Definition and Short essay Example

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PART A: A Brief Analytical Definition


Bricolage is a practice whereby people are allowed to create cultural identities in order to get objects from social divisions. An example is the punk movement where objects with no meaning from dominant cultures give new meanings through the process of acquisition. In the punk culture the safety pin became a type of decoration after acquisition (Denzin & Lincolin, 2011). A French scholar named Claude Levi Strauss in 1962 identified it. He was a scholar at college de France and later appointed as a member of Academic Francaise, which is a body that concentrated on matters concerning French language.

Culture is ordinary”

This term means all societies have their own shapes, purposes and meanings. The idea behind it is that what really forms a society is the common meaning and directions. Its growth is argued as under the pressure from experiences, discoveries and contacts. Examples include down-the-nose with impressions like music being the only culture and bad mouthing that viewed culture as high, labeling it as high brows and do gooders. Raymond Williams, a researcher in wide culture and New left, is the first scholar who used the term (Williams, 2011). His work founded cultural studies and the approach to cultural materials.

Ethnicity is simply the difference in a variety of cultural groups based on their races, and minority groups, for instance the Jains, Tamils and the Sikhs (Ginneken, 2007). While Premodialism views ethnicity as social bond that is externally given, Instrumentalism views it as a strategy on politics applied for the interest of certain groups. This term was first initiated and used by an American sociologist as well as anthropologist William Lloyd Warner (1898-1970) during community studies on the «Yankee City».


Othering is a situation whereby particular people classify some groups of people or individuals as not being part of them. It is commonly practiced is in political partnership. In this case, if particular people are not a particular party then they are viewed and regarded as ‘others’. The desire to associate with one part arises and one is forced to support the policies of that group to feel a sense of identity (Jensen, 2012). An Indian philosopher and literal theorist famed for his critics on culture, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, first used it. He focuses on those marginalized by western cultures.

These are values, dispositions and expectations by a certain social group acquired from the day to day activities of life. It is simply a mind structure with the different characteristics such as sensibilities, dispositions, tastes and good plans acquired. For instance where a particular behavior becomes part of a society’s formation when that initial purpose of the behavior cannot be recalled and is adopted by the people of that culture (Scambler & Scambler, 2010). Initially used by Aristotle, Marcel Mauss initiated the contemporary usage of the concept while Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Pierre Bourdieu elaborated the concept indicating existing power relations.

Polychromic time

Polychromic time means doing several things at ago without a schedule, and where time can be adjusted to suit prevailing conditions. Individuals within polychromic culture include the aboriginals and even Native Americans. Behaviors of polychromic time include browsing on internet while learning, cooking while watching television, driving a car while talking on phone and eating while reading. It differs with monochromic times where people do one thing at a time (Goonetilleke& Luxiom, 2010). Edward Hall, an anthropologist and scholar in the use of time among various cultures, first developed and used the words polychromic and monochromic times in 1959.

PART B: The Different scholars of intercultural communication


Every human activity affects culture. However, Culture in itself is a large branch that covers even communication. This fact is highly emphasized by different scholars who came up with theories and concepts used in intercultural communication. This paper therefore discusses the contributions of Geert Hofsted, Janet Bennet, and Alfonsus Trompenaars.

Geert Hofsted, a social psychologist, is one of the most influential scholars. Hofsted researched the theory of dimensions in culture where the foundation for future cultural investigations was laid. Hofstede’sideas of describing national cultures stemmed from the research project concerning national cultural differences across and between subsidiaries of the IBM Corporation, a multinational which had a presence in 64 nations. The studies actually identified and later validated four totally independent dimensions relating to national cultural differences. Later on, the fifth dimension was added to the existing four. These dimensions also reflected how countries and regions were similar and different. These dimensions included the power distance, uncertainty avoidance, individualism, longterm orientation and masculinity, dimensions that formed the basis of the cultural dimensions theory, Varvouzou & Zasepa (2013).

Similarly, Janet M. Bennet has also contributed significantly to the field of intercultural communications. Bennet, the co founder as well as director of the institute of intercultural communication, was famed for her Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity, otherwise abbreviated as DMIS, and better still referred to as the Bennett Scale. This framework actually described the various ways of reactions to the cultural differences, from ethnocentric to ethnorelativity, as expressed by individuals. The stages of Bennett’s framework have six stages representing the increased sensitivity to the actual differences, and each position highlights the increasingly complicated perceptual cultural difference. This later leads to experiencing other cultures in a sophisticated way. The six stages include Denial of the difference, defense against the difference, minimization of the difference, acceptance of the difference, adaptation to the difference, and finally integration of the difference Bennett (2004).

Alfonsus Trompenaars, born in 1953 and grouped among the leading experts on the cross-cultural communication as well as international management, is a Dutch theorist and management consultant. Apart from this, he is regarded as among the topmost intercultural communication theorists. Alfonsus developed the Trompenaars’ model of national culture differences, as highlighted by Hofstede (1996). This model of the national cultures was actually based on the seven dimensions namely universalism versus particularism, neutral versus emotional, sequential versus synchronic, individualism versus collectivism, achievement versus ascription, specific versus diffuse, and internal versus external control.

These scholars have been important to intercultural relations especially considering that they looked at cultures differently and through them different behaviors have been documented within cultures. As highlighted by Ager & Faber (2013), they clearly understood what cultural differences meant when it came to intercultural interactions.


From the above analysis, it is clear that the field of intercultural communication is very significant. This field has attracted different scholars who have surveyed it and came up with different theories and ideas. Intercultural communication is highlighted as quite significant in the relationship between cultures.


Ager, S., & Faber, R., 2013, Belonging and isolation in the Hellenistic world, University of Toronto Press

Bennett, M., 2004, Becoming interculturally competent, In J.S. Wurzel (Ed.) Toward multiculturalism: A reader in multicultural education, Newton, MA: Intercultural Resource Corporation.

Denzin, N. & Lincoln, Y., 2011, The Sage handbook of qualitative research, Thousand Oaks, Sage.

Ginneken, J., 2007, Screening difference: how Hollywood’s blockbuster films imagine race, ethnicity, and culture, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers

Goonetilleke, R. & Luximon, 2010, “The relationship between monochronicity, polychronicity and individual characteristics” Behaviour & Information Technology, Vol. 29, Iss. 2, Pp. 187-198.

Hofstede, G., 1996, “Riding the waves of commerce: A test of Trompenaars’ “Model” of national cultural differences,” International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 20(2), 189-198.

Jensen, B., 2012, Reading classes: on culture and classism in America, Ithaca, ILR Press.

Scambler, G., & Scambler, S., 2010, New directions in the sociology of chronic and disabling conditions: assaults on the lifeworld, New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Varvouzou, I & Zasepa, M., 2013, National Cultural dimensions according to Geert Hofstede and their meaning in Japanese and German Corporate Management. GRIN Verlag.

Williams, R., 2011, Keywords: a vocabulary of culture and society, London, Routledge.