Final Examination Paper
Cross Cultural and Inter Cultural Communication
In this paper, I want to talk about a phenomenon in Indonesia related to cultural diversity, which means also related to prejudice, stereotypes, and racism. I don’t want to write about various culture and ethnics in Indonesia, but just Bali. So, first of all I want to give some insight about cultural diversity, stereotypes and prejudice itself.
Cultural diversity, or multiculturalism, is based on the idea that cultural identities should not be discarded or ignored, but rather maintained and valued(). Multiculturalism being the subject of such attention about this topic. But another opinion said that the many separate societies that emerged around the globe differed markedly from each other, and many of these differences persist to this day creating cultural differences, that exist between people, such as language, dress and traditions, ways societies organize themselves, in their shared conception of communication. So, stereotype and prejudice are the point in this opinion.
If we talk about cultural diversity, unconciously we’ll shaped our mind that people are classified into several groups. And the best way to classify them is to look at the country of residence. We usually generalize people according to the country where he lived and we think that people in the same country relatively have a same characteristics. Tierney (2010: 18) said that there’s nothing ‘natural’ about such nation-states. In most countries, national homogenity had to be actively constructed by the state through a range of ‘nation-building’ policies that encouraged the preferred national identity while suppressing any alternative identities. Public policies were used to promote and consolidate a common national language, national history and mythology, national heroes, national symbols, a national literature, a national education system, a national media, military, religion, and so on.
However, this nation-state model has increasingly been chalenged and contested by all sort of groups. There are many groups within the territory of the state that have their own language, history, culture, heroes, and symbols. As a result, various groups, particularly indigenous people and other kind of nation group, have contested this attempt to construct states form of homogeneous nation-building, and advocated instead for a more multicultural model of the state.
In other opinion, each person is representative of a mixture of “cultures and experiences”. So they can’t be generalized into a particular group because each individual in the group does have some similarities, but also have individual differences, both cultural and personal experiences. Person's membership in a group makes the person has two points of view, the view as part of a group (inner group), and the views of other groups (outer group). Then an individual's membership in a group is to make himself be generalized (by someone outside the group) that he is a representation of the group (pars prototo or totem proparte).
This is the beginning of a process of prejudice and stereotyping. Someone became the subject of negative reaction based only on your membership in a group. Very little can be determined about a person based on their appearance. Stereotypes are opinions based on their appearance.
So, what exactly ‘diversity’ is? Diversity refers to all the ways that individuals are unique and differ from one another. Diversity Involves:
· Recognizing our unique differences
· Attracting people of all backgrounds
· Recognizing how attitudes affect us all
· Creating an environment where all can succeed
· Acting to promote diversity
There are also some elements of diversity :
· Physical Ability
· Sexual Orientation
· Physical Characteristics
· Marital Status
· Religious Beliefs
· Geographic Location
· Parental Status
· Personality Type
Dimensions of Diversity :
- Primary dimensions are elements we have some power to change. People are less sensitive about secondary dimensions. We also have the choice of whether to disclose this information or not; we can conceal these characteristics. Primary dimensions (Loden and Rosener, 1991) consisst of :
· Religious beliefs
· Work background
· Geographic location
· Marital status
· Parental Status
- Secondary dimensions are aspects of ourselves that we cannot change. They are things people know about us before we even open our mouths, because they are physically visible (except sexual orientation). When people feel they are being stereotyped based on primary dimension, they can be very sensitive about it. Secondary dimensions (Loden and Rosener, 1991) consisst of :
· Sexual orientation
· Physical qualities
After we understand about this topic, then I’ll told you about stereotypes, prejudice and racism. As we’ve already mentioned above, an individual's membership in a group is to make himself be generalized (by someone outside the group) that he is a representation of the group. This is the beginning of a process of prejudice and stereotyping. Someone became the subject of negative reaction based only on your membership in a group. Very little can be determined about a person based on their appearance. Stereotypes are opinions based on their appearance.
Stereotypes and Prejudice actually included in psychology studies. But we have to realize that stereotype and prejudice is also being a problem in communication. Prejudice and stereotypes usually being a package with discriminations, or maybe racism.
