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MSU / Sociology / ANP 200 / What is the most common illness affecting travelers and is often relat

What is the most common illness affecting travelers and is often relat

What is the most common illness affecting travelers and is often relat

Description

School: Michigan State University
Department: Sociology
Course: Navigating Another Culture
Professor: A. quan
Term: Summer 2015
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Cost: 25
Name: Module 4 Notes
Description: Module #4 lecture notes I have created by myself.
Uploaded: 12/17/2015
19 Pages 82 Views 1 Unlocks
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Module 4


What is the most common illness affecting travelers and is often related to contaminated food and drink?



Basic Adaptation Issues when Navigating other Cultures Adapting to Different Living Conditions 

Health matters

Staying healthy is important

Many cultural  navigators will find themselves in places where  food,  

environment, and medical  care are different from what they are accustomed  to. Although these variables most likely  do not directly affect your  relationships with people, your ability to adapt to a different environment will  be better if you are healthy. In addition, knowing local systems and attitudes  towards health issues will  help you stay healthy or to deal with possible  illnesses.

Things to do before you leave  for another country


What are the different sensory environments?



But ideally, if you plan to travel to a different country, there are several  things  

you should do before leaving your home country to stay healthy and to be  prepared in case you get sick. The key ones are:

○ Immunizations We also discuss several other topics like Why do we need environmental law?

Before you leave, it’s advisable to research  necessary  

immunizations and special  health  concerns related  to where you  are going. Advance preparation is often essential; many  immunizations must be started 6 or more weeks before you leave,  and insurance must be purchased in advance.

The U.S. government’s Centers for Disease Control (CDC) web site is a  

good starting point to help you prepare for medical and health issues  while traveling.  


Who is kalvero oberg?



Specifically the U.S. CDC travel website with information on  immunizations and health conditions abroad, food and water  concerns, recommendations for travelers with special needs such as  pregnancy or disabilities, children.

○ Health and emergency medical evacuation insurance

If you have health insurance, check if your medical insurance will  pay for medical costs outside of your country. A very basic aspect of  navigating another culture involves preparing for unexpected health  emergencies.

Depending on your circumstances, you may wish to consider emergency  

medical evacuation insurance, which pays for air travel back to a medical  facility in your country in case of a serious health emergency. If you want to learn more check out What is the earliest surviving islamic sanctuary?

○ Take health care supplies

         

emergencies.

Depending on your circumstances, you may wish to consider emergency  

medical evacuation insurance, which pays for air travel back to a medical  facility in your country in case of a serious health emergency.

○ Take health care supplies

Medical care systems can be adequate if not excellent  depending  on your destination.

But if you need prescription medicines, special medical supplies, or  over the counter medicines, take an adequate supply with you  unless you are sure you can obtain similar medications abroad. ▪

To avoid problems in customs, take along a copy of any  prescriptions and if possible a letter from your doctor and do some  research if you have doubts.

A minimal first aid kit is also a good idea; a good guidebook for your  destination will probably have suggestions for such supplies:  sunscreen, water purification tablets, etc.

Basic tips for staying healthy while traveling

Staying healthy while traveling or living abroad is largely a matter of common  sense, assuming you have prepared before leaving, such as by getting the  necessary immunizations, reading up on special health concerns for your  destination, and making sure your health insurance covers you while abroad. Don't forget about the age old question of Who is gergor mendel?

• Note that some of these emphasize travel to “less developed” countries:

Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are  not  

available and your hands are not visibly  dirty, use alcohol-based hand  gel (with at least 60% alcohol) to clean your hands.

Drink only bottled or boiled water or carbonated (bubbly) drinks from  

sources you trust. Do not drink tap water or fountain drinks, or eat ice  cubes.

Only eat food that has been fully cooked or fruits and vegetables  that  

have been washed and peeled  by you. Remember:  boil it, cook it, peel it,  or forget it.

Each year 350–500 million cases  of malaria  occur worldwide/ If visiting  

an area where you might get malaria, make sure to learn about how to  lower your risk of getting malaria.

If you might be bitten by insects  (like mosquitoes or ticks) use insect  

repellent  (bug spray) with 30–50% DEET. The label  on the container will  tell you the DEET  content.

Make sure you know how to protect yourself from common accidents and  We also discuss several other topics like Why pressure data must be adjusted for variations in surface elevation above sea level when making synaptic maps?

injuries while you travel. Motor vehicle accidents and swimming related  accidents are two major causes of injury among travelers.

• Food and drink precautions are especially important

Food and water borne diseases are a common cause of disease in  We also discuss several other topics like What is the most common group therapy for addictions?

travelers.  

