Objective: To develop an understanding of the importance cultural values play in human communication. Culture is a very general word for a collective set of values, behaviors, traditions, and symbols held by a group of people. Cultural theorist Geert Hoefstede stated, Culture is the collective programming of the human mind that distinguishes the members of one human group from those of another. Culture in this sense is a system of collectively held values. In other words, culture is the glue that holds people together.
Resources: Cultures express meaning via written, oral, non-verbal, and symbolic means and with specific terminology, dress, historical artwork, gestures, heroes/villains, and views of ultimate reality. When people from different cultures attempt to communicate, the results can be humorous, frustrating, enlightening, and sometimes tragic. Many local and global problems between people have their roots in cultural miscommunication, due to differences in fundamental values. For this assignment, please review the following textbook concepts: Variations in Communication Style, Cultural Variations in Nonverbal Behavior, and Intercultural communication Building Blocks and Barriers. In addition, also review Trompenaars 7 Dimensions (Values) of Culture available in the Module 2 folder. There are two slideshows; one is a full description of the values, and another is a quick one with mostly pictures. Look at both. Trompenaar’s systemization of cultural values is especially useful in business interactions, but also in our with people from different cultures and co-cultures.
Instructions: Find someone who is of a culture (or co-culture) different from your own who would be interesting to speak with and conduct an interview with them. While informal, make this a planned interview. Please do not simply think back to someone you met in the past from a different culture. Specifically plan your interview questions so your paper will have better structure and content. Your interview questions are part of your grade, so please ensure that you .
For the purpose of our class, understand that culture is not limited to ethnic or geographic background. Most any formal group that shares traditions, symbols, and values can be considered a co-culture. For example, any branch of the US Armed Services is a ; members of the Marine Corps, Navy, Army, and Coast Guard share very specific traditions, dress, and jargon. While you are certainly welcome to interview someone from another country, you can also interview someone from the US, but from a co-culture different than your own.
Ask the individual about their culture, values, traditions, hierarchy, roles (including gender roles), terminology, etc., and include these in your essay. Please discuss at least 3 of the seven cultural dimensions (values) listed and explained in the visual on Trompenaars 7 Dimensions of Culture available below. Ask questions of your interview subject that speak to these values and provide specific examples of these values from their culture. Take good notes because after the interview you are going to organize what you learned into an essay. (If they consent to you recording the interview, record it on your phone or another technology.) Have fun with this interview!
Requirements: The Cultural Interview Essay should have 3 clear sections: intro with thesis, body, and conclusion. Please use proper APA format and submit a minimum content of 2 pages to a maximum of 3 pages. Reference sources from outside the course textbook are not required but may be used and may help your grade if cited properly. View this YouTube video that demonstrates how to set up your paper for APA format, APA 6th Edition Paper Format, and this APA Sample Paper.
Grading: Your submission will be graded on the thoroughness of the interview and should meet these basic requirements:
Summary/overview of the interviewee’s background and culture
Offer specific examples from the individual’s culture that include distinct verbal and/or nonverbal language, personal space (proxemics), cultural traditions and symbols, and high context vs. low context (offer examples).
From the slideshow on Trompenaars 7 Dimensions of Culture, state and explain at least 3 of those values (explain your understanding of each value, and examples from your interviewee’s cultural background).
Control length, grammar, style, and APE format requirements. The essay needs to be Times New Roman font (12 pt.), double-spaced with 1-inch margins.
Inclusion of your interview guide for review. (You can add this as Page 4 in your essay.)
Helpful outline for your essay:
Paragraph 1: Introduction to essay and description of your interviewee’s cultural background(s)
Paragraph 2, 3, and 4: examples of your interviewee’s perceptions of cultural verbal (high-context vs. low-context, for example) and nonverbal language quirks, cultural traditions and symbols (if any), and examples of at least three of Trompenaar’s 7 Dimensions of Culture as understood by your interviewee.
Paragraph 5: Concluding thoughts about what you learned and how it broadened/changed/enlightened your perception of culture.
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