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ISSN 2227-6017 (ONLINE), ISSN 2303-9868 (PRINT), DOI: 10.18454/IRJ.2227-6017
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DOI: https://doi.org/10.23670/IRJ.2021.114.12.153

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Vechkanova E.Yu., "FUNCTIONALISM AND CULTURAL RELATIVISM IN THE FRAMEWORK OF INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION". Meždunarodnyj naučno-issledovatel’skij žurnal (International Research Journal) 12 (114) Part 5, (2021): 10. Fri. 17. Dec. 2021.
Vechkanova, E.Yu. (2021). FUNKCIONALIZM I KULYTURNYY RELYATIVIZM V RAMKAH MEGHKULYTURNOY KOMMUNIKACII [FUNCTIONALISM AND CULTURAL RELATIVISM IN THE FRAMEWORK OF INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION]. Meždunarodnyj naučno-issledovatel’skij žurnal, 12 (114) Part 5, 10-12. http://dx.doi.org/10.23670/IRJ.2021.114.12.153
Vechkanova E. Yu. FUNCTIONALISM AND CULTURAL RELATIVISM IN THE FRAMEWORK OF INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION / E. Yu. Vechkanova // Mezhdunarodnyj nauchno-issledovatel'skij zhurnal. — 2021. — №12 (114) Part 5. — С. 10—12. doi: 10.23670/IRJ.2021.114.12.153

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FUNCTIONALISM AND CULTURAL RELATIVISM IN THE FRAMEWORK OF INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION

ФУНКЦИОНАЛИЗМ И КУЛЬТУРНЫЙ РЕЛЯТИВИЗМ
В РАМКАХ МЕЖКУЛЬТУРНОЙ КОММУНИКАЦИИ

Научная статья

Вечканова Э.Ю.*

ORCID: 0000-0002-7019-0992,

Крымский федеральный университет имени В. И. Вернадского, Симферополь, Россия

* Корреспондирующий автор (vechkanova22[at]mail.ru)

Аннотация

Данная статья рассматривает актуальность функционализма и культурного релятивизма, их влияние, вклад в межкультурную коммуникацию, ценность в культуре каждого народа. В работе упоминается о появлении межкультурной коммуникации как молодого направления в науке XX века, зарождении функционализма и культурного релятивизма, что оказало значительное влияние на развитие языкознания в целом.

В статье исследуются зарубежные и отечественные труды, посвященные исследованию проблематики изучаемой темы, обращается внимание на их важность для развития науки.

Изучение научных работ подтверждает лозунг релятивистов: «Культуры разные, но равноценные», что подразумевает особую культурную важность в рамках межкультурной коммуникации.

Ключевые слова: функционализм, культурный релятивизм, культурные ценности, языкознание, межкультурная коммуникация.

FUNCTIONALISM AND CULTURAL RELATIVISM IN THE FRAMEWORK
OF INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION

Research article

Vechkanova E.Yu.*

ORCID: 0000-0002-7019-0992,

V. I. Vernadsky Crimean Federal University, Simferopol, Russia

* Corresponding author (vechkanova22[at]mail.ru)

Abstract

This article determines the actuality of functionalism and cultural relativism, its influence, the contribution to intercultural communication, value in the culture of each nation. The work mentions the emergence of intercultural communication as a young trend in the science of the 20th century, the appearance of functionalism and cultural relativism, which had a significant impact on the development of linguistics in general.

The article investigates foreign and domestic works devoted to the problems of the topic under study, draws attention to its importance for the development of science.

The study of scientific works confirms the slogan of the relativists: “Cultures are different, but equal”, which implies a particular cultural importance in the framework of intercultural communication.

Keywords: functionalism, cultural relativism, cultural values, linguistics, intercultural communication.

Today, domestic and foreign researchers, both in Russia and abroad, show the great interest in the study of functionalism and cultural relativism in the framework of intercultural communication. Russian and foreign scientists analyze the problems of intercultural communication as an interdisciplinary discipline in the aspect of a cultural and anthropological approach based on modern domestic and foreign research.