              

injuries while you travel. Motor vehicle accidents and swimming related  accidents are two major causes of injury among travelers.

• Food and drink precautions are especially important

Food and water borne diseases are a common cause of disease in  

travelers.  

Though in many cases food and drink may be perfectly safe, unless you  

know otherwise, avoid ice cubes, tap water, fountain drinks, dairy  products, raw or undercooked meats, salads and other unpeeled raw  vegetables or fruits. Eating on the street can be a fun, cheap, and tasty  adventure, but can also put you at risk of illness. We also discuss several other topics like What are the four main macromolecules?

Diarrhea is the most common illness affecting travelers and is often related  

to contaminated food and drink.

• Medical anthropology

Exposure to different cultural settings will often expose you to culturally  

different beliefs and practices about health, the body and illness. For example, if you should get sick while staying abroad with local people,  

you may be treated to locally specific ways of dealing with your disease or  be exposed to a somewhat different medical system.

Information resources to help you plan an international trip• MSU’s “globalEdge”

Maintained by the MSU Business School “globalEdge”, is a website that  

provides general information about most regions of the world and is  focused on the needs of international business travelers. However, much  of the information is useful for other travelers. It includes information for  visitors (students, investors) to learn about the United States.

• U.S. Department  of State

The U.S. Department of State is “the lead U.S. foreign affairs agency, and  the Secretary of State is the President’s principal foreign policy adviser”. As such, one of its roles is to assist U.S. travelers going abroad, and to  advice foreign visitors to the United States.

The website provides useful information on passports, visa requirements  for U.S. citizens traveling to other countries, health, updated warnings  about travel to certain countries, descriptions of services provided (and  NOT provided) to U.S. citizens abroad by the U.S. government, etc. They  provide a variety of information about specific countries here. The  information about countries can often be useful to non-U.S. citizens who  are planning to visit them, and because the United States has a presence  in much of the world, there is actually a lot of useful information for most  countries of the world.

One caution though is that because the Department of State is a U.S.  government organization, some of this information is sometimes affected  by political forces.

in much of the world, there is actually a lot of useful information for most  countries of the world.

One caution though is that because the Department of State is a U.S.  

government organization, some of this information is sometimes affected  by political forces.

• British Foreign and Commonwealth Office Travel Advice

Another excellent  site is the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office  

Travel Advice web site. Though a few items are meant for British citizens,  much of the information is useful for people of other nationalities and the  site covers topics not covered in other sites.

• Find a good guidebook

The better guidebooks list not only the sights but provide practical  

information on such topic as money and health issues, as well as brief  descriptions of the region’s history, economics, etc. Lonely Planet,  Frommers, and the Rough Guides are three recommended guidebook  series (all include guidebooks to the United States).

○ Your guidebook can help you research  such practical  questions as:

Are there any special weather  or climate  concerns you need to  

prepare  for?

Paperwork and government bureaucrats, laws you should be  

aware of? Do you need a visa?

Money: how does the cost of living compare  to the USA? Are there  

special  considerations  for buying and selling items, bargaining,  tipping?

Where  can you exchange  money? Can you use ATMs and credit  

cards, where?

▪ Photographs: are there  times when you should not take a picture? ▪ Souvenirs

▪ Proper and practical  dress

Transportation: what do you need to know about: buses, taxis,  

renting a car and driving, bicycling?

▪ Daily schedules,  routines, holidays, business hours

▪ Basic business practices

▪ Special  concerns related  to staying safe and out of trouble Safety

With regards to safety issues while navigating another culture, in some  situations, a special concern is that outsiders may be targeted because: they  stand out, are seen as easy targets who are ignorant of the local situation, for  political reasons, or because they are (or are seen as) wealthier than most local  people.  

Equally important, be aware of what specific type of outsider you are: if you are  a woman, a US government representative, or from a certain nation state, for  

,             stand out, are seen as easy targets who are ignorant of the local situation, for  political reasons, or because they are (or are seen as) wealthier than most local  people.  

Equally important, be aware of what specific type of outsider you are: if you are  a woman, a US government representative, or from a certain nation state, for  example, you may make you want to take special precautions in certain places. With regards to navigating another culture, you have already learned at least  

two useful types of information and skills that will help you with safety issues:

Stereotypes and useful generalizations. One big problem in this area has  

to do with stereotypes about how violent or dangerous a place is. Culture and perception Although some threats to your safety may be  

obvious, you may not know how to read the signs of danger in a totally  new environment: what is a dangerous environment? what are  somebody’s intentions? how do I know if it is safe to walk in this area at  night? The key problem often is the outsider may not know how to  distinguish dangerous areas and situations; thus, a key guideline for  avoiding trouble is to become familiar with the local situation.

