use their land and, if so, on what conditions? Also, should the Indo-Fijians take to arms or perhaps leave the country if not allowed to renew the lease on their land? Third, each situation calls for some action. The need for action varies, of course, with each scenario; in the frst case, it is not as pressing as in the second, and, especially, in the third case. However, something in all these situations must change; otherwise the tensions will keep growing and things may get out of control. Why do tensions arise between cultures, in the frst place? Why do people constantly fnd themselves facing choices—some small, and some quite signifcant? A preliminary answer to these questions can be found in Chapter 4: people from diferent cultures have diferent positions on the same issue. But why? For instance, why does the Thai manager in the example above want to give his clients specialized gifts, while the American company that he works for has a diferent position—to buy one thing in bulk and give it to everybody? To understand why this happens, we must diferentiate between positions as explicit claims that people make, and needs as innermost strivings underlying cultural behaviors. Positions can be equated with a stance taken on a certain issue, emphasizing what people want in a certain situation, such as buying gifts in bulk and giving them to clients. Needs are

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inner strivings, emphasizing why people want it, such as for the purpose of avoiding preferential treatment and possible lawsuits over the matter. It is needs that motivate people to behave in a certain way and take a particular position. Needs give rise to tensions, motivating people to overcome those tensions and reach their goal. The term ‘motivation’ is derived from the Latin ‘movere,’ meaning ‘to move.’ People from diferent cultures can satisfy their needs only if they ‘move,’ i.e., keep doing something. There are many theories that try to explain and classify human needs. One of the best-known theories was developed by Abraham Maslow, a well-known American psychologist, and takes on the form of a hierarchy of needs (1954). According to this theory, fve types of needs infuence human behavior: physiological (e.g., oxygen, food), safety (e.g., avoiding harm and disease), love (afection of others), esteem (respect of others), and selfactualization (desire to reach whatever goal we may have).These fve types of needs form a hierarchy because we cannot be motivated to satisfy higher level needs unless the lower level needs have been satisfed frst. When people from diferent cultures come into contact, tensions arise because their needs are diferent. For instance, the Indigenous Fijians in the example above feel a strong attachment to the land (love needs), while the Indo-Fijians want to use it for their economic projects (self-actualization needs). The twist here is that the tension is created by people from both cultures who exist on the same land and so the land issue is their common space. In the previous chapter, we saw that continuum can be represented as a line formed by two cultures and turned into a circle. It may look fat and static, but in reality it is not: it ceases to be fat the moment we give the edges a half-twist. This shared space then comes to life and appears as a dynamic infnity sign (spiral) with the tension existing between the two parts (Figure 7.1). Intercultural communication, therefore, is driven by tensions that arise from diferent cultural needs.Tensions create potential for change and allow people from diferent cultures to reach their goals. Zero tension means no potential for change—and no communication. Now we know that what makes the world go round is tensions resulting from diferent cultural needs, ranging from basic physiological drives to complex desires of self-actualization. Overall, it is no exaggeration to say that

A

B

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Figure 7.1 Continuum as dynamic tension Source: Author

B

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the overriding motivation of any group of people is to maintain its cultural vitality, i.e., the capacity for the continuation of a meaningful existence. 2.1

Ethnolinguistic Vitality

The concept of vitality as it applies to culture was introduced by Howard Giles in the form of Vitality Theory (Bouhris et al., 2019; Giles & Johnson, 1987).This theory aims to provide an assessment of a culture’s strength (vitality) by focusing on certain aspects—usually, on language as the main means of cultural expression. A culture’s strength is investigated using the concept of ethnolinguistic vitality, i.e., the extent to which a culture can function as a collective entity due to the range and importance of its language usage. In this light,“a language group with high vitality is more likely to survive and fourish as a collective entity in an intergroup context. By contrast, groups with low vitality are likely to disappear as discrete linguistic entities in intergroup settings” (Barker et al., 2001, p. 6). Two types of ethnolinguistic vitality are isolated—objective and subjective (Giles et al., 1977). Objective ethnolinguistic vitality is identifed with a culture’s position based on available ‘hard’ data such as demographics, e.g., a number of people speaking a certain language. Subjective ethnolinguistic vitality is identifed with a culture’s position as perceived by its members. When members of a culture “sense that their vitality is low, or when another language group threatens it, group members may feel their social identity to be negatively valued and act to change their situation” (Barker et al., 2001, p. 7).Therefore, ethnolinguistic vitality is a matter of comparison: it can be determined and changed only in the process of intercultural interactions. Earlier, we saw how tensions can arise between people from diferent cultures on such issues as giving gifts or using land. Now we can see that language itself may become a focal point for disagreement, creating tensions between cultures. In many cases, language usage is an explosive issue as people fght ferocious battles across cultural barricades. Below are several examples of such battles. In Latvia, a former Soviet republic, language policies are a reaction to the use of Russian as its ofcial language from 1940, when the country was annexed by the Soviet Union, to 1991, when the Soviet Union ceased to exist.With the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Latvia began reasserting its cultural identity, and the frst steps in that direction were aimed at increasing its ethnolinguistic vitality. Latvian-only signs went up, everyone from doctors to bus drivers was required to speak enough Latvian to do their jobs, etc. A recent law adopted by the parliament of Latvia in 2018 provides for a gradual transition to education only in the Latvian language at the secondary school level in schools of national minorities. The language factor accelerated emigration from Latvia (Hazans, 2019); many Russians, though, still live in Latvia and use Russian as their main language. Naturally, the Russian-speaking minority population of Latvia fnd recent language policies of the Latvian government too aggressive or even biased (Semenov, 2018). Tensions between people from these two cultures (Latvian and Russian) are high, and the language struggle continues.

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Another well-known example is the negative attitude of people from many cultures toward the use of English; its global spread is sometimes labeled ‘linguistic imperialism’ (Phillipson, 1992). Many people try to strengthen their culture by promoting their own language(s) and discouraging the use of Anglicisms. France and Switzerland, for instance, provide a special vocabulary aimed to replace Anglicisms with their own language(s), especially in the areas of computing, business, and entertainment. Instead of ‘spam,’ for example, the Swiss are encouraged to use ‘courier de masse non sollicite’ (‘unsolicited bulk mail’), while the French are urged to replace ‘public speaking’ with ‘l’art oratoire.’ And yet, according to Robert Phillipson whose two books—Linguistic imperialism (1992) and Linguistic imperialism continued (2010)—are considered to be the benchmark volumes on the subject, such attempts haven’t been very successful. He talks about ‘the linguistic imperialism of neoliberal empire,’ showing how the dominance of global English is now driven by corporations through new forms of communication, such as computer games, email and Internet interaction, SMSs, television programs, and advertising for the younger generation (Phillipson, 2008). To overcome tensions, people from diferent cultures must voice their positions; in other words, they must express themselves as best as they can, making sure their voices are heard. High ethnolinguistic vitality can be equated with a strong cultural voice, and low ethnolinguistic vitality with a weak cultural voice.

3 ‘Voice’ in Intercultural Communication We usually identify voice with sounds produced by our vocal organs.‘Voice,’ though, is also a powerful cultural category (Evans, 2008) similar to that of ‘standpoint,’ discussed in chapter 4. While Standpoint Theory focuses on our cultural background that infuences the way we perceive and know the world, ‘voice’ focuses more on how that is expressed; in other words, it “embodies who can speak, when, and in what ways” (Putnam, 2001, p  41). A culture’s ‘voice’ can be expressed visually, for instance, through the socalled ‘linguistic landscape’—“the language of public signs and symbols, billboards, street names, mail advertising, government information, and notifcations” (Barker et al., 2001, p. 8). One quick look reveals the diversity of linguistic landscapes of multilingual cultures in such domains as business and entertainment. Linguistic landscape is often an arena of contestation since diferent ‘voices’ are produced and propagated through language policy, language politics, and language hierarchies (Figure 7.2). Two interpretations of voice (literal and fgurative) are similar: both show how we identify people by their voice/‘voice’, whether it is an individual person or a culture. In other words, there can be no identity and no recognition (including self-recognition) without a voice. The concept of ‘voice’ is used widely in the study and practice of intercultural communication. For example, we fnd it in Indian Voices—a monthly publication to pay homage

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Figure 7.2 Example of linguistic landscape Source: Public Domain

to Native Americans and promote harmony among the indigenous peoples of the world.Also, we fnd articles and books showing how difcult yet critical it is to study Native American culture because its voice mostly exists only in oral narratives (LeGrand, 1997). The concept of ‘voice’ is often found in relation to people whose cultural positions are marginalized, not well-known or not known at all, calling our attention to “unique perspectives that are often ignored, silenced, or misunderstood” (Putnam, 2001, p. 41; see also: Gonzalez et al., 2015). For example, do we know much about the views of Australian Indigenous culture on music (Dennis, 2003), or the position of non-Western cultures on bioethics (Alora & Lumitao, 2002)? Such unique cultural voices were often ignored or silenced as a result of colonialism—a policy by which one culture maintains or extends its control over other cultures that depend upon it. Colonialism allowed powerful cultures like Britain to establish their control over other groups, such as cultures of Oceania. In this respect,“the academic feld of intercultural communication cannot escape its links to colonialism” (Irwin, 1996, p. 25).

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Today, many cultural voices are still silenced or misunderstood. From a Western point of view, many parts of the world are in efect excluded from genuine intercultural interactions, e.g.: We can travel and see them. They cannot travel and see us. They may watch our soaps; we don’t see their flms. We “see,” by and large, only Third World disasters, hunger, and corruption.They mainly see our success stories, the political leadership, the multinationals, the American way. (Oonk, 2002, p. 535) People from many cultures, therefore, do not hear other voices, or do not hear all the voices; for instance, the experience of people in the so-called ‘Third World’ cultures cannot be limited to hunger and disasters, while the experience of people in the Western cultures cannot be limited only to soap operas and business corporations. The concept of ‘voice’ is central in the Theory of the Dialogical Self (Holquist, 1990).According to this theory, everything we say exists only as it relates to something said by someone else (Other); our voice exists only in a dialogue with other voices.The meaning of the word ‘dialogue’ is made up of two concepts: ‘dia-’ (‘one with another’) and ‘legein’ (‘to talk’).Whether we support or criticize someone, we ‘dialogue’ with another position. Our voice, while certainly ours, at the same time embodies someone else’s voice. Other enters into our speech not simply as an audience, but as part of our voice and part of our culture. In this sense, our interactions are characterized by polyphony or multivoicedness (Bakhtin, 1984). It is impossible to understand intercultural communication without acknowledging its inherent polyphonic nature—the existence of multiple cultural voices and open communication among them (Gao, 2016).

4

Introducing the Pendulum Principle

Let’s now formulate, based on the discussion above, the seventh principle of intercultural communication—the Pendulum Principle. We will isolate three parts that make up this principle. Each part dealing with the dynamic nature of intercultural interactions. First, we will look at the contradictory nature of intercultural communication; then, we will discuss intercultural interactions in terms of praxis; fnally, we will emphasize the role of change in intercultural communication. We will discuss each part separately and then formulate the Pendulum Principle, as a whole. 4.1 The Contradictory Nature of Intercultural Communication

The term ‘contradiction’ is often interpreted as something negative. However, as we saw in the previous chapter, every meaning presupposes the existence of something contrary to it; for example, individualism is contrary, yet

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linked, to collectivism. In this view, our life is nothing but contradictions—an interplay between opposing tendencies. This view of an interplay between unifed oppositions is part of the Dialectical Theory of intercultural communication, emphasizing its contradictory and dynamic character (Drzewiecka & Nakayma, 2018; Martin, 2017). The word ‘dialectics’ as the art of discussion or debate has its roots in Ancient Greece when Socrates and Plato showed that every issue has two opposing lines of argument, regarding dialectics as a search for truth.Through discussion or debate, contradictory arguments can be resolved and the truth can be found. So, everything is driven by contradictions, and intercultural communication is no exception. Take another look at the examples of interactions discussed earlier in this chapter. In each case, oppositions form an interactive unity. Unifed oppositions are never static; the contradictory nature of intercultural communication lies in the ongoing interplay of opposing forces. If an opposing force is taken as a static and isolated object, we cannot say that intercultural communication really takes place in the dialectic sense of the word. Recall the examples of ethnocentric reduction and ethnocentric negation from Chapter 4; in both cases, there is no true interaction. In the frst case, people from one culture treat another culture as an object, reducing it to itself, while, in the second case, people from one culture simply ignore another culture. It is as if people from these cultures exist in two parallel worlds that do not cross; here, we deal with dualism, but not dialectics. The nature of intercultural communication is contradictory (dialectical) in the sense that there is an ongoing interplay between opposing forces, allowing people from cultures to debate an issue and reach common ground. It is the interplay between contradictory yet unifed oppositions that is the driving force of intercultural communication. In this dynamic interplay, tensions are constantly created and overcome.The dialectics of tension presupposes both stretching out and drawing in. If a culture stretches too far, failing to draw in and remain itself, it breaks—and tension ceases to exist; if a culture stays in and refuses to stretch out, no tension arises—and no interaction takes place. Tension exists only insofar as something stretches out and draws in at the same time. Let’s discuss the contradictory nature of intercultural communication by looking at the issue of bilingual education in the United States. Nearly everyone has an opinion on whether children with no or little fuency in English should be taught in schools in their own language while learning English. Supporters of bilingual education argue that it not only helps diferent groups to maintain their culture but also allows their stronger integration in the mainstream culture of the United States, seeing bilingual education as unifying rather than alienating. Supporters of the English-only movement, in their turn, argue that bilingual education (along with other bilingual policies) undermines the national unity, resulting in linguistic separation of the country. The issue of bilingual education is a major language battleground in the United States:“The ofcial language debate continues to be a divisive

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issue in the United States” (Sullivan & Schatz, 1999, p. 261);“In the United States bilingual education continues to provoke ferce debate” (Goldenberg & Wagner, 2015, p. 28). In 1998, Proposition 227—an anti-bilingual education measure—was put forward in California where about 700,000 children had been taught entirely or partly in their frst language (mostly Spanish).According to that Proposition, nearly all language classes taught in languages besides English were to be outlawed and replaced with an English-language class lasting one school year. Under Proposition 227, bilingual classes were to be prohibited for children under the age of ten unless parents of 20 students in the same grade made a request in person each year. Proposition 227 was to let parents sue any teacher who violates its English-only provisions. Districts failing to comply were to be fned about $175 per pupil, with that money given to districts that do comply.The passage of Proposition 227 was to distribute $61 million of federal bilingual education money to California.This, of course, is not the complete description of Proposition 227, but it does give you a good idea of its thrust. Now, how would you vote if you went to the ballot box—for or against the proposition? For the sake of the example, suppose 70% voted for the proposition, and 30% voted against it.These ballots represent two cultural positions—position A (Anglo-Saxon) and position B (bilingual—mostly Hispanic). Of course, not all white Anglo-Saxon people voted for the proposition, and not all Hispanic people voted against it; ‘Anglo-Saxon’ and ‘Hispanic’ are simply the labels for two cultural positions. It is easy to see how one position is stronger than the other, i.e., how Anglo-Saxon ethnolinguistic vitality is higher than bilingual ethnolinguistic vitality. In reality, the anti-bilingual education measure Proposition 227 won overwhelmingly in California (Asimov, 1998). As we saw in the previous chapter, when people from diferent cultures are brought together by a certain issue (in this case, Bilingual Education Measure 227), their interactions form a shared continuous space. In this case, people who support this proposition and those who are against it are two contradictory forces. The voices of these two groups are clearly divergent; each one pulls out and away from the other one, trying to draw in as many votes as it can. Divergence is an act of moving in diferent directions from a common point; in our case, the common point is the issue of the bilingual education measure.These two groups take up the issue of the bilingual education measure and pull it out in diferent directions (Figure 7.3.). As people in each group ‘grab’ the issue of the bilingual education measure and draw the votes toward themselves, trying to remain separate, the action of people from the other group provides the opposite movement—that of pulling back. This movement can be seen as a counterpoint for divergence of the two groups, making them move toward each other and converge. Convergence, then, is an act of approaching the same point from diferent directions (Figure 7.4). The actions of divergence and convergence, discussed as separate actions, are, in fact, two sides of one and the same process, taking place simultaneously.

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Issue Bilingual Education Measure

Anglo-Saxon Out Divergence

Bilingual Out Divergence

Figure 7.3 Intercultural communication as divergence Source: Author

Issue Bilingual Education Measure

Anglo-Saxon

In Convergence

Bilingual

In Convergence

Figure 7.4 Intercultural communication as convergence Source: Author

The interaction between people from these two groups is but one movement that simultaneously connects them and keeps them apart. It is but one movement of a pendulum, representing an issue being discussed at the moment (in our example—the issue of Bilingual Education Measure 227). Because the voice of those who support the proposition is stronger at the moment (70% of the vote), the pendulum of intercultural communication is swinging in that direction (Figure 7.5). Following the approval of Proposition 227, many bilingual teachers said they would not comply with the English-only rule, despite the threat of lawsuits; they vowed to go to court and fght the measure. It is perhaps due to their eforts, among other things, that the pendulum has recently swung in the opposite direction, i.e., toward bilingual education. In 2016, Proposition 58 was placed on the ballot by the state legislature and approved by voters with a 73.5% majority. Proposition 58 in efect repealed the provisions

168 Pendulum Principle Issue Bilingual Education Measure

Anglo-Saxon

Out Divergence

In Convergence

Bilingual

Out Divergence In Convergence

Figure 7.5 Intercultural communication as simultaneous divergence and convergence Source: Author

required by Proposition 227 of 1998. Proposition 58 no longer requires English-only education for English learners and allows schools to utilize multiple programs, including bilingual education, making it possible for students to learn from teachers who speak both their native language and English (California Proposition 58, Non-English Languages Allowed in Public Education, 2016; Hopkinson, 2017). The Pendulum Principle extends the ideas of the Continuum Principle because what is “normally depicted in a linear model along an arrow moving from left to right, can instead be mapped onto a pendulum” (Acheson & Schneider-Bean, 2019, p. 50). A pendulum can be conceptualized as constantly swinging, e.g., from discrimination to empathy, if we look at the attitudes toward the Other, discussed in Chapter 6, or from supporting the English-only measure to supporting the Multilingual Education measure, as just discussed. In both cases, the pendulum swings between a focus on similarity and a focus on diference, striving for a dynamic balance between the extreme positions of overdivergence and overconvergence. Overdivergence means cultural isolation and no dialogue between people from diferent cultures, while overconvergence means complete submersion of one (weaker) culture by another (stronger) culture. In both cases, the pendulum of intercultural communication would stop because there is no Other to provide a countermovement. So, the contradictory nature of intercultural communication can be revealed by using dialectics as a “sensible way to study a world composed of mutually dependent processes in constant evolution” (Ollman, 1998, p. 342).This way, we can see that a culture maintains its identity and remains stable only through a process of interaction with other cultures. There is only one constant in this process, and that is fux understood as a pendulum movement.

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It is important to emphasize that these two processes—centrifugal force of diference and centripetal force of unity—take place at the same time: intercultural communication, therefore, is a simultaneous process of diference and unity, a dynamic condition of coming to be and ceasing to be—at the same time. Or, as stated by one of the articles on intercultural communication,“To be and not to be, that is the answer” (The Economist,Vol. 341, 1996, pp. 91–92). 4.2

Intercultural Communication as Praxis

In Chapter 4, we saw how intercultural communication is performed.When people enact meaning, they must decide how to deal with various tensions, such as the needs for connection and autonomy, expression and privacy, or predictability and novelty (Baxter & Montgomery, 1996). Intercultural communication, therefore, must be viewed as a form of praxis—purposive action based on one’s experience and tensions of the moment. Praxis, which concerns itself with knowledge about human action, has a moral dimension: it requires practical wisdom (phronesis) to determine in a specifc situation what is good for the individual and the culture(s), overall. One must be able to anticipate the consequences of one’s actions or—to use the metaphor from this chapter—to see what a change in the pendulum movement may entail. For example, one study that compared perceptions of change in Eastern and Western thinking patterns (Ji et al., 2001), found that Chinese were more likely to predict change in events than Americans. Also, Chinese were found to anticipate more alteration in the direction of trends and more variation in the rate of change, and were more likely than Americans to regard people who predict changes as wise. Successful intercultural communication requires that people from every culture listen to others’ voices, predicting change; this way, they can make wiser decisions about how to act in this or that situation. Overall, intercultural communication is successful “when we act jointly and our actions are part of a larger undertaking” (Kratochwil, 2018, p. 430). It is very important to keep in mind that people manage dialectical tensions in their intercultural interactions “through their jointly enacted communication choices” (Baxter & Montgomery, 1996, p. 14). Another important aspect of praxis is that it deals with variable cases and requires experience relevant to specifc situations (Flyvbjerg, 2001, p. 57).The pendulum of intercultural communication does not swing by itself; it is set and kept in motion by concrete practices of real people in real-life situations. It’s through such practices that a culture’s vitality increases or decreases. It is important to keep in mind that,“just as a physical pendulum responds sensitively to forces of nature such as gravity, propulsion, and inertia, this model is responsive to our lived realities” (Acheson & Schneider-Bean, 2019). Specifc forms of intercultural praxis vary from situation to situation, determined by the goal people want to achieve through their action. Hence, “intercultural praxis may manifest in a range of forms such as simple or

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complex communication competency skills; oppositional tactics; and creative, improvisational, and transformational interventions” (Sorrels, 2010, p. 184). In other words, praxis can range from an open dialogue as one of the most constructive forms of intercultural communication, to discriminatory laws and violence as the most destructive forms. In all situations, though, a choice needs to be made and action taken. For example, the issue of English-only vs bilingual education takes the form of a number of concrete practices, such as conversations at the dinner table and political campaigns.When it is time, the issue takes on the form of a proposition voted upon at the ballot box.Voting is an important form of praxis.When people go to the ballot box and cast their votes, they give their voices in support of, or opposition to, a certain issue. Overall, intercultural practice operates as informed and engaged communicative action, sufused with an understanding of the positionality and standpoint of the communicators whose resources include intercultural knowledge, insight, and wisdom that opens onto a rich and diverse ensemble of interactional choices. (Sorrells, 2014, p. 153) Every form of praxis can be seen as a jointly enacted communicative choice; through such choices, people change the dialectical situation present at the moment, creating a new situation and therefore facing a new choice, etc. In a way, praxis, as the mechanism of the pendulum of intercultural communication, keeps the pendulum swinging as long as diferent cultures act together. If intercultural communication works like a clock, there is a lot of work behind such interactions.The movement of the pendulum is not at all times smooth, of course, and we will discuss what makes this movement more or less smooth in the next chapters. Right now, it is important to understand that cultures can keep their identities and remain stable only by interacting, i.e., constantly creating and changing their relationships. 4.3

Intercultural Communication and Change

Change is one of the core concepts of dialectics. It is impossible to understand the contradictory nature of intercultural communication without emphasizing its dynamic character. Intercultural communication exists insofar as people from diferent cultures continue to interact and change, resolving their contradictions and looking for the true meaning of every communicative practice. For example, there are diferent cultural views on the practice of drinking (Room & Makela, 2000). In ‘abstinent cultures,’ drinking is religiously and legally forbidden (some Islamic societies), in ‘strained ritual drinking cultures,’ a small amount is drunk only on certain occasions (Orthodox Jews), while in the so-called ‘banalized drinking cultures’ (e.g.,  southern European societies), drinking is more accepted.

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However, none of these cultures can claim that their view on drinking is the only true one. Every cultural voice can exist only because there are other voices on the same issue. People from every culture can express themselves and maintain their identity as long as they carry an ongoing dialogue with other people, simultaneously diverging and converging. No culture owns the truth, and the search for knowledge is a joint enterprise. Change, therefore, is inherent to communication: in “intercultural communication this translates as a desire for the transformation of intercultural consciousness” (O’Regan & MacDonald, 2007). In other words, intercultural communication is successful only if the consciousness of people from interacting cultures changes, as a result. This is understood very well, for example, by those who go on intercultural religious or spiritual missions, which can be successful only insofar as a certain transformation is brought about in the consciousness of the people who were initially ignorant of, or resistant to, the ideas propagated by the mission (Gittins, 2015). Transformation occurs in every successful intercultural interaction, no matter how mundane.As a real-life example, Fons Trompenaars and Charles Hampden-Turner describe an incident at Motorola in one of its branches in East Asia. As part of its operation, the corporation established a certain practice regulating its interactions with East Asian engineers who were given a $2,000 housing allowance so that they could live comfortably adjacent to the plant. One day a senior engineer had to be contacted urgently at home and was found to be living in a shack. He had spent his housing allowance on putting his siblings through school. (Trompenaars & Hampden-Turner, 2002, p. 26) It was clear that the established boundaries failed to be efective, creating a tense situation. In other words, the tables had turned on the very people who had established those boundaries; as a result, the people had to react to the new situation. The corporation could have fred the engineer as he had misallocated the funds. To its credit, the corporation decided that the engineer had put the money to better use than he would have by isolating himself in relative luxury as the “kept man” of a foreign corporation.Was thinking of one’s own family an “ofence?”The rules were changed.Today you can use the allowance for your own purpose and to implement local values. (Trompenaars & Hampden-Turner, 2002, p. 26) This intercultural scenario can be understood, in terms of praxis, as creating a meaningful rule (money to be used as housing allowance) leading to new tensions (misallocation of funds) and resolving those tensions by establishing another rule (money to be used for one’s own purpose in accordance with cultural needs).

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Transformation, therefore, involves any change, whether small or profound: the most important thing is that a change does take place and new boundaries for intercultural interactions are established. At the same time, these new boundaries begin to function as normative practices, afecting people’s choices. In other words, people give “communicative life to the contradictions that organize their social life, but these contradictions in turn afect their subsequent communicative actions” (Baxter & Montgomery, 1996, pp. 13–14). Praxis is an inherent part of intercultural communication because new contradictions create new tensions that need to be resolved by a new action. Intercultural communication is based on the assumption that cultures can, and do, change. In a way,“change can be likened to propulsion, an external force that causes the pendulum to swing” (Acheson & Schneider-Bean, 2019, p. 53). Every movement of the pendulum of intercultural communication brings about a change—sometimes dramatic, sometimes quite subtle. The two dangers of ethnocentrism, discussed in Chapter 4, lead to breakdowns in intercultural communication because they do not share this assumption. On the contrary, the Other is viewed as a passive object that cannot change and must be reduced to Self or ignored. As a result, interaction simply does not take place (Ethnocentric Negation), or it is replaced by an action of one culture on another, whereby the Other is reduced to Self (Ethnocentric Reduction). In both cases, the Other remains an outside object whose voice is not heard. In both cases, no real tension between Self and Other exists, and no interplay of opposing tendencies takes place. Self can develop and maintain its identity only through interaction with Other; once Other is ignored or reduced to Self, intercultural communication breaks down and the pendulum of intercultural communication stops. Self has no Other to interact with, having undermined its own stability by refusing to change. The very existence of cultures depends on their ongoing interplay. Stability is a result of change, which is the only true constant. Panta Rhei—‘all is fux.’

