Exploring Communication through Media FEATUREING: lost In Translation At this time you should have: A pencil A copy book A tenth Edition, Understanding Human Communication text book by Ronald B. Adler and George Rodman, (ISBN 978-0-19-533612-2)
A Jacob Frost Presenta/on
Culture and Language
Exercise: 1b Bob as an outsider “Using language is more than just choosing a par4cular group of words to convey an idea. Each language has its own unique style that dis4nguishes it from others. And when a communicator tries to use the verbal style from one culture in a diﬀerent one, problems are likely to arise” (Adler, Rodman,2009, p. 93)
– – –
More? (pun) If Bob was not so great at his job would the director have been able to get the shoots he wanted? The director seems to know a good deal about American culture and the English language yet it is s/ll diﬃcult for him to replicate the verbal style: “close your face please.” + other lack of communica/on.
This ﬁlm features two opposing cultures in terms of communica4on, exempliﬁed through this clip. Tradi4onally Japanese communica4on is known to be high context and American low context.
Low Context •
• “Communicators talk “around the point, allowing others to fill “Uses language primarily to express thoughts, feelings, in the missing pieces. Ambiguity and use of silence admired”. and ideas as clearly and logically as possible. Self(Adler, Rodman,2009, p. 93) expression valued.” (Adler, Rodman,2009, p. 93) • The Director always has Bobs “face” on his mind, as in • Bob: “I think I know what you want”, “I should be he stays away from ever being abrasive to Bob. doing movies" (which is not what the director was Compared to Bob who communicates exactly what he is suggesting), “ill just think where’s where's the thinking: “I don’t get that close…” “this is not whisky” whisky” and has less of a problem with going against what the
director is saying to express how he feels.
• This difference in communication stems from the cultural differences around raising children, particularly in how we teach them to say “no”. • Research shows that Japanese mothers rarely deny the request of their young children by saying “no”. Instead they use other strategies: ignoring…
• Because American norms for talk are diﬀerent it is common, and therefore expected, for American parents to “just say no.”
• This is the essence of why Linguis4c rela4vism is the key word for this ﬁlm, and why Bob feels the need to crack jokes in this clip. It’s why Bobs character is in general out of his element in Japan. • “Linguis/c rela/vism: The no/on that the world‐view of a culture is shaped and reﬂected by the language its members speak.” (Pilar, 2009, p.1)
• So we can see why bobs character clashes so much in this culture because of the differences in communication. Bob follows a American life style, on top of having a unique sense of humor which is constantly putting him at odds with his surroundings throughout the film. Unfortunately this isn't the only place he is having difficulty with communication, more on that later. This film features a medplot which is basically a theme within a theme: Charlotte and her husband send each other confusing messages, their relationship is lacking. Bob’s relationship with his wife is lacking, although we are never told why but there is miscommunication involved in their phone calls and they fail to translate each others feelings. The other theme is the title of the film, the two Americans struggling to communicate in a foreign land. •
“China's Tang Dynasty, one of the most culturally diverse dynasties in East Asian history, still insisted upon educating all of its officials in Chinese language, poetry, and Confucianism, the state philosophy, though one did not have to be ethnically or racially Chinese to be considered a Tang Dynasty citizen. Well-connected members of any empire usually were versed in several languages and were exposed to many cultures as part of their duties, or lifestyle, so that language was not relevant to citizenship.” (Pilar, 2009, p.1)
Communication and identity management
VVV. Culture and Language aren’t Bob’s only problem in his lack of communication
• Perceived self <- • The person we believe ourselves to be in moments of candor. It may be identical with or different from the presenting and ideal selves.
• Presenting self -> • The image a person presents to others. It may be identical to or different from the perceived and ideal selves
• We strive to construct multiple identities <-
Exercise: 2b • Clip 1“Another study showed that communicators engage in facial mimicry (such as smiling or looking sympathetic in response to another's message) in face to face setting only when their expressions can be seen by the other person”. (Adler, Rodman,2009, p. 57) • When she is not grasping that he is not having fun She is mad at Bob for having an affair with someone other than her.
They argue by not so subtly by insulting each other
• Clip 3 “There are certainly advantages to being a high selfmonitor. People who pay attention to themselves are generally good actors who can create the impression they want, acting interested when bored, or friendly when they really feel quite the opposite. This allows them to handle social situations smoothly, often putting others at ease.” (Adler, Rodman,2009, p. 56) • He becomes professional when work is involved
Exercise: 3a Intimacy in Interpersonal Relationships Bob and Charlotte go through a multitude of levels of Intimacy.
