Sie sind auf Seite 1von 13

Insert Surname Name Course Tutor Date Impact of Culture on Communication The roles of communication include giving information,

negotiating and reinforcing knowledge. On its part, advertisement can be defined as an invisible conversation between a

company and a consumer, as well as relationship between nature, time, and the world. Magazine advertisement communications provides an important snapshot of societies and cultures. When one visits another country, it is obvious that there could be an unfamiliar language spoken. Verbal communication, therefore, becomes a challenge due to the barriers of culture and language. For instance, acceptable behavior in one country could be rude in another country. This paper seeks to address the various ways in which culture affects communication in the context of print advertisements, with emphasis on Japanese and American cultures. Purpose and Rationale The study will investigate the various advertising cultures of Japan and American in a qualitative view. Therefore, this is going to be a qualitative research in which intense and prolonged contact with the various print advertisements will be the sole source of information. Through this prolonged contact, there shall be an integrated overview of the research focus. This study will focus on various aims that involve description, exploration, as well as focus. In this design, a social situation will be identified and described, questions will be posed, and a particular research question will be the focus of the research (Creswell 41). In this case, culture has been identified as a barrier in communication between the Japanese and American cultures,

Insert Surname and various research questions have been outlined. However, the central question remains: How does culture affect communication? The purpose of this paper is to specifically present the importance of identifying advertising strategies that are specific to a particular culture with regard to global market segments. Focus of Study The focus of the research is to find out the various ways in which culture has an impact on communication. In this regard, Japanese and American cultures will be investigated. Upon cultural investigation, the research will compare print advertisements in magazines and other related publications within the print media. Various aspects of language and culture will be

extracted and will be useful in the formulation of hypothesis for the study. The conceptualization of issues will be investigated, and the various similarities and differences will be clarified. Culture is a stern master in communication. Some aspects of communication in Japan are contrary to the American perspectives of thinking. In both cases, the print advertisements do not agree in terms of cultural dispositions. Based on the research question, this research is narrowed down to the boarders of the two extreme cultures, the Japanese and American culture. Communication is the ultimate focus of this project, because the project seeks to identify the various ways in which cultures can affect communication in terms of content delivery and reasoning. Magazines will be reviewed and various adverts will be extracted for study and analysis. However, the cultures have a long history that can also be used to describe the perceptions that they have on each others communication styles.

Insert Surname Communication Context The communication context of this study is intercultural communication as well as mass communication through print media. The study will explore two cultures that encompass broadcast of information through magazines and other print adverts. The study will use the aforementioned communication contexts in order to study the communication process through certain media within different communities that are different in terms of language, as well as culture. Print media was chosen in this study because of its authenticity and the fact that sources

for the research would be physically available. Similarly, the research chose the two cultures due to the extremes that exist in terms of communication and culture in general. Americans have a different way of reaching to the global market and the local community. Print advertisements are also important because they can be sent to more than one group for purposes of research. The advertisements can be compared easily through observation rather than the use of any scientific method in developing the various hypotheses for the study. Commercial advertisements aim at winning sales and capturing the attention of the reader in order to arouse interest that will lead to purchases. However, the subject of this study is to investigate whether an American advertisement can appeal to a Japanese community. There are two types of communication styles, explicit and implicit communication. In explicit communication, mostly used in the USA, it is assumed that the listener is not aware of the background information that is related to the subject. In this case, background information is provided for better understanding (Cutler and Javagli 72). On the other hand, implicit communication, mostly Japanese, assumes that the listener is informed and there is no need to provide background information about the subject matter. Thus, the listener or reader is expected to understand through implication. The two communication styles are always at loggerheads and

Insert Surname find each other vague in terms of context. The Japanese view the American advertisements as exaggerated, and on the other hand, the Americans view the Japanese advertisements as imprecise.

