A vietnamese - American cross - cultural study of conversational distances

ABSTRACT Even the best verbal communication skills are not enough to create and sustain successful relationships. Good relationships, both at home and at work, require the ability to communicate with emotional intelligence. Part of our culture involves an unspoken rule that people should ignore nonverbal elements– as if the injunction were, "hear what I say, and don't notice the way I say it." These elements are often ignored in school or overridden by parents, so the task of incorporating conscious sensitivity to nonverbal communications is made more difficult. Thus, this thesis is an attempt to provide a cross-cultural comparison of common conversational distances, their frequency used in American and Vietnamese cultures and factors affecting conversational distances. Special emphasis is given to : - classification and usage of conversational distances as well as and their usage - factors affecting conversational distances. The implications are suggested and recommendations provided for avoidance of culture shock and cross-cultural communication breakdown. For instance, American people tend to use close phase of intimate distance when showing intimate emotion with mothers more than Vietnamese. Besides, there is not much difference whether between brothers or sisters in keeping intimate distance when showing intimate emotion in American, whereas, Vietnamese people tend to keep closer distance with their sister than brother. It is also concluded that if two Americans of opposite sex informants are conversing, they find close phase easier, freer and more conventional , however, it is applied for every case that if the communicative partners are of the same sex then closer distance is more popular with Vietnamese informants.

doc74 trang | Chia sẻ: lvcdongnoi | Lượt xem: 4347 | Lượt tải: 12download
Bạn đang xem trước 20 trang tài liệu A vietnamese - American cross - cultural study of conversational distances, để xem tài liệu hoàn chỉnh bạn click vào nút DOWNLOAD ở trên
pressing very high defiance attitude which can leads to physical conflict Intimate distance ranges from body contact to approximately eighteen inches (just less than half a meter). According to Hall, the close phase (up to six inches) includes intimate activities which require extensive contact of the bodies while the far phase (from six to 18 inches) does not allow for much, if any, body contact. We maintain an intimate distance in love relationships and with close friends. Intimate distance exists whenever we feel free to touch the other person. (Photo credits: tintuc.com.vn) People from different cultures use this intimate space differently. For instance, North Americans may feel physical discomfort when someone does not keep the proper distance from them; and this feeling may be aggravated considerably if the person they feel is "too close" is of the opposite sexPlease check the grammar of this part . Hall also mentions that some English expressions such as "get your face out of mine" and "he shook his fist in my face" show how important body boundaries are for Americans. By contrast, the Costa Rican expression, "I don't bite" shows the discomfort people from this culture feel when others are too far from them. Hall affirms that the use of intimate distance is not proper in public places in the United States. (this can be seen similarly in Vietnam). However, this distance is common among members of other cultures (e.g. Latin Americans and Arabs). 2.2 Personal distance 2.2 Personal distance Sub-distance Length Communicators Far phase 2.5 - 4 feet (0.77 - 1.23 metres) - Communication among friends, colleagues; or?? - Communicators possiblymay expressing negative attitude Close phase 1.5 - 2.5 feet (0.46 - 0.77 metres) - Communication among close relatives; or?? - Communicators expressing negative attitude Table 3: Sub-distances of personal distance and their communicators Personal distance ranges from 1.5 to four feet between people. Hall identifies a close and a far phase. The close phase (1.5 to 2.5 feet) permits one person to touch another, while the far phase of personal distance (2.5 to four feet) "an arm's length" does not permit this. As Hall points out "nobody touches or expects to touch another person unless there is a special effort" (1959:120). This is the distance we keep most often when we are in casual and personal conversation. It is close enough away not to encroach or intimate distance. (Please check this sentence.Not sure what it means? Can you reformat this picture to be next to the words? (Photo credits: dantri.com.vn) It is not difficult to realize that Vietnamese normally use far phase of personal distance if they are of the opposite sex. Close phase of personal distance can be used more by the communicators who are both female than those who are both male. 2.3 Social distance Sub-distance Length Communicators Far phase 7 - 12 feet (2.16 - 3.7 metres) - Communication among strangers Close phase 4 - 7 feet (1.23 - 2.16 metres) - Communication among acquaintances Table 4: Sub-distances of social distance and their communicators Sub-distance Length Communicators Far phase 7 - 12 feet (2.16 - 3.7 metres) - Communication among strangers Close phase 4 - 7 feet (1.23 - 2.16 metres) - Communication among acquaintances Social distance (four to 12 feet) is the casual interaction-distance between acquaintances and strangers. It is common in business meetings, classrooms, and impersonal social affairs. Its close phase (four to seven feet) is the characteristic of informal interaction, while more formal interaction requires the far phase (seven to 12 feet). Some physical barriers such as desks, tables, and counters, usually make people keep this distance. (Photo credits: www.123rf.com) Hall mentions that this type of proxemic behavior is culturally conditioned and arbitrary. To illustrate, Nydel (1987) mentions that for Arabs it is normal to stay close to and touch strangers; the distance they keep in ordinary social conversations is the same as what Westerners use in intimate conversations. People from other cultures such as North Americans and British normally offer an excuse if they touch a stranger. From my observation, an excuse also tends to be used by Vietnamese if they touch a stranger in social communication. 