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Stitch1 what is_culture

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  • 1. What is Culture? FH-Prof. Dr. Jim MillerSTITCH MODULE: Intercultural Communication Powerpoint Lecture 1
  • 2. Which of these is an example of culture? Klimt, Birch Forest, 1902 Beech forest in Slovenia Both are, because both are the product of human activity (the forest is managed)
  • 3. Basic Aspects of Culture Culture is much more than the Louve in Paris or the Musikverein in Vienna Culture covers everything—houses, clothes, food, language, morals, values, ideas—even the natural environment if altered by human activity
  • 4. Definitions of Culture  Culture is…  an historically-transmitted, socially constructed system of beliefs, premises, symbols and their meanings that pertain to a group of people.  Culture is…  . . . in your head . . . in the way you talk  . . . in your behavior . . . deeply felt  Culture is a system of resources for understanding the world around you.  Culture is the set of “tools” that our families and societies instill in us to get through life.
  • 5. • Clothing • Food • what houses look like • how a language sounds • etc., etc. etc.• how clothing communicates status• what foods are tabu• how different tones of voice communicate different meanings• how different types of architecture are used• etc., etc., etc
  • 6. The Cultural Iceburg In any society, most cultural meanings are to be found “below the water line” It takes intercultural skill to figure out what things mean Only when you begin to figure out what the things “below the line” mean, can you begin to act in a culturally appropriate manner A foreigner almost never can figure out what EVERYTHING below the line means
  • 7. Effective InterculturalCommunication Requires a profound knowledge of yourself and your own culture Requires an appreciation for cultural difference and a willingness to accept other cultures as just as valid as your own Requires a knowledge of other cultural systems Requires a set of communication skills that are often just as useful if applied WITHIN your own culture as they are when applied in an intercultural setting
  • 8. Welcome to theIntercultural Adventure! Acquiring these skills can be an exciting voyage of discovery