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Social Contact

Social Contact

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Social Contact

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  1. Social Contact Concepts, determinants, and measurements

  2. Concept and Definitions • Complex concept • Multitude of different experiences • Multitude of different situations • Work, home, travel • Personal; occurs between a minimum of 2 persons • Interpersonal encounter • Encounter with others • Positive, negative or superficial

  3. Levels of Social Contact • Co-presence • Minimum level of interaction • Signaling awareness of presence and accessibility • Focused • Higher level of interaction • Gathering and cooperating to sustain single focus of attention • Co-presence may or may not lead to focused interaction

  4. Analysis of Social Situations Features of social interactions (Argyle et al., 1981): • Goals • Purposes that direct and motivate • Rules • Shared beliefs that regulate and generate actions • Roles • Duties and rights of social position of interactants • Repertoire of elements • Sum of verbal and non-verbal behavior

  5. Analysis of Social Situations • Sequences of behavior • Specific order of actions for effective behavior • Concepts • Understanding of elements for behavior and goal achievement • Environmental setting • Encounter setting (spaces, boundaries) • Language • Speech and variations • Difficulties and skills • Perceptual, memory, motor, and linguistic skills

  6. Social Contact in Tourism • Tourist-host • Tourist-tourist • Tourist-potential tourist • Tourist-provider contacts

  7. Definition of Tourist Range of meanings • Degree of institutionalization, type of encounter, form of travel, traveler status • Operational • Temporary visitor • Arriving at holiday destination • Stays for minimum of 24 hrs, maximum of 12 months • Any purpose other than employment

  8. Definition of (Professional) Host • Resident of visited destination • Employed in tourism industry • Tourist service-providers

  9. Setting of Tourist-Host Contact • Transportation • Lodging • Dining • Sightseeing • Shopping • Entertainment • Observations

  10. Forms of Tourist-Host Contact • Purchasing of goods and services • Side-by-side presence/exchange • Face to face exchange of information

  11. Tourist-Host Cultural Contact • Face to face contact between tourists and hosts • Different cultural backgrounds • Travel from home culture to host culture • Serving tourists from foreign culture

  12. Tourist-Host Cultural Contact • Two types of contact • Intercultural contact • Interaction between two different cultures • Cross-cultural contact • Interaction between more than two cultural groups

  13. Contact Hypothesis Social contact between individuals from different cultural groups results in • Positive outcomes • Mutual appreciation, understanding, respect, tolerance, liking (Bochner, 1982) • Positive attitudes (Fisher and Price, 1991) • Reduces ethnic prejudices, stereotypes, and racial tension (Cohen, 1971) • Cultural enrichment, improved social interactions (UNESCO, 1976; Vogt, 1977)

  14. Contact Hypothesis Social contact between individuals from different cultural groups results in • Negative outcomes • Negative attitudes • Negative stereotypes, prejudices, tensions, hostility (Bochner, 1982) • Ethnocentrism (Triandis and Vassilou, 1967) • Clashes of values, conflict, and disharmonies (Hall, 1984)

  15. Contact Hypothesis Social contact between individuals from different cultural groups results in • Negative outcomes • Exclusion from mutual activities (Asar, 1952) • Formality of contact, social barriers, personal friendship barriers (Taft, 1977) • Superficial relationships (Watson and Lippitt, 1955) • Negative feelings, inferiority, self-rejection (Bettelheim, 1943)

  16. Contact Hypothesis Social contact between individuals from different cultural groups results in • Negative outcomes • Resentment, irritation, frustration, and stress (Taft, 1977) • Language barriers (Arjona, 1956), communication problems (Argyle et al., 1981) • Loss of sense of security and emotional well-being (Lynch, 1960)

  17. Contact Hypothesis Social contact between individuals from different cultural groups results in • Negative outcomes • Differences in subjective cultures • Social contact becomes a threatening experience • Participants feel like outsiders • Inhibits social interaction, future contact lost (Kamal and Maruyama, 1990) • Negative feelings increase with frequent contact (Anant, 1971)

  18. Contact Hypothesis in Tourism Positives • Tourism’s potential for fostering understanding between nations and peace • ‘Guest’ treatment, cultural pride among hosts, greater socialization • Friendly, respectful, interested tourists • Contact and knowledge of each other seen as important • Enhancement of tourist and host attitudes • Positive attitude (change) towards hosts • Greater intensity and longer contact/interaction time • Higher satisfaction levels

  19. Contact Hypothesis in Tourism Negatives • Positive attitudes not possible due to superficial nature of tourist-host contact • Distorted and superficial perceptions • Perceptions of tourist based on symbols • Perceptions of host based on status and outcomes of commercial exchange

  20. Contact Hypothesis in Tourism Negatives • Negative change of attitudes • Minor change in positive direction • Majority of change in negative direction • Extra tension added as a result of economic encounter • Confirmation of positive or negative attitudes

  21. Contact Hypothesis in Tourism Negatives • Pressure to develop stereotypes • ‘Passing through’ character of tourists • Clash of values • Liberal values of Western tourists and domestic social rules • Reversal of gender roles • Tourist isolation, separation, and segregation • Stress, victimization and harassment

  22. Contact Hypothesis in Tourism Negatives • Communication problems • Differences in language, gesture, space, time, and status • Safety and health hazards • Disappointment, discouragement and dissatisfaction

  23. Tourist-Host Contact • Advantages outweigh disadvantages • Break up isolation, create awareness among cultural groups • Opportunity to learn and fundamental intercultural encounters • Less developed countries • Negative effect of contact is increased • Tourists perceived as aggressive and insensitive • Exploitation, assault, victimization, social problems