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TABLE OF CONTENT
Culture refers to the integrated knowledge shared and the sum total of behavior of a large group of people that depends on capability of learning. Culture is socially transmitted from generation to generation. It constitutes the achievement of human beings including their artifacts and tradition ideas. Culture is symbolic communication of values, attitudes, motives, roles, beliefs, religion, etc. The concept of cultures is derived from arts, customs, language, inventions and religious traditions. Culture helps people to influence their expectations of what is appropriate or inappropriate, is learned by them, helps to reflect the values of a society & also provides them with patterns of behavior, thinking, feeling, and interacting with one another. Culture affects every aspect of daily life of the people - how they think and feel, how they learn and teach, or what they consider to be beautiful or ugly. However, most people are unaware of their own culture until they experience another culture. In fact, people don't usually think about their own culture until somebody violates a culturally-based expectation or they find themselves in a situation where they have the feeling that they as individuals have violated somebody else's cultural expectations, but are uncertain how has that come about. Cultural misunderstandings and cultural issues arise mostly out of culturally based perceptions and interpretations of each other's cultural norms, values, and beliefs. People, while entering into an unknown culture must be very careful to not unknowingly hurt the sentiments of others belonging to that particular culture.
Dealing with or comparing two or more cultures
Cultural awareness is a skill & a technique that can be adopted & developed at both professional and social levels, and can make a foreign assignment, an international business meeting or intra-cultural negotiation a successful one. On the other hand, a lack of cultural awareness can lead to major miscommunication of the ideas & proposals between the concerning firms, and, ultimately, rejection by host-culture colleagues, clients, acquaintances. Cultural awareness is particularly & mainly beneficial & important for employees who are being sent abroad to live and work in the foreign counterparts of their business firms, organizations, which are planning to merge with or acquire another company, or individuals who work with clients from all over the world. Cross-cultural training programs can guarantee that the employees are well equipped with a set of skills and strategies, which will help them to be successful when they are working in different cultures. The main objective of writing this report is to outline the two main elements of culture; Stereotyping and Culture Shock.
Stereotypes are the specific characteristics prescribed to groups of people involving gender, race, nationality and other factors. For example, someone who meets a few individuals from a particular country and finds them to be quiet reserved and conservative then he may go around spreading the word that all the citizens from that particular country are quiet and reserved. Stereotypes help us to react with various individuals from different parts of the world in a much better & in a manner which is acceptable by them, as it helps us to reduce our thinking time of how to deal with particular individuals based on their nature and nationality as that is what defines their personal character
Culture shock is described as a feeling of uncertainty, confusion or anxiety which the people experience while visiting a new country, doing business in or living in a society that is different to a large extent from their own. Culture shock usually arises from a person's unfamiliarity & unawareness regarding the local customs, language, acceptable behavior, lifestyle & habits since the norms, which define a particular culture, can differ significantly across various cultures.
5 years ago, my family and I visited New York. Before going to America, I had stereotyped America to be having more or less the same cultural values like India. I had a perception that American people would be having somewhat the same lifestyle and beliefs like us Indians. America is one of the most technically advanced countries in the world and is rich in culture. I stereotyped it to be having cultural beliefs and thought they are very family-oriented people and spend quality time with their family for example, they would go out in the evenings with their families and eat their meals and some evenings would watch movies and television together at home. I had thought that parents would help their children with their academic career and according to me the American culture uses mass media to promote education and literature. We were staying at my aunt’s house in Manhattan.
My 15-year-old cousin also stays with her. So one night while having dinner I had witnessed the biggest culture shock in my life. My cousin was watching a television serial called Jersey Shore. The main concept of Jersey Shore is how 8 young strangers from all over America stay together under one roof and whatever they do during the day and night is recorded. It was very interesting how the housemates got friendly with each other. I could see how they were having fun together in spite of being complete strangers. So there were some scenes in which the housemates get intimate, drink and party all night. So that was a big culture shock to me because I had never witnessed and seen such television serials before. I was amazed to see how my 15-year-old cousin is allowed to watch such serials. I was shocked because I didn't expect the culture to be so different from India. Then I realized that people living in America are very open-minded and are individual oriented, whereas Indians are very much family oriented with family values. Parent-child relation in America is different from the relation we have in India. Parents in America are very open in their relationship with their children. Indian parents are more conservative and are not as broad-minded as the Americans. So this is the reason why in India, we do not have such television serials. Another culture shock I witnessed was seeing how independent the American children are. In India, there are servants who look after the house and do most of the children’s works. Indian children are more protected by their parents. A normal middle-class Indian family also has maids who do most of the work in the house. While the culture of America is a mixture of different culture, the Indian culture is unique and has its own values. Trompennars theory of Collectivism vs Individualism can be used as an example for the same.
After doing this project, I have learnt that there is a diversity in culture in different parts of the world. We Indians should be a little more broad-minded. My whole perception of cultures in different parts of the world has changed and I have understood that different places have different culture.
• Culture - http://studyabroad.isp.msu.edu/studenthandbk/crossing_cultures/culture.html (R. Michael Paige)
Office of Study Abroad | Michigan State University. 2012. Office of Study Abroad | Michigan State University. [ONLINE] Available at: http://studyabroad.isp.msu.edu/studenthandbk/crossing_cultures/culture.html. [Accessed 21 October 2012].
Culture definition. 2012. Culture definition. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.tamu.edu/faculty/choudhury/culture.html. [Accessed 21 October 2012].
• Stereotype - http://racerelations.about.com/od/understandingrac1/g/WhatIsaStereotype.htm (Nadra Kareem Nittle )
Definition of Stereotype - What Is a Stereotype- Meaning of Stereotype. 2012. Definition of Stereotype - What Is a Stereotype- Meaning of Stereotype. [ONLINE] Available at: http://racerelations.about.com/od/understandingrac1/g/WhatIsaStereotype.htm. [Accessed 21 October 2012].
• Cross culture - http://blog.communicaid.com/cross-cultural-training/cultural-awareness-training/
Importance of Cultural Awareness | Cross Cultural Training. 2012. Importance of Cultural Awareness | Cross Cultural Training. [ONLINE] Available at: http://blog.communicaid.com/cross-cultural-training/cultural-awareness-training/. [Accessed 21 October 2012]
• Culture Shock - http://www.investopedia.com/terms/c/culture-shock.asp#axzz29v07F4cY
Culture Shock Definition | Investopedia . 2012. Culture Shock Definition | Investopedia . [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.investopedia.com/terms/c/culture-shock.asp#axzz29v07F4cY. [Accessed 21 October 2012].
|Give your ID number and identify the coursework here in case this sheet becomes detached from the top sheet: | | | |ID Number: K1167644 Name: Sharan Sujan | | | |Coursework: Culture In International Business | | | |Key Skills Area |Key Skills |Student Comments on the extent to which (if at all) the skill has been developed | | |Elements |by this piece of coursework | | | | | |Communication |Encouraged me to |After doing this assignment, I have been motivated to learn many other languages | | |learn more |and cultures in the world. | | |languages and | | | |cultures. | | | | | | |2. Numeracy |N/A |It has not helped me in my assignment. | | | | | | |Helped me develop | | |3. ICT |research skills |It has given me a lot of knowledge about different cultures. | | | | | | | | | |4. Teamwork | |As this assignment is a individual assignment, this is not applicable. | | |N/A | | | | | | | |Helped me to | | |5. Independent learning |understand |It has helped me a lot to learn different cultures. | | |different | | | |cultures. | |