According to Forcucci (1984), "folk music has been with us since the dawn of history" (p. 16). However, it was not until the early 1900s that scholars began to consider folk music as a legitimate facet to be studied as a part of a culture. The definition of folk music has undergone debate for many years. A broad general definition of "folk" music is that it is music of the "folk" or of the people. These folk are sometimes identified as the rural or peasant people of a country (Nettl & Myers, 1976), although Rhodes (1966) believed that folk music exists in all classes of society. Sometimes the folk are considered a particular ethnic group or nationality (Nettl & Myers, 1976). Folk Media is the creative dissemination of information through cultural and performance arts. In traditional societies, folk media: drama, skits, poems, stories, riddles, songs and dance have been popularly and successfully used to disseminate messages and even to pass on wisdom of older generations to the youth.
In different societies the use of folk media is seen in circumcision, betrothal and marriage ceremonies, cleansing and funeral rituals and in all forms of entertainment and festivals. Today the same media can be used for community motivation, mobilizing support and participation in programmes and at the same time for entertainment.
Folk and traditional media have some salient features which advocate its effectiveness and importance. ü Their appeal is at personal and intimate level.
ü Cross cultural communication hurdles are not encountered here ; ü Rapport is immediate and direct ;
ü Available to all and sundry and enjoyed by persons of different age groups at a very low. cost ; ü Its impact is much deeper ;
ü Very useful for community development;
ü They belong to the community and not to individuals, state or private industry ; ü No threat of cultural colonialism and foreign ideological domination. ü Local talent and localized message-would have more credibility than those centralized ones. ü These media are comparatively cheap.
ü Acceptability, cultural relevance entertainment value, localized language, legitimacy, flexibility, message repetition ability, instant 'two-way communication etc. are among their virtues. Function & content
To Forcucci (1984), the folk singer's art is storytelling, and the responsibility lies in telling the story rather than entertaining the audience. Because the oral transmission definition of folk music is obsolete and much of the music is transmitted by the mass media today, Forcucci put folk music into two basic categories: traditional folk songs and modern urban folk songs. He gave eight generalizations by which one may define folk music: 1. Folk songs represent the musical expressions of the common people. 2. These songs are not composed in that they are not the works of skilled, tutored musicians. It is more accurate to say that they have been created rather than composed. 3. These songs are ordinarily the product of an unknown person or group of persons. The credits often read: Anonymous; American Folk Song; Traditional; or Southern Mountain Song. [But Forcucci notes that there are folklike songs where the author is known, but that these songs are "patterned to fit the mold of what typical American folk songs should sound like," p. 18.] 4. The words or lyrics of folk songs are usually colloquial in nature to reflect the speech patterns and expressions of a particular people or region. 5. These songs are highly singable, primarily because they were first presented with the singing voice rather than have been written down in musical notation beforehand. 6. Folk songs are simply structured, both musically and verbally. It is their naivete that gives them their charm. 7. These songs can be effectively performed without instrumental accompaniment. When they are accompanied, a less formal instrument (such as a guitar, banjo, accordion, dulcimer, or Autoharp) is considered appropriate. 8. Folk songs are indigenous to a particular region or people because they reflect the musical/verbal preferences of that people or region in their materials. (Forcucci, 1984, pp. 18-1 Folk music is a vital, living art, not an archeological antiquity. It continues to be a medium through which the people express their thoughts, feelings and interests even as the folk did in the past. The subject matter and the musical style have changed with the changing times, but the fundamental principle of folk song and its relation to the people have remained the same.
