Dr Jon Mills Crosscultural Understanding Cultural Bias • Interpreting and judging phenomena by standards inherent to one’s own culture Cultural Bias • For example People who read English often assume that it is natural to scan a visual field from left to right and from top to bottom. Cultural Bias • For example In the United States it is typical for the "on" position of a toggle switch to be "up", whereas in the UK, Australia, and New Zealand it is "down.“ In these countries, North is the top of a map, Up is usually the larger quantity and better, as well. Cultural Bias • For example Japanese do not place an X in a check-box to indicate acceptance — this indicates refusal. Discussion 1.Can you think of any more examples of cultural bias? 2.What misunderstandings do you think might occur because of such cultural bias? Stereotyping • When someone claims that members of another culture all share the same, often inferior or offensive characteristics. Types of stereotypes • racial e.g. Red Indians in cowboy films are seen as bloodthirsty savages • gender e.g. women are bad drivers • age e.g. old people are said to be very forgetful • religion e.g. Catholics families have a lot of children • profession e.g. all lawyers are greedy The typical Frenchman Historical basis The typical Englishman Basis in fiction Gender stereotypes in children's movies http://youtu.be/O4BxGtWvsvo African Men. Hollywood Stereotypes Stereotyping Muslims Different cultural assumptions • People may misinterpret each other's motives. For example, • One group may assume that they are simply exchanging information about what they believe, • but the other believes that they are negotiating a change in behaviour. References Douglas, Mary (1982) "Cultural Bias," in: Douglas, M.: In the Active Voice, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul; 183-254. Andersen, Margaret L. & Howard Francis Taylor (2006). Sociology: Understanding a Diverse Society. Thomson Wadsworth. Seidner, Stanley S. (1982) Ethnicity, Language, and Power from a Psycholinguistic Perspective. Bruxelles: Centre de recherche sur le pluralinguisme.