Learning About "Face"—"Subjective Theories" as a Construct in Analysing Intercultural Learning Processes of Germans in Taiwan


  • Doris Weidemann Westsächsische Hochschule Zwickau




subjective theories, lay theories, structure formation technique, intercultural learning, intercultural training, Taiwan, China


International transfers require adaptational processes by the persons concerned that also include changes in everyday knowledge. Taking the Chinese concept of "face" as an example, changes in knowledge structures of 15 Germans in Taiwan were explored in a longitudinal study. By use of a structure formation technique, a method that was developed in the context of the "research program subjective theories", these changes were monitored over the period of one year. Despite of theoretical shortcomings of the underlying framework "research program subjective theories" the method proved fruitful for analysing personal experiences in intercultural encounters as well as documenting changes of everyday knowledge that can be interpreted as an expression of an intercultural learning process. Results further suggest that a modified version of a structure formation technique might also be used for intercultural coaching purposes. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0103208


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Author Biography

Doris Weidemann, Westsächsische Hochschule Zwickau

Doris WEIDEMANN graduated from the department of psychology at Erlangen University in 1997 and is currently working on her PhD thesis titled "Learning about "face"—intercultural learning processes of Germans in Taiwan". Familiar with Taiwan from a previous stay she returned to the island in 1998 to conduct interviews for her dissertation project. After her return in 2000 she has been a fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities in Essen, Germany. Her research interests are cultural and cross-cultural psychology, indigenous (Asian) psychology, intercultural communication, and organisational development.




How to Cite

Weidemann, D. (2001). Learning About "Face"—"Subjective Theories" as a Construct in Analysing Intercultural Learning Processes of Germans in Taiwan. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 2(3). https://doi.org/10.17169/fqs-2.3.915