General tips and additional information• Contact your local embassy.

You may wish to register at your embassy in the country you are visiting.  

This makes your presence known to consular officials in case they need to  contact you in an emergency or if a disaster or political  unrest results in  the need for an emergency evacuation of citizens. Though there are limits  to what your embassy can or is willing to do for you if you get in trouble,  jot down contact information for your embassy or consulate in the  country you are visiting; for U.S. citizens this can be found here.

• Talk to people who have been there and to local people when you are there.

In general, it is a good idea if you are able to before you leave to try to  

talk to somebody who has been where you plan to go and ask about what  if any safety concerns they experienced. When you arrive, ask your host  family, business associates, friends, or hotel staff for any special safety  precautions you should take. This will provide you with the latest  information as well as locally specific information that may not be  covered in published materials. Be aware, though, that just as in the  United States, travelers and local residents may not always have a  complete or undistorted picture of local safety concerns.

• No bling.

A good rule of thumb is that, though there might be places where it is safe  to do so, you should avoid flaunting signs of wealth: jewelry, expensive  electronic equipment, fancy watches, large amounts of cash. Be aware  that what constitutes a sign of wealth might be different depending on  the locale. Particularly in poorer areas, just having a car for example could  be seen as a sign of wealth.

to do so, you should avoid flaunting signs of wealth: jewelry, expensive  electronic equipment, fancy watches, large amounts of cash. Be aware  that what constitutes a sign of wealth might be different depending on  the locale. Particularly in poorer areas, just having a car for example could  

be seen as a sign of wealth.

• Driving is dangerous.

Food

Though the risks of crime and terrorism are often highlighted for US  citizens traveling abroad (see the State Department travel advisories in a  previous page in this section), the much higher risks of being involved in a  vehicular accident are often overlooked. Unfamiliar roads, different  driving rules and customs may increase your chances of being in an  accident. “The law of the biggest” prevails in some places. Safety  standards common in the United States or Europe are not always found  elsewhere.

Adapting to different foods is often one of the most challenging and yet  rewarding aspects of navigating other cultures. Food is a daily and obvious  reminder to travelers that they are indeed in a different culture, and that ideas  of what “food” is are culturally influenced.

Legal, crime, police issues

Regardless of what you think of local laws, in most cases, you are subject to the  laws of the locality you are visiting. These laws, and the justice systems, can be  very different from what you are accustomed to.

Because of this, it is vital that you know that the legal system in many countries  is different from the one you may be familiar with.

• More common issues you may have to think about when traveling are:

Drugs are a common source of trouble in many locales. Avoid any  

involvement with illegal  drugs; certain countries have the death penalty  for anybody (foreigners included) caught smuggling drugs.

Homosexuality Attitudes and laws relating  to homosexuality may be  

negative in certain  parts of the world.

Alcohol laws and customs regarding alcohol  consumption vary widely by  

country, as do attitudes towards drinking and drunken behavior. If you are arrested, under the Vienna Convention for Consular Affairs,  

you must be given access to your country’s consul. This is why it is a  good idea to have the contact information for your country’s nearest  embassy/consulate when traveling.

Money matters• Cost of living  

The cost of living abroad can vary tremendously, both from what you are  

accustomed to and within an countr.

embassy/consulate when traveling.

Money matters

• Cost of living  

The cost of living abroad can vary tremendously, both from what you are  

accustomed to and within any country.

• How to pay for things

Local practices vary as to what forms of payment are accepted. Despite  

globalization of international financial services, neither U.S. dollars,  travelers checks, nor credit cards are universally accepted.

• Bargaining

Awareness that there are different ideas about bargaining will help you in  

any monetary transactions abroad.

In many cultures, bargaining is acceptable, but the form and amount of  

bargaining will vary, and bargaining may take place in only certain  settings: for example, at a marketplace but not in a modern department  store. And though bargaining is often acceptable, it is usually best to be  relaxed about it and not treat the situation as a matter of being cheated if  you don’t feel you get the best deal.

In some places, bargaining serves as a social and not just a business  

transaction, so the issue is not just getting a good deal but interacting  with the seller.

• Tipping

Tipping practices also vary and can also change, and are best learned  

about by consulting your guidebook.

Poverty and Differences in Living Standards Abroad

In many countries, poverty is more widespread and apparent than it is in places  like Europe and the United States. You may face a certain amount of  psychological and possibly physical discomfort when faced with scenes of  poverty, such as the common site of children bathing on the ground with a  bucket of water.