Studying functionalism and cultural relativism in the framework of intercultural communication, which is an urgent issue in science today, it should be noted that intercultural communication as a term appeared relatively recently, in the 20th century in the domestic humanitarian science this concept began to be interpreted as «mentality», «cultural pluralism», «dialogue of cultures» [2, P. 10-12].

It should be noted that in the monograph «Intercultural Communication: Theoretical and Applied Aspects. Based on the material of Russian and German linguocultures» by the domestic author L. V. Kulikova, the author writes about intercultural communication as a new direction in science and practice, in the academic discipline, in the field of education in Russia
[2, P. 10-12]. The study of numerous works indicates the fact that intercultural communication is developing, is at the very beginning of its path and formation within the framework of a scientific and applied discipline.

Referring to the works of foreign and Russian researchers, their concept`s definitions of «intercultural communication», it is worth highlighting that this term can be considered in three meanings: as a scientific direction in the humanities; as a university subject (didactic aspect); as a direct process of communication between representatives of different cultures.

Based on the fragmentary research and interpretation of «intercultural communication» as a term, it is worth considering and analyzing functionalism and cultural relativism within its framework, which will affect a deep study of the general theoretical concept of intercultural communication.

The analysis of functionalism refers to the following authors: B. Malinovsky, A. Radcliffe-Brown, R. Thurnwald,
G. Spencer and E. Durkheim, it is with them that its origin is associated as a way of studying cultures. The study of the functionalist approach confirms the significant contributions of the aforementioned authors, which have had a great influence on the study of traditional and modern cultures.

Analysis of the work «Ethnologie-die Wissenschaft vom kulturell Fremden: Eine Einführung München» by foreign researcher K. Kh. Kohl indicates that functionalism is one of the most successful theoretical trends in the world ethnological school [6, P. 137]. It is important to note that the fundamental basis of functionalism is the awareness of culture as an integral education, which consists of interrelated and interdependent integral components, and is an important element for the formation of a single system.

A detailed study of the work of K. Kh. Kohl proves that it is functionalism that is responsible for the unification of culture, the functionalist approach provides an opportunity to study and classify individual social and cultural institutions within the framework of their functionality and interconnectedness as a single organism [6, P. 137].

As for the characteristic features of functionalism, the work «Culturology. Anthropological Theories of Cultures» by the domestic researcher A. A Belik, where the author writes about the practical orientation of research, the use of field methods in the analysis of cultural phenomena [1].

Considering the works of the Russian researcher A. A. Belik and the foreign author K. Kh. Kohl, it is worth emphasizing that the functionalist approach made a significant contribution to the development of the theory and practice of intercultural communication, and its principle provided an opportunity to form the necessary basis for cross-cultural comparisons.

Studying the problems of functionalism in the framework of intercultural communication, it is worth mentioning that the functionalist approach obliges the study of culture in society due to the fact that this approach implies a deep analysis of the group`s human behavior who are closely interconnected with each other in the social structure [1, P. 106].

Further, it is necessary to highlight the scientific work of A.R. Radcliffe-Brown «A Natural Science of Society», in which the author analyzes functionalism from the opinion of its focus on deep awareness of other culture`s types. It is important to point out that functionalism is not just aimed at studying another culture, it analyzes the culture from the inside to understand other cultural values [7].

The analysis of functionalism proves that in the processes of intercultural communication, people tend to change the model of their communicative behavior in connection with adaptation to the models of communication partners. It is important to pay attention to the fact that it will adapt much faster during a relaxed communication process or with a positive disposition towards a person from another culture. Studies point to the process of functionalism`s manifestation in intercultural communication, which is often expressed as slow and clear speech with an emphasis on minimizing various jargons in speech between a foreigner and, for example, a Russian person, which really improves understanding between communicators.

