Analyzing and Understanding Cultural Differences: Experiences from Education in Library and Information Studies

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/106064
Title:
Analyzing and Understanding Cultural Differences: Experiences from Education in Library and Information Studies
Author:
Iivonen, Mirja; Sonnenwald, Diane H.; Parma, Maria; Poole-Kober, Evelyn M.
Citation:
Analyzing and Understanding Cultural Differences: Experiences from Education in Library and Information Studies 1998,
Issue Date:
1998
URI:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/106064
Submitted date:
2006-08-18
Abstract:
In the paper the need to understand cultural differences is discussed. The authors show how cultural differences can be analyzed. They also describe how cultural information was exchanged and analyzed during the library and information studies course that was taught via the Internet simultanously in Finland and North Carolina. In addition, the authors discuss how libraries could use experiences of the common class when they act in a multicultural environment. In the paper, culture is defined to be a framework to our lives, something which affects our values, attitudes and behavior. In analyzing and understanding cultural differences it is important to pay attention to how members of various cultures see i) the nature of people, ii) a person's relationship to the external enviroment, iii) the person's relationship to other people, iv) the primary mode of the activity, v) people's orientation to space, and vi) the person's temporal orientation. These dimension will be explained in the paper. In addition, the authors pay attention to language and communication styles as a dimension of cultural differences. The paper describes differences in cultures of Finns, Sami People, North Carolians and Cherokee Indians. Sami People and Cherokee Indians were chosen to represent minor cultures in Finland and North Carolina. An interesting similarities can be found on the one hand between major cultures (Finland and North Carolina), and on the other hand between minor cultures (Sami and Cherokees). The authors propose that there are a few lessons learnt in the common class which can be useful also for libraries and librarians serving multicultural populations. They are i) to undertand people's behavior as a reflection of their cultural background, ii) to understand of differences in language and communication styles between cultures, iii) to understand that collaboration across cultural boundaries and sharing cultural informations occur together, and iv) to take advantage from the Internet in crossing cultural boundaries but not to forget that people have various attitudes toward the Internet and therefore some clients continue to prefer books and face-to-face interaction with library professionals. The authors emphasize that cross-cultural communication and collaboration does not occur effectively without understanding other cultures.
Type:
Conference Paper
Language:
en
Keywords:
Distributed Learning; Social Informatics; Human Computer Interaction; Library and Information Science Education
Local subject classification:
collaboration; culture; distance education

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.contributor.authorIivonen, Mirjaen_US
dc.contributor.authorSonnenwald, Diane H.en_US
dc.contributor.authorParma, Mariaen_US
dc.contributor.authorPoole-Kober, Evelyn M.en_US
dc.date.accessioned2006-08-18T00:00:01Z-
dc.date.available2010-06-18T23:39:11Z-
dc.date.issued1998en_US
dc.date.submitted2006-08-18en_US
dc.identifier.citationAnalyzing and Understanding Cultural Differences: Experiences from Education in Library and Information Studies 1998,en_US
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10150/106064-
dc.description.abstractIn the paper the need to understand cultural differences is discussed. The authors show how cultural differences can be analyzed. They also describe how cultural information was exchanged and analyzed during the library and information studies course that was taught via the Internet simultanously in Finland and North Carolina. In addition, the authors discuss how libraries could use experiences of the common class when they act in a multicultural environment. In the paper, culture is defined to be a framework to our lives, something which affects our values, attitudes and behavior. In analyzing and understanding cultural differences it is important to pay attention to how members of various cultures see i) the nature of people, ii) a person's relationship to the external enviroment, iii) the person's relationship to other people, iv) the primary mode of the activity, v) people's orientation to space, and vi) the person's temporal orientation. These dimension will be explained in the paper. In addition, the authors pay attention to language and communication styles as a dimension of cultural differences. The paper describes differences in cultures of Finns, Sami People, North Carolians and Cherokee Indians. Sami People and Cherokee Indians were chosen to represent minor cultures in Finland and North Carolina. An interesting similarities can be found on the one hand between major cultures (Finland and North Carolina), and on the other hand between minor cultures (Sami and Cherokees). The authors propose that there are a few lessons learnt in the common class which can be useful also for libraries and librarians serving multicultural populations. They are i) to undertand people's behavior as a reflection of their cultural background, ii) to understand of differences in language and communication styles between cultures, iii) to understand that collaboration across cultural boundaries and sharing cultural informations occur together, and iv) to take advantage from the Internet in crossing cultural boundaries but not to forget that people have various attitudes toward the Internet and therefore some clients continue to prefer books and face-to-face interaction with library professionals. The authors emphasize that cross-cultural communication and collaboration does not occur effectively without understanding other cultures.en_US
dc.format.mimetypehtmen_US
dc.language.isoenen_US
dc.subjectDistributed Learningen_US
dc.subjectSocial Informaticsen_US
dc.subjectHuman Computer Interactionen_US
dc.subjectLibrary and Information Science Educationen_US
dc.subject.othercollaborationen_US
dc.subject.othercultureen_US
dc.subject.otherdistance educationen_US
dc.titleAnalyzing and Understanding Cultural Differences: Experiences from Education in Library and Information Studiesen_US
dc.typeConference Paperen_US
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