Understanding Western Culture
“   What  you see dependson whereyou are." 7/8/2011
Cultural Contrasts - Religion
Cultural Contrasts - Sexuality
Cultural Contrasts – Gender Roles/Relations
Cultural Contrasts – Age
Cultural Contrasts – Education
Western culture ≠ Western Film / TV      (but does influence it)
Originates from Ancient Greece (Europe)
Spread by Roman Empire (1st Century BC)
Influenced by Christianity (4/5th Century)
Stagnated during Dark Ages (5/6th Century)
Rebirth: Renaissance (14 - 17th Century)
New ideas: Scientific Revolution (17th Century)
Logic & Reason: Age of Enlightenment (18th Century)
Independence: American Revolution (Late 18th Century)
Industrial Revolution (19th Century)
Modern Civilization (Today)
We live in a multicultural world where cultures:         Transcend geography and race (no connection)         Exist worldw...
East vs. West       What is the difference?         VISIBLE             UNVISIBLE Communication styles          BeliefsAtt...
Way to think
Way of life
Punctuality
Connections
Anger
Waiting in line
In the restaurant
Standard of beauty
Solving problems
Senior’s daily life
Shower time
Boss
The child
New things
Image of each other
Cultural  Differences                   West (US / Europe)          East (China / East Asia)          Logic    Linear     ...
THE EUROPEAN RAT AND THE CHINESE DRAGON        Fragmented       Floating        Democritus       Dao        Socrates      ...
Example   Eyes          Arab culture          too little eye contact is regarded          as disrespectful .          Engl...
ExampleGesture   U.S.A.: OK     JAPAN: MONEY   RUSSIA: ZERO   BRAZIL: INSULT
Example  AngryTravelersGuide toObscene Gestures
ExampleWelcome TopicsIndonesiaFamilyTravelSportsLocal CuisineGermanySportsPoliticsCurrent EventsBeer
InterculturalCompetence General cultural awareness Context for meeting Personal preference and skills Specific cultural kn...
Importance ofCross-culture      Business opportunities         Job opportunities     Sharing of views and ideas       Tale...
Blocks to Cultural  Communication               Tone Difference   Formal tone change becomes embarrassing &           off-...
Blocks to Cultural  Communication                EthnocentrismThe emotional attitude that ones own race, nation,       or ...
Blocks to Cultural   Communication   StereotypingGeneralizing about aperson while ignoringpresence of individualdifference...
Blocks to Cultural   Communication       DiscriminationDifferential treatment of anindividual due to minority status.
To handle yourself, use your head.  Deal With It                    To handle others, use your heart.AcceptenceOvercome la...
Know Different Cultural Background                            Read English literature                            and write...
Gain Enough Vocabulary       The way I delt with new words when preparing for             IELTS three years ago in high sc...
Get Proper Ideas                   Research
Respect Differences                      Be open and tolerate,                      ask lots of questions.
Thank YouREFERENCESSelden, S.C. & Selden, F. (2001). Rethinking diversityin public organizations for the 21st century: Mov...
VIEW MORE OF MY PRESENTATIONS:
Creative CommonsAttribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5        For more information, visit:Creativecommon.org/licenses/by-n...
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Culture Diversity - Understanding Western Culture

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  • How can we enrich cultural diversity in a multinational company operating different geographies? Does any of you have a resource which can help me about this issue? Thanks in advance.
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  • What is culture?
    Where did western culture come from?
    How is it different from Chinese culture?
    How should we deal with these differences at work?...

    Came from the teachings of Jesus, roman Christianity and their social & justice systems from them ruling the west Europe & Asia. It is believed Jesus met Buddha (the new one carrying his spirit because, the original one was 500 years prior) during his journey prior to his teaching the New Testament. Follow the easy formula of: What is Right what is Fair & Just & what is Good for your Customer as is for your Company. Respect of Elders always nice but wisdom in business must be questioned because the old farts do not always no everything of the New world way of things. ALWAYS discourage corruption!!! The East is the most corrupt buddy system around.
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  • Hey Veronica, as one of your many teachers it is very gratifying to see your great work on the Internet. Now it is available to so many to enjoy as I have in the past in Wuhan. I wish you all the best with your studies and life in Dublin. Take care, but have fun too, Dean
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  • Bien planteado y desarrollado el asunto de la diversidad cultural. Es inevitable que se deslicen algunos puntos de vista etnocéntricos pese a cualquier esfuerzo de ponderación. Felicitaciones para Verónica.
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  • People’s first impression of western culture often comes from Western TV and movies but this can be misleading and enforces stereotypes.Whilst TV and movies reflect and influence culture to an extent they are not a good indicatorIf we believed everything on TV I’d think all Chinese are Kung Fu masters and you’d think Westerners have affairs all the timeThere are elements of truth in both but neither is an accurate depictionSo where does western culture come from?
