Social psychology (psychology)/Tutorials/Cross-cultural training

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Resource type: this resource contains a tutorial or tutorial notes.
Completion status: this resource is considered to be complete.

Purpose[edit | edit source]

The purpose of this tutorial is to:

  1. Develop academic knowledge and experiential skills for developing effective behaviour in cross-cultural contexts (building on the communication tutorial and the relationships lecture);
  2. Explore culture shock and the stages of cultural adaptation
  3. Understand the process of cultural mapping

Equipment[edit | edit source]

  1. Name tags & markers

The story of my name[edit | edit source]

Each person has "a story behind their name".
  1. This is an introductory cross-cultural communication exercise intended for exploration of one's cultural heritage and the cultural heritage of others, as represented by our names.
  2. A second purpose of this exercise is to develop communication and presentation skills.
  1. Ask participants to partner up with someone in the room whom they do not know very well (however, most students seem to prefer and be more comfortable doing this exercise with someone they know a bit).
  2. Ask students to interview one other about the "story of their name", e.g.,
    • Find out about first, middle, and last names - also ask about nicknames and self-chosen names such as "screen names"; consider e.g.,
      • What does each mean?
      • Why was each chosen?
      • What is the personal/family/cultural history behind each name?
      • How do these names "work" in the "real world" - are there problems?
  3. Allow ~15-20 minutes for the interviews (~5-10 mins each partner)
  4. Each person presents "the story behind their partner's name" to the whole group (helps to reinforce the [[Social psychology (psychology)/Tutorials/Tutorials/Communication|communication skills tutorial] - e.g., participants should clarify their understanding of the story behind their partner's name with their partner before presenting).
  5. Allow approx. 20 minutes for each person to share the story behind their partner's name (depends on size of group; ~1-2 mins per person introduced)
  6. Tutor writes names on a whiteboard (as they are introduced) because often difficult or unusual names are not clearly pronounced and hence not clearly understood.
  7. See also: The story of my name (Wilderdom)

How Australian are you?[edit | edit source]

  1. In 2008, we tried asking people about their cultural identity and whilst somewhat revealing at times, most struggled to understand or describe what this might consist of for themselves.
  2. Thus, for future tutorials, an idea is to instead explore the question "How Australian are you?". Invite students to self-rate themelves on a 1-10 scale (1 = not very Australia; 10 = very Australia) and to plot their score on the whiteboard..
  3. Discuss why or why not different people consider themselves as having an "Australian identity". This would also help lead into the next tutorial on the "Australian Zeitgeist".

What is culture?[edit | edit source]

Purpose: This is an introductory exercise to explore the abstract concept of "culture" by "making it strange" or "defamiliarising" (ostranenie) and then trying to (re)build a shared understanding of what it is, at least from a social psychological perspective.

  • Ask the class to define "culture"
    • Note: Culture contains the word cult - ask what the difference is between cult and culture
  • Concept map answers on the whiteboard
  • Encourage the class to develop a tight, dictionary-like definition.
Guarnaccia and Rodriguez (1996) assert that culture is not static. It is not just a thing, but also a process that impacts everything we do, know, and perceive. "Culture serves as the web that structures human thought, emotion, and interaction. Culture provides a variety of resources for dealing with major life changes and challenges, including serious illness and hospitalization. Culture is continuously being shaped by social processes such as migration and acculturation. Cultures vary not only by national, regional, or ethnic background, but by age, gender, and social class. Much of culture is embedded in and communicated by language; language cannot be understood or used outside its cultural context." Hogg Foundation for Mental Health, accessed 19/09/2007

Additional activity: Cultural identity

Culture shock[edit | edit source]

  • What is it? (define)
  • Why does it occur?
  • Who has experienced culture shock (or knows someone who has?) (ask for examples)
    • What were the lead up circumstances?
    • What were the symptoms? (consider Affect, Behaviour, and Cognition)
    • What happened afterwards? How was it dealt with?
  • How can it be dealt with, minimised or prevented? (this is dealt with in the next section)

Cultural adaptation[edit | edit source]

Dhaka, Bangladesh. How would you respond and adapt?
  • Ask students what phases might be involved in cultural adaptation:
    • Culture shock doesn't come out of nowhere, and that it doesn't necessarily last. So, what is the process - what sorts of experiences does someone have in a new culture?
    • Encourage students along these lines to see how much of the thinking behind the following stages of cultural adaptation they can generate (usually much of it).
  • Present and discuss Winkelman's stages of cultural adaptation.
  • Ask participants whether they can think of (and share) instances in their own lives (or the lives of others) when they've experienced at least some of the suggested stages of cultural adaptation.

Strategies for adaptation[edit | edit source]

  • How can we help a person to culturally adapt?
    • Consider what could be help someone adapt, as a warmup for the cultural mapping exercises
  • Ask students to propose ideas about how to help someone adapt culturally?
  • Scenario: Sarah has been to assigned to coordinate a 12 month social development program being operated by an international aid agency in a refugee camp in Africa.
    • How could Sarah prepare to cope with the challenges of cultural adaptation that she might face?

Cultural mapping[edit | edit source]

Overview[edit | edit source]

The cultural mapping technique draws on experiential, learning, social-cognitive, group-based development theories, such as used in the EXCELL (Excellence in Experiential Learning and Leadership) cross-cultural competency training program (for more information, see the Sociocultural competencies lecture) which utilise these ABCD training steps:

  1. Alliance building and assessment: Participants are encouraged to explain how they would approach the specific task in their original culture and the underlying values for such behaviours.
  2. Cultural mapping: Generate a cultural map (with specific, micro-steps for how to perform the given task in the new culture) (with help from experts) . The cultural map is laid out in four stages of interactions, the ABCD model :
    1. Approach: Making initial contact
    2. Bridging: Building a relationship
    3. Commenting: Communicating the key message
    4. Developing/Closure: Closing and setting up next contact
  3. Demonstration and coaching: The trainers model the cultural competency by role-playing a practice scenario, and demonstrating the sequence of micro skills represented in the cultural map. Subsequent simulations are then encouraged from the participants, with the trainers providing corrective feedback and conducting re teaching where appropriate.
  4. Homework and review: Participants then find real life scenarios in which to practice their newly-learnt cultural skills, reporting back to the group about their experiences in the next session.