5 The Pendulum Principle Defned Let’s now give a more concise formulation of the Pendulum Principle, based on the above discussion of its three parts. We noted the contradictory nature of intercultural communication. In every intercultural interaction, there are opposing tendencies at work, and in each case, these oppositions are unifed, forming an interactive unity.The contradictory nature of intercultural communication, therefore, consists in the ongoing interplay of opposing forces. Tensions between cultures are created and resolved through concrete practices (praxis). People act as subjects, establishing new boundaries for intercultural interactions. At the same time, these new boundaries begin to function as normative practices, afecting people’s choices. Therefore, every form of praxis is a jointly enacted communicative choice. This

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joint efort is what keeps the pendulum of intercultural communication swinging. We also showed that it is impossible to understand intercultural communication without emphasizing its ever-changing nature. Intercultural communication continues as long as cultures keep interacting, every movement of the pendulum afected by, and afecting, their positions. Every cultural position can be seen as a ‘voice’—a stance from which a culture collectively speaks. Intercultural communication is polyphonic by nature because it involves many ‘voices’ from diferent cultures. In a nutshell, the Pendulum Principle can be formulated as follows: Intercultural communication is an ongoing and interactive process that simultaneously connects and keeps apart people from diferent groups, producing multiple voices.

6

Case Study: ‘Dialectics of Colonial Encounter: Interacting with the Kobon’

This case study is based on the article entitled ‘The transformation of violence in the colonial encounter: Intercultural discourse and practices in Papua New Guinea’ (Görlich, 1999). As usual, it is recommended that you read the article in its entirety; below, you fnd a summary of the article. Be ready to identify and then discuss the following topics: 1. The contradictory nature of the colonial encounter. 2. What strategies were employed in the interactions? 3. What transformations emerged from these interactions? The article analyzes the dialectics of the interactions between the Australian administration and the Kobon culture in the northern Highlands of Papua New Guinea between 1953 and 1975.The article begins by describing the precolonial social order among the Kobon as based on reciprocity and characterized by such activities as the exchange of material goods, women, and services, including violence, e.g., acts of vengeance. For example, when someone died, the person thought to be responsible for that death had to be found and killed in revenge; this act was justifed by attributing the death to witchcraft. Finding and killing the witch was carried out through a surprise attack; afterwards, everyone involved in the vengeance received compensation payments from the relatives of the avenged person. If a surprise attack was not successful, the ritualized battle took place between up to a hundred people on each side, which continued until the frst lives were lost, causing one side to retreat. A peace ceremony after the battle did not exclude future acts of vengeance.Violence therefore was not regarded by the Kobon as something negative, which was a major obstacle for the Australian culture to overcome.

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The very frst contacts between the Kobon and Australian ofcers made it clear that two radically diferent cultural concepts clashed—‘law and order’ and ‘state of nature.’The frst contacts were characterized by a lot of uncertainty and tension; the Kobon associated the white people with spirits, while the ofcers could not but feel the real danger of violence emanating from the opposite party. In this risky situation the Australian patrols communicated their peaceful intentions by ofering gifts, trading by barter, and, where possible, communicating orally through bilingual speakers. Insofar as the Kobon willingly participated in exchange transactions, they saw the white people not only as a threat but also as a potential ally that could be mobilized to help in the realization of their own goals. At the same time, the colonial message was clear: it signaled a desire to cooperate and, on the other hand, to use violence if the Kobon continued their vengeance killings.The Australian administration communicated this message through oral orders to refrain from violence and demonstration of their frearms. Also, they would set up a large camp at the spot where the vengeance killing had taken place and talk to the Kobon, explaining the purpose and intentions of the Australian administration. They also exploited the importance of the Kobon ritual of parom—a dance festival where extensive exchanges took place. During this festival, the ofcers displayed their superior weapons, threatened to use them, and announced prison sentences as a sanction for vengeance killings. By that time, the Kobon had become familiar with the concepts of court proceedings and prison. Some of the former Kobon prisoners were later re-educated and appointed as assistants to the patrol ofcers. Step by step, the Australians made the new state of things more acceptable to the Kobon people. Patrols now carried out such new activities as taking a census, collecting taxes, and organizing elections.The author of the article notes that, in describing their experiences to him, the Kobon repeatedly mentioned the importance of such new rituals in their interactions with the Australians as the daily morning and evening roll call, hoisting the fag, and census patrols in which they had been ordered to stand in line in front of the ofcer. Gradually, a number of signifcant changes in the interactions between the Kobon and Australians took place. For example, the Kobon stopped using direct physical violence against those suspected of witchcraft; instead, they began to use symbolic violence in the form of counter-witchcraft.As before, the participants in a counter-witchcraft action received compensation payments in return for their service. The attitude toward witchcraft changed, too. It is no longer seen as the embodiment of antisocial behavior, undermining the cultural order; some people even speak openly about their skills in witchcraft, as if advertising their services and hoping for compensation payments.The concept of witchcraft now includes the idea of its manipulation. Naturally, now that the risk of violent conficts has been reduced, it is possible for the administration to build more cooperative relationships with the Kobon people. ∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗∗

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Now let’s see how this case study can be an illustration of Pendulum Principle of intercultural communication. 1. The contradictory nature of the colonial encounter. The intercultural encounter described in the article is clearly characterized by two opposing forces—the Kobon people and the Australian administration (‘the colonized’ and ‘the colonizers’). In this encounter, two cultural concepts—‘law and order’ and ‘state of nature’—give rise to tensions and a lot of uncertainty. To the Kobon, the white people frst appear as spirits that may or may not be peaceful, while the ofcers fnd themselves in a highly risky situation, facing possible and unjustifed violence. The centrifugal forces of diference are strong as the people from each culture are motivated to preserve their own order.At the same time, the encounter brings the two cultures together and forces them to interact.The frst steps made by the administration include giving gifts, and the Kobon take part in such exchange transactions. As a result, the centripetal forces of unity begin to operate in their transactions as well. So, the nature of this colonial encounter is truly contradictory, showing the interplay between two opposing forces. The Kobon people often had no choice other than to submit to the force of the Australian administration; hence, their interaction is labeled ‘a colonial encounter.’ At the same time, the white ofcers could not but listen to the Kobon collective voice too; that dialogue was carried out through a number of strategies in praxis. 2. What strategies were employed in the interactions? Initially, intercultural communication was mostly carried out through simple barter transaction such as an exchange of gifts. The nonverbal strategy of the frearms display was used along with such exchanges. At the same time, verbal communication was also employed from the start in the form of orders, threats, and explanation. For instance, explanation (of the purpose and intentions of the Australian administration) was the main part of conducting camps at the spot where the vengeance killing had taken place. Later, the strategy of political instruction made it possible for the people from the two cultures to start using more complex forms of praxis, such as court proceedings and carrying out elections. Of special importance was the use of rituals. For example, the Australian patrols were able to exploit the Kobon ritual of parom, preserving its original nature as a dance festival where extensive exchanges took place and, at the same time, introducing a new message of prohibiting physical violence in acts of vengeance.The Kobon themselves mentioned the importance of such new rituals in their interactions with the Australians as the daily morning and evening roll call, hoisting the fag, and census patrols when they had been ordered to stand

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in line in front of the ofcer. All these strategies transformed the interactions between the Australians and the Kobon. 3. What transformations emerged from these interactions? First of all, violence is no longer viewed by the Kobons as an integral part of their culture; this perhaps is one of the most signifcant transformations. The Kobon stopped using direct physical violence against those suspected of witchcraft and began to use symbolic violence in the form of counter-witchcraft. Another transformation was the attitude change toward witchcraft in general. It is no longer seen as the embodiment of antisocial behavior, undermining the cultural order, and some people even advertise their services, looking for compensation payments. The concept of witchcraft has been transformed to include the idea of its manipulation. The risk of violent conficts between the Australians and the Kobon has been reduced, and it is now possible for the two cultures to build more cooperative relationships with each other. This is not to say, however, that the interactions between these two cultures have lost their contradictory nature. Newly established boundaries simply create new tensions that need to be resolved so every intercultural interaction is an ongoing encounter.

7 7.1

Side Trips Speaking Spanish at a Border

The article entitled ‘A border agent detained two Americans speaking Spanish: Now they have sued’ (Stack, 2019), describes a lawsuit, fled by the American Civil Liberties Union against the United States Customs and Border Protection on behalf of two American women—Ana Suda and Martha Hernandez, who were stopped inside a convenience store in Havre, Montana, by a border agent who said he was asking for their identifcation because he heard them speaking Spanish. The lawsuit alleges that Customs and Border Protection violated the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution because the agency did not have probable cause to detain the women.When Ms. Suda asked a Customs and Border Protection supervisor, who arrived on the scene, if they would have been detained if they had been speaking French, he replied:“No, we don’t do that.” In a statement, Ms. Suda said, as a result of that humiliating experience, she and and Ms. Hernandez had been shunned by other residents in Havre. Ms. Suda also said that her daughter was afraid to speak Spanish and now responds in English when her mother speaks to her in Spanish.“This changed our lives, I believe, forever,” Ms. Suda said in the statement. ∗∗ Using the ideas of the dialectical perspective on intercultural communication, do you fnd this encounter successful?

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Linguistic Landscapes and Cultural Transformations

The article, entitled ‘Translanguaging space and creative activity: Collaborative ethnography and arts-based learning’ (Bradley et al., 2017), describes a transdisciplinary educational arts project, conducted as part of ‘Translation and Translanguaging: Investigating Linguistic and Cultural Transformations’—a large-scale multi-site linguistic ethnographic study of urban multilingualism. The project focuses on the linguistic landscape of four cities—Birmingham, Cardif, Leeds, and London—as an interplay between language, visual communication, and the spatial cultural. Taking research into the multilingual linguistic landscape as its starting point, the project invited the young artists/ researchers to explore their own notions of ‘home’ and analyze the real-life settings in which their subjectivities are produced and transformed. ∗∗ Do you fnd this project potentially leading to more successful intercultural interactions in those four UK cities? Can you think of similar projects that have been, or could be, undertaken elsewhere with the goal of improving intercultural communication? 7.3

In Montreal, a Berlin Wall of the Mind?

In the article, entitled ‘In Montreal, a Berlin Wall of the mind?’ (Bilefsky, 2018), the author describes how he found his home city of Montreal after living abroad for 28 years. Montreal has been bifurcated with its Anglophone minority and Francophone majority, while also being surrounded by an Anglophone majority in the rest of the country. Bilefsky recalls how in the 1980s the city was consumed by a referendum on independence, and thousands of English-speaking Quebecers were leaving the province. He talks about his school years when he spoke English at home, watched American sitcoms and lived in a parallel universe from his French Canadian peers. Three decades later, Bilefsky found separatism largely in retreat as almost half of the population of Quebec speak both French and English, this shift especially evident in the younger generation. While, as the title of his article suggests, there are still some lingering problems, Montreal today shows more unity, not the division of the city. Bilefsky quotes Marie Bouchard, a 23-year-old political science student at Université de Montréal, who says:‘I love French, it’s my language,’ quickly adding,‘But if I only spoke French, it would limit my horizons.’ ∗∗ How can this article be analyzed in terms of the Pendulum Principle?

References Acheson, K. & Schneider-Bean, S. (2019). Representing the intercultural development continuum as a pendulum: Addressing the lived experiences of intercultural competence development and maintenance. European Journal of Cross-Cultural Competence and Management, 5(1): 42–61.

178 Pendulum Principle Alora, A. & Lumitao, J. (2002). Beyond a Western bioethics:Voices from the developing world. Perspectives in Biology and Medicine, 45(4): 627–628. Asimov, N. (1998). Big victory for measure to end bilingual education. San Francisco Chronicle, June 3. Bakhtin, M. (1984). Problems of Dostoevsky’s poetics. Manchester: Manchester University Press. Barker,V., Giles, H., Noels, K., Duck, J., Hecht, M., & Clément, R. (2001).The Englishonly movement:A communication analysis of changing perceptions of language vitality. Journal of Communication, 51(1): 3–37. Baxter, L. & Montgomery, B. (1996). Relating: Dialogues and dialectics. New York and London:The Guilford Press. Bilefsky, D. (2018). In Montreal, a Berlin Wall of the mind? New York Times, March 5. Bouhris, R., Sachdev, I., Ehala, M., & Giles, H. (2019).Assessing 40 years of group vitality research and future directions. Journal of Language and Social Psychology, 38(4): 409–422. Bradley, J., Moore, E., Simpson, J., & Atkinson, L. (2017).Translanguaging space and creative activity: Collaborative ethnography and arts-based learning. Language and Intercultural Communication, 18(1): 54–73. de Vries R. E. (2002). Ethnic tension in paradise: Explaining ethnic supremacy aspirations in Fiji. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 26: 311–327. Dennis, L. (2003).Aboriginal voices in textual spaces. www.f.net.au/~lyndenal/204essay. htm.Accessed July 10, 2019. Drzewiecka, J. & Nakayma,T. (Eds.) (2018). Global dialectics in intercultural communication: Case studies. Bern: Peter Lang. Evans, F. (2008). The multivoiced body: Society and communication in the age of diversity. New York: Columbia University Press. Fire arrest increases race tension (2002). Spokesman-Review, July 2. Flyvbjerg, B. (2001). Making social science matter:Why social inquiry fails and how it can succeed again. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Gao,Y. (2016). Introduction: Dialogical perspectives on intercultural communication as social practice. Language and Intercultural Communication, 17(1): 1–6. Giles, H. & Johnson, P. (1987). Ethnolinguistic identity theory: A social psychological approach to language maintenance. International Journal of the Sociology of Language, 68: 69–100. Giles, H., Bourhis, R.Y., & Taylor, D. M. (1977).Toward a theory of language in ethnic group relations. In H. Giles (Ed.), Language, ethnicity and intergroup relations. London: Academic Press. Gittins, A. (2015). Living mission interculturally: Faith, culture, and the renewal of praxis. Wilmington, DE: Michael Glazier, Inc. Goldenberg, C. & Wagner, K. (2015). Bilingual education: Reviving an American tradition. American Educator, 39(3): 28–32. Gonzalez, A., Houston, M., & Chen,V. (Eds.) (2015). Our voices: Essays in culture, ethnicity, and communication. New York: Oxford University Press. Görlich, J. (1999).The transformation of violence in the colonial encounter: Intercultural discourses and practices in Papua New Guinea. Ethnology, 38(2): 151–162. Hazans, M. (2019) Emigration from Latvia: A brief history and driving forces in the twenty-frst century. In R. Kaša & I. Mieriņa (Eds.), The emigrant communities of Latvia (pp. 35–68). IMISCOE Research Series. Cham: Springer. Holquist, M. (1990). Diologism: Bakhtin and his world. London: Routledge. Hopkinson, A. (2017). A new era for bilingual education: explaining California’s Proposition 58. EdSource, January 6. https://edsource.org/2017/a-new-era-for-bilingualeducation-explaining-californias-proposition-58/574852.Accessed October 22, 2019.

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Irwin, H. (1996). Communicating with Asia: Understanding people and customs. Sydney: Allen & Unwin. Ji, Li-Jun, Nisbett, R., & Su,Y. (2001). Culture, change, and prediction. Psychological Science, 12(6): 450–456. Kratochwil, F. (2018). Praxis: On acting and knowing. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Martin, J. (2017). Dialectics of culture and communication. In Y. Kim (Ed.), The international encyclopedia of intercultural communication. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/ abs/10.1002/9781118783665.ieicc0215.Accessed June 14, 2019. Maslow, A. (1954). Motivation and personality. New York: Harper and Bros. Mattson, M. & Stage, C. (2001).Toward an understanding of intercultural ethical dilemmas as opportunities for engagement in new millennium global organizations. Management Communication Quarterly, 15(1): 103–109. Ollman, B. (1998).Why dialectics? Why now? Science and Society, 62(3): 338–357. Oonk, G. (2002). Globalization and culture/globalization and identity: Dialectics of fow and closure. Journal of World History, 13(2): 532–537. O’Regan, J. P. & MacDonald, M. N. (2007). Cultural relativism and the discourse of intercultural communication: Aporias of praxis in the intercultural public sphere. Language and Intercultural Communication, 7(4): 267–277. Phillipson, R. (1992). Linguistic imperialism. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Phillipson, R. (2008). The linguistic imperialism of neoliberal empire. Critical Inquiry in Language Studies, 5(1): 1–43. Phillipson, R. (2010). Linguistic imperialism continued. New York: Routledge. Putnam, L. (2001). 2000 ICA presidential address: Shifting voices, oppositional discourse, and new visions for communication studies. Journal of Communication, 51(1): 38–51. Room, R. & Makela, L. (2000).Typologies of the cultural position of drinking. Journal of Studies on Alcohol, May: 475–483. Semenov, A. (2018). The issue of continuing discrimination of the Russian-speaking population in Latvia. CIS-EMO, September 18. www.osce.org/odihr/394844?download= true.Accessed November 11, 2019. Sorrels, L. (2010). Re-imagining intercultural communication in the context of globalization. In T. Nakayama & R. T. Halualani (Eds.), The handbook of critical intercultural communication (pp. 171–189). Oxford: Blackwell. Sorrells, K. (2014). Intercultural praxis: Transforming intercultural communication competence for the 21st century. In X. Dai & G.-M. Chen (Eds.), Intercultural communication competence: Conceptualization and its development in cultural contexts and interactions (pp. 144–169). Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. Stack, L. (2019). A border agent detained two Americans speaking Spanish: Now they have sued. New York Times, February 14. www.nytimes.com/2019/02/14/us/borderpatrol-montana-spanish.html Accessed December 5, 2019. Sullivan, N. & Schatz, R. (1999). When cultures collide: The ofcial language debate. Language and Communication, 19: 261–275. Trompenaars, F. & Hampden-Turner, C. (2002). 21 leaders for the 21st century: How innovative leaders manage in the digital age. New York: McGraw-Hill.

8

Transaction Principle ‘More Than a Game’

Key Theme: Problem Question: Objective:

Resolution How do people from diferent cultures fnd resolution to their conficts? To help you understand the importance of managing intercultural tensions and resolving associated confict

Key Concepts: Arbitration, avoidance, BATNA, compromise, collaboration, confict, dual concern model, fxed-sum perception, fexible-sum perception, honne, interests, intractable conficts, mediation, negotiation zone, nemawashi, polarization, reservation point, target point, transaction, zero-sum perception. 

Chapter Outline 1 Introducing the Problem Question 181 2 Approaching Confict: Roots 181 2.1 Two Sides of Confict 184 3 Approaching Confict: Routes 186 4 Introducing the Transaction Principle 190 4.1 Intercultural Transaction: Perception and Reality 190 4.2 Intercultural Communication as Negotiation Zone 193 4.3 Back to the Future: From Positions to Interests 194 5 The Transaction Principle Defned 195 6 Case Study:‘The Wall of Death’:A Confict Between Japanese and Western Cultures 196 7 Side Trips 199 7.1 Spain and Catalonia in Confict 199 7.2 Confict over a Beauty Pageant 200 7.3 Managing Intractable Confict 200

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181

Introducing the Problem Question

In the previous chapter, we discussed intercultural communication as a pendulum movement kept in motion by tensions. Now we need to take a closer look at how people from diferent cultures maintain their vitality, i.e., how they make sure the pendulum swings in such a way that their voices are heard. In this chapter, we take up the following Problem Question: ‘How do people from diferent cultures fnd resolution to their conficts?’

2 Approaching Confict: Roots In his address given at Seton Hall University on February 5, 2001, which inaugurated the United Nations Year of Dialogue Among Civilizations, UN Secretary-General Kof Annan noted that cultural diversity is both the basis for this dialogue and the reality that makes the dialogue necessary. He expressed the hope that, through such dialogue, people from all cultures can fourish and bear fruit in every feld of human endeavor.At the same time, he talked about the dark side of this dialogue, including the conficts between the Israelis and Palestinians in the Middle East and the Muslims and Christians in the Balkans. He called for an understanding of the grievances that lie at the roots of such confict and must be addressed if the conficts are to be resolved. Intergroup confict is not solely a modern cultural phenomenon. It has existed, in some degree, throughout history.The roots of intergroup confict are very deep: there are accounts of intergroup confict existing already in hunter– gatherer societies; it has also been documented in other social species, such as wolves and primates (McDonald et al., 2012). The roots of intergroup confict can be explained not only from phylogenetic (relating to the evolutionary development of our species), but cultural perspectives, as well. Often, people approach their experiences, including disagreements, based on their personal interpretations and are unaware of the impact of cultural factors such as values, gender roles, and language. However, while they may be a result of personality diferences, many such conficts cannot be understood and resolved without considering cultural factors. For example, raising children is especially difcult for intercultural couples (Garcia, 2006).An interfaith couple argues about what religious faith they want to instill in their child, they clash over the worthiness of their beliefs and values, i.e., everything they identify with. Each spouse wants the child to choose his or her own religion, reinforcing his or her own identity. If the husband, for instance, disagrees with his wife’s choice of religion for their child, she fnds her identity (e.g., Catholic) challenged or even threatened. By the same token, the husband may want to resort to his (e.g., Jewish) identity and raise their child in that faith—the desire his wife does not share. Since culture is shaped and held together by collective memory, its role in intercultural confict should be especially noted (Wagoner & Brescó, 2016). It is interesting to mention that for the Romans, the goddess of memory was

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Moneta, also associated with money. Similar to money, memory can be seen as the inner energy and substance of universal exchangeability behind human transactions (Kabitoglou, 1990). Intergroup conficts can be deeply rooted in cultural memory. For instance, in a series of interviews carried out in 2011 among the militant Kurds from Turkey who had taken refuge in Iraq, it was found that for a majority of them the 12th-century Kurdish leader Saladin’s recapture of Jerusalem from the Crusaders felt closer in time than more recent events, including the First World War (Ginges & Atran, 2013). Conficts among diferent cultures have occurred throughout history. In many situations, these are relatively small-scale conficts involving competition, antagonism among rival sport teams, gangs and high school cliques (McDonald et al., 2012). For instance, there are a number of cultural diferences between the U.S. Marines and Navy.The Marines are said to be very direct, while the Navy is not; sometimes, it feels like they speak diferent languages.While in practice and in combat they work together well, trapped together in close quarters, such as on board the USS Boxer for months in the middle of an ocean, they sometimes experience culture clashes such as bickering over who makes better bread and who broke the washing machine (Jones, 2019). Some situations are more serious and involve many more people. For instance, in 1997, a confict took place between the U.S. Occidental Petroleum and the U’wa Indians of Colombia over a feld with oil resources believed to be worth billions of dollars. For centuries, the U’wa had considered themselves the guardians of their sacred ancestral homeland, having successfully defended their territory high in the Andean cloud forests from conquistadors, missionaries, and colonists. They declared that they would rather die than to allow Occidental Petroleum to drill for oil—a substance the U’wa believe to be the blood of mother Earth—on their sacred ancestral territory (Soltani, 2017). As a result, in 2002, Occidental Petroleum announced withdrawal of plans to drill for oil on U’wa lands, the rights to oil and minerals reverting to Colombia’s government. As we can see, intercultural confict becomes much more difcult to manage when sacred values are involved. For example, most Palestinians regard a return to their former lands in what is now the State of Israel as their sacred right that cannot be given away by any authority. Most Israelis, in their turn, regard recognition of this right as an existential threat to their independence; when one pilot study was conducted, most Israelis reacted with hostility to the question ‘Do you agree that there are some extreme circumstances where it would be permissible for Israel to recognize the Palestinian right of return?’; as a result of this harsh reaction, the researchers were required to drop the item from the survey (Ginges & Atran, 2013). In some situations, we witness the so-called ‘intractable conficts’ that persist over time, resist resolution, and involve some form of violence (physical or symbolic) between conficting cultures. Here, there is little, if any, intercultural dialogue; instead, cultures engage in the distortion of messages, propaganda, and dehumanizing the adversary (Smith, 2014). Examples of

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intractable conficts include the enduring conficts in Israel-Palestine and Cyprus. A study of interstate relationships in those countries between 1945 and 1995 identifed 18 cases of intractable confict that included militarized and violent force, resisting hundreds of attempts at resolution (Bercovitch, 2005). Not surprisingly, negotiating intractable conficts receives special attention by communication scholars and practitioners (Schif, 2018). Most people understand confict as a clash or disagreement, which is quite correct. Consider an intercultural couple discussing their favorite ethnic food, and one likes Thai while the other likes Mexican.This disagreement is a confict of opinion (Thompson, 2000): they simply express diferent opinions as to which ethnic food is, in their opinion, better; they can argue for a while and then call the whole thing of, so to speak, going their separate ways. But, suppose they want to eat out and need to decide which restaurant to go to—Thai or Mexican. This disagreement is a diferent kind of confict—a confict of interest (Thompson, 2000).A confict of interest requires that something be done, i.e., it requires a resolution.There is more at stake now than just opinions; neither party is interested in spending their time and money on food they do not like.Yet, both want to eat out together so they need to resolve their confict together; in this respect, confict is said to have a mixed-motive nature since the parties have an incentive to cooperate with each other as well as an incentive to compete (Demoulin & de Dreu, 2010).They may decide to try Thai one night and Mexican another night, or compromise on an Italian restaurant.Whatever they decide to do results in an allocation of resources, in this situation—time and money—together. In a confict situation, resources are scarce (Ting-Toomey & Oetzel, 2001), i.e., there is not enough to go around for everyone; for instance, neither party in our situation can spend all the time and money only for oneself. In other words, the two parties need to decide how to spend these scarce resources—time and money, together. Thus, a confict arises when two or more parties cannot agree on how to use the resources due to competing needs and interests and, ultimately, clash of identities. As you remember, in Chapter 1, culture was defned as a system of symbolic resources—anything that can be drawn upon by people, when needed, in order to function successfully. Let’s look at several examples of resources that lie at the basis of intercultural confict. In 1979, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat announced that the only issue that would prompt Egypt to declare war would be over water, directing its threats at Ethiopia where the majority of Egypt’s Nile waters originate. In the 1990s, King Hussein of Jordan issued a similar declaration targeted at Israel. It is easy to see how “these examples illustrate the confict potential of a scarce resource like freshwater” (Dinar, 2002, p. 229). Another example is of a high school teacher in Amelia County High School,VA, U.S., who was told not to wear African headdresses after some parents complained when she wore them during Black History Month (‘Teacher may not wear African hats,’ 1995).The school had a policy against hats unless related to religious customs. The teacher said she would stop

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wearing the headdresses but felt very strongly about how they represented her appreciation of her cultural heritage. One more example is taken from the book entitled Planted fags (Braverman, 2014) that tells a story about the uses of tree landscapes in the confict between Israelis and Palestinians. The pine tree, usually associated with the Zionist project of aforesting the Promised Land, is contrasted with the olive tree, which for Palestinians is a symbol of their connection to the land. A fnal example is focused on language: as we saw in the previous chapter, language is the main means of cultural expression and vitality. In the United States, for instance, English-speaking and Spanish-speaking cultures are in constant contact, but also in frequent confict over language as a source of power of their ‘voices’ (Valdeón, 2015). We should not, therefore, think of cultural resources only in terms of tangible supplies like water; resources have their intangible side, as well,“for example, safety, attention, afection, understanding, respect, support, self-esteem, and power” (Ting-Toomey, 1999, p. 197). Intercultural conficts, therefore, are never only over tangible things like freshwater, headdresses, trees, or language, but also intangible things like livelihood, appreciation of one’s heritage, connection to one’s land, respect, and freedom of expression.The intangible side of resources in an intercultural confict is more hidden from view, yet it is more important—just like any root.The two sides of resources—tangible and intangible—make up a cultural identity; in the end, every confict is a confict of diferent cultural identities, i.e., everything people identify with and should fgure out how to allocate when the resources are scarce. In a way, intercultural confict is all about negotiating and allocating our very identities. 2.1 Two Sides of Confict

Every confict can be looked at in two ways—in a destructive light or in a constructive light. Let’s look frst at what happens when a confict becomes destructive. 1. It often intensifes a blurred perception of another culture and your own: it seems that your culture and another culture are of polar opposites. 2. As a result of such magnifed diferences and minimized similarities, people become locked into their positions; such infexibility often results in an impasse or even violence (Figure 8.1). 3. As a result of an impasse that may escalate to a felt violation or actual physical, the relationship between people can be spoiled or completely ruined. 4. And, as a result of ruined relationships, we come to view confict negatively—as an emotionally draining experience charged with animosity, anger, and frustration. Now let’s look at a confict as something constructive. 1. A confict can help us to become more aware of another culture and also our own.Through confict, we get a clearer picture of the identity

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and needs of people from another culture and also of our own cultural identity and needs. 2. As a result of such awareness, we are able to see and articulate our positions, interests, and needs, discovering that we share many interests with other people; this way, we overcome an impasse and avoid violence. 3. After discovering such common linkages, we manage to solve confict and grow stronger; the relationship between us and people from another culture grows. 4. And, as a result of our strengthened relationships, we come to view confict positively—as an emotionally stimulating and potentially rewarding experience. It may seem that we have just described two diferent confict situations; however, we have simply looked at one and the same confict situation from two diferent sides. You may have noticed that each destructive feature of confict has its constructive counterpart, as if refected in a mirror (Table 8.1).

