CROSS – CULTURAL CONTACT WITH AMERICANS
-) The term “American”
There are so many types of Americans and yet a mainstream culture does exists. Even the word American confusing. After all, American are consist and includes North America, Central America, and South American.
-) A description of Americans
In this material explained about generalizations about Americans. Some people might argue that it is impossible to generalize about American. Americans don’t come from a common ancestor. Expect for native Americans ( i.e. Indian) American come from different Immigrant and refugee groups. Americans do have a common heritage, but it is based on cultural diversity or multiculturalism.
Mainstream culture: the behavior of the group s base Dom its values and beliefs. Individual behavior: the action and activities of one person.
Melting pot: a society in wish ethnic group blend and become one group. American views of their own diversity have changed over the years in the early 1900s some people describe American” melting pot” from that description is not very accurate however because ethnic group have always been different from one another.
Mosaic: a society in which ethnic groups retain their separate identities but together form the larger community. By the 1970sa better analogy was introduced American multicultural society was described a Generalization: a statement describing general behavior that does not apply all the times a mosaic in which all the races and ethnic group could be proudly displayed.
Stereotype: an exaggerate belief about a group often base on a lack information or contact with members of that group. It easy to over generalize and apply the action and behavior of a view people from a particular group to entire group. American Values :
1. Personal control over the environment X fate
2. Change (change is healthy) X Tradition
3. Control over time : Time flies X Time walks
4. Equality and egalitarianism X Hierarchy, rank, status.
5. Individualism and privacy X Group orientations.
6. Self-help X Birthright inheritance
7. Future orientation X Past orientation
8. Action and work orientation X Being orientation
9. Informality X formality
10. Directness, openness, and honesty X Indirectness
11. Materialism X Spiritualism
Value such as the ones just described are the backbone of American culture. They influence how many American think and act.
CROSS – CULTURAL CONFLICT AND ADJUSTMENT
Adjustment to life in another country is a complicated process. In this material suggest that can be a shock.
A fish out of water is The expression has been used to describe someone who living in a new culture. In thinking about how someone will adjust to a new culture, the following questions should be considered:
- Motivation - Relationships with other
- Length of stay - Financial situations
- Language and culture - Job
- Language and cultural knowledge – Age
- Personality - Degree
Additionally, adjustment would be easier for someone whose culture and language are similar to those of the new country.
Unpredictable Cultural Adjustment is Some newcomers to a society do well in their first year of cultural adjustment. However, they may have a more difficult time later. Perhaps they expected the second year to be easy and successfully as the first year.
A ride on a roller coaster is The expression can be like riding a roller coaster, people can be experience both loving and hating the new country. Often, but not always, there is initial period when newcomers feel enthusiasm and excitement. Life seem exciting, novel, exotic and stimulating. After all, people can become overwhelmed when deprived of everything that was once familiar.
From honeymoon to Culture Shock to Integration is reactions to a new culture vary, but experience and research have shown that there are distinct stages in the adjustment process
a. Honeymoon period: Many people are fascinated and excited by everything in the new culture.
b. Culture shock : The individuals are immersed in new problem
c. Initial adjustment: Everyday activities such as housing and shopping are no longer major problems.
d. Mental isolation: Individual have been away from their family and good friends.
e. Acceptances and integration: A routine has established. They feel comfortable with new country.
How do people know that they are having problems adjusting to the new culture? Typical symptoms includes the following :
b. Inability to work well
c. Too much eating, drinking, or sleeping
d. Anger toward the members of the new culture
e. Glorifying the native culture and emphasizing the negative in the new culture.
f. Withdrawal and avoidance of contact with people from the new culture
g. Lack of ability to deal with even small problems.
VERBAL COMMUNICATION : THE WAY PEOPLE SPEAK
Culture influences communication styles. Although this point may seem obvious, cultural styles can and do create misunderstandings in conversation among people from different culture. There are many Americans who do get involved in verbal conflict over politics, just as there are some Italians who would not become involved. How about conversations represent types of communication patterns that are related to cultural differences.