Different Sensory Environments

Whether you find yourself dealing with poverty or not, often, one of the key  challenges of navigating another culture involves not just interpersonal  interactions, but a different sensory environment.

Within certain parameters, what people consider a “comfortable” environment  is often shaped by culture. Even if you are staying at a modern hotel or  apartment complex, you will probably experience  some form of sensory  difference once you step out onto the street. Some of the differences can  include:

○ Weather and altitude

Obviously this is not culturally produced but preparing for and  

s oen sape y cuure. ven  you are sayng a a moern oe or  apartment complex, you will probably experience  some form of sensory  difference once you step out onto the street. Some of the differences can  include:

○ Weather and altitude

Obviously this is not culturally produced but preparing for and  giving yourself time to adapt to different weather and altitudes is  often a good idea.

○ Shelter

Living conditions may vary from a five star hotel to what you would  label as “primitive” “unsanitary” or “crowded”. In particular, for  individuals staying with families, there may be different levels of  privacy and noise that very from what you are used to. You may  have to share a room, the house may be smaller, people may be  expected to be in the commons area (living room, dining room)  rather than in their bedroom alone, and there may be little auditory  (noise) privacy. Water and electricity may not run all the time.

○ Cultural sensory environment

Culture Shock

You will find tremendous variety in your environment worldwide:  smells, sounds, tastes, how space is used, etc. Travel is an enriching  experience  because it exposes us to such differences, but these can  be a source of discomfort. Our sense of culture shock is in part  created by many subtle differences in our everyday environment— smells, tastes, textures, climate, and sounds. You will be exposed to  both pleasant and unpleasant sounds.

Though you cannot do much to change this environment, it will help  you to be aware of the obvious and subtle ways in which your  environment differs from home. Travelers often encounter different  levels of noise, smells, and crowding that can add up to sensory  overload or disorientation. Earplugs can be a good investment, but  being aware of the source of discomfort, flexibility and giving  yourself time to adapt are probably the best coping mechanisms. At  the same time, there is nothing wrong with occasionally retreating  into a space (your room, an air conditioned café) where you can  have a momentary break from such stimuli.

What is Culture Shock?

Broadly speaking, culture shock refers to the emotional aspects of adapting to a  new culture.

As the U.S. Department of State notes, “An overseas move challenges the four  basic psychological needs: competence, relatedness, self-esteem, and a sense of  control.

Often, culture shock refers to feelings such as anxiety, confusion, and  

 ,              

new culture.

As the U.S. Department of State notes, “An overseas move challenges the four  basic psychological needs: competence, relatedness, self-esteem, and a sense of  control.

Often, culture shock refers to feelings such as anxiety, confusion, and  annoyance associated with exposure to a new cultural environment. Other  symptoms of culture shock can include insomnia, depression, excessive  concern  with health matters, oversleeping, isolation, lack of self-confidence, negative  views of the host culture, homesickness, anger, etc. While these may be  negative and difficult adjustments, culture shock can be seen as a process of  growth whereby one learns to adapt to a different culture.

The social scientist Kalvero Oberg, who conducted research and did work for  

the U.S. government abroad on this topic, coined the term “culture shock” in  1954. Oberg noted that at a certain stage of many individuals’ experiences  abroad, cultural differences big and small seem overwhelming and lead to a  sense of disorientation. Different smells, noises, sense of punctuality,  cleanliness, architecture, language, foods, behaviors, etc. stop being curious  novelties and become instead obstacles or sources of discomfort.

• Olberg identified four stages of culture shock:

An initial  “honeymoon” period where the details  of adapting to your  

1.

new environment and the sense of novelty and adventure make for a  generally  positive experience.

A stage involving hostility and a variety of negative  feelings  (isolation,  

2.

inadequacy) when you realize  that your accustomed ways of doing  things are not always adequate or understood. You will  find yourself not  understanding certain  behaviors in the local  culture, and find that some  of your behaviors are misinterpreted.  This stage (though some authors  label  this as a separate  stage) also involves idealization  of your home  country and culture.

3. A stage of reconciliation  where you slowly adapt to life in a new setting.

The final stage is labeled  “acceptance  of another way of life” where you  

4.

accept  the validity  of both your culture and the culture of your host  country.