Figure 8.1 Spirited Confict, by Albert Pasini (1859) Source:Widener University Art Museum Alfred O. Deshong Collection Table 8.1 Two sides of confict Confict Destructive Side

Constructive Side

Blurred perception of another culture and your own culture Infexibility of positions without a productive outcome Ruined relationships Negative view of confict

Increased awareness of another culture and your own culture Flexibility to look for shared intrest and a productive outcome Strengthened relationships Positive view of confict

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In confict situations, these two sides—destructive and constructive— exist together.We should not aim at eliminating confict; in doing that, its constructive side with all its transformative potential would be eliminated. In intercultural communication, people should learn how to manage confict, not eliminate it. In other words, people should learn how to control its destructive tendency while making the most of its constructive tendency; in this sense, managing confict can be compared to a situation of growing pains.As in medicine, people should avoid pathological processes and promote healthy growth. Or, as in gardening, people should learn how to cultivate a plant by interacting with it and ensuring sufcient light and water. This gentle nature of working with confict is captured very well in the Japanese metaphor of nemawashi (‘spadework’), which involves digging around the root of a big tree before its scheduled transplantation, enabling the tree to bear better fruit. It is important to emphasize that, in the process of nemawashi, we bind the roots of a tree not in order to pull it out, but to transplant it in such a way that ultimately helps its growth. In a similar manner, the practice of trimming around the roots of a confict helps people to adjust diferences and make their relationships more harmonious. For instance, many American businesspeople consider meetings “to be the appropriate place in which to persuade people or try to change their minds” (Miller, 1994, p. 224).They expect decision-making and total resolution of confict to occur at the meeting, which contrasts with the Japanese understanding of business meetings where consensus is sought and often achieved prior to the formal meeting. The participants meet informally at work but also in bars, cafes, and other locations where they express their true feelings and desires (honne), argue and try to iron out diferences of opinion before the formal meeting where they express the view of the majority (tatemae) whether they fully agree with it or not. The formal meeting itself is to bestow approval on what went on before it.This kind of pre-meeting activity does not have negative connotations in Japan; it is an attempt to reach consensus so that nobody loses face in the public formal meeting, which is quite a contrast to the typical American approach. So, a deep understanding of an intercultural confict requires that we frst identify its roots. How we manage confict after we identify its roots depends on our approach to confict or what route we take.

3 Approaching Confict: Routes Approaches to managing an intercultural confict may take several routes, all based on the same ‘dual concern model’ (Pruitt & Rubin, 1986).This model is fundamental because it provides a foundation for analyzing confict in terms of two main concerns—for the sake of our own culture’s outcomes and for the outcomes of those with a diferent cultural point of view. Often, this model is represented in the form of a table with two dimensions: Self (our

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culture) can be shown on the vertical axis, and Other (another culture)— on the horizontal axis. Within the space of these two dimensions, several main approaches to resolving confict are usually isolated. Let’s look at these main ways of managing intercultural confict. As an example, we will use the same incident at Motorola that took place in one of its branches in East Asia, mentioned in the previous chapter. Let us quickly recall the situation. One day a senior East Asian engineer had to be contacted urgently at home and was found to be living in a shack even though all the engineers had been given a $2,000 housing allowance by Motorola so that they could live adjacent to the plant. It turned out that the engineer had spent his housing allowance on putting his children through school. It is clearly a tense situation for both sides, and it can be handled in several ways. Avoidance.The easiest thing for both sides in this situation is to do nothing. In this case, neither side is really concerned about the outcome of the incident; the East Asian engineer may think he has done nothing wrong, and Motorola may not worry over a small (for large corporations) sum of money. Yet, the funds have clearly been misallocated, emphasizing the contradictory desires of the two sides. To ignore this fact may not be the best approach because the root of the confict is not addressed. As a result, the confict may turn into a more explosive situation later on. For example, the same engineer may have to be contacted again in an emergency situation and be unreachable; then, the corporation may lose time, money, or even lives. Or, Motorola management may decide to confront the engineer in the instance that he keeps misusing the money; his reaction may be one of a rightful surprise or indignation since nothing has ever been said to him about past incidents. This confrontation may create bad blood between the engineer and the company or perhaps even a lawsuit. Left unattended, this small confict may go away, but it may also turn into a much bigger one. The avoidance to confict can be called avoidance and revolves around not managing tensions at all. Inaction shows no concern for the outcome of the interaction by people from both cultures. Polarization. Quite likely, the two sides in this confict will take some action rather than avoid the tensions. Each side may be naturally concerned about the outcome of the situation for itself, showing little or no concern for the Other. For example, Motorola does not tolerate any violation of rules, no matter how small, so its resolution may be to fre the engineer on the spot. In the same vein, the engineer, because of hurt feelings or stubbornness, may decide to leave the corporation. Motorola does not seem to be concerned about losing the engineer, while the engineer does not seem to be concerned about not working for the company any longer. The two positions here are clearly at odds; in fact, they are diametrically opposed.This result is a possible loss of an employee by Motorola and a possible loss of a career by the employee.

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Such a polarizing approach to confict involves high stakes competition or even domination and elicits concern of only one culture for Self, and little or no concern for Other. Compromise. If the two sides take time to cool of, they may choose another route to resolving their tensions. Each side may realize that it cannot achieve its own goals without the other side. Motorola values the engineer as a specialist, while the engineer values the corporation as his place of employment; in the end, without this job the engineer’s children’s education is at risk. At the same time, Motorola managers are reluctant to let the engineer have his way with the funds; after all, the engineer has been given the money to rent a place near the plant and to be readily available when necessary.The engineer, too, may be reluctant to continue working for Motorola if forced to use the $2,000 allowance only for housing. In other words, the two sides show a moderate degree of concern for Self and Other.The two sides may meet each other halfway; hence, the decision may be reached for the engineer to spend one half of the allowance ($1,000) on housing, and the other half ($1,000) on education.The goals of both sides are not completely met; for Motorola, the goal is to have the engineer spend $2,000 (not $1,000) on housing, and for the engineer the goal is to spend $2,000 (not $1,000) on the children’s education. To compromise in the face of intercultural confict is to seek a 50/50 split acceptable to both sides because each side gets (and does not get) the same. Collaboration. It is common to consider compromise to be the best resolution of confict; for instance, you may have heard such expressions as ‘a compromise has been fnally reached.’ In everyday life, and in the political sphere, compromise is often normative. Still, another approach to confict is possible, showing a higher concern than compromise for people from both cultures (Self and Other). In our example, the company is obviously concerned about the success of their own operation, which involves certain rules for allocating funds appropriately.At the same time, they may show an equally high level of concern for the engineer because he has put the money to good use based on local values. By the same token, the engineer is obviously concerned about the children’s education, and he may be equally concerned about the successful operation of the corporation. If the two sides spend enough time discussing the situation and share openly their needs and desires, they may fnd a solution to the problem that satisfes their goals more fully than compromise. For example, one possible decision might be that the corporation will provide education for the engineer’s children as long as the engineer promises to be readily available at all times as necessary.This may prove easier and cheaper for the corporation to do, and the engineer’s motivation and loyalty may increase.The corporation’s real-life decision—changing the rule and letting its engineers use the allowance for their own purposes as long as they are available and local values are implemented—fts into this approach. This collaborative approach to intercultural confict refects high concern for people from both cultures.

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Thus, the following four approaches to managing intercultural confict are possible: 1. 2. 3. 4.

Avoidance: No concern for Self and Other. Polarization: High concern for Self and low concern for Other. Compromise: Moderate concern for both Self and Other. Collaboration: High concern for both Self and Other.

Notice that in each of the four situations, a decision is made by people from the interacting cultures.There are situations, however, when a decision is made for the two sides by a third party.This may happen when the situation is extremely volatile, prompting the third-party involvement in the confict. There are two main forms of confict resolution when a third party is involved—arbitration and mediation (Brett, 2001). Arbitrators are authorized to make a decision for the parties in confict, but not to control the process of their interaction. Mediators are authorized to control the process of interaction of the parties in confict, but not to impose a decision upon them. Mediators encourage both parties to come to an acceptable decision on their own. Mediation proves to be especially successful for resolving conficts in more traditional cultures. For instance, the conficts between the Dizi and Suri people in southwest Ethiopia used to be continually resolved through elders’ mediation (Tariku, 2018). It should be noted that, while mediation is pervasive in many socio-cultural contexts, it can take the form of various practices, e.g., Western-centric techniques or indigenous methodologies (Mahan & Mahuna, 2017). For this reason,“learning from the ways other cultures understand and resolve conficts is an important part of maintaining healthy relationships in our increasingly interactive world” (Stobbe, 2015, p. 30). In the end, people from diferent cultures can fnd the best and most lasting resolution to their conficts when they themselves control both the process of their interaction and its outcome.The two sides come to the realization that they should communicate openly and manage confict together. In this sense, intercultural interaction is a transaction.We usually think of transaction in a business setting; however, ‘trasaction’ comes from Late Latin ‘transactionem’, meaning ‘an agreement, an accomplishment.’Any interaction that afects both sides and results in some kind of resolution is a transaction. During transaction, people typically try to negotiate with one another and reach mutual understanding on how to interaction with one another and conduct their afairs (Figure 8.2). So, we should not think of transactions only as two or more parties sitting at a table and conducting rounds of formal business negotiations.Whenever we come into contact with people from other cultures, our goal is to carry interaction through and reach an understanding; this resolution afects both us and other people. The transactional nature of intercultural communication becomes especially evident when tensions intensify and lead to collisions; fnding a resolution to such confict then becomes crucial.

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Figure 8.2 Example of communication as transaction Source: Library of Congress

4

Introducing the Transaction Principle

Let’s now formulate, based on the discussion above, the eighth principle of intercultural communication—the Transaction Principle. We will isolate three parts that make up this principle. Each part dealing with intercultural communication as transaction. First, we will discuss how our perception afects the outcome of intercultural transactions; next, we will look at intercultural transactions in terms of negotiation zone; fnally, we will discuss intercultural transaction as a process of moving from positions to interests and needs.We will discuss each part separately and then formulate the Transaction Principle, as a whole. 4.1

Intercultural Transaction: Perception and Reality

As noted earlier, perception is very important in approaching intercultural communication, and management of tensions and potential resolution of intercultural confict depends upon how intercultural transaction is perceived. There are three main patterns of perception that determine the outcome of intercultural transactions—zero-sum, fxed-sum, and fexible-sum

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(Thompson, 2000). The word ‘sum’ here refers to the amount of value (resources) perceived to exist in the situation of intercultural interaction. Zero-sum perception. According to this pattern, people see no (zero) value in interacting; each side believes that it can create value on its own, without any help from Other. Hence, any situation of intercultural interaction is perceived as zero-sum and so value in intercultural transaction is ignored. In this case, people do not perceive any tension between one another and are not concerned about what may happen as a result of their noninteraction. It is easy to see that the zero-sum perception is at the basis of the avoidance approach to intercultural communication. Although people from diferent cultures seem to exist separately, their resources still can, and should, be shared. In other words, their potential can, and should, be realized for mutual beneft. Fixed-sum perception. According to this pattern, people perceive value as fxed; sometimes, the fxed-sum perception is called “a fxed pie perception” (Lewicki et al., 1997, p. 74). Naturally, when it comes to dividing ‘the pie,’ anything one culture gets, the other does not; hence, people from every culture try to distribute the pie so they can have a bigger piece (more resources).The fxed-sum pattern of perception is about claiming or distributing resources. In this case, people may perceive one another as polar opposites. According to such perception, the right way to manage tensions appears to be ‘my way,’ and if others do not share those views, their culture must be conquered and eliminated; otherwise, they will conquer and eliminate my own culture. It is a situation of ‘either-or’ mentality, leading to cultural aggression and domination. Only one winner can emerge as an outcome of this intercultural interaction—the one that claims more resources, ideally all of them. It is easy to see that the fxed-sum perception is at the basis of the polarization approach to intercultural communication. Perceiving interaction in terms of polarization is not a constructive approach to managing intercultural tensions. By destroying what we perceive to be our enemy, we deprive ourselves of the possibility to interact with the Other. In efect, we destroy ourselves; that is why cultural domination is not only destructive of other cultures, it is also self-destructive. If we completely eliminate our ‘enemy,’ we have no one to interact with; in a manner of speaking, we win the battle but lose the war. Also, people from diferent cultures may not perceive one another as polar opposites, but neither do they perceive one another as friends who are willing to cooperate and share their resources. The outcome of intercultural transaction here is agreeing to disagree; the optimal way to reach such an agreement is by dividing all available resources in half. It is easy to see that the fxed-sum perception is also the basis of the compromise approach to intercultural communication; here, ‘the sum’ is distributed equally so that each culture gets (and does not get) 50% of the value. When people from two cultures split the value in half, this outcome is obviously not as destructive as the one based on polarization; after all, each culture claims half of all

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available resources. However, this outcome is not completely constructive, either, because it does not really help people to fully construct their collective identity. Flexible-sum perception. According to this pattern, the ‘sum’ is perceived to be fexible: any situation of intercultural communication is perceived as dynamic and subject to change. Here, the objective of intercultural transaction is not to ignore or claim value, but to create value together (‘enlarge the pie’) so that all people can have a bigger piece, so to speak.According to this fexible-sum view, value cannot be created unilaterally because people can create and sustain their resources only in interaction with one another. In this case, people from diferent cultures are willing to cooperate and share their resources.You may wonder how this can be accomplished; with compromise, we seem to have reached the optimal outcome where the value is divided in the most acceptable fashion—50/50—and so there does not seem to be any more space for each culture to move further. But, not if we base our view of intercultural communication on the fexible-sum perception. If we view any intercultural situation as dynamic and subject to change, we can move beyond that separating line and into the space occupied by the Other. Naturally, this may be perceived by the Other as a dangerous move because we claim its resources. But, if we allow the Other to move into our space and share some of our resources, then both cultures win. They have collaborated sharing their resources, while still remaining distinct cultures with their own respective values. It is easy to see that the fexiblesum perception is at the basis of the collaboration approach to intercultural communication. Table 8.2 presents three main patterns of perception and four outcomes based on these patterns, along with the value of intercultural transaction. It is our perception of reality that creates the outcomes of our intercultural transactions. We may be unaware of their existence or potential (zero-sum perception), we may fght for them and squander them in the process or sit on them stingily like a dog in the manger (fxed-sum), or we may share them and grow (fexible-sum perception). It is clear that for the transaction to be successful, people from diferent cultures should move from avoiding one another to collaborating with one another. It is easier, of course, to ignore one another or perceive one another as enemies. It is more challenging to work out a compromise, but even then, no new knowledge of one another

Table 8.2 Patterns of perception and outcomes of intercultural transaction Pattern of perception

Outcome of Interaction

Value

Zero-sum

Avoidance

Ignored

Fixed-sum

Polarization/compromise

Claimed/Distributed

Flexible-sum

Collaboration

Shared/Created

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is generated since no real exchange of meanings takes place. Compromise should be more accurately termed ‘conciliatory’ because it “results in no genuine resolution and hence no new understanding at all” (Ho, 2000, p. 1065). Only with collaboration do people share their resources and create a shared space with optimal potential, while sustaining and developing their unique identities. 4.2

Intercultural Communication as Negotiation Zone

When people engage in a transaction, each side should make two important decisions. First, each side should decide what it wants to achieve; this goal is called a target point. And, second, each side should set a stopping point beyond which it will not go, breaking of interaction; this stopping point is called a reservation point. A reservation point cannot be determined without thinking of some back-up plan called BATNA (Best Alternative to Negotiated Agreement), i.e., what will be done if the desired goal is not achieved. Let’s take an example of a typical of intercultural transaction. Suppose you go to a market in Tunisia and see a man selling beautiful Berber jewelry that incorporates silver and amber in complicated forms. He wants 25 dinar for each piece of his jewelry (a target point); in his mind, however, he is willing to go as low as 10 dinar (a reservation point).The seller sets this reservation point based on its BATNA, which might be an option to sell his merchandise wholesale later in the day.You, on the other hand, want to buy one piece of jewelry from him for 5 dinar (a target point) but are willing to go as high as 15 dinar (a resistance point).You will not pay more than 15 dinar because of your own BATNA; for instance, you might have seen a similar piece elsewhere for about the same price. So, you start bargaining with the man. Does the intercultural transaction between you as a buyer and the man as a seller have potential for being successful? Yes.This potential exists in the form of a negotiation zone, also known as a bargaining range, settlement range, or zone of potential agreement (Lewicki et al., 1997;Wilbaut, 2012).Think of this zone as “an open space—a contact zone, if you will—a space where speakers have to negotiate their diferences in order for communication to work” (Canagarajah, 2012, p. 129). In more technical terms, a negotiation zone is the spread between the reservation points; in our example, this spread is 5 dinar—the diference between 10 and 15 dinar. A negotiation zone is the overlapping range in the middle; herein lies the potential for a productive intercultural resolution. It is within this zone that you and the man should carry out your transaction, trying to fnd a resolution (Figure 8.3). In real-life situations, of course, it is difcult to determine one’s target and resistance points with mathematical precision. As you remember, intercultural confict can be conceptualized as a disagreement over resource allocations, and resources are not always as tangible as a manufactured product with a price tag. However, even such intangible resources as reputation,

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Resistance Point 10 dinars Target Point 5 dinars Seller

Target Point 25 dinars

Resistance Point 15 dinars Buyer

Figure 8.3 Negotiation zone Source: Author

power, or afection need to be evaluated and represented in the form of target and reservation points. Unless people do their homework, they may never fgure out if a negotiation zone exists and what this zone is. Or, on the contrary, people may think that there is no negotiation zone in a certain situation when, in fact, it does exist and they are simply unable to fnd it. By failing to identify a negotiation zone, people miss their opportunity to beneft from its potential. For example, in the summer of 1990, the cultures of Quebec and the Mohawk tribe clashed over extending a golf course into the land which the Mohawk felt was sacred (Friesen, 1991). The Mohawk wanted to talk about their sovereignty, land claims, and preservation of natural resources.The Quebec ofcials perceived the Mohawk tribe as warriors and criminals. In the end, the Mohawk tribe erected barricades that the Quebec police took down.The golf course was not to be extended, but the tensions had not been resolved because no negotiation zone had ever been found or created by the conficting sides. Overall, if a negotiation zone is perceived as non-existent or small, then potential for a constructive intercultural resolution is also non-existent or small. Let’s see how a negotiation zone can be created or expanded in order to facilitate intercultural transactions. 4.3

Back to the Future: From Positions to Interests

Intercultural transaction involves at least two collective identities in contact. In concrete situations, cultural identities are manifested in the form of specifc resources, tangible or intangible, and each resource may become an issue in a confict.Therefore, the main issues (resources) in confict need to be identifed; for example, in the Motorola case, discussed earlier, the main issues are the amount of money, education for the engineer’s children, and availability of the engineer. People from diferent cultures take a stance on a certain issue, expressing a certain position, which can be traced to the vision of the world that each

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culture develops, as discussed in Chapter 4. Often, positions that people from diferent cultures take in a confict situation appear in complete opposition; as a result, no negotiation zone seems to exist and reaching a resolution seems impossible. Focusing only on positions often leads to an impasse in intercultural transactions or even physical violence. It is crucial, therefore, to look beyond positions and identify interests of all parties involved in an intercultural confict. As you remember from Chapter 6, interests involve underlying needs and desires that motivate people to take a certain position. Identifying interests is more difcult than identifying positions, and yet, it is the best way to make sure that constructive linkages are created, common ground is found, and a productive resolution worked out. Instead of looking only at their positions that often appear completely divergent, people should look for shared interests and make decisions on that basis. For instance, in India the confict between Sikhs and Hindus had been escalating for a long time (Fisher et al., 1994). Their positions appeared in opposition: Sikhs wanted independence and more access to water resources in the region where most live in Northwestern India, while Hindus wanted India to be unifed and allocate water resources from Sikh regions to the rest of the country. In spite of these different positions, however, important shared interests have been found. First, both sides wanted economic prosperity for Punjab; second, both sides wanted reduction of ethnic fghting; and, third, both sides wanted Sikhs to regain confdence in the Indian government. So, in every transaction, people from diferent cultures should move from battling over positions “to collaborative focus on shared and underlying interests (each side’s needs, concerns, hopes, and fears that lay beneath their positions” (Rothman & Olson, 2001, p. 294).As people move from positions to identifying common interests, they work toward an acceptable resolution when each side is able to reach its goals. It is necessary to go back to the root of confict; however, this backward movement is the only way to move forward toward a successful resolution.

5 The Transaction Principle Defned Let’s give a concise formulation of Transaction Principle, based on the above discussion of its three parts. First, our perception ultimately determines the outcome of all intercultural transaction.We saw how three main patterns of perception lead to four diferent outcomes. For their interactions to be successful, people from different cultures should move from avoiding one another to collaborating and sharing their resources so that they can reach the most constructive resolution in solving their tensions. Second, intercultural transactions take place within a special zone known as the bargaining range or zone of potential agreement; in this zone lies the potential for a productive intercultural resolution. Such a zone should be expanded to its optimal potential for all interacting parties.

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Third, every intercultural situation is manifested in the form of specifc resources, tangible or intangible, and each resource may become an issue in a confict. People take a stance on each issue, expressing a certain position. Positions may appear in complete opposition, and no negotiation zone may appear to exist. It is important to identify interests that motivate people to take a certain position. By moving from positions to identifying shared interests, a mutually acceptable resolution is more likely to be reached. In a nutshell, the Transaction Principle can be formulated as follows: Intercultural communication is a process whereby people from diferent groups move within a negotiation zone from positions to interests in search of a resolution acceptable to all interacting cultures.

6

Case Study: ‘The Wall of Death:’ A Confict between Japanese and Western Cultures

This case study is based on the article entitled ‘Intercultural confict: A case study’ (Hall & Noguchi, 1993).As usual, it is recommended that you read the article in its entirety; below, you fnd a summary of the article. Be ready to identify and then discuss the following topics: 1. What are the issues in this confict? 2. What are the positions and interests of the two conficting sides? 3. How successful is the resolution of the intercultural transaction? In the spring of 1978, the fshermen of Iki island in Japan invited Japanese TV reporters to cover the story of killing dolphins by drift-net fshing. The fshermen’s catch, on the decline, had been attributed to an increasing dolphin presence. The Japanese fshermen hoped that media coverage would bring them assistance in their battle; however, the coverage reached around the world and, instead of sympathy, the fshermen’s practice was met with outrage in many Western cultures and especially the United States.The authors of the article note that they chose the gloss ‘Western’ because a number of Western cultures had a reaction similar to that of the United States. Following the media coverage of more than one thousand dead dolphins, Western conservationists came to Japan to discuss the problem.They tried to explain to the fshermen that dolphins were not responsible for the declining catch, but they failed to change the Iki fshermen’s attitude. In 1982, the issue was partially resolved by a seeming compromise, i.e., the Japanese fshermen promised to stop capturing and killing dolphins en masse, while the Western conservationists promised not to come to the island again in order to free dolphins. However, this compromise had not completely resolved the confict, and drift-net fshing practices continued. By the end of 1991, a variety of wildlife including many dolphins had died in a string of nets that stretched for miles; Time magazine described it as the ‘Wall of Death.’ Disagreements continued, revealing a clash of cultural worlds.

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The authors of the article discuss in detail how the Western symbol ‘dolphin’ and its Japanese equivalent ‘iruka,’ while referring to the same mammal, evoke diferent cultural interpretations. In the Japanese culture dolphin (‘iruka’) is perceived as either food or an evil creature of the sea.Today, few Japanese still eat dolphin, and the dolphins killed by the Iki fshermen were not killed for human consumption. However, dolphins are widely used as fertilizer or pig food. Since dolphins are known to gobble up large quantities of fsh, Japanese fshermen perceive them as direct competitors. Dolphins are viewed as enemies or ‘gangsters’ threatening the livelihood of the fshermen who make their living by fshing.The term ‘iruka’ evokes such associations in Japan as ‘evil,’ ‘damage,’ and ‘threat.’ Those who fght against such evil creatures are seen as heroic warriors. Naturally, when Western conservationists tried to convince the Japanese fshermen to stop killing dolphins, their arguments failed, and they were perceived by the fshermen as lacking compassion and support.The fshermen tried to accommodate the Western conservationists who came to Japan, but became frustrated and uncooperative because of the conservationists’ bossy attitude and lack of recognition of the seriousness of the fshermen’s plight. In Western cultures, dolphins are perceived as highly intelligent and friendly mammals.A special bond is perceived to exist between humans and dolphins as evidenced by tales of rescue and dolphins’ seeming eforts to communicate with humans. This way, humans identify with dolphins, and this afnity explains why the Western conservationists were shocked by the slaughter. The Western conservationists tried to talk to the Japanese fshermen and convince them that their own practices were more to blame for the problem than the dolphins, but they were not very successful.Those Western conservationists who freed hundreds of dolphins under cover of night were perceived by their cultures as heroes. Finally, Japan’s prime minister announced that its fshermen would stop using drift-net fshing practices by the end of 1992. In making that announcement, the Japanese side gave no indication of ever having been in the wrong. The Western conservationists were happy with this resolution, while the Japanese fshermen did not fnd it particularly satisfying.The authors of the article quote one of the fshermen saying that their future was ‘pitch black.’ Now let’s see how this case study can be an illustration of the Transaction Principle of intercultural communication. 1. What are the issues in this confict? As noted earlier, in concrete situations, cultural identities are manifested in the form of specifc resources—tangible and intangible—and each resource may become an issue in a confict. In this case, the tangible resource is obvious; it is the dolphins. However, another issue, equally important, is found in the intangible resources—symbolic meanings associated with the dolphin (in the West) and the ‘iruka’ (in Japan).

