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Mediated Actions and Social Practices:
The Case of Service Interactions in Arabic Shops in Sydney
Abstract
Cultural differences have affected the operation of socio-economic and political activities
across many countries in the world. People from different cultural backgrounds come together
with a common goal either to carry out economic activities such as employment or social
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activities such as sports and entertainment activities. As people from different cultures interact,
sharing ideas, skills, and information facilitates growth and development in various countries.
However, cultural diversity has hindered several activities as the involved parties cannot
communicate effectively and efficiently due to differences in language and general mode of
communication. Therefore, there is a need to investigate various mediation actions and social
practices of diverse cultures to enhance effective and efficient communication across different
cultures. My study will access various social mediation actions to solve cultural diversities
affecting trading activities, such as shopping in Arabic shops and Sydney.
Population target for the study involved buyers and sellers of various commodities in
Arabic shops and Sydney. The sampling method of data collection was carried out using
ethnographic research to a sample size of 150 individuals. The collected data was also done
using descriptive survey design then analyzed through the inductive method to determine the
most appropriate mediated actions and practices necessary to solve cultural diversity.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
Abstract ........................................................................................................................................... 1
Table of Contents ............................................................................................................................ 2
Introduction ..................................................................................................................................... 4
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Background ................................................................................................................................ 4
Purpose and Aims ..................................................................................................................... 6
Research Question ..................................................................................................................... 7
Significance of Study ................................................................................................................. 7
Literature Review............................................................................................................................ 7
Research Methodology ................................................................................................................... 9
Research Design......................................................................................................................... 9
Time Frame ................................................................................................................................... 10
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Introduction
Mediated actions refer to the fundamental unit of mediated disclosure analysis (MDA)
using mediation to communicate between various people. These actions and practices are aimed
at promoting efficient and effective communication between people from different cultural
traditions. "Approximately 28,157 individuals are affected by cultural differences in almost 27
countries". Pennycook and Otsuji (2015). Some of these mediated actions and practices include
the use of face-to-face as a means of communication, the service of non-linguistic practices as
facial expression, physical movement of body parts to portray certain information, talk-in
interactions, and multimodal approaches, among other mediated actions.
Trading activities such as retail and wholesale in Arabs shops in Sydney are highly
affected by cultural diversities since their population includes individuals worldwide. These
countries are also associated with increased trading, which is the primary factor in the increased
population o these countries. To curb this problem, the cultural and trade sectors have identified
mechanisms to enhance effective communication among business participants in Sidney, mainly
Arab shops. My study will determine how cultural differences affect economic activities such as
Arab shops in Sidney and propose appropriate mediated actions and practices to help solve
cultural differences in business activities.
Background
According to Pennycook and Otsuji (2015), shopping areas throughout history are places
where occasionally people encounter others who are visibly different from them. The difference
is in the dressing, speaking, and experience. Despite the differences, language usage stands out.
Language is an essential part of the interaction process. They require it to transact the unusual
cultural goods and services. Pennycook and Otsuji (2015) focused on metrolingualism to
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5
understand the different linguistic resources used in shops. To help understand how
multilingualism operates in social spaces such as cities, markets, shops, and streets.
Multi-ethnicity in urban places has contributed to several studies which tend to
understand the various languages used for communication and how the participants understand
the diverse communication languages. Other researchers have conducted research studies to
determine how different languages have reached these places intending to provide the most
appropriate mechanism to be used for communication. Over time, the concept of mediation
action has also developed from the original psychological tool notion. The development arose
from advancements in philosophy, cognitive psychology, and neurophysiology.
"The original point of the Vygotsky of explicit mediation, which held that psychological
tool could act as a tool to control behaviours externally, has received a wide range of
contribution." (Lindblom & Ziemke, 2016). There has been a considerable debate on non-
deterministic accounts. The argument disapproves of the position of mediators to serve as a
channel upon which individuals should act. Social, cultural, and historical factors could also act
as the channel. According to Lindblom & Ziemke (2015), Vygotsky later works on meditational
accounts of meaning-making can be social and transactional. "An agent and a meditational
means should be present in mediation." Jones (2015).
Theories on linguistic and Discourse have emerged to focus on social practices. Speech
act theory, pragmatics, interactional and social linguistics approaches have focused on text rather
than the context of the speech. "Basing our focus on the text can lead to a distorted
understanding of the relationship between the discourse and social action." (Scollon, 2019). To
understand a mediated action, one must state the principles of social practices. Discourse consists
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6
not only of producing and interpreting utterances. It must also describe the social practices
carried out by the speaker. Instead of analyzing Discourse, we should focus on the actions of this
speaker. Conceiving language helps in understanding the meaning of mediation activities.
