Published on December 11, 2013
A BITE OF Cross-cultural Understanding
???? Cross-cultural Understanding is concerned with understanding people from different cultural backgrounds/culture of the people so we can construct our attitudes and world view, more tolerable and generous toward strange ways that may be shown by other citizen of another country .
Culture finds expression through the patterns of behavior, decision-making processes, ethics, morals and values on which a society is based. National cultures are built up over many years, and spring from a country’s history, geography, sociology, language and religion.
Many people who go abroad encounter features in their host culture that they may find disturbing. Reaction to these alien aspects of the new culture can dampen the entire experience in the country, resulting in various kinds of negative reactions.
• C.C misunderstanding arise when A person from an alien culture misinterprets a complex pattern when it has different meaning
To adapt positively and effectively to the host culture, it is necessary to overcome the negative responses. The best way to challenge these shortcomings is to name these negative aspects, face them, and come to terms with them
But the biggest problem is that most of this dissonance derives from non-verbal behavior, and therefore they are mostly dangerous are very real, but difficult to grasp.
Verbal communication is probably not an issue, but adapting to the culture, with its non-verbal and societal indicators, is difficult and painful. Non-verbal behavior is so deeply engrained in the communicational system that it is not often explained or acknowledged by native speakers who, most of the time, are unconscious of this phenomenon.
Learning another culture, developing relationships with people you meet, communicating efficiently, and adapting to the environment is a complex task.
Each aspect of non-verbal communication has a code or codes. These codes are signals that have to be translated because they point to hidden systems of cultural belief.
Furthermore, they are charged with ideological significance, what we call as so pervasive that we often don't realize it exists, just as we don't notice the air we breathe
To understand the political, economic, social and even personal behavior of any group of people, we must first know the dominant values of their culture which are passed down from one generation to another through learning. There is no way to explain the behavior of Americans unless you know their dominant or mainstream culture.
Culture Analogy Culture is like an iceberg. The tip of the iceberg is the smallest part. Most of the iceberg is submerged.
The same is true for a culture. That which you can easily see – the behavior of people – is the smallest part of culture. It is external while the greatest part, internal culture, is beneath the water level of awareness. It is inside people’s heads.
- This internal culture includes our way of thinking and perceiving. - Most importantly, it contains the values and beliefs unconsciously learned while growing up in a particular culture. These values and beliefs determine most behavior.
The “Iceberg Analogy” of Culture
The House of Popular Culture
• Remember, these are generalizations. Some people will be uncomfortable if you do not touch them during a conversation. The hard part is figuring out who wants what.
Personal Space in the U.S. Intimate distance Personal distance 18” Social distance Public distance Adapted from Figure 7–3: Personal Space Categories for Those in the United States 18” to 4’ 4’ to 8’ 8’ to 10’
• Proxemics – The study of the way that people use physical space to convey messages • Intimate distance is used for very confidential communications • Personal distance is used for talking with family and close friends • Social distance is used to handle most business transactions • Public distance is used when calling across the room or giving a talk to a group
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