First Advisor

Larry A. Steward

Term of Graduation

Spring 1994

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Speech Communication


Speech Communication




Intercultural communication, High school students -- Attitudes, Russia -- American foreign public opinion



Physical Description

1 online resource (127 pages)


When cultural values differ, it is difficult for people not to judge one another's behavior on the basis of their own individual and/or cultural values. Given the profound differences in Russian and American culture, the question of what happens when these two cultures interact comes to mind.

The purpose of this study was to describe the relationship of culture specific orientation, coupled with a two week sojourn in Russia on the sojourners' perceptions of cultural values. The sojourners were high school athletes participating in the first part of a Russian - American Track and Field Exchange.

In order to ascertain the students' value orientations, each student completed six Value Orientation Worksheets. Before the pre-departure orientation the students' completed two worksheets composed of fifteen questions, one according to their own cultural values, and one for their perception of Russian cultural values. The students completed two additional worksheets after the pre-departure orientation sessions, and two worksheets ten months after the sojourn.

Analysis of the post-orientation worksheets suggests that the orientation sessions had a greater impact on the students' reported perceptions of their own cultural values than in changing their reported perceptions of Russian values. Unlike the post-orientation responses, an analysis of post-sojourn responses indicated that the sojourn experience appears to have had a comparable affect on the students' reported perceptions of their own cultural values and their reported perceptions of Russian cultural values. Post-sojourn worksheets revealed that agreement among the students after the shared orientation sessions was not a reliable predictor of agreement after the sojourn. In many cases, the individuality of the sojourn experience appears to have overcome the shared informational orientation training.

Continued research in this field is needed to determine whether or not the tendencies uncovered in this study can be generalized to include a wider population, specifically - American high school student/athletes traveling abroad for a short term sojourn.


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