The more obvious cultural differences that exist between people are language, dress and traditions, there are also significant variations in the way societies organize themselves, such as in their shared conception of moralityreligious belief, and in the ways they interact with their environment. Cultural diversity can be seen as analogous to biodiversity. Firstly, like most evolutionary accounts of human naturethe importance of cultural diversity for survival may be an un-testable hypothesiswhich can neither be proved nor disproved.
Gregorio Culturally different 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.Very, very different, as much as two countries with completely different cultures.
I grew up in the Northeast, which is busy, chaotic, crowded, sometimes angry and tense, slummy but exciting, culturally rich in NYC, and even the Republicans are moderate or liberal. the cultural variety and cultural differences that exist in the world, a society, or an institution: Dying languages and urbanization are threats to cultural diversity.
the inclusion of diverse people in a group or organization: to . The Culturally Responsive Teaching resource page offers great ideas, tips, and strategies for reaching culturally diverse students with disabilities.
You can also dig deeper into subjects like assessment, collaboration, and working with families. CULTURALLY DIFFERENT: "Culturally different members of a community may feel isolated even when they are not treated with prejudiced behaviors or inclinations.".
Colleagues from different cultures can also bring with them different workplace attitudes, values, behaviors, and etiquette. While these can be enriching and even beneficial in a diverse professional environment, they can also cause misunderstandings or ill feelings between team members.
Typical Examples of cultural differences The perception is different and often selective: Expressions are differentiated according their importance: for the Inuits (Eskimos) snow is part of their everyday life, therefore many words (e.
g. over 10 substantives) exist to describe it.