Western Cultural Differences

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					 Understanding
Western Culture
What is Culture?

                                       Traditions


                Ethical
                                                             Religion
                Values




                                   Society
           Science &
                                                                  Politics
          Technology


                                                                                      Age
                                                       Art &                   Education
                          Philosophy
                                                    Literature

                                                                              Social Class

                                                                             Organization
Western culture ≠ Western Film / TV




      (but does influence it)
Originates from Ancient Greece (Europe)
Spread by Roman Empire (1st Century BC)
Influenced by Christianity (4/5th Century)
Stagnated during Dark Ages (5/6th Century)
                  Oops!




Rebirth: Renaissance (14 – 17th Century)
New ideas: Scientific Revolution (17th Century)
Logic & Reason: Age of Enlightenment (18th Century)
Independence: American Revolution (Late 18th Century)
Industrial Revolution (19th Century)
                              Photo by Steve Rhodes




Modern Civilization (Today)
                             Reality- or fact-based thought and
Core Ideas                   perception (Aristotle 384-322 BC)
 & Values
Recognizes the right of                                                  Emphasis on the
private ownership, capital                                        individual person who
accumulation, exchange                    Reason                     is independent and
and profit                                                                    self-reliant




Individuals should be able                                           Worldly happiness
to act on their own reason                                        should be the focus of
without interference from                                             each person's life
others – i.e. freedom
We live in a multicultural world where cultures:


               Transcend geography and race (no connection)


                Exist worldwide in some form (usually mixed)
East vs. West




            What’s the difference?




                        Illustrations by Yang Liu from
                            “East meets West” book –
                              www.yangliudesign.com
Way to think   思维方式
Way of life   生活方式
Punctuality   准时
Connections   人际关系
Anger   对待愤怒
Queuing   排队
In the restaurant   在餐厅
Standard of beauty   美丽的标准
Way to solve   处理问题
problems
Senior’s daily life   老人的日常生活
Shower time   洗浴时间
Boss   领导
The child   孩子
New things   对待新事物
Image of each other   想像中的对方
     Cultural
Differences*

                            West (US / Europe)            East (China / East Asia)
                     Logic Linear (direct associations)   Spiral (roundabout)
           Communication Direct, verbal                   Indirect, implied
                   Identity Individual, independent       Group orientated
 Agreement / Disagreement Argumentative, verbal           Hard to say no, non-verbal
               Punctuality Start and end on time          Appointments flexible
                   Respect Success, achievement           Seniority, wisdom
      Business Relationship Economics come first          Relationship comes first
          Decision Making Distributed, proactive          Manager has final say
             Time Horizon Short term (per quarter)        Long term (years ahead)
           Risk / Spending Risk-takers, spend             Risk-avoiders, save



                                         * but of course there are obvious exceptions
Intercultural
Competence


                         Regional
                        Experience



                                Openness
                 Language
                                    &
                Proficiency
                                Tolerance
Communicate
   Effectively

      •   Speak slowly, maintain eye contact
      •   Use objective, accurate language
      •   Rephrase sentences where necessary
      •   Listen carefully and patiently
      •   Adapt your conversation style
      •   Don’t talk down to others
      •   Clarify what will happen next
Uncomfortable
    Situations
Deal With It




           1. Know your neighbor
           2. Be open and tolerant
           3. Ask lots of questions



  “When in Rome, do as the Romans do” 入乡随俗
Thank you




            www.randomwire.com

				
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