Dealing with Culture Shock

Your experience  of culture shock will vary depending on you and your  environment but it is quite normal; do not blame yourself or your environment  for it. Differences in individual personality and in cultural and social  backgrounds will lead people to experience  culture shock differently. •

Recognizing that you are experiencing  culture shock and its stages is one  effective way of dealing with this phenomenon. Though inevitable for many  people, some simple yet effective short term strategies for dealing with culture  shock include:

 .           backgrounds will lead people to experience  culture shock differently. •

Recognizing that you are experiencing  culture shock and its stages is one  effective way of dealing with this phenomenon. Though inevitable for many  people, some simple yet effective short term strategies for dealing with culture  shock include:

○ writing a journal

○ trying to maintain healthy eating, exercise,  and sleeping  habits ○ maintaining a sense of humor and realistic  expectations

○ talking to friends

Also useful is this advice by the U.S. Department  of State for U.S. officials  

moving abroad:

New places, with their sights, smells, and sounds, pack an emotional  

wallop. Finding new work, friends, and activities  can take longer than  expected. All of this, good and bad, equals stress, which can suppress  your immune system and affect your health.

Many of us, when faced with stressful situations, seek “immediate  

comfort”: having a few drinks or eating sugary, high-carb foods. Instead,  try some of the suggestions below.

▪ Exercise  (and be sure to stretch afterwards).

Eat nutritiously, drink plenty of clean water, and avoid caffeine,  

junk food, alcohol, and tobacco.

Get enough sleep and take plenty of breaks, doing things that you  

enjoy.

▪ Enlist your old and new support network.

Use the move as an excuse  to avoid people who ratchet up the  

tension.

▪ Accept help.

▪ Maintain your religious  / spiritual practices. ▪ Find safe ways to express your emotions.

Use classic  stress reduction techniques  such as deep breathing  

(repeating a positive phrase if helpful), meditating, listening  to  music, or going on walks.

Adapting to Different Social Roles 

Importance of Understanding social roles and relationships

To successfully navigate other cultures, you need to understand how the  expectations for people in these roles, which you learned as a child and may  seem as totally “natural” to you, will differ cross-culturally and how any  intercultural encounter will vary depending on what roles you and the other  people have. Different roles will affect intercultural interactions in different  ways.

How you navigate a culture depends on your specific social roles and relationships

seem as totay natura to you, wi ier cross-cuturay an ow any  intercultural encounter will vary depending on what roles you and the other  people have. Different roles will affect intercultural interactions in different  ways.

How you navigate a culture depends on your specific social roles and relationships

Navigating another culture is not just about learning basic beliefs and behaviors  that are generally considered appropriate for that “culture” as a whole. It is also  about knowing the variations in how these beliefs and behaviors among people  

with different social roles in that cultural setting. What is “culturally  appropriate” behavior in any one place or setting can vary depending on the  roles and relationships of the people involved.

Many people can identify with a “higher level”  culture(s), such as nationality,  but they are are rarely simply members of that higher level  culture. People also  usually have social roles in that culture–male, female, close family, friend,  neighbor, old, young, rich, poor. Therefore, one important area to consider  when navigating another culture has to do with understanding the various social  roles and relationships in that society, and what are the expectations for these.

Male and Female: Gender Roles

Anthropologists use the word genderto refer to the cultural expectations,  

roles, and statuses given to males and females. They distinguish this  frombiological sex, which is refers to the biological traits inherent to each of  the two sexes (for example, men tend to be bigger). Most anthropologists argue  that culture is an important factor in explaining differences in patterns of  behavior (and roles, values, etc.) between men and women.

The key point is that how men and women are expected  to behave and relate  to  each other will vary a lot cross culturally, and will almost always be a factor you  need to consider when navigating another culture.

Variations in gender roles across cultures will affect your interactions with  people in different cultures. The only thing you can be sure of is that gender  roles are a key component in many societies.

There are two cautions you should use when assessing gender roles in other  

cultural  settings:

1. Gender  roles are changing in many parts of the world

That just because women seem “oppressed”  from a Western  

2.

perspective  (e.g. women must wear veils) this does not necessarily  mean they are  oppressed within the framework of their  own culture and  society.

Navigating gender roles in Saudi Arabia

The separation between the sexes in Saudi Arabia is so extreme that it is  difficult to overstate. Saudi women may not drive, and they must wear black  abayas and head coverings in public at all times. They are spirited around the  

.

Navigating gender roles in Saudi Arabia

The separation between the sexes in Saudi Arabia is so extreme that it is  difficult to overstate. Saudi women may not drive, and they must wear black  abayas and head coverings in public at all times. They are spirited around the  city in cars with tinted windows, attend girls-only schools and university  departments, and eat in special “family” sections of cafes and restaurants,  which are carefully partitioned from the sections used by single male diners.

Advice for women travelers

Because of such things as machismo and restrictions on female behavior in  some countries, female travelers should be aware of proper public behavior for  women. Behaviors that a woman might think is normal in the United States,  Canada, or Europe may be misinterpreted elsewhere.

