Download American Cultural Patterns: A Cross-Cultural Perspective by Edward C. Stewart, Milton J. Bennett PDF

By Edward C. Stewart, Milton J. Bennett

This research of yank behavioural and idea styles analyzes Americans' perceptual techniques and the way they distinction with the methods of taking into consideration different cultures. The textual content covers language and non-verbal behaviour and breaks down cultural styles into 4 dimensions: type of task, type of social kinfolk, belief of the realm, and conception of the self. This examine is helping the reader research the cultural dimensions of conversation and their implications for cross-cultural interplay.

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Additional resources for American Cultural Patterns: A Cross-Cultural Perspective

Sample text

W e are so used to objects, to seeing them wherever w e look, that it is quite difficult to realize that they present any problem. But objects have their existence largely unknown to the senses. W e sense them as fleeting visual shades, occasional knocks against the hand, sniffs of smell—sometimes stabs of pain leaving a bruise-record of a too-close encounter. The extraordinary thing is how much w e rely on properties of objects which w e seldom or never test by sensory experience (Gregory, 11).

But if this is a universal process, what is the source of cultural differences in patterns of thinking? O n e answer lies in the way people in different cultures order the world of sensations they receive by creating category boundaries, that is, classifying, categorizing, sorting, and storing the sensations. Central to this process is the principle of figure and ground. Figure and ground can be explained with a simple demonstration. W h e n w e draw a closed ring on a blank piece of paper and then look at it, w e see a circle, that is, the space inside the ring and not simply the ring described by the line itself.

In this example, American signs help direct drivers to the airport; Japanese signs assure them they have made the correct choice. American signs guide while Japanese signs label. A similar conclusion can be reached with temporary road signs such as those announcing road construction. American signs in principle are placed well ahead of the place where drivers must select an alternative route when a detour is required while signs in Ecuador, Japan, and elsewhere are placed in principle at the site of the construction, where they actually describe the conditions of the road.

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