In the study, music considered as the most powerful tool of intercultural communication and as a common language of humanity is mentioned about with its effect on communities by defining the concepts, culture and intercultural communication. For the purpose of supporting the idea, common folk dances and music of Turkish and Greek communities in Cyprus who have managed to preserve the similar traditional structure in their lives as a result of mutual interactions even though their religion and language are different are introduced, and the similarities and differences of the music are thoroughly studied. The historical period in which the Turkish and Greek communities lived together is also referred to in order to make the communication between the two cultures clear. During this period when Cyprus was under the control of the Ottoman Empire in 1571, the common folk dances and music formed as a result of the cultural interaction between Anatolian Turks who settled in Cyprus with their culture, tradition, folk dances and music and the community living at that time in Cyprus are mentioned about as well. In the research performed with the document scanning method, the importance of music in intercultural communication is aimed to be put forward by supporting the common and various folk dancing and music samples of the Turkish and Greek communities living in Cyprus. The research which puts forward the common culture repertoire gained through music even in communities possessing different religions and languages is seen important in terms of emphasizing intercultural communication through music in order to get communities closer to each other in our present day in which globalisation and fully developed communication tools dominate. Music binds us all together, across race, religions, continents, the one power that unites everyone other than love is music," says Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. Young or old, people from different cultures witness this power when they participate in Art of Living satsangs across the world. Emphasizing on the harmonizing power of satsang, Sri Sri says, "Satsang increases awareness and a sense of belongingness. So many of us are here together but we are not asking each other about our caste or religion, are we? We are sitting here together as one family!" Whether it is satsangs in Indian villages or gatherings such as the World Culture Festival, satsangees (people in satsang) unite and bring back the positive vibes to their respective communities. World Culture Festival, Berlin, Germany
An Unforgettable Peace Festival with Dance, Music, Yoga, Meditation, and Food.On 2-3 July 2011, The Art of Living celebrated 30 years of its service to the society with The World Culture Festival.
It was a unique celebration of harmony in diversity that brought together 50,000 participants from 151 countries who took home unique sights, sounds, tastes and the mesmerizing variety of all the world continents in one place! In a bid to promote peace, intercultural dialog and togetherness, senior governmental representatives, business leaders, academia, leaders of NGOs, religious and spiritual leaders, peacemakers and renowned personalities from across the globe shared their views and spread the message of peace, unity and intercultural harmony. Brahm Naad, Noida, NCR, India
Symphony of Peace and Harmony. 1094 sitarists performed on a single stage.Based on ancient ragas from the Gandharva Veda, namely Raga Gara, Bageshwari and Hansadhwani Brahm Naad conceptualized the all encompassing love for the Divine through the fascination and pull of love, the anguish of longing, and the final culmination through Divine union. Attesting to India’s multiethnic heritage and cultural vitality, sitarists from the age of 7 to 70, from different countries, different religious backgrounds, castes and sections of society came together in this celebration of unity and harmony. The Art of Living received its official recognition from the Guinness Book of World Records for organizing the largest-ever sitar concert, with 1094 sitarists playing together on a single stage.
The Role of Music...
Music as both innocent and indispensable entertainment, as
described in the first chapter, seems immediately acceptable and natural. Yet, when it comes to the role of music in the
creation of images of ‘otherness’ – as asked for in the introduction – it should by now be clear that it is not automatically
good. The regional stereotypes are unavoidable and certainly useful in some situations. What we must not forget is that music at the same time mirrors our general attitude towards other
cultures. It is often in these situations where communication works most unconsciously, that it has the most effect.
The musical expression of the political globalisation is one of fragments and cultural hierarchies, covered behind an illusion of universal interest. We easily exclude factual musicological knowledge, based on equivalent (but diverse) complexity,
in order to stress the difference between ‘us’ and
‘them’. We don’t meet the music of the immigrants where it is, but where we are, hiding behind walls of expectations and cultural self sufficiency.