What is cultural mapping?[edit | edit source]

  • A sociocultural training technique.
  • A clear, simple, step-by-step description of one effective and appropriate way of behaving in a specific social situation, with explanation for why these behaviours are preferred.
  • Involves making explicit the script for achieving tasks in socio-cultural settings with which one is unfamiliar, i.e., this explicit script can function as a 'map' for navigating new social territory.
  • In particular, a cultural map makes explicit the usually unwritten, specific ways of competent behaving in a particular context.
  • It is first necessary to define a skill or competency one wishes to perform in the unfamiliar culture, e.g., disagreeing with someone.

How to construct a cultural map[edit | edit source]

  • It can be helpful to initially map how the competency is performed in a familiar culture setting. Then move on to map how it is performed in the new culture (according to what has been observed about the new culture and with the aid of cultural experts), e.g., "What do people who effectively disagree in culture x do?"? Include verbal and non-verbal responses, with examples.
  • Break-down the behaviours into precise, observable, sequential steps which can be reproduced by an observer.
  • It can be helpful to structure cultural maps using the ABCD model (Ishiyama, 1998)
    • Attending
    • Bridging
    • Commenting
    • Developing/Closing
  • Other suggestions for constructing cultural maps
  • Provide cultural explanations behind the behaviours, and compared with the cultural explanations of the learners.
  • Provide alternative strategies and behaviours.
  • Offered as one socially appropriate, context-specific way to navigate in the new culture, but not prescriptions to follow without question.

Demonstrating development of a cultural map[edit | edit source]

Demonstrate the process of cultural mapping using an example chosen by the class:

  • Choose a cultural context and select a skill e.g.,
    • an Australian university and asking a lecturer for help might be a familiar one
    • how to approach and enter someone's house in Rwandan culture might be unfamiliar
  • In in a novel culture, a cultural map can be helpful guide; just as a geographical map might be

helpful for getting around in an unfamiliar place.

Cultural mapping example
A university student seeking help from a lecturer in a twenty-first century Western culture
  1. Approach: The first stage is to approach the lecturer. The tasks involved in this stage include:
    • choosing an appropriate time to see the lecturer (e.g., during the lecturer's consultation time)
    • knocking on the office door and waiting for a "come in" response before moving into the office
    • making eye contact
    • facing the lecturer, and
    • maintaining an open body gesture.
  2. Bridging: The bridging stage comes next. It links the initial approach stage to the next stage of making the request to the lecturer. Appropriate bridging word phrases and short questions include, saying in a normal clear voice, e.g.,
    • "Excuse me...", "Do you have a minute?"
    • "Is this a good time for me to ask you and I would like some help with ... ".
  3. Commenting: The third stage is the commenting stage where the request is clearly explained. The task here is to state the request or issue clearly, directly, and succinctly, and supporting the request with relevant documents if appropriate. The student may check if the meaning is clear.
  4. Developing/Closure: The fourth stage is the developing/closure stage where the dialogue may continue around the responses to the request and eventually lead to a closure of the social encounter. At closure, the student can briefly thank the lecturer for his/her time and advice before leaving the room. For example, the student could say
    • "I really appreciate your help with this", or
    • "Thank you, I will see you at the next class".

Additional exercises: Cultural map development and Cultural map role-plays

Discussion[edit | edit source]

  • Ask class for suggestions about the strengths and weaknesses of cultural mapping and thoughts about how it could be applied.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. The EXCELL Intercultural Skills Programme
  2. Fabrizio, S., & Neill, J. T. (2005). Cultural adaptation in outdoor programming. Australian Journal of Outdoor Education, 9(2), 44-56.
  3. Knott, V., Mak, A., & Neill, J. T. (2013). Teaching intercultural competencies in introductory psychology via reflection and application of the EXCELL model. Australian Journal of Psychology, 65(1), 46-53. doi:10.1111/ajpy.12008 | See also: Project website
  4. Mak, A. (2000). Extending social skills for success, 3-4.
  5. Mak, A. (in press). Embedding intercultural competence development in the health psychology curriculum. Psychology Learning and Teaching.
  6. Mak, A., Barker, M., Logan, *., & Millman, *. (1999). Benefits of cultural diversity.
  7. Mak, A. (2007). Sociocultural competencies: Lecture notes. University of Canberra.
  8. Winkelman, M. (1994). Cultural shock and adaptation. Journal of Counseling & Development, 73, 121-126.

See also[edit | edit source]

  1. Cultural identity
  2. Cultural map development
  3. Cultural map role-plays
  4. E-portfolio reflections on this tutorial e.g., Jenny O, JennaC, Mimosa Forsyth, Kim Crocker, Dskrzecz, Betsy, U3012675, Bel, Tim Malysiak, more
  5. Tutor notes

External links[edit | edit source]

  1. Internationalisation at home: Enhancing intercultural capabilities of Business and Health teachers, students and curricula (2011-2012)

ucspace[edit | edit source]

  1. Tutorial Cross-cultural training I (2007)
  2. Tutorial Cross-cultural training II (2007)
  3. Cross-cultural training tutorial (ucspace)
  4. Cross-cultural psychology (2007 overview)

jtneill ([edit | edit source]

  1. Culture
  2. Culture shock
  3. Cultural adaptation