Part I – The Art of Crossing Cultures
What is a cultural incident? According to Storti, there are Type I and Type II incidents. Describe each with a specific cross-cultural example. Type 2 are those incidents where the expat's behavior confuse, frustrates, or otherwise puts off someone from another culture. In the first instance the expat is the "victim," if you perpetrator. In both cases, incidentally, it is the expat who suffers the most. A cross-cultural encounter, by definition, is a two-way process. Even as you're being thrown by the annoying, unaccountable behaviors of the other person, chances are that person is also being put off by you. An article in Crossing Cultures, a publication of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, recalled how a major international blunder was successfully avoided when Mncy Regan revised an earlier decision to bring along her White House china on a state visit to the People's Republic of China in 1984. The Chinese were offended by the implication that China, of all countries, might be deficient in these regard. On the same trip, President Reagan himself fell afoul of the local culture when he offended a shopkeeper by asking him to "keep the change" after paying for a small souvenir, an insulation a country where tips are reserved for lowly servants.
2. In the text, Storti discusses three ways to learn about a foreign culture. What are these three ways and what are possible limitations of each?
Awareness, Stay healthy and rested, Stay in touch with family, Don't relax, See the big picture, know yourself-relating to your own assumptions will help you accept others, Avoid evaluation as first reaction, be flexible and empathetic (shift perspective).
Part II – Your Growth in this class
1. In your opinion, what are the top three most useful pieces of information from this class that will promote intercultural competence and awareness? In my opinion...
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