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Flashcards in Culture and Society Deck (84):

Who is behind the linguistic relativity theory?

Edward Sapir and Bejamin Lee Whorf


What does the semiotic tradition say about the relation between language and reality?

The relation between language and reality is never objective, and thereby language shapes reality!


Why is the use of language interesting when studying culture?

Because the use of language is one of key differences between cultures.


What does Whorfian hypothesis of linguistic relativity state?

It states that the structure of a culture's language determines the behavior and thinking of that culture; the way we see the world are shaped by the grammatical structure of the language.


How is the linguistic relativity theory different from the social constructionist theories?

In social construction, people create their realties by interaction, whereas linguistic relativity theory believes that reality is already embedded in the language and therefore comes performed.


Who is behind the theory of elaborated and restricted codes?

Basil Bernstein


Briefly explain the idea behind the restricted and elaborated codes

- The structure of the language employed in everyday talk reflects and shapes the assumption of a social group.
- Class system creates different types of language and is maintained by language.
- Role and language go hand in hand; people learn their place in the world by virtue of the language codes they employ.


What is elaborated codes?

- Elaborated codes provide a wide range of different ways to say something
- Allows speaker to make their ideas and intentions explicit.
- More complex; Requires more planning when communicating.


What is restricted codes?

- Restricted codes have a narrower range of options
- Easier to predict what form they will take
- Does not allow speaker to elaborate very much on what they mean.


When are the two types of codes appropriate in relation to types of groups?

Restricted codes: Appropiate in groups in which there is a strongly shared set of assumptions and little need to elaborate on what is meant. Speakers value group identification above individuality.

Elaborated codes: Appropriate in groups in which perspectives is not shared. Speakers value individuality above group identification.


What is the primary differences between the types of groups that use restricted and elaborated codes?

Their degree of openness


Explain the difference between a closed-role and an open-role system?

Closed-role system: One that reduces the number of alternatives for the participants; Roles are set and the group members are defined on the basis of their role.

Open-role system: One that expand the number of alternatives for individuals in the group; Roles are not categorial and simple, rather they are individualized, negotiated and constantly changing.


What is meant by a code?

A set of organizing principles behind the language employed by members of a social group.


Two major factors contribute to either the development of a restricted or elaborated code; briefly explain this relation

1) The structure of the socializing agencies within a system (family, peers, school/work):
- If it's well defined: Restricted code
- less well defined: Elaborated code

2) Values:
- Narrower societies that tend to value collectivism: Restricted code
- Pluralistic societies that tend to value individuality: Elaborated code


Bernstein says that codes strongly are associated with social class. How would you employ this to a middle-class family and a working-class family?

Middle-class: Use of both codes - E.g. restricted codes at work, but more open-role system at home using elaborated codes.

Working class: Less likely to use elaborated codes; both the values and role system reinforce restricted codes.


Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of elaborated codes

Advantages: Enable speakers to adapt to an wide range of audiences and appeal to widely different types of people.

Disadvantages: Separate feeling from thought, self from other and personal belief from social obligation.


Two types families correspond to the two types of codes. Briefly explain

1) Postion families: Clear and formally determined role structure; Closed communication system using restricted codes.
2) Person-centered families: Determines roles on the basis of individuals personal orientations rather than formally defined divisions; Open communication system using elaborated codes.


Explain the difference between positional appeals and personal appeals - use examples!

Positional appeals: Based on role-related norms, e.g. "boys don't play with dolls"

Personal appeals: Based on individualized characteristics and rules; Giving reasons for why a person should do or not do something, e.g. "It's your turn to pick up the children, I did it yesterday".


Who is behind the ethnography of communication theory?

Dell Hymes


Mention at least three main focuses that ethnographers of communication look at.

1) The forms of communication used by a group
2) The meanings these communication practices have for the group.
3) When and where the group members use their practices.
4) How communication practices create a sense of community
5) The variety of codes used by a group.


According to Hymes, cultures communicate in different ways, but all forms of communication has common requirements. What are these requirements?

All forms of communication requires:
- A shared code
- Communicators who know and use the code
- A channel
- A setting
- A message form
- A topic
- An event created by the transmission of the message


What is a speech community?

A group that uses a common code


Are speech communities similar to each other?

No, they are richly different which make generalization difficult.


Mention the nine categories for comparative ethnography

1) Way of speaking - patterns of communication familiar to the members of the group.
2) Ideal of the fluent speaker - What constitutes an exemplary communicator.
3) Speech community - The group itself and its boundaries
4) Speech situation - Those times when communication is considered appropriate in the community.
5) Speech event - What episodes are considered to be communication for the members of the group.
6) Speech act - Specific set of behaviors taken as an instance of communication within a speech event.
7) Components of speech acts - guidelines by which communicative behavior is judged.
8) Function of speech - what communication is believed to accomplish.


Who is Gerry Phillipsen?

A leader in the ethnography of communication.


How does Phillipsen define a speech code?

A distinctive set of understandings within a culture about what counts as communication, the significance of communication forms within the culture, and how those forms are to be understood and performed.


