Issue 18, Oktober 2008

Henrik Bøhn

Acculturation and Identity in Adolescents in Norway


This survey is inspired by the International Comparative Study of Ethnocultural Youth (ICSEY), a comprehensive study which has looked at acculturation and cultural identity in adolescents from immigrant families across 13 countries. In the present survey 16 immigrant youths from two different ethnic minority groups in Norway – Somali and Albanian – were interviewed to find out more about their acculturation attitudes and experiences and their cultural identities. Eight Norwegian teenagers were also questioned. As regards acculturation, the Somali and Albanian adolescents were interviewed about how they prefer to live in the Norwegian society, i.e. to what extent they wish to retain their ethnic culture and to what extent they prefer to become involved with the larger society. In addition, they were questioned about their social contacts with peers, language proficiency and use, values as regards family relationships, as well as their perceived notion of discrimination. The Norwegian adolescents, on the other hand, were questioned on their attitudes towards cultural maintenance and intercultural contact, their social contacts with peers and their family relationship values. As to the question of cultural identity, the focus has been on to what extent the respondents identify with their ethnic group and with the larger society. The survey shows that the respondents generally favour an integration profile, and the non-Norwegian adolescents on average display a somewhat stronger ethnic identity than a Norwegian identity.

Keywords: acculturation, adaptation, adolescents, Albanian, attitudes, cultural, discrimination, ethnic, identity, immigration, minority, Norwegian, Somali, values, youth Back to start

Haibin Dong

Ideology Complexity Model: Towards the soul-searching communication


In communication studies, ideology seems only legitimate in the critical perspective and discussed in a contested manner. However, ideology as an important and unavoidable dimension of cultural identity has profound influences on communication at all levels and in all contexts. The present study is an attempt to theorize about the ideological issues of intercultural communication in Ideology Complexity Model (ICM) based on the current research of cultural identity implied by a metaphorical model---Caltrop Matrix of Identity (CMI). Based on the brief application of a case of ideological conflict in a real-life intercultural setting, I discussed about the theoretical and practical implications of ideological considerations in intercultural communication scholarship. Keywords: Ideology, Identity, Intercultural Communication, Complexity, Caltrop Matrix of Identity Back to start

Jim Harries

A Linguistic Case for the necessity of Enculturation in Theological and Economic Teaching based on the ‘Shape of Words’: including a case study comparing Sub-Saharan Africa with the West


Considering words and the areas of the mind that they impact as two-dimensional shapes forms the theoretical basis from which intercultural communication between the West and Sub-Saharan Africa are examined. Unique shapes of words are illustrated as arising from their meeting with equally unique 'impactible areas' of people's minds, and cultures, resulting in transmitted and received shapes differing in a way related to lexical content at both ends. Differences in overlap between word impacts, shapes of words and fit between words in different languages / cultures are shown to contribute to imprecision in translation, resulting in the recommendation that local policy be of local origin. The above is applied to Christian mission in Africa through diagrammatic representations of 'love' as a spiritual gift in comparison to fellow words, and by an inter-cultural consideration of public transport systems.

Keywords: language, linguistics, Africa, theology, translation, inter-cultural, Gospel, missiology, Christian, culture, context, pragmatics, love, economics, word-shapes, policy, public transport.

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Kay Kyeongju Seo, Paul Chamness Miller, Cynthia Schmidt, Patience Sowa

Creating Synergy between Collectivism and Individualism in Cyberspace: A Comparison of Online Communication Patterns between Hong Kong and U.S. Students


In recent years, studies have proposed the use of intercultural communication to promote understanding among students across geographic distances and foster students’ global awareness and international experience. This study compared Hong Kong students’ WebCT discussion postings with those of U.S. students to investigate differences in their online communication patterns. Results showed that while Asian students were more interactive by inviting other students’ opinions, American students were less responsive and more interested in stating their own views. In addition, American students tended to be direct and straightforward in expressing their positions whereas Asian participants used ambiguous language and conveyed their thoughts implicitly.

Keywords: intercultural communication, online discussion, collectivism, individualism Back to start

Cynthia Lee

The Cantonese apology style for personal offences in native and second languages in electronic communication


The paper examines Cantonese tertiary students’ email apology style for personal offences to teachers in their native language (L1, Cantonese) and second language (L2, English) learnt at school by testifying three hypotheses. Firstly, the Cantonese students’ L1 and L2 apologies are always multi-componential, with at least two parts in one apology email, in spite of the fact that there is no statistically significant difference between Cantonese and English strategies and patterns. Secondly, in terms of linguistic devices, they adopt a consistent linguistic choice in both languages by means of using the low or mid degree of apologetic verbs to express their regret. Thirdly, the expressions of I’m sorry and deoi3 bat1 hei3 not only express regret but also initiate and prepare for the upcoming actions. It is argued that Cantonese students generally tend to adopt a multi-componential apology style in either language, and the use of low degree of apologetic verbs may be influenced by the nature of the offence and the students’ interpretation of the seriousness of the offence. The findings have provided a better understanding of Chinese apology style, with particular reference to Cantonese, for personal offences and corresponding linguistic devices in a specific medium and a specific communicative situation. Keywords: Cantones, English, apology work, personal offence, electronic communication. Back to start

Pipsa Purhonen

SME internationalization as a challenge to interpersonal communication competence: An analysis of interpersonal communication competence in networking and collaboration


This paper investigates how the internationalization of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) poses a challenge to the interpersonal communication competence of SME owners, managers and employees. Interpersonal communication competence is discussed particularly in the contexts of networking and business collaboration. Collaborative arrangements even with competitors are needed in today’s global business world. Through collaborative interaction it is possible, for instance, to reduce development and production costs or channel resources to creating new innovative products (Stohl & Walker 2002: 237). The expansion of business activities across international borders, in particular, requires networking and collaborative interaction regionally, nationally and internationally. Based on the literature of interpersonal and intercultural communication competence, interpersonal networks and collaborative interaction, this paper provides an analysis of the interpersonal communication competence specific to and needed in the context of SME internationalization. Keywords: collaboration, intercultural communication competence, interpersonal communication competence, networks, SME internationalization Back to start

Linda Viswat & Junko Kobayashi

Cultural Differences in Conversational Strategies -Japanese and American University Students-


This paper deals with cultural differences in conversational strategies between Japanese and American university students. Based upon a questionnaire distributed to 106 Japanese students with intermediate English proficiency and 97 American students, the paper examines specific problems caused by the differences in expectations, and identifies several culturally held values. At the same time, it also mentions individual differences in empathic ability, and suggests that people with intercultural or life experiences pass through perceptual changes over time. Then, it explores possible educational programs to help both Japanese and American students become aware of each other’s differing views and make adjustments to their conversational strategies so as to meet the other person’s expectations.

Keywords: cultural differences, conversational strategies, expectations in conversation, empathic ability, differing views Back to start

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