Culture Outline

Vocabulary and grammar just aren’t enough to reach true understanding.


  1. Collectivistic vs. Individualistic Cultures
    1. Conceptual truth
    2. Friendship
    3. Shame-based cultures

  2. High vs. Low Context Cultures
    1. Temporal perspectives
      1. Monochronic cultures
      2. Polychronic cultures
    2. Politeness
    3. Gender roles

  3. Power Distance
    1. Personal physical space
      1. Public space
      2. Social space
      3. Personal space
      4. Intimate space
    2. Privacy

  4. Cultural Manifestations
    1. Culture shock
      1. Initial euphoria
      2. Rejection phase
      3. Regression phase
      4. Recovery phase
      5. Reverse culture shock
    2. Cross-cultural adjustment


NOTE: Upon course completion, students are highly encouraged to further pursue their studies in English. Both verbal and written feedback about course performance will be provided to the student and kept on record for future evaluation. Letters of recommendation for outside institutions are also provided upon request.

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Instructional Notes

  1. Collectivistic vs. Individualistic Cultures

    Whether happiness for oneself is emphasized over that of the group.

    1. Conceptual truth

      Why multiple choice is a poor assessment tool for someone from a different culture.

    2. Friendship

      Take heed before getting involved in a cross-cultural personal relationship.

    3. Shame-based cultures

      The most effective way to limit personal freedom.


  2. High vs. Low Context Cultures

    Why men and women have such a difficult time communicating with each other.

    1. Temporal perspectives

      How long before or after should you arrive to a business appointment?

      1. Monochronic cultures

        A US enterprise hosts a meeting for German and Chinese negotiators.

      2. Polychronic cultures

        Chinese and US officials travel to Latin America for a summit meeting.

    2. Politeness

      Culturally accepted ways to graciously decline an invitation.

    3. Gender roles

      The reason why you will get promoted or be left waiting indefinitely behind.


  3. Power Distance

    When you have a problem with a colleague or your boss, who should you talk to?

    1. Personal physical space

      Avoid sexual harassment problems by giving others some elbow room.

      1. Public space

        Fairness and equality: all men are created equal.

      2. Social space

        Including cyberspace, all business meetings take place in this arena.

      3. Personal space

        Shall we dance or do you want to die?

      4. Intimate space

    2. Privacy

      Without an invitation, trespassers should expect physical force, monetary fines, unemployment, and imprisionment.


  4. Cultural Manifestations

    Interior design experts are aware that furniture speaks volumes.

    1. Culture shock

      The examples surround you; just open your eyes.

      1. Initial euphoria

        Careful prevention leads to decreased medical expenses.

      2. Rejection phase

        The Honeymoon Stage: in Hollywood, the grass is always greener on the other side.

      3. Regression phase

        Country roads, take me home to the place I belong.

      4. Recovery phase

        Gradual adjustment to adaptation or biculturalism, leading down the path towards multiculturalism.

      5. Reverse culture shock

        I bet you never thought home sweet home could have changed so much.

    2. Cross-cultural adjustment

      Fluency in a foreign language is only half the battle while abroad.

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