2.4 Public distance Sub-distance Length Communicators Far phase 15 - 25 feet (4.6 - 7.7 metres) or further - One person speaks in public Close phase 12 - 15 feet (3.7 - 4.6 metres)12 - 15 feet (3.7 - 4.6 metres) - Communication among strangers Table 5: Sub-distances of public distance and their communicators Public distance ranges from 12 to 25 feet or more. Its close phase (12 to 15 feet) provides the amount of space generally desired among strangers, while its far phase (15 to 25 feet) is necessary for large audiences. In this case, speech must be projected or amplified to be heard. Communication at this distance is more formal and permits few opportunities for people to be involved with each other. (Photo credits: www.123rf.com) Researchers (e.g., Hall 1959; Vargas 1986) identify high-contact cultures such as Arabs, Latin Americans, Greeks, Turks, French, and Italians, who usually keep small distances among themselves; and low-contact cultures who "stand further apart,", like the Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Germans, Dutch, and North Americans (Vargas 1986:106). 3. Factors effecting conversational distances Hall notes that different cultures maintain different standards of personal space. In Latin cultures, for instance, those relative distances are smaller, and people tend to be more comfortable standing close to each other; in Nordic cultures the opposite is true. Realizing and recognizing these cultural differences improves cross-cultural understanding, and helps eliminate discomfort people may feel if the interpersonal distance is too large (“stand-offish”) or too small (intrusive). Comfortable personal distances also depend on the culture, social situation, gender, and individual preference. Besides, Allan Pease, in his book “Body langua”, adds several other factors affecting personal distance, that is: age, population density and intended messages. Combining the views of two researchers, we have six factors affecting personal distance: 3.1 High - low contact culture Cultural background is one of the most influential factors in nonverbal communication in general and proxemics in particular. Researchers have divided cultures into three types: high-contact culture, moderate-contact culture and low-contact culture. - In high-contact culture, people favour higher sensory exposure, French, Italian, Latin American, Arab and African are considered to be high-contact culture, in which interactants usually keep small distances among themselves. - American, Canadian, Northern European, New Zealander and Australian belong to moderate-contact cultures as they employ less touching and maintain a further distance during their conversations. - Asian (Chinese, Vietnam, Indonesian, Japanese and , and Korean), German and Dutch are identified as low-contact cultures, whose interactants “stand further apart”. 3.2 Gender In terms of gender, distance between peolepeople of the same sex is smaller than between those of the opposite sex. Summarizing diverse studies, Vrugt and Ketstra (1984) concludes “iIn interaction betwenbetween strangers, the interpersonal distance between women is smaller than betwenbetween men and women”. 3.3 Relationship Another factor in deciding the interpersonal distance is relationship. The more intimate the interactants are, the smaller the physical distance tends to be in communication. This can be seen very clearly in the four distance zones: - Public distance is employed between speakers and audience. - Social distance is used for conversations between acquaintances and strangers - Personal distance is for friends, family members and relatives. - Intimate distance is reserved for lovers, couples, spouses, sometimes for close friends and family members 3.4 Age Generally, during childhood, people tend to stand closer to each other. (Photo credits: thugian.com.vn) When being teenagers and over, we begin to havehaving awareness ofn social distance and the personal space becomes greater. (Photo credits: www.123rf.com) Old age will lead to close distance in communication as human are assumed to receive the subject’s support for being weak. (Photo credits: www.123rf.com) 3.5 Population density According to Pease (1984), the amount of personal space required by an individual is related to the population density of the area in which he/swhe was brought up. Those who were brought up in sparsely-populated areas require more space than those raised in densely-populated area. Watching how far a person extends his arm to shake hands can give a clue whether he is from a major city or from a remote country area. (Photo credits: www.123rf.com) The two pictures above illustrate the difference in the use of personal space between men from the city and those from the countryside. City dwellers have their private 18-inch bublebubble, this is also the measure distance when they reach to shake hands. They tend to step forward to greet each other. Meanwhile, people from the countryside tend to stand with their feet firmly planted on the ground and to lean forward as far as they can meet your handshake. 3.6 Intended message It is believed that nature of the transmitted messages also influence conversational distances. The following table shows the interactions among messages, tones of voice and distances between faces which are considered to be popular in the North America: Distances between faces Tones of voice Types of message Very close (3 - 6 inches) Soft whisper Top secret or sensual Close (8 - 12 inches) Audible whisper Very confidential Neutral Soft voice, low volume Personal subject matter Far (4.5 - 5 feet) Full voice Non-personal information Across the room (8 - 20 feet) Loud voice Talking to a group Stretching the limits (20 - 24 feet) indoor and up to 100 feet Loud hailing voice Departures and arrivalsPlease add caption to this table and number it. Please also explain who develop this table and cite it if need be. Table 26: Interactions among messages, tones of voice and distances between faces (Nguyen QuangI cited this table from Nguyen Quang (Giao tiep phi ngon tu qua cac nen van hoa). However the book has not been published yet. So how can I cite here? Apart from the six major factors mentioned aboveWho develop these six major factors. Please cite it if need be. As stated from the first paragraph of bullet 3, the six major factors were combined from the views of Hall and Allan Pease , there are other factors influencing our use of space, such as: social status, topic of interaction, physic appearance, personality, occupation, communicating area, state of emotion. ChapterHAPTER 3: Data aAnalysis and dDiscussionATA ANALYSIS AND DISCUSSIONA short introduction to this chapter is advisable. The chapter focuses on analyzing the use of conversational distances by the American and Vietnamese informants through a survey conducted by the author. The similarities and differences were also clarified based on the analysis results. 