  • The ancient philosophers Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle established the foundations of Western philosophy and first considered the meaning of lifeWho made me? Why am I here? What is my purpose in life?They started writing things down and developed early literature.Constructed monumental architecture to symbolize their power (Acropolis)Athens was the worlds first democracy with a cosmopolitan world view (international culture).Developed political, military, social, and religious structuresFor all of their brilliant accomplishments, the Greeks were unable to rise above the divisions and rivalries that caused them to fight each other and undermine their own civilization. 
  • The Romans (from Italy) conquer most of Europe and build roads everywhere – very efficient.Made achievements in language, law, engineering, and government (introduced coinage, long distance trade)Become gradually corrupt and stretched too thinly due to invasions, civil wars, and economic decline. 
  • Christianity grew and became widely accepted by the fourth century (from Jewish sect)It was made the official state religion of the Roman Empire.The Roman Catholic church played a crucial role in the growth of the new European civilization. The church developed an organized government under the leadership of the pope.
  • But there was a problem… Christianity distrusted science, logic and reasonThe Dark Ages were a period of cultural decline or societal collapse that took place between the fall of Rome and the eventual recovery of learning.“600 years of degenerate, godless, inhuman behavior”
  • Rebirth of art, education, science & literature.The Renaissance was a cultural movement that profoundly affected European intellectual life in the early modern period. As a cultural movement, it encompassed a resurgence of learning, art, and widespread educational reform.Its influence affected literature, philosophy, art, politics, science, religion, and other aspectsVitruvian Man – Leonardo da Vinci (ideal human proportions)
  • Rejection of old ideas, beginning to look for new ones. From flat earth to round earth. Religion -> Science/ReasonThe scientific revolution was a time when people began to look for the answers to questions regarding the make-up of the earth, and the people living on it. It was a period when new ideas in physics, astronomy, biology, human anatomy, chemistry, and other sciences led to a rejection of ideas from Ancient Greece and laid the foundation of modern science.Struck a conflict between ideas of individuals and the ideas of the church. From the shape of the world to the circulation of blood in a persons body many theories developed to find out how these things worked. Important people: Newton, Galileo, …
  • A period of time characterized by the importance of logic and reason“freedom to use one's own intelligence”Separation from King + ReligionCommon people got a voiceThey were greatly impressed with the accomplishments of the Scientific Revolution, and when they used the word reason they were advocating the application of the scientific method to the understanding of all life.Basic challenges to the authority of the king, freedom of speech, press, and religion, and the role of commoners in the government were revolutionary.
  • The American Revolution refers to the political upheaval during the last half of the 18th century in which the Thirteen Colonies of North America overthrew the governance of the British Empire and then rejected the British monarchy to become the sovereign United States of America.
  • Advances in science and technology led to big changes in …The Industrial Revolution was a period in the late 1800s and early 1900s when big changes in agriculture, manufacturing, production, and transportation had a huge effect on the conditions in Britain. The changes quickly spread throughout Europe, North America, and eventually the world.Effort to build factories for massive production. Greatly altered economic and social systems.
  • Out culture is still changing and being recreated everydayObama is biggest event in recent history
  • These are core ideas and values which underlie western culture
  • There is no one “ideal” or “best” cultureWestern culture exists around the world in some form (inc. Japan, Korea & China)Cultures can be different not only between continents or nations, but also within the same company or even family.
  • What differences have you experienced?
  • West: Linear (direct associations)East: Spiral (roundabout and subtle)
  • West: Individualistic, independent, values freedomEast: Group orientated, values harmony and stability
  • West: Start and end on timeEast: Appointment times flexibleDon’t be late (rude). Call in advance if you can’t make it.
  • West: Small number of close connectionsEast: Highly connected web
  • West: Argumentative, verbalEast: Difficult to say no, non-verbalShow your feelings up front – people prefer to hear your problem before it becomes bigger
  • West: Manors important (be polite)East: Each for his/her own
  • West: like dark skinEast: like white skin
  • How well you can adopt and communicate with other culturesIntercultural competence is the ability of successful communication with people of other cultures.A person who is interculturally competent captures and understands, in interaction with people from foreign cultures, their specific concepts in perception, thinking, feeling and acting.
