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Cross-Cultural
Communication
[CCC]
Presented by:
Norio Ota
Department of Languages, Literatures and
Linguistics
York University
Prologue: recent events

US submarine and sunk Ehime-maru
 U.S. spy plane and downed Chinese jet
fighter
 Japan & China - demanding apologies
 Offering apologies - common courtesy
 “Sorry for what happened.”
 Offering apologies - admitting guilt and
responsibility [U.S.]
CCC Exercises

Bowing with greetings
 Counting numbers with hands
 Eye-contact
 Chiming-in
 Negative questions and Yes and No
 Other nonverbal communication
What is Cross-Cultural
Communication?

Communication is CCC.
 CCC is Discipline.
 CCC is Action.
 CCC is Practice.
– Networking.
– Globalization.
– Sustainability.
– Multi-culturalism.
Communication is CCC.
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CCC bridges gaps between sub-cultures.
Every institution has its own sub-culture.
Family, marriage, friendship, school
Cross-gender
Cross-generation
Cross-occupation
Cross-position
University: Students, Staff, Faculty, Techies,
Administrators…
CCC is Discipline.

CCC is an interdisciplinary discipline.
 CCC cuts across human activities.
 CCC sheds light on unnoticed aspects.
 CCC can explain why and how people
behave.
 CCC is applicable to other cultural and subcultural situations.
CCC is Action.

CCC is not a theory, but an action.
 CCC requires knowledge, training and
application.
 CCC enhances cross-cultural
communicative competence.
 CCC improves 1st and 2nd language
communicative ability.
 Nonverbal communication
CCC is Practice.

Networking
 Globalization
 Sustainability
 Multi-culturalism
 Anti-racism
 World peace
CCC is Networking.

CCC helps to network horizontally and
vertically.
 CCC becomes foundation for
communication network.
 Network is evolutionary.
 CCC breaks through isolationism.
 CCC reduces racism.
CCC is Globalization.

CCC prepares people to manage and
survive in new environment.
 CCC creates people who share similar
values.
 CCC appreciates both similarities and
differences.
 CCC is instrumental to world peace.
CCC is Sustainability.

CCC enhances knowledge and
understanding other cultures.
 CCC appreciates diversities and different
values.
 CCC creates sustainable environment for
individual cultures.
CCC fights against marginalization in
globalization.
CCC is Multi-culturalism.

CCC promotes multi-culturalism and antiracism.
 CCC enhances cross-racial understanding,
knowledge and communication.
 CCC has niche in Canada because of its
diversity and policies.
 CCC makes Mosaic possible.
Contrastive Approach

Key notions to describe Japanese culture, society
and psyche
 Japanese vs. English
 Video
– Giving and Receiving Favors
– Education
Japanese vs. English
Cognitive/Discourse/Textual
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Japanese
holistic
general
descriptive
situational
context-dependent
elliptical
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English
analytic
specific
explanatory
less situational
context-independent
exhaustive
[redundant]
Japanese vs. English
Sociolinguistic/Pragmatic
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Japanese
formal
indirect [indecisive]
rank-conscious
submissive
concessive
agreeable [understanding]
appreciative
apologetic
modest [reserved]
responsive
less exclamatory
less derogative
less rewarding
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English
informal
direct [decisive]
egalitarian
independent
self-determined
competitive [challenging,provocative]
less appreciative
self-righteous
boastful [proud]
less responsive
exclamatory [exaggerative]
derogative
rewarding
Japanese vs. English
Psycholinguistic
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Japanese
Introversive
[inconspicuous]
 collective
 subjective [intuitive]
 emotional [sentimental]
 pessimistic [negative]
 retrospective

English
extroversive
[conspicuous]
 individualistic
 objective [logical]
 rational
 optimistic [positive]
 prospective
Case Studies

Rules of Conversation
– Monologue vs. Dialogue
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Accountability
– Accountability vs. Responsibility
– Informed Consent
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Negotiation
–
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–
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Genuine concerns
Achievement
Majority support
Compromise
Epilogue

CCC starts right at home.
 Speaking the same language with different
subcultures
 Effort in finding out about others
 How far do you go?
– Beyond cultural relativism
– Establishing inclusive but critical and selective
common criteria
References

Benedict, Ruth (1946) The Chrysanthemum and the
Sword:
Patterns of Japanese Culture, Boston.
 Christopher, Robert (1984) Japanese Mind, Pan.
 Hall, Edward T. & Mildred Reed Hall (1987) Hidden
Differences: Doing Business with the Japanese,

New York: Anchor Press.
 Nakane, Chie (1970) Japanese Society, Penguin.
 Sakamoto, Nancy & Naotsuka, Reiko (1982) Polite
Fictions: Why Japanese and Americans seem rude

to each other, Tokyo: Kinseido.
Contact
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Norio Ota
Coordinator, Japanese & Computing
Department of Languages, Literatures and Linguistics
York University
Phone: (416)736-5016 x88750
Fax: (416)736-5483
E-mail: [email protected]
Web: http://buna.yorku.ca/