In this light it becomes necessary to reconsider very carefully the choices that we make within cultural disciplines on
an intercultural level. What on the surface might seem intercultural in a constructive and positive way can in reality turn
out to be exactly the opposite. It is not a question of introducing the music of the immigrants in the schools, or making
Turkish children learn to play the saz. It is a question of
signaling cultural diversity and freedom to move around and
As music is an important marker of identity, both socially
and culturally, the closedness is very unfortunate. We use music to signal a feeling of belonging to a group. The ethnic minorities can easily do this inside their own circles, with their
own music. But what happens outside that group? Here we
are confronted with two equally problematic patterns, working side by side: invisibility and stereotypes. Neither the cultures nor the groups that are present in Denmark are visible in
any constructive way. When music exceptionally is used in
relationship to immigrants we are always deep into exotic
stereotypes which leaves very little space for cultural diversity or modernity. This means that when the youngsters try to
look for acceptance in the society, it has to be within very narrow limits of mainstream norms. The public makes it very
clear that their music is ‘subcultural’, and as such irrelevant to people outside that given culture. In this way the society does not consider the music or them as members as such.
Yes, music certainly communicates interculturally, but not
always what we might think.
UNESCO Guidelines on Intercultural Education
Posted on August 13, 2012 by email@example.com
UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization) offers online Guidelines on Intercultural Education. These guidelines provide an overview and fundamental understanding of an intercultural approach to education.
The document defines culture, education, language, religion, and diversity (among other concepts) and explains how their interrelation can help clarify what Intercultural Learning means and how best to approach it. UNESCO addresses the question: What is the role of Intercultural Education? and indicates four main objectives: 1) Learning to know. This objective highlights the value of a obtaining a general education, which brings learners into contact with other areas of knowledge and encourages communication. 2) Learning to do. This involves helping learners find their place within society and cultivates specific skills as well as an ability to develop and apply a broad range of new skills in diverse environments. 3) Learning to live together. Acquiring knowledge, skills and values that contribute to a collective spirit of collaboration allow learners to co-exist in societies rich with diversity. 4) Learning to be. Solidifying one’s sense of personality in order to act with autonomy, judgement and personal responsibility. Regard of a person’s potential and right to cultural difference strengthens identity and builds cognitive capacity. The document proposes three main principles for Intercultural Education: I: Intercultural Education respects the cultural identity of the learner through the provision of culturally appropriate and responsive quality education for all. This means that the learning content should relate to, and build on the learner’s background and the resources they have access to; also, the knowledge transmission should be culturally appropriate, incorporating local pedagogy and traditional ways of learning and teaching. This way, learners can become deeply involved in the learning process. II: Intercultural Education provides every learner with the cultural knowledge, attitudes and skills necessary to achieve active and full participation in society. This should happen by providing equal access to all forms of education, eliminating discrimination in the education system, facilitating the integration of migrant workers into the education system and respecting their special needs. It should also happen by eliminating prejudice about culturally distinct population groups within a country and by promoting an inclusive learning environment. III: Intercultural Education provides all learners with cultural knowledge, attitudes and skills that enable them to contribute to respect, understanding and solidarity among individuals, ethnic, social, cultural and religious groups and nations. This should happen by encouraging learners to struggle against racism and discrimination. It can also occur through the development of curricula that promote knowledge about cultural backgrounds and their impact. This means that learners should be aware of how our way of thinking, feeling, and evaluating is shaped by our own cultural background and experience. By understanding how our background has shaped our values, assumptions, and judgments, we build a base for effective, reflective communication and cooperation across cultures and social boundaries – thereby developing the knowledge, skills, and understanding to create a more just and peaceful world. +