  • Culture Diversity - Understanding Western Culture

    1. 1. Understanding Western Culture
    2. 2. “ What you see dependson whereyou are." 7/8/2011
    3. 3. Cultural Contrasts - Religion
    4. 4. Cultural Contrasts - Sexuality
    5. 5. Cultural Contrasts – Gender Roles/Relations
    6. 6. Cultural Contrasts – Age
    7. 7. Cultural Contrasts – Education
    8. 8. Western culture ≠ Western Film / TV (but does influence it)
    9. 9. Originates from Ancient Greece (Europe)
    10. 10. Spread by Roman Empire (1st Century BC)
    11. 11. Influenced by Christianity (4/5th Century)
    12. 12. Stagnated during Dark Ages (5/6th Century)
    13. 13. Rebirth: Renaissance (14 - 17th Century)
    14. 14. New ideas: Scientific Revolution (17th Century)
    15. 15. Logic & Reason: Age of Enlightenment (18th Century)
    16. 16. Independence: American Revolution (Late 18th Century)
    17. 17. Industrial Revolution (19th Century)
    18. 18. Modern Civilization (Today)
    19. 19. We live in a multicultural world where cultures: Transcend geography and race (no connection) Exist worldwide in some form (usually mixed)
    20. 20. East vs. West What is the difference? VISIBLE UNVISIBLE Communication styles BeliefsAttitudes towards conflict Values Decision making styles ExpectationApproaching to knowing Attitudes
    21. 21. Way to think
    22. 22. Way of life
    23. 23. Punctuality
    24. 24. Connections
    25. 25. Anger
    26. 26. Waiting in line
    27. 27. In the restaurant
    28. 28. Standard of beauty
    29. 29. Solving problems
    30. 30. Senior’s daily life
    31. 31. Shower time
    32. 32. Boss
    33. 33. The child
    34. 34. New things
    35. 35. Image of each other
    36. 36. Cultural Differences West (US / Europe) East (China / East Asia) Logic Linear SpiralCommunication Direct, verbal Indirect, implied Identity Individual, independent Group orientated Agreement Argumentative, verbal Hard to say no, non-verbal Punctuality Start and end on time Appointments flexible Respect Success, achievement Seniority, wisdom Business Economics come first Relationship comes firstDecision Making Distributed, proactive Manager has final say Time Horizon Short term (per quarter) Long term (years ahead) Risk / Spending Risk-takers, spend Risk-avoiders, save * certainly there are obvious exceptions
    37. 37. THE EUROPEAN RAT AND THE CHINESE DRAGON Fragmented Floating Democritus Dao Socrates Confucius Machiavelli Mencius Individualism Collectivism Do-it-yourself Authority-respect Pragmatic Loyal Dialectic Balance Fun factor Discipline Teaching Learning Short term Long term Mona Lisa Bamboo
    38. 38. Example Eyes Arab culture too little eye contact is regarded as disrespectful . English culture a certain amount of eye contact is necessary; but too much makes people uncomfortable. South-Asian culture direct eye contact is regarded as aggressive & rude.
    39. 39. ExampleGesture U.S.A.: OK JAPAN: MONEY RUSSIA: ZERO BRAZIL: INSULT
    40. 40. Example AngryTravelersGuide toObscene Gestures
    41. 41. ExampleWelcome TopicsIndonesiaFamilyTravelSportsLocal CuisineGermanySportsPoliticsCurrent EventsBeer
    42. 42. InterculturalCompetence General cultural awareness Context for meeting Personal preference and skills Specific cultural knowledge
    43. 43. Importance ofCross-culture Business opportunities Job opportunities Sharing of views and ideas Talent improvisation Diverse markets
    44. 44. Blocks to Cultural Communication Tone Difference Formal tone change becomes embarrassing & off-putting in some cultures.
    45. 45. Blocks to Cultural Communication EthnocentrismThe emotional attitude that ones own race, nation, or culture is superior to all others.
    46. 46. Blocks to Cultural Communication StereotypingGeneralizing about aperson while ignoringpresence of individualdifferences. Sometimes the shoe fits, no matter who you are.
    47. 47. Blocks to Cultural Communication DiscriminationDifferential treatment of anindividual due to minority status.
    48. 48. To handle yourself, use your head. Deal With It To handle others, use your heart.AcceptenceOvercome language barriors and have desire to learn more knowledge of culture.AwarenessConsciousness of ones personal reactions to people who are different.AppreciationPositive emotion in acknowledgment of a benefit that one will receive or has received.
    49. 49. Know Different Cultural Background Read English literature and write down memorable quotes
    50. 50. Gain Enough Vocabulary The way I delt with new words when preparing for IELTS three years ago in high school.
    51. 51. Get Proper Ideas Research
    52. 52. Respect Differences Be open and tolerate, ask lots of questions.
    53. 53. Thank YouREFERENCESSelden, S.C. & Selden, F. (2001). Rethinking diversityin public organizations for the 21st century: Movingtoward a multicultural model. Administration andSociety, 33 (3), 303-329.Bucher, R. D. (2010). Diversity consciousness:Opening our minds to people, cultures, andopportunities. (3rd ed.) yayveronica@gmail.com facebook.com/yayveronica twitter.com/yayveronica cn.linkedin.com/in/yayveronica
    54. 54. VIEW MORE OF MY PRESENTATIONS:
    55. 55. Creative CommonsAttribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 For more information, visit:Creativecommon.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.5/Copyright (c) 2011 Yushi Peng. All Rights Reserved.Contact: Veronica Peng// yayveronica@gmail.com

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