What Is Culture?

Life Progression Project
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Lecture description

In this lesson you will learn exactly what culture is!

Learn more from the full course

Cross-Cultural Communication: How To Flex Your Style

Cross-Cultural Communication: Using Language Appropriately, Expressions, Gestures & Cues, Cultural Profiles & more!

01:13:27 of on-demand video • Updated May 2019

  • Effectively communicate with people from different cultures
English [Auto] So let's start with how do we define culture. Well there are many different ways that culture can be defined and the obvious ones that come to mind are based on our ethnic background which country do we come from. So are we from India or are we from Canada or are we from the US. Brazil we think about the countries but really isn't the country that defines culture. Think about organizations moving from one organization to another organization. They have a unique personality or a unique culture. So what is the fundamental definition of culture. If you take a look at the dictionary you'll find descriptions like it's a common set of beliefs a common set of values that a group of people share that common set of values can be based on their gender. It could be based on their religion. It could be based on the country and the community which they grew up. It is a common set of beliefs. So whether that's in a company a country a community or a family it is the culture that we are looking at. So when we start to talk about communicating cross-culturally we have to understand the frame of reference that the individuals are actually going to be receiving the message we will get into a lot of detail in this course. But I'll give you a few quick examples if you see somebody think of bumping into somebody of an Italian background and they have a tendency like me to talk with their hands or they are very dramatic in how they say hello with a big hug and a kiss even if you're a perfect stranger. And then conversely you take a look at the Chinese or those from an Asian culture you'll have the bow or the no mistake from India you'll have different ways of greeting each other. And if an Italian person approaches a Chinese person person and gives them a great big old Hod you can just imagine the reaction of that individual. So it's really important for us to understand how to communicate cross-culturally to be received in the way that we intend to be received. So when thinking about the differences between cultures I'm going to make a few statements and just for a minute. Reflect on them and think about your own reaction. So welcome to the festival of Mardi Gras. What an explosion of entertainment. So think about which country that's from him and the people there. What about the statement the merger between the German company and the American company failed because of a clash in culture. What could you imagine that clash in culture to have been that would have caused two companies from two countries who merged to actually fail because they don't know how to communicate with one another. And what about the Eastern culture versus the Western culture. When we hear about oh the westernization of a country what do they actually mean by the westernize zation of a country. How does the East become Westernized. What is it that's happening it's a shift in culture or the Islamic and the Christian culture. Are they really so different. It's two religions are they really so different. What is the fundamental foundation that creates the differences in all of those cases. It truly is culture. It's that common set of beliefs and values that each holds whether it's personal business religion family it doesn't matter. It's a fundamental belief system that creates those differences that we call culture.