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In the Japanese culture, the ‘iruka’ is viewed as an evil creature threatening the livelihood of the fshermen who make their living by fshing. Those people who fght against such evil creatures are seen as heroic warriors. In Western cultures, the dolphin is perceived as a highly intelligent and friendly mammal.Therefore, people feel strongly about protecting the dolphin’s special status. In short, there are (at least) two main issues in this confict: dealing with the mammals and dealing with the people’s perceptions of the dolphin and the iruka, including their selfperception in relation to those mammals. It is impossible to ignore both these issues while trying to resolve this situation. 2. What are the positions and interests of the two conficting sides? The positions of the two conficting sides are clear, i.e., the Japanese fshermen want to continue catching and killing dolphins while the Western conservationists want to put an end to such fshing practices. Identifying interests is more difcult; as you remember, interests are the underlying needs and desires that motivate people to take certain positions. In this case, the Japanese fshermen’s actions are driven by their desire to protect their livelihood because they make their living by fshing. Hence, their main interests are grounded in physiological and safety needs.The Western conservationists’ actions are driven by a more complex desire to protect their special bond with dolphins; in a way, by defending dolphins’ rights, the Western conservationists defend their own identity.To kill such a mammal is to kill a friend, giving up some of the values that make up one’s cultural identity. Their main interests, therefore, are grounded in self-realization needs. From the Japanese fshermen’s perspective, the Western conservationists failed to understand their interests as they displayed a bossy attitude and lack of recognition of the seriousness of the fshermen’s plight. From the Western conservationists’ perspective, the Japanese fshermen failed to understand their interests as they continued to blame the dolphins for the problem.The two sides did not really move from positions to interests, which afected the resolution of this intercultural transaction. 3. How successful is the resolution of the intercultural transaction? The frst time (in 1982) the confict was partially resolved by a compromise: the Japanese fshermen promised to stop capturing and killing dolphins en masse, and the Western conservationists promised not to come to the island again in order to free dolphins. However, the tensions continued, and ten years later Japan’s prime minister announced that its fshermen would stop using drift-net fshing practices.The Western conservationists were happy with this resolution, but the Japanese fshermen did not fnd it particularly satisfying; as one of the fshermen put it, their future was pitch black.This resolution fts the polarization

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approach—a lopsided solution that is not very stable because one side (Japanese) is less happy with the outcome and is more likely to try and change it. What is most important, the transaction was not very successful because no genuine communication as an exchange of different points of views between the two sides took place. The two sides failed to see the conflict through each other’s eyes and change. For example, the Japanese side gave no indication of ever having been in the wrong. By the same token, the Western conservationists did not change their bossy attitude and failed to show recognition of the seriousness of the fishermen’s plight. It is clear that the Japanese fshermen wanted to kill the dolphins not because of some cruel intentions but for self-protection. Similarly, it is clear that the Western conservationists wanted to save the dolphins not at the expense of the fshermen’s lives, but because of their special bond with the mammals. Saving lives (both human and mammals’) could have become a foundation of shared interests. Had such (or perhaps some other) shared interests been identifed, and had the two sides been willing to change, a more productive resolution could have been worked out.

7 7.1

Side Trips Spain and Catalonia in Confict

One of today’s ethnopolitical conficts is between Spain and Catalonia (Viladot, 2017). Catalans want to be recognized as a self-governed nation. Their group awareness of cohesion is strong, and the group solidarity facing the Spanish state is enhanced by their own language—Catalan. For many Catalans, the Spanish state has not been sensitive to the demands they consider fair and legitimate, its communicative strategies being mostly silence and a strong normative enforcement. Besides, many Catalans see the Spanish state trying to counteract the expansion of the Catalan language and weaken the sense of Catalan cultural identity. Dialogue and direct contacts between the Catalan group and the Spanish government have been very few, while group boundaries are strictly enforced. While the confict has so far taken place in a context of peace, with no atrocities or human suffering, the relationship between Spain and Catalonia is characterized by the situation in which their identities are extremely divergent.At the same time, both parties cannot escape from the necessity for a resolution of this confict. ∗∗ Can you identify the main approach by both cultures to resolving their tensions? Can you think of how the parties could use another, more productive, approach?

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Confict over a Beauty Pageant

When India’s ‘garden city’—Bangalore—was chosen as a site for the Miss World beauty pageant, the plan was labeled as a merchandising device for the decadent cultural imperialism of the West (see Bearak, 1996). The confict over the beauty pageant turned into a fght over India’s soul. According to Hinduism, a woman’s beauty must be natural and not afected by cosmetics; also, opposition to the swimsuit contest was very strong. In addition, farmers in India were afraid that a wave of big agricultural interests may force them from their land. Many people in India felt that the country had become a dumping ground for the West’s rejects, and the Miss World beauty pageant was perceived as ftting the bill. ∗∗ Can you identify the main resources involved in this intercultural confict? 7.3

Managing Intractable Confict

In his article, Jonathan Powell (2015), a former senior British diplomat, argues that the West must negotiate with the so-called Islamic State and that this is not an alternative to fghting. At the same time, in his article, H. A. Hellyer (2016), a senior non-resident fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Rafk Hariri Center for the Middle East and an associate fellow at the Royal United Services Institute, writes that ISIS cannot be negotiated with. ∗∗ What is your opinion on managing this intractable confict?

References Bearak, B. (1996). India sees ugly side of pageant. Los Angeles Times, November 15. www. latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1996-11-15-mn-65005-story.html.Accessed June 12, 2019. Bercovitch, J. (2005). Mediation in the most resistant cases. In C.A. Crocker, F. O. Hampson, & P. R. Aall (Eds.), Grasping the nettle: Analyzing cases of intractable confict (pp. 99–121). Washington, DC: United States Institute of Peace Press. Braverman, I. (2014). Planted fags:Trees, land, and law in Israel/Palestine. New York: Cambridge University Press. Brett, J. (2001). Negotiating globally: How to negotiate deals, resolve disputes, and make concessions across cultural boundaries. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Canagarajah, S. (2012). Postmodern and intercultural discourse: World Englishes. In C. Paulston, S. F. Kiesling, & E. S. Rangel (Eds.), The handbook of intercultural discourse and communication (pp. 110–132). Oxford: Blackwell. Demoulin, S. & de Dreu, C. (2010). Introduction: Negotiation in intergroup confict. Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, 13(6): 675–683. Dinar, S. (2002).Water, security, confict, and cooperation. SAIS Review, 22(2): 229–253. Fisher, R., Borgwardt, E., & Schneider,A. K. (1994). Beyond Machiavelli:Tools for coping with confict. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

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Friesen, R. (1991). Refections on Oka: The Mohawk confrontation. Confict Resolution Notes, 8(4): 36–38. Garcia, D. (2006). Mixed marriages and transnational families in the intercultural context: A case study of African-Spanish couples in Catalonia. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 32(3): 403–433. Ginges, J. & Atran, S. (2013). Sacred values and cultural confict. Advances in Culture and Psychology. https://oxfordindex.oup.com/view/10.1093/acprof:osobl/ 9780199336715.003.000.Accessed July 28, 2019. Hall, B. & Noguchi, M. (1993). Intercultural confict: A case study. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 17: 399–413. Hellyer, H. (2016).Why ISIS cannot be negotiated with. The Atlantic, January 10. Ho, D. (2000). Dialectical thinking: Neither Eastern nor Western. American Psychologist, 55(9): 1064–1065. Jones, R. (2019).When navy sailors and marines share a ship, karaoke night gets complicated. Wall Street Journal, July 30. Kabitoglou, E. (1990). Plato and the English Romantics (RLE: Plato). London and New York: Routledge. Lewicki, R. et al. (1997). Essentials of negotiation. Boston: McGraw-Hill. McDonald, M., Navarrete, C. D., & Vugt, M.V. (2012). Evolution and the psychology of intergroup confict:The male warrior hypothesis. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B Biological Sciences, 367(1589): 670–679. Mahan, L. & Mahuna, J. (2017). Bridging the divide: Cross-cultural mediation. International Research and Review: Journal of Phi Beta Delta Honor, 7(1): 11–22. Miller, L. (1994). Japanese and American meetings and what goes on before them. Pragmatics, 4: 221–238. Powell, J. (2015). How ISIS spread in the Middle East. The Atlantic, October 29. Pruitt, D. G. & Rubin, J. Z. (1986). Social confict: Escalation, stalemate and settlement. New York: Random House. Rothman, J. & Olson, M. (2001). From interests to identities:Towards a new emphasis in interactive confict resolution. Journal of Peace Research, 38(3): 289–305. Schif, A. (2018). Negotiating intractable conficts: Readiness theory revisited. New York: Routledge. Smith, A. R. (2014). Intractable confict. Key Concepts in Intercultural Dialogue, 18. http:// centerforinterculturaldialogue.org.Accessed September 12, 2019. Soltani, A. (2017). Colombia’s U’wa still teaching us how to resist. Amazon Watch, January 30. Stobbe, S. (2015). Confict resolution and peacebuilding in Laos: Perspective for today’s world. London and New York: Routledge. Tariku, A. (2018). Inter-group conficts in the horn of Africa:The case of Diz and Suri people, Ethiopia. Human Afairs, 28(2): 130–140. Teacher may not wear African hats (1995). The Spokesman-Review, March 1. www. spokesman.com/stories/1995/mar/01/teacher-may-not-wear-african-hats/. Accessed May 23, 2019. Thompson, L. (2000). The mind and the heart of the negotiator. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. Ting-Toomey, S. (1999). Communicating across cultures. New York: Guilford Press. Ting-Toomey, S. and Oetzel, J. G. (2001). Managing intercultural confictefectively. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

202 Transaction Principle Valdeón, R. (2015). Languages in contact, cultures in confict: English and Spanish in the USA. Language and Intercultural Communication, 15(3): 313–323. Viladot, M. (2017).The current confict between Spain and Catalonia explained. OUPBlog, October 25. https://blog.oup.com/2017/10/spain-catalonia-independence/. Accessed October 4, 2019. Wagoner, B. & Brescó, I. (2016). Confict and memory:The past in the present. Peace and Confict: Journal of Peace Psychology, 22(1): 3–4. Wilbaut, M. (2012). Intercultural negotiation. Oxford: Management Books 2000 Ltd.

9

Synergy Principle ‘2+2=5 (or More!)’

Key Theme: Integration Problem Question: What is the best strategy in intercultural communication? Objective: To help you understand the nature and importance of intercultural integration Key Concepts: Complexity, conceptualization, discrimination, evaluation, ‘fow states,’ feedback, fundamental attribution error, generalization, hierarchy, interaction, interdependence, morphogenesis, non-normative stereotype, non-summativity, normative stereotype, prejudice, Pareto optimality, stereotype, synergy

Chapter Outline 1 Introducing the Problem Question 204 2 Perception:‘Seizing the World’ 204 2.1 Stereotype: Are All Swans White? 204 2.2 Prejudice:The United States and ‘the Rest-of-the-World Soccer Cup’ 210 3 Escaping Suspicion and Fear 213 4 Introducing the Synergy Principle 215 4.1 Intercultural Synergy and Non-Summativity 215 4.2 Toward Pareto Optimality 217 4.3 Intercultural Synergy and the Flow Dynamics 220 5 Synergy Principle Defned 222 6 Case Study:‘The Case of AMD: Unleashing Intercultural Potential’ 222 7 Side Trips 226 7.1 Stereotypes in Hollywood Movies 226 7.2 Can AI be Biased? 226 7.3 Addressing Prejudiced Statements 226

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1

Introducing the Problem Question

In the previous chapter, we looked at intercultural communication as transaction and saw that it takes place in a negotiation zone. Based upon how this zone is viewed, a number of approaches to intercultural transaction are possible.We noted that only with the integration approach can people realize their full potential for mutual beneft. Even when no negotiation zone seems to exist, it can be created; it is as if people know some secret, making a negotiation zone appear seemingly from nowhere and fnding the best resolution to their tensions. In this chapter, thus, we take up the following Problem Question: ‘What is the best strategy in intercultural communication?’

2

Perception: ‘Seizing the World’

As noted earlier, perception is a crucial part of communication.When we perceive reality, we try to conceptualize and evaluate our experiences. For instance, if we come across a large elevation of the earth’s surface with steep sides and then another large elevation of the earth’s surface with steep sides, we may conceptualize this part of reality as ‘a mountain.’ Conceptualization, then, is a process of generalization or typifying. Also, we evaluate our experiences; in our judgment, for instance, mountains may be seen as sites of revelation and inspiration, as construction sites, as challenge challenges, etc. Evaluation, then, is a process of appraising or judging our typifcations. During intercultural communication, we also conceptualize and evaluate our experiences. If you plan to go to Spain, for instance, and in one of the travel guides you see a picture of bullfghting, you may decide that all Spaniards enjoy watching bullfghting, putting them into the general type ‘Spaniards enjoy bullfghting.’ Or, if you happen to see an awkward person from the United States trying to dribble a soccer ball, you may make the following judgment: ‘Soccer in the United States is a joke.’ However, it so happens that your perception in these two cases is fawed; your conceptualization is oversimplifed, and your appraisal is too biased. It is as if perception played two tricks on you, called ‘stereotype’ and ‘prejudice.’ 2.1

Stereotype: Are All Swans White?

The term ‘stereotype’was introduced in 1824 to describe a printing duplication process “in which the original is preserved and in which there is no opportunity for change or deviation in the reduplications” (Rudmin, 1989, p. 8).The meaning of the term has somewhat changed, but the basic idea remains the same: you take an original conception, just like a metal printing plate, and start using it in diferent situations, expecting the original conception to be preserved. In other words, you expect the original meaning to be the same in every situation of its use.A stereotype, therefore, is a fxed perception of people from

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Figure 9.1 Stereotype of Americans Source: 2010, POKKETMOWSE

another culture. Through such fxed perception, we come to view each and every individual from that culture in the same or similar way (Figure 9.1). Two kinds of stereotypes are usually isolated—normative and non-normative (Gudykunst & Kim, 2003). Normative stereotypes are overgeneralizations based on some limited information, such as travel guides, mentioned above. For example, the normative stereotype of Muslims, based on media news accounts, involves bombings, violence, and terrorism.When a group of Muslims on a holy pilgrimage wandered through Harrington in Washington State, U.S., leaving a trail of goodwill and friendliness (Clark, 1995), it was quite surprising for the people of that small town for it went against their expectations. Non-normative stereotypes are overgeneralizations that are purely self-projective; we project concepts of our own culture onto people of another culture. For example, Italians might think that French also love pasta. Regardless of their origin, however, every stereotype is a frm conception (‘stereo’ means ‘solid’ or ‘frm’) used over and over again with the assumption that it refects the same reality, i.e., has the same meaning whenever you use it. Communication is successful when our conceptualization accurately refects reality, recognized and enjoined by others in the same speech community; if we use the word ‘mountain’ each time we come across a large elevation of the earth’s surface with steep sides, our communication is likely to be successful. If, all of a sudden, we call a large elevation of the earth’s surface with steep sides ‘a tree,’ communication is likely to break down. Similarly, conceptualization of our experiences of dealing with people from another culture should also accurately refect its reality.

206 Synergy Principle Individualization (individual Spanish people)

Conceptualization

Generalization (Spanish culture in general)

Figure 9.2 Conceptualization as dynamic process Source: Author

Generalization vs Stereotyping.We can look at the process of conceptualization as a cultural gaze discussed in Chapter 4—a projection beam aimed at our experiences and refecting everything it observes in the form of general types. Conceptualization as a dynamic process takes place between individualization (individual cases) and generalization (Figure 9.2). When we approach people from another culture, we resort to generalization, putting our experiences in general categories or types. A number of general conceptualizations of Spaniards in relation to bullfghting can be created on the basis of the travel guides mentioned earlier. For example, we may decide that few (e.g., 10%), some (e.g., 20%), many (e.g., 40%), most (e.g., 80%), or all (100%) Spaniards support bullfghting (Figure 9.3). In each case, our conceptualization covers more and more ground, refecting more and more of that reality of Spanish culture.The more ground covered and refected, the more conceptualization functions as generalization; as a result, we can rely on such general types and carry out our interactions more efectively. However, for our communication with Spaniards to be as efective as possible, we must make sure our conceptualization is as accurate as possible. For instance, according to recent polls, only a small percentage of Spaniards support bullfghting (Calvo, 2016) and during the bullfghting season of 2014–2015, only 9.5% of Spaniards bought a ticket to a bull-related festival or show (Nayler, 2017). So, our general conceptualization of Spaniards in relation to bullfghting may take the following form:‘Few Spaniards like bullfghting.’ As a result, we will perhaps be more careful bringing up bullfghting as a topic each time we want to strike up a conversation and build relationships with a Spaniard.The more often we bring up bullfghting in our interactions with Spaniards, expecting them to respond positively

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Few – 10% Some – 20% Many – 40% Most – 80% All – 100%

Figure 9.3 Example of generalization Source: Author

C O N C E PTUALI ZATI O N Individualization (individual Spaniards)

Stereotyping

Over Generalization

Stereotyping

Generalization

Over Generalization

(Spanish culture in general)

Figure 9.4 Relationship between generalization and stereotyping Source: Author

to this topic, the more individual cases (Spanish people) who have diferent opinions of bullfghting are likely to remain outside our conceptualization; as a result, our conceptualization of Spaniards becomes less general and more stereotypical, and therefore less reliable. So, the more accurate observations of individual cases we are able to make, the more conceptualization exists as generalization and less as stereotyping, and vice versa (Figure 9.4).

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The more stereotypical our perception of the Spanish culture, the less efective our interactions with Spaniards. For example, if we believe that all (100%) Spaniards support bullfghting, while in fact only few (10%) do, our stereotyping is very signifcant (90% individual cases left out). If we believe that most (80%) Spaniards like bullfghting, while in fact only some (20%) do, our stereotyping is still quite signifcant (60%) (Figure 9.5).And so on. Stereotyping can be seen as a diference between overgeneralization and generalization, e.g., 100% - 20% = 80% stereotype. Naturally, the smaller this diference, the more reliable our conceptualization and the more successful our intercultural communication, and vice versa. For instance, if we spend more time in Spain, we may meet more and more individuals there who refuse to talk about bullfghting. Our conceptualization then may take the following form: ‘Most Spaniards don’t support bullfghting.’ As a result, our conceptualization moves further away from such overgeneralizations (stereotypes) as ‘All Spaniards support bullfghting’ or ‘Most Spaniards support bullfghting.’ Our conceptualization will then function more in the form of generalization (typifying), leaving less room for overgeneralization (stereotyping). Ideally, of course, everyone should be approached as an individual. As was noted in Chapter 1, ideally, we should approach everyone as an individual and call them only by their individual names; however, that is not realistic as it would require for every person to get to know everyone single person in every situation of interaction. Similarly, since we cannot know where every person from every culture stands on every issue, we cannot not stereotype. Karl Popper gave the example of Europeans who for thousands of years had only ever seen millions of white swans (see Popper, 1959). Naturally, their conceptualization was as follows:‘swans are white.’ However, exploration of

20% 80%

Figure 9.5 Example of relationship between generalization and stereotyping Source:Author

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Australasia introduced Europeans to black swans. As discussed in Chapter 2, we can never be certain that we possess all the knowledge, in this case—the one and only generalization. Only one black swan was needed to change the conceptualization that all swans are white (Figure 9.6).

Figure 9.6 Open-ended nature of conceptualization Source:Wikimedia Creative Commons

The best we can do is to make sure our generalizations are as accurate as possible, avoiding overgeneralizations—especially those beginning with ‘All.’ We must be sure to speak of white swans when the swans we observe are really white. If we begin to see more and more black swans, but still claim to know that all swans are white, our cultural gaze becomes more stereotypical and our interaction less reliable. In a manner of speaking, the more ground covered by the dark forces of stereotyping, the less ground left for generalization; and, conversely, the more ground covered by the light forces of generalization, the less ground left for stereotyping. It is as if a struggle between the light and the dark forces takes place, and the more we assume that all swans are white, while in fact we know more and more swans are black, the more the forces of darkness win.The dark forces of stereotyping, like swans, spread out their wings, as it were, chasing out the light forces of generalization (Figure 9.7). Intercultural communication, therefore, is successful when our refections of other cultures are accurate and function as generalization (typifying). However, we should be ready to make changes in our conceptualization when new experiences do not ft into our original general types. Our intercultural experiences are more complex than any generalization, let alone overgeneralization.

210 Synergy Principle Individualizian (individual swans) Stereotyping

“Dark”

Stereotyping

“Light”

“Dark”

Generalization (“Swan culture” in general)

Figure 9.7 Relationship between individualization and generalization Source: Author

So, if, for example, you plan to travel to Italy and someone tells you Italians are fond of opera, do your homework and try to fnd out as much as you can about this conceptualization. Also, be ready to change your conceptualization, if necessary, as you interact with more and more Italians.You may fnd out, for instance, that that the nation’s opera-house ticket sales have been dropping for years (Mesco, 2014) and that, in 2018, 88.3% of Italians did not see any opera or classical music concert (Jadda, 2019).Then, bringing up opera as a conversation opener may not be a very good idea. Remember: not all swans are white. 2.2

Prejudice:The United States and ‘the Rest-of-the-World Soccer Cup’

The term ‘prejudice’ is derived from Latin ‘praejudicium,’ where ‘prae’ means ‘before’ and ‘judicium’ means ‘judgment.’ Hence, prejudice is a judgment made beforehand or without examination of the facts, i.e., a quite emotional and not very rational judgment. Prejudice is a prejudgment (premature judgment), based on little or no interaction with people from another culture. Prejudice can be positive or negative, but it usually carries a negative bias toward people from another culture. Ultimately, prejudice is developed when people feel insecure about their own identity. It seems that others claim the resources that make up your cultural identity, undermining your culture’s vitality.While “prejudice, at its

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pathological extreme, is one of the most terrible manifestations of human nature” (Cullingford, 2000, p. 8), people develop prejudices through ignorance, fear, apprehension, etc. Such feelings can be understood; after all, intercultural communication takes place against the background of uncertainty. Suppose you come from a culture such as Brazil where soccer is idolized and everyone plays very well. One day, you come across a person from the United States clumsily dribbling a soccer ball.The next day, you come across this in a magazine: There are just two things about the World Cup that prevent Americans from caring: It involves soccer and the rest of the world (Stein, 2002). Based on these experiences (and your own passion for soccer), you may decide that soccer in the United States is a joke and use statements to that efect in conversations with your friends and people from the United States. However, as you interact more with people from the United States, you discover that your negative attitude overlooks a number of important facts. For example, the U.S. Soccer Federation, one of the world’s frst organizations to be afliated with FIFA, soccer’s world governing body, celebrated its 100-year anniversary in 2013. According to the 2019 FIFA ranking, the U.S. women’s team is ranked number one in the world.As for that magazine article mentioned earlier, it happens to be an example of self-satire. It seems that your original (negative) prejudgment (‘Soccer in the United States is a joke’) can hardly be considered accurate and will not help your intercultural interactions. So, why not correct your appraisal? Well, it is easier said than done. Prejudice is widespread and enduring because people are quite creative when it comes to protecting their cultural identity at the expense of others—and ultimately at their own expense. People resort to a special form of reasoning called the fundamental attribution error (Cushner & Brislin, 1996; Heider, 1958). Let’s look at this error and see why it is also called ‘correspondence bias.’ When we interact with other people, we attribute their actions to disposition or situation. Disposition is what we are, like a personality; for example, we may think of ourselves as smart, outgoing, etc. Applied to culture, disposition is our collective identity—our cultural personality. And situation, of course, is various circumstances, i.e., what may happen to any of us. If someone, as in our example above, sees an awkward American dribbling a soccer ball and decides that Americans are not good at soccer, they attribute this characteristic (‘not good at soccer’) to the person’s cultural disposition; they reason that the person is not good at soccer because that person is from the United States. But, what if you see another American dribbling a ball like a professional soccer player? How do you explain that? Then, you attribute this characteristic (‘excellent soccer player’) to some situation; for example, you may think that the person must have spent some time in Brazil (your country!) where that person learned to play so well (you make it sound almost as if you should take credit for their success). In other words, you take this person to be an exception and so you do not change your original appraisal: soccer in the United States is still ‘a joke.’

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In our perception of people from another culture, we tend to make the fundamental attribution error, which is a tendency to overestimate the negative infuence of dispositional factors and underestimate the positive infuence of situational factors in explaining others’ behavior. Needless to say, we perceive people from our own culture in exactly the opposite way: we justify our negative behaviors by situational factors (underestimate them) and present positive behaviors as part of our cultural disposition (overestimate them). Prejudice serves two important functions—value-expressive and egodefensive (Brislin, 1993). The value-expressive function helps to promote people’s perception of their own culture—to blow their own horn, so to speak.This becomes necessary when people from one culture do something better than people from other cultures; for example, people in Brazil may express the value of the way they play soccer (better than most).The valueexpressive function is similar to emphasizing a positive cultural disposition. The ego-defensive function helps to protect people’s perception of their own culture—to downplay their failures, so to speak. This becomes necessary when people from one culture do not fare well compared to people from other cultures; for example, if a soccer team from Brazil were to lose to a U.S. team, they may defend their defeat by pointing out that many players on their team were tired or sick. The ego-defensive function is similar to emphasizing a negative situational factor.The value-expressive function and ego-defensive function are two sides of the same coin, and this coin is the fundamental attribution error. People are quite creative (consciously or unconsciously) in expressing a positive view of their own culture and a negative view of another culture. For example,Teun van Dijk (1991) lists the following strategies of expressing prejudice: (1) apparent denials (‘I have nothing against Blacks, Turks, Jews, but . . .’); (2) apparent admissions (‘Of course there are also smart Blacks, Turks, Jews, but . . .’); (3) transfer (‘I don’t mind so much, but my neighbor, colleagues . . .’); and (4) contrast (‘We always had to work a lot, but they . . .’). Notice how Self always looks good (‘We have to work hard’), while blame is shifted to Other (there is a ‘but’ in every statement).We typically want to perceive our own culture in a positive light, and the fundamental attribution error allows us to do it by manipulating dispositional and situational factors—always in our favor. The fundamental attribution error, however, is still an error of perception, and it is fundamental. It prevents us from seeing ourselves the way we really are and people diferent from us the way they really are, e.g., a U.S. soccer team as stronger than our own team.We can continue, of course, to think and say that ‘Soccer in the United States is a joke,’ but it will not help us interact successfully. By holding a prejudice against soccer in the United States, we in fact refuse to recognize its positive aspects and admit our own weaknesses.As a result, we fail to replace a weak link in our own culture, e.g., by making some changes in the way we play soccer. Prejudice, therefore, is not only detrimental toward another culture, it is also self-detrimental.

