Concept of Culture
- Culture is a shared system of symbols, beliefs, attitudes, values, expectations, and norms for behavior.
- You belong to several cultures, each of which affects the way you communicate.
- The United States is home to a vast array of cultures. There people speak now more than 160 languages. In contrast, Japan is much more homogeneous, having only a few distinct cultural groups.
- Cultures tend to be complete. This idea of completeness dulls or even suppresses curiosity about in other cultures.
- Such completeness can complicate communication with other cultures.
Ethnocentrism and Stereotyping
- Ethnocentrism: Culture-centric behaviors
- Ethnocentrism is the tendency to judge other groups according to the standards, behaviors, and customs of one’s own group. People conclude that their culture is superior to other cultures.
- More extreme form is XENOPHOBIA…. It is a fear of strangers and foreigners.
- Stereotyping is assigning a wide range of generalized attributes to an individual on the basis of membership in a particular culture or social group.
- Example: A younger colleague can not be an inspiring leader are examples of stereotyping age groups.
How to Avoid Ethnocentrism
1. Avoiding assumptions:
Don’t assume that others will act the same way you do.
2. Avoiding Judgments:
When people act differently, don’t conclude that they are in error or that their way is invalid or inferior.
3. Acknowledging distinctions:
Don’t ignore the differences between another person’s culture and your own.