Conversational involvement :
High involvement styles tend to :
a. Talk more
b. Interrupt more
c. Expect to be interrupted
d. Talk more loudly
e. Talk more quickly
High considerateness style tend to :
a. Speak one at a time
b. Use polite listening sound
c. Refrain from interrupting
d. Give plenty of positive and respectful response
Ping pong and bowling conversation styles are when of conversation styles that contrasts with the American Ping Pong conversation style is formal conversation among the Japanese, which has been compared to bowling. Each participant in a Japanese conversation wait politely for turn and knows exactly when the time is right to speak. When it is time to take a turn, the person bowl carefully.
Ethnocentric Judgments that people make about each other are often ethnocentric. People cannot assume that their way communicating is universal. You feel are mysterious ways, consider the following 4 point
a. It’s possible that the way speak reflects a cultural style.
b. Your success in developing cross-cultural rapport is directly.
c. Your ways seem as mysterious to other as their ways seem to you.
d. It’s often valuable to talk about cultural.
NONVERBAL COMMUNICATION : SPEAKING WITHOUT WORDS
Language studies traditionally emphasized verbal and written communication. In some instances, more nonverbal than verbal communication occur. One study done in United States showed that 93 % of a message was transmitted by the speaker’s tone of voice and facial expressions.
Cultural differences in Nonverbal Communication it’s can expresses meaning or feeling without words, universal emotions such as happiness, fear, and sadness. One culture may determine that snapping fingers to call a waiter is appropriate, whereas another may consider this gesture, facial expression, eye contact, and the use of conversional distance affect communication.
Gesture and body positioning
Gesture are specific body movements the carry meaning. many American business executive enjoy relaxing with their feet up on their desk,
Facial Expressiveness is Facial expression carry meaning that is determined by situation and relationships. In American culture the smile is typically an expression of pleasure. A smile may also show affection. In Asian southeast cultures, smile is frequently used to cover emotional pain or embarrassment.
Eye contact is Eye contact is important because insufficient or excessive eye contact can create communication barriers. It serves to show” intimacy, attention, and influence”.
Conversational distance is This distance has had several names over the years, including “ personal space, interpersonal distance, comport zone, and body bubble”.
For Americans, the usual distance in social conversation ranges from about an arm’s length to four feet. Less space in American culture may be associated with either greater intimacy or aggressive behavior.
Culture does not always determine the massage of nonverbal communication. The individual’s personality, the context, and the relationship also influence its meaning.
FAMILY: TYPES AND TRADITION
There are universal dimensions of family life, and the functions of a family are similar around the world:
1. Child rising
Acculturation, which begins at birth. The process of teaching new generation of children the custom and values of the parent culture. In the United States it is common for parents to put a newborn in separate bedroom when the child is a view weekend old. Part of the reason is Economic that is many houses are large enough to offer each child a separate room. By having their own rooms, the children will also be able to have privacy when they are older. The children will eventually learn to be responsible for their own living space. Often children work for money outside the home as a first step to establishing autonomy, some ten years-old, for example: mow their neighbor, lawn and slightly older children may deliver newspaper.
2. Young childhood
American children have typically been encouraged, but usually not forced, to leave nest and begins independent lives. Then over 50 percent of young adult aged eighteen to twenty-four currently live in their parents’ home. Parents do not arrange marriages for their children, nor do children usually ask their parent’s permission to get married: romantic love is most often the basis for marriages for in United States.
3. The elderly
Societal and familial treatment of the elderly also reflects the values of independence and individualism. Senior citizen centers provide a means for peer-group association within their age group. Indifference to the aged sixty-five to seventy four and 35 percent of women in the same age group live alone.
4. The nuclear and the extended family
The nuclear family consists of the father, the mother, and the children: this is “the family.” The extended family, which consists of grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, nephews, nieces, and in-laws, is important in United States.
5. Working wives and husbands
The male was responsible for the financial support of the home and family members, and the female was responsible for emotional support, child rising, and housekeeping. For many women, their work represents the need to contribute to the family income and not a means of attaining personal fulfillment.
6. Single – parent families
Many single mother and fathers often feel stretched to their limits with a unending responsibilities that face them. Despite he number of single parents in the United States in the United States, there is no indication that marriage is becoming less popular, the remarriage rate remains high, with approximately four out of five divorce couples eventually remarrying other people.
7. Varieties of families in united states
The largest percent percentage is still the traditionally family with two parents and children, but this type is not even the majority of families. Two women or two men with or without children can also constitute a family. Couples who have decided not to have children or unmarried couples who have chosen to live together may likewise see themselves as a family.