Cross-cultural Understanding is concerned
with understanding people from different
cultural backgrounds/culture of the people so
we can construct our attitudes and world view,
more tolerable and generous toward strange
ways that may be shown by other citizen of
another country .
Culture finds expression through the patterns of
behavior, decision-making processes, ethics, morals
and values on which a society is based. National
cultures are built up over many years, and spring
from a country’s history, geography, sociology,
language and religion.
Many people who go abroad encounter
features in their host culture that they may
find disturbing. Reaction to these alien
aspects of the new culture can dampen
the entire experience in the country,
resulting in various kinds of negative
• C.C misunderstanding arise when A
person from an alien culture misinterprets
a complex pattern when it has different
To adapt positively and effectively to the
host culture, it is necessary to overcome
the negative responses. The best way to
challenge these shortcomings is to name
these negative aspects, face them, and
come to terms with them
But the biggest problem is that most of this
dissonance derives from non-verbal
behavior, and therefore they are mostly
dangerous are very real, but difficult to
Verbal communication is probably not an
issue, but adapting to the culture, with its
non-verbal and societal indicators, is
difficult and painful.
Non-verbal behavior is so deeply engrained
in the communicational system that it is
not often explained or acknowledged by
native speakers who, most of the time, are
unconscious of this phenomenon.
Learning another culture, developing
relationships with people you meet,
communicating efficiently, and adapting to
the environment is a complex task.
Each aspect of non-verbal communication
has a code or codes. These codes are
signals that have to be translated because
they point to hidden systems of cultural
Furthermore, they are charged with
ideological significance, what we call as so
pervasive that we often don't realize it
exists, just as we don't notice the air we
To understand the political, economic, social
and even personal behavior of any group
of people, we must first know the
dominant values of their culture which are
passed down from one generation to
another through learning.
There is no way to explain the behavior of
Americans unless you know their
dominant or mainstream culture.
Culture is like an iceberg. The tip of the
iceberg is the smallest part. Most of the
iceberg is submerged.
The same is true for a culture. That which you
can easily see – the behavior of people – is the
smallest part of culture.
It is external while the greatest part, internal
culture, is beneath the water level of awareness.
It is inside people’s heads.
- This internal culture includes our way
of thinking and perceiving.
- Most importantly, it contains the
values and beliefs unconsciously
learned while growing up in a
particular culture. These values and
beliefs determine most behavior.
• Remember, these are generalizations.
Some people will be uncomfortable if you
do not touch them during a conversation.
The hard part is figuring out who wants
Personal Space in the U.S.
Adapted from Figure 7–3: Personal Space Categories for Those in the United States
18” to 4’
4’ to 8’
8’ to 10’
– The study of the way that people use physical
space to convey messages
• Intimate distance is used for very confidential
• Personal distance is used for talking with family and
• Social distance is used to handle most business
• Public distance is used when calling across the
room or giving a talk to a group