The most important aspect of cross-cultural advertising is the use of language. Linguistic implication may affect the quality of print advertisements. Names of products as well as slogans may be insulting to another culture, which may be the target audience for such advertisements. Linguistic blenders may lead to poor sales from the target community. For example, the introduction of Pinto, a product of Ford into Brazil, led to a failure in the side of the advertisements. Pinto simply meant tiny male genitals. Therefore, no Brazilian man would buy the car due to the name that was given to it. Culture, therefore, acts as a framework through which people are able to understand each other in all spheres of communication. This research would be the best avenue of understanding the various ways in which the Japanese and American cultures differ in both language and context. The Research Question The research question to be answered in this study is how culture affects communication in Japanese and American print advertisements. This will require the review of various print advertisements in magazines from both cultures for analysis. The analysis will explore the language as well as pictorial and color illustrations. Alongside this research question, other minor research questions will assist in probing into the matter. Some of these questions will be centered on culture and communication. These will include how people come up with diverse conclusions using the same data and logic, and how these conclusions influence contemporary global communication. In an attempt to answer these questions, much of the guidance will be

Insert Surname from the main research question. Some of the facts regarding intercultural communication will be centered on the two cultures that have been highlighted by the main research question. Significance of Research Question Having defined the research question, the role of the question is another aspect of this

study. The main role of the research question will be to organize the project and give it a sense of bearing and consistency (Campbell, Daft and Hulin 54). This question will also define the study and show specific limitations. For instance, the research question has unidentified Japan and America as the boarders of the study. The research question will also assist in maintaining the focus of this project during the study period. The question will also point out the requirements of the project, including data. In this particular research, the research question has pointed out print advertisements as the main data to be studied alongside other aspects. Therefore, the research question will focus on two aspects, to ensure that the project is on track and to ensure that the research focuses on the actual purpose of research outlined earlier. The project will thus focus on a concrete problem that will be identified from the start of the project. For this particular research, the research question will assist in ensuring that the aim of the project is within the boundaries outlined and that the aims of research are kept in mind. In addition, the research question will assist the reader to deduce the relevance of the project. In the process of writing other parts of the project, such as the literature review, the research question will guide the choice of texts and other bibliographical material. In summary, magazine advertisements are influential to many readers as far as print media is concerned. Seventeen Magazine reaches out to two different audiences that have little in common. Pictures and language are used to communicate messages, and these are interpreted differently due to the various cultural differences that exist between Japan and America. The

Insert Surname

purpose of this study is to explore the various ways in which culture is related to communication, particularly in relation to advertisements in Japanese and American cultures. The research question is How does culture affect communication in Japanese and American print advertisements? Due to the diversity and differences in the cultures, it is hoped that advertisements targeting populations across both cultures will be effective in providing information for the study. Findings Having considered the various factors of the research, there were a number of findings deduced from the proposed research. Numerous American advertisements come with images that portray independence, determination, as well as defiance. The language used portrays some aspects of ignorance and defiance due to the words that are used. For example, in one ad, there was a teenage girl wearing a short red dress riding on the back of a motorcycle. The headline for this advert read: sometimes even good girls want to be bad. This portrays the ignorance that surrounds the place women take in this society. It is uncommon to find such an advert in the Japanese magazines. This clearly presents the kind of culture that surrounds many people. Moreover, the advert stated above was for perfume, and as such, the relationship between the pictures and the words is not related to the product being advertised in terms of context and language. These can be used to explain the portrayal of the self in these cultures. In the American cultures, the people celebrate the individual self. There is the belief of independence and equality that exists among both ages and gender. The use of rebellious text as well as poses by the models within the American culture gains approval. On the other hand, Japanese cultures are different and quite contrary. There is not much independence of the self, and individuals are subject to societal norms and practices. Most advertisements in Japanese