“Culture also plays a role in shaping how much intimacy we seek in different types of relationships. For instance, the Japanese seem to expect more intimacy in friendship, whereas Americans look for more intimacy in romantic relationships with a boy- or girlfriend, Fiancée, or spouse.” (Adler, Rodman, 2009, p.162)
Exercise: 3b • •
“Section: CURRENTS IN MODERN THOUGHT: ESSAYS If we can believe the experts, the standard for healthy intimacy in love relationships between men and women is female, and maleness is a disease in desperate need of a cure. Men, say social scientists, have a "trained incapacity to share" and have learned to overvalue independence and to fear emotional involvement. Female friendships, claim the intimacy experts, are based on emotional bonding and mutual support, and male friendships on competition, emotional inhibition, and aggression. Social scientists have also pathologized maleness because men typically view love as action, or doing things for another, while women view love as talking and acknowledging feelings. In fairness to the intimacy experts, what they say about differences in the behavior of men and women has been well documented. Numerous studies have shown that men feel close to other men when working or playing side by side, while women feel close to other women when talking face to face. Male group behavior is characterized by an emphasis on space, privacy, and autonomy, and female group behavior by a need to feel included, connected, and attached. Male conversation tends to center around activities (sports, politics, work), and personal matters are discussed in terms of strengths and achievements. Female conversation, in contrast, is more likely to center around feelings and relationships, and there is considerably less reluctance to reveal fears and weaknesses. Men and women also appear to experience intimacy in disparate ways. In men's relationships with other men, the index of intimacy is the degree of comfort and relaxation felt when engaged in activities, such as helping a friend move furniture or repair cars. Even when men comfort one another in crisis situations, like the loss of a family member or a spouse, it is physical presence, rather than intimate talk, that tends to be most valued.”(Nadeau, 1996, p. 11)
• “Until recently most social scientists believe that women are better at developing and maintaining intimate relationships than men. This belief grew from the assumption that the disclosure of personal information is the most important ingredient of intimacy. Most research does show the women )taken as a group, of course) are more willing than men to share their thoughts and feelings.” (Adler, Rodman,2009, p.181)
• “Sex and dating are two issues that concern evangelical parents. In the controversial book I Kissed Dating Goodbye, author Joshua Harris encourages Christian young people to evaluate our dating culture. It is not so much a book against dating as a book encouraging single people to love with what Harris calls "smart love." Smart love concentrates on loving God and others before one's self, whereas the primary thought when dating is often, "What can I get out of this?" Harris believes our dating culture has many flaws: it brings intimacy but not commitment, it tends to skip the friendship stage, and it makes a physical relationship seem like love. He says dating isolates a couple from important relationships, distracts a person from preparing for the future, and often does not let someone see the true character of another person. Harris writes that God gives us singleness as a gift, for a time. In his opinion, there is no magic formula for finding the right life partner, but there are principles for relationships. They should start out as a casual friendship, go into deeper friendship, then go into intimacy with integrity (morality and honesty), and then engagement. He believes the pattern of having many intimate relationships with boyfriends and girlfriends that frequently break up sets the stage for divorce later in life”. (Harris, 2005, p. 87)
Thank you for participating in this digital learning presentation. Please turn your copybooks in to the teacher or head of class
While studying ﬁlm and communica/on did you ﬁnd actors to be more or less realis/c? Please type a 25 page word essay on the maaer for next class. Alterna/ve: This ﬁlm was seen as insensi/ve to the Japanese culture. Do you feel this was so? How can improper communica/on aﬀect this? Please prepare a 30 minute lecture for next class.
References Adler, R.B.A, & Rodman, G.R. (2009). Understanding human communica$on. New York: Oxford University Press. Coppola, S.. (2003). Lost in Transla/on. Various loca/ons in Tokyo: Focus Features. Harris, J.H. (2005). Could you kiss da$ng goodbye?. Born Again Believers: evangelicals & charisma$cs , 1, 87. Nadeau, N.R.L. (1996). Brain sex and the language of love. Sexual Poli$cs & the Feminist Movement, 12(11), 10. Pilar, Q.P. (2009). Mul$culturalism: an overview. Great Neck, 1(1), 1. Watson, S.W. (2009). What does a Stranger's choice of drink tell you about who they really are?. New Statesman, 133(4705), p56‐56.