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If you are convinced that soccer in your culture is superior, there is only one way to fnd out if that is really the case—to play against teams from other cultures. If your team will keep winning, you can reasonably argue that soccer in your culture is, indeed, superior, and other cultures can learn from yours.There is a diference between a frm (infexible) prejudice and a frm (strong) conviction.Those who hold prejudice are usually reluctant to discuss their attitudes, e.g., stubbornly or blindly insisting that their soccer team is the best one (even though their team keeps losing), while soccer in the United States is a joke.Those who hold convictions are open to interaction and willing or even eager to test out their conviction, e.g., by playing a soccer match. If people from another culture think and say that the way soccer is played in your culture is ‘a joke’ and you are convinced that this is not true, you should provide facts to help them change their judgment.After all, prejudice is a premature judgment, and your task is to help those people judge soccer in your culture the way it really is after they have all the facts at their disposal.Then, their attitude toward your culture (as far as soccer is concerned) should change and become more accurate.As a result, all of you will be able to enjoy more competitive and rewarding soccer matches.

3

Escaping Suspicion and Fear

Stereotype and prejudice have one important thing in common: they are based on the assumption that cultures are static objects, like mountains, and that, once our cultural self-concept along with the conception and appraisal of people from another culture are created, they change only at our will and always in our favor. We do not want to change and make adjustments to another culture if it goes against our original conceptualizations and appraisals. However, sometimes we make adjustments even to seemingly static objects.You may have seen the movie The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain where a group of British cartographers and the townsfolk of a small Welsh town could not agree whether a large elevation of the earth’s surface with steep sides should be called (categorized) a ‘mountain’ (must be at least 1,000 feet tall by the British government regulations) or a ‘hill.’The movie tells a sweet fable, but also makes a serious point: how can we be certain where a hill ends and a mountain begins? In this light, our perception changes even when we deal with static objects; for instance, we may start calling a large elevation of the earth’s surface ‘a mountain’ instead of ‘a hill.’ People, of course, are nothing like static objects; they interact with one another, and it is impossible to pin them down in fxed general types and appraisals.The word ‘perception’ is derived from Latin ‘percipere’—‘to seize wholly,’ ‘to see all the way through.’ It is only natural that we want to see ourselves and other people ‘all the way through’—seizing the whole world, as it were. In other words, we want to set our mind once and for all, with the assumption that we can rely on such conceptualizations and appraisals in every intercultural encounter. This way, we create categories and start

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using those general types as if they were metal plates, expecting them to be reliable in all situations; when we fail to notice that they no longer work because they are too general, we become victims of stereotypes. For instance, as said earlier, if most Spaniards change the subject as soon as they hear the word ‘bullfghting,’ but we still continue to open conversations with bullfghting, then we become victims of our stereotype. We fail to notice that our conceptualization is oversimplifed and leaves out many individual cases, i.e., those Spanish people who have a diferent opinion about bullfghting. Similarly, we make quick judgments about other people and stick to them no matter what; for example, if our (Brazilian) soccer team loses to another (U.S.) team, we justify it by situational factors.We do not think (or do not want to think) that a change has taken place, e.g., that our team is perhaps not as strong as it once was, and the team that beat us is now stronger than before. If we continue to stick to our judgment that we are better at soccer and our loss is just an accident, we become victims of prejudice. In extreme cases, overgeneralization (stereotype) and negative appraisal (prejudice) may lead to discrimination, i.e., biased action when people from another culture are treated disadvantageously. In a way, stereotype and prejudice are ‘imperialistic’ by nature. We want to seize the whole world and put it in the system of our meanings, resisting change or allowing only positive change in ourselves, and denying change or allowing only negative change in the Other. For example, many U.S. colleges have been using American Indian icons as their mascots, leading to tensions on and of campus. Many examples of such tensions are described in the book The Native American mascots controversy (Springwood & King, 2001a). The authors of the book quote environmental historian Richard White who suggests that “White Americans are pious toward Indian peoples, but we don’t take them seriously; we don’t credit them with the capacity to make changes” (Springwood & King, 2001b; emphasis added). In other words, white Americans fail to accept the fact that American Indians cannot be put, for example, into the (familiar and convenient to white Americans) stereotype of ‘wild and pristine savages’ and judged accordingly because they are now a very diferent and complicated culture. Both stereotype and prejudice, therefore, ignore reality that consists in our complex interactions with other people. People are tricked into thinking that their conceptualizations and appraisals of people from other cultures are accurate and reliable when, in fact, they are not. Stereotype and prejudice go against reality: black swans are called white, and a strong soccer team is considered a joke. It is as if people have blinds on, preventing them from seeing the real Other and the real Self. In a word, stereotype and prejudice are not the best ways to deal with intercultural reality: the image that we get is distorted, and it fails us in our interactions. It is as if a wall exists between people, preventing them from developing reliable conceptualizations and appraisals of one another. But, who is to decide what generalizations are accurate and what judgments are valid? The answer is obvious: such decisions can only be made by

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people from interacting cultures together. Only by acting together is it possible for people to create accurate categories and reasonable judgments of one another.Then, we can break the wall created by uncertainty, insecurity, fear, apprehension, and ignorance. The key to reaching the optimal outcome in intercultural communication is for people to work not against, but with, one another. During this process, people from one culture may fnd out that their positions and interests difer from other cultures’. However, clearly stating one’s positions and defending one’s convictions, based on accurate categorization and judicious reasoning, is not the same as stubbornly sticking to one’s stereotypes and prejudices, refusing to change and failing to accept changes in people from other cultures. In every intercultural encounter, conceptualizations and appraisals still difer, creating tensions; however, managing intercultural tensions becomes more rational with a higher chance of success. Thus, there is a diference between overgeneralization (stereotyping) and generalization (typifying); everyone should be willing and able to explain why they think that Spaniards like bullfghting, changing their original conceptions if necessary. By the same token, there is a diference between prejudices and convictions; all people should be willing and able to defend their arguments, e.g., why one soccer team is better, changing their judgment if necessary. Categorization and holding convictions are crucial for successful intercultural communication because diferences can be voiced and settled peacefully. People can create their categorizations and appraisals of one another only through intercultural communication, i.e., together.

4

Introducing the Synergy Principle

Let’s now formulate, based on the discussion above, the ninth principle of intercultural communication—the Synergy Principle. We will isolate three parts that make up this principle. Each dealing with intercultural communication as a synergistic process. First, we will discuss intercultural communication in terms of fow dynamics; then, we will look at intercultural synergy as non-summativity; fnally, we will present intercultural communication as a search toward Pareto optimality. We will discuss each part separately and then formulate the Synergy Principle, as a whole. 4.1

Intercultural Synergy and Non-Summativity

Unlike ‘energy,’ which refers to forces of isolated objects, synergy refers to a process where people work together by integrating their forces (or energies).The word ‘synergy’ is derived from the Greek word ‘synergos,’ which means ‘working together’ (‘syn’—‘together’, and ‘ergon’—‘work’). Synergistic efects are produced by two or more cooperating individuals, i.e., those operating together.The role of synergy is crucial in the emergence and evolution of complex living systems (e.g., Corning, 2014). Culture is one such

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example, defned as a cultivated system of symbolic resources and practices shared by a group of people. Systems thinking was most fully developed in the 20th century by Karl Ludwig von Bertalanfy—an Austrian-born biologist and one of the founders of General Systems Theory, which argues that the world is best understood in terms of systems whose properties cannot be reduced to the properties of their components (Bertalanfy, 1956; Boulding, 1956). Whereas for classical science one event in the world (‘cause’) determines the other event (‘efect’) in a linear fashion, systems thinking goes beyond simple causality and views the world in terms of relationships among interacting parts. In this sense, it “is in direct contrast to classic views of linear cause and efect” (Caetano, 2007, p. 104). The ideas of General Systems Theory have been widely used in the study of communication, most extensively applied to situations of interpersonal and organizational communication (e.g., Ruben & Kim, 1975; Watzlawick et. al., 1967). Many studies of intercultural communication also draw on these ideas by focusing on the process of interaction between cooperating people from diferent groups (Bennett, 2013). For instance, Spitzberg’s model of intercultural communication competence and Kim’s cross-cultural adaptation model are two studies representative of the systems orientation (see Wiseman, 2003). All such studies rest on the same general premises grounded in systems thinking. First of all, the premise of interaction emphasizes the dynamic nature of intercultural communication, in which meaning can be understood only within complex relationships among various groups. In this light, intercultural communication comes into being as a result of continuous interactions between people from diferent cultures. Second, the premise of interdependence emphasizes the codetermined outcome of every interaction. Every communicative act impacts the system as a whole, i.e., if there is a change in one part of a system, the entire system changes, as well. In this light, just like, to use the famous lines from John Donne’s Meditation XVII, ‘No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main,’ we can say that ‘no culture is an island entire of itself ’ but is a part of a world where intercultural communication ‘tolls for thee.’ Third, the premise of feedback emphasizes the role of information that is put back into a system in order to regulate its further output. Just as in any interaction, in intercultural communication “corrective or negative feedback serves to keep the system on course, and growth or positive feedback serves to transform or change a system” (Schmidt et al., 2007, p. 51). In this light, intercultural communication can be viewed as a continuous adjustment process between one culture and other cultures as its ‘environment.’ Fourth, and most importantly, the premise of holism emphasizes nonsummativity—the idea that the system is more than the sum of its parts.

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The idea of non-summativity goes all the way back to Aristotle who wrote about “a plurality of parts” that “are not merely a complete aggregate but instead some kind of a whole beyond its parts” (Metaphysics 8.6, 1045a; see also Hanson, 1995).The diference between adding and integrating forces into a new whole is often illustrated with an example of making a cake. If we add together four, eggs, olive oil, salt, etc. and put it all in a bowl, we get exactly that—four, eggs, olive oil, salt, etc. However, if we mix them all together, integrating all these ingredients and baking them, we get a cake—a new entity with its unique taste that is diferent from the taste of each individual ingredient. In this light, “the cake is a system; the sum of its ingredients is not” (Nicotera, 2020, p. 26). In this light, if we add something and something else, e.g., 2 and 2, we get their sum: 2 + 2 = 4. If, however, we integrate something with something else, we get a new entity that does not equal the sum of its parts; it is qualitatively diferent. In a manner of speaking, 2 plus 2 does not add up to 4; rather, it can be 5 (or more!). The premise of holism, of course, applies not only to making a cake: it is found in any situation where two or more parts interact and form one whole. In other words, “when ordinary people using available resources are allowed to freely exchange opinions and argue points of view, extraordinary results can occur” (Schmidt et al., 2007, p. 49).The importance of intercultural integration becomes particularly important in large-scale enterprises that afect all cultures such as dealing with global crises and especially climate change. However, intercultural communication on any scale—from mixed-religion families to ethnically diverse workplaces to international joint business ventures—can be successful only due to “cultural synergy . . . as the positive result of intercultural interaction” (Barmeyer & Davoine, 2019, p. 8). Only by cooperating and working together on a certain task can people from diferent cultures integrate their resources and interests, striving toward the optimal outcome of their interactions that cannot be achieved by any one culture individually. 4.2 Toward Pareto Optimality

As discussed in the previous chapter, people can take several routes in managing their tensions and looking for a resolution to confict. To examine these routes more closely, let’s take a concrete example of Alleo—an international railway company that is a joint subsidiary of the French state railway SNCF and the German DB (see Barmeyer & Davoine, 2019). The frst route is avoidance, where people choose not to address any real or potential tensions. As a result, people fail to take an opportunity integrating their separate resources for mutual beneft. In this case, neither one nor another culture really wins; this ‘neither-nor’ approach is a ‘lose-lose’ situation. In the Alleo situation, this could theoretically take the form of each side trying to design and implement rail connections between France

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and Germany. However, this situation involves trans-border services calling for various interfaces in infrastructure, security, and climate protection. Hence, the situation is a contested terrain, where conficts and negotiations between diferent actors with divergent norms and expectations cannot be really avoided. The second route is polarization; due to power inequality, this ‘eitheror’ approach to is a ‘win-lose’ situation, when one culture is dominated by another. In extreme cases, one culture may view the Other as an adversary and so the zone of potential agreement turns into a war zone. In the case of Alleo, one of the ways of solving operational problems in the daily crossborder trafc was through what Barmeyer and Davoine call ‘compromise by one group.’ For instance, the German side complained of having four to fve diferent contact people on the French side, covering all regions; besides, most of those employees could not speak German. As a result, the German model of regional trafc management centers was adopted, and Germanspeaking French colleagues were appointed to manage customers, trains, and local issues. Barmeyer and Davoine note that this route is not strictly speaking a compromise as the simple result of a power asymmetry; rather, it is the adoption of a best practice by one group through the negotiation and discussion process (Barmeyer & Davoine, 2019).Were there no negotiation and discussion, it would be a clear case of polarization, one culture dominating the other. The third route is compromise. In the Arabic language, for example,‘compromise’ is translated as two words, literally meaning ‘halfway solution’ (Heggy, 2002), which is a good way to describe this route of managing intercultural tensions. It is a halfway solution because people from both cultures seem to win,yet neither culture completely reaches its goal;this ‘both-neither’ approach is a ‘no lose-no win’ situation. Compromise should not be perceived as a negative approach to confict, associated with defeat, weakness, and capitulation. Compromise creates a space for further communication and strengthens the seeds that will continue to grow toward integration. In the Alleo situation, this ‘meeting in the middle’ route took the form of compromising on the duration and structure of meetings, or the on-board catering menu. The fourth route is integration—the ‘both-and’ approach and a ‘win-win’ situation when full potential of all interacting cultures is realized through various synergistic practices.With its motto—‘The best of both cultures’— the objective of Alleo is to combine French and German strengths, i.e., to produce and support synergy.As a result of such intercultural synergy, innovative products and services emerge, such as the new reservation system and the new high-speed trains’ on-board service where the German and the French attendants stay together during the whole trip, ofering a bilingual (or trilingual) joint service to the passengers. Thus, in intercultural communication people should: (1) move from the ‘neither-nor’ approach of avoidance; (2) avoid the trap of the ‘either-or’

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approach of polarization; (3) build on the ‘both-neither’ approach of compromise; and (4) strive toward the ‘both-and’ approach of integration. People should strive toward this limit by using all their energies together and reaching the optimal outcome. The term used to denote this limit of creative options for achieving such an outcome is known as ‘Pareto optimality’ (Lax & Sebenius, 1991). While “in economics, Pareto Optimality refers to the state where no one is worseof in one state than another but someone is better-of ” (Huang, 2002, p. 70), in simple terms, Pareto optimality is a solution that cannot be improved upon without making one of the sides worse of. In such a case, after creating and trying all options, people agree on a joint outcome that satisfes all sides and that cannot be improved upon any further without making one of the sides worse. It is easy to see that of the four routes discussed earlier, the approach linked to Pareto optimality is that of integration; here, a decision is made jointly and satisfes people from all cultures. Pareto optimality is not a real point that can be reached; rather, it is an ideal toward which people strive. That is why Pareto optimality is often called the “the Pareto frontier” (Sebenius, 2002, p. 237). In Figure 9.8, Pareto frontier is shown on the dual concern model along with the locations of the four approaches to managing intercultural interactions, discussed earlier. Overall, truly successful intercultural communication as a synergistic process is directed toward Pareto optimality—the frontier that is never really reached but is always out there. It is an idea, an ideal. The more synergistic intercultural communication is, the closer people from diferent cultures come to this frontier.

Pareto Frontier

Polarization

Integration

Compromise

Avoidance

Polarization

Figure 9.8 Dual concern model of intercultural communication Source: Author

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Intercultural Synergy and the Flow Dynamics

Whenever we fnd an example of unsuccessful intercultural interaction (and we have discussed quite a few of those in this book), we realize that in such situations people do not see the need or refuse to work together.They spend a lot of their energy trying to accomplish a task—and fail or never completely succeed: in such cases, intercultural communication does not fow. The problem is that ‘fow’ is synergistic by defnition: it requires that people work together, not without and not against one another. Some of the most well-known research in the area of Flow Dynamics has been done by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, a well-known a HungarianAmerican psychologist, who defned and described the fow states as the peak experiences whereby people realize their potential and fnd optimal solutions (Csikszentmihalyi, 1996). Every fow state involves a sense of discovery, a feeling of creating a new reality and moving to a higher level of performance. In such states, whatever we do just ‘fows,’ with a new level of attainment reached and new strengths discovered. In such cases, a solution becomes a pleasurable and triumphant experience.As Trompenaars and Hampden-Turner note, the word ‘solution’ among other things means: a combination formed by dissolving something into a more fuid medium. When a solution is found to a problem, the hard edges of that problem dissolve and the separate identities of skills and challenges are transcended. One fows into the other like an onrushing stream of energy. (2002, p. 116) It is exactly what takes place when people from diferent cultures work together, realizing their full potential. People may, and often do, put tremendous efort in their intercultural interactions, but the overall fow state is still desirable and enjoyable because everyone is satisfed with this optimal experience. If we look at the main approaches to resolving confict, discussed in Chapter 8, we can see that, when people attempt to work without one another (avoidance), against one another (polarization), or with one another but only halfway (compromise), the process is a tug-of-war: the line between diferent parties is fxed and resources are simply distributed but not integrated. It is only when parties cooperate that a shared space is created where intercultural communication can fow.With integration, people cross this line in both directions, and, instead of one fxed line, there are now two dynamic lines—and an area in between! (Figure 9.9). Now, there is a space where people can actually move back and forth—an area where intercultural interaction can truly fow.This area can be seen as a shared continuous space (continuum), discussed in Chapter 6, or as a pendulum movement, discussed in Chapter 7, or as a negotiation zone, discussed

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B

Figure 9.9 Intercultural communication as integration Source: Author

in Chapter 8.This area continuously changes, simultaneously connects and keeps apart people from interacting cultures, which is accomplished through a process of transaction.This way, people from diferent cultures are able to fully realize their potential and keep redrawing the lines between themselves to mutual satisfaction. And so we have come full circle and returned to the importance of boundary lines, discussed in Chapter 1. As you recall, every boundary line is an idea, and we now can see that the most constructive idea of a boundary line is one of synergy. Intercultural communication fows result in various degrees of complexity. Overall, three main levels of hierarchy can be identifed: any system consists of smaller subsystems (‘subsystems’) and is embedded within larger systems (‘suprasystems’). For example, the sibling subsystem exists within the nuclear family system, which is in turn part of an extended family suprasystem. It is important to note that boundaries between diferent cultures are permeable and determined by what needs to be accomplished since systems in intercultural communication are “all working together to achieve some goal” (Wiseman, 2003, p. 199). Every system, of course, seeks to achieve a particular goal: for instance, the goal of any intercultural family can be seen as ensuring the continuation of life through procreation and socialization, the goal of an international joint-venture business as producing products and proft, etc. All systems, though, whatever their particular goals may be, work to maintain homeostasis—the state of equilibrium or balance. Families, for example, attempt to ft in with their neighbors and friends, businesses with their suppliers and clients, etc. So, whenever changes occur in the system or its environment, whenever new demands require adaptation and adjustments, people within a system must experiment with new forms, become creative, engaging in what systems theorists refers to as morphogenesis— the ability of a system to change its form as it adapts and changes over time. It is crucial to realize that systems become more vulnerable as they cling to an existing homogeneous state of afairs in the face of inevitable change. In this light, the importance of adapting to greater cultural diversity cannot be overestimated. When intercultural communication is understood as a synergistic process directed toward ‘fow states’ when people realize their potential and

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the outcome of their interaction reaches a new state, we should not be deceived by the word ‘state’: it is not a destination that can be reached once and for all. Every state is part of the overall and never-ending process of intercultural interactions, grounded in non-summativity and striving toward Pareto optimality. Can we conceptualize the overall goal of intercultural interactions in more detail? Can it be presented in more exact terms, perhaps even in simple mathematical terms? We will discuss this in the next chapter.

5 The Synergy Principle Defned Right now, let us give a more concise formulation of Synergy Principle, based on the above discussion of its three parts. First, as people from diferent cultures work together and integrate their potential, they are able to achieve an outcome that cannot be achieved by any one culture individually; this idea is known as non-summativity. Second, non-summativity allows diferent cultures to reach the optimal agreement for all sides. Such an agreement is reached when all options have been tried and the outcome cannot be further improved upon without making one of the sides worse.This outcome is known as the Pareto optimality or the efciency frontier. Overall, truly successful intercultural communication as a synergistic process is directed toward Pareto optimality. Third, intercultural communication can be viewed as a synergistic process of ‘fow states’ when people from diferent cultures realize their potential and the outcome of their interaction reaches a new level. In a nutshell, the Synergy Principle can be formulated as follows: Intercultural communication is a process whereby people from diferent groups work to integrate their resources and interests striving toward an optimal result that cannot be achieved by people from any culture individually.

6

Case Study: ‘The Case of AMD: Unleashing Intercultural Potential’

This case study is based on the chapter entitled ‘Creating a hyperculture: Martin Gillo, Advanced Micro Devices,’ taken from the book 21 leaders for the 21st century: How innovative leaders manage in the digital age by Fons Trompenaars and Charles Hampden-Turner (2002). As usual, it is recommended that you read the chapter in its entirety; below, you fnd a summary of the chapter. Be ready to identify and then discuss the following topics: 1. What were some of the perceptual challenges faced by the cultures of AMD? 2. How were those challenges overcome? 3. What was the outcome of unleashing the intercultural potential of AMD?

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In 1995, Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), a large U.S. chip maker, decided to build a mega-factory near Dresden in the former East Germany. AMD was to produce state-of-the-art microprocessors equivalent or even superior to those of Intel. AMD was dedicated to producing the chip that entered the market under the AMD Athlon brand name. People from three cultures were going to come together at AMD: U.S.,West German, and East German. Trompenaars and Hampden-Turner note that, according to their research, cultural diferences between people from East Germany and West Germany are at least as large as those between West Germany and people from other European cultures. Making a microchip is an extremely complex process that requires the harmonious work of all parties involved. In this sense, the business of AMD depended upon the fne-tuning of communication between people from three diferent cultures.The operation could become a highly proftable business and a feat of intercultural integration, but it could also prove a disaster. Cultural clashes and misperceptions were unavoidable. There were tensions between the U.S. and West German sides. First of all, there were still strong U.S. opinions about Germany as a country of too many laws and regulations. Also, from the U.S. perspective, German engineers are too rational and too cerebral and prefer to work individually while avoiding spontaneous group discussions and brainstorming. From the West German perspective, the Americans shoot from the hip without taking careful aim; in other words, they do not take time individually to think through their problems and come to a rational conclusion. Naturally, there was also a language barrier problem; the U.S. managers preferred to hold their brainstorming sessions in English where ideas could be developed freely while the Germans wanted to present their ideas in German and in a more formal setting. There were tensions between the West German and East German sides. Many East Germans perceived West Germans as arrogant and rejected their tendency toward consumerism and superiority. Many East Germans still felt that the West Germans did not honor their East German compatriots enough for their courage during the oppression by the Stasi (secret police). East Germans, on their part, were still sometimes perceived as ‘backwater’ because of the years of the communist regime. However, East German ‘backwardness’ was by no means uniform; in some respects, East Germany was ahead of West Germany. For example, East Germany awarded many technical degrees for highly skilled manual labor including that of semiconductor technician. The AMD startup team rejected the approach whereby the U.S. cultural practices would be imposed. Instead, they chose the approach of cultural symbiosis—a process by which people from the United States, West Germany, and East Germany combine their preferences and integrate their potential. In this process, each culture’s potential is strengthened through the others; as a result, the overall intercultural potential of AMD was unleashed. The so-called systematic experimentation method was endorsed at AMD; the systematic part appealed to German rationality, while the experimentation part appealed to American improvisation.

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The AMD startup team frst considered alternating German-style formal meetings one week and American free-form brainstorming sessions the next. However, such a solution would not be optimal because no real exchange between the two sides takes place; in other words, one side’s potential is not strengthened through the other. So, a diferent meeting format was designed that opened with American-style brainstorming sessions with ideas encouraged from anyone; also, a formal refective process was set up when ideas would be presented and summarized. Whenever appropriate, ideas were written down and posted on boards during the brainstorming sessions; that way, those not very confdent of their verbal skills could also add ideas more easily. AMD’s lingua franca was English; however, meetings were held in both English and German, and anyone could express an idea in either language without any recrimination. As a result, both sides gradually began to change: the Americans began to learn the skills of more rational deliberation, while the Germans began to learn more dynamic skills of brainstorming and improvisation. As a result, the sides began to integrate their forces, reaching new states. Each such state was seen as a peak experience which occurred when the integrated intercultural potential of AMD was unleashed. Suddenly, all the former challenges were overcome and realized in a moment of combined attainment. Incidentally, Martin Gillo, AMD’s CEO, had been fascinated for many years by the research of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, especially his description of fow states. Martin Gillo had published his own in-house pamphlets promoting the idea of a stimulating engagement with the task at hand. Such continuous engagement with every task resulted in the overall success of AMD. The Dresden operation was pronounced the most successful start-up in the history of the company, while the 0.18-micron copper version of the AMD Athlon microprocessor was the most advanced in AMD’s worldwide operations. Now let us see how this case study can be an illustration of the Synergy Principle of intercultural communication. 1. What were some of the perceptual challenges faced by the cultures of AMD? It was easy for the cultures of AMD to fall into the trap of stereotyping when dealing with each other. For example, the East Germans could have conceptualized their West German colleagues as arrogant and lacking compassion. On their part, the West Germans could have conceptualized their East Germans colleagues as ‘backwater’ because of the years of the communist regime. However, the West German individuals turned out to be quite friendly and willing to work together, while the East German individuals turned out to be highly skilled as semiconductor technicians. Also, it was easy for the cultures of AMD to fall into the trap of prejudging each other, developing a negative attitude. For example,

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the U.S. side could have decided that because Germany had numerous laws and regulations and because its engineers were too rational and too cerebral, their collaboration would be inefective. For their part, the West German side could have decided that, because Americans were too carefree and never thought through their problems, their collaboration would be inefective. Fortunately, such perceptual challenges as overgeneralizations (stereotypes) and prejudgments (prejudices) that could have prevented the cultures of AMD from successful collaboration were overcome. 2. How were those challenges overcome? These potential challenges were overcome through the approach of cultural symbiosis—a process by which people from the United States, West Germany, and East Germany combine their preferences and integrate their potential. In this synergistic process, each culture’s potential was strengthened through the others. For example, the so-called systematic experimentation method was endorsed at AMD, the systematic part appealing to German rationality and the experimentation part appealing to American improvisation. As one manifestation of this method, the AMD startup team decided not to alternate German-style formal meetings with American freeform brainstorming sessions. Such a solution would simply be a compromise because no real change in the two sides would take place; in other words, one side’s potential would not be strengthened through the other. So, a diferent meeting format was designed, blending American-style brainstorming sessions with a formal refective process. Also, English and German were integrated, as anyone could express an idea in either language without any recrimination, either orally or by writing ideas down and posting them on boards during meetings.As a result, the sides changed: the Americans learned the skills of more rational deliberation, while the Germans learned dynamic skills of brainstorming and improvisation.This way, the sides moved beyond compromise, integrating their forces to reach a new state. 3. What was the outcome of unleashing the intercultural potential of AMD? The outcome of unleashing the intercultural potential of AMD was the harmonious work of all the sides involved. The business of AMD depended upon the fne-tuning of communication between people from three diferent cultures; because their interactions were fowing smoothly, the operation became a highly proftable business and a feat of intercultural integration. Their continuous engagement with every task resulted in the overall success of AMD; the Dresden operation was pronounced the most successful startup in the history of the company, while one of their microprocessors turned out to be the most advanced in AMD’s worldwide operations.

