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When in Rome….  France’s burka ban  Mosque near ground zero  Arizona’s immigration law  Honor killings  Terry Jones Kuran burning  Westboro Baptist.

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Presentation on theme: "When in Rome….  France’s burka ban  Mosque near ground zero  Arizona’s immigration law  Honor killings  Terry Jones Kuran burning  Westboro Baptist."— Presentation transcript:

1 When in Rome…

2  France’s burka ban  Mosque near ground zero  Arizona’s immigration law  Honor killings  Terry Jones Kuran burning  Westboro Baptist Church  Asian drivers  Female circumcision

3  American culture is a leading export  Movies  Music  TV shows  YouTube  Facebook  Twitter  Fashion

4  “America is the greatest country in the world”  Freedom  Democracy  Free speech  Land of opportunity  But are we #1?  Infant mortality: 33rd  Life expectancy: 37 th (behind Cuba, Puerto Rico, Chile, Costa Rica)  Education: The U.S. ranked 14 out of 34 countries in reading, and 25 th in math  Health care quality: 37th  Gender gap/gender equality: 27th

5  Culture bias: interpreting and judging another culture based on standards from one’s own culture  Example: hygiene standards in the U.S.A.  Ethnocentrism: belief in the inherent superiority of one’s own culture  Example: “capitalism is good, socialism is evil”  Cultural imprinting begins at an early age  Culture bias may be conscious or unconscious Which fellow is dressed “weird”?

6  high contact cultures exhibit greater immediacy  Touch more  Stand closer  More olfactory  examples South America Southern France Southern Italy Southern Spain Greece, Portugal Latin America  low contact cultures exhibit lesser immediacy  Touch less  Stand farther apart  More visual  examples Germany Great Britain Norway Japan China  The U.S.A. is a moderate contact culture

7  When passing another stranger on the sidewalk:  1-2% of Japanese people smiled, nodded, or spoke to the passerby  9-25% of Americans smiled, nodded, or spoke

8  High context cultures  are more collectivistic; concerned with group harmony, getting along  cultural rules and social norms are implicitly understood  are more nonverbal  tend to read between the lines  Examples: China, Japan, Taiwan, Korea  Low context cultures  are more individualistic; celebrate individuality and personal autonomy  cultural rules and social norms are discussed, negotiated  are more verbal  tell to spell things out  Examples: Germany, U.S. Switzerland, Sweden

9  American college roommates  Messy roommate: “It’s your turn to clean the kitchen.”  Noisy roommate: “Keep it down, I’m trying to study.”  Unpaid debt: “You owe me 20 bucks. Pay up.”  Japanese college roommates  Messy roommate: “If someone visits, they will think are messy.”  Noisy roommate: “The neighbors may be disturbed by all the noise.”  Unpaid debt: “I wish I could afford to buy a subway pass for this month.”

10  Japanese tea ceremony  Every behavior of the host and guest is highly ritualized and prescribed  all meaning is contextual  The tea ceremony reflects the principles of: Wa - Harmony, Kei - Respect, Sei - Purity, and Jaku - Serenity  An American who said “hey, great tea,” or “hurry up and finish your tea” would be committing a cultural faux pas

11  Feminine cultures have more flexible, androgynous gender roles  Examples: Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Germany, Chile, Portugal  Masculine cultures have more rigid, clearly defined gender roles  Examples: Japan, Italy, Mexico, Venezuela  The U.S. is moderately masculine  Nascar dads  Stay-at-home dads  Career women  Home-schoolers

12  A British schoolteacher, Gene Gibbons, was sentenced to 40 lashes for allowing her students to name a class teddy bear Mohammad  Sharia law should not be taken lightly

13  In Middle Eastern countries it is considered rude to point the bottom of your foot at someone.  The sole of the foot is considered unclean.  Shoes are removed before entering a Mosque.  It is akin to “mooning” someone in the U.S.A.

14  In Saudi Arabia it is illegal for a man and woman to hold hands in public  It is not illegal for two males to hold hands in public  An American who kissed a woman in pubic was jailed then deported

15  Richard Gere “greets” Shilpa Shetty too enthusiastically  Hindu followers consider any public display of affection (PDA) to be taboo.  PDA is even more frowned upon if the pair is unmarried.  Gere was a non-Hindu foreigner in a country that endorses arranged marriages

16  Low bow humor: Obama was criticized for bowing too low the the Japanese emperor, and for shaking hands at the same time.  Hands off the crown jewels: Michelle Obama broke royal protocol during a reception at Buckingham Palace when she placed her arm around the Queen.

17  “Our North Korean Ally”  While being interviewed on Glenn Beck’s radio show, Palin twice referred to North Korea as America’s ally.  "Obviously, we gotta stand with our North Korean allies“ she remarked.

18  Cameron Diaz toured Mach Picchu carrying a Chinese handbag with the phrase “Serve the People.”  The phrase, by Mao Zedong, touched a nerve among Peruvians  The Maoist Shining Path insurgency in Peru killed 70,000 people

19  We are not amused:  Following a verbal gaffe, (he suggested the Queen had toured the U.S. in 1776) George W. Bush winked at the queen.  She returned the wink with a cold glare


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