2011 marked a decade since the United Nations General Assembly declared the year 2001 as the United Nations Year of Dialogue among Civilizations. At the same time, 2011 also represented the tenth anniversary of one of the most traumatic terrorist attacks of modern times. The juxtaposition of these two events shows, more than anything, the need for a firm commitment from all Member States of the United Nations to reduce and eliminate any notion of an ill-defined "clash of civilizations" which is rather a "clash of ignorances", through authentic dialogue among civilizations, cultures and peoples. Dialogue is not only a "necessary answer to terrorism but, in many ways, its nemesis," and one of the most effective ways "to promote the best in humanity."1It implies reciprocity of communication and the acceptance that truth does not and cannot belong to a singular group alone. Since "conflict begins where dialogue ceases", it is essential to search for ways past political fragmentation and strive to find common ground for debate.2 Thus, the ideal of authentic dialogue among people belonging to different cultures and civilizations has never lost momentum or its driving force. It must just be adapted to an evolving political landscape in the current era of globalization. The concept of dialogue among civilizations is not new for the United Nations. On the contrary, it is part of its fundamental structure, as underlined by former Secretary-General, Kofi Annan: "The United Nations itself was created in the belief that dialogue can triumph over discord, that diversity is a universal virtue, and that the peoples of the world are far more united by their common fate than they are divided by their separate identities".3 The Organization is meant to be "the natural home of dialogue among civilizations; the forum where such dialogue can flourish and bear fruit in every field of human endeavour."4 Today, faced with a new set of challenges, the United Nations must uphold once again its founding values and build through innovative approaches the basis for dialogue creating a new culture of belonging. The outcome document of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, as well as the UN System Task Team report: Realizing the Future We Want for All, put forward a clear agenda aimed to build and maintain peace through more inclusive, people-centred sustainable development. At the same time, both documents named globalization as one of the most important forces shaping our world today, with a vast influence on intercultural dialogue. As the globalization process increasingly opens societies to one another and diversifies them internally, the new threats to peace are becoming political, social, economic, cultural, and environmental and sometimes a mix of all. They can take the form of intra- or inter-states tensions which may turn into conflicts, wars, transnational disease vectors, global terrorism, tsunamis, floods and droughts, water resources disputes, misuse of cyberspace, as well as the joint effect of all these forces, in producing disruptive social transformations and traumatic human population movements. These phenomena drastically change the conditions for dialogue and building lasting peace. While growth has spread in every continent, old inequalities remain and new ones are emerging. New technologies are bringing people together, yet many feel threatened, confused, foreign and excluded in this environment. Deep changes have touched not only the way in which we communicate but also the communication pathways, transforming many people into outsiders caught in a web of irreversible transformations. As is evidenced in the persistence of glaring inequalities between and within countries, it becomes clear that our economic development is much more advanced than our political development. While dynamic intercultural encounters should, in principle, generate a positive impact on people and the societies in which they live, in many cases they generate anxiety and fear of identity loss. The growing connectivity, simultaneity and interrelatedness of our daily lives generate a randomness of encounter. Cultural borders are often negotiated in communication patterns of 140 characters (as in Twitter), caricatures or status updates on social networks. Thus, misunderstandings are no longer an exception but a growing trend, influenced by a certain absence of self-reflection, in the sense used by Edward Said in Orientalism when discussing the cultural construction of "the Other."5 It becomes urgent to rethink the intellectual and moral foundation of progress and reaffirm the humanistic values that should inspire the attitudes, behaviours and actions susceptible to produce, through dialogue and the free flow of ideas, global peace and shared prosperity. Indeed, greater account must be taken of the close links between cultural diversity, dialogue, development, security and peace. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) highlights the roles of education for all, shared science, resilient cultures, and accessible communication and information networks to build green, open, inclusive and participative societies where dialogue as a process becomes a universal need and aspiration, defying prejudices, established certainties, even fundamentalism and other radical attitudes. In the context of diminishing resources, rising inequalities and shifting demographics, dialogue remains central: "Without this dialogue taking place every day among all nations—within and between civilizations, cultures and groups—no peace can be lasting and no prosperity can be secure."6 Thus, there is a clear need to make authentic dialogue among cultures and civilizations a reality of our daily lives. It is essential to bring across the message that the richness of the diversity