Cultural Misunderstandings: The French-American Experience

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Anthropological inquiry developed around the study of the exotic. Now that we live in a world that seems increasingly familiar, putatively marked by a spreading sameness, anthropology must re-envision itself. The emergence of diverse national traditions in the discipline offers one intriguing path. This volume, the product of a novel encounter of American anthropologists of France and French anthropologists of the United States, explores the possibilities of that path through an experiment in the reciprocal production of knowledge.

TomSter In England #3 - Cultural Differences

Benjamin J. In this InterAct, Benjamin Broome examines the communication style and cultural patterns in contemporary Greece, known to its residents as Ellada. He deciphers the complexity of Greek culture, providing the reader with an accurate guide for navigating the unknown terrain of its social landscape.

Enriched with numerous examples from the author's travels and sojourns in the country, Exploring the Greek Mosaic is highly readable, yet it presents as in-depth treatment of many key subjects, including the Greek view of history; the importance of village, family and religion; the role of conversation and conflict in interpersonal relations; and the characteristics of the work environment. Particular attention is given to similarities and differences in perception between Greeks and Americans, and sound advice is presented to those attempting to enter the Greek social world.

Managers, diplomats, students and serious travelers will find this insightful examination of Greek culture an especially useful guide to interaction with Greeks, and those teaching intercultural relations will appreciate its refreshing approach to cultural analysis. Julia M. Exploring the ways in which transatlantic relationships functioned in the nineteenth century to unsettle hierarchical models of gender, race, and national and cultural differences, this collection demonstrates the generative potential of transatlantic studies to loosen demographic frames and challenge conveniently linear histories.

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The contributors take up a rich and varied range of topics, including Charlotte Smith's novelistic treatment of the American Revolution, The Old Manor House; Anna Jameson's counter-discursive constructions of gender in a travelogue; Felicia Hemans, Herman Melville, and the 'Queer Atlantic'; representations of indigenous religion and shamanism in British Romantic literary discourse; the mid-nineteenth-century transatlantic abolitionist movement; the transatlantic adventure novel; the exchanges of transatlantic print culture facilitated by the Minerva Press; British and Anglo-American representations of Niagara Falls; and Charles Brockden Brown's intervention in the literature of exploration.

Taken together, the essays underscore the strategic power of the concept of the transatlantic to enable new perspectives on the politics of gender, race, and cultural difference as manifested in late eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Britain and North America.

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Downscaling Culture: Revisiting Intercultural Communication. Jaspal Naveel Singh. In the current era of globalisation, big-C Culture loses analytical purchase. However, research, as well as intercultural training and education, continues to take for granted a more or less fixed idea of culture.

This volume updates intercultural communication, both its theory and its application, by utilising a theory of scales in order to understand how culture gets contextualised as speakers communicate and negotiate meaning with each other.

Cultural Misunderstandings: French-American Experience

The 14 chapters brought together here explore the possibilities of such downscaling from a wide range of core themes in intercultural communication studies and from various research traditions, including interactional sociolinguistics, critical geography, conversation analysis, critical discourse analysis, textual analysis, multimodal analysis and nexus analysis. Gary Ferraro. Demonstrates how the theory and insights of cultural anthropology can positively influence the conduct of global business.

Learning Goals Upon completing this book readers will be able to: Understand the interaction between global business and culture Discuss comparative values and cultural differences Recognize the importance of understanding nonverbal communication patterns prevalent in the international business arena Be familiar with three functional processes critical to success in conducting global business: negotiating, partnering, and managing Identify strategies for coping with culture shock.


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The book explains larger stereotypes by investigating very intimate interactions between French and American people in order to illustrate the stereotypes and misunderstandings. For instance, the first chapter deals with the cultural differences between an American and French home.

In contrast the French are said to see the Americans as exhibitionists, openly flaunting their possessions, exhibiting them from their windows. This tactic of taking a confined area of culture to demonstrate a larger stereotype is consistent throughout the book. This very personal experience and opinion is used to argue that both cultures fail to understand the manner in which the other culture raises their children.

Cultural Misunderstandings: The French-American Experience

More importantly this is explicitly described as a disapproval of the others approach to child raising. Caroll uses these personal examples to support what she recognises as a cultural misunderstanding. She also uses hypothetical scenarios to exemplify her case referring to the French individual as X and the American as Y. It is this use of personal and individual accounts as her primary source of data that lends Caroll to criticism.

Whilst a lot of what Caroll argues is thought provoking and indeed accurate, the evidence is often opinion based, relying on the experiences of a select amount of individuals from both America and France. It should also be noted that being an anthropologist analysing American-French relations creates a dichotomy.

Cultural misunderstandings

However to be involved in the social interactions one is scrutinizing creates a definite bias. Furthermore, Caroll was born French but married and settled in America, so whilst this gives her a personal familiarity with the topic she is addressing, again the question of bias could be raised. However, the book does make some interesting insights into French-American relations and certainly the cultural misunderstandings that are illustrated in the text have their validity.

Caroll takes a unique approach to these two nations who historically have not been sympathetic towards each other socially or politically.

Cultural Misunderstandings

Whilst there should be some concern over the potential for bias this would always be the case to some extent with an anthropological analysis of this scale. Visualizing American Empire David Brody. Raymonde Carroll Translated by Carol Volk. Raymonde Carroll presents an intriguing and thoughtful analysis of the many ways French and Americans—and indeed any members of different cultures—can misinterpret each other, even when ostensibly speaking the same language.

Cultural misunderstandings, Carroll points out, can arise even where we least expect them—in our closest relationships. The revealing vignettes that Carroll relates, and her perceptive comments, bring to light some fundamental differences in French and American presuppositions about love, friendship, and raising children, as well as such everyday activities as using the telephone or asking for information. Table of Contents. Preface Introduction 1. Home 2.