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Identity Negotiation Theory

my report for Com 311: Seminar in Cross-Cultural Research at the College of Mass Communication, University of the Philippines Diliman - PhD Media Studies program

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Identity Negotiation Theory

  1. 1. Identity Negotiation Theory Crossing Cultural Boundaries Chona Rita R. Cruz (Cindy) 86-16518 COM 311 Clarissa David, PhD
  2. 2. Stella Ting-Toomey • Professor of Human Communication Studies at California State University, Fullerton (CSUF) • Teaching passions include intercultural communication theory, intercultural communication training and design, and intercultural and interpersonal conflict management • Author and editor of 17 books (plus 2 Instructor's Manuals and 2 Interactive Student Study Guides) • 2008 recipient of the 23-campus wide CSU Wang Family Excellence Award, and the 2007–2008 recipient of the CSUFullerton Outstanding Professor Award • Lectures widely throughout the United States, Asia, and Europe
  3. 3. Identity • The reflexive self—conception or self-image that we each derive from our family, gender, cultural, ethnic, and individual socialization process • Refers to our reflective views of ourselves and other perceptions of our self images – at both the social identity and the personal identity levels • Family - We directly and indirectly acquire various belief and value patterns in our culture through our primary family system • Personal Family System VS. Positional Family System • Gender - meanings and interpretations we hold concerning our selfimages and expected other-images of “femaleness” and “maleness”
  4. 4. Identities • Personal Identities – Unique attributes that we associate with our individuated self in comparison to those of others • Social Identities – Cultural or ethnic membership identity – Gender identity – Sexual orientation identity – Social class identity – Age identity – Disability identity – Professional identity – Others
  5. 5. Family • Family is the fundamental communication system in all cultures. • We directly and indirectly acquire various belief and value patterns in our culture through our primary family system • Family socialization – boundary issues, gender-based decision-making activities, power dynamics, degrees of emotional expressiveness • Initial blueprint of our formation of role, gender, and relational identities • Personal Family System VS. Positional Family System
  6. 6. Gender • Affect how we define ourselves, encode and decode gendered messages, develop intimate relationships, and relate to one another • Gender identity – meanings and interpretations we hold concerning our self-images and expected other-images of “femaleness” and “maleness” • Expectations and orientations learned through cultural and ethnic practices – child-rearing • Children learn appropriate gender roles through rewards and punishments for “proper” or “improper” gender-related behaviors.
  7. 7. Gender and Communication • Gender identities are supported and reinforced by existing cultural structures and practices (how we “should” and “should not” behave). • Females – Fluid discussion that promote relational collaboration – Form expectation that “communication” is used to create and maintain relationships to respond to the other’s feelings empathetically • Males – Clear objectives, distinct roles and rules and clear win-lose outcomes – Form the expectation that “communication” is used to achieve some clear outcome, attract and maintain an audience, and compete with others
  8. 8. Cultural Identity • The emotional significance we attach to our sense of belonging or affiliation with the larger culture • Cultural group memberships are acquired through the guidance of primary caretakers and peer associations during our formative years • Physical appearance, racial traits, skin color, language usage, self-appraisal, and other perception factors all enter into the cultural identity construction equation • The meanings and interpretations we hold for our culturebased identity groups are learned via direct or mediated contacts (e.g. mass media images) with others
  9. 9. Ethnic Identity • Inherently a matter of ancestry, of beliefs about the origins of one’s forebears • An inheritance wherein members perceive each other as emotionally bounded by a common set of traditions, worldviews, history, heritage, and descent on a psychological and historical level • Can be based on national origin, race, religion, or language • Based on a subjective sense of belonging to or identification with an ethnic group across time • Objective sense of ethnic identity – shared religion, language • Subjective sense of “ingroupness” – shared historical and emotional ties
  10. 10. Value Content • Value content refers to the standards or expectations that people hold in their mind-set in making evaluations • Value dimensions that underlie people’s behavior • Individualism-collectivism (Hofstede) • In order to negotiate mindfully with people from diverse cultures, we must understand the value contents of their cultural identities
  11. 11. Identity Salience • Identity salience refers to the strength of affiliation / sentiments or feeling of belonging or connection that we have with our larger culture • Operates on a conscious and unconscious level • Influences our practice of norms and communication scripts of the dominant, mainstream culture • In order to negotiate cultural and ethnic identities mindfully with divers cultural/ethnic groups, we need to understand in depth the content and salience of cultural and ethnic identity issues.
  12. 12. What is Identity Negotiation? • A transactional interaction process whereby individuals in an intercultural situation attempt to assert, define, modify, challenge, and/or support their own and others’ desired self-images • A mutual communication activity • Communicators evoke their own desired identities in the interaction and also attempt to challenge or support the others’ identities • Mindless (automatic pilot) and mindful (learned process of attuning to self-identity reactive issues plus engaging in intentional attunement to others’ salient identity issues)
  13. 13. Identity Negotiation Theory