of human cultures is something to be celebrated and deepened, not feared. Taking all of this into account, how can politics enable a dialogue among cultures and civilizations in a broad sense? How can the United Nations lead reconciliation processes between the values of individuals and communities with universally shared values, without preventing local cultures from thriving and developing? Which tools are meant to help us re-imagine the limits of our own "cultural and civilizational life-worlds"7 and make place for more people, nations, creeds and cultures? There are no simple answers, but it is clear that in a complex world where a sense of shared vulnerability fuelled by polarized perceptions and intercultural dissent can lead to violence and conflict and the spread of fanaticism and extremism, the United Nations must highlight our unity of purpose and establish common goals. The Organization can demonstrate, through contributions by all organizations of its system, that dialogue among civilizations is one of the strongest tools in overcoming the poverty of our imagination and the present financial, moral and ethical crisis. Dialogue among cultures is at the backbone of UNESCO's action and is deeply entrenched in UNESCO's Constitution, which asserts "that a peace based exclusively upon the political and economic arrangements of governments would not be a peace which could secure the unanimous, lasting and sincere support of the peoples of the world, and that the peace must therefore be founded, if it is not to fail, upon the intellectual and moral solidarity of mankind". Therefore, UNESCO seeks to advance, "through the educational, scientific and cultural relations of the peoples of the world, the objectives of international peace and of the common welfare of mankind" by adapting its vision and action to the local and internation.al contexts. "Ignorance of each other's ways and lives", the Constitution continues, "has been a common cause, throughout the history of mankind, of that suspicion and mistrust between the peoples of the world through which their differences have all too often broken into war". Over the years, UNESCO's investment in dialogue among cultures has been tremendous. From vast international undertakings like the early Major East-West Project in the 1950s, over the renowned Silk Route and Slave Route initiatives, which are still being broadened today, to the inclusion of interreligious and interfaith dialogue. Indeed, the concepts used to shape the common aspirations of humankind have evolved alongside the international landscape. In this regard and in a rather chronological manner, the terms of "tolerance" (1995), "culture of peace" (2000), "dialogue among civilizations" (2001), "intercultural and interreligious dialogue" (2007) and more recently "rapprochement of cultures" (2010) were used to describe this conceptual, political and programmatic approach. Nevertheless, the one of "culture of peace" for which the International Year for the Culture of Peace (2000) and an International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-violence for the Children of the World (2001-2010) were created, both of which UNESCO has been designated as UN lead agency, remains a mobilizing concept as it encompasses, inter alia, respect for diversity, dialogue, human rights, gender equality and democratic participation to achieve international security. UNESCO has been designated by the United Nations General Assembly as lead agency for the implementation of all resolutions related to the "culture of peace", defined as consisting "of values, attitudes and behaviors that reflect and inspire social interaction and sharing based on the principles of freedom, justice and democracy, all human rights, tolerance and solidarity, that reject violence and endeavor to prevent conflicts by tackling their root causes to solve problems through dialogue and negotiation and that guarantee the full exercise of all rights and the means to participate fully in the development process of their society" (A/RES/53/243). Following the events of 9/11, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the "Global Agenda for Dialogue among Civilizations" and assigned UNESCO the lead role within the UN system. The Global Agenda provided inspiration and a common framework for future action, stating, inter alia, that dialogue among cultures and civilizations is a process aimed at attaining justice, equality and tolerance in people-to-people relationships, whose objective is to bridge the gap in knowledge worldwide about other civilizations, cultures and societies, to lay the foundations for dialogue based on universally shared values, and to undertake concrete activities, inspired and driven by dialogue. The last years saw a decisive strategic move away from the conceptual discourses to a more practical level of action with new actors. Several steps were taken to that end, such as the focusing on activities and a move from the global to the regional arena, for a more concrete development of strategic objectives. One of UNESCO's most successful initiatives in the field of intercultural dialogue is the annual Summit of the Heads of State of South East Europe, an event which cements dialogue and cooperation in a region torn apart by civil strife and war not so very long ago. Ten annual Summits of the Region's Heads of State have thus far been held yielding concrete measures for regional dialogue, especially