Physical artefacts act as a central point of understanding how human actions occur in society.
Another means of understanding mediation action is exploring how social tools and discourse
changes with time. One must analyze the dynamism in language, objects, and practices
considering their history and future. "Expanding the term discourse from its contextual
information to including the speaker's action is essential." Filliettaz (2016) brings into the picture
the extra-linguistic realities such as actions, culture, history, and objects give quality meaning in
mediation analysis.
Interaction is a fundamental part of life that occurs during service provision between a
service provider and a client or during socialization. There is a need to understand the social
practices involved in the interaction. They include both the positions and actions of the service
provider and the client. Besides, there exists a relationship between activities, Discourse, and
identities. We will explore the service interactions in Arabic shops in Sydney.
Purpose and Aims
Cultural differences have negatively impacted the trading activities of the Arab shops in
Sidney. Cultural differences had led to communication barriers between business participants,
including Arab shops, thus resulting in reduced sales and economic activities. The study aims to
determine how cultural differences affect the trading activities of Arab shops in Sidney. My
study aims in providing the most appropriate mediated actions and practices to solve the problem
of communication barriers resulting from cultural differences. The project also aims to improve
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7
the trading activities in Arab shops in Sidney by reducing cultural barriers among the business
participants.
Research Question
1. Who are the most prominent participants of Arab shops in Sidney?
2. What role do the participants of Arab shops in Sidney perform in promoting
communication efficiency?
3. How do the participants of Arab shops in Sidney differ based on culture and
linguistics?
4. How do the Arab shops in Sidney differ from Pakistan and Afghan shops?
Significance of the Study
Project on mediated actions and practices affecting Arab shops in Sidney is essential in
determining cultural differences involving trading activities of Arabs owning shops in Sidney
and proposing appropriate negotiated measures and patterns to curb cultural differences. This
study will help in improving the economy of Arabs owning shops in Sidney. The study will help
understand the relationship between the mediated actions and social practices in different service
provision environments.
Literature Review
Australia is an "immigration nation". There is an increasing cultural diversity due to the
immigration of different people from different parts of the world, especially after the abolition of
the White Australia Policy and the end of the Second World War. Australia comprises twenty-
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8
five million people from approximately more than 180 countries with about 300 different ethnic
groups. This cultural diversity has affected the country in conducting its economic activities.
Despite multicultural practices having positive impacts on society's social well-being,
such as increased creativity, increased global workforce, and improved services to partners and
customers, multicultural approaches negatively affect socio-economic activities. Sidney being
the most diverse multicultural city in Australia, multicultural practices highly affect economic
activities, with Arab shops being the most affected. The language barrier due to the different
ethnic groups in Sidney affects communication efficiency between the Arab shops and the
customers. This has reduced Sidney's business activities, reducing the movement of goods and
services and reduced sales. Decreased business activities in Sidney affect the general economy of
Sidney; therefore, there is a need to address the multicultural problem affecting Arab shops in
Sidney.
My study aims to determine multicultural practices affecting the Arab shops in Sidney
and propose the most appropriate mediated actions and procedures that can be implemented to
promote sales in Arab shops in Sidney. The proposed mediated actions and practices will help
reduce cultural barriers affecting the Arab shops through various means such as conducting
semantic awareness, multilingual skills, contextual understanding and sensitivity, among other
means. Implementation of these proposed mediated actions and practices will ensure increased
sales in the Arab shops in Sidney.
.
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9
Research Methodology
The study will use an ethnographic research method. According to Ember (2019), the
ethnographic research method is field research that seeks to learn the culture of a particular
setting or environment. The study will implement linguistic ethnography because it aims to
collect data using various data collection methods. The method also enhances the practical
analysis of a lot of data. According to Maybin & Tusting (2017), linguistic ethnography is a
research approach that emphasizes the study of social and cultural practices through the
comprehensive analysis of situated language and communication using combined discourse-
analytic and ethnographic research tools. It is an orientation towards specific epistemological and
methodological traditions in the study of social life. The study will rely on the observation of
participants over a prolonged period. The research will adopt the qualitative research approach.
This is because it aims to describe events and experiences in detail appropriately. The
interpretation must be made from a social and historical perspective to prevent the events and
attitudes. Qualitative research helps in answering questions of the complex phenomenon from
the point of view of participants. Data collection will be through interviews, photographs, maps,
videotapes, and field notebooks entries. However, the method will help collect data about the
mediated actions and social practices in Arabic shops in Sydney. Through a careful analysis of
data collected, using the inductive process, we will generate theoretical explanations.