1. Methodology 1.1 Participants The survey was conducted with two groups of 100 informants. The first group were 50 Vietnamese who are all living the North of Vietnam. The second group were 50 Americans who are living in Houston, the United States. The informants are from 20 to over 40 years old and living in both rural and urban areas. They include male and female, single and married people. Information of occupation and acquisition of language(s) other than their mother tongue was also provided. However, the informants were assured that they would not be identified in any discussion of data. 1.2 Instruments As the study dwells largely on the practical aspects of cross-cultural communication, the main method employed in the study is quantitative with due reference to qualitative method. Besides, contrastive analysis is also used. 1.3 Procedures of data collection In order to collect sufficient data for contrastive analysis, the author designed two types of survey questionnaires: one in English and the other in Vietnamese. In the survey questionnaire, the conversational distance is divided into 16 phases and the research was Please check the tense, I suppose the survey was conducted?? conducted to find out which phases are the most likely to be used by communicators. 16 following phases were given to informants for choosingtheir selection: A: Close phase of intimate distance: 0-6 inches (0-15 cm) B: Far phase of intimate distance: 6-18 inches (15-46 cm) C: Close phase of personal distance: 1.5-2.5 feet (0.46-0.77 m) D: Far phase of personal distance: 2.5-4 feet (0.77-1.23 m) E: Close phase of social distance: 4-7 feet (1.23-2.16 m) F: Far phase of social distance: 7-12 feet (2.16-3.7 m) G: Close phase of public distance: 12-15 feet (3.7-4.6 m) H: Far phase of public distance: 15-25 feet (4.6-7.7 m) The informants’ communicating partners were people in family, social and business relations: Mother Father Brother Sister Close same-sex friend Close opposite-sex friend Same-sex acquaintance Opposite-sex acquaintance Same-sex colleague Opposite-sex colleague Boss Beside survey questionnaires, in order to clarify the reasons for choosing types of conversational distances, elaborated discussions with some Vietnamese and American informants were conducted. 2. Data analysis and findings 23.1 Use of converstionalconversational distance as seen from communicative partnert’s role relationship 3.1.1 Data analysisData analysis should be one of the main parts in this chapter. Then the use of CD as seen from different aspects will be the sub-component. And before getting to the data analysis section, there should be other section to provide background information, introduction to the questionnaire and the procedure to collect the data for your analysis. Please add these sections. In order to collect sufficient data for contrastive analysis, the author designed two types of survey questionairesquestionnaires: one in English and the other in Vietnamese. The survey was conducted with both Vietnamese and American informants. The author has received answers from 50 Vietnamese and 50 American informants.More information on the informants should be give, for instance, their ages, gender, language proficiency, residential area, etc. Where are these Americans? Are they living in the US or are they Americans living in Vietnam? Such information should be given. They were required to tick the appropriate boxes, corresponding to which phase of conversational distances they applied for communicating and they also provided some personal information to help produce a more precise result (such as age, gender, marital status, ect.) The data was then analyzed from a cross-cultural perspective, in the light of nonverbal communication. In the survey questionnaire, the conversational distance is divided into 16 phases and research will be Please check the tense, I suppose the survey was conducted?? conducted to find out which phases are the most likely to be used by communicators. 16 following phases were given to informants for choosing: A: 0-6 inches (0-15 cm) B: 6-18 inches (15-46 cm) C: 1.5-2.5 feet (0.46-0.77 m) D: 2.5-4 feet (0.77-1.23 m) E: 4-7 feet (1.23-2.16 m) F: 7-12 feet (2.16-3.7 m) G: 12-15 feet (3.7-4.6 m) H: 15-25 feet (4.6-7.7 m) Should you give the title for each of the phase in this section so that readers can have some idea of what A, B, C, etc stand for? This should be in a separate section, probably called “Data collection” 2.1.1 Data analysis (a) Mother Informants A B C D E F G H American 40% 30% 20% 7% 3% 0% 0% 0% Vietnamese 15% 45% 23% 12% 5% 0% 0% 0Please add caption to the tables and number them. For example “Table 1: Figures on ….” % Table 7 : Figures on using conversational distances by informants with their mother American people tend to use close phase of intimate distance when showing intimate emotion with mothers more than Vietnamese (40% compared to 15%). According to the Vietnamese-American study of touching behaviour by Dao Thi Thu Trang (2007), iIt is the fact that Americanthey touch their mothers on face and forehead in form of kissingHow did you get this? more often than Vietnamese. (American is 40% in compared with only 15% of Vietnamese). Whereas, Vietnamese people tend to touch their mothers on upper arms, hands, lower arms and shoulders,How did you find this if there is no section in your questionnaire to gather information? thus far phase of intimate distance is used more frequently than American (Vietnamese is 45% compared towhile American is 30%). Some other ways to express this idea can be “45% compared to 30%” so you don’t have to mention the words “Vietnamese or American twice in a short sentence. The data also shows that both many American and Vietnamese people tend to use close phase of personal distance and few of them