THE SIGNIFICANCE OF ROLE BEHAVIOR DIFFERENTIATION FOR CROSS-CULTURAL INTERACTION TRAINING.
ILLINOIS UNIV URBANA GROUP EFFECTIVENESS RESEARCH LAB
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In order to teach people to conduct themselves effectively with people belonging to another culture, it appears necessary to identify intercultural differences which are critical in working cooperatively in heterogeneous cultural groups. A theoretical analysis of the development of the distinction of roles, in and between social systems, of traditional and modern cultures, leads to the hypotheses that traditional cultures emphasize the distinction between roles of the same system, whereas the modern culture tends to emphasize the distinction between comparable roles of different systems. These hypotheses were tested through a study of the contents of a program of cultural formation which appears to improve the performance and the interpersonal relations of an individual in working with heterocultural groups. The program is comprised of 55 episode-problems in which the student tries to find the causes of the conflict. The episode-problems are drawn from critical incidents described during the course of conversations by individuals who have had intercultural experience as well as from the sacred literature of the culture under consideration, the Middle East. The results confirm the hypotheses and show that the distinction of roles constitutes an important domain in intercultural formation. An analysis of the aspects of the contents of the program of formation is presented and utilized to formulate several propositions toward systematizing the program. The relationship between socialization and formation in view of acculturation is also briefly discussed.
- Sociology and Law
- Humanities and History