Research Design
The research design that will be used for this study is the descriptive survey design. It
deals with analyzing findings, describing, and interpreting them. We do not intend to examine
new phenomena but the participant experiences from their point of view. The descriptive survey
design will help us gathers information. We will ask respondents questions about their
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10
perceptions, beliefs, skills, knowledge, and attitude towards the mediated actions and social
practices that influence service provision. This design will be more appropriate for this study
because it will enable the researcher to gather information through interviews and interpret them.
Time Frame
Activity
May-June
June July
July-August
Problem
identification
Introduction
chapter
Literature
review
Methodology
chapter
Budget proposal
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11
Mediated Actions and Social Practices:
The Case of Service Interactions in Arabic Shops in Sydney
This budget for the proposal includes all the necessary resources to conduct a project on
mediated actions and social practices in Arabic shops in Sidney. This project is essential in
improving trading activities in Arab shops in Sidney by determining the most appropriate
approaches in curbing cultural differences affecting trading activities in Arabs shops in Sidney.
All Cost needed to conduct the research has been detailed for better understanding. In case of
any query, kindly feel free to contact me.
1. DESCRIPTION OF PROJECT
I am conducting a project on Mediated Actions and Social Practices affecting trading
activities in Arabic Shops in Sydney. This project is essential in improving the economy of
Arabs owning shops in Sidney by determining how cultural differences impact their economic
activities and proposing the most appropriate mediated actions and social practices to improve
their trading activities.
2. PERFORMANCE PERIOD
The proposed budget for Mediated Actions and Social Practices affecting trading activities of
Arabic Shops in the Sydney project will cover the entire two-year period. My study will conduct
two visits per week to the Arab shops for the whole two years.
3. COST ELEMENTS
Equipment items and material
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12
Description
Quantity
Unit Cost ($)
Fuel
650 litres
0.943
Digital Audio Recording
Devices
2
107.00
Travelling to Arabs shops
100
60.00
Fieldwork Expenses
Stationeries
Food (Lunch)
10
100 visits
25.00
35.00
Totals
I confirm that the proposed budget contains an estimate of the average equipment and
material to use in the field for the study. The estimates are honest and subjected to changes due
to changes in the prices of the overall goods in the economy. The proposed budget for Mediated
Actions and Social Practices in Service Interaction in Arab shops in Sidney is accurate, up to
date, and complete.
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13
Reference
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1 Mediated Actions and Social Practices: The Case of Service Interactions in Arabic Shops in Sydney Abstract Cultural differences have affected the operation of socio-economic and political activities across many countries in the world. People from different cultural backgrounds come together with a common goal either to carry out economic activities such as employment or social 2 activities such as sports and entertainment activities. As people from different cultures interact, sharing ideas, skills, and information facilitates growth and development in various countries. However, cultural diversity has hindered several activities as the involved parties cannot communicate effectively and efficiently due to differences in language and general mode of communication. Therefore, there is a need to investigate various mediation actions and social practices of diverse cultures to enhance effective and efficient communication across different cultures. My study will access various social mediation actions to solve cultural diversities affecting trading activities, such as shopping in Arabic shops and Sydney. Population target for the study involved buyers and sellers of various commodities in Arabic shops and Sydney. The sampling method of data collection was carried out using ethnographic research to a sample size of 150 individuals. The collected data was also done using descriptive survey design then analyzed through the inductive method to determine the most appropriate mediated actions and practices necessary to solve cultural diversity. Table of Contents Table of Contents Abstract ........................................................................................................................................... 1 Table of Contents ............................................................................................................................ 2 Introduction ..................................................................................................................................... 4 3 Background ................................................................................................................................ 4 Purpose and Aims ..................................................................................................................... 6 Research Question ..................................................................................................................... 7 Significance of Study ................................................................................................................. 7 Literature Review............................................................................................................................ 7 Research Methodology ................................................................................................................... 9 Research Design......................................................................................................................... 9 Time Frame ................................................................................................................................... 