use far phase of personal space or close phase of social distance in daily communication with their mothers, with only 3% by Americans and 5% by Vietnaemese for close phase of social distanceE Please insert the type of distance for E here. and none of the respondents chose far phase of social distance. (F). (b) Father Informants A B C D E F G H American 10% 30% 35% 20% 5% 0% 0% 0% Vietnamese 5% 25% 40% 25% 5% 0% 0% 0% Table 8: Figures on using conversational distances by informants with their father The table shows that men tend to avoid touchingHow can you draw this conclusion when we don’t know how many male informants responded to this. Please check and reword this part. when showing intimate emotion. It results in the little use of close phase of intimate distance ibyn both American and Vietnamese people (10% and 5% correspondingly). Far phase of intimate distance and close phase of personal distance are more likely to be used (total 65% by both American and Vietnamese). These can be explained through the Vietnamese-American study of touching behaviour by Dao Thi Thu Trang (2007) that men tend to avoid touching andT the most likely parts to be touched isare the father’s upper arm, back and shoulders. Therefore, far phase of intimate distance and close phase of personal distance are more likely to be used. Far phase of personal distance is also quite common for in both Americans and Vietnamese in daily communication with fathers than mothers (with 20% inby Americans and 25% in by Vietnamese for fathers in compared withto 7% and 12% correspondingly for mothers). (c) Brother Informants A B C D E F G H American 3% 15% 30% 35% 17% 0% 0% 0% Vietnamese 2% 16% 30% 40% 12% 0% 0% 0% Table 9: Figures on using conversational distances by informants with their brother The same result as with father holdsis found for between brothers forby both Americans and Vietnamese. That is, they tend to touch on shoulders, upper arms or patting on the back. However, in the case of sisterYou have sister in the next section, how come you analyze it here? I suppose the case that the informant is sister and her partner is brother, not the case of two brothers and brother, touching can also be found in lower arms, hands and forehead. AnywayThis is too informal. Please check. , iIn general, close phase of intimate distance is rarely used with only (3% for Americans and 2% for Vietnamese); and fFar phase of intimate distance is likely to be little used more by Please use different sentence structure for the (by15% for Americans (at 15%) and 16% for Vietnamese (at 16%). Whereas, close phase and far phase of personal distance are the mostmore commonly used in communication, (30% and 35% correspondingly for the Americans and 30% and 40% correspondingly for Vietnamese respectively). (d) Sister Informants A B C D E F G H American 5% 15% 30% 32% 18% 0% 0% 0% Vietnamese 12% 20% 385% 225% 8% 0% 0% 0% Table 10: Figures on using conversational distances by informants with their sister The most commonly used when showing intimate emotion is far phase of intimate distance (American 15% and Vietnamese 20%). Similarly as in case of brother, close phase and far phase of personal distance are more commonly used in communication, 30% and 32% for American and 38% and 22% for Vietnamese respectively. In order to clarify the data, after data collection and review, I have made an elaborate discussion with some Vietnamese and American informants and found that, Ffor the Americans, there is not much difference whether between brothers or sisters. The same parts of the body are employed such as: shoulders, upper and lower arms and hands. For Vietnamese, it can be divided into two cases: between sisters and between sister and brother. In the discussionsurvey, 70%many How many? Should not be general like this in the analysis. females stated that touching can be applied on almost any parts of the body. It is most common in the order of hands, upper arms, shoulders, neck, face, waist, hip and lower armsHow can you find this out if you don’t have a section in your questionnaire for the respondent to give answers. . And in the latter case, touching is restricted on shoulders, upper arms and lower arms. Therefore, the most commonly used when showing intimate emotion is far phase of intimate distance (15% for American and 20% for Vietnamese). Similarly as in case of brother, close phase and far phase of personal distance are more commonly used in communication ,(30% and 32% correspondingly for American and 35% and 25% correspondingly for Vietnamese respectively). (e) Close friend (same sex) -Two male friends: Informants A B C D E F G H American 0% 5% 20% 40% 20% 15% 0% 0% Vietnamese 0% 6% 22% 45% 15% 12% 0% 0% Table 11: Figures on using conversational distances by informants with their same-sex close friend (two male friends) - Two female friendsPlease be consistent in your format : Informants A B C D E F G H American 0% 8% 28% 38% 15% 11% 0% 0% Vietnamese 0% 10% 30% 40% 9% 11% 0% 0% Table 12: Figures on using conversational distances by informants with their same-sex close friend (two female friends) Friends of the same sex should be divided into two types: two male friends and two female friends. AsIn the elaborately discussedion with the informants, they stated that,W with two male friends, touching is restricted withto some certain parts of the body such as shoulders, upper arms, lower arms and hands for both Americans and Vietnamese. More than half of the men when interviewed sayidPlease pay attention to the tense they do not touch even if the communicators are their close friends. Thus, no one choose close phase of intimate distance and far phase of intimate distance is rarely used. Most of American (40%) and Vietnamese (45%) men tend to use far phase of personal space in communication with their close friends (40% and 45% respectively). (40% for American and 45% for Vietnamese). Please do not put bracket for the statistic, try to link data with the sentence and diversified the way to present the statistics. With two females, a touch on face, upper arms, lower arms, hands and waist is quite common for both American and Vietnamese. Thus, close phase of personal distance is more likely to be used by two female friends than by two male friends, (28% for Americans 28% and 30% for Vietnamese 30%). However, far phase of personal distancespace