Jandt (2004) define stereotype as the broader term commonly used to refer to negative or positive judgements made about individuals based on any observable or believed group membership. In other definitions, Lippmann (1992) said that stereotype refer to the typical picture that comes to mind when thinking about a particular social group. Stereotypes not only reflect beliefs about the traits characterizing typical group members but also contain information about other qualities such as social roles, the degree to which member of the group share specific qualities, and influence emotional reactions to group member.
Widely definitons of this, prejudice is a negative attitude toward a particular social group and its member. Allport (Stangor, 2000) assumes that prejudice is not irrational, because prejudice is thinking ill of others without sufficient warrant and based on absence of fact. Dovidio and friends (2010) also describe about prejudice. They suggest that prejudice is an individual level attitude (whether subjectively positive or negative) toward groups and their members that creates or maintains hierarchical status relations between groups.
Whereas stereotypes can be positive or negative, prejudice refers to the irrational dislike, suspicion, or hatred of a particular group, race, religion, or sexual orientation (Rothenberg, 1992). Prejudice is seen to have three components : cognitive, affective and behavioral (Dovidio, 2010). The first of these is equivalent to what we will define as stereotype. The second is a purer affective or evaluative response to the group, void of any particular semantic content. And the third consist of behaviors and behavioral tendencies discriminate against, or in favor of a group.
We may try to distinguish certain degrees of negative actions in prejudice:
- Antilocution. Most people who have prejudices talk about them, with like-minded friends, occasionally with strangers, they may express their antagonism freely. But many people never go beyond this mild degree of anti-pathetic action.
- Avoidance. If the prejudice is mire intense, it leads the individual to avoid members of dislikes group, even perhaps at the cost of considerable inconvenience.
- Discrimination. Here the prejudiced person make detrimental distinctions of an active sort
Then I’ll explain a phenomenon about stereotype and prejudice in Indonesia. I think many people agree that Indonesia is a country based culture. In many media, Indonesia was known as goodness, polite and friendly country. It represented from our culture, custom, language, people’s gesture to each other and traditional ceremony. So, many people come to Indonesia, having a holiday and enjoying Indonesian tourism objects. But, do you ever think that progress of Indonesia tourism also bring some bad effects? Especially changing cultural values and indigenous of Indonesia itself.
Culture, art and objects of tourism in Indonesia that can’t be found anywhere else being a magnet for foreign tourists. So, these two things that can’t be separated. Arts and culture in Indonesia attract foreign tourists, and the interest of foreign tourists appreciate the local culture and indirectly support our culture. Indonesia's tourism will provide a lot of positive impact on the lives of our own society.
Revenue from the tourism sector is large enough. Data from Badan Pusat Statistik (BPS), the number of foreign tourists who traveling in Indonesia in 2004 grew by 19.1% compared to 2003. While foreign exchange earnings reached U.S. $ 4.798 billion, an increase of 18.8% of revenue in 2003 amounted to U.S. $ 4.037 billion. Based on data from WTO, Indonesia is a country with eighth place which is visited by 5.064 million with a foreign exchange gain USD. 5.7 billion (in 2000).
Indonesia has a lot of tourism objects. Furthermore, Indonesia offer you various types of tour. There is a history tour contained in almost every cities in Indonesia. Then there are shopping and metropolitan cities. Consider that Indonesia is a multicultural country and has many tribes and races scattered across Indonesia, so Indonesia will serve you its cultural tour. And because Indonesia is a tropical country, of course there are mountains, caves, beaches and very beautiful submarine tours.
Indonesia has some of the city that became a favorite destination of foreign tourists. One of most favorite place for foreign tourists is Bali island, which is often seen as a heaven for its beauty. Bali is also being favorite destination by Chinese tourists poll “Beijing People's Broadcasting Station”, since 25 April 2011, which determines 10 favorite places from 68 nominations there. Beside Bali known for its beautiful beaches, Bali island also has a high cultural value.
However, as the development of tourism in the area, the current value of the Balinese culture has changed from being characterized by calm and understated being cultural metropolis. It can be determined by its nightlife and modern music that no longer reflect the traditional art and beauty of Bali island. And furthermore, the additional revenues in tourism not only from foreign tourists visiting to the tourist spots, but also from the nightlife and sex tourism which follow the daily life of the tourist. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Criminal Division Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), in 1998, the International Labour Organization reported its calculations that 2-14% of the gross domestic product of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Phillipines, and Thailand derives from sex tourism. This is also confirmed by ECPAT notes. Locations in Indonesia, which is famous as the location of sex tourism is Bali, Batam, the northern part of the island of Bintan, and Lombok. Each year, there are about 3.000 tourists from Singapore and Malaysia came to Batam to do sex tourism.