  14. 14. • Emphasis: cultural and ethnic identity conceptualizations • Premise: human beings in all cultures desire both positive groupbased and positive person-based identities in any type of communicative situation. • Focus: ways to obtain accurate knowledge of the identity domains of the self and others in the intercultural encounter. • Concern: the ways that we can enhance identity understanding, respect and mutual affirmative valuation of the other • Motivations (as needs): – To feel secure that things are as they appear – To feel included or actually be included – To experience a certain amount of predictability and to trust the responses of others
  15. 15. • Enablers: – our knowledge base – Our attunement level – Our honesty in assessing our own group membership and personal identity issues. • Critical factors in establishing security, inclusion, trust, and connection: culture sensitive knowledge and competent identity-based communication skills • While the efforts of both communicators are needed to ensure competent identity negotiation, the effort of one individual can set competent communication in motion.
  16. 16. Identity Dialectics: Five Boundary-Crossing Themes Identity Security---------------------- Identity Vulnerability Identity Inclusion---------------------Identity Differentiation Identity Predictability----------------Identity Unpredictability Identity Connection------------------Identity Autonomy Identity Consistency------------------Identity Change
  17. 17. Core Assumptions of Identity Negotiation Theory
  18. 18. Assumption 1 • 1: The core dynamics of people’s group membership identities (e.g. Cultural and ethnic memberships) and personal identities (e.g. Unique attributes) are formed via symbolic communication with others. • People in all cultures form their reflective self-images, such as cultural identity and ethnic identity, via their enculturation process. • To understand the person with whom you are communicating, you need to understand the identity domains that she or he deems salient and validate and be responsive to these domains. • We can discover salient identity issues that are desirable to the individuals in our everyday intercultural encounters.
  19. 19. Assumptions 2 and 3 • 2: Individuals in all cultures or ethnic groups have the basic motivation needs for identity security, inclusion, predictability, connection, and consistency on both group-based and person-based identity levels. • 3: Individuals tend to experience emotional security in a culturally familiar environment and experience identity emotional vulnerability in a culturally unfamiliar environment. • Perceived threat or fear in a culturally estranged environment brings emotional insecurity or vulnerability. / We experience emotional security in a culturally familiar environment. • Degree of safety vs. degree of anxiety or ambivalence
  20. 20. Assumptions 4 and 5 Ingroup/outgroup-based boundary maintenance issues • 4: Individuals tend to feel included when their desired group membership identities are positively endorsed, and experience identity differentiation when their desired group membership identities are stigmatized. • Identity inclusion = self-image is attached to some emotionally significant group membership categories • Identity differentiation = remoteness (emotional, psychological, spatial distance) • Favorable in comparison = positive consideration of one’s membership • Unfavorable = options of changing one’s identity group, changing comparative criteria dimensions, reaffirming one’s own group value, or downgrading the comparative group. • Needs: Validation vs. Uniqueness and individuation
  21. 21. Assumptions 4 and 5 Ingroup/outgroup-based boundary maintenance issues • 5: Individuals tend to experience interaction predictability when communicating with culturally familiar others and interaction unpredictability (or novelty) when communicating with culturally unfamiliar others – thus, identity predictability leads to trust, and identity unpredictability leads to distrust, second-guessing, or biased intergroup attributions. • Emphasis on interaction predictability or trust vs. interaction unpredictability or distrust issues • Identity trust in interacting with familiar others due to norms and routines occurring frequently • Identity awkwardness or estrangement in interacting with unfamiliar others due to unexpected behaviors occurring frequently and intrusively
  22. 22. Assumption 6 boundary regulation issues in autonomy and identity connection • 6: Individuals tend to desire interpersonal connection via meaningful close relationships (e.g. In close friendship support situations) and experience identity autonomy when they experience relationship separations – meaningful intercultural-interpersonal relationships can create additional emotional security and trust in the cultural strangers. • Influenced by cultural values of individualism and collectivism (Hofstede) • Identity autonomy-connection – manifested through a culture’s language usage and nonverbal emotional expression • Need for a strong grasp of the cultural, ethnic, gender, and relational value orientations • Need to pay mindful attention to verbal and nonverbal message styles
  23. 23. Assumption 7 Identity consistency and Change Issues • 7: Individuals tend to experience identity consistency in repeated cultural routines in a familiar cultural environment, and they tend to experience identity change (or, at the extreme, identity chaos) and transformation in a new or unfamiliar cultural environment. • Favorable or unfavorable climate for newly arrived strangers • Help for newcomers, realistic expectations of newcomers • Members of host culture • Identity security = openness to change VS. identity threats = likely cling to old, familiar identity habits • Yin-yang complementary perspective in a mindful direction will help us to be aware of identity fluidity issues • Competent intercultural communication = successfully meeting all mutual identity needs, expectations, attunements, and cravings.