driven by the power of culture and cultural diversity. They constitute an exemplary record of vision, political will and commitment to act and bridge divisions through dialogue and promote cooperation. Acknowledging that the paths to conventional dialogue shift permanently, in 2010, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova created a High Panel on Peace and Dialogue of Cultures in which eminent thinkers, artists and practitioners from different regions of the world, and with different intellectual backgrounds and orientations, imagine new avenues through which lasting peace can be developed, building on dialogue and reconciliation. As inter-civilizational dialogue must draw on the contribution of multiple stakeholders from all walks of life, in 2008 UNESCO also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the then newly created Alliance of Civilizations, in order to maximize their complementary roles. More recently, UNESCO adopted a new Programme of Action for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence during its last General Conference in November 2011 which aims at making peace a tangible reality for all. In a world of intricate interdependencies, where a conflict anywhere can spread conflict everywhere, it becomes urgent to understand that peace can disappear at once, even in countries where it has a long tradition. Lasting peace rests on a complex and fragile web of daily practices embedded in local settings and the most ephemeral encounters that individuals and communities creatively maintain out of the conviction that it constitutes the sustainable conditions for living together in dignity and shared prosperity. Endowed with a "soft power" mandate, organically integrating the culture of peace, sustainable development and knowledge societies, UNESCO has the ambition and responsibility to foster inclusive creative change, to remain a lookout post for new challenges to lasting peace and to stimulate positive action through prevention, mediation, reconciliation and intercultural dialogue. To this end, UNESCO is working along certain strategic directions: Strengthening peace and non-violence through formal and non-formal education to achieve intercultural skills, such as empathy, spontaneous solidarity and hospitality reflecting the diversity of contemporary societies in an active, honest and lasting dialogue; Fostering social cohesion and inclusion, pluralist and democratic participation, notably through the empowerment of women and youth; Harnessing the media and ICTs to promote peace, non-violence, tolerance and intercultural dialogue; Promoting heritage and contemporary creativity as resilience tools for building harmonious interactions through dialogue; Reinforcing the role of education, the sciences, culture, communication and information in their capacity to create sustainable and inclusive knowledge societies in all regions of the world. UNESCO seeks to advocate, through all its actions, a vision of a new humanism as a path to global ethics for the twenty-first century and thus to respond to the challenges of the dialogue among civilizations. Culture is an inexhaustible resource for nurturing dialogue and rapprochement. In finding new ways of living together, the UN and its agencies must reinvent their approaches to intercultural communication and create premises for open dialogue. The fabrics of communities, cultures and civilizations are the narrative we first tell about ourselves, the stories we believe in. The UN can make these stories heard and understood at a profound level, and add a deeper awareness of the existence of the "Other," with its related history and values. In light of the above, what is required now is a set of specific institutional and policy mechanisms to assure that they are suited to the special political, technological and planetary conditions of our present era. To that end, it is imperative to adopt a holistic approach of policies conducive to human dignity, freedom, equality, mutual trust, shared responsibilities and intercultural solidarity, thus making sustainable peace the custodian for humanity's sustainable future.
Ethical Intercultural Communication
Communication skills are considered fundamental in the workplace; but let’s take this a step further and consider the implications of applying these skills in a cross-cultural setting, and doing so ethically. Effective communication involves expressing oneself clearly, being a good listener, using appropriate body language, and how a message is delivered and received. It is inherently a two way process. Communication operates through a system of customs and principles that are essentially determined by people’s culture. When the communicators don’t share these principles, a communication breakdown, or miscommunication, will typically occur. Of course there are various types of communication in the workplace: face-to-face, email, phone, etc. and for each of these the style of communicating will vary according to culture. Webster’s Dictionary defines ethical as “conforming to an accepted standard of good behavior” and the Oxford Dictionary defines ethics as “a set of moral principles or code”. Consequently, when we speak of ethical communication in the global workplace we see that cultural customs and principles affect both the communication style and the definition of what is considered ethical. Let’s look at three areas where communication styles differ across cultures and how we can overcome some of the challenges presented and still ensure we maintain an ethical approach. 1. Explicit Vs Implicit
