Multicultural Manners Essay

1191 words - 5 pages

The nation is becoming more multicultural. More immigrants and refugees are arriving each year, and with globalization occurring, students should expect to deal with people from different cultures more than ever. If the students do not have adequate training, they could easily offend a member from a different culture. True, students should have had at least one class in Intercultural Communication, or taken other classes to prepare them for study-abroad. If a student is planning to go to France during their junior or senior year, they have studied the language and expectations of the culture. However, some classes do not have time to cover all topics related to cultures. In addition, students that are not planning to study abroad still need to know how to be intercultural competence because this nation is becoming more and more diverse. They will likely encounter someone from another culture in places such as health, business, or education contexts. There has to be an effective way to teach students proper ways of acting around different cultures; something that a professor can add as a supplement to their class, since they may already have a strict rubric. On the other hand, something a study abroad student can carry with them and use to look up information on how to behave. Something students can use even if they have no background in Intercultural studies, to help them adapt to the growing diverse population. Multicultural Manners, by Norine Dresser is a short guild that explains how to behave around each culture. It will help your students know what and what not to do around certain cultures, whether they use it at work, internships, study-abroad, or daily life.

Here is a scenario. An American, business student is doing an internship in a country like China or Japan. He’s been taught that time is money, seal the deal, and get in and out as quickly as possible, so that he can move on to the next best opportunity. It is not surprising that he is shocked when every time he tries to complete a deal, he fails. He does not know why he is not having any success; he has studied the language, what went wrong? Well, if this student had proper intercultural training before he left, he would have known that he was making some big mistakes, the biggest one was thinking that every business setting worked like America’s business setting. The Multicultural Manners book would have provided answers to his question. For example, he may have tried to greet the Japanese business partners with a hug and eye contact. However, under the “Body Language” section of Multicultural Manners, it specifies that when around the Japanese keep eyes downward and avoid body contact (Dresser 15-16). In the “Miscellany” section, it says to accept a card from a business Japanese partner with both hands and a slight bow. Then read the card a little, shake hands and bow again. Afterwards, the card should go into the front pocket of a jacket or card case,...

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