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7 7.1

Side Trips Stereotypes in Hollywood Movies

In recent years, increased attention has been paid to various stereotypes in Hollywood flms; common examples include the portrayal of Asians as nerdy, black men as dangerous, and Latinas as fery. According to the 2018 Hollywood Diversity Report from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Hollywood still has a long way to go (Schacht, 2019) to overcome stereotypical cultural presentations. ∗∗ Do you agree with this assessment of Hollywood flms? Can you think of examples to support or disprove it? 7.2

Can AI be Biased?

For many people, the appeal of artifcial intelligent systems is that they can make impartial decisions. However, machine learning is said to have a dark side, for algorithms are developed by humans and refect basic human assumptions; as a result, machines can be as prejudiced as the people from whom they learn. One example is the racist history behind facial recognition (Chinoy, 2019). It is argued that we should not give up using AI machines, but we should be aware of these problems.Also, we should remember that AI is all about how the world has been, not how it ought to be: that’s up to us to decide (Resnick, 2019). ∗∗ Do you agree that AI can be biased? If yes, can you give concrete examples of such bias in intercultural communication? 7.3 Addressing Prejudiced Statements

Dr. Beatrice Fennimore in her article ‘Addressing prejudiced statements’ (Fennimore, 1994) suggests that a productive response to a prejudiced statement can be formulated using the following steps: (1) pulling the prejudice out of the statement and restating it a calm and objective way; (2) stating personal beliefs in a clear and assertive way; (3) making a positive statement about the specifc targets of the prejudice; and (4) gently turning the subject to a new direction. ∗∗ What is your opinion of this approach to addressing prejudiced statements? Can you think of other steps that could be added to such response?

References Barmeyer, C. & Davoine, E. (2019). Facilitating intercultural negotiated practices in joint ventures: The case of a French–German railway organization. International Business Review, 28: 1–11. Bennett, M. (2013). Basic concepts of intercultural communication: Paradigms, principles, & practices. Boston: Intercultural Press.

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Bertalanfy, L. von (1956). General system theory. General Systems (Yearbook of the Society for the Advancement of General Systems Theory), 1: 1–10. Boulding, K. (1956). General system theory: The skeleton of science. General Systems (Yearbook of the Society for the Advancement of General Systems Theory), 1: 11–17. Brislin, R.W. (1993). Understanding culture’s infuence on behavior. Fort Worth,TX: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich College Publishers. Caetano, C. (2007). Qualitative assessment within and across cultures. In B. Uzzell, M. O. Pontón, & A. Ardila (Eds.), International handbook of cross-cultural neuropsychology (pp. 93–108). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Inc. Calvo,A. (2016).Tensions are on the rise in Spain over its bloody tradition of bullfghting. Time, July 19. https://time.com/4400516/bullfghting-calls-for-ban-spain/. Accessed October 4, 2019. Chinoy, S. (2019).The racist history behind facial recognition. New York Times, July 10. Clark, D. (1995). Muslim pilgrims leave a trail of good will in Harrington. The SpokesmanReview, October 12. Corning, P. (2014). Systems theory and the role of synergy in the evolution of living systems. Systems Research and Behavioral Science, 31(2): 181–196. Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1996). Creativity: Flow and the psychology of discovery and invention. New York: HarperCollins. Cullingford, C. (2000). Prejudice: From individual identity to nationalism. London: Routledge. Cushner, K. & Brislin, R. (1996). Intercultural interactions:A practical guide. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. Fennimore, B. (1994). Addressing prejudiced statements: A four-step method that works! Childhood Education, Summer: 202–204. Gudykunst, W. & Kim,Y. (2003). Communicating with strangers: An approach to intercultural communication. Boston: McGraw-Hill. Hanson, B. (1995). General systems theory: Beginning with wholes. London and New York: Routledge. Heggy,T. (2002). Our need for ‘a culture of compromise’. Viewpoints, October 27. Heider, F. (1958). The psychology of interpersonal relations. New York:Wiley. Huang,Y. (2002). Approaching ‘Pareto optimality?’: A critical analysis of media-orchestrated Chinese nationalism. Intercultural Communication Studies, 11(2): 69–87. Jadda, S. (2019).The Italian cultural crisis and the case of the Bellini theater. Italics Magazine, November 20. Lax, D. & Sebenius, J. (1991). The power of alternatives or the limit to negotiation. In J. Breslin & J. Rubin (Eds.), Negotiation theory and practice (pp. 97–114). Cambridge, MA: The Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School. Mesco, M. (2014). Italy’s opera crisis. Wall Street Journal, June 19. Nayler, M. (2017). Are Spaniards over bullfghting? Culture Trip, June 15. https:// theculturetrip.com/europe/spain/articles/are-spaniards-over-bullfghting/. Accessed November 3, 2019. Nicotera, A. (2020). Developments in the 20th century. In E. Nicotera (Ed.), Origins and traditions of organizational communication: A comprehensive introduction to the feld (pp. 22–44). New York and Abingdon: Routledge. Popper, K. (1959). The logic of scientifc discovery. London and New York: Routledge. Resnick, B. (2019).Yes, artifcial intelligence can be racist. Vox, January 24. Ruben, B. & Kim, J. (Eds.) (1975). General systems theory and human communication. Rochelle Park, NJ: Hayden Book Company. Rudmin, F. (1989).The pleasure of serendipity in historical research: On fnding ‘stereotype’ in Morier’s (1824) Haiji Baba. Cross-Cultural Psychology Bulletin, 23: 8–11.

228 Synergy Principle Schacht, K. (2019). What Hollywood movies do to perpetuate racial stereotypes. DW. com, February 21. www.dw.com/en/hollywood-movies-stereotypes-prejudice-dataanalysis/a-47561660.Accessed November 21, 2019. Schmidt, W., Conaway, R. N., Easton, S. S., & Wardrope, W. J. (2007). Communicating globally: Intercultural communication and international business. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. Sebenius, J. (2002). International negotiation analysis. In V. Kremenyuk (Ed.), International negotiation:Analysis, approaches, issues (pp. 229–255). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Springwood, C. & King, C. (Eds.) (2001a). Beyond the cheers: Race as spectacle in college sport. New York: SUNY Press. Springwood, C. & King, C. (2001b). ‘Playing Indian’: Why Native American mascots must end. The Chronicle of Higher Education, November, 9. Stein, J. (2002).The rest-of-the-world cup. Time, June 17. Trompenaars, F. & Hampden-Turner, C. (2002). 21 leaders for the 21st century: How innovative leaders manage in the digital age. New York: McGraw-Hill. Van Dijk,T.A. (1991). Racism and the press. London: Routledge. Watzlawick, P., Bavelas, J. B., & Jackson, D. D. (1967). Pragmatics of human communication. New York: W. W. Norton. Wiseman, R. (2003). Intercultural communication competence. In W. Gudykunst (Ed.), Cross-cultural and intercultural communication (pp. 191–208). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

10 Sustainability Principle ‘All for One, and One for All’

Key Theme: Sustainability Problem Question: What is it that diferent cultures can accomplish by collaborating and integrating their resources? Objective: To help you understand why collaborative behavior is right (ethical) in intercultural communication Key Concepts: Ethics, globalization, the Golden consequence, the Golden mean, the Golden law, the Golden purse, the Golden Ratio, the Golden rule, metaethic, morality, relativism, resistance, sustainability, tolerance, trust, universalism. 

Chapter Outline 1 Introducing the Problem Question 229 2 Ethics and Intercultural Communication 230 2.1 Approaches to Ethics in Intercultural Communication 231 3 Introducing the Sustainability Principle 235 3.1 General Nature of Sustainability:Thinking about Forever 236 3.2 Strategies of Sustainability:Tolerance,Trust, Resistance 237 3.3 Formula for Intercultural Sustainability 243 4 The Sustainability Principle Defned 248 5 Case Study:‘An Ethics of Cultural Exchange’ 248 6 Side Trips 255 6.1 Seesaws at the U.S.–Mexico Border 255 6.2 Cultures of Resistance Network 256 6.3 The Ship of Tolerance 256

1

Introducing the Problem Question

The previous chapter showed that synergy is the optimal way for people from diferent cultures to interact with each other. By collaborating with one another, people can achieve results they cannot achieve separately.With

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integration, something crucial is thus accomplished. There must be something about intercultural synergy that people in all cultures can beneft from. In this chapter, thus, we take up the following Problem Question: ‘What is it that diferent cultures can accomplish by collaborating and integrating their resources?’

2

Ethics in Intercultural Communication

In this book, we have discussed numerous examples of intercultural interactions. For instance, in Chapter 4, we talked about the Masai people who ofered their cows to the United States as a gift—one of their most valuable possessions.The gift was duly appreciated by the U.S. people as an extension of goodwill, but, because of the difculty of transportation of the cows, the Masai were asked to send their beads, instead. In Chapter 7, we talked about what happened between the white inhabitants of Snow Low, AZ, and the members of the White Mountain Apache tribe when one of the members of the Apache tribe was arrested and charged with starting a fre that grew into the largest wildfre in Arizona history.The Native Americans began to keep to themselves, fearing retribution, and among the white communities the feeling of resentment was high. Another example from that chapter was the reaction of people from many cultures to the global spread of English. We mentioned how France and Switzerland, for instance, resist what is sometimes called the ‘linguistic imperialism’ of English, providing a special vocabulary aimed to replace Anglicisms with their own words, especially in the areas of computing, business, and entertainment. In Chapter 8, we discussed in detail the decision of the Motorola management not to fre a senior East Asian engineer, allowing him to use instead his housing allowance for any purpose as long as local values were implemented. And in Chapter 9 we learned how people from three diferent cultures managed to work harmoniously at the AMD mega-factory, unleashing its potential. In each of these cases, people’s actions can be judged right or wrong, good or bad. For example, was it the right decision for the Masai to ofer their cows as a gift, and was it right for the U.S. people not to accept it, asking for beads instead? Is it good for the Native Americans in Arizona to keep to themselves, and are the white communities right to resent them? Is it wrong for people in France and Switzerland to resist Anglicisms, and can the global spread of English be considered good behavior on the part of the AngloSaxon cultures? Was the Motorola management right not to fre a senior East Asian engineer, and was his behavior of using his housing allowance for another purpose good or bad? Finally, was the decision of the people from three diferent cultures to work together at AMD right or wrong? In every situation of intercultural interaction, people make judgments about what ought to be done under the circumstances, i.e., what course of action is right and what behaviors are deemed wrong. Such judgments have a moral dimension and are traditionally studied by the domain of ethics.

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A distinction is usually made between morality, on the one hand, and ethics, on the other. Morality generally refers to beliefs, values, and related traditions of a given culture, which regulate relationships by prescribing and proscribing modes and practices of correct behavior. Ethics, in its turn, refers to the study of the general nature of modes and practices of behavior and moral choices made by people in relationships with others.As such, ethics most often refers to a domain of inquiry, a discipline, in which matters of right and wrong, good and evil, virtue and vice, are systematically examined. Morality, by contrast, is most often used to refer not to a discipline but to patterns of thought and action that are actually operative in everyday life. In this sense, morality is what the discipline of ethics is about. (Goodpaster, 1992, p. 111) Moral patterns of thought and action of people from diferent cultures may collide as they enact diferent views of what it means ‘to do the right thing’ in various situations of interaction. Ethical issues are addressed in many books on intercultural communication, where ethics is consistently defned as the study of “the means or moral standards by which actions may be judged good or bad, right or wrong” (Hall, 2002, p. 330), emphasizing that ethical judgments focus “on the degree of rightness and wrongness in human behavior” (Martin & Nakayama, 2000, p. 19). As we saw from the examples discussed earlier, ethical judgments include such choices as whether to share one’s resources (e.g., cows in the Masai example or professional expertise in the AMD example), whether to allow the Other’s resources into one’s cultural territory or put up resistance (e.g., fghting back against Anglicisms in France and Switzerland), whether to trust people from another culture (e.g., the white and Native American communities in Arizona), etc.As a result of each ethical judgment, a choice is made and meanings are created, reinforced, or changed. This way, cultures are formed as shared systems of symbolic resources. Every culture positions itself toward other cultures, based on its own system of resources. All people want to make sure that the position of their culture is strong and stable, i.e., that their resources allow them to accomplish what they want. Naturally, people from every culture want to determine what behavior is right (good) for them. So, the question that every culture faces is this:What does being moral mean? In this sense, “we must recognize that being moral takes precedence over all other concerns” (Gudykunst & Kim, 2003, p. 407). 2.1 Approaches to Ethics in Intercultural Communication

In the literature related to intercultural communication ethics, several broad and more specifc approaches can be isolated.

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There are two broad approaches to ethics as it relates to culture— universalism and relativism.The debate between ethical universalists and relativists has been going on for centuries, and these two views are still held today (Browning, 2006; Jones & Long, 2015). Each approach presents its own understanding of the relationship between ethics and culture, with important implications for the study of intercultural communication. According to the universalist approach, people’s actions must be applicable to all cultures, i.e., there is one correct way for people from all cultures to do something. Ethical universalists try to identify actions that people from all cultures can agree upon as right or wrong: e.g., the Ten Commandments are sometimes presented as a universal ethical code of action. In 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was adopted, proclaiming the inalienable rights that everyone is inherently entitled to as a human being regardless of race, color, religion, sex, language, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth, or other status. Available in more than 500 languages, it is one of the most translated documents in the world. According to the relativist approach, people’s actions are culture-bound, i.e., each culture has its own ideas about what is right and wrong. Hence, people’s actions can be judged only in terms of a culture’s ethical system: e.g., a moral judgment about eating dogs can be made only from a certain culture’s point of view (as the right behavior in Korea and the wrong behavior in most other cultures). In other words, ethical relativism maintains that “the value of actions and the validity of moral judgments are dependent upon their sociocultural context” (Barnsley, 1972, p. 327). Both universalist and relativist approaches have positive and negative aspects. A universalist ethics strives to be a desirable moral option for today’s multicultural world because it provides a set of moral standards for all cultures to follow. Yet, any universal moral standards are formulated by particular cultures, i.e., from a certain point of view. For example, even the Ten Commandments present a particular view about what is right and wrong but cannot be considered a universal ethical code. Hence, the concept of universal ethics, standards of goodness that apply to everyone, everywhere, and at all times, is the very sort of myth people struggle to hold onto.All moral choices fow from the perceptions of the decision maker, and those perceptions are produced by unique experiences in one person’s life, in the context in which the choices are made. (Howell, 1982, p. 187) In other words, people from each culture naturally want to see their own universal moral standards of good behavior as universal. Such a view is potentially dangerous because it leads to imposing one’s own moral standards upon other cultures; the most powerful culture “defnes and dominates

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the criteria by which ethical behavior is evaluated” (Pedersen, 1997, p. 154). Not surprisingly, contemporary critics of universalism argue that such ethics turn out to be a form of cultural chauvinism, a way of imposing culturally specifc standards upon societies where they would not be useful or appropriate. Even the most seemingly universalist rules – such as injunctions not to harm or steal from other people – are always created by particular cultures or groups to serve their interests . . . Universalism is, indeed, always a form of ethnocentrism. (Moscovici, 2001, p. 289) As we can see,“in practice, the search for universal principles leads us either to undermine our own moral norms or to impose them on everyone else” (Fleischacker, 1994, p. 6). Ethical universalism in its extreme form can be identifed with ethnocentric reduction, discussed in Chapter 4: in this case, one culture is viewed as imposing its system of moral standards upon all other cultures, reducing them to Self, i.e., to its own moral code of behaviors and practices. A relativist ethics also strives to be a desirable moral option for today’s multicultural world because it allows diferent moral standards, which preclude various cultures from judging one another.Yet,“such a stand is potentially dangerous and untenable as the strong universalist stance” (Hall, 2002, p. 342). Moral relativism in its extreme form—‘anything goes!’—leads to the view that any action is acceptable as long as it is judged morally right by a certain culture; in this sense, ethical relativism can be seen as “a doctrine of ethical indiference” (Hall, 2002, p. 342). Moral relativism is dangerous because it discourages “moral discourse and disregards ethical guidelines outside of each cultural context” (Pedersen, 1997, p. 155). In essence, moral relativism in its extreme form is also a form of ethnocentrism and can be identifed with ethnocentric negation discussed in Chapter 4: in this case, each culture claims that its actions cannot be judged by other cultures, i.e., it disregards (negates) any other moral standards. So, both universalism and relativism, taken separately, have an ethnocentric bias.A culture with a universalist stance aims to reduce all other cultures to Self, i.e., to its own system of moral standards, while a culture with a relativist stance aims to negate all other cultures as simply not Self, claiming its own system of moral standards (Self) to be the only acceptable ethical code. As a result, both universalism and relativism approach ethics from the perspective of only one culture (Self), without engaging the perspective of people from other cultures (the Other). However, it is impossible to come up with the universal code of behavior without looking at diferent ways of doing things, for example, such cultural practices as honor killings or what is known as female genital mutilation (FGM).

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No universal ethical code, therefore, can be formulated based only on moral standards of one culture without including views on morality that exist in other cultures; hence, universalism presupposes relativism. By the same token, it is easy to see that, without some universal ethical foundation, a multicultural world risks plunging into fragmentation and chaos;“Without universal values . . . the very notion of ethics, or morally desirable codes of conduct, risks meaninglessness” (Moscovici, 2001, p. 290); as such, relativism presupposes universalism. It seems as if universalists and relativists try to present the defnitive view of ethics. The view presented by universalism is large, embracing all cultures, while the view presented by relativism is smaller, based only on one culture’s code of ethics. Yet, both universalism and relativism attempt to own the truth while also needing each other in order to reveal the true nature of ethical behaviors and practices. According to Georg W. F. Hegel’s dictum, ‘The Truth is the Whole.’ In our case, the Whole must somehow reconcile the large view on ethics with all smaller views. In this sense, intercultural communication can be said to oscillate “between the poles of universalism and relativism, without settling on either” (Moscovici, 2001, p. 290). In other words: ethics may be viewed as a compound of universalism and relativism.All ethical systems involve a tension between what is universal and what is relative . . .The challenge, then, is to understand the nature of this compound and its implications in intercultural settings. (Hall, 2002, p. 343) Many attempts have been made to understand the nature of this tension; below, fve specifc approaches are briefy reviewed, summarized by B. Hall (2002, pp. 330–336). Five golden approaches to ethics are usually identifed: the golden law, the golden purse, the golden consequence, the golden mean, and the golden rule. Each approach has certain implications for intercultural communication. The golden law focuses on the inherent goodness or badness of people’s actions. All actions are said to be inherently ethical (or unethical), regardless of who performs them.This law applies equally to everyone: what is right (or wrong) for one person is also right (or wrong) for all other people. For example, according to Immanuel Kant’s famous discussion of the categorical imperative (Kant, 1959), such laws take on the forms of positive actions (e.g., give aid, show gratitude), and negative actions (e.g., do not lie, do not steal), such that we act as though the end of our actions would become a law of nature. The golden purse is based on the notion of power understood as physical strength, wealth, etc.This approach to ethics can be summed up by the saying ‘He rules who has the gold.’While this approach is often used by more powerful cultures in intercultural interactions, “it provides an extremely unstable foundation upon which to build mutually benefcial intercultural communities” (Hall, 2002, p. 332).

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The golden consequence is grounded in the outcome of people’s actions; ethical decisions are based on what will bring the most good for the most people. In this sense, an action generally considered unethical, such as lying, may be deemed the right behavior if it leads to the greater good.This approach allows people to go any way using their ethical reasoning; besides, “humans don’t really know what the consequences of certain actions will be” (Hall, 2002, p. 335). The golden mean is traced back to the ideas of Aristotle and Confucius who saw the right behavior as a blending of opposites. For example, neither cowardice nor foolhardiness is right, but courage, as the golden mean between the two, is.Therefore, an ethical choice is a happy medium between two extremes. The golden rule states that we should act toward people from other cultures as we would have them act toward us. The golden rule is upheld not only in the West, but also in the East where it takes on the following Confucian expression:‘Do not do to others what you do not like others to do to you.’ Each of these fve specifc approaches to ethics tries to resolve the tension between universalism and relativism. It is easy to see that the golden law approach gravitates toward the universal pole of ethics: it claims universality of moral standards.The golden purse and the golden consequence approaches, on the contrary, gravitate toward the relativist pole of ethics: they claim that moral standards depend upon, or are relative to, power or outcome of actions.The golden mean and the golden rule are more successful at balancing tensions between universalism and relativism because they are based on the idea that, in making ethical judgments, “we need to focus on the other culture’s perspective as well as our own” (Hall, 2002, p. 336). In other words, these approaches try to reconcile one culture’s ethical code (smaller view of ethics) with all other cultures’ ethical codes (large view of ethics).These approaches are more successful because they pay attention to both Self (one culture’s ethics) and its environment (other cultures’ ethical codes).

3

Introducing the Sustainability Principle

Let’s now formulate, based on the discussion above, the tenth principle of intercultural communication—the Sustainability Principle. We will isolate three parts that make up this principle. Each part deals with intercultural communication as a process where people must make ethical choices. First, we will discuss the general nature of sustainability and how it can be applied to intercultural communication; then, we will present the main strategies of sustainability in intercultural communication; fnally, we will suggest a formula for intercultural sustainability. We will discuss each part separately and then formulate the Sustainability Principle, as a whole.

