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Dealing with Conflicts and Perceptions Between Cultures - Essay Example

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Name of the Student Sociology Name of the Teacher 20 December 2013 Dealing with Conflicts and Perceptions between Cultures There is no denying the fact that in the contemporary globalized world, the cultural differences between people are indeed diluting and there has been emerging panache for cultural consciousness around the world…
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Dealing with Conflicts and Perceptions Between Cultures
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Dealing with Conflicts and Perceptions Between Cultures

Download file to see previous pages... Thereby, an individual develops an affiliation with a specific culture and culture becomes the lens through which an individual perceives the world around one. It is not that people belonging to different cultures tend to see different things. It is that people belonging to different cultures happen to view same things with different perceptive. Hence, in a multicultural work environment or teams open to diversity, lack of cultural literacy or cultural understanding may give way to conflicts (Bjerke 126). In that context it does need to be noted that people belonging to different cultures deal with conflict situations in a manner that is specific to their culture (Bjerke 126). Different cultures tend to develop varied approaches towards perceiving things and have their own unique conflict management and crisis resolution approaches. Cultural does shape a person’s world view. However, though it is easy to register this simple fact, yet in a practical context people often happen to overlook this fact. Experts and academicians like Hofstede, Hall and Trompenaars identified certain salient cultural inclinations or what is popularly known as cultural dimensions that play a great role in determining as to how people from different cultures happen to perceive things (Boyacigiller, Goodman & Phillips 164). For instance Geert Hofstede identified cultural dimensions like individualism, power distance, masculinity, uncertainty avoidance that play a major role in deciding as to how a person from a specific culture happens to perceive a thing (Hofstede 1). In the individualist societies like the United States of America, individual identity and individualistic self realization are positively encouraged and nurtured (Hofstede 1). The individualist tendencies amongst the people and a deviation from the social norms are considered acceptable. However, when it comes to developing social perceptions, things are not the same for the collectivist cultures found amongst many Asian and Latin American countries like China and Argentina. In collectivist cultures, contrary to the individualist cultures, group interests and collective aspirations stand way above individual goals and yearnings (Hofstede 1). The people in collectivist cultures give precedence to group affiliations and loyalty above personal targets and goals. Thereby, to a person from an individualist culture like the US, the collectivist tendencies found in other cultures may seem strange, and counterproductive. However, while dealing with conflict and perceptions between cultures it is not about which culture is better, but rather more about understanding the salient cultural differences and way of doing things. When it comes to conflicts and perceptions amongst cultures, power distance is a cultural dimension that is of immense relevance. In that context, America happens to be a low power distance culture that is in America there tends to be a very little distance between those who wield the power and the subordinates (Hofstede 1). America happens to be a more egalitarian nation where people are task oriented and shun power distance. In contrast in a country like Mexico, which has a very high power distance index, the distance between those that are powerful and the subordinates is immense (Hofstede 1). Hence, if an American manager goes to supervise a ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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