still seems to be mostly used, Americans 38% and Vietnamese 40%. d (38% for American and 40% for Vietnamese). Please do not put bracket for the statistic, try to link data with the sentence and diversified the way to present the statistics. (f) Close friend (opposite sex) Informants A B C D E F G H American 0% 8% 35% 30% 17% 10% 0% 0% Vietnamese 0% 10% 40% 25% 15% 10% 0% 0% Table 13: Figures on using conversational distances by informants with their opposite-sex close friend For AmericanCan you find other way to start the first sentence? The expression “For American” is used for five paragraphs continuously. Please rephrase the following paragraphs. , touching is more common betwenbetween close friends of the opposite sex than close friends of the same sex. Touchable areas are forehead, face, neck, shoulders, upper arms, lower arms, hands, and waist, and hips. From the author’s observation, Tthe Vietnamese used to keep certain distance on encountering an friend of opposite sex friend, however, it has changed much in recent years though not beyond the boundary of an Oriental culture. Nowadays, people can witness a touch aon the shoulders, hands, upper arms, lower arms between two friends of opposite sex friends. For AmericanCan you find other way to start the first sentence? The expression “For American” is used for five paragraphs continuously. Please rephrase the following paragraphs. , according to Dao Thi Thu Trang (2007), touching is more common between close friends of the opposite sex than close friends of the same sex. Touchable areas are forehead, face, neck, shoulders, upper arms, lower arms, hands, waist, and hips. Thus, close phase of personal distance is more likely to be used in close friends of the opposite sex (total 75% by two informant groups) than close friends of the same sex (total 44% by Americans and Vietnamese between two male friends and total 58% by those between two female friends), (the difference is about 11% I don’t see this % on the table for American compared to and 14%I don’t see this either, please check. for Vietnamese). (g) Acquaintance (same sex) Informants A B C D E F G H American 0% 0% 8% 22% 51% 19% 0% 0% Vietnamese 0% 0% 7% 25% 50% 18% 0% 0% Table 14: Figures on using conversational distances by informants with their same-sex acquaintance Resulting from the elaborated discussions, For American, the only popular form of touching between two same-sex American acquaintances of the same sex is handshake. Even for Vietnamese, touching is also not popular whether it is the same sex or opposite sex. . Thus, close phase of social distance is mostly used by both Americans (at 51%) and Vietnamese (at50% for American and 5045% for Vietnamese).W ). (h) Acquaintance (opposite sex) Informants A B C D E F G H American 0% 0% 7% 18% 55% 20% 0% 0% Vietnamese 0% 0% 5Is it worth analyzing this and explain why? % 28% 49% 128% 0% 0% Table 15: Figures on using conversational distances by informants with their opposite-sex acquaintance Thanks to the follow up discussions with the informants, According to the elaborate discussionFor American,the researcher noted that the only popular form of touching between two American acquaintances of opposite sex is also handshake. For Vietnamese, touching is rarely seen between acquaintances of opposite sex. It is also restricted in the form of hand shaking or upper arms patting. Those are the reasons why only 7% American and 5% Vietnamese informants choose close phase of personal distance with their opposite-sex acquaintances for daily use. However, cClose phase of social distance is still mostly used by both Americans (at 55%) and Vietnamese (55% for American andat 49% for Vietnamese). (i) Colleague (same sex) Informants A B C D E F G H American 0% 0% 15% 57% 18% 10% 0% 0% Vietnamese 0% 0% 14% 55% 19% 12% 0% 0% Table 16: Figures on using conversational distances by informants with their same-sex colleague Far phase of personal distance is found to be mostly used, with 57% and 55% for Americans and Vietnamese respectively. From the author’s observation, touching is not favoured among Vietnamese colleagues, if it does happen, it is only in the case of encouragement. As consulted with some American informants,For American, in their office setting, touching can be found in the form of handshaking, and back/shoulders patting. ForTherefore, keeping a distance of “an arm’s length” (0.77-1.23m) among same-sex American and Vietnamese colleagues is understandable. Vietnamese, touching is not favoured among colleagues, if it does happpenhappen it is only in the case of encouragement. Far phase of personal distance is found to be mostly used, with (American is 57% and Vietnamese is 55% for American and Vietnamese respectively). (j) Colleague (opposite sex) Informants A B C D E F G H American 0% 0% 15% 57% 18% 10% 0% 0% Vietnamese 0% 0% 13% 58% 20% 9% 0% 0% Table 17: Figures on using conversational distances by informants with their opposite-sex colleague For American, tThe same result holds as colleaggues of the same sex. That is, For Vietnamese, touching among colleagues of the opposite sex is even less common, restricted on upper arms and hands. However, far phase of personal distance is still found to be mostly used (Americans 57% Americans and Vietnamese 58% is 57% and Vietnamese is 58%)). (k) Boss Informants A B C D E F G H American 0% 0% 75% 185% 60% 15Why only 95%? % 0% 0% Vietnamese 0% 0% 5% 12% 65% 18% 0% 0% Table 18: Figures on using conversational distances by informants with their boss Some American people touch their boss on hand under the form of a handshake and most of them apply no touch when the communicative partner is their boss. Thus, cClose phase of social distance is found to be mostly used by Americans (6053%The statistic in the table does not match. In the table it is 60%. Please check. ). For Vietnamese, perhaps, due to a certain distance between boss and employees, there is little touching between them. Therefore, the amount of usersthe amount of Vietnamese people use close phase of social distance is even larger than that of the Americans (65%). 