10 4 Introduction Mediated actions refer to the fundamental unit of mediated disclosure analysis (MDA) using mediation to communicate between various people. These actions and practices are aimed at promoting efficient and effective communication between people from different cultural traditions. "Approximately 28,157 individuals are affected by cultural differences in almost 27 countries". Pennycook and Otsuji (2015). Some of these mediated actions and practices include the use of face-to-face as a means of communication, the service of non-linguistic practices as facial expression, physical movement of body parts to portray certain information, talk-in interactions, and multimodal approaches, among other mediated actions. Trading activities such as retail and wholesale in Arabs shops in Sydney are highly affected by cultural diversities since their population includes individuals worldwide. These countries are also associated with increased trading, which is the primary factor in the increased population o these countries. To curb this problem, the cultural and trade sectors have identified mechanisms to enhance effective communication among business participants in Sidney, mainly Arab shops. My study will determine how cultural differences affect economic activities such as Arab shops in Sidney and propose appropriate mediated actions and practices to help solve cultural differences in business activities. Background According to Pennycook and Otsuji (2015), shopping areas throughout history are places where occasionally people encounter others who are visibly different from them. The difference is in the dressing, speaking, and experience. Despite the differences, language usage stands out. Language is an essential part of the interaction process. They require it to transact the unusual cultural goods and services. Pennycook and Otsuji (2015) focused on metrolingualism to 5 understand the different linguistic resources used in shops. To help understand how multilingualism operates in social spaces such as cities, markets, shops, and streets. Multi-ethnicity in urban places has contributed to several studies which tend to understand the various languages used for communication and how the participants understand the diverse communication languages. Other researchers have conducted research studies to determine how different languages have reached these places intending to provide the most appropriate mechanism to be used for communication. Over time, the concept of mediation action has also developed from the original psychological tool notion. The development arose from advancements in philosophy, cognitive psychology, and neurophysiology. "The original point of the Vygotsky of explicit mediation, which held that psychological tool could act as a tool to control behaviours externally, has received a wide range of contribution." (Lindblom & Ziemke, 2016). There has been a considerable debate on nondeterministic accounts. The argument disapproves of the position of mediators to serve as a channel upon which individuals should act. Social, cultural, and historical factors could also act as the channel. According to Lindblom & Ziemke (2015), Vygotsky later works on meditational accounts of meaning-making can be social and transactional. "An agent and a meditational means should be present in mediation." Jones (2015). Theories on linguistic and Discourse have emerged to focus on social practices. Speech act theory, pragmatics, interactional and social linguistics approaches have focused on text rather than the context of the speech. "Basing our focus on the text can lead to a distorted understanding of the relationship between the discourse and social action." (Scollon, 2019). To understand a mediated action, one must state the principles of social practices. Discourse consists 6 not only of producing and interpreting utterances. It must also describe the social practices carried out by the speaker. Instead of analyzing Discourse, we should focus on the actions of this speaker. Conceiving language helps in understanding the meaning of mediation activities. Physical artefacts act as a central point of understanding how human actions occur in society. Another means of understanding mediation action is exploring how social tools and discourse changes with time. One must analyze the dynamism in language, objects, and practices considering their history and future. "Expanding the term discourse from its contextual information to including the speaker's action is essential." Filliettaz (2016) brings into the picture the extra-linguistic realities such as actions, culture, history, and objects give quality meaning in mediation analysis. Interaction is a fundamental part of life that occurs during service provision between a service provider and a client or during socialization. There is a need to understand the social practices involved in the interaction. They include both the positions and actions of the service provider and the client. Besides, there exists a relationship between activities, Discourse, and identities. We will explore the service interactions in Arabic shops in Sydney. Purpose and Aims Cultural differences have negatively impacted the trading activities of the Arab shops in Sidney. Cultural differences had led to communication barriers between business participants, including Arab shops, thus resulting in reduced sales and economic activities. The study aims to determine how cultural differences affect the trading activities of Arab shops in Sidney. My study aims in providing the most appropriate mediated actions and practices to solve the problem of communication barriers resulting from cultural differences. The project also aims to improve 7 the trading activities in Arab shops in Sidney by reducing cultural barriers among the business participants. Research Question 1. Who are the most prominent participants of Arab shops in Sidney? 2. What role do the participants of Arab shops in Sidney perform in promoting communication efficiency? 3. How do the participants of Arab shops in Sidney differ based on culture and linguistics? 