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Culture & Language Cheat Sheet by

concept of time

monoch­ronic- time is given and people are variables, people do one thing at a time and finish it before starting something else.
polych­ronic-time is the servant and tool of people, people do several things simult­ane­ously, required by the circum­sta­nces.
indivi­dual, direct, low-co­ntext, non-ag­rarian societies are usually monoch­romatic. The other, polych­romatic.

uncert­ainty avoidance

high uncert­ainty avoidance- people with this have anxiety about the unknown so they try to control life. they have many laws, regula­tions, rules, and procedures and emphasize it must be obeyed.
low uncert­ainty avoidance- people with this have low anxiety and are less threatened by the unknown and uncertain. there is less government involv­ement and they tolerate differ­ences fairly well.

high & low power distance

high power distance- these cultures believe that inequa­lities in power and status are natural. those with power emphasize it and do not share it.
low power distance- these cultures think that inequa­lities in power and status is largely fake. those with power deemph­asize it and share power as much a possible.

culture shock and integr­ation stages

1. initial enthusiasm (honey­moon)- happens during the first week or two in a country and the attitude towards the country is generally positive.
2. initial country & culture shock- within the first few weeks, more realistic and mixed reactions.
3. initial adjustment- happens after several weeks, some aspects of the country & culture now seem normal.
4. further culture shock- in the first few months, you experience withdraw and more obstacles to overcome.
5. further adjustment- happens after settli­ng-in, you adapt and understand the culture better.

sources of culture

religion- whatever religion a country had, they will carry the same ideology when establ­ishing their culture and values in their government documents, laws, and norms.
geography- the earliest imprints of a country is affected by their location, which includes dangers, risks, safety, isolation as well as (un)li­mited resources and opport­unity.
attitude- countries that start after any form of repression will establish their law and values with the mind of not repeating their previously experi­enced history.
individual person­ality- citizens of a country will share common charac­ter­istics (hard working, distant, kind, etc) based on the historical events of that country.

the four levels of cultural awareness

I. uncons­cious incomp­etence- the first state when you are unaware of cultural differ­ences.
II. conscious incomp­etence- when you realize there are differ­ences and things you don't unders­tand.
III. conscious competence- you know some cultural differ­ences and adjust your behavior to replace your old instincts with new ones.
IV. uncons­cious competence- the last state when approp­riate behavior is now automatic and you are recond­itioned by the new culture.
this is the cycle of adjustment when your awareness of a new country & culture naturally increases.

personal and social obliga­tions

univer­salism- there are no exception for anyone and everyone and every situation must be treated the same without bias.
partic­ularism- it all depends on the circum­stances and how is involved, life is not fair and exceptions are always made.
no culture is completely universal or partic­ular, but the culture as a whole tends toward one side.


stage 1: denial- this is when someone doesn't believe in cultural differ­ences and impose their values onto others.
stage 2: defense- the person believes in cultural differ­ences now but view other cultures negatively and inferior to their own.
stage 3: minimi­zation- now they don't think that those who are different are inferior, but rather that the differ­ences are not signif­icant. they trivialize differ­ences and believe people are more similar than dissim­ilar.


stage 4: acceptance- the person accepts differ­ences as being deep and legiti­mate, they are more tolerant to other's differ­ences and are neutral about differ­ences.
stage 5: adaptation and integr­ation- the person becomes positive about differ­ences and are willing to adjust their own behaviors to conform to different norms, these people are known as bicultural or multic­ult­ural.

degree of control

internal control- the person controls their own life and there are no limits on what they can do if they focus and make effort.
external control- the person does not have control over their life, some aspects are already decided and there are limits on what they can do.

source of status

achieved status- is a doing culture, status does not come from birth, age, rank, or seniority.
ascribed status- is a being culture, statues is already establ­ished and where on is born, family, and social class matter.
Related to power distance as well as indivi­dualism and collec­tivism.

gestures and body language

percent of commun­ication through words
percent of commun­ication in voice (tone, volume, etc.)
percent of commun­ication in body language (non-v­erbal)
percent of emotion that in non-verbal

styles of commun­ication

direct and low context- these cultures tend to be indivi­dua­listic and monoch­rom­atic, the society is very mixed so nothing can be assumed.
indirect and high context- these cultures tend to be collective and homoge­nous, indirect and nonverbal commun­ication is much more important.


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