Kinesics; such as facial expression, body movement, gestures vary between cultures. It is commonly accepted in the Italian culture to use hand movement, as well as body movement while speaking. The movements are much less pronounced in the Japanese, Chinese, and the Northern European cultures, which do not use nearly as many kinesics. In the United States, people believe that smiling reflects a positive aspect of our personality, openness, pleasant, outgoing personality, and is generally viewed positively in social situations. It is not so in other cultures, such as China, Finland, Norway, and other European countries which believe that Americans smile too much. These countries prefer a bit more serious look, claiming that it reflects the maturity and thoughtful reflection.
Other differences could be seen in how people use space or proxemics, in communication. The majority of European cultures, especially northern Europe: Germany, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Poland, as well as China, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, are considered to be non-contact cultures. In these cultures, during a conversation, a person feels most comfortable when maintaining a certain distance from the other speaker. Southern European countries such as Italy, Greece, Portugal, Spain, as well as Indonesia, Latin America, Russia, Middle East, South America to name a few, are contact countries, preferring closer proximity, perhaps touching while communicating with others.
Eye contact is an eleme...
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...emics. Some cultures such as the western cultures; European and Northern American have a monochronic concept of time, viewing time as a commodity. "Time is money," I am sure we all heard the expression. Punctuality, completion of tasks, adherence to schedule dictate our pace. Other cultures such as South American countries, India, Africa are polychronic oriented countries, where time is viewed differently and is thought of more holistically. People take on more flexible, relaxed approach, and do not always arrive on time, keep deadlines or follow schedules the way "time oriented" cultures do. Such different approaches to time can cause much misunderstanding in business situations, as when one party is waiting, after arriving punctually on time, and the other is late, it can be seen by the " time oriented" part as not interested, not reliable, and not trustworthy.
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