Clothing that a woman might consider normal may be seen as inappropriate  and/or sexually provocative where you go. Though you don’t need to “go  native” you may find it useful to observe what women around you are wearing  for some idea of what to wear in order not to bring too much attention to  yourself.

Women traveling alone can expect to receive  unwelcome attention and  remarks, which are usually best ignored. In part because of exposure to movies  and television, women perceived as being from the U.S. and certain European  countries are sometimes seen as attractive, sexually open, desirable, and/or  promiscuous. Be aware of how your behavior and dress may unintentionally  perpetuate this stereotype and make you the subject of unwelcome advances.

Race and ethnicity

Race and ethnicity are closely related words. Ethnicity tends to emphasize  

shared descent, but also shared culture, religion, language, and geographic  origin.

The key aspect of ethnic identity is that it is defined in relation to other ethnic  groups. What matters is not so much the specific components of ethnicity (your  costumes, food, etc.) but rather that your ethnic group is separate from other  ethnic groups.

Race, on the other hand, focuses on easily recognized physical characteristics  

which are translated into racial categories.Both race and ethnicity, however,  are culturally constructed  categories.

If you are a person of color be aware that discrimination and stereotypes about  certain ethnic minorities may exist in certain locations, though often the focus is  on minority groups relevant to that country’s history. You may find that “racial”  

terms or categories commonly used in the United States may not be used in  other places, or that they may have different meanings.

                

certain ethnic minorities may exist in certain locations, though often the focus is  on minority groups relevant to that country’s history. You may find that “racial”  terms or categories commonly used in the United States may not be used in  other places, or that they may have different meanings.

Social class, status and other forms of social hierarchy

Status is the most general category, referring to, “The social honor or prestige  

that a particular group is accorded by other members of a society. Status groups  normally display distinct styles of life-patterns of behavior that the members of  the group follow. Status privilege may be positive or negative.

As one sociology textbook notes in this definition of class, “Although it is one of  

the most frequently used concepts in sociology, there is no clear agreement  about how the notion should be defined. Most sociologists use the term to refer  to socioeconomic variations between groups of individuals that create variation  in their material prosperity and power.”

Some anthropologists focus more on the cultural dimensions of class such as  

the different types of fashions and behaviors associated with various social  classes.

Another important consideration is that what is defined as proper behavior will  be shaped by class and status.

U.S. views of class and status (overall) are quite unique. Although numerous  

social inequalities exist in the United States, people in the United States value  the idea (or at least the appearance) of egalitarianism: everybody has certain  rights regardless of their status in society, and there should be no barriers to  personal achievement based on talent and hard work.

In other countries, the boundaries between social classes may be more rigid  (perhaps seen as more natural) and social inequalities may be more accepted.  There may be an emphasis on maintaining and marking differences between  people of different statuses. Bosses may expect to be called  by their titles, may  not delegate as much, and may not expect as much initiative or candid opinions  from subordinates. Professors in other countries may view critical  questions  from students as disrespectful, and this is one of the factors that leads many  Chinese international students in United States universities to have  difficulties navigating U.S. college classroom  culture.

Strangers and Foreigners

Attitudes to Strangers and Outsiders

In terms of navigating another culture, you will find that being a stranger can  have positive and negative aspects. It can sometimes give you the benefit of a  doubt. In other words, if you do something wrong, your status as a stranger can  provide a convenient excuse. Another benefit is that as a stranger, you may play  the role of the detached outsider, and people will tell you things they normally  don’t tell people in their community.

have positive and negative aspects. It can sometimes give you the benefit of a  doubt. In other words, if you do something wrong, your status as a stranger can  provide a convenient excuse. Another benefit is that as a stranger, you may play  the role of the detached outsider, and people will tell you things they normally  don’t tell people in their community.

Attitude to Foreigners

For many cultural navigators, a key role of concern to them is their role as a  foreigner in the locale they are visiting or living in. U.S. citizens will encounter a  wide variety of attitudes towards them because of the dominant role of the  United States in the world. As China becomes more economically influential  around the world, attitudes towards China will become a factor for Chinese  visitors to other parts of the world.

One thing is for sure: attitudes towards different nationalities are  often contextual and are especially affected by current events. People who face the challenge  of navigating another culture in a different  

country should be aware of a few issues:

Any sentiments against your country do not always translate into  

sentiments and actions against people from your country (i.e. there is an  awareness that the tourist does not necessarily  represent  the country’s  government).

