ERIC Number: ED253496
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1985-Feb
Reference Count: 0
Meeting Styles for Intercultural Groups. Occasional Papers in Intercultural Learning No. 7.
Intended to help those interested in developing ways of coping effectively with the wide variety of meeting and decision-making styles that are available throughout the world, the booklet integrates a number of ideas and approaches discussed at a recent convention of the Society of Intercultural Education, Training, and Research (SIETAR). An introductory section discusses implications of the correlation between language, thought, and behavior as related to meeting styles for intercultural groups. The next section, "Learning Together through Intercultural Dialogue," warns that in many cases the very structure and conventions adopted during meetings can significantly reduce the level of participation of the less dominant group and that such structure can be changed and can eventually lead to a change of attitudes as well. A section on traditional meeting styles presents examples of meeting styles of the Maaga of Nepal, the Barai of Papau New Guinea, the Ibo of Eastern Nigeria, the Mapuche of Chile, and the peasants of Malay. The examples highlight cultural diversity in leadership roles, the presence or absence of periods of silence, levels of participation, and the presence or absence of food or drink. Nine flexible aspects of the structure of meetings are briefly discussed: participant roles, sequence of participation, topic control, decision-making process, pace, space orientation, punctuality, language choice, and amenities. In the final section, examples of artificially reconstructed meeting styles are given to demonstrate the possibility of developing new styles to better facilitate meetings between intercultural groups. (LH)
Descriptors: Conferences, Cross Cultural Studies, Cross Cultural Training, Cultural Awareness, Cultural Differences, Cultural Interrelationships, Decision Making, Group Dynamics, Intercultural Communication, Intergroup Relations, Meetings
AFS International, 313 East 43rd St., New York, NY 10017 (free).
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: AFS International/Intercultural Programs, Inc., New York, NY.