Analysis of National and Cultural Stereotypes

Academic English for Business and Management Compare and contrast the two articles, making clear your criteria for comparison. To what extent do these articles show that national and cultural stereotypes are no longer a useful way of examining the human condition and economic activity? Choose an element in the articles which you find interesting and explain your reaction to it by giving examples from your own experience. Your full name: Binjie He Word count: 1152 As the development of globalization, world becomes smaller and smaller.
People who lived with each other become closer. Meanwhile, international trade is booming, and products could be bought in supermarkets from almost every area in the world. As a result, national and cultural stereotypes attract more attentions than ever before. This essay will compare and contrast two articles, “East meets west” (Yong, 2009) and “International Communication” (Piller, 2011), discuss the two authors’ opinions towards national and cultural stereotypes and present my own opinion from personal experience.
However, before the discussion I will summarize the similarities and differences based on their type, audience, tone, structure, focus and the attitude to stereotypes. The final section will give an example of Haier, China. My aim is to eliminate people’s misunderstanding of stereotypes. There are two similarities according to the two articles. Firstly, both the two articles describe different reactions of people belonging to the same situation from different countries through examples.

Secondly, both of them admit that the mindsets of people are different from various areas, and offer evidences for national and cultural stereotypes. As well as the above-mentioned similarities, there are several differences. At first, the types of these articles are various. Yong’s is an article, while Piller’s is a textbook. Next, the audiences of Yong’s are general public and interested amateurs. On the contrary, Piller’s are students and academics. In terms of the tone, Yong appeared to be a professor, while Piller spoke as a friend of the audiences. What’s more, Yong states the opular notions and his own opinion at the beginning of the article. He cites several experiments which supported popular stereotypes, then recent research is used to prove his opinion in the body, and a conclusion of his view is presented at the end of the article. Piller’s structure differs from Yong’s in that Piller gives an overview of the article at first, positive and negative examples are enumerated in the middle, and finally key points of the article are clearly listed. Moreover, the focuses of these articles are different. Except stereotypes, Yong emphasizes much on psychology.
Conversely, Piller pays more attention on business, especially advertising. What’s interesting is that Yong opposed to stereotypes, which is different from Piller. The comparison of the two articles have been clear, and it will be vital to discuss to what extent do these articles show that national and cultural stereotypes can contribute to the human condition and economic activity. Yong doesn’t agree with stereotypes in his article. He argues the popular stereotypes that easterners and westerners have distinct world views are far too simplistic.
There are pieces of research he conducted as follows. First of all, Yong agrees it is the contexts that evoke people’s mindset rather than history. Then, he suggests “while the psychology of westerners may be superficially distinct from easterners, when social isolation is an issue there is little difference between the two” (Yong, 2009, p. 34). It is indicated in Trey Hedden’s research that east Asians used the same brain areas with Americans when working harder, and people had to think harder to perform tasks outside their cultural comfort zone.
Which was also found by Hedden is that it’s easy to flip between different modes of thinking in people with roots in more than one culture (Yong, 2009). It is generally said that easterners have a holistic world view and westerners are more analytical, while Yong reveals “we are all capable of both analytic and holistic thought” (Yong, 2009, p. 35). Greatly various from Yong, Piller argues that the stereotypes in advertising should be better utilized. She believes the use of language other than the national one is the key means to achieve intercultural commodification rather in branding and promotion.
The most significant she stated is that although the commercial use of English rarely connoted an ethno-cultural stereotype, the use of other languages can connote stereotypes, which is beneficial for advertising. In the same way, the using of exotic languages in brands and advertising is popular in China. One of the examples is Chinese famous major appliances brand Haier. The company only had a Chinese name at its first stage. As the development of business, it entitled an English name of ‘Haier’, which is a word does not function linguistically in English but the pronunciation of it is similar to its Chinese name.
What’s more, it seemed modern and international to the customers and easy for them to distinguish it from all the national brands at that time. It is also the first step to be an international enterprise to Haier. After that, the brand Haier was gradually accepted in and abroad. Up to now, Haier has been providing customers with high quality products for 27 years and is the number one brand of Major Appliances in the world with 7. 8% retail volume share in 2011. It also ranks number one for several of its product ranges including refrigeration appliances, home laundry appliances and electric wine cellars.
As a forerunner in the industry, Haier emphasize much on customers’ needs and innovation. Since different people will have various requirements to the same appliance, what is the most important is satisfying the needs of local customers. Their global presence allows Haier to localise their production and build high-quality products tailored to local needs. Such examples about language using in brands and advertising are too numerous to mention one by one. Another element that I interested in is cultural differences’ relationship to logic, which apparent obviously in China.
Logic is based on education and culture. “Harmony” is our traditional mindset which is taught at their early ages. That’s why Chinese always try to find a middle ground between two opposing positions to avoid conflicts. That’s why most Chinese students assessed the situation from both sides and try to reconcile the differences between mothers and daughters, while Americans are tend to inclined to reject one proposition for the other (Yong, 2009). Owing to this mindset, Chinese are afraid to be different from others.
They want to be the “middle” people, who are neither the first, nor the last. In conclusion, I agree with the two authors’ opinions in these articles. As far as I am concerned, we should avoid racism because there are few differences between easterners and westerners. It is hoped that national and cultural stereotypes could be used on a positive way. In recent days, numberless examples of the using of languages in brands and advertising could be seen everywhere. What we should not ignore is that numerous of exotic languages benefit advertising a lot if sed properly and accurately. In my opinion, if an English name was used in brands or advertising, people could distinguish it from other national brands easily, and an international stereotype could also functional well. Finally, people’s logic is greatly based on their education and culture. It is the “harmony” education in China that makes Chinese ‘middle’ people. References Piller, I. (2011) ‘Intercultural Communication for sale’ in Intercultural Communication: A Critical Introduction. Edinburgh University Press Yong, E. (2009) ‘East meets west’ New Scientist March 2009 issue

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