I speak here of pronounced dissemination of cultural elements from overseas in Romania. Thus, although it is well documented that the language, film, music, food and dresscode of Americans are well established in current practice, my research purpose is to analyze the frequency with which those terms appear in daily cultural manifestations.
Gregorio Billikopf University of California To all who took the proxemics survey between December and June a warm thank you! We are in the process of analyzing the data.
Helping Others Resolve Differences, which you may download free here. I was there to provide some technical assistance in the area of agricultural labor management. One of my interpreters, once I was there, explained that a gentleman will pour the limonad type of juice for the ladies and show other courtesies.
Toward the end of my three week trip I was invited by my young Russian host and friend Nicolai Vasilevich and his lovely wife Yulya out to dinner.
At the end of a wonderful meal Yulya asked if I would like a banana. I politely declined and thanked her, and explained I was most satisfied with the meal.
But the whole while my mind was racing: Do I offer her a banana even though they are as close to her as they are to me? What is the polite thing to do? So all the while thinking about Russian politeness I picked the banana Yulya had pointed at and peeled it half way and handed it to her.
After this experience I spent much time letting the world know that in Russia, the polite thing is to peel the bananas for the ladies.
Sometime during my third trip I was politely disabused of my notion. And here I had been proudly telling everyone about this tidbit of cultural understanding. Certain lessons have to be learned the hard way. Some well meaning articles and presentations on cultural differences have a potential to do more harm than good and may not be as amusing.
They present, like my bananas, too many generalizations or quite a distorted view. Some often-heard generalizations about the Hispanic culture include: Hispanics need less personal space, make less eye contact, touch each other more in normal conversation, and are less likely to participate in a meeting.
Generalizations are often dangerous, and especially when accompanied by recommendations such as: Here is an attempt to sort out a couple of thoughts on cultural differences. My perspective is that of a foreign born-and-raised Hispanic who has now lived over two decades in the United States and has had much opportunity for international travel and exchange.
Commonality of humankind Differences between people within any given nation or culture are much greater than differences between groups. Education, social standing, religion, personality, belief structure, past experience, affection shown in the home, and a myriad of other factors will affect human behavior and culture.
Sure there are differences in approach as to what is considered polite and appropriate behavior both on and off the job. In some cultures "yes" means, "I hear you" more than "I agree.
For instance, someone who walks into a group of persons eating would say provecho enjoy your meal. In Chile, women often greet both other women and men with a kiss on the cheek. In Russia women often walk arm in arm with their female friends. Paying attention to customs and cultural differences can give someone outside that culture a better chance of assimilation or acceptance.
Ignoring these can get an unsuspecting person into trouble. Hence, we are comparing two bell curves and generalization cannot be avoided. True and true, but the danger comes when we act on some of these generalizations, especially when they are based on faulty observation.
Acting on generalizations about such matters as eye contact, personal space, touch, and interest in participation can have serious negative consequences. Cross-cultural and status barriers Sometimes, observations about cultural differences are based on scientific observation see, for instance, Argyle, Michael, Bodily Communication, 2nd ed.
Argyle cites several studies on non-verbal communications and culture see pp. According to the studies cited, Latin Americans make more eye contact, face each other more, and touch more p. Strong eye contact used by Hispanics goes along with my observations.
If Hispanics face each other more, it is probably because of the need for eye contact. I do not believe that Hispanics touch more, with the exception of some very specific social contexts, one of them being between dating or married couples.
One of the studies cited more contact among Latin American couples p. Another study showed that Latin Americans stand closer than North Americans something that goes contrary to my observations but that there are regional variations among countries p.
Argyle asserts that there are few genuine cross-cultural studies in the area of spatial behavior.Chapter 7: HUMAN SOCIETY CULTURAL EFFECTS ON BEHAVIOR GROUP BEHAVIOR SOCIAL CHANGE Membership in these groups influences how people think of themselves and how others think of them.
These groups impose expectations and rules that make the behavior of members more predictable and that enable each group . These findings may come as a surprise, but adults can overestimate or misunderstand the influence that the media and celebrity culture has on young people. This is not to undermine the overall impact of celebrity culture.
As with popular music, the perception and the effect of music-video messages are important, because research has reported that exposure to violence, sexual messages, sexual stereotypes, and use of substances of abuse in music videos might produce significant changes in behaviors and attitudes of young .
Americans are divided about the spread of American culture, but only a small minority considers the dominance of US culture a threat to other cultures. When it comes to globalization bringing greater cultural influences into the US, Americans express a .
On the other hand, if the child is from a nuclear family, particularly with a strong Euro-American cultural background emphasizing individualism, self-reliance, individual problem-solving, self-help, and autonomy, then interaction tends to be more object-oriented than multigenerational/multi-age people-oriented.
Young people need adults to commit, dedicate themselves, and bond with them, while introducing them to the most important and valued principles of spirituality and morality.
Society needs to emphasize traditions and rites of passages of our faith and display them to the young people .