Mention at least three claims that Phillipsen makes about speech codes

1) Codes are distinctive; they vary from one culture to another.
2) A speech community will have multiple speech codes.
3) Speech codes constitutes a speech community's own sense of how to be a person, how to connect with others, and how to act/communicate within the social group.
4) The code guides what the communicator actually experience when they interact with others.
5) Speech codes are embedded in daily speech.
6) Speech codes are powerful; They form the basis on which the culture will evaluate and conduct its communication.


Who suggests that ethnography addresses at least three types of problems?

Donald Carbaugh


What are the the types of problems addressed by ethnography?

The first problem is to discover the type of shared identity created by communication in the cultural community.

The second problem is to uncover the shared meanings of public performances seen in the group.

The third problem is how ethnography helps explore contradictions/paradoxes of the group; how are these handled through communication? (e.g. roles >


What does the following questions uncover?
- Questions of norms
- Questions of forms
- Questions cultural codes

Question of norms: The ways communication is used to establish a set of standards and the ways notion of right and wrong affect communication patterns.

Question of forms: Looks at the types of communication used within the society.

Question of cultural codes: Meanings of the symbols and behaviors used as communication in the cultural society.


Does ethnography only give us information about the aspects of group life?

No, it can also reveal how individuals see themselves as persons.


Who is best known for pointing out that culture is performed?

Victor Turner.


What does Turner compare everyday cultural life with?

He compares it with the theatre; Like actors, we say our lines as we perform with our bodies.


What does he mean by saying that these "social dramas" are liminal?

It means that they mark a transition from one state to another or a border between one thing and another.


What does Turner compare public performances with?

He compares it with social dramas.


Turner talks about these public performances. Who is also talking about this concept?

Recall: Goffmann talking about performances, stages, facework.


Give an example of a liminal drama that often takes place in the real life within a group

Rites of passage; Depict movement from one stage of life to another.


Social dramas tend to follow a certain process consisting of four stages; briefly explain this process.

1) Breach: Threat/violation to community order
2) Crisis: Members become agitated and take various sides on the issues raised by the breach.
3) Redressive/remedial procedures: Members make performances of the culture that in some way return to state of acceptance.
4) Reintegration: Restoration of peace.


Mention the main points of critical race theory.

- Racism is seen as common and therefore difficult to address
- What is seen as normal is biased to white culture (whiteness theory)


What is the difference between the traditional ethnographic approach and Conquergood's?

Conquer good replaced observation with listening because when we see, we look at the other as a spectator, but when we listen we take in the experience of the other and become co-performers; Ethnography is always a dialogue.


Critical race theory relies on particularism - what does this mean?

- It means that identity is always relative to the context of one's life.
- It is determined by an intersection of gender, class, sexuality and nationality


What is the difference between modernist and postmodern theories?

Modernist theories rely on the assumption that society consists of certain historical structures that determines the power arrangement among groups; Centers on ongoing oppressive social structures.

Postmodern theories rely on the idea that structures always are in formation, being shaped and reshaped by the communication practices used at any given moment in history; denies the existence of any particular structure over time.


What is the difference between the traditional ethnographic approach and Conquergood's?

Conquer good replaced observation with listening because when we see, we look at the other as a spectator, but when we listen we take in the experience of the other and become co-performers.


Define critical race theory

Even though there have been acknowledgment of oppression, it does not mean that the oppression ends.
The theory claims that we see racism as ordinary/common/normal, because of white domination.


Does the Marxist theory today also focus on the or material conditions that create oppression?

No, it focuses more on the actual social structures that cause domination and oppression to occur.


What is race? (critical race theory)

Race is a social construction.


Within Poststructuralism, we have Foucault. Foucault sees differently upon rules, elaborate on this

Foucault sees rules as, they do not only govern how we talk, they determine the nature of our knowledge, power and ethics. Rules control written and spoken, how we do so, who may do it and who we takes seriously.


Mention the four general categories of theory within the critical tradition

1) Modernist theories
2) Postmodern theories
3) Poststructuralism
4) Postcolonism


What is necessary for effective participation in decision making?

Communicative competence.


Counternarrative is a concept in the critical race theory - please explain this.

It means a story is based in the actual experience of people of colour.
The story would be different if a white person told it than if a black person had.


Feminist scholarship is based on liberal and radical feminism. Please elaborate on these concepts.

Liberal feminism: Based on liberal democracy, believes women have been oppressed and do not have equal rights.
Radical feminism: Believes oppression of women runs deeper than politics, believes our social structure is patriarchal, this promotes masculine interest over feminine.


Foulcalt have a specific view upon power and oppression - please elaborate.

Power is helt by all parties in an interaction, it is NOT something we have over the other person.


What is otherness? (postcolonolism, Edward Said)

The world is divided by humanity. "We are humans, they are not."


Postcolonial theory is concerned with power. It suggest 2 ways to engage with forms of domination - please name these.

