Cultural heritage, cultural rights, cultural diversity: new developments in international law
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eCulture: examining and quantifying cultural differences in user acceptance between Chinese and British web site usersChang, Yu (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2004-05)The World Wide Web (WWW) has become an important medium for communicating between people all over the world. It is regarded as a global system and is associated with a wide user and social system diversity. The effects of differing user-groups and their associated cultures on user acceptance of web sites can be significant, and as a result understanding the behaviour of web users in various cultures is becoming a significant concern. The eCulture research project is based on previous classical theories and research in culture. It applies a factorial experimental design strategy (the Taguchi method) in crosscultural usability / acceptability, together with other approaches such as semiotic analysis and card sorting. Two types of analysis, both top-down and bottom-up have been implemented to investigate differences in web site usability and acceptability between users from Mainland China and the United Kingdom. Based on experiments on web sites investigating the relationship between cultural issues and usability lacceptability aspects between Chinese and British web users, several issues, such as cultural factors, cognitive abilities, social semiotic differences and other issues have emerged. One of the goals has been to develop 'cultural fingerprints' for both web sites and users in different cultures. By comparing cultural and site fingerprints, usability and acceptability of web sites can be diagrammatically matched to the target culture. Experiments investigating qualitative factors and quantitative data collection and analysis based on the Taguchi method has led to the successful development of two versions of 'cultural fingerprint' for both web sites and target cultures in the UK and China. It has been possible to relate these studies to a wider body of knowledge, and to suggest ways in which the work may be extended in the future.
Decrypting cultural nuances: using drama techniques from the theatre of the oppressed to strengthen cross cultural communication in social work studentsBurroughs, Lana; Muzuva, Bethel; University of Bedfordshire; Waterlily & Co. (Taylor and Francis, 2019-03-25)Despite widening participation in social work education in the UK, social work students from black and minority ethnic (BME) backgrounds can find that they have less positive experiences on social work courses than their counterparts. This can happen when courses do not equip students to navigate the subtle rules of communication with service users that are premised on dominant UK values. As a consequence BME students can be assessed as having poor interpersonal skills and poor skills in engaging service users. However, the issue is often more one of cultural differences and high expectations of cultural integration than one of incompetence.
Localized trust - the semiotics in culture and e-cultureFrench, Tim; Conrad, Marc; Shaaban, Hussein Khamis; University of Bedfordshire (Infonomics Society, 2013)Intangible trust perceptions have been shown to form an important part of the User Experience (UX) in relation to various B2C (Business- to -Customer) contexts of use. The extant literature appears somewhat immature in relation to intangible trust and UX models from a "non-Western" perspective. Indeed it appears from our recent e-Banking audit using a novel cross-cultural expert evaluation instrument that too often "Western" Banks (such as Deutsche Bank) rely on perceptions of "Eastern" cultures viewed through a lens that relies on stereotypical images, signs and Western style templates. After identifying how trust and semiotics work considering the case of Zanzibar we compare two contrasting e-Bank site localization design paradigms: namely that of Deutsche Bank and HSBC with respect to two target audiences: namely China and Taiwan. The findings of the e-Culture audit are aligned to the ubiquitous set of cultural dimensions first defined by Geert Hofstede. This alignment appears to show that the "Western" stereotypical paradigm is not in alignment with either Hofstede's Individualism/Collectivism metric nor with normative semiotic signs that reflect vibrant local urban street cultures. We go on to suggest that the use of card-sorting may speculatively be used to better engender localized sites that are aligned to local target.