4. How do the Arab shops in Sidney differ from Pakistan and Afghan shops? Significance of the Study Project on mediated actions and practices affecting Arab shops in Sidney is essential in determining cultural differences involving trading activities of Arabs owning shops in Sidney and proposing appropriate negotiated measures and patterns to curb cultural differences. This study will help in improving the economy of Arabs owning shops in Sidney. The study will help understand the relationship between the mediated actions and social practices in different service provision environments. Literature Review Australia is an "immigration nation". There is an increasing cultural diversity due to the immigration of different people from different parts of the world, especially after the abolition of the White Australia Policy and the end of the Second World War. Australia comprises twenty- 8 five million people from approximately more than 180 countries with about 300 different ethnic groups. This cultural diversity has affected the country in conducting its economic activities. Despite multicultural practices having positive impacts on society's social well-being, such as increased creativity, increased global workforce, and improved services to partners and customers, multicultural approaches negatively affect socio-economic activities. Sidney being the most diverse multicultural city in Australia, multicultural practices highly affect economic activities, with Arab shops being the most affected. The language barrier due to the different ethnic groups in Sidney affects communication efficiency between the Arab shops and the customers. This has reduced Sidney's business activities, reducing the movement of goods and services and reduced sales. Decreased business activities in Sidney affect the general economy of Sidney; therefore, there is a need to address the multicultural problem affecting Arab shops in Sidney. My study aims to determine multicultural practices affecting the Arab shops in Sidney and propose the most appropriate mediated actions and procedures that can be implemented to promote sales in Arab shops in Sidney. The proposed mediated actions and practices will help reduce cultural barriers affecting the Arab shops through various means such as conducting semantic awareness, multilingual skills, contextual understanding and sensitivity, among other means. Implementation of these proposed mediated actions and practices will ensure increased sales in the Arab shops in Sidney. . 9 Research Methodology The study will use an ethnographic research method. According to Ember (2019), the ethnographic research method is field research that seeks to learn the culture of a particular setting or environment. The study will implement linguistic ethnography because it aims to collect data using various data collection methods. The method also enhances the practical analysis of a lot of data. According to Maybin & Tusting (2017), linguistic ethnography is a research approach that emphasizes the study of social and cultural practices through the comprehensive analysis of situated language and communication using combined discourseanalytic and ethnographic research tools. It is an orientation towards specific epistemological and methodological traditions in the study of social life. The study will rely on the observation of participants over a prolonged period. The research will adopt the qualitative research approach. This is because it aims to describe events and experiences in detail appropriately. The interpretation must be made from a social and historical perspective to prevent the events and attitudes. Qualitative research helps in answering questions of the complex phenomenon from the point of view of participants. Data collection will be through interviews, photographs, maps, videotapes, and field notebooks entries. However, the method will help collect data about the mediated actions and social practices in Arabic shops in Sydney. Through a careful analysis of data collected, using the inductive process, we will generate theoretical explanations. Research Design The research design that will be used for this study is the descriptive survey design. It deals with analyzing findings, describing, and interpreting them. We do not intend to examine new phenomena but the participant experiences from their point of view. The descriptive survey design will help us gathers information. We will ask respondents questions about their 10 perceptions, beliefs, skills, knowledge, and attitude towards the mediated actions and social practices that influence service provision. This design will be more appropriate for this study because it will enable the researcher to gather information through interviews and interpret them. Time Frame Activity May-June June –July July-August Problem identification Introduction chapter Literature review Methodology chapter Budget proposal 11 Mediated Actions and Social Practices: The Case of Service Interactions in Arabic Shops in Sydney This budget for the proposal includes all the necessary resources to conduct a project on mediated actions and social practices in Arabic shops in Sidney. This project is essential in improving trading activities in Arab shops in Sidney by determining the most appropriate approaches in curbing cultural differences affecting trading activities in Arabs shops in Sidney. All Cost needed to conduct the research has been detailed for better understanding. In case of any query, kindly feel free to contact me. 1. DESCRIPTION OF PROJECT I am conducting a project on Mediated Actions and Social Practices affecting trading activities in Arabic Shops in Sydney. This project is essential in improving the economy of Arabs owning shops in Sidney by determining how cultural differences impact their economic activities and proposing the most appropriate mediated actions and social practices to improve their trading activities. 2. PERFORMANCE PERIOD The proposed budget for Mediated Actions and Social Practices affecting trading activities of Arabic Shops in the Sydney project will cover the entire two-year period. My study will conduct two visits per week to the Arab shops for the whole two years. 3. COST ELEMENTS Equipment items and material 12 Description Quantity Unit Cost ($) Total Cost ($) Fuel 650 litres 0.943 612.95 Digital Audio Recording 2 107.00 214.00 100 60.00 600.00 Stationeries 10 25.00 250.00 Food (Lunch) 100 visits 35.00 3,500.00 Devices Travelling to Arabs shops Fieldwork Expenses Totals 4,176.00 I confirm that the proposed budget contains an estimate of the average equipment and material to use in the field for the study. 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