Browsing: Theory and Model

Cultural Dimensions: Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions Theory With Six Dimensions

Cultural Dimensions: Hofstede’s cultural dimensions theory is a framework for cross-cultural communication. It was developed in 1980 by Dutch management researcher Geert Hofstede. Hofstede’s cultural dimensions theory shows the effects of a society’s culture on the values of its members. It also shows how these values relate to behavior, using a structure derived from factor analysis. Culture is a pattern of values, beliefs, attitudes, behaviors,  symbols, and norms, shared by a group of people.

Six categories of cultural dimensions are:

  1. Individualism – collectivism
  2. Power distance
  3. Uncertainty avoidance
  4. Masculine – feminine values
  5. High context – lower context
  6. Monochronic time – Polychronic time
1. Individualistic/ Collectivism: Prefer to act independently or interdependently.
  • Individualism: Individualistic members will work alone and seek credit for their own work. Value individual achievement and freedom. US, Australia, Canada.
  • Collectivism: Collectivist members will work in groups and try to help each other. Collectivist members may prefer face-to-face discussions instead of virtual discussions. Emphasize group identity. Asian and Latin American countries.

Recommended Adaptations: Encourage collectivism. Make sure that individualistic members understand that they are part of a larger group that needs their input and participation to achieve a shared goal.

2. Power distance: Extent of equity or status among members.
  • High power: Inequity between high- and low-status members. Mexico, India, Singapore.
  • Low power: Equity and interdependence among group members. New Zealand, Denmark.

Recommended Adaptations: Establish clear norms for member behavior. To what extent will members participate in decision-making? How will specific tasks be assigned? How and by whom will members be evaluated? Who will serve as leader(s)?

3. Uncertainty avoidance: Extent of comfort in uncertain situations.
  • High uncertainty: Prefer rules, plans, and routines. Japan, Belgium, Greece.
  • Low uncertainty: Comfortable with ambiguity and unpredictability. Jamaica, Hong Kong

Recommended Adaptations: Provide clear instructions to the high uncertainty members while giving low uncertainty members opportunities to function unaided.

4. Masculinity – Feminists: Concern for self and success versus a focus on caring and sharing.

Masculine: Masculine-oriented members focus on the task and personal success. Assertive, decisive, dominant. Japan, Venezuela, Italy.

Feminine: Feminine-oriented members focus on member relations and respect for others. Nurturing, cooperative. Sweden, Norway, Denmark.

Recommended Adaptations: Give high-context members time to review information and react; demonstrate the value o going beyond “just facts” to low-context members.

5. High context – low context: Directness of communication is specific circumstances.
  • High context: High context members consider background, nonverbal cues, and interpersonal history when communicating. Messages are implied and context-sensitive. Japan, China, Greece, Mexico
  • Low Context: Low-context members want facts a clear, direct, communication. Messages are explicit, factual, and objective. England, the US, and Germany.

Recommended Adaptations:  Give high-context members time to review the information and react; demonstrate the value of going beyond “just facts” too low context-members.

6. Monochronic Polychronic: How people organize and value time.
  • Monochronic: Monochronic members focus on one task at a time and work hard to meet deadlines. Adhere to plans, schedules, and deadlines because time is valuable. North America and Northern European.
  • Polychronic: Polychronic members are frequently late, do many things at once, are easily distracted and tolerant of interruptions. Not obsessed with promptness or schedules because time is not highly valued. Kenya, Argentina, African American.

Recommended Adaptations: Encourage monochromic members to take responsibility for time-sensitive tasks while accepting that polychromic members will vary Punctual based on the nature and importance of a situation or relationship.

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Symbolic Convergence Theory: History, Description, Structure, & Example

Symbolic Convergence Theory: History, Description, Structure, & Example. Examples of Symbolic such as Code Words, Phrases, Slogans, and Gestures.

Table of contents:

  1. What is Symbolic Convergence Theory?
  2. History of the Symbolic Convergence Theory?
  3. Description of Symbolic Convergence Theory.
  4. History, and Example 

1. What is Symbolic Convergence Theory?

According to Symbolic Convergence Theory,  People share common fantasies and visions and these collections of individuals are merged into a cohesive group. SCT presents an explanation for the appearance of a group’s cohesiveness, consisting of shared emotions, motives, and meanings. Symbolic Convergence Theory consists of three words such as symbolic, convergence, and theory. Group members cooperatively create and sustain a shared consciousness including shared meaning through interaction.

1.1 What is Symbolic?

Symbolic is serving as a symbol that represents or expresses something else such as an idea, an action, quality without using words such as Code Words, Phrases, Slogans, and Gestures.

Example of Symbolic:

Code Words: What does FF: AC stands for?

FF: AC stands for “Final Fantasy: Advent Children”. Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children is a 2005 Japanese computer-animated science fantasy action drama film.

For example,  K.L = Kuala Lumpur, K.G= Kilogram, A.C= Air Conditioner

Phrases: Friday becomes a cool, wet afternoon.

Slogans: Think different is an advertising slogan used from 1997 to 2002 by Apple Computer, Inc.