Depending  on the situation, how you’re treated may have more to do  

with other contextual variables  beyond or in addition to your  nationality, such as who is around you, the setting, your appearance,  occupation, status as a relatively  wealthy tourist, gender, personality,  etc.

Seeing media examples  of sentiments against your country, or even  

personally experiencing  one such incident  should not lead to the  creation  of fallacious “inductive  stereotypes”. Yes, you may be  witnessing a social fact, but no, in most cases  not everybody is  connected  to this phenomenon. Again, just because the U.S. candidate  for Miss Universe was booed in Mexico  should not detract  from the fact  that many U.S. visitors are warmly welcomed in Mexico, and from the  general  opinions that Mexicans  have of the United States (mentioned in  the article link above that you should have read by now).

However, do your research. Be aware that being perceived as a citizen  

of a certain  country may lead to anti-X-country sentiments being  expressed in front of you and they may even affect you (being insulted,  for example). But, even if you are not personally affected, being  informed about how your country is perceived  where you go is useful.  You may want to think of some diplomatic answers if confronted with  critiques  of the your government or other strategies  to avoid a  confrontation.

            ,  for example). But, even if you are not personally affected, being  informed about how your country is perceived  where you go is useful.  You may want to think of some diplomatic answers if confronted with  critiques  of the your government or other strategies  to avoid a  confrontation.

In sum, it is important for international  cultural  navigators to assess how their  

status as foreigners from a given country might affect their relationships in  another country. But you should be careful  to distinguish attitudes towards  your country’s government or businesses from attitudes towards people from  your country.

Sexuality

Just like in your society  or culture, most every human has culturally  set ideas  

about their  sexuality:  both who they are  sexually, and what are proper ways  of behaving as a sexual being. The key point is to be aware that your  interpretation  of things, your preferences, and your ideas about this topic  might not be shared by the person you are with.

The implications of having sex with somebody could be different from your  society’s. For example, it might be seen as a sign of a relationship becoming  more permanent or committed. Female virginity is still valued in some societies.  Another variable is what is considered sexual or not.

The changing laws and attitudes regarding sexual consent which come in  

response to concerns about sexual assaults in colleges and universities will pose  a “navigating U.S. culture” challenge to international students who are not  familiar with this particular idea, or who have different ways of understanding  or communicating consent.

Attitudes towards gay people vary widely across the world. In many societies,  

there may be little tolerance of open displays of gay relationships.

Age

A person’s age group often comes with expectations about proper, age-specific  behaviors. Compared to the United States, you are more likely to encounter  situations in other parts of the world where older people are seen as wiser and  more experienced in contrast to young people.

Definitons of Friendships Vary by Culture

Friendship is a key type of relationship you will probably form when navigating  another culture. Like other relationships, the nature of friendship can vary cross  culturally.

• The nature of friendship also varies. Romantic relationships

Romantic & sexual  relationships are another form of social relationship  found  •

 .   ,         culturally.

• The nature of friendship also varies.

Romantic relationships

Romantic & sexual  relationships are another form of social relationship  found  

worldwide that varies enormously.

At the same time, you should be aware that expectations, rituals, and symbols  of romance vary across cultures. You may unintentionally communicate  romantic interest in somebody, or may not be aware that somebody is  communicating such interest to you.

One caution about romantic  relationships is that these could sometimes be  

affected by other social roles and relationships. For example, when there is a big  difference in wealth or social class, the different people in a romantic  relationship may have different motivations.

Family

Who constitutes family and how we relate  to different members of our family  

varies tremendously across different cultures. One important factor to be  aware of is that in many cultures, what we consider  “distant relatives” may  not considered  distant there, or what we consider  “close relatives”  may not  be defined as close elsewhere.

Business and Working Relationships Concept of Face

The concept of face refers to personal integrity, good character, and the  confidence of society and of oneself in one’s ability to play one’s social roles.  When failing to live up to the expectations set by themselves and others for  their roles, people “lose face.

Globalization is causing social roles and relationships to change in many different  ways

Adapting to Different Rules of Behavior 

Introduction to Good Behavior and Politeness

What is considered good manners will also vary by place and by the social roles  of the people involved. Knowledge of local etiquette (the customary code of  polite behavior in a given group or society) is a necessary, if insufficient,  requirement for successfully navigating another culture. Etiquette serves as a  kind of lubricant for social relationships by telling us what are the proper and  expected ways of doing things and relating to people in common situations. This  includes such matters as proper dress, gift giving, what to say, how to greet  

             polite behavior in a given group or society) is a necessary, if insufficient,  requirement for successfully navigating another culture. Etiquette serves as a  kind of lubricant for social relationships by telling us what are the proper and  expected ways of doing things and relating to people in common situations. This  includes such matters as proper dress, gift giving, what to say, how to greet  people, when to arrive for a meeting, holidays, etc. A related word, protocol,  refers to procedures or rules governing behavior in official state, diplomatic and  business occasions). Conversely, impoliteness or rudeness could be defined as,  “[rude behavior] does not utilize  politeness strategies where they would be  expected, in such a way that the utterance can only almost plausibly be  interpreted as intentionally and negatively confrontational.”

