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Week Three, Group Three

The first and most important development of the week was that we all got our software running properly and managed to get to the synchronous online meeting on time. There were a few technical glitches with people disappearing momentarily, and the attempt at using the group chat in WebCT failed miserably, but after a short period of adjustment we found our groove and managed to have a quality conversation.

We looked at three specific points of the assignment in depth
1. What our interpretation and reaction to the scenario was.
2. Our own cultural background
3. How our cultures fit in to the high context/ low context matrix

There were two interpretations of the scenario.
Some members saw it as an explanation of a cultural behavior that the speaker disapproved of while others thought that is was an explanation of why the practice of paying for a bride is not the ignominious act the observer thought it was. These two views did not make a difference in the “gut? reaction of all the group members which was that the practice of paying a bride-price is tantamount to slavery. This is a western view, but none of us thought that it was an unreasonable ideal to hold on to.

We then moved on to trying to define our own cultures. The conversations started with getting a handle on the key concepts of what the difference between a high and low context culture is and what we feel our cultures are. We each defined our immediate culture as our family and built out from there. While one can argue that a single family does not constitute a culture it was a very revealing conversation that lead from dinner table conversation to disciplinary structures to high school experiences to how we relate to technology.

While we did not come up with any concrete answer we did decide that we as a group are positioned between a high-context online culture and a lower-context physical culture and that that dynamic is going to be the undercurrent of the class and how we work together as a virtual team. We cannot claim to be denizens of the virtual world yet, so we cannot move through it as easily as we do the face-to-face world, but we are definitely working on our citizenship.