Studying functionalism through the prism of intercultural communication, it is necessary to highlight a functional approach that provides an opportunity to trace the communication styles of people from different cultures. Let’s compare the Japanese and the Americans: they compliment and apologize in different ways, but there are also similarities – they prefer simple apologies. It is worth emphasizing that Americans apologize and praise their interlocutor more often than in other cultures. As for the representatives of Japanese culture, in the process of emerging problems, they quickly react, solve problems, while Americans more often apologize and tend to give explanations.

After it is worth highlighting the direction of cultural relativism, which also influenced the formation of intercultural communication in science. K. Kh. Kohl described this direction in his work, which appeared in science at the turn of the 40s – 50s and represented the ideology of the methodological and theoretical basis of intercultural communication. The author writes that cultural relativism analyzes culture as an integral system and differs from functionalism in that relativists understand and characterize each culture as a unique formation with a special meaning [6, P. 145].

The study of numerous foreign and domestic works prove the emergence of cultural relativism in science thanks to F. Boas, the founder of the modern American anthropology [4].

The students and followers of F. Boas: A. Kroeber, R. Benedict, M. Herskovitz, M. Mead developed and formalized his ideas into a scientific concept, and in our country, the domestic researcher S.A. Tokarev carefully studied cultural relativism, its principles, thereby made a significant contribution to its development in Russia [4]. According to SA Tokarev, all cultures are to some extent equal, but studying them in practice, the author noticed that they are, after all, different in their independence and usefulness [3, P. 298].

Cultural relativism was studied and analyzed by foreign researcher Rudolf Wolfgang in his scientific work «Der Kulturelle Relativismus. Kritische Analyze einer Grundsatzfragen-Diskussion in der amerikanischen Ethnologie», where he highlighted its importance and proved that every cultural phenomenon is interpreted from the point of view of the culture, the fundamental link of which it is at the moment [8, P. 61].

Referring to K. Kh. Kohl and his works devoted to the analysis of cultural relativism, the author draws attention to the absence of a single normative-value system for all cultures within the framework of the existing principles of cultural relativism, which is not confirmed by the division into higher and lower cultures [6, P. 148].

The study of the cultural relativism`s problems in science implies consideration of not only cultural relativism itself, but also its methodological, philosophical and practical aspects [1, P. 96].

  1. A. Belik considers these aspects in his scientific work and comes to the conclusion that within the framework of the methodological aspect there is a deep analysis of cultures, the basis of which is the values of people, understanding of the functionality and essence of culture [1, P. 96].
  2. A. Belik presents the philosophical aspect as a process during which comes the realization of the numerous paths` development in culture and pluralism from the point of view of the historical and cultural process.

The practical aspect in cultural relativism involves a lot of discussions on the part of foreign and domestic scientists and authors due to the fact that all the key components of culture in history and modernity are a manifestation of the logic of their own development [1, p. 96]. Referring to the study of cultural relativism, both in domestic works and in foreign ones, it is worth pointing out the existing motto of the relativism school: «Cultures are different, but equal», it was mentioned by the foreign author G. Hofstad in his work «Lokales Denken, globales Handeln. Kulturen, Zusammenarbeit und Management»
[5, P. 7].

Studies a lot of works indicate the positive aspects of the cultural relativism`s principle in the framework of intercultural communication, where it is worth highlighting respect for the culture of each nation, the arrogant self-aggrandizement`s rejection of Europeans and Americans. Mainly, cultural relativism provides the opportunity to apply internal and external research perspectives to analyze different cultures and their characteristics.

The analysis of cultural relativism draws attention to the fact that in the process of intercultural communication, people exchange views and thoughts, act on the basis of a cultural opinion. Studied works indicate the absence of universal normal behavior and the importance of cultural rules.

Within the framework of cultural relativism, the meaning of another culture`s phenomena are revealed through the prism and their own culture`s standards. It is important to note that the same phenomena in different cultures have different meanings, in this regard, the culture of each nation is relative, it can be evaluated within its own framework and boundaries.