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General Nature of Sustainability:Thinking about Forever

It can be claimed that “the moral issues that attend intercultural encounters are not simply more complicated, they are of an entirely new dimension. Despite the pervasiveness of cross-cultural contact, these complications remain overlooked and unexplored in any systematic way” (Barnlund, 1980, p. 9). The claim that moral issues in intercultural encounters remain overlooked is an exaggeration; as you see, a lot of research has been done in this area (Asuncion-Lande, 1980; Sitaram & Cogdell, 1976). However, the call for a more systematic study of ethics in intercultural communication is justifed. A metaethic, i.e., a general foundation for successful (ethical) intercultural communication, is needed to transcend all diferences. Today, globalization creates the need for such a metaethic, more urgently than ever. Globalization refers to an intensifed compression of the world and our increasing consciousness of cultural processes that extend beyond the collective identity of any one culture. The process of globalization has a huge potential for cultural and intercultural development, but has a dark side in the form of the many challenges facing all people. For example, the book entitled Introducing global issues (Snarr & Snarr, 2002) lists such challenges as the proliferation of weapons, migration, health, protection of the atmosphere, etc. These challenges transcend all diferences (political, social, economic, etc.) and require an ethical framework that serves the concerns of all people on the planet. And the most fundamental concern is clear— sustainability, understood as remaining alive or in existence (Morris, 1982, p. 1296) and proliferating (rather than destroying) new/other life. There can be no doubt that “cultures—like any other organic system— strive to afrm life” (Rodriguez, 2002, p. 2).To put it bluntly, unless people are in sustainable existence, they cannot meet all other (specifc) challenges such as dealing with the proliferation of weapons, migration, health, protection of the atmosphere, etc. In this light, “our newly interdependent global society, with its remarkable possibilities for linking people around the planet, gives us the material basis for a new ethic . . . that will serve the interests of all those who live on this planet” (Singer, 2002, p. B9; see also: Singer, 2001). These ideas are echoed in UNESCO’s Charter:“we are beginning to move towards a new global ethic which transcends all other systems of allegiance and belief, which is rooted in a consciousness of the interrelatedness and sanctity of life” (1997, paragraph 116). In 2015, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was adopted by heads of state and government at a special UN summit.The agenda includes 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in three key areas—economic, social, and environmental—to be achieved by drawing on the creative potential of the world’s diverse cultures. Sustainability is a dynamic state when decisions are made so that something is constantly maintained and kept in existence. In this respect, sustainability by defnition is thinking about forever. Because “culture . . . has a central place in the complex notion of sustainability” (UNESCO, 1997, paragraphs 111–112), in this text we are concerned

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with intercultural sustainability understood “as a term that comprises any attempt of encouraging durable, long-lasting and resilient forms of intercultural communication and intercultural relations” (Busch, 2016, p. 63). Intercultural sustainability is a dynamic state wherein people must make decisions so that their cultures continue to exist. Earlier, it was shown that no culture alone can make such decisions; both universalism and relativism are, in fact, forms of ethnocentrism because they present an ethical code only from one point of view—that of Self. Intercultural sustainability requires that every culture pay attention to its environment, i.e., all other cultures (the Other). When we pay attention to people from other cultures, we decide how to interact with them. In this connection, “ethics and morality are correlative with the purpose of avoiding damage to the rights and interests of people – preeminently other people” (Rescher, 1977, p. 80). Intercultural sustainability is not just a matter of morality but also of rationality: a decision is considered right if it helps people to sustain their culture. So, asking the question,‘Why be ethical?’ is the same as asking the question, ‘Why be rational?’ As C. I. Lewis put it, “cognitive correctness is itself a moral concern, in the broad sense of ‘moral’” (1969, p. 163). Thus, this new global ethic, or a metaethic, is found in the idea of sustainability. However, “sustainable intercultural relations will not emerge by themselves” (Busch, 2016, p. 67). Let us see what communicative strategies people must use so that their actions are considered ethical (rational). 3.2

Strategies of Sustainability:Tolerance,Trust, Resistance

Tolerance.While all people living together in perfect harmony is the ideal of intercultural communication, in real life interactions far from harmonious continue to take place. It is not surprising, then, that “the demand for an understanding of tolerance and intolerance seems to be at an all-time high” (Baldwin, 1998, p. 24). Tolerance is defned as “the capacity for or practice of allowing or respecting the nature, beliefs, or behaviors of other” (Morris, 1982, p. 1351), so in this sense it is akin to decency and civility rather than simply putting up with others who are diferent.This capacity makes it possible for people from one culture (Self) to allow people from another culture (the Other) to cross the imaginary line separating them into what Self considers its own territory, i.e., its own side of the intercultural continuum. As was shown in Chapter 8, if intercultural communication is based on the fexible-sum perception, people from one culture can move into the space inhabited by those from another culture.This move may be viewed as potentially dangerous because new meanings are brought in, which until now have not been part of Self. It is not easy to deal with practices and behaviors that are diferent from your own; one may not be accustomed to eating with chopsticks as people do in many Asian counties or standing during a church service as people do in Russia. But, in intercultural interactions we should be capable of handling such challenges, i.e., we should tolerate and even welcome such

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diferent behaviors and practices as long as they do not import any form of violence. Tolerance is not the same as acceptance, which implies agreement; people from one culture may or may not agree with the way things are done in other cultures. However, allowing diferences to exist, with an eye toward the just, makes tolerance a primary virtue (Barnes, 2001) because no culture owns the truth alone. On the contrary, we must tolerate other people’s behaviors and practices because everyone knows something of what it means to be true.As was stated earlier,‘The Truth is the Whole.’ Tolerance, therefore, is the capacity of one culture to deal with the presence of another culture on its territory in a sustainable, nonviolent way (Figure 10.1). Through interaction, every culture establishes a dynamic limit of this capacity: people from every culture decide to what extent they allow a different system of meanings on their territory. It depends, of course, upon

Figure 10.1 Monument to Tolerance in Hilversum, the Netherlands Source: Wikimedia Creative Commons

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how diferent another culture’s meanings are and what the consequences of dealing with such meanings might be. For example, if the Other brings with itself new eating utensils, e.g., chopsticks, then Self is likely to tolerate such a new meaning and even borrow it. However, if the Other brings with itself new eating habits, e.g., eating dogs or frogs, then Self is less likely to tolerate such new meanings. And of course when one party means to engage in violence, then tolerance of the other will necessarily reach its limits. But in the most mundane, nonviolent in each intercultural encounter a dynamic boundary line is drawn between Self and the Other; if both Self and the Other agree on what constitutes this line, it is possible to speak of tolerance as a communicative strategy leading to intercultural sustainability. It should be clear that tolerance is not a passive process and some form of silent positioning. People from diferent cultures need not adopt what others do, or challenge others’ positions. On the contrary, the value of tolerance is to encourage an open exchange of ideas. In other words, “Fighting for toleration is not a matter of attempting to align other groups with a preexisting order, but a form of dialogue in the course of which the picture of what toleration is and requires gradually becomes clear” (Walker, 1995, p. 112). The practice of tolerance enables people to discover how to negotiate (in both senses of the word) intercultural communicative interactions that may involve something everyday, like eating preferences and practices, greetings and forms of acknowledgment, or more structural and regulative such as gender and sexual hierarchies, or social roles and religious rituals. Such valuable learning takes place only through interaction where both parties have mutual respect, tolerance, and goodwill. In Chapters 4 and 5 we discussed how cultures engage in interactions and measure up against each other and understand better other worldviews as well as their own worldview. This task cannot be accomplished without intercultural tolerance because only by allowing one another to share their codes of behavior diferent people can determine what meanings must make up their collective identity.The word ‘tolerance’ is derived from Latin ‘tolerare’—‘to bear’ so, in a way, people from every culture decide what meanings they can bear, i.e., deal with comfortably. Hence, intercultural tolerance is impossible without fexibility. People should be open to an exchange of ideas and fexible to allow such new ideas to be part of their own cultural space.True intercultural sustainability, however, requires not only tolerance, but trust. Trust. The word ‘trust’ is derived from Middle English ‘truste,’ meaning ‘confdence’ or ‘frmness.’ Trust is frm reliance on someone’s integrity; it is confdence that someone will act as previously agreed upon and hence expected. Without trust it is impossible to work toward synergy. Trust is crucial for successful intercultural communication because people from one culture can tolerate another culture only if confdent that people from that culture will not cross the boundary line previously established. For example, if people from one culture allow another culture to discuss its cuisine on their territory, including eating dogs, but do not allow selling products made

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of dogs, and members from the dog-eating culture still open a store and start selling such products, then trust is broken and tolerance is upset.Trust in intercultural communication is like a promise to share one’s behaviors and practices only to the extent agreed upon by those from diferent cultural backgrounds involved. As long as such a promise is kept, intercultural communication can be successful, and intercultural sustainability can be maintained. Only when communication presupposes integrity of all those involved in interactions does it become possible for people from diferent cultures to rely on one another and respect their mutual identities. So,intercultural trust is impossible without frmness.Those from one culture must frmly believe that those from another culture will show their integrity and keep their promise not to cross hard boundary lines previously established. Hence, tolerance and trust form a default mechanism of intercultural communication. It is in efect as long as one culture establishes a dynamic limit on its capacity to allow another culture on its territory and trusts another culture not to cross this boundary line. If that line is crossed, that culture’s integrity is questioned and trust is broken. A promise to share one’s meanings is now perceived as imposing one’s meaning; an invitation becomes an invasion.As a result, intercultural sustainability is endangered, and the default mechanism of intercultural communication switches to a diferent mode—that of resistance. Resistance. Resistance is any force that works against something; in our case, cultural resistance opposes actions from another culture perceived as dominant and therefore dangerous for their collective survival. A culture must resist, for example, if its people can no longer tolerate the presence of another culture’s behaviors and practices on their territory. Obviously, intercultural communication in this case is less successful because it is no longer a collaborative process; now, people from diferent cultures work not with, but against one another.At the same time, resistance as a communicative strategy is crucial for intercultural sustainability: its main goal is helping people from diferent cultures to resume harmonious interactions and maintain their collective identities. Ultimately, successful resistance is aimed at bringing intercultural communication back to the dynamic state of sustainability. So, tolerance, trust, and resistance are all interconnected (Figure 10.2).

TolB TrB ResA

A

TolA TrA

ResB

B

Figure 10.2 Relationship between tolerance, trust, and resistance Source: Author

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As you can see, in the process of intercultural interactions, a shared zone is created and continuously maintained, based on the strategies of tolerance, trust, and resistance.This zone is bounded on both sides, represented by two points—A and B. Each culture wants to reach the other culture’s boundary point as a certain target. Let’s look at the practice of eating dogs in South Korea and frogs’ legs in France, as an example (while keeping in mind the growing trend of moving away from eating dog meat and amphibian conservation eforts by such organizations as ‘Save the frogs!’). Let’s say that people from the Korean culture (culture A) may want to share the practice of eating dogs as part of their cuisine with people from France (culture B), while people from the French culture may want to share the practice of eating frogs with people from Korea. The Korean people try to reach point B (part of the French culture), while the French people try to reach point A (part of the Korean culture). Let us say each side decides to present a lecture on the subject for the other side. If each culture allows the other one on its territory and the other culture keeps its promise, i.e., a lecture is delivered, both cultures’ targets are reached thanks to the strategies of tolerance and trust (TOLa/TRa and TOLb/TRb, respectively).This way, for example, the French can learn that, although such dishes as dog stew and canine cutlets are eaten in Korea because of their alleged healthgiving qualities, not all Koreans eat dogs as their diet is mainly vegetable, not meat. They eat a special type of dogs raised at special farms; such dogs are killed by electrocution (just like cows and pigs used for eating in many Western cultures). Also, the pet industry is rapidly increasing in Korea. Similarly, the Koreans can learn about the practice of eating frogs’ legs in France. But, suppose each side chooses to add to their lecture a little demonstration, ofering their audience a dish made of dogs or frogs, respectively. Or, even worse, what if each side chooses to replace each other’s cuisine with its own? In such cases, each culture is seen as moving beyond the boundaries previously set, and the two points A and B immediately change from target points into points of resistance; each side, for instance, may react defensively to the other culture’s move with a request to stop their demonstration, ask the audience to leave the room, or choose some other form of resistance.As you can see, the arrows of resistance (ResA and ResB) point in the direction opposite of tolerance and trust. Earlier, it was noted that intercultural tolerance is impossible without fexibility, and intercultural trust is impossible without frmness.The relationship between tolerance, trust, and resistance is now clear: people from culture A can be fexible and display tolerance only if people from culture B are frm in their commitment to act as agreed upon by both cultures. If culture B is perceived as defecting from that agreement (not as frm), then culture A stops being fexible and becomes frm. That is exactly how tolerance turns into resistance; to resist means to “remain frm against the action or efect of ” (Morris, 1982, p. 1106). Resistance is a very important communicative

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strategy (Deyhle, 1995; Duncombe, 2002). For example, the practice of Islamic veiling is usually discussed in terms of freedom and presented by Westerners (especially feminists) as a case of gender oppression in Islamic cultures. Yet, many Islamic women are said to participate in this practice voluntarily and claim it as an important part of their cultural identity and a mark of resistance to the Western morals perceived as wrong (Hirschmann, 1997). Obviously, interacting with Islamic women who veil (and certainly not all do) depends to a signifcant degree upon how one views their practice of veiling—as a form of cultural oppression or resistance. Notice that we speak of resistance as a communicative strategy opposed to violent or militant resistance. Peaceful resistance is best of all exemplifed by Mahatma Gandhi and his technique of satyagraha. This term “has variously been translated as ‘passive resistance,’‘nonviolent direct action,’ and even ‘militant nonviolence’” (Weber, 2001, p. 494). In dealing with intercultural tensions, Mahatma Gandhi focused on issues and not personalities, and saw his opponents as partners and not enemies. He was committed to an open exchange of ideas in search of a fair resolution for all parties involved rather than to have his opponents humbled and destroyed. It is clear that he searched for intercultural sustainability, and if more people in more cultures shared and practiced his technique of satyagraha, the world would be a better place with better chances for survival. The situation in which the strategies of tolerance, trust, and resistance are in perfect balance is an ideal of intercultural communication that is rarely if ever actualized.That does not mean, however, that we should give up trying to achieve such an ideal of intercultural interactions. On the contrary, if we can envision an ideal, we can present it as an optimum overall strategy.Then, people from diferent cultures can strive for that ideal, constantly improving their interactions and sustaining their collective identities in a dynamic equilibrium that is open to change. The global metaethic, therefore, can be identifed with intercultural sustainability. According to this metaethic, the ideal situation of ethical intercultural communication is a balance of the strategies of tolerance, trust, and resistance—a stable pattern of interactions that cultures seek to achieve. This situation where the strategies of tolerance, trust, and resistance are all balanced, i.e., are in a state of equilibrium, represents the best case of intercultural sustainability. “There is a way to interpret ‘best sustainability ethic’ that can provide a general formula for an optimum sustainability strategy” (Durbin, 1997, p. 50). If we know the formula for the best sustainability ethic, we can calculate the point when intercultural interactions are the most efective—the Pareto optimality discussed in the previous chapter. As you remember, Pareto optimality is an ideal for which people from diferent cultures can and should strive in their interactions. So, what is this ideal? What is the best ethic of intercultural sustainability? What is this magic formula?

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Formula for Intercultural Sustainability

Earlier, we discussed fve golden approaches to ethics and their implications for intercultural communication—the golden law, the golden purse, the golden consequence, the golden mean, and the golden rule. These approaches can be supplemented with one more golden approach, which takes their ideas further and provides a mathematical formula for intercultural sustainability—the Golden Ratio approach. You may have heard of the Golden Ratio as the Golden Number, the Golden Section, or the Divine Proportion.While defned mathematically as a number, the Golden Ratio in reality describes a proportionate (harmonious) relationship between diferent parts of something. Euclid of Alexandria, who was the frst to defne the Golden Ratio around 300 bc, used the example of a straight line cut into two parts (Figure 10.3).

A

C

B

Figure 10.3 Straight line as the Golden Ratio Source: Author

While the whole line AB is longer than the segment AC and the segment AC is longer than the segment CB, the ratio of the length of AB to AC is the same as the ratio of AC to AB! This ratio is represented by the never-ending and never-repeating number 1.6180339887 .  .  . This number that can be rounded up to 1.6 is the value of the Golden Ratio. You may be wondering what this number has to do with intercultural communication. To begin with, as just noted, the Golden Ratio is not so much a number as a relationship: it shows a proportion between diferent parts of something. And these parts, no matter how large or small, can remain themselves and sustain their very existence, as long as the proportion between them equals 1.6. Moreover, this value continues indefnitely as it gets closer and closer to the ideal relationship between these two parts. In other words, the Golden Ratio is the ideal (‘the right’) way for diferent parts to build relationships, e.g., for diferent cultures to interact. Let us take a concrete example and show how all this works. Instead of a straight line, let us take a semantic space (a continuum, as discussed in Chapter 6), e.g., the meaning of what is right to eat. For the sake of simplicity, let us take this semantic space to include only two meanings (two parts)—eating dogs (Korean culture) and eating frogs (French culture), dividing this semantic space equally between these two meanings (Figure 10.4). At the same time, people from both cultures must be curious about the eating habits of each other, so they will interact with one another. Let us describe three possible scenarios of their interaction, briefy mentioned earlier in the chapter, and three decisions made in this process.

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Dogs

Frogs

Korean

French

Figure 10.4 Semantic space as the Golden Ratio Source: Author

As the frst scenario, suppose the Korean people want to introduce dishes made of dogs in your (French) culture instead of eating frogs’ legs, in essence replacing your part of the ‘eating’ semantic continuum with their own cultural behaviors and practices.Then, the whole continuum (all 100%) would be made up of only one meaning, representing one culture—and that is not yours. Would you give up your half of the overall semantic space (your 50%) in your encounter with the Korean culture? Most certainly not! You would resist giving up your part of the continuum since then your own culture would cease to exist. As the second scenario, suppose the Koreans ofer to arrange a food demonstration for you and prepare dishes made of dogs, followed by food samples.This encounter is obviously not as radical as completely replacing your cultural cuisine, but it is still quite intrusive. In your eyes, it would equal 25% of your part of the overall continuum.Would you be willing to allow such a demonstration? Very likely not. In other words, you would still resist, fnding it risky to give one fourth of your own cultural space for people from another culture whose conduct you fnd so diferent from yours. As the third scenario, what percentage of your part of the overall continuum would you be willing to let another culture use for its own purpose? You refused to sacrifce your total space of 50% (the frst scenario) and then half of that—25% (the second scenario). Would you now be willing to let another culture use half of 25%, i.e., 12.5%, rounded up to12%? Most likely, yes. Suppose the Koreans were to ask you if they could just present a lecture on their cultural cuisine—not a very intrusive action.Would you be against that? Most likely, not.You would allow the Koreans to move into your cultural space and present their lecture. Now let us see what we have. First of all, we have the overall intercultural continuum that equals 100% (space AB). Next, we have two diferent parts of this continuum, each representing one of the cultures: the space AC (Korean culture) that now equals 62% (50% of their own space plus 12% of the French cultural space) and the space CB (French culture) that equals the remaining 38%.While the whole space AB is, naturally, larger than the space

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AC, and the space AC is larger than the space CB, the ratio of AB to AC is the same as the ratio of AC to AB! And this ratio is represented by the number 1.6 (100 : 62 ≈ 1.6 and 62 : 38 ≈ 1.6). Suppose the Korean culture were to interact with the French culture in the same way, refusing to replace their cuisine with eating frogs and a food demonstration, but allowing a lecture on that eating behavior. Now the French culture is allowed to use 12% of the Korean semantic space. As a result, now the space DB (French culture) equals 62% (50% of their own space plus 12% of the Korean cultural space) and the space AD (the Korean culture) equals the remaining 38%. But, the ratio between the two cultures (DB and AD) is still the same and equals 1.6! (Figure 10.5).

Dogs

Frogs

Korean

A

French

D

C

B

Figure 10.5 Source: Author

As we can see, the ideal point of intercultural interactions where tolerance, trust, and resistance are in perfect balance equals the value of the Golden Ratio (Figure 10.6). Ideally, people trust and tolerate diferent cultural behaviors and practices if they occupy only about one-fourth (12%) of their territory. If that line is crossed without any mutual consent, the mechanism of resistance is activated. Naturally, we do not calculate our intercultural interactions with such mathematical precision.Yet, we can usually feel quite acutely when to

TolB TrB ResA

TolA TrA

1.6

Figure 10.6 Source: Author

ResB

1.6

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tolerate and trust other cultural behaviors and practices, and when to draw a line and resist them. In real life, the Golden Ratio, represented by the never-ending and neverrepeating number 1.6180339887 . . ., means that intercultural communication never stops; it always continues, trying to reach, and never reaching, that ideal of perfect balance. The Golden Ratio is an ideal dynamic point that makes it possible for each interacting culture to preserve its relationship with itself (sustain its collective identity), while expending the least energy (symbolic resources) to do so. As long as oscillations continue to take place between two cultures, the result is stable and sustainable intercultural communication. Real oscillations may fall short of, or go beyond, that point; such oscillations are tolerated (if mutually agreed upon) or resisted (if not). Intercultural communication is a process of trial and error, always an exploration. If people from diferent cultures make a decision based on the Golden Ratio approach, their interactions are harmonious because neither culture loses; on the contrary, both cultures win as they are able to remain whole, sustaining their collective identities.The value of the ratio between the overall intercultural continuum and interacting cultures is the same as the value of each interacting culture—1.6, and it represents intercultural sustainability. In other words, this value represents the overall intercultural continuum, or intercultural communication, in general, as well as each culture individually: AB ≈ 1.6;AC ≈ 1.6 and AD ≈ 1.6; DB ≈ 1.6 and CB ≈ 1.6.While constantly changing, they all remain themselves, intact, whole. Therefore, intercultural sustainability presupposes not only cultures maintaining their collective identities, but also the whole process of intercultural communication being constantly maintained.That is why we do not simply speak of cultural, but of intercultural sustainability. Intercultural sustainability is a principle that applies to how people from all cultures ought to interact successfully.This principle can be seen as a general rule that helps people decide which behaviors and practices are right and which are wrong.This principle is not just a matter of morality but of rationality, as was stated earlier. The Golden Ratio, by defnition, is a matter of morality and ratio-nality. If we are not moral and not rational, if we reason badly and treat people from other cultures badly, we make poor decisions.As a result, we do damage to them as well as to ourselves: any immoral (irrational) behavior is not only damaging to others, it is self-destructive: it undermines intercultural sustainability. Intercultural sustainability tells us that we ought to build our relationships with other people based on the Golden Ratio.The ‘ought’ here is not simply “an ethical ‘ought,’ but one of the cosmic ftness of things. It . . . represents an idealized vision of the optimal arrangement of the world.The world ought to be a place where things go properly” (Rescher, 1977, p. 82). When people accept intercultural sustainability as a principle underlying their interactions, their actions ft both the universalist and relativist

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approaches to ethics. On the one hand, people’s actions are culture-bound; each culture has its own ideas about what is right and wrong. As a result, people’s actions are judged in terms of that culture’s ethical system, e.g., eating frogs as the right behavior in the French culture. On the other hand, people’s decision to base their actions on the Golden Ratio is applicable to all cultures, i.e., this is the correct way for people from all cultures to interact with each other. So, each culture, while maintaining its own practices and beliefs, works for the universal good and, vice versa, the universal code represented by the Golden Ratio makes it possible for each culture to practice its own behaviors. To put it simply, each culture works for Self (relativism) and for all others (universalism), and vice versa.What is good for Self, is good for All. Or, all for one, and one for all! It must be noted that “in the professional mathematical literature, the common symbol for the Golden Ratio is the Greek letter tau . . . which means ‘the cut’ or ‘the section’” (Livio, 2002, p. 5). This meaning of the Golden Ratio reveals the nature of intercultural interactions extremely well: in each encounter, the relationship between two cultures must be ‘cut’ in a certain way.As in medicine, people from diferent cultures should learn how to treat one another,‘cutting’ their relationship the right way—it is a classic case of ‘growing pains.’ Similarly, as in gardening, people should learn how to cultivate a plant of their interaction, cutting around its roots so it can bear better fruit. It all comes down to a ‘cut,’ and the Golden Ratio suggests where this cut could be made in the most efective way for intercultural communication to continue and cultural identities to be sustained. In reallife intercultural interactions, of course, there are many possible ‘cuts,’ closer to, or further away, from this ideal of the Golden Ratio, and all those ‘cuts’ teach us about ourselves and others, helping us all to grow. In essence, this cut is a line between interacting cultures, and the success of intercultural encounters depends upon how this line is drawn. We began our journey in Chapter 1 by asking the question,‘What is in a line?’ Now we have come full circle and discovered the best way to draw a line in intercultural interactions.This line is represented by the value of 1.6. In a way, striving toward that point is the overall goal of intercultural communication. But, as was shown many times throughout this text, it can never be reached once and for all. This point is an ideal: it never stops and never repeats itself, it is simple yet complex—like life itself. And all we can do, all we must do, is keep traveling to diferent places and meeting people from all kinds of diferent cultures, living this life and keeping it alive. This principle shows that no culture owns the truth, i.e., knows the only right way of doing things. At the same time, each culture knows something of the truth, i.e., knows its own way of doing things. As long as people from diferent cultures display mutual tolerance, trust, and resistance, their interactions are sustained, as one whole process of intercultural communication, and each culture maintains its own relationship with itself, i.e., remains whole.As was said earlier, the ‘Truth is the Whole.’

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4 The Sustainability Principle Defned Right now, let us give a concise formulation of the Sustainability Principle, based on the above discussion of its three parts. First, the idea of intercultural sustainability represents the global metaethic for the multicultural world. Intercultural sustainability is seen as a dynamic state where people must make decisions so that their collective identities are constantly maintained. No culture alone can make such decisions; both universalism and relativism are viewed as forms of ethnocentrism because they present an ethical code only from one point of view—that of Self. Intercultural sustainability requires that each culture pays attention to its environment, i.e., to all other cultures with their codes of communication and interaction. In this sense, intercultural sustainability is not just a matter of morality but also of rationality: a decision is considered right if it opens up the possibility for more constructive communication with greater mutual respect and understanding without undermining one’s own cultural integrity. Second, according to the global metaethic of intercultural sustainability, people use the communicative strategies of tolerance, trust, and resistance for their cultures to be constantly maintained. Then, people’s actions are considered ethical (rational). The ideal of intercultural communication is a balance of tolerance, trust, and resistance; this situation represents the best case of intercultural sustainability—the most stable outcome of intercultural interactions. Third, the best sustainability ethic (the optimum sustainability strategy) can ideally be represented by the ratio of intercultural communication, in general, to every culture, and all cultures to one another.This Golden Ratio has the value of 1.6, which is the same for the overall intercultural continuum and for each interacting culture.Therefore, intercultural sustainability presupposes not only cultures maintaining their collective identities, but also the whole process of intercultural communication being enlivened and inviting. Hence, we speak of intercultural sustainability. In a nutshell, the Sustainability Principle can be formulated as follows: Intercultural communication is a process whereby people from diferent cultures display mutual tolerance, trust, and resistance, sustaining their collective identities while increasing the efectiveness and fulfllment of their interactions.

5

Case Study: ‘An Ethics of Cultural Exchange’

This case study is based on the following article: ‘An ethics of cultural exchange: Diderot’s Supplement au voyage de Bougainville’ by Claudia Moscovici (2001). As usual, it is recommended that you read the article in its entirety; below, you fnd a summary of the article. Also, you may have to research how the French and Tahitian cultures have changed over the past two centuries.

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Be ready to identify and then discuss the following topics: 1. What stages of cultural exchange as presented in the Supplement can you identify? 2. What communicative strategies can help the two cultures to sustain their identities? 3. What do you know about the real exchanges between these cultures over the past two centuries and how they afected intercultural sustainability? Denis Diderot (1713–1784) was a French writer and philosopher known for his novels, plays, satires, letters, and essays. His Supplement is a fctitious essay, describing a French explorer’s visit to Tahiti. The text raises the key ethical question: how can one culture treat people from another culture fairly without giving up its own standards of behavior? The text consists of a series of monologues and dialogues between representatives of the French and Tahitian cultures. One of the main exchanges described in the Supplement is between Bougainville and the Tahitian chief Orou, presenting two perspectives on cultural behaviors and practices.The Tahitian leader compares his culture before and after its contact with the French culture. He claims that before the French army and their general Bougainville came to Tahiti, the Tahitians had lived a natural and virtuous life.After contact with the French, this idyllic existence was destroyed and the innocence of the Tahitian people corrupted. To the chief, the French culture represents evil itself. He refuses to learn more about the Europeans and their behaviors, calling upon his people ‘to cry misfortune’ about the arrival of these mean and ambitious visitors. In Orou’s view, the Tahitian culture is clearly superior to the French one. As an example of ethical behavior, Orou presents the Tahitian practice of exchanging women among men for the purpose of cultural reproduction. He explains that in Tahiti wives and daughters are freely shared among men; as a result, the Tahitian culture is presented as natural and innocent in contrast to unnatural and immoral European monogamy. Unlike the French, for example, the Tahitians make no mistake about gender. In one signifcant scene from the Supplement, Diderot describes how a female European servant, dressed in a man’s clothes, was raped by a group of Tahitian men. Corrupted by centuries of artifcial morals and no longer able to recognize sexual diference, the European ofcers had failed to notice the ‘true’ sexual identity of the servant, but the more natural Tahitian men guessed the gender from the frst glance.The Tahitian culture, therefore, is presented as natural and superior compared to the French culture, which is based on arbitrary and conventional moral foundations. Also, the Supplement contains a dialogue between two French men, called simply ‘A’ and ‘B,’ who express a typical Enlightenment view. One of these men has read Bougainville’s account of his travels to the exotic Tahiti, and the two characters compare cruel and primitive cultural practices of people

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in Tahiti with the civilized life in Western cultures. In their view, the savage life of Tahitians lies far behind more complex and civilized life in the West; the two characters praise the rationality, civilization, and morality of the Western cultures. As a result, the characters justify Western expansion because higher and more valuable knowledge is shared with less advanced cultures. The Supplement develops this topic further, presenting a more complex view of diferent perspectives on cultural behaviors and practices, found in the conversation between the Tahitian chief Orou and the French chaplain. This conversation seems to resemble the exchange between Bougainville and the Tahitian chief; yet, it is diferent. The chaplain is a guest at Orou’s home, and the two persons discuss the issue of the most moral sexual behaviors. The chaplain defends the French culture with its sexual prohibitions, e.g., against incest or extramarital sex. He refuses to engage in sexual relations with Orou’s wife and nubile daughters, and Orou and his family feel ofended. However, the chaplain eventually gives in to Orou’s wishes and engages in sexual relations with Orou’s youngest daughter. The chief claims he does not understand any restrictions because, in his culture, sexuality is not suppressed by any morals. In Tahiti, Orou explains, there is no incest taboo; no rule against premarital or extramarital sex, or single motherhood. Children in Tahiti are welcome because they are seen as the source of material riches, contributing to the strength of the culture. However, the chaplain points out that Tahitian women and men not at the peak of their fertility (because of age or impotence) cannot engage in sexual acts. The chief fails to convince us that the Tahitian culture is natural, non-hierarchical, and free. It becomes clear that the Tahitians have their own moral conventions, i.e., an ethic based on fecundity and age.The Tahitians tie ‘natural’ behaviors and practices to reproduction in order to remain ethical. At the end of the Supplement, another conversation between characters ‘A’ and ‘B’ takes place, but the two Frenchmen appear almost unrecognizable. They admit that both cultures have certain constraints on behavior, e.g., forbidding certain sexual relations. At the same time, both cultures are presented as trying to develop their own codes of conduct, e.g., sexual mores.The exchange between Orou and the French chaplain is seen as an attempt to have an open-minded and mutually benefcial dialogue about the validity of their codes of conduct. In the conclusion, one of the Frenchmen urges the reader to question the ethical norms not only of diferent cultures but also of their own, and be tolerant toward behaviors and practices of others diferent from your own culture. As a result, the question of how one culture ought to treat people from another culture fairly, without giving up its own conducts of behavior, is transformed into an open-ended discussion about what constitutes intercultural exchange, in general. Let us see how this case study can be an illustration of the Sustainability Principle of intercultural communication.

