Cultural Differences in Communication

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The term “culture” refers to the complex accumulation of knowledge, folklore, language, rules, rituals, habits, lifestyles, attitudes, beliefs, and customs that link and provide a general identity to a group of people. Cultures take a long time to develop. There are many things that establish identity give meaning to life, define what one becomes, and how one should behave.

Distribution and exercise of power shape attitudes towards authority. How people sustain themselves economically, and how they manage to obtain the necessities of life, determines assigned roles of individuals and the relationships among them.

Physical surroundings of people help define the nature, intensity, and longevity of their values. A wealth of resources or mild climate creates a sense of well-being and optimism. In contrast rugged terrain, harsh weather, frequent disaster, and a lack of resources can create cynicism, fear of nature, and a need for interdependency to ensure mutual survival. To a degree we can connect favorable conditions with a higher standard of living and more competitive and detail oriented values.

How do personal values shape culture, and how does culture affect our understanding and interpretation of seemingly ordinary things?

Core values influence actions, and we act in ways that we believe hold the most useful means of satisfying needs. Values influence behavior. They are why we do what we do, say what we do, and think as we do. How a society perceives personal values and norms can drastically change how things are interpreted and could be offensive to some. Meanings and connotations in many gestures and words are not the same universally.

Understanding through Communication

Many people think that underneath “we are ...

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