De l’approche comparative à l’analyse des situations interculturelles
V. Approche globalisante: profil contrasté des ethos communicatifs 351
351 V. Approche globalisante: Profil contrasté des ethos communicatifs Towards a global description of the French and English communicative ethos (Summary) This last chapter deals with the ‘ethos’ of the French and English speaking cultures. Ethos in this context is used in a similar sense to that of Brown and Levinson’s. It refers to the general aspects of the interaction patterns of groups, with regard to affective quality and emotional emphases. This chapter draws on all the build-up of findings in the book in an effort to produce a coherent description of each language-culture from an ethos point of view. The three main dimensions often used to define interpersonal relationships (power, distance, affect) are a good starting point for the description of the most salient features of a given ethos. For example, it is possible to distinguish an ethos putting a heavy emphasis on status differentiation from an ethos promoting egalitarianism, an ethos displaying social distance from an ethos displaying solidarity, a consensual ethos from a confrontational one. However, when the ultimate purpose is to describe as pre- cisely as possible a particular cultural ethos in its entirety in relation to another one, the above distinctions may not be the most appropriate in terms of explaining the similari- ties and differences between the two. The most relevant distinctions may, in fact, be elsewhere. We suggest it may be more useful to regroup interaction patterns within different boundaries. In the case of French and English speakers, two major kinds of cultural...
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