To unlearn privilege. -> to acknowledge our daily practices, and how they are connected to a larger interest in the world.

To avoid essentializing of others


How can do people in privileged positions tend to see other who are different from themselves? (post colonialism.)

Through otherness


How do marginalized indviduals respond to others? (postcolonialism)

through difference


Violations of expectations and honouring multiplicity is 2 communication tools, can you tell more about them?

Violations of expectations is about breaking the rules, in a specific sitation, experience or text.
Honoring multiplicity is to construct a message, so it is more open to more than one interpretation.

To challenge the system of domination, to challenge ideologies in order to create new possibilities.


What was Marx's ultimate goal and how can this be linked to the means of communication i society?

Marx's ultimate goal was revolution in which workers would rise up against the interests of capital to change the order of society.

Communication practices are an outcome of the tension between individual creativity and the social constraints on that creativity; Only when individuals are truly free to express themselves, liberation will occur - this is not possible in a class-based society.


How does Marxist theories tend to see society?

They see society as a ground for struggle among interests through the domination of one ideology over another.


What is the relation between the Jürgen Habermas and The Frankfurt School and marxism?

Their view on the capitalism; Both perceive capitalism as a dominant ideology oppressing others in society.


Habermas teaches that society must be understood as a mix of three major interests, what are these three?

1) Work
2) Interaction
3) Power


Why does Habermas value communication as essential to emancipation?

Because language is the means by which emancipatory interest is fulfilled.


What is Habermas' theory also called?

The theory of communicative action.


Mention the three things that the ideal speech situation requires?

1) Freedom of speech
2) All individuals must have equal access to speaking; all positions and speakers must be recognized as legitimate.
3) Norms and obligations of society are not one-sided but distribute power equally in society.


What is will emancipatory communication result in according to Habermas?

A transformation of society, so that the needs of individuals can be met.


What is meant by the life-world according to Habermas?

The unquestioned ordinary life, that however is constrained by certain aspects of the social system such as money, corporate power, and bureaucracy.


What is meant by colonization according to Habermas?

The idea that the superstructure creates an ideology that affects the ordinary understanding of citizens in their everyday life.


What happens when the life-world is being colonized by the system?

Less opportunity to use language to achieve positive goals for individuals.


What can be the problem of the life-world seen from a critical perspective?

It requires critical reflection and resolution to be aware of the life-world; We can only become emancipated from the entanglements of the system, when we are aware of how the system influences our lives.


Which term do Habermas use to describe the form of communication required when a speaker's statements are challenged?



What is meant by a discourse according to Habermas?

According to Habermas a discourse is a a systematic argument that makes special appeals to demonstrate the validity of a claim.


Mention Habermas' kinds stages of discourses

1) Theoretic discourse (evidence)
2) Practical discourse (norms)
3) Metaetical discourse (discussion of norms and evidence)


When do you use what discourse?

Depends on the type of speech act being defended.


Who is behind the organizational culture theory?

Clifford Geertz, Michael Pacanowsky, Nick O'Donnel-Trujillo


According to Trujillo and Pacanowsky what is then the problem of using the scientific method compared with what the organizational culture theory offers?

Researchers are limited in their understanding of organizations when they follow the scientific method. This is as the method is constrained by its task of measuring, rather than discovering.

In contrast the organizational culture theory invites the researchers to observe, records and make sense of the communicative behavior of organizational members.


What does Pacanowsky and Trujillo say about organizations and culture?

Culture is not something an organization has, but something an organization is.


What is the two main focuses of the organizational culture theory?

1) Understanding individual cultures rather than generalizing from a set of values/behaviors across organizations.
2) Accept the notion that organizational culture is created over a period of time.


How is cultural meaning and understanding achieved in an organization?

Through the interactions employees and management have with one another.


Mention the three general categories of symbols of an organizational culture - give examples.

1) Physical symbols (Design, logo, appearance material objects)
2) Behavioral symbols (Ceremonies, rituals, traditions)
3) Verbal symbols (Jokes, nicknames, stories)


Briefly mention the three assumptions of organizational cultural theory

1) Members create and maintain a shared sense of organizational reality.
2) The reality/culture of the organization are partly determined by the interpretation of symbols.
3) Cultures vary across organizations, and so do the interpretations.


What is the belief of ethnographers way of studying compared with quantitative researchers?

They believe that the manner in which they study cultures is much more natural than that of quantitative researchers.


What is meant by a thick description?

Explanation of the layers of meaning underlying in a culture


Briefly explain the four types of ritual performances in organizations

1) Personal: Routines at work done everyday (check mail)
2) Task: routines associated with a particular job in the workplace (Driving tests)
3) Social: Routines that involve relationships w. others in the workplace (lunch)
4) Organizational: Routines that pertains to the organization overall (Picnic)


Briefly explain the five types of performances in organizations

1) Ritual performances: Occur regularly
2) Passion performances: Sharing stories
3) Social performances: Show politeness/cooperation
4) Political performances: Demonstrate control/power
Encultural performances: How members obtain the skills/knowledge to become member of organization.