23.1.2 Major similarities and differences: Similarities: - Generally, both Americans and Vietnamese people belong to low-contact culture, thus, they tend to use social distance mostly in common communication. - Similarities also appear in case of showing intimate emotion. Americans and Vietnamese are likely to keep close phase of intimate distance with their mother more than father. Differences: - American people tend to use close phase of intimate distance when showing intimate emotion with mothers more than Vietnamese. - For the Americans, there is not much difference whether between brothers or sisters in keeping of intimate distance when showing intimate emotion or close phase of personal distance in common communication. Whereas, Vietnamese people tend to keep closer distance with their sister than brother. - It is applied for every case that if the communicative partners are of the same sex then closer distance is more popular with Vietnamese informants. Conversely, if two American informants of opposite sex informants are conversing, they find close phase easier, freeerfreer and more conventional. 23.2 Use of conversational distance as seen from informants’ parameters 23.2.1 Data analysis (a) Age - Between 20 and 40: Informants A B C D E F G H American 20% 30% 15% 13% 10% 7% 3% 2% Vietnamese 18% 28% 20% 15% 10% 6% 2% 1% Table 19: Figures on using conversational distances by informants between 20 and 40 years old - Above 40: Informants A B C D E F G H American 15% 20% 25% 18% 7% 5% 6% 4% Vietnamese 13% 15% 22% 20% 11% 12% 5% 2% Table 20: Figures on using conversational distances by informants above 40 years old American and Vietnamese informants between 20 and 40 tends to use intimate distance more than those above 40 (total 50% for American and 46% for Vietnamese in compared with 35% and 28% correspondingly). Whereas, informants above 40 are likely to use personal space more than those between 20 and 40 (total 43% for American and 42% for Vietnamese in compared with 28% and 35% correspondingly respectively). Public space is rarely used for both ages, though it seems to be used more by informants above 40 than those between 20 and 40 (the difference is about 5% for American and 74% for Vietnamese). (b) Gender - Male Informants A B C D E F G H American 5% 7% 15% 30% 20% 6% 10% 7% Vietnamese 6% 11% 17% 28% 13% 10% 9% 6% Table 21: Figures on using conversational distances by male informants - Female Informants A B C D E F G H American 7% 10% 17% 33% 149% 7% 7% 5% Vietnamese 8% 14% 18% 35% 10% 7% 5% 3% Table 22: Figures on using conversational distances by female informants Males seem to use intimate distance less than females, ( total 12% of for American and 17% for of Vietnamese males while among females, it accounts for 17% and 22% respectively). In contrast, they tend to use public distance more than the females (the difference in Americans is 5% and that in Vietnamese is 67%). Far phase of personal distance is likely to be mostly used by both males and females, with the rate of ( 30% and 33% for Americans whileand 28% and 35% for Vietnamese). (c) Living places - Rural Informants A B C D E F G H American 7% 13% 30% 20% 15% 10% 5% 0% Vietnamese 8% 14% 40% 25% 7% 4% 2% 0% Table 23: Figures on using conversational distances by informants living in rural areas - Urban Informants A B C D E F G H American 7% 14% 38% 24% 5% 6% 4% 2% Vietnamese 7% 13% 30% 20% 15% 8% 5% 2% Table 24: Figures on using conversational distances by informants living in urban areas Vietnamese people living in rural areas appear to keep closer distance in common communication than those who live in urban areas (the difference is 15% informantspeople in using personal distance). In contrast, American informants who spend most of the time in rural areas are likely to use further distance than that of urban population (personal space is used by 620% of the urban population while only by 50% of the rural ones). (d) Occupational groups: - Teamwork Informants A B C D E F G H American 5% 10% 38% 24% 11% 6% 4% 2% Vietnamese 6% 12% 35% 22% 10% 8% 5% 2% Table 25: Figures on using conversational distances by informants with teamwork occupation - Independent work Informants A B C D E F G H American 5% 8% 13% 18% 35% 9% 7% 5% Vietnamese 6% 7% 12% 19% 38% 8% 6% 4% Table 26: Figures on using conversational distances by informants with independent work occupation American and Vietnamese people who often work under in team or if their occupation requires high contact seem to keep closer distance than those who usually work independently. This is illustrated that represented by 62% of American and 57% of Vietnamese teamwork people who often work in team use personal distance while only 33% American and 31% Vietnamese informants who work independently use this kind of distance. 23.2.2 Major similarities and differences: Similarities: - In terms of age: Both American and Vietnamese informants between 20 and 40 tends to use intimate distance more than those above 40. Whereas, informants above 40 are likely to keep closer distance than those between 20 and 40 in common communication. - In terms of gender: Males seem to use less intimate distance less and publicand more public distance more than females. - In terms of living places: Teamwork pPeople who often work in team seem to keep closer distance than those who usually work independently. Differences: - In terms of occupational groups: Vietnamese rural population appear to keep closer distance in common communication than urban ones and it is a reversed situation found conversely for American informants. PART C: CONCLUSION I. Summary of main findingsThe title states that this is the summary of the main findings of your research, however, the content below is mostly about culture shock and the summary is presented later. May be it should be reversed – the summary first and then some notes on the potential culture shock. Please review this part. : Based on the author’s survey and observation, the Vietnamese and Americans tend to use social distance mostly in common communication. It can be explained that both Vietnam and the US belong to low-contact culture. However, in particular cases, the result may prove to be different or even opposite. A closer look in particular case will clarify the point: American people tend to use close phase of intimate distance when showing intimate emotion with mothers more than Vietnamese. It is used by 40% of the American in compared with only 15% by Vietnamese informants. For the Americans, there is not much difference whether between brothers or sisters in keeping intimate distance when showing intimate emotion