A key theme in our course is that a concept like “politeness” will be defined in  many different ways in different cultural settings. Therefore, one type of  behavior could be seen as polite in one setting and impolite in another. The  important logical  conclusion of this, and a key point of this section, is that your  culturally shaped perception of etiquette and politeness can differ from  somebody else’s. Therefore, in intercultural encounters, there is always the risk  that one party may perceive the other party as “rude” when the fact is the other  party had no intention of being rude.

Expectations about formality are a key thing to think about in relation to politeness

Though matters of etiquette involve many details and vary by country, one key  thing to be aware of is the degree to which attention to formality (as opposed  to informality) is important where you are, and how “formal” is defined. Most  of us intuitively know what is meant by these terms: we mean casual, relaxed,  or unofficial.

• ONE: The idea of formality itself might not be universal • TWO: Cultural and social norms and behaviors change

Making Good Impressions when you meet people How and when to greet  people

• Who should we greet varies cross-culturally

• What we say or do to greet people varies cross-culturally • Different greetings for different social roles

• Touching when greeting

• The US handshake

• Kissing

With regards to kissing, here is a good illustration of one of our key ideas  

in this class: there are often variations in practices and norms within  national cultures.

• Appropriate personal distance also varies by cross-culturally Other basic things to be awareof when meeting people

   ,              

in this class: there are often variations in practices and norms within  national cultures.

• Appropriate personal distance also varies by cross-culturally

Other basic things to be awareof when meeting people  • Knowing how to speak

It is important to be aware that different cultures have different ways of  

communicating, both verbally and non-verbally. Knowing the language is  not enough for mastering these other variables. Acceptable speaking  distances, eye contact, bodily gestures, loudness and tone of voice will  vary widely. To further complicate matters, these may vary by social class,  gender, and closeness of the relationship.

• Proper and improper conversation topics

Especially when first meeting and getting to know people, it is important  

to be aware of what are proper and improper topics for conversation.

Humor can be a delicate  topic. While humor is appreciated in many cultures,  

what constitutes appropriate humor and at what point it is safe to introduce  humor into the relationship varies.Sarcasm or irony may not be appreciated or  translate well.

• Title, names, and forms of address

In certain cultures, professionals may be formal than in the U.S. and  

expect to be addressed by their title. Such titles vary by country. It is less common for someone to insist to be called  by their first name, at  

least until a relationship of trust has been established. Again, context will  sometimes lead to “exceptions”.

Forms of address also vary. While in English we have only “you” to  

address anybody from the president to our maid, many other languages  have different “you’s” used according to our relationship with that  person; in those cases, you need to know the basic rules about what type  of “you” to use with another person.

How to behave in public Dress appropriately

Gifts

Clothing conveys many symbolic messages about one’s role in society–this is  true about most cultures. What differs is what message is conveyed by a given  piece of clothing, what clothing is required for certain occasions, groups, or  settings, etc.

There are so many variations even within a specific country or place that a  guidebook and people who are familiar with that setting are your best  source of information about appropriate ways of dressing.

Gifts •

There are so many variations even within a specific country or place that a  guidebook and people who are familiar with that setting are your best  source of information about appropriate ways of dressing.

Gift giving is a universal practice with many variations. What is an appropriate  gift, when a gift is expected, and gift giving behavior vary enormously by  culture. Gifts can create or strengthen relationships; conversely, inappropriate  gift items or practices can hurt a relationship

Earting and Entertaining

Eating is an important means of building and maintaining social and business  relationships. Eating is also a situation often associated with etiquette rules,  often unspoken. You should try to learn basic elements of eating etiquette in  

the intercultural situation you are in. There are so many locally specific  variations that a good guidebook and or local informant is your best source of  information about this.

Time and Appointments Special events

In most cultural settings, there are special events that mark seasons, change in  life, new relationships, etc. –like weddings, speeches, funerals, concert, sporting  events, holidays, etc. (you could argue any situation big or small in a given  culture is like a special event with a certain script but here we’re talking about  more focused, formal events involving large numbers of people). Usually these  events cause less cross cultural confusion since it’s clear  that there is a set of  expectations and scripted behavior for these.

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