Based on the fragmentary analysis of functionalism and cultural relativism, it is necessary to emphasize that culturologists and linguists can explore not only their concept, but also highlight the problems of cultural differences, point out prospects in development, reflect on empathy and morality, which is an important element in the culture of every nation.

To conclude the results of the study, it is worth noting that the role of functionalism and cultural relativism is of great importance for intercultural communication. Russian and foreign authors confirm that value, cultural norms, human behavior and their cultural conditioning are taken into account in any intercultural research and are relevant today.

It is important to pay attention to further in-depth research of both functionalism and cultural relativism, to their analysis within the framework of various principles and preconditions, which in the future will make its invaluable contribution to the development of linguistics in Russia and abroad.

Конфликт интересов

Не указан.

Conflict of Interest

None declared.

Список литературы / References

  1. Белик А. А. Культурология. Антропологические теории культур / А. А. Белик. – М. 1998. – 241 с.
  2. Куликова Л. В. Межкультурная коммуникация: теоретические и прикладные аспекты. На материале русской и немецкой лингвокультур / Л. В. Куликова // Монография. – Красноярск: РИО КГПУ, 2004. – 196 с.
  3. Токарев С. А. История зарубежной этнографии / С. А. Токарев. – М., 1978.
  4. Boas, F. Kultur und Rasse / F. Boas ; auszugsweise wiederabgedruckt in C.A. Schmitz, hg., Kultur. Frankfurt am Main 1963.
  5. Hofstede G. Lokales Denken, globales Handeln. Kulturen, Zusammenarbeit und Management / G. Hofstede. München. 1997.
  6. Kohl, K. Ethnologie-die Wissenschaft vom kulturell Fremden: Eine Einführung / K. Kohl. München 1993. 201 c.
  7. Radcliffe-Brown, A.R. A Natural Science of Society / A.R. Radcliffe-Brown. Chicago: Free Press. 1957.
  8. Rudolf, W. Der Kulturelle Relativismus. Kritische Analyse einer Grundsatzfragen-Diskussion in der amerikanischen Ethnologie / Rudolf, Wolfgang. Berlin: Duncker & Humblot. 1968

Список литературы на английском языке / References in English

  1. Belik A. A. Kul’turologija. Antropologicheskie teorii kul’tur [Culturology. Anthropological theories of cultures] / A. Belik. – M. 1998. – 241 p. [in Russian]
  2. Kulikova L. V. Mezhkul’turnaja kommunikacija: teoreticheskie i prikladnye aspekty. Na materiale russkoj i nemeckoj lingvokul’tur [Intercultural communication: theoretical and applied aspects. On the material of Russian and German linguocultures] / L. V. Kulikova // Monograph. – Krasnoyarsk: RIO KSPU, 2004– – 196 p. [in Russian]
  3. Tokarev S. A. Istorija zarubezhnoj jetnografii [History of foreign ethnography] / S. A. Tokarev. – M., 1978. [in Russian]
  4. Boas, F. Kultur und Rasse [Culture and Race] / F. Boas ; reprinted in excerpts in C.A. Schmitz, ed. Kultur. Frankfurt am Main 1963. [in German]
  5. Hofstede G. Lokales Denken, globales Handeln. Kulturen, Zusammenarbeit und Management [Local thinking, global action. Cultures, collaboration and management] / G. Hofstede. München. 1997. [in German]
  6. Kohl, K. Ethnologie-die Wissenschaft vom kulturell Fremden: Eine Einführung [Ethnology-the science of the culturally foreign: An Introduction] / K. Kohl. München 1993. 201 p. [in German]
  7. Radcliffe-Brown, A.R. A Natural Science of Society / A.R. Radcliffe-Brown. Chicago: Free Press. 1957.
  8. Rudolf, W. Der Kulturelle Relativismus. Kritische Analyse einer Grundsatzfragen-Diskussion in der amerikanischen Ethnologie [Cultural Relativism. Critical Analysis of a discussion of fundamental questions in American Ethnology] / Rudolf, Wolfgang. Berlin: Duncker & Humblot. 1968 [in German]

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