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Judy Sims - communication journalism

SABBATICAL (2008-2009)

"International Awareness Through Intercultural Interviews"

The study of intercultural communication, which concerns the interaction between people of different cultural backgrounds, attempts to discover how people from distinctively diverse cultures endeavor to communicate.  “Culture Talk" is both a radio program and a faculty/student collaborative research project, which explores how culture influences communication. Communication is a behavior affected by culture. What one is taught affects the values one maintains and how one behaves. The purpose of the research is to encourage understanding of how culture affects the messages one delivers as well as how one communicates.  The intercultural interviews conducted in this study  explore how culture, which can be thought of as "everything that people have, think or do" (Ferraro, 2006) or "programming of the mind" (Hofstede, 1980; 1984), influences communication. This research provides empirical data illustrating that an individual’s culture (mental programming), including the values, verbal and nonverbal behaviors one has been taught, affects the messages one delivers as well as how one communicates.  Data were gathered through interviews from a non-random sample of 24 participants (16 women and eight men) representing 20 cultures. A semi-structured interview schedule was used to gather data. Interviewees were asked a series of open and closed-ended questions that explored areas including: identity, verbal communication, nonverbal communication, values and culture shock. This research is significant as it provides recent, real-life examples exemplifying the influence of culture on communication.  The study of intercultural communication is mandated by issues of globalization, changing patterns of domestic and international migration, advances in internet technology that allow people worldwide to connect with each other, the need to understand ethical issues from a cultural perspective, and opportunities for peace (Martin & Nakayama, 2010, 39). Intercultural communication competence or “the degree to which one is able to effectively adapt their verbal and nonverbal messages to the appropriate cultural context” (Neuliep, 2009, 393) and thus, intercultural communication skills, are crucial in a multicultural world with an international marketplace.  The findings from this research can be applied to business, political and social settings. Today’s international marketplace demands globally and inter-culturally competent communicators. The key to such competence is cultural intelligence.   

Ferraro, G. (2006). The cultural dimension of international business (5th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Hofstede, G. (1980). Culture's consequences: International differences in work-related values. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Hofstede, G. (1984). Culture's consequences: International differences in work-related values. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.

Martin, J. & Nakayama, T. (2007). Intercultural communication in contexts (4th ed.). Boston: McGraw Hill.

Listen to a "Spectrum West" interview about "Culture Talk" (WHWC 88.3 FM, November 13, 2008) 

Listen to "Culture Talk" streaming audio interviews on WUEC 89.7 FM

Return to the WPR Home Page 



SABBATICAL (Spring 2001)

 "Struggling toward pluralism: The structure of Greek broadcasting since privatization"









During my 2001 sabbatical, I conducted research concerning radio broadcasting in Athens, Greece. The project, a longitudinal study, was a continuation of my 1988 research, which documented the movement to privatize radio broadcasting in Greece (Sims, 1990). The 2001 study explored to what degree a condition of pluralism had been able to develop in Greece, and what, if any, changes occurred within the Greek radio broadcasting environment since radio was first privatized in 1988.  Data were gathered multi-methodologically, employing an historical-descriptive approach, as well as survey. The measurement technique of the face-to-face interview was used.  Between February 23 and April 14, 2001, I interviewed 25 people in the Attica area, including spokespersons from each of the political parties represented in the Greek parliament, attorneys, managers of radio stations, a spokesperson from the Church of Greece, journalists, university professors, and others. The audio-taped interview data were supplemented and supported with relevant symbolic rhetorical artifacts such as government documents, photographs, political cartoons, newspaper articles, and radio station promotional materials.  In addition, video footage was gathered to produce a mini-documentary about the Greek culture.

Sims, J. (2007). Globalization and the privatization of radio in Greece: Influences, issues and consequences.  In I. A. Blankson & P. D. Murphy (Eds.), Negotiating democracy: Media transformations in emerging democracies (239-258). Albany, NY: SUNY Press.

Sims, J. (2003, Winter). The interplay of politicians and media owners in Greek radio:  Pluralism as diaplokí. Journal of Radio Studies, 10 (2), pp. 202-215.

Athens News Agency

European Union

Greek Constitution Article 15 Mass Media

Greek Parliament

Greek Radio Stations




E-Radio Greece

Media News Greece

Greek Radio & TV News

Sto Kokkino (Synaspimos) Radio

Hellenic Republic: Prime Minister's Office

Macedonian Press Agency



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Comments: Simsjr@uwec.edu
Updated: August 2011