Culture is the belief, traditions and norms of a given society. Culture is taught by vocabulary through connecting with individuals. Culture consists of stereotypes that form the world’s beliefs by explaining people’s actions and attitudes. Culture is learned and transmitted to the younger generation (Davis and and Konner 184). Culture may be studied by analyzing the views people have about gender, class, color, sexuality, sexual identity, religious beliefs, physical looks and regional characteristics. Cultural anthropologists have established that the society of a particular individual influences their mode of communication (Rasmussen). The essay will describe how co-culture and the related cultural values shape how communicating parties interact with each other. Moreover, it will identify communication competence strategies that help improve communication. Despite communication being an important aspect of understanding culture, it is affected by various co-culture, and cultural values and that capability approach should be utilized to better communication between two parties especially during research or fieldwork.
Communication can be categorized as high context or low context based on the culture. For example, high context entities usually refer a majority of the information from the framework of a message and little data is spelled out. An example is the Japanese and Latin America cultures. On the other hand, low-context cultures do not value and appreciate the message or the content of the information. It focuses on spelling out information (McKeiver). An example includes the German and the North American culture. The scenario presented by the American researcher during her fieldwork at Japan Inland Sea and Geisha shows cultural norms and behavior that can enable one learn the Japanese culture and how communication is important in learning the culture. For instance, the gender ability should be considered in learning the culture of a community. For example, the researcher identified that the women and men worked side by side at the farms, an aspect that conflicted the typical stereotyping that Japanese women are viewed as inferior to the men (Davis and and Konner 187). The first born sons were favored and made the inheritors of their parents’ wealth. On the contrary, the girl child was supposed to work on their own and make ends meet. However, the conflict of the issues arose when the girls were now getting educated and fleeing to the cities to search for white collar jobs. The young men grew desperate as the researcher explains her encounter with a Japanese man who promised to offer her a job at his farm, besides the mother was excited to get an American daughter in law confirming that the Japanese men were growing desperate. Moreover, religion has been elaborated in the scenario. The Japanese valued the culture of keeping in touch with the ancestral spirits. They visited ancestral graves often and saw their ghosts that they did not have feet (Davis and and Konner 187).
Besides, the cultural activities demonstrated in the scenario include individualism. This is concentrating on one’s things and not being involved in the entire society. For example, the American researcher noticed that her host family had been quiet on him because he had involved herself with other villages. However, the field work at Geisha was different in that in favored collectivism (Davis and and Konner 185). She interacted with many women that enabled her to learn to be a geisha. In this context, the researcher was able to learn the culture of Japanese more easily and be part of it that helped her to pass her thesis work in school. She advocated for social interaction that can be used to set relationships. For example, when she was interviewing a woman in Inland Sea, the woman also responded by asking her questions about the ghosts in America that she was not able to answer. In this context, it helped her develop other methods of data collection and learning especially by use of mutual interaction (McKeiver). I also feel that to learn the culture of a particular community; it is vital to involve yourself with the others so as to achieve in observing everything especially when the participants forget you as an outsider and can comfortably communicate their culture.
A communicator has to employ communication skill strategies that are critical in helping them communicate better with the participants. The first strategy is that the communicator has to know themselves including their culture, background, and history. Secondly, the communicator has to understand the importance of learning the culture even if it is a little part of it so as to help set priorities in what they are interested in. They have to anticipate learning new things every time they devote time in that particular culture. Attention should be paid to puzzling circumstances and be ready to develop insights into the new cultures. The communicator has to test the knowledge by asking the natives if whatever they have learned or acquired is correct about the culture. Moreover, reflecting on the experiences can help evaluate aspects that are presented as weird. The last strategy is to adapt the culture and know how to express it so as to show that they understand the culture and can fit into it. The communicator has to be own self and genuine; there is no need to pretend (Rasmussen).
Furthermore, as a person who is interested in learning culture, I have to challenge the biases, ignorance, and perception that one can have when working with people of different cultures. I have the responsibility to be informed of the messages and acts that I share with people and the way they perceive the actions. I have to work to increase the intercultural competence and communication methods so as to achieve success and goal of learning a certain culture.
Davis, Sarah, and Melvin. And Konner. “Japanese Ghosts Don’t Have Feet.” Being There: Learning to Live Cross-Culturally. (2011): 181-194.
McKeiver, Kathy. “Identifying Barriers to Effective Intellectual Communication.” 3 March 2016.
Rasmussen, Louise. “7 Habits of Cross-Cultural Experts.” Global Cognition (2012).