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Cultural Interaction - The Cookie Party

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Matthew Showman

on 26 February 2014

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Transcript of Cultural Interaction - The Cookie Party

Cultural Interaction - The Cookie Party
What will we do today?
Examine a cultural interaction
Discuss a few US cultural tendencies
Reexamine the cultural interaction
Discuss how we can use this information
The Cookie Party, revisited
the short cultural interaction

to the following questions:
Can you identify any conflicting concepts of time or self in cultural interaction?
Can you identify why they might have had a conflict?
What advice would you give Emily and/or Xu Shengting?
Cultural Info: time and self
The Cookie Party
the short cultural interaction

to the following questions:
How would you answer Emily’s questions?
Why do you think Emily was angry?
What do you think of Shengting’s behavior?
Who do you think may have acted more unreasonably: Emily or Shengting? Why?
What will we learn today?
different concepts of
between people of two cultures.
different concepts of
between people of two cultures.
give suggestions
to the people in the cultural interaction.
Concept of time
Concept of self
United States

Time is limited: “Today is gone and cannot be regained.”

Time should not be wasted

If possible, circumstances and unforeseen events should not interfere with plans.

Interruptions are nuisances.

Time is limitless: “If not today, tomorrow; time keeps coming.”

There’s always more time.

Circumstances must be considered and adjustments should be made.

There’s really no such thing as an interruption.
United States

Relationships remain in different (own) spheres. They don’t often mix.

The smallest unit of survival is self.

People identify with self.

Needs of the individual should be tended first; looking out for self protects group well-being

Stress independence, self-reliance.

Relationships are like ripples in a pond. They are further or closer, but not strictly separate.

The smallest unit of survival is the group.

People identify with membership in group(s).

By taking care of the group and its members, one protects oneself.

Stress harmony, interdependence.
What if you don't know much about the other person's culture?
Make this your habit:

Always try to think of 5+ possible explanations for people's behaviors (mostly positive).
Fei, X.T. 1992.
From the soil: The foundations of Chinese society
. University of California Press.

Storti, C. 1999.
Figuring foreigners out
. London: Intercultural Press.
Full transcript