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Cross Cultural Communication In Indonesia And United States

1946 words - 8 pages

1. Introduction
There are several definition of diversity depends on the context. In general, diversity concerns to personal or group's socio-demographic behaviour

is an essential tool in social life that includes process of passing on and receiving information (Kinge, 2012). Many past studies have tried to distinguish communication with culture, politic, history, and economic studies. Researchers from US began studying communication as social science, while Asian use communication to express their direct experience (Littlejohn and Foss, 2008).
Although we are now entering globalisation era, there are many hindrances especially multiculturalism and communication between countries. This paper analyses on the differences and similarities between Indonesia and US from different aspects like language, paralinguistic, non-verbal communication, cultural dimensions and communication styles; that emerge from contextual factors like politic, economic, social and culture; as well as the system that they use and their effectiveness. Recommendation will be made based on the analysis to define a strategy towards an effective cross-cultural communication process.

2. Analysis of Similarities and Differences
2.1. Language
Schelling (1960) stated language is common tool consisting sounds and signs used by individual to communicate. Indonesia are known as one of the most multifaceted country in the world with approximately 731 distinct languages and more than 1,100 different spoken dialects (Frederick and Worden, 2011). Despite their complexity in culture and language, Indonesia has their own official language, Bahasa Indonesia.
The first aspect of language is vocabulary. Interestingly, Indonesian has some similar vocabulary like American, resulted from the political aspects where British ruled Indonesia at the start of 19th century (Fishman, 1974). He added that some of the Indonesian language was absorbed from English, such as "apel" in Indonesia absorbed from "apple" in English. Although they have different pronunciation, they have the same meaning.
The second aspect is style of discourse. Guirdham (2011) states it as language style that exists in our communication. There is a steep difference between Indonesia and US, rooted from their social, religion, political, and history. For Indonesian, it is rude to talk to someone older without using honorific (LeVine, 2006). This caused by the social norms and Moslem religion that appreciates elder. In US, because of their low power distance, they tend to minimise inequality and encourage individual differences (Porter and Samovar, 2001). This resulted in US having a less formal interaction hierarchy.

2.2. Paralinguistic
Abercrombie (1968) stated paralinguistic as non-verbal element of communication activities that helps conveying message in conversation. They can be distinguishing into two aspects to investigate Indonesia and US.
The first is voice tone. Campbell and Mokhtarri (2003) stated that voice tone is used...

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