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1. What stages of cultural exchange, as presented in the Supplement, can you identify? In the Supplement, three views of ethics in cultural exchange can be identifed, each representing a stage in the development of intercultural sustainability. Stage 1: ‘One’s Bias Displayed.’ This stage in the Supplement is represented by two conversations—between Bougainville and the Tahitian chief Orou, and between characters ‘A’ and ‘B.’ In the frst case, the Tahitian chief claims his people lead a natural and virtuous (ethical) life while the French culture is presented as unnatural and evil. In Orou’s view, the Tahitian culture is clearly superior to the French one. As an example of unnatural (suppressed) behavior, the Supplement describes how a female European servant was raped by a group of Tahitian men.The French are shown as corrupted by centuries of artifcial morals and no longer able to recognize sexual diference. The natural Tahitian men, on the other hand, guessed the gender from the frst glance. Hence, the Tahitian culture is presented as natural and superior compared to the French culture, which is based on arbitrary moral foundations. Clearly, the ethical code of the Tahitian people is presented as positive and that of the French people as negative.This view of intercultural ethics can be shown as follows: Conversation between Orou and Bougainville

View of ethics Tahitian+ French-

In the second case, a diferent view of ethics is represented by the conversation between two French men, called simply ‘A’ and ‘B,’ who express a typical Enlightenment view. Based on Bougainville’s account of his travels to exotic Tahiti, the two characters compare primitive cultural practices of people in Tahiti with the civilized life in Western cultures. In their view, the savage life of Tahitians lies far behind complex and civilized life in the West with its rationality, civilization, and morality. Naturally, they claim their system of moral standards (Self) as the only acceptable ethical code and justify Western expansion. Clearly, the ethical codes of the French people are now presented as positive and the codes of the Tahitian people as negative.This view of intercultural ethics can be shown as follows: Conversation between Characters ‘A’ and ‘B

View of ethics French+ Tahitian-

The view of ethics found at the frst stage is extreme and has an ethnocentric bias. Each culture tries to reduce all morals to Self, i.e., to its own system of ethical standards, claiming its own code of conduct as the only acceptable one.

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Stage 2: ‘One’s Blind Spot Revealed.’ This stage in the Supplement is represented by the conversation between the Tahitian chief Orou and the French chaplain.At this stage, a step is made by both cultures toward engaging the other’s perspective on moral behavior. On the one hand, the chaplain defends the French culture with its sexual prohibitions, e.g., against extramarital sex. However, he gives in to Orou’s wishes and engages in sexual relations with Orou’s youngest daughter. His ethical stance appears self-contradictory: by forbidding certain sexual relations, desire is only enhanced. This blind spot in the ethical code of the French culture cannot be revealed unless there is interaction between French people and people from another culture, e.g., between the chaplain and Orou’s youngest daughter. In other words, an important piece of ethical knowledge about themselves is revealed to the French, a piece that has been hidden from their view until this point. On the other hand, the chief defends the Tahitian culture with no sexual restrictions, e.g., no incest taboo, no rule against premarital or extramarital sex or single motherhood. It appears that sexuality cannot be suppressed by any morals. However, according to Orou, children in Tahiti are welcome because they are seen as the source of material riches, contributing to the strength of the culture. So, it turns out that women and men not at the peak of their fertility (because of age or impotence) cannot engage in sexual acts. The Tahitian culture, therefore, appears to be just as conventional, with its ethical norms based on fecundity and age.This blind spot in the ethical code of the Tahitian culture cannot be revealed unless there is interaction between Tahitian people and people from another culture, e.g., between the chaplain and Orou. In other words, an important piece of ethical knowledge about themselves is revealed to the Tahitians, a piece that has been hidden from their view until this point. Naturally, these blind spots are revealed to the two cultures gradually: the dialogue between the chaplain and Orou is only a step in that direction. However, it is a very important step because at this stage the representatives of the two cultures come to be aware of an inherent vulnerability of their ethical claims. Clearly, neither ethical code can be presented as positive.This view of intercultural ethics can be shown as follows: Conversation between Orou and the chaplain

View of ethics French- Tahitian-

Stage 3:‘Open Exchange.’ This stage in the Supplement is represented by the second conversation between characters ‘A’ and ‘B, who now appear almost unrecognizable.The eyes of the two cultures on their blind spots have opened up, as it were; it is now clear that no culture owns the truth,

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i.e., no culture can present the ethical code of conduct.What seems natural to people from one culture, may not seem natural to people from the other culture. Natural behaviors are conventional behaviors, and these conventions can only be established to each culture’s satisfaction through an open exchange. The frst two stages can be seen as steps toward an open-minded and mutually benefcial dialogue between people from the two cultures about the validity of their codes of conduct. Now that the ethical norms of both cultures have been presented (stage 1) and questioned (stage 2), it is time to move on to an open exchange of ideas about what is moral (stage 3). In the conclusion, as you remember, one of the Frenchmen urges the reader to be tolerant toward behaviors and practices of others diferent from your own culture. Clearly, the ethical codes of both cultures are presented as positive and valid.This view of intercultural ethics can be shown as follows: Conversation between Characters

View of ethics ‘A’ and ‘B’ French+ Tahitian+

Thus, intercultural ethics are transformed from a biased view (‘Self only’) through a critique of one’s blind spot (‘Self through the Other’) into an open-ended discussion about what constitutes intercultural exchange (‘Self and the Other’). 2. What communicative strategies can help the two cultures to sustain their identities? First and foremost, intercultural sustainability cannot exist without mutual tolerance and trust. Tolerance and trust form a default mechanism of intercultural communication; as long as people from diferent cultures tolerate and trust each other, intercultural communication is efective. The initial interactions between the French and Tahitians lack both tolerance and trust. The Tahitians view the French as evil, destroying their natural and virtuous ways of life and corrupting their innocence. The chief Orou does not want to learn more about the Europeans and their practices, calling upon his people ‘to cry misfortune’ about the arrival of these mean and ambitious visitors. On their part, the French view the Tahitians as primitive people whose savage behaviors and practices cannot be tolerated and who cannot be trusted to build a civilized way of life by themselves. However, further interactions between the two cultures begin to display rudimentary tolerance and trust. For example, the French chaplain’s visit to Orou’s house builds upon these communicative strategies. Gradually, these two people open up their minds to each other’s ways of behaving.The chaplain, while defending the French culture with its sexual prohibitions, e.g., against extramarital

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sex, gives in to Orou’s wishes and engages in sexual relations with Orou’s youngest daughter. And Orou listens to the chaplain’s critique of the Tahitian culture, which is presented by the chaplain just as conventional, with its ethical norms based on fecundity and age. When different behaviors and practices are imposed, intercultural sustainability is in danger; then, the default mechanism of tolerance and trust switches into the mode of resistance. For example, Orou’s insistence that the chaplain engage in sexual relations with Orou’s wife and daughters could have been perceived by the chaplain as overbearing and dangerous for the collective French identity with its sexual prohibitions. Then, the chaplain would have resisted and firmly refused to engage in sexual relations with Orou’s wife and daughters. Or, the female European servant might have resisted the rape by a group of Tahitian men even though, back then, it would have been almost unthinkable. Of course, the European officers could have come to her rescue, putting up a resistance against the Tahitian savage behavior and defending the European morality. On their part, the Tahitians would have certainly resisted if the French had tried to introduce and enforce the rule against premarital sex on the island. In all these cases, resistance as a communicative strategy is crucial because it is aimed at bringing intercultural communication back to the dynamic state of intercultural sustainability. Therefore, the two cultures cannot sustain their collective identities without using the strategies of tolerance, trust, and resistance. Let us now see what real exchanges have taken place between these two cultures over the past two centuries and how they afected intercultural sustainability. 3. What do you know about the real exchanges between these cultures over the past two centuries and how they afected intercultural sustainability? Tahiti is the principal island in the Territory of French Polynesia that lies in the South Pacifc. French explorer Louis-Antonine de Bougainville arrived there in 1768 and claimed the island for France. In 1880, Kong Pomare was forced to abdicate, and a French colony was proclaimed. In 1957, the territory was ofcially named the Territory of French Polynesia. The Western missionaries did everything possible to eliminate Tahitian culture: temples and carvings associated with native religion were destroyed, traditional dance, music, and tattoos were banned, etc. Not surprisingly, the last two centuries saw a number of nationalistic protests as Tahitians searched more independence from France.Today some people in Tahiti still resist the French infuence. Over the years, culture in Tahiti has undergone many changes due to the French infuence,with some old behaviors and practices disappearing

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and new behaviors and practices taking root. For example, Christianity is now a strong part of life in Tahiti, and Sunday is a day of worship for many people there. Family is modeled after the Western concept, and incest is no longer an accepted behavior. Due to the French technological and health innovations, life expectancy is now 75 years, and the population growth rate is 1.8%. The French presence is even felt in the local cuisine which is given a French fair. It is possible to trace Tahitian infuence on the French culture, as well.The laidback Tahitian lifestyle certainly afected the cold rationality of Enlightenment and helped people in the West to loosen up, so to speak. As a result, people became a bit more emotional and less suppressed. Along the same lines, the infuence of Tahiti on the French arts and literature is strong; the best example here is Paul Gauguin, the French painter who chose Tahiti as his home and depicted the beauty of its people and heritage. His art exerted a strong infuence on modern painting all over the world. Also, elements of Tahitian dance, dress, and crafts fnd their way into French culture.Tattoo, for instance, as one of the oldest Tahitian customs, now enjoys popularity in many Western countries. Incidentally, the words ‘tattoo’ and ‘taboo’ are said to be Polynesian words that are now part of every European language. It is clear that the cultural exchange between the French and Tahitian cultures has been quite active over the years. The culture of the island, which still remains highly dependent on France for its survival, has seen a rebirth in recent years.The Tahitian language is now an ofcial language alongside French; it is again taught in schools and used in government meetings.The traditional crafts, music and dance are widely celebrated. Tourism to the island is growing, and local people actively participate in planning and organizing tourist activities.

6 6.1

Side Trips Seesaws at the U.S.–Mexico Border

A recent article in Newsweek (Da Silva, 2019) talks about a set of seesaws built by two California professors through a fence of the U.S.–Mexico border.This allowed children and grown-ups on either side of the border to play together on the seesaws; you can watch this in a video posted to Instagram by Ronald Rael—one of the professors who came up with the seesaw project: www.instagram.com/p/B0iALEOBMfP/?hl=en. He described the project as an incredible experience flled with joy, excitement, and togetherness. ∗∗ Do you think that this project can be seen as a good metaphor for the Sustainability Principle? Can you think of any other similar projects or metaphors?

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Cultures of Resistance Network

Cultures of Resistance.org—https://culturesofresistance.org/content/soundresistance—is the outreach website of the Cultures of Resistance Network, which aims to promote and support musical practices for a more peaceful, just, and democratic world. Drawing inspiration from various art practices that carry their own strategies of resistance, the network aims to give exposure to various musicians and musical traditions from around the world, including the Middle East,Africa, Latin America, and the United States. ∗∗ What are your thoughts on turning to music and song as vehicles of successful intercultural communication? Can you think of some specifc examples of artists, practices, or traditions as such vehicles? 6.3

The Ship of Tolerance

The Ship of Tolerance is a global public art project by Ilya and Emilia Kabakov, Russian-born and American-based conceptual artists, which aims to connect people from diferent cultures around the world by planting the seeds of tolerance in their hearts. Drawings and paintings by young people from diferent cultures are sewn together to form a mosaic sail, which is mounted atop a ship and conveys a message of tolerance and hope. The idea is for young people to create together something bigger than themselves and connect them through the language of art.The frst Ship of Tolerance was built in 2005 in Siwa, Egypt, and, since then, has been implemented in many other places, including Venice, Italy; Shariah, UAE; Havana, Cuba; New York, NY, USA; Moscow, Russia; and Rome, Italy. ∗∗ Can you think of other projects to promote intercultural tolerance?

References Asuncion-Lande, N. (Ed.) (1980). Ethical perspectives and critical issues in intercultural communication. Falls Church,VA: Speech Communication Association. Baldwin, J. (1998). Tolerance/intolerance: A multidisciplinary view of prejudice. In M. Hecht (Ed.), Communicating prejudice (pp. 24–56). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. Barnlund, D. (1980). The cross-cultural arena: An ethical void. In N. Asuncion-Lande (Ed.), Ethical perspectives and critical issues in intercultural communication. Falls Church,VA: Speech Communication Association. Barnes, B. (2001).Tolerance as a primary virtue. Res Publica, 7(3): 231–245. Barnsley, J. (1972). The social reality of ethics. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul. Browning, D. (2006).Universalism vs. relativism: Making moral judgments in a changing, pluralistic, and threatening world. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefeld. Busch, D. (2016). What is intercultural sustainability? A frst exploration of linkages between culture and sustainability in intercultural research. Journal of Sustainable Development, 9(1): 63–76.

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Da Silva, Ch. (2019). A border wall seesaw has been built so children in the U.S. and Mexico can play together. Newsweek, July 30. Deyhle, D. (1995). Navajo youth and Anglo racism: Cultural integrity and resistance. Harvard Educational Review, 65(3): 403–429. Duncombe, S. (Ed.) (2002). Cultural resistance reader. New York:Verso. Durbin, P. (1997). Can there be a best ethic of sustainability. PHIL & TECH, 2(2): 49–57. Fleischacker, S. (1994). The ethics of culture. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press. Goodpaster, K. (1992). Business ethics. In L. C. Becker & C. B. Becker (Eds.), Encyclopedia of ethics (pp. 111–115). New York: Garland Publishing. Gudykunst, W. & Kim,Y. (2003). Communicating with strangers: An approach to intercultural communication. Boston:The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. Hall, B. (2002). Among cultures: The challenge of communication. Belmont, CA: Thompson Learning, Inc. Hirschmann, N. (1997). Eastern veiling, Western freedom? The Review of Politics, 59: 461–488. Howell, W. (1982). The empathic communicator. Belmont, CA:Wadsworth. Jones, P. & Long, G. (2015). Universalism, relativism and diference. In D. Moellendorf & H. Widdows (Eds.), The Routledge handbook of global ethics (pp. 82–93). London and New York: Routledge. Kant, I. (1959). Foundations of the metaphysics of morals. New York: Liberal Arts Press. Levins, R. (1998). Dialectics and systems theory. Science and Society, 62(3): 375–399. Lewis, C. I. (1969). Values and imperatives. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. Livio, M. (2002). The golden ratio:The story of phi, the world’s most astonishing number. New York: Broadway Books. Martin, J. & Nakayama, T. (2000). Intercultural communication in contexts. Mountain View, CA: Mayfeld Publishing Company. Morris, W. (Ed.) (1982). The American heritage dictionary of the English language. Boston: Houghton Mifin Company. Moscovici, C. (2001).An ethics of cultural exchange: Diderot’s Supplement au voyage de Bougainville. CLIO, 30(3): 289–307. Pedersen, P. (1997). Do the right thing: A question of ethics. In K. Cushner & R. Brislin (Eds.), Improving intercultural interactions: Modules for cross-cultural training (Vol. 2).Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Rescher, N. (1977). Dialectics.Albany, NY: SUNY Press. Rodriguez, A. (2002). Culture to culturing: Re-imagining our understanding of intercultural relations. Intercultural Communication, 5. www.immi.se/intercultural/. Accessed October 11, 2019. Singer, P. (2001). One world:The ethics of globalization. New Haven & London:Yale University Press. Singer, P. (2002). Navigating the ethics of globalization. The Chronicle of Higher Education, October 11. Sitaram, K. & Cogdell, R. (1976). Foundations of intercultural communication. Columbus, OH: Charles E. Merrill Co. Snarr, M. & Snarr, N. (Eds.) (2002). Introducing global issues. Boulder: Lynne Rienner. UNESCO’s Charter (1997). Educating for a sustainable future: A transdisciplinary vision for concerted action. Walker, B. (1995). John Rawls, Mikhail Bakhtin, and the praxis of toleration. Political Theory, 23(1): 101–127. Weber,T. (2001). Gandhian philosophy, confict resolution theory and practical approaches to negotiation. Journal of Peace Research, 38(4): 493–513.

Index

activity 65–67, 70, 74–78, 84 action 20, 62, 63, 64–67, 70, 73, 74, 144, 159, 169–170, 230, 232–235, 240–242, 247 Agar, M. 123–124 analog 141–144, 150 anxiety 41, 68, Aristotle 59, 146, 217, 235 arbitration 189 artifact 58, 92 attitude 4, 17, 23, 46, 85, 87–88, 90, 91, 93, 95, 96, 100, 102, 128, 144, 145, 162 avoidance 41, 145, 187, 189, 191, 192, 217 axiology 71 authority 2, 98, 100–101, 103–104 Bakhtin, B. 17, 164 barbaroi 17 Basso, K. 65 BATNA 193 belief 15, 46, 85–88, 90, 93, 99, 106, 226 Benveniste, E. 71, 76 bilingual education 165–168, 170 binary 141, 146–147, 150 Birdwhistell, R. 57 border 14, 20–22, 176, 255 boundary 11, 12, 20–22 boundary crossing 23–24, 28 boundary ft 19, 22–25, 28, 35 care 10, 47 categorization 85, 215 change 8, 62, 68, 143, 158, 160, 164, 169, 170–172, 192 chronemics 58 closure 45 cognitive, 51 collaboration 188–189, 192–193, 225 colonialism 163 colonization 9

complexity 38–39, 146, 221 compromise 183, 188–189, 192–193, 218–220 connectedness 144 contradiction 104, 125, 150, 164–165, 172 compactness 144 concept 1–3, 8 conceptualization 16, 19, 21, 25, 204–210, 213–215 confict 18, 20, 26, 89, 93, 125, 129, 174, 181–186, 188, 193, 194–196, 199–200, 218, 220 Confucius 235 constitutive 63 convergence 166–168 corporeal 73, 122–123, 129 Csikszentmihalyi, M. 220 cultural appropriation 13–14, 101, 108 cultural gaze 91–95, 97–98, 206 cultural maps 85, 91, 98, 102, 107, 113, 129 culture 7–10 culture shock 68, 78 Derrida, J. 71, 76 Descartes, R. 122 determinism 36, 117 dialectics 165, 168, 170, 173 digital 141–144, 146, 150 disclosure 40, 44 dis-closure 42–43, 45, 48 discrimination 95, 100, 144–145, 168, 214 divergence 166–168 Dolezal, R. 13 dual concern model 186, 219 engagement 68, 96, 98, 102–105, 107–108, 224 Ekman, E. 57 environment 38, 48, 58, 85, 121, 130, 216, 237, 248

Index epistemology 35, 71, 76 ethics 71, 230–236, 247, 248, 251–253 ethnic identity 15 ethnocentrism 1, 93–94, 96–97, 172, 233, 248 ethnocentric afrmation 97 ethnocentric negation 95, 97, 165, 172, 233 ethnocentric reduction 95, 96, 149, 165, 172, 233 ethnography 68, 177 ethnolinguistic vitality 161–162, 166 Euclid of Alexandria 243 evaluation 21, 204 ‘face’ 64, 73 ‘facework’ 64, 74 feedback 216 fxed-sum perception 191 fexible-sum perception 192, 237 ‘fow states’ 221, 222 fygskam 120, 124 folkways 88, 89, 100 frame 64–66, 68–69, 95, 97, 99 fundamental attribution error 211–212 ‘fusion of horizons’ 41 Gandhi, M. 242 Geertz, C. 8, 69, 95–96 generalization 204, 206–210, 214–215 Giles, H. 161 global cultural dimensions 137, 141, 146, 152 globalization 108, 129, 131, 236 Golden consequence 234–235, 243 Golden law 234–235, 243 Golden mean 234–235, 243 Golden purse 234–235, 243 Golden ratio 234, 243 Golden rule 234–235, 243 ‘grammar’ 116 grand narrative 102, 104 grounding 98–100, 105 group 7–8, 10–13, 15–17 Hall, E. 18–19, 57, 139–140 Hampden-Turner, Ch. 137 haptics 57 hard boundaries 24, 27–28 Hegel, G. 234 Heisenberg,W. 39–40, 46 Heraclitus 158 hierarchy 13, 137, 160, 221 hermeneutic circle 69–70, 74, 78 high-low context communication 138–139 Hofstede, G. 137–138, 147, 152, 153

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Homo Faber 9 honne 186 horizon 40–42, 52, 153, 177 hospitality 64–65, 70–71, 73–74, 76–77 hostipitality 71 humanistic 36 identity 1–2, 10, 12–13, 15–18, 20, 35, 67, 70, 79, 98, 162, 168, 172, 181 identity confrmation 22 identity disconfrmation 21 image-schema 122–124, 129 individualism-collectivism 137–138, 141, 147–149 in-group 10–11, 17, 23, 25, 27, 138 interdependence 216 interests 44, 183, 185, 190, 194–196, 200, 217, 233, 236–237 intersubjectivity 37, 120 intractable confict 182–183, 200 Jakobson, R. 125 Johari Window 42 Kant, I. 234 katajjaq 62 kinesics 57 Kuhn,Th. 119, 129 lacuna 117, 120, 123, 129 ‘language game’ 60, 73 laws 36, 38, 57, 88–90, 100, 109, 130, 139, 170, 223, 225, 234 Levinas, E. 39, 47 Lévi-Strauss, C. 114, linguistic imperialism 162, 230 linguistic landscape 162–163, 177 linguistic relativity 114, 116–119, 128 ‘looking-glass self ’ 17 manifested 127 manifesting 127 masculinity-femininity 137–138 Mead, G. 17 ‘m(mechanistic)-type organizations’ 143 mediation 189 metaethic 236–237, 242, 248 monochromic 118, 143 morality 236–237, 242, 248 mores 88–90, 250 morphogenesis 221 motivation 160 narrative 27, 101–104 national identity 14

260 Index needs 62, 93, 108, 128, 159–160, 169, 171, 185, 190, 195, 198 negotiation zone 190, 193–196, 204, 220 nemawashi 186 non-normative stereotype 205 non-summativity 215, 217, 222 normative stereotype 205 norms 7, 8, 41, 62, 85, 88–91, 93, 99, 102, 107, 218, 233, 250, 252–254 Oberg, K. 68 objective ethnolinguistic vitality 161 Observer’s Paradox 37 ‘o(organic)-type organizations’ 143 ontology 35, 71 operation 66–70, 74 out-group 11, 23, 25, 27, 35 paralanguage 57 perception 11, 15, 18, 20, 51, 85, 90–91, 99–100, 118–121, 126, 149, 169, 184–185, 190–192, 195 Pareto optimality 215, 217, 219, 222, 242 pragmatic 60 performativity 63–64, 68, 70–71 Phillipson, R. 162 polarization 187, 189, 191, 192, 198, 218, 219, 220 polychromic 58, 118, 143 polyphony 164 power distance 137–139, 141, 152–153 praxis 164, 169–170, 172, 175 prejudice 1, 2, 11, 46, 145, 204, 210–215, 225–226 phronesis 169 Popper, K. 16, 208 proxemics 57 punctuation 19–21 racial identity 13–14 relativism 232, 233–235, 247, 248 representational 59–60, 63 reservation point 193–194 resistance 10, 13, 103–104, 194, 231, 237, 240–242, 245, 247, 248, 254, 256 resource 7–8, 10–12, 15, 97, 170, 183, 184, 191–194, 200, 210, 216, 230, 246 ritual 15, 29, 35, 73, 74, 170, 174, 175, 239 role-taking 17 salience 12, 15, 16, 87 Sapir, E. 114, 116, 119 satyagraha 242 semantics 60

semiotic 122–124, 129 scientifc 36, 107, 130 self-disclosure 44, 58 shibui 120, 124 sign 36, 57–59, 61, 68 Smith,A. 46, 182 soft boundaries 23 speech community 114, 116–117, 205 ‘Standard Average European’ (SAE) 114, 117 stereotype 204–205, 208, 213–215, 226 strong version of linguistic relativity 116 symbolic 7–12, 15, 23, 27, 56–58, 97, 103, 125, 174, 176, 182, 183, 197, 216, 231, 246 synergy 215, 217, 218, 221, 229, 230, 239 syntactics 60 subjective ethnolinguistic vitality 161 sustainability 235–240, 242–243, 246, 248, 251, 253–254 target point 193, 241 tatemae 186 tolerance 46, 47, 152, 153, 237–242, 245, 248, 253–254, 256 topology 144, 149 transaction 174–175, 182, 189, 191–196, 198, 199, 204, 221 Trompenaars, F. 137, 171, 220, 222, 223 trust 68, 231, 237, 239–241, 245–248, 253–254 ubuntu 73 uncertainty 39–40, 42, 44–48, 50–52, 56, 62, 63, 139, 141, 152, 153, 175, 211 uncertainty avoidance 41, 137–138, 152–153 universalism 137, 232–235, 237, 247, 248 values 20, 23, 71, 85, 87–90, 93, 99, 100, 102, 106, 107, 108, 147, 171, 181, 188, 192, 198, 230, 231, 234 ‘voice’ 162–163, 173 voluntarism 37 von Bertalanfy, K. 216 weak version of linguistic relativity 118 Weltanschauung 90 Whorf, B. 114, 116–117, 126–128 Wittgenstein, L. 60–61 woonerf 47–48 worldview 85, 90–91, 102, 117–119, 128, 129, 131, 132, 29 zero-sum perception 191–192