A World of Differences: Understanding Cross-Cultural Communication
When we encounter people from other societies or cultures, we may fail to understand them for many reasons, including differences in language, values, gestures, emotional expression, norms, rituals, rules, expectations, family background, and life experiences. This extraordinary video shows that cross-cultural communication can be successful if we manage to understand the powerful differences that separate people who come from differing cultures.
The video examines 14 key facets of cross-cultural miscommunication. In each case, the power and subtlety of cultural differences are explored and illustrated. As the video demonstrates, culture can be like a veil that prevents us from understanding those from other societies, and also prevents them from understanding us.
While some aspects of “culture shock” are predictable, such as language differences, many powerful differences are less obvious, and perhaps therefore even more “culture shocking.” Examples include dramatic differences in personal space, patterns of touching, etiquette and ritual, the expression of emotions, ideas about edible and delicious food, gestures, courtship patterns, and parent-child relationships.
A World of Differences: Understanding Cross-Cultural Communication was produced by and features Prof. Dane Archer, of UC Santa Cruz. Like his other widely acclaimed videos, this one is both richly instructional and keenly enjoyable. This is essential viewing in a variety of courses. Viewers will be rewarded with a greatly enhanced awareness of the importance and nature of cultural differences.