or close phase of personal distance in common communication. Whereas, Vietnamese people tend to keep closer distance with their sister than brother. The research shows that intimate distance is used by 18% American informants between brothers and 20% between sisters (little difference) and 30% of them use close phase of personal distance for both brothers and sisters( no difference). It is also presented that there are 18% Vietnamese users of intimate distance and 30% of close phase of personal distance between brothers while 32% and 38% respectively between sisters. It is applied for every case that if the communicative partners are of the same sex then closer distance is more popular with Vietnamese informants. Conversely, if two American opposite sex informants are conversing, they find close phase easier, freer and more conventional. II. Implications for avoidance of culture shock and cross-cultural communication breakdown Nonverbal aspects of communicaation vary widely across cultures. American and Vietnamese people have their own ways of interacting verbally and/or nonverbally, and their culturual norms greatly affect their communication styles. When we interact with American people, we may fail to understand them for many reasons, including differences in preferred communication styles, norms, perceptions, beliefs, taboos ect. The concept of “culture shock” in some linguists anedand anthropologists’ point of view shows a various range of emotion including both physical and psychologicancal stresses that a person may encounter when coming to the new cultural environment. As George M. Forter’s view (1962:87): Culture shock is a common experience when one comes to live in a strange culture, suddenly separated from familiar things, a new comer feels like ‘a fish out of water’ and does not know what to say and what to do in the new environment. And Brown, D.H. describes (1994:35): Culture shock is a mental illness, and true of much mental illness, the victim usually does not know he is afflicted, he finds that he is irritable, depressed and probably annoyed by the lack of attention shown to him. According to Nguyen Quang, everyone has got his/her own cultural schemals that help interpret what is right and what is wrong. These schemals are formed by our contact with OUR people and OUR cultural environment. When coming into contact with a new culture, we are likely to interpret others’ behaviour according to the standards which are set in our cultural schemata and the experiences and knowledge which we share with our people. Culture shock can be resulted from many factors, such as misinterpretation, ethnocentrism, overgeneralization, stereotype, prejudice, etc. Those factors may lead to miscommunication and communication breakdown. Thus, culture shock is an inevitable consequence of these chains. In general, there is no immediate solution that works effectively in all situations to avoid culture shock. What is considered appropriate in one culture may be seen as highly inappropriate in another. The appropriate way to use conversational distance is to observe and adapt ourselves to the circumstances. The sequent chains of culture shock can be illustrated as in the following chart: CULTURE SHOCK COMMUNICATION BREAKDOWN MISCOMMUNICATION MISUNDERSTANDING MISINTERPRETATION Stereotype Prejudice Inferior/ Superior ... Ethnocentrism [CCC-Nguyen Quang] In this research, we should also take into consideration the culture shock happening between naticenative and non-native speakers of a language, and of American or Vietnamese in particular, because of unawareness of culrualcultural differences. Culture shock results from different values, perception, norms that lead to different inference as well as misinterpretation in both verbal and non-verbal communication, which finally may lead to communication breakdown. Being well aware of the potential shocking situation may save people from culture shock and communication breakdown. Based on the author’s survey and observation, the Vietnamese and American tend to use social distance mostly in common communication. It can be explained that both Vietnam and the US belong to low-contact culture. However, in particular cases, the result may prove to be different or even opposite. A closer look in particular case will clarify the point. American people tend to use close phase of intimate distance when showing intimate emotion with mothers more than Vietnamese. It is used by 40% of the American in compared with only 15% by Vietnamese informants. For the Americans, there is not much difference whether between brothers or sisters in keeping of intimate distance when showing intimate emotion or close phase of personal distance in common communication. Whereas, Vietnamese people tend to keep closer distance with their sister than brother. The research shows that about 20% American use intimate distance and 30% use close phase of personal distance in common communication while 16% and 30% Why two statistics whereas only one for American? used for upper case What do you mean? and 20% and 35% used for latter case What do you mean? by Vietnamese. It is applied for every case that if the communicative partners are of the same sex then closer distance is more popular with Vietnamese informants. Conversely, if two American opposite sex informants are conversing, they find close phase easier, freeerfreer and more conventional. III. Suggestion for further study For the purpose of promoting mutual understanding in cross-cultural communication, the contrastive study of conversational distance presented here is only a modest contribution. The author is fully aware that there are some important questions remaining unanswered. Other verbal as well as nonverbal factors used in combination with conversational distance or haveinghaving certain effect on conversational distance are left untouched such as: Intralanguage factors: topic of conversation, Paralanguage factors: vocal characteristics (pitch, volume, intonation...) Extralanguage factors: body language, environmental language... Every effort had been made for the thesis to be sufficiently explicit. The author hopes that by the time you, the readers, have reached this part, you will have gained a useful insight into an aspect of cross-cultural communication. However, shortcomings are inevitable and shethe author should be is pleased to hear any comments from the readers. BibliographyIBLIOGRAPHY IN ENGLISH Axtell, R.E. (1998). Gestures - The Do’s and Taboos of Body Language around the World. John Wiley & Son, Inc.. Beisler, F., Scheeres, H., & Pinner, D. (1997). Communication Skills. 