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A Dynamic Study Of Cultural Stereotype In Intercultural Communication

Posted on:2010-02-21Degree:MasterType:Thesis
Country:ChinaCandidate:N ZhouFull Text:PDF
GTID:2167360278961263Subject:English Language and Literature
Abstract/Summary:PDF Full Text Request
As a new independent subject, intercultural communication has a short history; but as a kind of society phenomenon, it has existed in human society since ancient times. During recent decades, with the development of transportation and means, especially the rapid spread of International Internet, intercultural communication becomes more and more frequent and extensive in our daily lives. So an increasing number of people begin to realize the necessity and importance of intercultural communication in our modern society. At the same time, more and more scholars begin to pay attention to the study of intercultural communication. L. S. Harms even think intercultural communication is the most main characteristic of communication in recent 20 years. In his eyes, the intercultural communication is as important as the creation of language.In traditional intercultural communication study, many scholars discuss the process of communication on the basis of description of cultural characteristics. However, as we know, cultural characteristics usually refer to some abstract characteristics of a whole community, while communication often takes place between or among individuals. So it's unavailable to use whole abstract characteristics to guide our individual communication, because the stereotypes in our mind may lead to the failure of communication. And researchers generally have approached the issue from a social psychological viewpoint which sees stereotype as a static factor in social perception. The present thesis, taking a dialectical and descriptive approach, intends to explore the issue from a broader sense and place stereotypes into the dynamics of intercultural communication and to study its changeability and information sources.The author, after surveying a host of previous definitions, puts forward an integrated definition of stereotype in neutral terms: stereotype represents cultural ideological statement; it is a belief (or a set of beliefs) about people in a social category. In order for people to gain a panoramic vision of stereotype and to pave the way for the present study, so in chapter 1 I delineate the background of the study. Such important related concepts as culture, communication and intercultural communication are reviewed and clarified. A good body of chapter 2 is devoted to an examination of cultural stereotype definition, formation, classification, changeability and the relationship between intercultural communication and cultural stereotype. In chapter 3, the information sources of cultural stereotype are presented, and the dynamic study of the information sources of cultural stereotype and cultural stereotype is also presented.The author designs a quantitative study which adopts two questionnaires as the major instrument. In the study, 216 Chinese (72, 86, 31, 27) of four age groups (under 24, 25-36, 37-50 and above 50) are chosen as one group to represent the perceivers in intercultural communication. The Americans are chosen as the other group to represent the target of perception. Questionnaire I is to investigate the contents of the American stereotypes. Questionnaires II is to identify and evaluate the information sources of their stereotypes and the general effects of stereotype on the communication between Chinese and the Americans. Then the author made statistical analyses of the questionnaires. The differences of stereotypes about American culture and the Americans of the four age groups are presented, and the information sources of their stereotypes are also investigated, among which media is the most important channel. Findings show that positive stereotypes can promote communication; that negative stereotypes can lead to perceptual inaccuracies, prejudice, and discrimination; and that an awareness of such impact may help inhibit stereotypes.The main purpose of the present study is to explore and expound the most widely acknowledged obstacle to intercultural communication—stereotype. Through careful analysis and close examination, the author attempts to draw up a clear picture of the changeability and manifestation of stereotype so as to raise people's awareness of them and thereby improve their intercultural communication.
Keywords/Search Tags:Cultural Stereotype, Dynamic Study, Changeability, Intercultural Communication
PDF Full Text Request
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