Etiquette of visiting.

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  • 1. Etiquette of Visiting Lecture Six
  • 2. Case Study: The Invitation
    • Alice has a Western English teacher named Ms. Merrick. Several times on campus, Alice has seen Ms. Merrick and chatted with her. At the end of conversations, Ms. Merrick often says “Come over and visit me sometime.” So, one evening Alice decides to go and visit…
  • 3. Case Study: The Invitation
    • When Alice finds Ms. Merrick’s apartment, she knocks at the door. After a moment, Ms. Merrick opens the door, but she doesn’t look very happy to see Alice. Instead of inviting Alice in, she says: “Can I do something for you?”
    • Why doesn’t Ms. Merrick seem happy to see Alice?
  • 4. Likely Interpretations
    • Alice didn’t let her know she was coming
    • Ms. Merrick’s invitations were meant to be polite more than serious, and she really didn’t want Alice to visit
    • Ms. Merrick was in a bad mood for a reason unrelated to Alice’s visit
  • 5. Likely Interpretations
    • 5. This was an inconvenient time for her. At another time she would be happy to see Alice
    • 6. Ms. Merrick was looking forward to a free evening
  • 6. Culture Notes
    • Visiting:
    • It’s very common for Westerners to arrange a time before going to visit people
    • Westerners feel less obligation to host uninvited guests that would be the case in Chinese cultures
  • 7. Culture Notes
    • Spending time alone:
    • Many Westerners feel it is a good thing to have some “personal time” (spending some time alone doing whatever they want eg: work on a hobby) This may be seen as a reflection of the Western emphasis on individualism (individualistic society)
  • 8. Culture Notes
    • Schedule time:
    • Many Westerners schedule their time quite carefully; it is usual for Westerners to plan schedules several days in advance
  • 9. Culture Notes
    • “ Polite” invitation:
    • Among Westerners, some invitations are “polite invitations”. In Western culture, the difference between “polite invitations” and “real invitations” is that polite invitations are usually very vague—no time and place are set whereas real invitations will generally include some effort to arrange a time
  • 10. Social Visits
    • Invitations are usually issued in person or over the telephone, except for receptions and other formal occasions (e.g.: wedding)
    • Call before visiting to make sure it is convenient for the host. Do not overstay your welcome
    • For a casual dinner, don’t arrive more than five minutes early (Why?)
  • 11. Social Visits
    • It’s rude to arrive more than 10 minutes late if very few people were invited. But it is okay to arrive late for a party or a social gathering involving a large group of people
    • At a party, don’t be surprised if you are asked what you do for a living since it is a normal opening line of conversation in the West and not an insult.
  • 12. Social Visits
    • If invited for dinner, bring the host a bottle of wine, a gift basket of fruit, or a bouquet of flowers (not roses) depending on the type of personality the host has
    • Call of send a brief written thank-you note the next day to thank the host