Overview Of Computer Mediated Communication Media
Today, we call our world a Global Village; this term came into existence due to the introduction and rapid advancement of the Internet in the last few decades, which turned the world into a completely different place.
One of the major reasons why we call the world a 'Global Village' is due to the communicational services the Internet has created.
Using computers as the medium of communication and transference of information between participants of different regions, different locations, and speaking different languages has narrowed the knowledge gap between nations.
People of diverse cultures and ethnicities communicate using the services CMC offers in many ways to facilitate themselves.
Some use it for social networking while others do it for learning new languages.
The intercultural relationships that are initiated by CMC has the potential to help foster human relations and help understanding about human nature and the socio-cultural outlook of others.
CMC facilitates people in building relationships and for learning about the cultures of others, these relationships are often regarded as normal conversations but they foster intercultural relationships.
People get to know each other's social background and interact on different topics of mutual interest and concern, which is a positive sign.
It has been stated that computer mediated communications helps people to relate with each other.
CMC has been used for the learning of different languages and it has produced positive results in that aspect.
It has been utilized in computer-assisted language learning (CALL), with students able to learn languages through a real-world context and to access native speakers' language in the target country beyond the classroom.
The combination of CMC and Education has produced effective and positive results.
Students can interact with foreign professors, educators and other students of similar educational programs residing in some other state or country for discussing educational matters.
On a broader scope, CMCs are helpful in transmitting information about cultures of different origins; it promotes educational and cultural programs and allows people to learn about the value of intercultural relationships.
Although CMC's facilitate intercultural relationships in many ways, there are also some matters that become obstacles when it comes to the combination of Intercultural Relationships and CMC, because this technology provides less face-to-face communication.
In the broader scope,?it can?affect?intercultural relationships because people of different regions speak differently, in their languages and linguistic styles and since most of the CMC based services use 'text' as the medium, the messages could be?misinterpreted which further becomes a cause of intercultural conflicts and mishaps.
This may be an issue with multiple types of service; this could happen while sending an email or while having an online conversation.
Many researchers like Dubrovsky, Kiesler, and Sethna (1991) state "CMC users tend to engage in more verbal aggression, inappropriate self-disclosure, and conflict-inducing behavior than do FTF interaction partners" (as cited in Yum & Hara, 2005).
One major factor that may be a cause of conflict behavior is the potential to be fully anonymous and avoid any serious negative social feedback that is an inherent part of FTF communications.
A perusal of almost any social networking site will reveal so-called "Trolls", people that will post conflict-inducing remarks in a deliberate effort to spark controversy.
This phenomenon can be taken to the extreme, prompting several civil and criminal court cases regarding the consequences of online (CMC) behavior.
There are other matters to be discussed as well, like in some cultures it has been noted that the extent of self-disclosure is high while in others it is low, so this difference can also hinder intercultural relationships using CMC.
Department of Defense (DoD) took notice of the studies on disclosure phenomenon in 2008 with some alarm.
Due to the high disclosure rate in the United States the DoD issued directives that all military service members social networking contact lists would be reviewed and monitored for security reasons in an effort to identify and contain any possible security leaks to foreign operatives posing as common curious foreign nationals.
Therefore, on this note it can be concluded that in some cases CMC does help in fostering intercultural relationships while on the other hand we also see that there are factors that do not support intercultural relationships over CMC.
Researches and new methodologies are developing which may help to increase the positive aspects.5.
How can cultural group portrayals in popular culture forms influence intercultural communication?
Intercultural communication is influenced and shaped by many factors.
Some factors help it to flourish, while others become a cause of mishap.
Every culture may consist of one or more cultural groups and the members of these groups have some characteristics, which include the language they speak, their accent, and the way they interpret, and understand things.
Thus, the characteristics of each group are dependent upon several other factors, which may include their history, religion and their social representation.
When the communication begins to take place between people of different cultures, these groups influence each other with their characteristics.
While communicating people of different groups may portray various emotions and may have different conversational styles.
Sometimes it may be necessary that some things must be stressed within a conversation so people of certain groups might talk louder than others do, while people of some other cultures may consider it inappropriate.
Some people talk directly while others do not.
When the individuality of each cultural group collides with the individuality of other cultures, it may support or negate each other.
The key point here is that cultural groups portray popular culture forms (in terms of the difference between their lifestyles and several other norms) and that influences intercultural communication.
On a further note we can relate this concern to Television media, it has been seen that the general understanding of different culture forms and cultural groups come to people directly through media and television programs, people get to know about various cultural groups, their norms, lifestyles, ideologies and religion from the characters they see on TV.
The intercultural communication is affected by the portrayal of cultural groups as popular culture forms on TV.
For instance, a television program might portray an Asian as a very funny person communicating with people other than Asians.
Such a character may present the Asians as frank and funny people.
On the other hand, some people watching the same TV program from another cultural group might misinterpret the Asian as a carefree and irresponsible person.
