intercultural behaviour

Topics: Jordan, Culture, Arabic language Pages: 13 (3883 words) Published: December 3, 2013

1. Introduction

“Preservation of one's own culture
does not require contempt or disrespect for other cultures.“ Cesar Chavez

Whatever people are going to spend a semester abroad or have a longer job-related standing or some job meetings with foreign persons, most of the them prepare for abidance linguistically. They learn vocabulary and read books about the political system, religion and the history. This kind of information is meaningful and important. But most of the time people forget that’s important to know the norms, thinking, daily habits and behavior of the foreign culture and also the own culture. For this there are many corporations, which are specified on intercultural training.

Especially in the time of globalization intercultural competence became more and more important. Contacts between companies, organization and individuals have to be successful. People of different cultures have to work together and come to a profitable solution. Often the value systems of the people have big differences. For example in China you have a complete difference behavior than in Germany or Jordan. If people of two cultures meet each other, there can be huge problems. A bad preparation, insufficient interest for the foreign culture, misunderstanding or conflicts can be causes a competitive disadvantage for the company and therefore increases costs.1 Consequently multinational companies try to decrease the number of failed projects. This can be prevented with a good preparation according to the culture in form of an intercultural training. These trainings have to be concerted to the efforts of the participants and a defined goal. But Intercultural Behavior is not only a thematic in the industry. For example spending a semester abroad the students have to know about some rules and behavior in the foreign culture. In the following assignment is an explanation and description of the basics of intercultural training design and methods. Later the theory is applied on the country Jordan. The audiences are students at the University who want to spend a Semester abroad in Jordan. 2.0 Theoretical Foundations

For a better understanding it’s important to define some theoretical foundations about culture, intercultural competence and intercultural training. The following contains theory about culture concepts and different methods to detain an intercultural training. 2.1 Concept of Culture

The term culture is an essential part of the intercultural communication area. There is a disturbing lack of the meaning. Some say culture is learned behavior; others say it isn’t behavior at all, but an abstraction from behavior - what ever that is. According to Leslie A. White, “culture exists only in the mind.” 2 On the other side Edward Tyler introduced the concept of culture as an explanation of the differences among human societies. He said culture is the "(…) complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, law, morals, custom, and any other capabilities acquired by man as a member of society." 3 Of course women posses and create it as well. In general culture is a fragile phenomen, but a powerful human tool we need for survival. Because it exists only in our minds, there is a constant change and easy lost. Written languages, governments, buildings and other man-mad things aren’t culture itself you can see them more as the products of culture. Broken pots and other artifacts which were covered by archaeologists are only material which reflect cultural pattern.4

According to G. Hofstede culture have different layers:5
national layer according to one’s country
regional and/ or ethnic and/ or religious and/ or linguistic affiliation layer gender layer
generation level, that means separating grandparents from parents and from children social class layer, related with educational opportunities and with a person’s occupation or profession

2.2 Intercultural Competence
The culture standards of the different countries have...
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