Most Western cultures, especially Anglo, Germanic and Scandinavian groups, will communicate explicitly, that is, almost all important information is communicated in a direct and unambiguous manner. This style also reflects our ethics, which is to communicate clearly and truthfully without being vague or misleading. Such cultures as Asian, Middle Eastern and Latin American tend to communicate implicitly; they rely on the context to communicate the most important information, and may take relationships and setting into account, resulting in an indirect and ambiguous style. Ethics in these groups require that politeness and avoiding embarrassment take precedence over truth; in fact, for many of these cultures there is no absolute truth. The avoidance of saying ‘no’ in some Asian cultures is an example how these two styles can threaten communication. So how can we ensure we are not offending by being too direct, and conversely, determine what is being conveyed in a vague response? Simply being aware of the situation certainly helps. Making others feel comfortable and relaxed can override what you say, and I would encourage the listener to ask open-ended questions to clarify vague answers. Being aware of your own values and principles, and not judging the other party by your standards can alleviate a lot of frustration. 2. Non-Verbal
We use several non-verbal signals when we communicate such as touching, facial expressions, gestures, body positioning, eye contact, speech volume and tone, physical distance etc. These can have different meanings across cultures. Another major difference is the use of silence. Most Western cultures tend to want to fill long silences, and this can be perceived as arrogant by cultures where silence is interpreted as a sign of respect. We may interpret avoidance of eye contact as an indication of dishonesty or lack of sincerity, whereas in many African cultures it is considered respectful. In the global workplace it is best to observe, and then modify our non-verbal communication signals to reflect those of the other party where possible. I am not suggesting to completely mirror these signals, but things such as avoiding touching when it creates discomfort is an easy adjustment to make. Also, don’t make assumptions based on your own non-verbal communication style and rely more on verbal clarification. A smile is sometimes used to hide anger so you may want to make sure you have understood correctly by verifying the meaning verbally. 3. Language
One of the reasons English has become the lingua franca of the business world is because of its richness, directness and precision. The Thesaurus exists only in English, and there are about 200,000 commonly used words in English (whereas French, for example has 100,000). Some speakers of English as a second language, especially those from cultures that don’t want to lose face, pretend they understand when they really do not. On the other hand, pretending not to understand when in fact they do is a negotiation technique used by some others. Unfortunately we now have the phenomenon where two communicators are often both non-native speakers of English, adding another dimension to the challenge of global communication. Language is fraught with difficulties such as idioms, slang, jargon and euphemisms; these should be avoided when communicating ethically with a non-native speaker. Keep it simple, clear and use standard language. Clarify what you are saying and offer the other party the opportunity to do the same. In concluding we can see that this is an extremely complex issue, but to begin the process of communicating ethically in the global workplace we should build awareness so we can anticipate the differences, and then observe and adapt, while still maintaining our own values and ethics. In fact, one could say that taking into consideration both your own and the other party’s cultural factors when communicating, in itself constitutes ethical behavior. OR
Ethics: Before we begin our study of intercultural communication, we must consider issues of the right and wrong of intercultural communication and IC research. Martin et al. (2002) defineethics as the same as morals, or considerations of “what is considered right and wrong” (p. 363, emphasis added). (Hall, 2005) defines ethics as the “moral standards by which actions may be judged good or bad, right or wrong” (p. 334). Johannesen, one of the leading writers in the field of communication ethics, contend that, more than cultural values—or what is important to a culture—such as individualism/ collectivism, ethical judgments are more about “degrees of rightness and wrongness in human behavior” (in Martin et al., p. 363). We will make the distinction that morality refers to the right or wrong of any behavior in and of itself. As a subset of morality, ethics deals with rightness and wrongness specifically in our interaction with others. Perhaps one of the biggest debates in the field of intercultural communication is whether we can apply the same ethical dimensions or framework to all cultures, or whether each culture has its own standard. The latter view, that each culture determines for itself what is right and wrong, was held by most anthropologists and intercutluralists for a long time, and still held by many (e.g., Shuter, 2003).
