4What is Culture?Culture is roughly anything we do and the monkeys don’t.~ Lord Raglan (BritishSoldier )Culture is like dropping an Alka-Seltzer into a glass—you don’t see it, but somehow it does something.~ Hans Magnus Enzensberger (German author and poet)
5What is Culture?As applied to areas of the world to be conquered and colonized:We have culture and you don’t!Civilized vs. UncivilizedTylor’s Definition:“…that complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, custom, and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society.”
6Ethnocentrism vs. Cultural Relativism Ethnocentrists see their culture as best and by default measure all other cultures by their own standardCultural Relativists are open to trying to understand different cultures within the context of that particular cultureThought Question: Can Airmen always be cultural relativists?
7Building our Definition of Culture is a state of mindinvolves affiliationis a toolis made up of domains
8Building our Definition of Culture Characteristics of CultureLearned and sharedSymbolicHolisticInfluences and is influencedSo when we add all this together we get…
9Our DefinitionCulture is the creation, maintenance, and transformation across generations of semi-shared patterns of meaning, sense-making, affiliation, action, and organization by groups- Air Force Culture and Language Center
10What is Competence?“Having suitable or sufficient skill, knowledge, experience, etc., for some purpose; properly qualified.”~ Random House DictionaryHow do we know someone is competent?
11Understanding Competence: Becoming an AF Pilot AFOQTPhysical RequirementsGet Commissioned (USAFA, ROTC, OTS)
12Understanding Competence: Becoming an AF Pilot AF Undergraduate Pilot Training (academics)Flight TrainingOperational Aircraft Training and Qualification
13Cross-Cultural Competence The ability to quickly and accurately comprehend, then appropriately and effectively act in a culturally complex environment to achieve the desired effect.But developing 3C is also a process
14Cross-Cultural Competence Culture-GeneralKnowing what culture isUnderstanding foundational concepts of cultureDeveloping basic skills in dealing with different culturesCulture-SpecificBecoming familiar with regionally specific knowledge and language that will orient you to various culturesFUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLE: Those who have the most cross-cultural competence are the ones who possess knowledge, skills, and attitudes in BOTH of these areas.
15Why Understanding Culture is Important It helps you become “The Other”It is a force multiplierIt is a means of building stable institutions
16But there is also each person as the other sees him or her. Being “The Other”When you deploy, you are defined by the natives as “The Other”Usually a very narrow definition: American MilitaryBecoming “The Other”You see yourself as the other person sees you“When two people meet, there are really six people present. There is each man as he sees himself, each man as he wants to be seen, and each man as he really is.”~ Michael De SaintamoBut there is also each person as the other sees him or her.How does this happen?
17An Example of Being The Other and Becoming The Other: Joining the Military
18Becoming “The Other”You look at yourself through the native’s cultural lensYou become less ethnocentric and more cultural relativeYou can better adapt your words and actions
19Culture as a Force Multiplier A capability that, when added to and employed by a combat force, significantly increases the combat potential of that forceGeographical terrain vs. human terrain“Many hands make light work”
20Building Stable Institutions “…we are helping the long-suffering people of that country to build a decent and democratic society…”~ Former President George W. Bush, Sep 2003One of our goals—Assist people caught in conflict to develop stable institutions (e.g., political, social, economic, etc.)US Africa Command (AFRICOM): Leverages “relationships between security, development, diplomacy, and prosperity; enables DOD to focus its resources to…help African nations, the African Union, and the regional economic communities succeed.”
21The Bottom Line on 3CDeveloping and enhancing your 3C abilities will help promote better relations with foreign cultures and coalition partners, and will ultimately help you exert positive influence in culturally complex situations“Cross-cultural awareness and sensitivity are…basic survival skills for almost everyone.”~ Craig Storti, cross-cultural author and trainer
22Summary Introductory Video What is Culture Cross-Cultural Competence (3C)Why Understanding Culture is Important