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Cultural Differences and Communication

Communicating with Strangers: An Approach to Intercultural Communication

William Gudykunst and Young Yun Kim apply principles of interpersonal communication to interactions between people of different cultures with an emphasis on the problems associated by uncertainty and anxiety stemming from cultural differences.

What is Culture?

This hypertext page was authored by Eric Maraglia, Richard Law and Peg Collins. It offers a definition of culture as a body of learned behavior. Links provide additional primary sources on the definition of culture with the views of Matthew Arnold, Raymond Williams, Clifford Geertz and John Bodley to represent philosophical and social scientific views of culture. There is also a link to discussions about women and culture, and consideration of the "culture debate" in the United States.

Multicultural Pavilion

Find a range of resources about multicultural issues develped by Dr. Paul Gorski

Library of Congress Country Studies

Use this page to search for information from the Library of Congress about countries around the globe.


Explore this site to gain culural awareness about the peoples of countries around the globe. When you click on the flag of a country you can learn demographic information about it. Of special note is the identification of core values shared by many within the country.

Cross-Cultural Communicaion: An Essential Dimension of Effective Education

Orlando L. Taylor, Ph.D. identifies elements of a culture and cultural issues that ought to be examined in a classroom.

Cultural Characteristics and Foreign Affairs

Roy Melbourne offers reflections about the importance of understanding culural differences in diplomatic relationships.


This Website provides information on international business practices, international business protocol, international etiquette, cross-cultural communication, negotiating tactics and country-specific data. There is a charge for the reports that you must order online.

Mutual Intercultural Perception: How Does It Affect Technical Communication

Jan M. Ulijn and Kirk St. Amant research differences in intercultural pespectives of people from China, the Netherlands, Germany, France, and Italy .

Sources of happiness: a qualitative approach. Luo Lu; Jian Bin Shih. The Journal of Social Psychology, April 1997 v137 n2 p181(7)

Perceived sources of happiness among community residents in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, and in the West were identified and compared. The authors performed a qualitative analysis to develop a typology and found 9 major categories among 180 reported sources of happiness. They were (a) gratification of need for respect, (b) harmony of interpersonal relationships, (c) satisfaction of material needs, (d) achievement at work, (e) being at ease with life, (f) taking pleasure at others' expense, (g) sense of self-control and self-actualization, (h) pleasure and positive affect, and (i) health. The results indicated that the Western conception of happiness places greater emphasis on intrapersonal or internal evaluation and contentment, whereas the Chinese conception of happiness places greater emphasis on interpersonal or external evaluation and satisfaction. The Chinese conception of happiness also has unique components, such as being at ease with life. InfoTrac.

International business and training: preparing for the global economy. Lawrence W. Hugenberg, Renee M. LaCivita and Andra M. Lubanovic. The Journal of Business Communication, April 1996 v33 n2 p205(18).

A review of literature on intercultural communication reveals that the research community has failed to provide sufficient illumination on the role of gender in the discussion of intercultural communication and international business. Gender issues of a culture are as crucial as any other research or training influences being examined by researchers. Gender plays an important cultural role in the performance and interpretation of verbal and nonverbal communication as well as in the application of cultural values and understandings. InfoTrac.

Next for communicators: global negotiation. William Briggs. Communication World, Dec 1998 v16 i1 p12(3).

Business communication professionals should cultivate their ability to communicate and negotiate cross-culturally. InfoTrac

How to communicate globally. Ernest Gundling. Training & Development, June 1999 v53 i6 p28(4).

People who must communicate regularly across borders must be careful about adopting new technologies that alter the context of their interaction with people in other countries. Caution is needed since misunderstandings can occur if people with a different cultural background decide that new communications procedures are not suitable substitutes for face-to-face interaction. In some countries, for example, videoconferencing is considered to be an unacceptable medium for conducting business, if only because it places people from high-context cultures at a disadvantage. In many situations, the selection of mutually acceptable communications media must first be agreed upon, before voicemail, email or fax can be used as a substitute for a person-to-person meeting. Tips for selecting appropriate global communications technologies are also provided. InfoTrac.

When cultures clash. John Freivalds. Communication World, Oct-Nov 1998 v15 i9 p19.

The increase in global mergers has resulted in significant cultural problems for the companies involved. They not only have to address common corporate culture communication differences but also have to consider wider cultural and linguistic issues. InfoTrac

Dear ???: understanding British forms of address. James Calvert Scott. Business Communication Quarterly, Sept 1998 v61 n3 p50(12).

The British have their own norms regarding the use of the English language in business communications that differ from those of the Americans. InfoTrac.

Ahh ... the pitfalls of international communication. Norm Leaper. Communication World, June-July 1996 v13 n6 p58(3).

Communicating across geopolitical, cultural and linguistic boundaries can be quite a challenge for professional business communicators. Most of the time, attempts at global communication only result in messages that are confusing, indecipherable, ridiculous or even offensive to their intended recipients. InfoTrac

Characteristics of Japanese communication. Sanae Kobayashi. Communication World, Dec 1996 v14 n1 p14(3).

Japanese communication differs from Western communication in terms of four factors: structure, process, culture and labor customs. InfoTrac

Cultural differences in listening style preferences: A comparison of young adults in Germany, Israel, and the United States. Christian Kiewitz, James B. Weaver III, Hans-Bernd Brosius and Gabriel Weimann. International Journal of Public Opinion Research, Fall 1997 v9 n3p233(15).

Listening is greatly influenced by cultural differences. To avoid miscommunication across cultures, it is important to consider differences in listening styles in different nationalities. InfoTrac

cultural context | self | relational development | listening & perception | messages | process of communication | relationships
Copyright, 2000-05 by Terrence A. Doyle, Ph. D.
Feedback to tdoyle@nvcc.edu