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What is culture?


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What is Culture? What’s In Your Cultural Baggage?
Culture may involve many things—it’s a broad concept that can be defined in a wide variety of ways. Each and every community has a culture of its own. Culture is not only dissimilar but also exceptional, and we are able to find a variety of traditions in societies throughout the world.
I would like to focus on aspects of values that are related to etiquette, communication, social interactions, and other elements necessary to fostering sensitivity, awareness and understanding in XXI Century’s, ever-expanding international community.

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What is culture?

  1. 1. What Is Culture?
  2. 2. “We talk a lot and talk pretty well about race, but we don‟t listen enough. And I‟m hoping that if we listen to each other, we can begin to … make this society of ours into less and less of a country of strangers.” -David Shipler, 1997
  3. 3. “Appreciation of our differences starts with the acknowledgment of our similarities” -Peter Reese
  4. 4. What Is Culture?  The customary ways in which humans live. For example; diet, family forms and processes, social organizations, and religions. Info taken from: The Four Skills of Cultural Diversity Competence, by Mikel Hogan-Garcia
  5. 5. Ethnic Group or Culture Group  The cultural heritage, or aspects of culture, that a group shares and attempts to hand down from one generation to the next through learning. Info taken from: The Four Skills of Cultural Diversity Competence, by Mikel Hogan-Garcia
  6. 6. 12 Aspects of Culture or Ethnicity
  7. 7. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. History-time period and conditions under which a group migrated or immigrated. Social Status Factors – education, occupation, income Social Group Interaction Patterns: Intra-group (within group relations) and Inter-group (between-group relations) Value Orientation – standards by which members of a culture judge their personal actions and those of others. Language and Communication: Verbal and Nonverbal Family Life Processes – gender roles, family dynamics Healing Beliefs and Practices – attitudes and beliefs about health. Religion – spiritual beliefs and practices Art and Expressive Forms – art, music, stories, dance, etc. Diet/Foods – preferred food eaten by groups. Recreation – activities, sports for leisure, etc. Clothing – types, styles, and extent of body coverings.
  8. 8. Personal Culture – Core Identity  Includes everything an individual finds meaningful, beliefs, values, perceptions, assumptions, and framework about reality.  Developed through social interaction with family and others in your environment.
  9. 9. Cultural Competence Skill Areas  Awareness and Acceptance of Differences  Self-Awareness  Dynamics of Difference  Knowledge of Client‟s Culture  Adaptation of Skills
  10. 10. Self-Awareness  “It is impossible to appreciate the impact of culture on the lives of others, particularly clients, if one is out of touch with his or her own cultural background.”
  11. 11. Self-Awareness  “Many people never acknowledge how their day-to-day behaviors have been shaped by cultural norms and values and reinforced by families, peers, and social institutions. How one defines „family‟, identifies desirable life goals, views problems, and even says hello are all influenced by the culture in which one functions” (Cross, 1988, p.2).
  12. 12. Self-Awareness  Requires self-knowledge of own culture in order to know when cultural limits are likely to be pushed, foreseeing potential areas of tension, and conflict with specific client groups.
  13. 13. Why Become Culturally Competent?
  14. 14. Ethnocentrism  The belief that one‟s own group or culture is superior to all other groups or cultures.  The tendency of most people to use their own way of life as a standard for judging others; now also indicates the belief, on the part of most individuals, that their race, culture, society, etc., are superior to all others Info taken from: website
  15. 15. Ethnorelativsm These people have gone from being neutral about difference to being positive. They not only accept cultural differences, but are willing and able to adjust their own behavior to conform to different norms. They are able to empathize with people from different cultures. In many ways, they become what is known as bi cultural or multi cultural, effortlessly adjusting their behavior to suit the culture of the people they're with, "style switching," in other words. They do not give up their own or birth culture's values and beliefs, but they do integrate aspects of other cultures into it. Info taken from
  16. 16. What do you think? Are you a Global Citizen? The peoples of the world are one people, enriched by individual differences, united by the common bond of humanity. The diversity of the Glob… Curated by Halina Ostańkowicz-Bazan