Intercultural communication and the community of practice in a South African sport team

Alexander, Muneer (2014-12)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2014.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This study aims to investigate the impact of individual sociocultural and linguistic differences on the creation of a successful sports team on and off the field. The specific team of interest for this particular study is the Western Province amateur cricket team, based in Cape Town, South Africa. The sociocultural and linguistic differences of the participants were examined using theories focusing on intercultural communication and the various strategies that can be put in place to overcome the barriers of intercultural difference within a sports team. To this end the linguistic repertoires of participants were captured through the use of language biographies. The study further investigates how participants consider themselves to be a part of the team’s community of practice (CofP), and seeks to identify obstacles in terms of acquiring and maintaining membership of this CofP. The data is analysed with the use of thematic analysis (TA) methodology. In total 17 members of the Western Province amateur cricket team participated in the study, two coaches and 15 players. They are speakers of English, Afrikaans and isiXhosa. Questionnaires which elicit both personal and linguistic background information, as well as information on perceived linguistic competence, were used for data collection. Along with the questionnaires, structured interviews which aimed to determine language preferences in receiving feedback and level of comfort when communicating with speakers of different languages and from different cultures, were conducted. The questionnaire and interview data reflect the linguistic preferences of the participants, however also show that all participants conform to the team’s lingua franca in order to understand and communicate openly without misunderstanding. The study shows that sociocultural and linguistic differences can act as a barrier to a sports team’s dynamic and environment, but these barriers can be overcome to create a successful and cohesive community of practice on and off the field.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie studie het ten doel om die impak van individuele sosiokulturele- en taalverskille op die skep van 'n suksesvolle sportspan, beide op en van die veld af, te ondersoek. Die spesifieke span van belang in hierdie studie is die Westelike Provinsie amateur-krieketspan, gebaseer in Kaapstad, Suid-Afrika. Die sosiokulturele- en taalverskille tussen die deelnemers word met behulp van teorieë wat op interkulturele kommunikasie fokus en die verskeie strategieë wat ingestel kan word om die hindernisse van interkulturele verskille binne 'n sportspan te oorkom, te ondersoek. Vir hierdie doel is die taalrepertoires van deelnemers ingesamel met behulp van taalbiografieë. Die studie ondersoek ook hoe deelnemers hul lidmaatskap tot praktyk gemeenskappe beskryf, en poog om struikelblokke in terme van die verwerwing en instandhouding van hierdie lidmaatskap te identifiseer. Die data is ontleed met die gebruik van die tematiese analise (TA) metode. In totaal het 17 lede van die Westelike Provinsie amateurkrieketspan deelgeneem in die studie, twee afrigters en 15 spelers. Hulle is sprekers van Afrikaans, Engels en isiXhosa. Vraelyste wat beide persoonlike- en taalagtergrondinligting, asook inligting oor waargenome taalvaardigheid, ontlok, is gebruik vir datainsameling. Saam met die vraelyste, is gestruktureerde onderhoude, wat daarop gemik is om inligting oor taalvoorkeure in verband met terugvoer ontvang en vlak van gemak in kommunikasie met sprekers van ander tale en van ander kulture te ontbloot, gevoer. Die vraelys- en onderhouddata het die taalvoorkeure van die deelnemers getoon, maar dit het ook getoon dat al die deelnemers toegang het tot die span se omgangstaal, wat hulle in staat stel om te verstaan en openlik te kommunikeer sonder enige misverstande. Die studie toon dat sosiokulturele- en taalverskille as hindernisse tot 'n sportspan se dinamiek en omgewing kan optree, maar ook dat hierdie hindernisse oorkom kan word om 'n suksesvolle en samehangende praktyk gemeenskap, op en van die veld af, te skep.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/96110
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