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What is Culture?

1. Culture is the heartware of a nation/race/culture; its soul and what makes it tick

2. Culture reflects widely shared assumptions and beliefs about life

3. Culture is so embedded that most people do not and cannot analyse it

4. Culture is what is ‘normal’ around here

5. Culture is learned from our superiors and role models

What is normal?

Stereotyping can be misleading.  However, a national group does have common traits which we recognise when they are together. Individuals in that group will have fewer or more of them.  For example, some groups are more restrained than others who are more outgoing.

Why is cross-cultural awareness important?

Each cultural world operates according to its own internal dynamics, its own principles, and its own laws, influencing how we think as human beings.  Becoming aware that other cultures are different, we begin to recognise and understand the “silent language” and “conditioned behaviour” existing beyond people’s conscious awareness.  We become sensitive to other meanings.

Where is Cross-Culture?

Cross-culture is widely accepted in the international context of trade and diplomacy, but it can also to be found on your doorstep.  The staff you employ may come from different regions, or walks of life, and have different aspirations.  You may even employ foreigners. Customers, too, are very diverse, having preferences and expectations all of their own.

What are the cross-cultural differences?

Culture is how we communicate to the world.  There are some common threads that run through all cultures and can be divided into three parts: how we communicate through words, material things, and behaviour.

  1. Words are the medium of business, politics and diplomacy: Written and spoken
  2. Material things are normally indicators of status and power.
  3. Behaviour creates feedback on how others feel about us: social conditioning and learned responses.

“The Software of the Mind”

  • Perceptions, values, and belief systems are not the same thing and are different for everyoneAbove all, they affect each other and constantly interact; a dynamic relationship
  • Everything, including perceptions of reality, is relative and contextual
  • Reality is less important than one’s perception of reality
  • It is not the stimulus that produces specific human reactions but rather how the stimulus is perceived
  • People act or react on the basis of the way in which they perceive the external world

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This entry was posted on Monday, August 17th, 2009 at 11:33 pm and is filed under about cross-culture, cultural diversity, culture shock & stuff, General . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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