Insert Surname magazines are aimed at uplifting the girls in society through the encouragement of female readers to identify themselves with the models in the advertisements. The messages communicated aim at building the position they take in society (Gunther and Leeuwen 107). There is a great deal of youthful innocence among the Japanese girls. The Japanese culture is permissive, which means the young people are allowed to do the things that older

people do. Messages that build the rapport of Japanese girls are seen to be an attraction. Self and society are the main concepts that the advertisements are trying to elaborate. However, from the results of the study, the message delivered to the American teenagers is mixed. Most of the adverts are just visual. They do not indicate a clear message that should be passed. In some cases, the adverts are not aimed at attracting buyers, but appealing to the readers of the magazines. This could be deliberate in order to increase the circulation of the magazines. The Japanese culture is clearly portrayed in the adverts that were identified. The girls have been clearly portrayed as very independent individuals. The language used is aimed at helping them communicate to the mass audience about the non-threatening nature of their representation. Analysis of the texts in the adverts provided an insight on how culture can be reflected in communication. Therefore, a deeper analysis of texts in these adverts was able to tell how each of the cultures involved encouraged their members to recognize themselves inside the society (Hong, Muderrisoglu and Zinkhan 60). Specialists in the area of communication have revealed that nonverbal communication is widely used in nearly all cultures. Through behavior, people are able to relay messages and deductions can be made from such communication channels. Behavior is attached to culture, and analysts say that all behavior communicates. Therefore, we can only stop communicating if we do not show any behavior. Culture is drilled in people and that is why even with similar

Insert Surname languages being spoken, it is still essential to relate culture to communication. In the American and Japanese ads, it was evident that the way language is used is very different. This is based on the way the two cultures operate (Gudykunst 1).

Many readers of magazines find other cultures to be very different and less evolved. This is due to cultural differences that are unique in nature. When an American meets Japanese, the American thinks that the Japanese is rude. This is due to the contact of the two cultures. Print advertisements have been very useful in this study because the result has been definite that cultural differences call for understanding in order for messages to be understood and be interpreted well. Print advertisements have been used in the recent past in order to accommodate foreign speakers. This can be seen from the way the selected magazines are able to communicate to a variety of foreigners. For example, an American living in Japan will find Seventeen Magazine appealing to the masses. This is probably because the American living in Japan understands the constraints of the Japanese culture. Simplicity and readability is the key in print advertisements. This will enable the international community to understand the message that is intended. Being able to pass a message to people has become one of the many things that the print media is dedicated to. Communication is the most important aspect in any business. Culture affects cross-cultural understanding in three ways. Various constraints are very vital in making people understand messages. These include cognitive constraints, behavior constraints, as well as emotional constraints. Cognitive constraints refer to the frames of reference in which information is compared to. Behavior constraints refer to the various ways in which behavior affects verbal and nonverbal communication. Rules of politeness in

Insert Surname communication differ from culture to culture, and that is why behavior forms the basic framework of analysis.

Emotional constraints, on the other hand, refer to the way each culture exhibits emotions. There are people with emotions that are hidden. In the magazines that were selected for the study, all these constraints could be analyzed using the various ways the adverts used various aspects of advertising. The visual aspects of the ads could communicate a lot about the culture and the various ways the culture portrays some aspects of communication. These will be taken to suggest underlying cultural characteristics, for instance conservatism or modernity, which will be evident through the visual display of the advertisements. In this age of globalization, cross-cultural communication has become one of the main areas of focus. Expertise in communication is highly required by various organizations in order to make communication as effective as possible. The current study identified eight factors that affect cross-cultural communication. These are cultural identity, racial identity, ethnic identity, gender role identity, individual personality, social class, age and roles identity. From the list, cultural identity is the first and fundamental factor that affects cross-cultural communication. Culture involves the attitudes, values, and ways of doing things within a group of people who share the same identity (Javalgi, Cutler and Malhotra 120). Usually, such attitudes and values may be considered the norms for the particular culture, and they differ from one culture to the other. It is, therefore, important to study the culture of a certain group before interacting with them so as to gain an insight of how they operate. For the two extreme cultures outlined, understanding another culture helps in understanding various phenomena. For example, the coders that were used in research were able to deliver due to the understanding they had of the