  24. 24. Assumption 8 • 8: Cultural, personal and situational variability dimensions influence the meanings, interpretations, and evaluations of these identityrelated themes. • Needs and thresholds differ. • Cultural beliefs and values provide implicit standards for evaluating and enacting different identity-related practices – and direct our construction of identities and interactions. • “loose” cultures vs. “tight” cultures • Personality trait and personal ability factors shape meanings and expectations of identity enactment issues. • Individuals who take the time to reflect and increase their knowledge about cross-boundary identity issues may also stand a greater chance of challenging their own identity assumptions than individuals who stay in an ethnocentric state of denial or defense.
  25. 25. Two Ethnic Identity Development Models
  26. 26. A Cultural-Ethnic Identity Typology Model Cultural Identity Strong Ethnic Identity Weak Strong Bicultural Identity Ethnic-Oriented Identity Weak Assimilated Identity Marginal Identity
  27. 27. Racial-Ethnic Identity Development Model
  28. 28. Assumption 9 • 9: A competent identity negotiation process emphasizes the importance of integrating the necessary intercultural identitybased knowledge, mindfulness and interaction skills to communicate appropriately and effectively with culturally dissimilar others. • Emphasizes 2 ideas: – Mindful intercultural communication has 3 components – knowledge, mindfulness and identity negotiation skills – Mindful intercultural communication refers to the appropriate, effective and satisfactory management of desired shared identity meanings and shared identity goals in an intercultural episode • Importance of the integration of knowledge and positive attitudinal factors put into mindful practice
  29. 29. Assumption 10 • 10: Satisfactory identity negotiation outcomes include the feelings of being understood, respected, and affirmatively valued.
  30. 30. Identity Knowledge Component • Understand the identity domains that she or he deems salient • Find ways to validate and be responsive to her or his cultural identities • Uncover ways to affirm her or his positively desired personal identity • Take other people’s cultural membership and personal identity factors into consideration
  31. 31. Mindfulness Component • Encourages individuals to tune in conscientiously to their habituated mental scripts and preconceived expectations • Readiness to shift one’s frame of reference • Motivation to use new categories to understand cultural or ethnic differences • Preparedness to experiment with creative avenues of decision making and problem solving • Proactive Mindlessness • Heavy reliance on familiar frames of reference, old routinized designs or categories, and customary ways of doing things • Operating on “automatic pilot” without conscious thinking or reflection • Reactive
  32. 32. Mindful Communicators • Are mindful of what is going on in our own thinking, feelings and experiencing to raise awareness of our own systems of thinking and judging • Recognize value systems that influence others’ selfconceptions • Are open to a new way of identity construction • Are prepared to perceive and understand a behavior or a problem from others’ cultural and personal standpoints • Are on the alert for the multiple perspectives that typically exist in interpreting a cultural collusion episode
  33. 33. Identity-Negotiations Skills’ Component • Skills – the actual operational abilities to perform behaviors considered appropriate and effective in a given cultural situation • Adaptive interaction skills, clarification skills, mindful observation skills, mindful listening skills, verbal empathy skills, nonverbal sensitivity skills, identity support skills, facework management skills, conflict reframing skills, collaborative dialogue skills, transcultural competence skills • TING – listening responsively, attending delicately with our ears, eyes, and a focused heart to sounds, tones, gestures, movements, nonverbal nuances, pauses, silences, identity meanings through the other’s identity framing perspective • Authentic and positive identity validation vs. rejection
  34. 34. Identity Negotiation Process: Criteria • Management of shared identity meanings and effective achievement of desired identity goals • Communication competence (achievement of goals through appropriate interaction) criteria: – Appropriateness: the degree to which behaviors are regarded as proper and match the expectations generated by the culture – Effectiveness – degree to which communicators achieve shared meanings and desirable outcomes in a given situation
  35. 35. Identity Negotiation Process: Outcomes • Identity Outcome Facets – The feeling of being understood – The feeling of being respected – The feeling of being affirmatively valued • Outcomes contingent on: – Perceptions of communicators in interaction scene – Willingness and commitment to practice mindfulness in interactions with dissimilar others
  36. 36. The feeling of being understood • Connotes an illuminating understanding voice • Reflective mirror for one’s thinking, feeling and behaving • Empathetic emotional impact (“I truly understand where you’re coming from”) The feeling of being respected • Desirable identity-based behaviors and practices are deemed legitimate, credible and on equal footing with members of other groups • Connotes mindful monitoring of one’s verbal and nonverbal attitudes in interacting with dissimilar others
  37. 37. The feeling of being affirmatively valued • Sense of being positively endorsed and being affirmatively embraced as “worthwhile” individuals despite having different group-based identities or stigmatized identities • Expressed through verbal and nonverbal confirming messages • Confirmation – “process through which individuals are recognized, acknowledged and endorsed” • Conveying your positive valuation of the other person’s self-valued identities vs. Disconfirming
  38. 38. References • Stella Ting-Toomey. Identity Negotiation Theory: Crossing Cultural Boundaries (in Gudykunst) • California State University, Fullerton - Stella Ting-Tooney’s Home on the Web http://commfaculty.fullerton.edu/stingtoomey/ • Sage Home http://www.sagepub.com/authorDetails.nav?contribId=501632 • Identity Negotiation in Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Identity_negotiation

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my report for Com 311: Seminar in Cross-Cultural Research at the College of Mass Communication, University of the Philippines Diliman - PhD Media Studies program


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