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Interactions of Southeast Asian students and administrative staff at university in Australia: The significance of reciprocal understanding

Volet, S.E. and Tan‐Quigley, A. (1999) Interactions of Southeast Asian students and administrative staff at university in Australia: The significance of reciprocal understanding. Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, 21 (1). pp. 95-115.

Link to Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1360080990210108
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Abstract

The impact of cultural dimensions on individuals’ expectations, beliefs and social practices is well established. In cross‐cultural encounters, differences in cognitions, norms and values that are culturally based play a significant role in the interpretation of everyday behaviours and subsequently to breakdown in communication and negative stereotyping. This paper examines how some ‘awkward’ cross‐cultural incidents between Southeast Asian students and Australian staff at university in Australia may be interpreted in terms of the cultural, sub‐cultural and individual differences in the social rules governing this category of interactions. Using a parallel style of reporting, the paper compares and discusses staff's and students’ independent interpretations of incidents involving ‘persistent behaviours’ and ‘reference to professional hierarchy’. The cultural nature of what is perceived as socially acceptable behaviour is emphasised and explored. It is argued that reciprocal cultural understanding is critical for effective intercultural communication and is a responsibility of both interacting parties.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Education
Publisher: Routledge, part of the Taylor & Francis Group
Copyright: 1999 Association for Tertiary Education Management
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/8146
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