Therefore, the cultural groups, which have the entire core characteristics of one culture, act as popular culture form, and generally speaking people get to know them for the characteristics they have.
The overall portrayal of one culture is dependent upon the properties of the cultural groups it has and these cultural groups due to their characteristics becoming popular culture forms.
Intercultural communication is influenced by the characteristics of the cultural groups.
Later these characteristics are generalized and become the popular culture form, due to which every culture makes a general perception about every other culture and try to treat them in that way.
It is also possible that these cultural groups will influence the intercultural communication negatively.
Moreover, these perceptions about each other's culture are the most troublesome.
Berg (1990) states that "differences can create characterizations that are perceived to be real, creating prejudice, and that fallacies about different cultural groups are initiated by medium like television and that influences the intercultural communication negatively and that stereotypes may serve to develop norms of treatment for certain groups" (as cited in Mastro, 2000).
Evidence supporting these theories about the propagation of these stereotypes and fallacies can be seen firsthand in almost every part of the world.
For example, many Africans in the Horn of Africa region emulate African-American "Gangsta" dress and attitudes that they see portrayed on American movies and television.
When many African-Americans meet these Africans for the first time, both parties may experience a diverse range of reactions, ranging from anger to embarrassment.
The differences between the perceived culture and the actual culture can be quite large and lead to conflict.8.
What are the characteristics of intercultural conflict?
Intercultural conflicts can be defined as disagreement and incompatibility of goals, motives, values, and outcomes between people of different cultures communicating or working together under one setting.
The major characteristics of intercultural conflict include ambiguity, language issues, and contradictory conflict styles.
Ambiguity is the foremost characteristic of Intercultural conflict because the participants who are facing the conflict are unable to decide whether a conflict actually exists or not and once they realize that there is conflict, most of the time people are uncertain about how to handle the conflict.
It is necessary to know that conflict must be understood by every participant in the same way, otherwise it becomes a bigger conflict.
Language is an integral part of any culture, when intercultural communication occurs between people belonging from diverse cultural backgrounds; conflicts take place; because people cannot understand the context and linguistic framework of each other, hence they become unable to understand each other's point of view.
Contradictory conflict styles can also cause problems in the workplace and become a basis of further conflict.
On another note, the differences in the meaning of verbal and nonverbal behaviors and actions across cultures, and the associated emotions and values are also the included in the characteristics of intercultural conflicts.
The characteristics of intercultural conflicts also include usage of precise, explicit language.
People use the type of language they use normally while others who are unfamiliar with that style find it conflicting with their linguistics.
Everybody has an opinion and these preferred opinions of different people in one setting become the characteristic of intercultural conflicts.10.
What is the relationship between ethnicity, gender, religion, and conflict communication?
Ethnicity, Gender and Religion are interrelated with conflict communication in many ways.
Each of them may become the cause of conflict between people of different cultures.
Firstly if we talk about Ethnicity, it may cause conflicts in communication, because people belonging from different ethnicities working or interacting under one platform are unable to satisfy and support each other's opinions and choices; hence conflicts occur .
This may be an outcome of territorial disputes and rivalries that may be present on a broader level.
It has been seen that territory and rivalry are likely to have additional connections to ethnicity.
Ethnicity commonly affects relations between countries and is frequently associated with interstate crises and international conflicts.
The point to be noted here is that the relationship of Ethnicity and Conflict communication is dependent upon the rivalry and competition on an international level.
For instance, conflicts communication may clearly occur when people of rival ethnic groups communicate in one setting.
They may try to cancel out each other's opinions and try to reject the point of views of one another not because of any personal problems or differences but because they belong from rival ethnic groups.
Eller has argued that ethnic groups in conflict are fighting not about culture, but with culture.
The relationship between gender and conflict communication is parallel.
Conflicts occur within organizations and groups where men and women work together.
Men, who are considered as the dominant gender worldwide, sometimes are unable to appreciate the viewpoint of women working with them.
We are heading towards something, which is much bigger than just conflict communication because the representation issues of men and women have been there for centuries.
"The domination of men over women is the most fundamental and widespread form of power asymmetry in human society" (Francis, Diana 2004).
Due to this unequal representation and appreciation of men and women in groups consisting of both the genders, conflicts take place because both sexes think in different ways, and hence they are diverse at a very basic level.
There are entire industries and groups of researchers that are exploring and refining the psychological theories put forth by Carl Jung on this subject.
Religion is the strongest identity for the person, the religion from which one belongs bound him to certain limitations, and shapes his/her life through a pattern of beliefs and dogmas.
The relationship of conflict communication and religion is bilateral.
People belonging to one religion consider their belief and their doctrine as correct and justified.
The set of guidelines that are generated from the scriptures of different religions prove that their religion is the best religion and this becomes a cause of conflict.
People cannot be negligent in any manner about the teachings of their religion and hence when opposing opinions and talks begin to take place in a communication session, conflicts take place.
These conflicts may be born because of the religious extremists that view the concepts of other religions conservatively and reject their ideas, which also become a cause of problems and conflict in communication.