There are really two main stances
Ø Cultural relativism: Each culture determines on its own what is right or wrong. Ø Meta-ethic: There is some overarching ethical ideal or system that can be applied to all cultures. Possible Answers:
There is NOT a universal ethic
Because an intracultural [within-culture study of a single culture] analysis uncovers deep structures in a society and its communication, it obviates easy cultural answers such as those traditionally offered about intercultural ethics: Be empathetic, understand that people are different, values vary from society to society, ad infinitum. In truth, one could attempt to follow all of these intercultural caveats and still reject the ethical principles that regulate a society’s communication and its relationships. (pp. 453-454)
That is, in contrast to most intercultural scholars today, Shuter believes that each culture determines its own ethics for everyday communication (he does not speak about moral issues such as human sacrifice). He centers his essay around different types of ethics: Ø Communicator ethics: “That which contributes to the well-being of others, to their happiness and fulfillment as human beings” (Nilsen, in Shuter, p. 449) Ø Message ethics: The right or wrong of communication behaviors (aspects of the message) [my def! I could not find one in the chapter] Ø Receiver/audience ethics: What ethical guidelines guide those who receive the messages? There is a universal ethic—but what is it?
The first approach is that there is some ethical principle that can be found to guide behavior across cultures. This is the sort of idea that guides the Geneva Convention standards on appropriate warfare, Human Rights groups (and nations) who work across national and cultural borders, and so on. Some writers look across cultures to try to find the similarities between them all (for example, most cultures have an ethic against unwarranted killing, though cultures may differ on what warrants a killing. For many cultures and countries, one of the highest forms of “human rights” violation is theU.S. use of the death penalty). Interestingly, most intercultural scholars today believe or write as if there is some universal guideline for ethics. Few would state that anything a culture does (like human sacrifice or slavery) is equally right as any other behavior. The question is, what is the universal guideline and who gets to determine it? The Five “Goldens”: Classical approaches to ethics
Hall (2005) presents “five golden approaches,” a nice way to learn five classical ethical approaches (I will describe only briefly. You should know the standard names (from Em Griffin’s A First Look at Communication Theories for the approaches). For more detail see Hall. I’m putting these in my own order. There will be a mandatory “case study” where you can give your feedback on one last journal post! Ø The golden purse (ethical egoism): As it sounds (“ego” for “I”), this approach is based on what works best for me or my group (organization, country, etc.). This approach considers a weighing of the advantages and disadvantages of a decision and choosing what is best. . . for me. I think that the statement in Hall, “the one who has the gold makes the rules” is true in many cases (see my discussion of Critical Theory elsewhere!)—but I think it confuses the standard as I want you to know it. Ø The golden consequence (utilitarianism): If something has “utility” that means it is “useful” or “pragmatic.” That may help you learn this approach—what works? The difference between this and egoism is that this approach is focuses on what works for the most people involved. That is, it seeks the greatest good for the greatest number of people. One might lie, assassinate someone, even drop a Hydrogen bomb on a city, if it is felt that this will benefit more people in the long run (yes, this was the principle used to justify the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in WWII). What benefits people in one situation may not benefit people in another situation, so things are contextually right or wrong. Ø The golden law (categorical imperative/divine right): This approach suggest that there is a single right or wrong that does not differ by context or situation. Emanuel Kant believed that something was either right or wrong (one of two categories), and that we must do what we know to be right (imperative). We determine what is right through the use of logic, for example, the logical question our parents asked us, “What if everybody behaved this way?” Augustine, an early Christian, believed also that there was a single right or wrong, but that it was determined through the scriptures rather than through logic (divine right). Thus, both believe in a “golden law,” but for different reasons. [We might say that, while Augustine can believe in God, EmanualKant!] Ø The golden rule: Also originally based in religious philosophy, the Golden Rule states, do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Interestingly, this is a rule or principle that appears in many religions (see figure 11.1). The platinum rule might go a step further in both interpersonal relationships and in intercultural communication! Rather than treating others as you want to be treated, treat them as you think they would want to be treated. Ø The golden mean: Finally, Aristotle believed that the best choices lie between extremes in any situation, and that extremes should be avoided. The “golden mean” refers to the “average” or “mean” between extreme behaviors.