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Culture studies - Research Paper Example

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These are all ideas that we, as individuals, understand and comprehend; yet there is still much to be learned about how people from different cultures interact with one another. Our first reaction, as humans, is to internally believe that the actions of a person from another culture are ‘strange’, or to be blunt, wrong. Those actions that are contrary to our own way of life are often seen as deviant and we spend a great deal of time and effort trying to change them, when we should be embracing the differences that make this world so fascinating to be a part of. It is certainly an interesting exercise to define and describe culture. To be sure, there are multiple ideas about what characteristics and qualities define any given people and what makes them unique. One must look beyond material and non-material culture in their efforts to truly determine a plausible way of understanding and communicating with different ethnic groups and tribes. This is essential if we want to foster a more peaceful society around us for decades to come. Successfully communication is an intercultural environment requires an understanding of the culture, an in-depth knowledge of relationship building skills, and a desire to embrace people openly in today’s global society. ...
In order to answer the question of how understanding a culture helps a person be a successful intercultural communicator, one must first grasp the full concept and scope of culture. Tylor worked from the premise that a discussion about culture should center on the marked differences amongst different people groups. While this was a good working definition for the late 19th century, scholars since have had a problem with this definition because of its lack of specificity. Munck (2010) remarked that anthropologists and sociologists alike have had difficulty determining these marked differences that Tylor worked so hard to support. Many people within the same cultural group, for example, could be perceived as having marked differences amongst themselves. With this simple fact alone, Tylor’s definition of culture did not really serve to help one understand how to better communicate across cultures by first identifying and learning to appreciate the innate differences from one society to the next. Current literature, such as studies presented here, supports the idea that a person’s ability to effectively communicate in an intercultural setting is directly related to their understanding of where one culture ends and another one begins. Culture is more than just language. Munck points out that people can have similar social interactions with one another in a group setting, yet speak entirely different languages. Their ability, then, to communicate with one another lies in their understanding of different traditions and gestures that have been passed from one generation to another. This is commonly seen in many Islamic and African societies. Scholars point out that numerous tribes in Africa, for example, have coexisted for ...Show more
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Summary

The Importance of Understanding Culture When Communicating Cross-Culturally University Name The Importance of Understanding Culture When Communicating Cross-Culturally Introduction Cultures, the world over, are unique. Human civilization is so beautiful because we are so different from one another…
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