Insert Surname


two cultures. Their understanding was through the interactions they engaged in while they were in the foreign country. Without the proper understanding of other peoples culture, one may unknowingly use provocative remarks. It is, therefore, imperative to gain the insight of other peoples culture for effective communication. This will eliminate the barriers between the communicating parties. In the recent past, there have been immense advancements in the technologies. These developments have made it easier for people of different cultures to communicate with each other. Therefore, it has become very easy to work with people distantly. This has made the crosscultural interactions in communication the norm of many societies. As such, it is important to understand the cultures of divergent societies to attain meaningful interactions with these societies. It should be noted that, though there are many English speaking societies across the world, there exist distinctive differences in their cultures. This necessitates the understanding of the cultural diversity. Successful communication with individuals from divergent cultures is difficult if one does not have the understanding of the other cultures. Cultures play a critical role in shaping the way human beings perceive different phenomena. For instance, the interpretation of things by different people is determined by the mindset of people. On the other hand, the mindset is shaped by the culture in which one belongs. Therefore, a statement can mean one thing to one community, and a totally different thing to the other. Comprehension of the cultures of different people is critical in achieving the desired goals of communication. Nevertheless, although the two cultures are distinct from each other, it is possible to learn helpful practices from each other. In the quest to understand each others culture, there is mutual gain in the practices held by the two cultures. For instance, through the interaction of the two

Insert Surname cultures, there is the gain of organizational and professional benefits. In addition, the two


cultures exchange helpful skills, finest practices, and communication tools. Cultural differences can be effectively used to improve the communication of either the two cultures. In conclusion, communities in different parts of the world exhibit divergent cultures. Culture defines the way of life of different people. The Americans culture enforces the idea of self by emphasizing on the independence of an individual from the others. On the other hand, the Japanese culture implies that a person is a subject of the other regardless of the gender. These two distinct cultures are portrayed by the adverts made by the two societies. The differences between the practices of the two cultures can be a barrier to effective communication. As such, it is imperative to understand the culture of a different group to attain a meaningful communication. However, the diversity in the two cultures can also enhance the improvement of either of the two cultures. This is achieved through the adoption of desired practices of the other culture.

Insert Surname Works Cited Campbell, Donald and Julian C. Stanley. Experimental and Quasi-Experimental Designs for Research. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1963.


Campbell, J.P., R.L. Daft and C.L. Hulin. What to Study: Generating and Developing Research Questions. Beverly Hills, CA: SAGE Publications, 1982. Creswell, J.W. Research Design. Qualitative, Quantitative and Mixed Methods Approaches. Beverly Hills, CA: SAGE Publications, 2009. Cutler, B.D. and R. Javagli. "A cross-cultural analysis of visual components of print advertising; the United States and the European Community." Journal of Advertising Research (1992): 7 1-80. Gudykunst, William B. Cross-Cultural and Intercultural Communication. Minnesota: SAGE, 2003. Gunther, Kress and Theo van Leeuwen. "Structure of Visual Representation." Journal of Literary Semantics, 21 (1992): 91-117. Hong, Jae W., Aydin Muderrisoglu and George M. Zinkhan. "Cultural Differences and Advertising Expression: A Comparative Content Analysis of Japanese and U.S. Magazine Advertising." Journal of Advertising, 16 (1987): 55-68. Javalgi, Cutler and Malhotra. "Print Advertising at the Component Level: A Cross-Cultural Comparison of USA and Japan." International Journal of Business Research (1995): 117-124. Kassarjian, Harold. "Content Analysis and Consumer Research." Journal of Consumer Research, 4 (1977): 8-18.

Insert Surname Maynard, Michael L. and Charles R. Taylor. "Girlish Images Across Cultures: Analyzing Japanese Versus U.S. Seventeen Magazine Ads." Journal of Advertising (1999): 39-47.