On the island of Bali itself, sex tourism is very famous. When I visited Bali and walk around Kuta Beach, there are many bars and pub. Entering the Legian area, on either side of the road there are many cafes and a lot of young women are prostituting themselves to foreign tourists. Not only women are selling themselves, in Bali, mens also become prostitutes. Generally they called ‘gigolo’, or Kuta Boys. Most of them that can "serve" bules usually operating in Kuta beach. Sad to see this, because actually it’s not our trully culture.
The film "Cowboys in Paradise" directed by Singaporean man of Indian descent, Amit Virmani told about a gigolo who is widely available in Kuta Beach, Bali. The movie lasted about 10 minutes became a new controversy. He made this film based on his experience met a Balinesse boy who has a goal life as a gigolo. “Kuta Boys” are very famous for foreign tourists. Amit Virmani begin his “research” about this phenomenon since 2007. He needs about 2 years to collect the data and interview some souces, from Kuta Boys, and tourist also. Then, in 2010 this film began to be published.
There are some statement reported by CBS documentaries :
“Each year, thousands of women travel to Bali in search of paradise. And many find it in the arms of Kuta Cowboys, the bronzed beach ambassadors who've made the island one of the world's leading destinations for female sex tourists. COWBOYS IN PARADISE gets between the sheets of Bali's 'holiday romance' trade to reveal some of the island's most closely-guarded secrets. What separates a Cowboy from garden-variety gigolos? How do women compensate him? Why are time management skills crucial to his success? And how does his family feel about his colourful ways?”
In fact, a lot of foreign tourists, especially women who recognize that gigolo Kuta beach into a tourist attraction in Bali. They can get a ‘holiday romance’ in Bali, beside enjoying the beautiful beaches also. However, the people of Bali (Kuta Boys) who led the film "Cowboys in Paradise" claim to feel cheated by the director Amit Virmani and intends to sue the film he made.
The police conducted a raid against a lot of gigolo in Kuta Beach related to the film. As reported by Globalpost.com, “The recent arrests, on the island of Bali, coincided with the release of a documentary on the resort's "gigolos." The film, "Cowboys in Paradise" — which contains candid interviews with local men and the foreign women who fall for them — had gone viral on the internet but has since been removed from the official website by its makers.” () Although, many of us don’t really know what government did to handle this case.
After the incident, many media highlighting about sex tourism in Indonesia, espescially Bali. Media is not only about news, but also television, advertising, movies, new media (include Web, Blog, Facebook, Youtube and another social media), etc. Furthermore, we can guess the result as an impact from that news. It actually doesn’t affect the number of tourists visiting this country or foreign from tourism sector. However, as a nation with noble of culture and values, of course it’s very threaten the image of Indonesia. Indonesia as a sex tourism country become a new judgement by the tourist.
Since Bali become an icon of Indonesia, this course will change the face of Indonesia in the view of the world. As I wrote at the beginning, an individual's membership in a group can make themself be generalized (by someone outside the group) that they’re a representation of the group.
The judgements come not only from the international tourist, domestic tourist also have some judgements about Bali. Bali considered as a little Australian. Life in there is no longer calm, and not reflect the culture of a noble nation. Bali has been filled with its pubs and its nightlife. But actually not all areas in Bali as it is. Only in a few areas such as Kuta, Legian, and other areas.
Not all of the tourism areas have a same personality. In the area of Bali itself, in some areas, things about sex is still taboo. Marriage laws respected and upheld. Such cases can arise because societies and areas visited by travelers experiencing acculturation. However, people should be ready to face the cultural differentiation brought by the tourists. So, we can minimize the cultural change.
This phenomenon is one example, how the cultural shift can occur through the tourism sector. It also reflects the cultural diversity from other countries can change the another culture. This phenomenon also explain about how media shape public perceptions about the phenomenon of prejudice. This phenomenon should be solved wisely. And never become into discrimination and racism which is the effect of a prejudice.
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