Gestures: The common thumb up sign represents something approved and accepted.

Symbolic Convergence Theory (SCT)- Code Words Phrases Slogans Gestures

1.2 What is Convergence?

Convergence means forming a new unified whole or evolving into one through coming together two or more things. Convergence comes from the prefix con- and verb verge. Here, prefix con means together, and the verb verge, that means to turn toward. We can use convergence to explain things that are in the process of coming together, like the slow convergence of your opinions with those of your mother, or for things that have already come together. For example, a crowd of mass people all move together into a group.

1.3 What is Theory?

Theory is a set of principles on which the practice of an activity is based. It is a formal concept or set of ideas that is aimed to explain something. For example, the Tw0-step flow of communication theory, Groupthink Muted Group Theory, SOCIAL IDENTITY THEORY,  Tubb’s Theory- Small Group Communication, and so on.

Symbolic convergence: When 2 or more private symbol worlds incline toward each other, come closer, or overlap, it is called a symbolic convergence. 

2. History of the Symbolic Convergence Theory?

Ernest Bormann established Symbolic Convergence Theory in 1972. SCT was first proposed by Ernest Bormann in the Quarterly Journal of Speech in 1972. Bormann and his colleagues at the University of Minnesota introduced SCT as a framework for discovering, describing, and explaining the dynamic process by which humans come to share symbolic reality.

SCT is a communication-related theory introduced by Ernest Bormann who is a Professor at the University of Minnesota in the United States. American communication theorist best known as the originator of symbolic convergence theory (SCT) and its attendant method, fantasy theme analysis, which both explore how the sharing of narratives or “fantasies” can create and sustain group consciousness.  He argued that group consciousness can occur at any level of communication, from within small groups to mass media. Thus, he identified symbolic convergence as a general theory of communication.

3. Description of Symbolic Convergence Theory

Symbolic Convergence Theory offers an elucidation for the appearance of a group’s cohesiveness, consisting of shared emotions, motives, and meanings. Through SCT, members of the group can build a community or a group consciousness which grows stronger if they share a cluster of fantasy themes. Although this theory allows theorists and practitioners to anticipate or predict what did happen and what will happen but it does not allow for control of human communication.

It attempts to explain how communication can create and sustain group consciousness through the sharing of narratives or fantasies. To foster this cohesiveness, dramatizing or using fantasy stories are significant types of communication involved in SCT. SCT explains that meanings, emotions, values, and motives for action are in the communication contexts by people trying to make sense out of a common experience. It is a process through which collectives create and share a consciousness and develop a common symbolic reality.

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Active & Passive Audience Differences & Example: Active Audience Theory

Active & Passive Audience Differences & Example: Active Audience Theory. What is Active and Passive Audience? What is the Active Audience Theory?  The difference between an active and passive audience? Example of Active and Passive Audiences.

Table of Contents:

  1. Active & Passive Audience.
  2. What is the difference between an active and passive audience?
  3. Example of Active and Passive Audiences.
  4. What is the Active Audience Theory?
  1. Active & Passive Audience:

Active audiences: Active audiences are those people who receive information actively as well as make sense of the messages from the perspective of their social and personal contexts. These audiences perform it unintentionally.

Passive Audience: Passive Audiences are those people who watch and observe the program simply without making sense. Passive audiences are recognized as inactive receivers.

For example, Low motivation to process information

Low ability to process information

Focuses on simple cues (e.g., appearances instead of content)

2. What is the difference between an active and passive audience?

Active AudiencesPassive Audiences
Interpret and respond to the media textsMerely observe the media text
Actively involved with decoding messageJust accept the message without challenging
Forming opinionsAccepting opinions
Paying full attentionPaying little attention
For example, playing a game.For example, watching a game.
Not directly affected by the messageDirectly affected by the message
Difficult to manipulate themEasy to manipulate them.
Critical thinkerCognitive miser
Have good schemataLazy to think

3. Example of Active and Passive Audiences:

Active audiences: Complicated and Critical thinker who has good schemata

Passive audiences: Merely observer and cognitive miser who are lazy to think.


5. What is the Active Audience Theory? According to Wikipedia

Active audience theory argues that media audiences do not just receive information passively but are actively involved, often unconsciously, in making sense of the message within their personal and social contexts.

Decoding a media message may, therefore, be influenced by such things as family background, beliefs, values, culture, interests, education and experiences. Other theories and models are compatible with active audience theory, including the Encoding/Decoding model and the Uses and gratifications theory, which states that audiences are actively involved in determining what media they engage with and how in order to gratify specific needs or desires.

The Mass media article refers to a Culturalist theory, however, there is little evidence of its use in relation to (mass) media. Active audience theory is seen as a direct contrast to the Effects traditions, however, Jenny Kitzinger argues against discounting the effect or influence media can have on an audience, acknowledging that an active audience does not mean that media effect or influence is not possible. Supporting this view, other theories combine the concepts of active audience theory and the effects model, such as the two-step flow theory where Katz and Lazarsfeld argue that persuasive media texts are filtered through opinion leaders who are in a position to ‘influence’ the targeted audience through social networks and peer groups.


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