2nd Edition. Longman. Berko, R.M., Wolvin, A.D., & Wolvin, D.R. (1989). Communicating: A Social and Career Focus. Fourth edition. Houghton Mifflin Company. Boston. Brown, R.B amdand Johnson, D., (2004). The power of handshaking. Virginia: Capital books. Dao Thi Thu Trang (2007) - A Vietnamese - American Cross-cultural study of touching behaviour - M.A. Combined Program Thesis. VNU-CFL. Do Thi Mai Thanh (2000) - Some English - Vietnamese Cross-cultural differences in reequestingrequesting - M.A Thesis. VNU-CFL. Dwyer, J. (2000). The Business Communication Handbook. Fifth Edition. Prentice Hall. Hall, E.T. (1963). Proxemics-The Study of Man’s Spacial Relations and BounderiesBoundaries. In Man’s Image in Medicine and Anthropology, p.p.422-45. New York: International Universities Press. Hybels, S. & Weaver II, R.L (1992) Communicating effectively. Von Hoffman Press Inc.. Hall, E.T. (1974). The Silent Language. Doubleday & Co. New York. Kramsch, Claire (1998) Language and culture. Oxford University Press. Levine, D.R. & Adelman, M.B (1982) Beyond Language - Intercultural Communication for English as a Second Language. Prentice-Hall, Inc., Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey. Mai Thach Lam (2007) - A study on Vietnamese - English Cross-cultural communication in sitting postures - M.A Minor Thesis. VNU-CFL. Mehrabian, A. (1972) Nonverbal Communication. Wadsworth, Belmont. California. Chicago: Aidine-Atherton. Nguyen Quang. (1998). Cross-cultural Communication. CFL - Vietnam National University - Hanoi. Pease, A. (1993) Body Language. Sheldon Press, London. Phan Thi Van Quyen (2001) - Some English - Vietnamese Cross-cultural differences in refusing a request - M.A Thesis. - VNU-CFL. Thwaites, T. & Davis, L & Mules, W. (1994) Tools for cultural studies - An introduction. Macmillan PhublishersPublishers Australia. Wright, A. (1987) How to communicate successfully. Cambridge University press, Cambridge. Verderber, R.F. (1990) Communicate. Wadsworth Publishing Company, Belmont, California. Zimmerman, G.I. & Owen, J.L & Seibert, D.R (1986) Speech Communication. West Publishing Company. Zanger, V.V. (1993) Face to face. Heinle & Heinle Publishers, Boston, USA. IN VIETNAMESE Nguyễn Quang, (2002) Giao tiếp và giao tiếp giao văn hóa, NXB Đại học Quốc gia Hà Nội Nguyễn Quang, (2003) Giao tiếp nội văn hóa và giao tiếp giao văn hóa. NXB Đại học Quốc gia Hà Nội Nguyễn Quang (Sắp xuất bản) Giao tiếp phi ngôn từ qua các nền văn hóa. INTERNET SOURCES Appendix A Survey QuestionnaireURVEY QUESTIONAIRE This survey questionairequestionnaire is designed for my research into “A Vietnamese-American cross-cultural study of conversational distance”. Your assistance in completing the following items is highly appreciated. You can be confident that this questionairequestionnaire is for research purpose only, and that you will not be indentifiedidentified in any discussion of the data. Would you kindly return the completed questionairequestionnaire to me prior to 31st January, 2009. Thank you very much! Please tick (√) where appropriate: Your age: - Under 20 - From 20 to 40 - Above 40 Your gender: - Male - Female Your marital status: - Married - Single Your occupation: _______________________________________________________ Area where you have spent most of your time: - Urban - Rural Conversational Distances (Distance between you and your partner during conversing) Your mother Your father Your brother Your sister Close friend Your acquaintance Your colleague Your boss Same sex Opposite sex Same sex Opposite sex Same sex Opposite sex A: 0-6 inches (0-15 cm) B: 6-18 inches (15-46 cm) C: 1.5-2.5 feet (0.46-0.77 m) D: 2.5-4 feet (0.77-1.23 m) E: 4-7 feet (1.23-2.16 m) F: 7-12 feet (2.16-3.7 m) G: 12-15 feet (3.7-4.6 m) H: 15-25 feet (4.6-7.7 m) 2. Identify how often you use this kind of conversational distance. Please tick (√) where appropriate. Very often Sometimes Rarely Never Your mother Your father Your brother Your sister Close friend Same sex Opposite sex Your acquaintance Same sex Opposite sex Your colleague Same sex Opposite sex Your boss Appendix B Bản điều traẢN ĐIỀU TRA Chúng tôi soạn bản điều tra này nhằm tìm hiểu về các khoảng cách tham thoại của người Việt. Các dữ liệu thu thập được sẽ được sử dụng cho để phân tích của một cho luận văn cao học chứ không nhằm mục đích nào khác. Xin quý vị vui lòng dành chút thời gian trả lời các câu hỏi trong bản điều tra này nhằm giúp chúng tôi hoàn thành việc nghiên cứu khoa học. Xin khẳng định cùng quý cam kết vị rằng chúng tôi sẽ không nêu danh tính của quý vị trong bất cứ trường hợp nào. Xin cảm ơn quý vị. Xin quý vị cho biết thông tin về bản thân mình (Bằng cách đánh dấu (√) vào ô thích hơp) Tuổi: - Dưới 20 - Từ 20 đến 40 - Trên 40 Giới tính: - Nam - Nữ Tình trạng hôn nhân: - Đã lập gia đình - Chưa lập gia đình Nghề nghiệp: _______________________________________________________ Nơi quý vị sống lâu nhất: - Thành thị - Nông thôn Khoảng cách tham thoạiPlease add the instruction for Question 1. (Khoảng cách giữa bạn và các đối tác khi đối thoại) Mẹ của bạn Bố của bạn Anh trai của bạn Chị gái của bạn Bạn thân của bạn Người quen của bạn Đồng nghiệp của bạn Cấp trên của bạn Cùng giới tính Khác giới tính Cùng giới tính Khác giới tính Cùng giới tính Khác giới tính A: 0-6 inches Do you think we should only use cm for Vietnamese version? (0-15 cm) B: 6-18 inches (15-46 cm) C: 1.5-2.5 feet (0.46-0.77 m) D: 2.5-4 feet (0.77-1.23 m) E: 4-7 feet (1.23-2.16 m) F: 7-12 feet (2.16-3.7 m) G: 12-15 feet (3.7-4.6 m) H: 15-25 feet (4.6-7.7 m) 2. Xác định mức độ thường xuyên khi bạn sử dụng loại khoảng cách này tớivới những đối tượng đàm thoại sau đây. Xin đ. Đánh dấu (√) vào ô thích hợp. Rất thường xuyên Thỉnh thoảng Hiếm khi Không bao giờ Mẹ của bạn Bố của bạn Anh trai của bạn Chị gái của bạn Bạn thân của bạn Cùng giới tính Khác giới tính Người quen của bạn Cùng giới tính Khác giới tính Đồng nghiệp của bạn Cùng giới tính Khác giới tính Sếp của bạnYour bossPlease change

Các file đính kèm theo tài liệu này:

  • docA vietnamese - american cross-cultural study of conversational distances.doc
Luận văn liên quan